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Potty Training – The Saga Begins

My son, M, is now 21 months old. I have started to try to potty train him. So far, I have been highly unsuccessful.

He has his own little potty. He loves to take it apart (no surprise, see post Like Father, Like Son). I tried making him stay seated on it while I read him stories. I found when he got up off the potty is when he would actually pee-pee. In the corner, or next to the potty. Anywhere but in the potty.

Now M doesn’t want to sit on it. He wants to wander around the bathroom with no diaper on or sit on my lap (must be more comfy than the potty). While his baby butt is adorable, we really aren’t getting any closer to getting this done.

I have a theory. And since this is my first child and I have only potty-trained (i.e. housebroken) my Lab-Chow mix Dave, it really is just a random theory. I believe that to potty train a kid, they have to be old enough to understand what you are trying to accomplish. But I also believe you have to train them before they are old enough to decide not to do what you are asking of them, just to spite you. From the stories my mom tells, she makes it sound like I was the latter.

Plus, everyone says it is easier to potty train when you are at home to devote time to it. I am definitely at home with time right now. And fearing my unemployment will run out at the end of the year, I need to get him trained before I have to return to work. And I could wait longer to go to work if I didn’t have to spend money on diapers.

I feel like if I could get over this child development hurdle, it would be smooth sailing from here on out. Because I am a first time parent and I am just that naive. I haven’t gotten within spitting distance of the terrible twos or terrible threes yet. But the two things that worried me most before I ever got pregnant were changing diapers and potty-training. Hmmm. I sense a theme here.

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4 responses »

  1. Good luck with this! My son was not potty trained until he was nearly 4 (!) and my toddler is nearly trained just before three. Neither has ever had ‘accidents’ (unless it’s my fault) but I did have to stop and wait for them to be ready.

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  2. Both of my children learned very quickly to use the toilet. I’m not bragging about this fact, I just want to pass along a few tips that I learned and thought were instrumental. 1. I let my children lead the way. When they start to recognize “the feeling” their facial expressions show it. I’m sure you have detected this slight facial shift. 2. Using cloth diapers or cotton underwear. Disposable diapers wick away wetness so the child is comfortable. No one likes to be in wet cotton. Once they get the wet feeling and realize how nasty it feels they start to take note of “the feeling” and will soon learn that if the visit the toilet before they feel wet they will be more comfortable. 3. This isn’t for everyone but I taught my children to use a regular toilet without a child potty seat attached. Yes, they were fearful for the first day or two but it was much easier than toting around a child-sized toilet seat everywhere I went! The transition was pretty smooth overall. Good luck and don’t stress over it. Kids smell fear!

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  3. My suggestion would be to get some training pants (those things that look like extra thick underwear) and some plastic pants. Because they are so thinner and softer than diapers, they will be more comfy for him. He will poop and pee in them but thats when you explain that he needs to do this on the potty if he wants to keep wearing his big boy undies. Diapers (and the dreaded pull up) are designed to “wick away” moisture from his skin, which also means he is less likely to understand that he is wet. Switching to training pants (NOT pull ups, which are just expensive diapers) will allow him to be a little uncomfortable and more likely to want to go potty. This is the reason that cloth diapered babies are much easier to potty train. 😉
    I too read to my daughter on the potty in order to get her to sit. We fought for a month or more til she hated sitting. Then we took a break, and a few short months later she asked to go potty one day,and that’s all there was too it. She potty trained herself within a couple days. (we still did diapers at night for awhile,just in case). My son was harder, he had some problems peeing which required surgery, although nothing as serious as yours sounds (his was outpatient that we waited to have until we saw that potty training was a major issue). Good luck on potty training, and with his upcoming check up!

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  4. My son is the same age and we haven’t started potty training yet. However, I am actually thankful that he attends daycare as they will be handling it for us during the days!

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