Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Works-For-Me-Wednesday: It's Potty Time

It seems that things are always changing around here. With a toddler, every month or so we enter a new phase of...something.

And with a Mom that is a research freak, poor little C gets to move into those phases of childhood with someone constantly looking over his shoulder to see that things are moving along properly.

Because I care.

And because I might be a teensy bit of a control freak.

And also because I can. not. have. too. much. information. It's not possible.

So with a 19-month old who is starting to recognize some of his own bodily functions (I'll spare you the details, at least for now), I thought it might be time to start the potty training research.

And ya'll, get ready for some shameless puns because I don't know that I've ever seen so many books about poo in my entire life.

Do you know that there are people who do nothing but consult parents about teaching their kids to potty?

What a crappy job. Literally.

And the opinions on potty training are as broad as the shelf that could hold all of those books. I've seen everything from starting at 6 months old to letting the child train themselves, even if they're five when it happens.

But there has to be a happy medium somewhere. And I realize every kid is different. But you have to start somewhere. After all, you can't squeeze something out of nothing.

Or can you?

Anyway, odds are something that worked for one will work for another.

So I'd love to hear about your experiences, both what worked and what didn't. And any tricks, tips, and hints would be helpful too.

For more backwards Works For Me Wednesday, head on over to We Are THAT Family. Pin It


  1. Here is what I did for my daughters - It worked like a charm and I highly recommend it. My son just turned 2 1/2 so I will be trying it with him some time soon. Here's to hoping it works again! Good luck.

  2. oops sorry - better link:

  3. nice post. totally funny. I can now officially claim my nearly 4yo is potty trained. I tried claiming it a few times the past couple years, but she reverted on me. I think we are good now. I now see, I was inconsistent and too random. So the best advice I have is to start strong- free of distractions (yeah right!) and be consistent.
    That said, I am dreading training my 2yo boy.

  4. We started with my daughter when she started walking (1 yr old). I figured out when she was most consistent to go (poo in the morning, and she always peed after bath) and got her used to doing those things on the potty. We gradually progressed to diaper free days with potty checks every 30 min, (b/c I didn't want a lot of "accidents") but she pretty much figured it out and learned control around 16-18 months. We put her in plain ol' panties around 20 months. She only had one accident when out. At 27 months she is totally potty trained (needs help getting up and down of course) and even has some dry nights! (I do think she was pretty easy though!)

  5. Hilarious! I am not close to this stage yet, but I have heard (and plan to try) that putting cheerios on the toilet for a boy to aim at helps them, and it's fun for them too (unless he really likes cheerios and will not ever want to eat them again after you try it!)so I think it might be worth a try. Good luck! I'll be interested in seeing how it goes for you so I know what worked when my time comes around.

  6. Ohhhh, I am not looking forward to potty training! My daughter is almost 18 months old, though, and she thinks it's hilarious when I say, "Mommy has to go potty." "Po-ee?" "Yes, baby, potty."

    Good luck with your research - doesn't the internet make parenting so much...well, maybe not easier, but at least more informed...?!

  7. Potty Training is something that really has to fit your family. If you have the time to take your child to the toliet every 30 minutes by all means go for it, but I do think our kids are capable of being potty trained much earlier than those in the early childhood field are recommending.

    My son, 17 months, has started to show some signs of recognizing his bodily functions so the wheels are turning right now. I'm hoping to switch to cloth diapers and see if that helps. I'm also going to move his diaper supplies to the bathroom to help make that transition and to encourage a little time on the potty.

    Also thanks for the post on my blog. I'm glad to see Sam's works for your family. I was very glad to know the prices of products I typically buy before entering that place. I can see how it would be seen as such a bargin if I didn't. Good luck with the potty training!

  8. get a stack of FAVORITE books. and at least two full sippy cups. of something forbidden and delighful like straight-up juice! sip and read. sip and read. repeat. sing, tickle, sip, and read. when the deliciousness finally takes its course, make a huge deal of it. also plan to stay home for about a week to two weeks and stay naked (well, not you!). for some reason they are so much more aware of what's happening without anything on, and it seems to go so much faster! finally, i firmly believe this is the one time (well, except for portraits; i'm a photographer!) when it's perfectly good parenting to BRIBE. especially for #2. give candy. mm's and other little "i can give him one and not blow his teeth forever" candies are great. give whatever it takes. it won't last forever - i promise. i have 5 and i (gasp!) MIGHT be a control freak, too. sshhhhh.
    as soon as the habit's established, you can drop the bribery. and the straight-up juice - and the nakedness. of course you have a boy. good luck with that. the no-nakedness i mean. giggle. oh, and don't even try before 2, for a boy at least. that's my humble but accurate opinion. woohoo - only a few months till we begin this journey again!

  9. This may not be much help for you, but doing two at once was kind of nice! Basically I waited until my sons showed some interest and didn't make a huge deal about it. They all eventually gave up diapers! And my daughter really did "train" herself - she was almost 2 when I was working with her almost 3 year old brother. But it was all a LONG time ago, so I don't remember details. Good luck!

  10. NLB was kid #5. He had 3 older sisters and an older brother - who were all successfully potty trained. (Not sure how I managed to potty train them...that memory escapes me. As do a lot of others!) Let's just say NLB had a different learning style - so we resorted to different training methods. Candy is not something I every let my children have very much of - so when i put the container of gummi bears on the top shelf in the bathroom for "potty reward" I set off a chain of events. Suddenly I had lots of "potty" helpers. The older kids were willing to help NLB w his functions - because they each rewarded themselves with Gummi Bears -- imagine that. It might have taken longer to potty train NLB than necessary because I wasn't smart enough to let the Gummi Bears run out.

  11. You can read all the books you want and do all the research you want...every kid is different. I like you had a plan, and tried with Emma on SEVERAL different occasions throughout last summer (she turned 2 in March of last spring)..frustrated by our on again off again trying I finally let it go until November when she was 2 and 1/2. You really should go read my post from the blog:

    You will probably die laughing at my approach! :) I gotta say though after that first week she had it down and we have had no accidents since then, she is now (age 3) even sleeping thru the night and naps with dry panties. I'm not so sure what we'll do with Ethan being a boy, we'll see! Good Luck!