17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Little Bums

I have watched The View, probably 3 times this past year. Every time I watch I listen to Elisabeth Hasselback talk about her baby (who is the same age as my baby). She almost always tells tales about her baby and her bodily functions. Recently she spoke about how she is starting to train her baby to go to the bathroom...you know she's potty training.

The baby is 17 months old. Now, zinone claims she was potty-trained at 18 months old...and is quick to say that diapers back then were not as absorbent, and she wanted out of her wet diapers. My husband wasn't even walking until he was 19 months old, so I doubt he was anywhere near being potty trained at that age. Maybe z's mom was just trying to give her a little confidence when she was 4: "you know, you were potty trained at 18 months honey...." ; )

My little poopy likes to poop in the tub, and I have gotten good at seeing the look on her face right when she is going to do it, so a few times, I have grabbed her out and put her on the toilet and she has had a successful poop, but she doesn't like it, and she doesn't indicate to me with word or gesture that she would like to poop on the toilet please. (How's that for a run-on sentence?)

I just don't think that potty-training before 2 years old makes much sense. My fear, after putting poopy on the toilet those few times, is that it was a little uncomfortable (cold, wet, grabbed quickly out of the tub), and perhaps traumatic, and she won't ever want to do it for real.

I started training Pukey at 2 years old. About 3 months later, she was officially trained. It was hard to do because I am always running around, and I didn't have day after day to dedicate to the effort. Instead, I would choose an hour a day to put her in panties and talk about it, try it, clean it up (if necessary), and train her. I would add a little time each day so that we could ease into it, and that seemed to work.

I KNOW we all have experience with this...so squeeze it out ya'll.

PS The photo is from my cousin's blog.


  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    posted by Blogger trimama at 9/29/2006 11:14:00 AM  

  • I have potty trained three boys. Three different ways, and the most recent was, hands down, the easiest and most successful.

    The first I started at 18 months, and it took a long time, a lot of accidents, and trained me more to notice his cues than him actually being mature enough to be aware of his own body. I don't recommend it.

    The second, I started at 2 years 3 months. I waited on him because I had another baby when he was 23 months, and couldn't handle it when pregnant, and knew he couldn't handle it until we were all used to the new baby. It was easier, he was more ready. We used pull-ups and didn't look back.

    The third, I finally figured it out. Don't knock yourself out trying to train a kid who isn't ready, either physically or emotionally. Each kid is different, but waiting until your kid indicates an interrest and desire to try the potty saves SO MUCH agony it's unbeleivable.

    With #3, I also waited due to another baby on the way. He was 2 1/2, and simply told me one day that he had to pee-pee. I stopped what I was doing, took his diaper off, set him on the potty, and he went. I offered him big-boy underwear, he loved them, and THAT my friends, WAS THAT. Done deal. He is totally potty trained, we have had only three accidents, no pull-ups, no messes, emotional or otherwise. At night, I continued to use a diaper for a while, but he usually woke up dry, so once the pack was gone, we stopped that too. He has only wet the bed once.

    With my next children, I will definately go with the Child-Led method- waiting until they want to. It was totally painless.
    posted by Anonymous tracy m at 9/29/2006 12:08:00 PM  

  • I am looking for any help with potty training right now. My 4 year old son has totally regressed. We spent the summer in Ca, came home and every day since we have been home he has #2ed in his pants. I have tried everything and still nothing has worked. Now it is #1 all the time. I know he knows he needs to go, he just refuses to get to the toilet in time. My first son was a breeze, one week and we were complete. This son has taken me 2 years. I would love any advice!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 9/29/2006 01:56:00 PM  

  • I wish I had advice for Anon --But niether of my girls have regressed like that. It sounds like something traumatic is happening --has he lost all sense of control in his life? I've heard that has something to do with it sometimes. Since he can't control anything, he realizes he can control his bodily functions...just a guess...

    Anyways: I wait until they are 3 years old, unless they show signs just before. And when we decide, it's FINAL. I don't have time to run after kids and clean up their poop, and they learn that FAST. Anyways, worked for me twice. However, next one is a boy --so....I'll be starting a clean slate there with no idea what to do...
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 9/29/2006 03:18:00 PM  

  • My son is perfect if naked. Still. But one little scrap of fabric on his bum, and he thinks it's a diaper or something. It's getting to be nightmarish, as we have been living with a nudist for a month. I started shortly after his 3rd birthday.

    Maybe when he's 4....I am at a total loss here. He knows what to do, and when to do it, he simply can't be bothered if he is clothed. It is driving me CRAZY.

    Oh, and I had a gal tell me she was going to start training her 9 month old around her first birthday.
    posted by Blogger The Wiz at 9/29/2006 04:08:00 PM  

  • I use a quick but messy training technique which has worked for my two kids. I just put them in underware. For the first week or two they went through all their underware every day. Then it got to be just a few accidents and then they stayed dry most of the time. You have to not mind cleaning up messes, and be really positive and encouraging. But it usually takes only 2 or 3 weeks until they get it. Anwen was 24 months and Nephi was 2 1/2 when I taught them.
    posted by Blogger Brandolyn at 9/29/2006 04:09:00 PM  

  • For Anon... You need to be in charge of his bodily functions. Just take them away like a privilege. Usually make him go both kinds, not just try, after he eats. It is the most likely time to need to go. It may take an hour, but he has to make it happen. It sounds harsh, but he is 4 and is old enough to make it to the potty.
    As for the potty training for Kage. Just enjoy the diapers. The last thing you need is to find a public NYC potty for your 18 month old!!! Yikes. I'm sure Mrs. Hasselbeck has a wonderful nanny who devotes lots of her time to potty training little Gracie.
    posted by Blogger Abby at 9/29/2006 08:20:00 PM  

  • So far with kids 1 and 2 we've just gone straight to underwear and it's taken a very short time--we're talking days. (Nights and naps following not too long after.)

    Anon, my experience with regression is that it is EXTREMELY frustrating. When my son did it (peeing, thankfully not poops!) I thought he was doing it to spite me. One time it was painfully obvious he had to go and I stood there demanding him to go in the bathroom and he went right there on the floor. Infuriating. But as it continued and began to look purely accidental I realized it was just a regression, a phase. He got over it--not because of anything special or strict we did. So, a variety of methods may be suggested, just know you're not alone and it may just be time that makes it all better. With no disrespect to Abby's opinion, I'd be careful about being so strict. It would have backfired and stressed me and my son out way too much.
    posted by Blogger Katie at 9/29/2006 09:01:00 PM  

  • That picture kills me!

    We tried the "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day" method soon after Princess turned four (as Kage well remembers I am sure).

    It didn't work.

    A few months later, she was obviously ready. Her grandma sent her Princess panties, and she never went back to diapers (pull-ups at night for a few more months). But a couple of things I did glean from the "training in a day" book that I think were useful was to have the child help you clean up the mess. It's not pleasant, they usually don't want to, but it helps them take more responsibility for their bodily functions.

    Also, whenever an accident occurs the "in a day" method calls for you to run potty drills. You explain to the child that you are going to practice making it to the bathroom so they won't have more accidents to clean up. Then you go to different parts of the house and run to the toliet, help them pull down their pants and sit down (or whatever you are choosing for your boys). Then you do it again starting from somewhere else. You do it like 10 times in a row after every accident.

    I do think these little drills did help Princess get the idea of what she needed to do as soon as she felt the pee-pee feeling (even though it didn't all come together until a couple months later) because she would actually act out the same scene in real life.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 9/29/2006 11:07:00 PM  

  • Oh yes, potty training in a day...the sign on the door: Please do not disturb, we are potty training....staying in the bathroom ALL day long...drinking a LOT.

    I love the potty drills idea. Pukey would have loved that.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 9/30/2006 05:09:00 AM  

  • Thanks guys for all the help. I have tried everything!! We have bought toys as rewards when he goes on the toilet, made him sit on the toilet till he pooped, done timeouts calmly when he pooped, I am now at the "no outside play time" phase. No matter what the reward or consequence, he doesn't seem bothered by losing or gaining any. I have understood that sometimes the regression is caused by feeling a loss of control, and maybe being in Ca for the summer and then coming home upset him. The thing is, is I know he knows he has to go he just will not do it on the potty when he is at home. He does go to preschool, and he doesn't have one accident there. Then he comes home, and I constantly remind and make him go in and go, and he has accidents the rest of the day. I have just resorted to being very calm about the whole thing, not getting upset (which somedays is a VERY hard thing to do!)and trying to talk to him to make him understand he is a big boy and we do this in the toilet. Somedays it works and other days not so good. Thanks for the help.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 9/30/2006 08:00:00 AM  

  • We did the same thing as Brandolyn. Just put her in panties and kept cleaning up the messes. It wasn't as hard for me to deal with because she's constipated all the time, so I never had to clean up a #2 from her panites. It took 2 weeks to get her potty trained and she was only 19 months old.

    If you are going to do it this way you can save yourself a lot of trouble by buying vinal pants (made to go over cloth diapers). That way the mess stays in the underwear and not all over the carseat/outfit/couch/you . . . I got mine at Babies R Us. Really a life saver!
    posted by Blogger Trivial Mom at 9/30/2006 08:24:00 PM  

  • Just to throw a wrench in the works... the "just put undies on and clean up the mess" method isn't working too well in my house. DS doesn't seem to be bothered in the slightest by being wet, which kinda kills the momentum on that one. We've been seriously working on training for about 2 months now, and while it is getting incrementally better, it certainly isn't done.
    posted by Blogger marian at 9/30/2006 08:28:00 PM  

  • I did the "potty training in a day" method with my two oldest, at the same time--son was 3, daughter was 2. Then I went back to work and let my husband, who was home fulltime with the kids then, handle the rest. :)

    It was summer, and he mostly let them run around in the yard naked and hosed them down occasionally.

    Our daughter was tough because she didn't mind feeling wet. I think she enjoyed it (was always playing in mud puddles. etc). I think it's a boy thing to put off going forever while they play and then suddenly have to race to the bathroom.

    As for regression, I know I read somewhere that someone made their kid clean himself up every time he messed his pants. And it stopped pretty quickly. I don't think I could handle that, myself, but if you could, give it a try.
    posted by Anonymous Susan M at 10/01/2006 02:58:00 PM  

  • Nobody seems to be commenting on the age in which to begin, which was my initial peevedness at Hasselback. And many people think it differs for boys and girls. What factors go into choosing when to begin?

    I think most of us moms have learned that we cannot force a baby when they are not ready...
    posted by Blogger Kage at 10/01/2006 07:20:00 PM  

  • I like the "clean it up yourself" method too. DS was a week or two into potty training and peed on the throw pillows in the living room. Fine, I said. Here is a towel, clean it and yourself off and go change your underwear. All things he was capable of doing (he was 3 and 2 months) but was surprised that he was being MADE to do it. That took one time.

    I haven't had regression with him yet but that's not to say that I won't. If they are clearly capable of doing it and have been doing it for some time (a few months for example), I don't think it hurts to be VERY firm with them about getting back on the stick...They're not going to break.

    That's just my opinion, though...
    posted by Blogger chloe at 10/01/2006 07:26:00 PM  

  • My thought on this is that there are as many possible successes as there will be failures for every technique! THAT SAID, certain ones may be better than others. I have a good friend who is struggling with her 4 yr old boy who she says just doesn't care. She says he's too busy to bother. She finally resorted to the Clean himself up method after EVERY thing else has failed. I don't know how it's turned out yet!

    For my DD, though, we were very blessed, or lucky, or whatever, because on her 2nd birthday, she started to go potty and never turned back. This is all we did.

    At 18 months we made it a big deal to go and buy her a "big-girl" potty. It was a special thing. She carried around the house, watched tv on it, but didn't for 6 months use it for a potty. All I would do is ask her once in a while if she would like to try to go potty on her special big girl potty, and she would say, "No" and I would drop it and go on with the day. THEN on her B-day, I asked like I always did, and she went "YES!" She had 1 poop accident that week and was potty trained fully after that.

    My son has just turned 2. We have tried all the same with him and no luck yet! He has GONE but only pee and only a couple of times. I guess our method would be low-key- kid-led, with kind parental support. We could change, though if things go differently with our son!
    posted by Anonymous dsgnchic at 10/01/2006 09:26:00 PM  

  • my boy at 2.5 was very willing and able to use the potty but if he was wearing pants/undies/diaper he'd just go right in it. So for maybe a month we just did the stay-home-naked method. Then we re-introduced pants and underwear and he was OK from then on.
    posted by Blogger cchrissyy at 10/02/2006 11:53:00 AM  

  • Granted I only trained one to date, but we tried everything!
    He knew how to use the toilet(at 3 yo), he'd done it many times on his own, but he just knew it was easier to let me clean him up. We got a peeing doll, made a sticker chart, and offered a reward for both immediate use of the toilet (a piece of candy) and long term use (5 stickers and he got to pick a toy, then 15 stickers later, etc.We just went to the dollar store). With all those combined methods we got it down in about a week. Peeing was a day or two, but that kid crapped his pants so much I thought I'd lose my mind! He'd take off his pants and try to clean them though, props for that.
    A lot of chaos in our lives has resulted in his waiting too long sometimes and it's stressful, but I know he's just trying to be in control of something in his life. Sadly, he doesn't realize it's something he can't control. We've just told him that if he grabs himself or starts to dance he HAS to go try, no argument.
    Trying to force a kid to potty train or start before they're ready usually trains the parent, not the kid.
    posted by Blogger Mo Mommy at 10/02/2006 04:09:00 PM  

  • We potty train when the kids first start showing sings of readiness. For example, they stay dry all night (oldest).

    Or, they just start ripping off their pants and diaper all the time, so that potty-training is essential for household cleanliness... (our third- she started doing this at 18 months, and that is when she was potty-trained).

    Or they exhibit a special interest in the toilet.

    Either way, when we perceive they are "ready", we go cold turkey. We take off the diaper for good and go straight to real underwear/panties, no pull-ups or diapers at night or anything like that. That may not work for everyone but it has worked for three of our children. Although they have one or two accidents in bed, they hate the feeling of "wetting" so they learn quickly not to- it may not work with all kids, but it did with ours.

    Similarly, all of our kids (except one) have been afraid at first to go number 2 in the toilet, so they went in their undies a few times. It was gross. To remedy that, my wife let them run around with no pants or undies on for about two days. This worked because my kids absolutely refused to potty on the floor, and when it looked like they were "holding it in" we would quickly get them to a toilet.

    By that point, they were just ready to let it go, and they did. Once they saw that it was easy and harmless, they had no problems going in the toilet again (except for a few occasions when they just did not make it...)

    That's how it has worked in our house. There was no real pressure or anything to rush it, but when they seemed ready we just took away the diaper. We'll see how it goes with the fourth (in about a year, probably) but we are considerably less nervous about number four then we were about number one. For one thing, I am much less uptight about letting them walk around with no pants on for a few days... Amazing how parenting does that.
    posted by Blogger Jordan at 10/03/2006 02:59:00 PM  

  • BTW: aren't baby bums the cutest?
    posted by Blogger Jordan at 10/03/2006 03:05:00 PM  

  • On a related note, I taught my son that when he is at home, he has to pee SITTING ON THe TOILET so that (1) the seat gets left down for his sisters, and (2) there is no splatter mess to clean up (since I am pretty much the designated bathroom cleaner at home, and splatter disgusts me, I was fastidious in teaching him this).

    Over the years since potty training him, I have similarly taught him NOT to sit in public bathrooms to pee. Now when he is home, he sits, and in public restrooms, he stands.

    I hope that is not too effiminate.

    I do hate it when my male nephews come and leave splatter all over the place, though, so I am glad I insisted on my son sitting to go potty. It has made cleaning the bathrooms that much less disgusting an affair.
    posted by Blogger Jordan at 10/03/2006 03:46:00 PM  

  • Kage said: "Nobody seems to be commenting on the age in which to begin, which was my initial peevedness at Hasselback."

    As long as parents are respectful and not punitive or harsh I think it's totally fine to potty train early. But then again I did elimination communication http://www.naturalfamilyonline.com/articles/potty-infant.htm with both my sons and they were both done and out of diapers before age 2. You don't want to know how young I started :). Basically, newborn babies know and communicate when they need to go, and I worked with my babies to help them pee in a potty when I could but I also kept them in diapers full time for when I didn't get them to the potty in time.

    I thought this method was interesting but too crunchy granola and out there for me but tried it on a whim when my oldest was 2 months old. He peed sort of on command the first time I tried and I kept up with it after that. :) It is weird and definitely out there by American standards but it works!
    posted by Blogger Vicki at 10/03/2006 09:39:00 PM  

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