Real Moms' Potty Training Advice & Stories: Chapter Two

Filed under: Potty Training

More real mom potty training advice and anecdotes...

*Becky from West Orange, NJ:
  • Potty training is not easy and you must have a lot of patience! If you do find it easy, your child is some sort of angel. At first, we tried training my son by putting him straight in underwear (no Pull-Ups) and having him tell us when he had to go. Several soiled, cute pairs of underpants later...we just let him run around naked (this is easiest to do in the summer). After peeing on the floor once, he got the hang of it pretty quickly, but that's not to say that he didn't have several accidents. He seemed to find peeing in the potty easier than pooping there, which I don't understand. I mean, doesn't it seem easier to feel when you have to poop and less disgusting to just do it in the potty? Once he was trained, he wore Pull-Ups for almost a year at night. The best thing to do is just wait until your child wants to (or is ready to) wear underwear at night. It is not easy for them at all, especially since so many are deep sleepers and/or have vivid dreams that may lead to wet sheets.
My most important tips are:
  • Always be patient. You cannot get mad. Even though it seems easy to us -- as if our children may be spiting us or just not listening (which they may be) -- it is very, very hard for them to learn how to use the toilet. We should always stay calm, not yell, and speak to them about their accidents in a rational way.
  • Buy LOTS of underwear. It can never be enough!
  • Always carry a spare set (or two) of clothes and maybe even shoes, even when you think your child is fully trained. It was definitely not a fun day when my son peed all over his shoes and I didn't have an extra pair.
  • Reward charts and lots of little rewards are never a bad thing. However, be prepared for the especially-smart child to then ask why he/she should do anything good if they don't get a present for it.
*Marines from Miramar, FL:
  • I tried to teach my child -- again -- this weekend. I left him in underwear (no Pull-Ups) until 1pm. He didn't pee and he didn't want to do it in the toilet. We were going to a baseball game, so I went to change him and put on a Pull-Up, and as soon as he felt it he said, "It came out." I guess he feels secure with it...I will try again this week. But ultimately, I think what would work best with me would be to have my son with me for a full week at home to work on it -- no school, no work.
*"Real Mom" from CT:
  • I used the method called 3 Day Potty Training (by Lora Jensen), which REALLY TOOK 2 weeks. But it totally works -- I found the workbook online. You pay for it and then you can download all the information. You basically spend 3 days at home and don't leave your house for those 3 days. You need to buy lots of underwear and be prepared to be cleaning up a lot of pee and poop. Basically the idea is to keep saying to your child," tell me when you have to go to the potty." By saying this 4 million times over the course of 3 days it really sunk into my son's head. Every time they would make it to the bathroom you would reward them with M&M's, stickers or that toy they have been wanting. The scary part was leaving the house after the potty training was completed. My son proceeded to have accidents at the playground and at his pre-school where he would disrobe and then go about his business. It was frustrating yet comical at times! Plus, he thought that once he was outside he was free to pee and poop anywhere. Not a fun experience. I also recommend keeping a potty seat and extra clothing in your car.
*Julie from New York City, NY:
  • Cheerios are not just for eating! They make great target practice for a boy learning to use the potty standing up. The targets they sell in the store are really expensive and this is a fun way to motivate and help their aim!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.