Real Moms' Potty Training Advice & Stories: Chapter Three

Filed under: Potty Training

More potty training advice and anecdotes from our mommy friends...

*Nicole from Mt. Kisco, NY:
  • Put a potty in your child's bathroom way before you want to potty train, so that when you decide that you want to start training, it isn't a "foreign" object that they haven't seen before and are afraid of.
  • Always follow your child's lead in terms of readiness and when they are ready take away his/her diapers and have him/her wear underwear all day. You may have accidents, but it is less confusing.
  • When your child is totally potty trained during the day for a number of months and you want to take diapers/Pull-Ups away at night, gradually decrease the amount of fluid intake your child has before he/she goes to bed.
  • If your child does not seem ready/resists being potty trained, do not force the issue. Otherwise, it will become a power struggle and you will get no where quickly!
  • Have your child accompany you to the store to pick out underwear, so he/she is part of the process and can get excited about it.
  • When your child has an accident simply state, "We go to the bathroom on the potty," take the child to the potty to finish up and then have he/she help you clean it up. Do not scold, reprimand or embarrass.
  • While there are portable potties on the market that can be left in the car (or the stroller) for long trips or when a bathroom isn't always accessible, when you are first training your child, put an absorbent blue chuck/wee wee pad underneath your hild in case he/she has an accident. It will be much easier to clean up!
  • The more your child can accompany the same-sex parent to the bathroom (even before potty training/pre-potty training) the more likely he/she will want to model him/her.
  • I love the Graco potty that has the removable center, the removable soft, cushy seat that can be used on a regular toilet and which can also be used as a step stool when closed.
*Lori from New York City, NY:
  • The first time my niece peed in the toilet, she was with me. And she screamed, "I did it, I did it ... Mommy told me it would be yellow!"
*Jodi from East Meadow, NY:
  • When my son was about 2½, he was probably 80% potty trained. One day, he looks at me, then the potty, and says, "Mommy, I'm done with that now. No more potty." And he was right. He began to completely refuse to use the toilet! All of the books say how important it is NOT to push them, so I didn't. I'd periodically ask, "Are you sure you don't want to try the potty?" and he would quickly say "No!" Finally, after MANY months, when he was almost 3 1/2, I got SICK of changing diapers. I told him that we would be having vacation time soon (late June when school got out), which would mean a lot of "home days." I told him that we would have a bunch of days when he would not wear diapers. He would start out naked (he loved that!) and if he did a good job he could use his big boy underwear. We went out and picked a bunch of choices that he loved. Each time he made on the potty, he could have a sticker. When he earned 5 stickers on his chart, he could pick a prize. I went online to Oriental Trading and got a prize assortment.
  • So the day came and he was very excited. I told him he had to go as soon as he got out of bed and I used a timer, making him try every 20 or 30 minutes. He got a sticker even when he tried, even if he wasn't successful. The most important thing was to reward him for trying. So long story short, he had 2 accidents in the morning and was completely trained by the afternoon! The main trick was waiting until he was ready!
  • My biggest hint for anyone? Always keep a change of clothes with you, no matter where you are. Mine is in the trunk of my car. Accidents happen...not often, but they happen when you least expect it!
*Vicki from CO:
  • I live in the mountains of Colorado and I have potty training 4 daughters who have now potty trained 8 grandchildren. I refused the potty seat for my children because I didn't want them to do the training twice. And I didn't want to empty it and didn't want them to develop a fear of the sound of the big potty 'flushing', which happens. There was a little step we built and they each got to paint it for their special training occasion.
  • Each child is different when it comes to training. My first daughter wanted ONLY nylon ruffled underpants -- and I found her on her little stepstool rinsing them out one day. She was horrified she had wet them. My second daughter wanted ONLY soft white cotton underpants and could care less about rinsing them out if she wet them. My third daughter escaped to the outside, preferring to wear nothing. My fourth daughter wore anything the others had already worn, as long as it was a pretty color.
  • I once asked my neighbor why her son sits down to go potty. "Didn't he ever watch his Daddy?" I said. Her reply was, with an eye roll, that "Daddy sits down too." Seems Daddy was traumatized as a 6-year-old when the seat came crashing down on his little private part!
*Jodi from Arlington, VA:
  • My girls were trained using the book, "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day," by Nathan Azrin ). It took more than a day, but we were very pleased with the success. And, my daughter taught me that it's pointless to try too soon -- if they aren't ready they aren't ready and it becomes a power struggle.

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