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Potty learning-- when did they really GET it?

Poll Results: How long did it take for your child to independently and consistently keep his underwear dry?

  • 50% (25)
    less than a month
  • 22% (11)
    less than 6 months
  • 12% (6)
    6 months to a year
  • 16% (8)
    more than a year
50 Total Votes  
post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
(I'm posting this here instead of toddlers because I want input from people who have really actually finished potty training/learning.)

I just feel like she's never going to get it!!! My daughter started pooping in the toilet (EC, obviously) when she was 6 months old, and she's been in underwear full time now for over 6 months. But she still can't (won't?) read her body's signals in time to get to the potty. If I don't directly tell her to go, which I only do if we're about to leave the house, or out in public, she will usually wait until she is actually peeing before she says, "I need to go potty!" I would say her underwear is wet 80% of the time, and there is a full-on accident several times a week. Really? STILL???? I am getting seriously frustrated, and I KNOW that is unproductive and doesn't help, but... I mean.... What can I DO????
We've tried charts, direct rewards for going potty and having dry underwear, rewards for having underwear dry all day, but nothing seems to work for more than a couple of days. And really, should I still be bribing her? Doesn't that have to end at some point?

I guess I'm just looking for reassurance that I'm not alone in this.
post #2 of 27
I didn't do EC so I may not be the demographic you would like to hear from.

All three of my kids decided when they wanted to be done with diapers and all of them only had a few accidents. My oldest ds turned 3 and decided within the month that he wanted underwear. He never had an accident. My dd decided at 2 years 4 months that she was done and had maybe three accidents, all of them because she didn't want to use a public restroom. My youngest ds was 3 years 4 months and he didn't have any daytime accidents but wore pull ups at night for a few weeks. He has had a few nighttime accidents.

I tried bribing, doing stickers, reward charts, etc for my youngest ds at 3 because I really wanted to be done with diapers but it didn't work. Otherwise, all I did was make a small toilet available for them and then encouraged it. For all of them, it was only when they decided it was important to them that they went to underwear.
post #3 of 27
My personal opinion is that it's at least to some extent a physical development thing that kids will get when they get it, just like they'll learn to walk when they can walk and there isn't much you can do about it. I kind of think that kids might have two good windows of opportunity for potty learning, and if you EC (full disclosure - I didn't) you can catch that first window between about 1 and 2, but when specifically that happens isn't up to you so much as when your dc hits that developmental point. And at some point if you don't EC they'll just figure it out without a lot of effort, but that seems to be more like between 3 and 4, and it's still less up to us than them and developmental issues, and at the older age there are potential power struggle issues as well.

I don't mean to come off as anti-EC, because I'm not. I just think whether you EC or not, the power is with the child and not the parent. So it isn't about how long it will take because the answer will be different for every child.

I wouldn't pesonally use bribes or stickers or rewards or anything because it backfired for us. I'd just stay consistent and be patient.
post #4 of 27
One of my kids started training at 2, the other two were a little over 3, all three of them were fairly reliably dry at 3 1/2.

post #5 of 27
My kids were less than a month, but then we didn't EC. Dd 'got it' at about 2 1/2, and ds was close to 3 1/2.

I agree with the pp, there is a strong developmental readiness component to this. In addition, a 2 1/2 year old isn't developmentally ready for reward charts -- it's too long distance for them.
post #6 of 27
We didn't EC, but both my boys potty trained at 20-21 mos. and I don't remember either of them having a poop accident after the first couple days and only had rare pee accidents after a couple weeks.
post #7 of 27
I didn't EC, but my dd got it when she was 2 and a half and it took half a day. I ran out of diapers while shopping at the mall so I bought her underwear and that was the last day she wore diapers during the day, she wore a night diaper for about a month then was completely dry at night also. She had three accidents the first day then she was able to tell when she needed to pee on her own after that and rarely had accidents afterwards (except when she drank juice or had bubble baths). It may be that your dd just isn't ready yet. I used to pull out the potty and invite my dd to sit on it for a few days each month once she was about two but I put it back when she became resistant. When it happened it just happened though. I suggest backing off some and going back to whatever method you used when you were doing EC stuff or using cloth diapers so they soak up some of the moisture while still letting her tell when she is peeing. Cutting out any sugary drinks and baths to see if that helps also.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys for the input, even though it's a bit discouraging. :/

Also, unrelatedly: MJB, I vote for little Edith arriving on August 2nd, as that is my birthday and we really wanted to and were *this close* to naming our second girl Edith, until we were convinced that we couldn't (for valid family history reasons).
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
Cutting out any sugary drinks and baths to see if that helps also.
That's very interesting. What do you think sugary drinks have to do with it?
post #10 of 27
I didn't do EC with either of my girls and it took DD1 9 months. It turned intoa power struggle more than anything. She was 2 1/2 when she finally got it 100%. DD2 was a completely different story. She wanted to wear big girl panties like sister, started refusing a diaper and I had to tell when to go for about a month. Now at 22 months she is completely trained, though she still wants me to help her on and off the potty.
post #11 of 27
We did EC starting at 7months

2 weeks and he never pooped anywhere but the potty again
by the time he was a 12months old he was dry 80% of the time durring the day, and 100% of the time at night, by 18months he was 100%.

Now he ONLY has pee accidents if he has a food allergy issue (which is rare), and he gets so upset with himself - and those are not his fault!
post #12 of 27
For ds it took about 6 months. Probably about 3 months for at home and with us out and about without accidents. But it took him a bit longer at daycare. He's very reserved and I think he wasn't willing to talk to his teacher to tell her when he needed to go and the potty wasn't accesible unless he spoke to someone.

We didn't EC and he showed interest right before he turned 2. He was 100% by 2.5. We didn't do stickers or rewards or anything like that. Dumping his potty out into the big potty seemed to be reward enough for him.
post #13 of 27
For all my kids I did the same thing...we waited till they wanted to use underwear and they just stopped with diapers and used the potty in less than a month, but they were older, though. DS1 and DS2 were 3 years old and DD1 was almost 3.
It was really accidental potty learning with DS1, lol. I just didn't know how to initiate it so I procrastinated and he did it himself! Since it worked well, we just did the same thing again.
post #14 of 27
We didn't do EC.

Mine got it really quickly. Once I knew they were ready, we spent a weekend in undies/naked and went potty alot. By Monday, they were back at daycare without a diaper and were consistently dry from then on.
post #15 of 27
EC is great but EC is not knowledge, it's more like rote memorization. She's still young honey. We didn't EC but it was work with my boy for a year with regressions during that year. Sometimes wet just isn't a bother and playing is more fun--especially for a two year old.
post #16 of 27
Your dd is still so young! I really wouldn't worry or stress about it.

(Disclaimer- we did not do EC with ds)

I followed ds's lead with the potty. He wanted nothing to do with it (wouldn't sit on it or go near it) until he was almost 3 1/2. Then, one day, I caught him playing with a toy train in the bathtub, making it pee. I just said to him "You know, you're a big boy so I bet you could pee in the potty just like Percy can!". Nothing more. He got out of the bathtub and peed in the toilet. I went to put a diaper on him (he'd refused underwear up until then) but he freaked and wanted underwear. He wore it all day and stayed dry! At bedtime I went to put a diaper on him and he refused, again wanting the underwear. I let him wear it, and he stayed dry. He's had maybe 3 accidents since that day. I voted less than a month, but really it was 1 day that he totally transformed and went from "never sitting on the potty or attempting it at all" to pretty much completely potty trained night and day.
post #17 of 27
More than a year. DS started using the potty (both pee and poop) by about 26 months. Not consistently, but that's when he understood what he was supposed to do when I took him. By the time I had DD, he was going on his own some of the time, other times I took him. He had occasional accidents. But when DD was born (went into NICU, came home with a gtube, equipment, and in home nursing) he regressed big time. He finally really "got it" about 3 years 7 months I think. That's when he quit having accidents and was able to take himself to the potty (vs me reminding him all the time). He stopped using diapers overnight shortly after.

I was SOOO frustrated by the time DD was 8 months old. I really thought 8 months was too long to fix the regression. But you really do just have to be patient.
post #18 of 27
I'm not anti-EC, but it must be so hard having your kid in underwear for so long and they still don't get it. With mine, I tried at 2, no interest. Tried at 2 1/2 and he got it and there were no accidents after about 3 days. With my second it was trickier, because he had an older brother, so he became interested before turning 2, but I don't think his body was quite ready. But since he was interested I was SO insistent that we get.it.done! But after a few weeks of frustration, soaked underpants, I gave up and put him in diapers and he just went when he was nakey and felt like it--no pressure. He would consistently go at bedtime because he was always naked and big brother would go then. At 2 1/2, I tried again for a week of consistent potty efforts and it took. He had more accidents than his brother, but it probably wasn't for more than a couple weeks. The difference was night and day between when he was ready and when he wasn't. It just clicked.

ETA: I am currently babysitting a girl full time who is 3y4mos and is still in diapers. I really don't think she's quite ready. We started yesterday really trying, but she always tells me after she goes that she needs to go potty. It's harder at this older age, because she is VERY stubborn and argumentative about all of it. She doesn't take to traditional rewards like younger kids do, so i'm not sure how we're going to do this!
post #19 of 27
For us, it was just a day or two. But, I didn't really DO anything. It just happened.
post #20 of 27
Originally Posted by cicely_m View Post
That's very interesting. What do you think sugary drinks have to do with it?
I am not sure but we rarely had them and she only had accidents when she had those or the soaky baths, and we didn't have these two things together at any point so it was definitely both causes. My mother is the one who suggested it because she has to go quickly if she drinks juice or soda.
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