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.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Thank You Carrie

Carrie and I have 2 girls and my daughters are about 5 months older than her daughters...

Carrie recently called and told me her success story in potty-training Pumpkin, who is younger than Poopy and from what I can tell even more stubborn and strong-willed than the Poopster. So, I decided to try her technique.

While Poopy was at school I took all the Pull-ups out of the big 80-count box of pull-ups in the bathroom. I replaced the pull-ups with prizes that Poopy would TOTALLY want. Sleeping Beauty phone and jewelry, puzzles (she is obsessed with puzzles), nail polish, makeup brushes and Dumbo stuff. I also positioned a giant Sleeping Beauty Teapot full of plastic tea set dishes on a bookshelf next to the bathroom. Finally I had posted a chart that was in the shape of a teapot full of empty circles called Poopy's Potty Chart.

When she got home from school I greeted her with enthusiasm and escorted her right into the bathroom where I had laid out a variety of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse panties. I showed her the box of prizes and the panties and the teapot and the chart and explained that all of these things could be hers if she just went pee-pees and poopies in the potty. I told her that every time she went potty she got a prize, and every time she went potty through her panties on the floor, she had to put that prize back. I also showed her the chart and it became our routine to color in a circle every time she went to the bathroom to go towards earning the teapot prize.

All this was last Friday.

There were ups and downs, but in the end, a lot of success. Today, 9 days later she had no accidents and she told us that she had to go potty twice, which is truly a miracle.

I am not calling her completely potty-trained yet because I don't think she is quite ready to tell people other than her parents that she needs to go, and she also gives us VERY little warning before she has to go...it's pretty much a frantic RUN to the bathroom and holding herself while jumping up and down...but it is more progress in this potty-training challenge in 9 days than we have made in 9 months.

THANK YOU Carrie for passing along the mommy knowledge...your technique TOTALLY worked.


  • Just thought I'd pass along what worked for us. We bought a giant lolipop (about as big as her face), and put it in plain view on the counter in the kitchen, and frequently commented on how tasty it looked and how it would be so fun if she went potty and got to eat it.

    It didn't take long for it to work, and we have a picture of her sitting next to her potty with her huge lolipop and a big smile on her face (yes, we tried to make it as sanitized a situation as possible:)) It was all downhill from there.

    Of course, every child is different, but that's our potty story.
    posted by Anonymous Mike L. at 3/02/2008 07:39:00 PM  

  • Thank you for posting this, Kage! Great ideas! My little 3 year old son has been the WORST at potty training of all my kids. He has finally been going #1 in the potty and staying dry at night, but #2 has been a nightmare! I tried taping brand new Hot Wheels cars (his favorite) to the wall by the toilet to see if that would help. About a week later, he finally started going #2 in the potty. He isn't perfect at it, but it definitely was a turning point in the long, awful months of accidents. Yay for positive reinforcement!

    My pediatrician said boys are usually more stubborn and that medically, it shouldn't even be a concern until after they turn 5. So he said one day it would just click and he would want to make us proud and go potty. I am still waiting for that magical day... :)
    posted by Blogger LJ at 3/02/2008 09:20:00 PM  

  • I can't imagine changing diapers until my chid was 5....yikes...and let me be clear lj, this was ALL Carrie's idea....not mine at all.

    And the miracle of it all is that they don't need/expect prizes beyond what's in the prize box, and yet they will still pee and poop in there...crazy!
    posted by Blogger Kage at 3/03/2008 05:14:00 AM  

  • My potty training experiences:

    #1 and #2:
    When I knew they were ready (I waited until each was almost 3 yrs.), we bought the fun panties together and set aside a Monday to begin. I told them we were never going back to diapers (pull-ups at night were still okay until they could go all night dry). And then we didn't. Day One was fabulous; Day two, not so much. Day three the begging for diapers started, and I refused to give in. Day four was better; Day five amazing, and by Day six, they were done. I've never had regression with either, although --for sure!--there's been accidents.

    Now, my son? #3? I thought "Oh, easy!"


    I totally had to do the bribe thing and it took about 10 days. Oh, and it was my 3rd try, too. My friend finally told me to do pretty much what Carrie told you, Kage, and it totally worked! I bought him a ton of matchbox cars and we gave him one each time he went. However, once the cars ran out, he started to regress...so, I started taking BACK a car with each accident. That yeilded us the most success and although he's still not dry at night, he's been pretty accident-free since October (he had turned 3 in Aug.).

    It taught me that not all methods work with every child. Go figure. :)
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 3/03/2008 07:16:00 AM  

  • Five? FIVE????! Egad.

    My boys were both totally easy to potty train, so I'm guessing Abby has it in for me...
    posted by Anonymous tracy m (dandelion mama) at 3/03/2008 08:57:00 AM  

  • I kept thinking about writing post about what I like to call the potty training miracle of 2008, but I think if i say it's done I will jinx it all.

    So while everyone (including myself) thought I was crazy for making a potty training attempt while recovering from pneumonia, I was completely amazed at the results. We are about 3 weeks into it and I have cleaned up pee once. Once! And actually, pumpkin cleaned up most of it (one of the consequences of peeing in your panties along with having to put back on a dreaded pull-up, getting washed down in the tub and losing the beloved princess cell phone).

    I had offered bribes in the past to test her readiness. But bottom line, they weren't good enough incentives. After investing a little more money in some really good prizes. It was done.

    Now one m&m or painted fingernails every few bathroom breaks is enough. I can't believe it.

    She's still in a pull-up at night but she goes to nursery, friends houses, Disneyland, PTA meetings and has been fine.

    I'm telling you - it's nothing short of a miracle.

    While Kage is saying thanks to me, I have to say thank you to my mom who gave me the extra push to give the potty training a try before the baby comes. Thanks mom.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 3/03/2008 09:16:00 AM  

  • Kage and Carrie-

    How old EXACTLY are your girls (3yrs 2 mo etc.) Trying to gage my daughter.

    posted by Anonymous mimi at 3/03/2008 09:24:00 AM  

  • My apologies to Carrie. Thanks for your ideas. Positive reinforcement is a very effective tool from my experience also. Oh, and I didn't say my pediatrician was right, I was just merely telling what he told me for the interest of others... I think every child is different and matures at different ages.
    posted by Blogger LJ at 3/03/2008 09:32:00 AM  

  • Pumpkin turned 2 on August 21th.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 3/03/2008 09:44:00 AM  

  • Oh and I don't claim to be original ideas at all. They are all potty training methods that are out there - I just never thought of going to quite the extreme of bribery I did.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 3/03/2008 09:45:00 AM  

  • I don't remember much about potty training our 2 boys. I guess that is a good thing, I do recall throwing away lots of underwear instead of dealing with the mess.

    We just finished potty training # 3 a few weeks ago. After months of offering candy treats for potty success I changed my approach. I put away the diapers and the pull-ups and went straight to panties. The incentive was to earn a special figurine each day that we were accident free. Each evening she would receive her prize with lots of praise and pick which figurine she would "earn" the next day. We only had 2 wet accidents the first day! It was smooth sailing after that. We still do pull-ups at night but she is always dry in the morning.
    I started with a cute purse (to hold her rewards) and about 20 figurines. I think we could have gotten away with less, in fact I stopped giving them after 13 days. That was it DONE! I couldn't believe how easy!
    The benefits I found to one reward a day was that:
    She had a sense of earning each reward and didn't get lazy as the day went on and several rewards had already been given.
    She also was very proud or earning each figurine and had a goal.
    One reward a day was very cost effective.
    There were fewer pieces to add to our already too large toy inventory.
    posted by Blogger Kip at 3/03/2008 10:00:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.
    posted by Blogger Kip at 3/03/2008 10:02:00 AM  

  • Poopy will be 3 in April
    posted by Blogger Kage at 3/03/2008 10:20:00 AM  

  • I got my official Huggies Pull-Ups Training Pants Newsletter/Coupon Book in the mail yesterday. (I actually got two of them--what exactly are they trying to say here? My daughter's 2 1/2--I'll get around to it!) Anyways, they have this lovely little "bigkid" certificate you can cut out and give your toddler when they've successfully completed their potty training. At the bottom of the page it says, "The best reward may not be candy or a toy--but extra time with you." Oh. brother.

    Bribery rocks! (At least if it works.) Good for you! Oooh, and I love the whole put-the-toy-back-for-accidents thing. Genius!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 3/03/2008 01:35:00 PM  

  • My boy is only 18 months, so no potty-training yet. But my mom potty-trained all 7 of us with just corny candy. We got two candies for pee, and three for poo. That's all. How come I have to buy them a million gifts? I wanna just give him a couple corny candies!

    I'll check back in a year and let you know if the corny candy worked, or if I had to buy the toys. Sigh. Kids are so demanding nowadays.
    posted by Blogger Melinda at 3/03/2008 07:26:00 PM  

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