Real Moms' Potty Training Advice & Stories: Chapter Four

Filed under: Potty Training

Our final installment of real moms' potty training advice and stories...enjoy!

*Kristen from Portsmouth, NH:
  • The Potty Watch is the BEST. I need one.
  • These Tinkle Targets for boys are hilarious.
  • This foldable potty seat with handles was great for travel too -- foldable for transport, potty seat so her little bum wouldn't fall in the big restaurant potties and with handles so she didn't have to touch the toilet when holding on for support. Although for some reason, my husband could never get a handle (no pun intended) on how to sit my daughter on it without collapsing the thing -- which he did twice and she soaked herself falling in the potty. At a restaurant. Nice.
  • The website has the best, most practical stuff.
  • The one issue about potty training that I've never found any site to address -- and believe me, I've scoured them all -- is about them not being physically ready to be able to know/sense they have to go before they actually go. According to my pediatrician, I guess signs of that is when they hold their pee for longer periods of time -- for example, longer time between dry Pull-Ups/diapers, dry Pull-Up when wake up from nap, dryer Pull-Up when she wakes up in morning. We started potty training her before she was physically ready, although she showed all sorts of other signs like hating her diaper change, telling us right after she went pee in diaper because she didn't want to wear it, inquired about the potty, wanted to wear underwear, etc. So on the one hand, she's all potty-trained when it comes to her liking to use the potty. She has no qualms about it all -- she uses the real toilet, in public, pooping not just peeing -- so we don't have to give her treats to entice her. BUT she doesn't quite yet know when she really has to go, so unless we put her on the potty ourselves every hour (like we were doing for so long but stopped because it's a pain), she'll wet her underwear. She knows the second she's gone and tells us, but by then it's too late and we start to get frustrated and she senses that and feels bad and the whole thing starts to be negative. So we've stopped potty training until she starts telling us she has to go pee (which is right about now). But nobody ever addresses THIS particular issue in any of the baby posts/bulletins, etc.
  • I don't have too many funny stories, but this one is more about my mom's Boston accent than anything. We had just started potty training my daughter, so we were always putting her on the potty before she left the house. As we were leaving my house for my daughter's 2nd birthday party, my mom said, "We're going to your party!" but with a Boston accent -- so it came out sounding like, "We're going to your potty!" Since my daughter had already just gone the potty with me -- and was rather proud of herself because it was early on in potty training, so we all would clap/dance/whatever when she went in the potty -- she got upset at my mom and said, "I already went to the potty!" and stomped out of the room. Ha.
*Jennifer from Syosset, NY:
  • A clever idea would be cutting a hole in the Pull-Up so that you can "trick" your kid into pooping on the potty! Wish it worked for my kid. I'm sure it could work for others!
  • "Potty Power" was a DVD my oldest one watched all the time when potty training. As soon as I stopped bugging him about using the potty, he was trained!
*Jill from Melville, NY:
  • My best advice to moms trying to potty train twin boys is to let them train themselves. Over Christmas break from school, I decided that my 3-year-old twins should be potty trained. One morning I took away their diapers and made them go on the potty every hour or so. They had been on the potty in the past, but not using it regularly. The novelty of the new underwear wore off after about five minutes. Within an hour, one of my boys was crying that he wanted his diaper back. It turned out that he had a stomach virus complete with diarrhea, so I knew that this was going to be a failed attempt for him. I decided that it would be easier to focus on one kid at a time, so I kept my healthy son in underwear for another three days. When it was apparent that he did not distinguish the underwear from the diaper -- I had to change his underwear about ten times a day -- I gave up on him as well. Once I let it go, they basically trained themselves two months later.
  • After the failed attempt over Christmas, I put the boys in Pull-Ups. I then made the potty part of our daily routine (we wake up, use the potty, brush our teeth, etc). At first we used jelly beans as a reward for making on the potty. One son was not interested until their friend (who is one year younger) came over to play and he was in underwear and using the potty. This inspired my son to try. Within a few weeks, both had dry Pull-Ups most of the time. By February, one son was ready for underwear. He had the pee thing under control, but would not poop on the potty. I watched him like a hawk and whenever he was about to poop, I got him on the potty -- but I didn't always catch him in time. I even upped the jelly bean reward to a handful of jelly beans each time he pooped on the potty. I promised him a new toy if he kept his underwear clean for three days. I didn't know whether I should send him to school in underwear after only a few days of being dry. I took a chance, and of course, much to his teacher's dismay, he pooped in his underwear at school. I think he was embarrassed, because from that point on, he was completely poop trained.
  • A month later, my other son was keeping his Pull-Ups clean and dry all the time. I told him that that it was time for underwear. He told me he wasn't ready. I didn't push it, but I knew he could do it. I told him that if he wore underwear for the day and kept it clean, he could have a special box of candy. He has been trained ever since.
  • My latest dilemma is night time. They are completely dry at night (it happened almost immediately), but I have been too scared to put them in underwear at night. I will probably just do it soon. Its been almost two months and they both only wet their Pull-Ups one time each.
  • At first when I started, it seemed like a daunting task, but it really all worked itself out. For the most part, I trained them to pee standing up, although at the very beginning I had them sitting down.
*Elaine from Leesburg, VA:

If training a boy:
  • Teach them to AIM. This will serve you well for life, as if they don't master this skill early, you'd better master your mopping skills.
  • Use Cheerios or Froot Loops, throw them in the toilet then tell him to sink the ships! This worked beautifully and they loved it!
  • Whatever you do -- no matter how frustrated you are or how long the process is taking -- do not push them. They do it when they're ready and not one minute before.
  • CELEBRATE when they do their "duty" :)

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