Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Taking a Break

Ok, fine.  Not only am I going to post about potty training, I am going to post about how potty training has totally kicked my ass.  L will be 3 in less than a month and it's time to try this again.  We made one very unsuccessful attempt in November and L just wasn't getting it.  So, after talking to a few people, I decided to pull back and try again later.  L uses the toilet at school when he gets his diaper changed and he uses it at home every night before bath and less frequently in between, but we haven;t put him in underwear since November.  Last weekend he told me "I want to wear underwear".  I was surprised, and since it was bedtime I talked him out of it, but I know that was the sign I was looking for.  Maybe.

I feel totally overwhelmed by all of it.  The problem is, since we both work, the weekends are the only time that we have to get anything done.  If I am at home with L, it becomes really hard to catch up again.  I realize this sounds really selfish and lazy, but there you have it.  I am dreading this whole process.  I also had to talk with M about really being around to help this time, too.  If I'm stuck at home, we're all stuck at home.  I need someone to keep E from following us into the bathroom and bothering L.

I have formulated a plan and I would like to share it with you.  Maybe that will help me stick to it.

This weekend - put L on the toilet for every diaper change, lots of praise for any results.  Talk a lot about being a big boy and wearing underwear.  Let him pick out some underwear at Target.

Next weekend - I am taking Friday off and keeping Luke at home.  We'll watch movies and I am going to give him lots of stuff he doesn't normally get that might encourage peeing, like popcorn, juice, maybe even some Sprite!  I'll let him set the timer, pick out his underwear, and try to make it as fun as possible.  This will give us a jump start to the weekend and allow me to concentrate on L rather than trying to juggle everything else.

I've looked at potty watches, but the only one I found got terrible reviews for breaking after two weeks.  I might buy a fun timer to use instead.  Maybe one shaped like a chicken or something?  I am writing this partly because I need to get it done and it creates some accountability, but I also need some encouragement and/or advice.  Anything you have ever heard or experienced, whether you have kids or not, is something I would love to hear.  This has to work eventually, right?  RIGHT?


  1. My sister In Law had trouble training my nephew ans she used with great sucess the Dr. Phil method, not totally sure what that is, but maybe can assist!Good luck to you!!! We'll be available for all the gripes and successes!

  2. Those look like some great ideas! Goodluck!

  3. When we potty trained - we used undies (fun, obnoxious character ones!) and let the kids wear just hose (with the occassional plastic undies over the top...We didn't wear pants in the house-just undies...
    And no joke - every 20-30 minutes we had the kids sit on the toilet (we skipped the potty chair for the most part because there aren't potty chairs at Target, at a friend's house, etc so it was just easier to be consistent...)

    Sometimes we didn't do anything in the toilet-sometimes we did. And unfortunately, there were a few times where stuff ended up on the floor - but more often than worked.
    Hailey got totally annoyed with us asking/taking her so frequently-but it didn't take her long to figure out - that if she went-she could go longer in between us making her sit there for a minute and at least try!

    It's soo hard as a working parent-but when you ARE home-bring both kids to the toilet-have them BOTH sit...and if ANY tinkling goes on in there...hoot, holler, jump up and down, sing, give hugs...
    Monkey see Monkey do!
    It's not too early for E to watch/learn too - D wasn't even 2 when he was fully trained for daytime hours...
    Good Luck Honey -

  4. All good ideas!! However, don't be discouraged if after the long weekend, it doesn't take. Sometimes trying to hard pushes them away from it. One thing that a friend of mine pre-school where she taught, she had the kids have to re-dress themselves after an accident. Having to do all that putting on and struggling discourages them from wanting to mess up their clothes again.

    Me--W is no where near getting big girl underwear! She really is not interested and it seems that she will be hitting 3 years old without being to even where you guys are.

    The good news--they WILL be in kindergarten and be potty trained!! (I know--my son wasn't fully trained until 4--and I tried REAL hard with him...this time, I am taking it slow, although it is frustrating at times)

  5. I'm with you--I loathe potty training. And, frankly, I find diapers quite convenient. But, we are in the throes of it as well. Remarkably, it's gone really well with Button, who I had been convinced was going to wear diapers for the rest of his life. We didn't really have much of a routine with him. Tried potty breaks regularly at first--no set amount of time in between--and he just seemed to be doing really well with it. (It doesn't hurt that he L-O-V-E-S to poop on the potty. He's such a little boy, it's ridiculous.) Where we've run into trouble is with Bear. She's ready, but struggling. *sigh* All I can say is, my mantra these days is this too shall pass! But, if you discover any well-kept secrets, please do let us know!!

  6. I HIGHLY recommend Potty Traing Boys The Easy Way. It is on Amazon and the author addresses how boys are a bit harder to potty train than girls and that the theory of doing it over a weekend doesn't always click with boys-plus it doesn't always work with today's busy 2 working parent families. She suggests starting w/ an hour of underpants a day and as they get it go longer with the underpants. This helps ease frustration both for the child and the parents. She has a lot of really good points. It is a fairly new book so there weren't many reviews when I bought it, but all were 4 & 5 stars. After I read it things made a lot more sense for me! I really think you should check it out.

    Also, I have a friend that put fight charge on her iPhone as an alarm and set it for every 15 minutes when she was potty training and her son LOVED that noise. It got him all fired up to get in the bathroom.

  7. Im going to come back to you for advice not long from now! Im nervous about potty training! Hoping it clicks for L soon and the stress levels go down!

  8. Good luck! We're right behind you (well 6+ months I'd guess...). It's so super overwhelming to me too. I just don't even know how to start it. He is peeing nearly every day at school, so at least he's familiar with it. I'm sure L's teachers may have some advice about what his actions are at school, and what they're prompting him with so that you can repeat some of those at home? I know you'll all get the hang of it very soon!

  9. Haven't trained my own kid but I trained my sister and a bunch of nanny kids. A few tricks that have helped -

    1. When you spend the day with L, push the liquids. The more he drinks, the more he'll have to go and get familiar with the sensation, and that will provide more practice opportunities.

    2. I'm with Darcie on the potty seat - if you can use the big toilet, it's better. It's a pain and less convenient at home, but when you're anywhere else, you need him to not be frightened of sitting on the big seat.

    3. Ask ask ask. All you'll hear yourself say is, "Do you need to go potty?" It's tedious but kids get so distracted by play they forget, especially boys I think.

    4. Pull-ups for night but otherwise not. They feel like diapers.

    Sorry these are random. Hope it goes well but if it doesn't, step back again. He will get it, he will not go to college in diapers. :)

  10. Totally agree with everything Becky said above...also, some more tips/hints. This is what has worked best for me (take it or leave it):

    - Potty Watch, you can find cheap ones ($5-10) at Target...all you need is something that has a timer/alarm. I let the boys pick one out along with a package of whatever undies they wanted. Will ended up with Lightening McQueen and Cole with Toy Story. Because they each picked out their own, they were super proud of themselves and excited to wear them.

    - I set the potty watch to go off after 20-30 minutes. When it went off it was a huge celebration "OH, your watch beeped!!! Let's go potty!!!" After a while they got a little annoyed, but it worked and it was helpful for me to stay on track of things while chasing around 2 crazy kids. As they got better and better I would set the timer for longer periods of time, until eventually we didn't need it at all.

    - We also did a craft project and made a potty chart. The boys got to decorate it with stickers and glitter and whatever they wanted. I made a different section for pee and poo. Each time they did one/both they got to put a sticker on their chart. Once the chart was full they earned a reward (i.e. trip to the zoo, children's museum, favorite park, a new race car, etc). Having a big incentive at the end worked really well for us...especially because they got to choose what we did, it was their special day.

    - We made a super big deal and celebrated every pee & poo (especially with STUBBORN Cole). They were so excited that I showed so much excitement that they wanted to keep trying and eventually caught on.

    Try not to get discouraged. Boys are hard to train, especially if they aren't ready. We started and stopped with Cole multiple times and then one day he was like, "no more diapers for me" and that was it. Each kid is different! He'll get there!!!

  11. Training Nicholas was SO much harder than Addison. We used a timer. And it really didn't matter what it looked like, Nicholas was fascinated by the time itself. The clock, the beeping, all of it. Totally in love with it.

    I sent Addison to my mom's and I spent two whole days training him. Took a long time and lots of time in the bathroom but it happened. He was over three and wasn't asking!

    You are WAY ahead of the game and you are going to do GREAT!! Sending dry, successful thoughts your way!

  12. I have had lots of friends be successful with the 3 day program. Granted, you can't leave the house for 3 days, but supposedly they are totally trained in 3 days. Leave them in underwear and/or bare ass and make them go sit on the potty every 30 minutes or so and VOILA! We will be looking at this later in the year so I'll let you know!

  13. With Hannie we forced her to wear underwear and just accepted the results if she didn't make it in time. Assuring her that it was okay but that we needed to make it to the potty. That only lasted a day maybe two. Second and what clenched her going potty, privacy. She wanted to be in the bathroom by herself with the door shut. Success!

  14. Do despair if it doesn't work. "Training" never worked for either of my boys. Bribing, begging, threatening, rewarding--nothing. It frustrated me to no end, so I gave up. Being a working mom, I simply didn't have it in me. Mind you, we didn't have any pressure to potty train by a deadline (for example, he HAS to be potty trained by the time preschool starts), so I would have probably tried harder if that was the case. I am now a firm believer that kids (or at least my kids) are not going to do it until they are ready. Once my boys were ready, there was no transition to be had. One day they were in diapers, the next day they were in underpants. Since that day, my older had one accident (although he requested a diaper to go #2 for about two months), and my younger had maybe 3 or 4 accidents. We still used pullups for a while at nights, just as a precaution, and I can count on two hands the number of times pullups were wet. My older was 3 years and 1 month when he decided to ditch the diapers, and my younger was 2 years and 7 months.

    I guess this is my very rambling round-about way of saying if it doesn't work, cut yourself some slack. It will happen.