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acuriousmom 09-27-2013 11:36 AM

My daughter turned 2 in August. She is a very bright little girl. For months, she has been able to say, "Mommy, I have to poo poo (or pee pee)" and then she'll run to her potty chair, potty, then say "I'm finished." We give potty stickers, praise her, dance up and down for her, call Grandma and tell her, etc. This tells me that she is physically and mentally ready to use the potty. Obviously. But then WEEKS go by before she'll do that again. So, what do you do with a child who completely "gets" the process, just chooses not to participate?


I'm considering spending a weekend at home with no pants on her and hoping that she'll choose the potty over pottying in the floor. Any other ideas?


Help. Please.

skycheattraffic 09-27-2013 11:42 AM

The next time she has a hit, I'd simply take the plunge and go to undies. It will take misses and messes but if she's wearing a diaper then there's no real reason to stop playing and use the potty.

acuriousmom 09-27-2013 01:40 PM

Thank you skycheattraffic. So, I was thinking of doing just that this weekend. If we aren't immediately successful, how long would you go before putting diapers back on?

skycheattraffic 09-27-2013 04:10 PM

Honestly? I think she'll get it. I'd try very hard not to go back but help her stay clean and dry by taking her to the potty every hour or two (whatever timing works for her). If you feel the full on plunge is too much then you could try diaper free mornings or something. I don't know ; I just don't like going back and forth once the full time undies have started. There are many ways to successfully potty train and so much depends on your kiddo's personality and temperament. The big thing is to not make a big deal out of accidents, remain patient and never shame the kid smile.gif

element2012 09-27-2013 10:33 PM

I am wondering about this now too. DD is 20 months and wakes up with a dry diaper and can say "I poop" when she's pooping and I think she refers to pee as "poop" as well. We do the diaper free thing some mornings and it just ends up with me cleaning a lot of pee. She may still be a few months out on her readiness, I think. She doesn't actually refer to pee yet, and she's not able to remove any clothing, so maybe I'm jumping the gun...?

sassyfirechick 09-28-2013 08:05 PM

We have the power struggle child - 22mos, SUPER independent and completely insulted when other make "demands" of her. shrug.gif


Had success a few months back where she went 3 days straight using the potty all day, naked bottomed, and diapers at night when she would poop first thing in the am before waking us up.  Had about 2 dozen successful uses of the potty, all of which she initiated herself by running over to it, peeing, then coming to get me.  Only 2 or 3 accidents but even those she was en-route to the potty.


Enter my FIL.  He watches her for 5 hours a day while I'm at work.  I gave him explicit instructions to just let her be and allow her to sit on it as she felt comfortable, and *maybe* throw out a reminder here and there to sit on her seat (I didn't even want him to call it a potty at that point).  Got home from work, she peed on the floor several times that night, and it was all downhill from there...completely, utterly terrified to go near her potty for weeks.  I know he held her there and I was/am pissed about it. 


We've just now gotten to a point in the last month where she will hang out in the house bare bummed and when she has to go, she jumps up and tells me "mommy, poop coming, diaper now!".  She's known the difference between poop and pee for almost a year but has recently reversed them.  I give her an opportunity to use the potty first, stall a bit, and then grab a diaper.  She will remove her own dirty diapers (cloth) and even rinses them (dunks in the toilet duh.gif ) and then runs through the house to show me how she cleaned it herself.  I've considered the jump to undies, but there will always be the issue of my FIL.  He's super controlling and in denial that he is. No amount of talking or demanding will change his mind.  Hell, short of a frying pan to the head I don't think anything gets through to him.


In your case, I'd def go diaper free and see where it takes you.  My LO didn't mind peeing on the floor initially although it's finally starting to bother her enough that she tries to at least hold it.  Hopefully you have success!

erigeron 09-28-2013 08:40 PM

That is so terrible about your FIL, sassyfirechick. I'm so sorry you have to deal with that. I don't even... what do you do in a situation like that if he explicitly ignores your instructions? Can your husband get through to him? Is MIL in the picture, and if so does she have any clout with him? I assume it's not an option for you to not work for a little while or leave her with somebody else, or you probably would have already done so. If she's removing and dunking her own diapers, could you put her in a diaper or pullup when she's being watched by him and just let her do her thing, and then do undies at other times? Can you spend some time with all of you together, including FIL, and let him watch how she acts normally and how she is about pottying? 


As for the OP, I don't really know, since my kid is in approximately the same boat. We'll do bare bottoms and she'll be on and off the potty for 2 hours and then pee on the floor. I'm reading for ideas. I am wondering if letting her pick out some cute undies would motivate her; I think she really needs motivation. 

Angelorum 09-28-2013 08:59 PM

If your dd is amenable (and not at the power struggle phase like the pp)  I would pick a weekend, put her in undies, and brightly announce that it is potty time every 1.5-2 hours (or however often you think she needs).  My ds was using the potty a couple times a day while still in diapers full time, when we basically did that.  He was 22 months.  I knew he wasn't really ready to take on 100% of the responsibility of getting himself to his potty every single time, but I felt like he was advanced enough to get rid of the diapers.  It went pretty smoothly for him.  Yes there were some messes, but if you are prepared for them, it's not too hard to keep some patience.  After a couple of months of me making sure he went periodically, he started to want to take more control himself, and I let him.  There were more accidents during that adjustment period, but it didn't last long. 


Also, it helps if you can build the potty times into her routine (right before or after a meal, nap, errand, etc), so that you interrupt playtime as little as possible.  Also makes it easier for you to remember when to take her. 

sassyfirechick 09-29-2013 08:29 AM

I wish I had other options, but MIL and my parents work, FIL is retired, DH work 2 jobs and I'm part time. I put in for a job with slightly more hours a week but closer to home and more pay in hopes that I can still maintain my partial stay at home status while contributing a bit more to bills.  We'll see!


I did notice in the beginning of doing naked time, DD was peeing much more frequently out of convenience of the diaper - like every 20 mins!  But once she got he hang of the sensation, she can be diaper free for upwards of 3-4 hours before she has to pee, so going diaper free should at the very least improve bladder control.


I've recently been trying to use her peers as motivation.  Our goddaughter is 11mos older than our LO and just recently potty trained (albeit incredibly forcefully and with lots of yelling, punishment and shaming....yes, I said shaming).  So we talk about how she uses the potty and said goodbye to her diapers.  We do have Minnie mouse panties for LO that I might just start putting her in during the day to see what she does.


Interestingly enough, as I sit here with her on my lap nursing, she had come into the room saying she had to pee, so I checked her diaper - still dry - and asked where she wanted to go, and she seemed reluctant to do either potty or diaper.  So maybe we're at a crossroads where she will decide which bothers her less??  Such a trying age!!

starling&diesel 09-29-2013 09:06 AM

OP: I'd completely back off.

Your child sounds very similar to my oldest child (who I've since come to realize is a true perfectionist). She had the concept super early (we did some EC with her), and knew her body signals, and was able to communicate ... but wasn't doing it. I was quietly wringing my hands about it, at about 22 - 27 months or so, wondering when the heck she'd get it.

Then we decided to stop worrying. And stop pushing.
We diapered her when she asked, but offered underwear too. We also kept talking up the awesomeness of wearing underwear and pottying, etc. But zero pressure for her to do it, and ZERO requests or suggestion that she should try.

And then one day she stopped wearing diapers. She used the potty in the morning, and wore underwear. Ever since.
Not even a nighttime diaper!
Not one accident.

Now, years later, I see that this is her learning style. She doesn't do ANYTHING until she can do it perfectly. This presents an enormous set of challenges, for so many reasons, and isn't a good thing, but it is the way she is.

So, in your case ... I'd say back off for six months. I bet in that time, she'll come to it on her own.
And if she doesn't, in six months, she'll be that much more able and aware and eager!
Good luck!

acuriousmom 09-30-2013 10:13 AM

So, I started this conversation. I DID try the weekend with no pants on at home. The first day was TERRIBLE. The second we had 4 successful trips to the potty. She seems so excited and proud when she does it. And this morning, she has had two successful trips that were fully initiated by her. Assuming that this keeps up (I have my fingers crossed), how long should this phase last until she isn't having accidents in the floor? When should I add back in the pants? And how long should that last? I guess I'm looking for a template timeline. I know each child is different - just looking for a ballpark.




And, sassyfirechick, I do not care much for your FIL.

IndianaMomToBe 11-13-2013 03:10 AM

Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post

Now, years later, I see that this is her learning style. She doesn't do ANYTHING until she can do it perfectly. This presents an enormous set of challenges, for so many reasons, and isn't a good thing, but it is the way she is.


Dang, you just described my oldest child and hints of my younger daughter too... and I never really realized it was basically just heir learning styles. *faceplam* That brings me huge clarity and also now I wonder how I can parent these perfectionists better...


ACuriousMom: For us, the naked time continued until our success rate was pretty high, then we'd add in pants and undies as needed (to leave the house and such). I'm sure in the last 2 months you've probably mastered it though huh?

element2012 02-16-2014 02:28 PM

I want to bump this thread. My daughter just turned 2 and has, as far as I can tell, been ready to train for awhile. I'm working and my living situation is such that it's not convenient *for me* to train her, but I feel like I'm doing her a disservice to not train her. As far as we've gotten is lots of bare bum time, which always means me watching her like a hawk and as soon as I'm not looking she'll pee heavily on the floor. She'll hold her first morning pee for over 2 hours. I'm just not clear where to go from here. She does not like wet clothes and will request to take them off immediately, so I've thought to just tell her that it's time for her to wear panties and just take the plunge the next time I can get 2 days in a row off. Help?

sassyfirechick 02-16-2014 05:03 PM

I'll add an update - DD has been in panties from her 2nd birthday (Nov 13th) and other than the occasional accident while playing and forgetting to stop, she's basically toilet trained for peeing!


We'd started doing the naked time again leading up to that day, but we did have to take a break and use diapers on a plane trip down to SC to visit my sister the week before.  But the day we got back (2 days before her birthday - free plane ride for her getting it in before 2, woohoo!) we did naked time and then right into undies...Minnie Mouse to entice her.  Her birthday party was already scheduled and so there was a potty in the living room and when she had to go, she went!  By about a month in she was getting good at telling me so we ventured out, potty in the back seat, and if she had to go, i'd pull over in a parking lot and she would go.  Then a few times FIL took her to his house and forgot to bring the potty and she had to hold it, but no accidents in the car.  So now we don't bring the potty, just have her go before we leave and I've been ut for 3 hours with her and she hasn't even asked to go - although I do eyeball the bathrooms everywhere we go just in case.


Overnight - I had a few nursing home/stretcher pads that DH grabbed from work (good to be married to a firefighter lol) and we use those on the bed on top of her sheets. The first week in undies she was waking at night and using the potty completely by herself (I'd either hear her or when we got up there would be pee in her potty by her bed).  Second week she would cry for help and we'd get her on the potty in time 50%. After that it was hit or miss...she'd either go the night dry or wake up crying because she was wet.  There was one really bad week where there was 2 wetting per night....but then it got better.  We've been at least 2 weeks dry at night although probably more, I haven't really been counting.  She can even wake up, ask to nurse, I go to her bed to nurse her, and she conks back out - no potty trip before or after and still wakes dry.


Pooping....FIL seems to have f*ed that up for now as usual.  She did few on the little potty and regular toilet, then he asked her one too many times and so she poops in diapers.  She will ask for a diaper, then go in her room, close the door and stand in her closet....probably a result of trying to get away from FIL to gain control over the situation! ANYWHO....I've talked with her, she's not quite there, but I have hinted that the diapers fairies might come along looking for some of her old diapers (cloth) to give to new babies that need them (I'll pack them away til we're ready for another) and she's been getting excite about these fairies and talks about them coming so I think I will play into that with letters and treats from the fairies a la a tooth fairy style of trading - give up a diaper, get a treat.  She's into tinkerbell so I think it's a good compromise for us but not taking them away cold turkey, it preps her for the transition, and allows her to see the change coming....and I can always pull them from the basement storage at anytime if she wigs out.


And that's where we are at now!

erigeron 02-16-2014 05:17 PM

Not much progress here. She will sit on and occasionally use the potty at preschool. Not really that interested at home. Between a huge project for my husband at work and now a new baby, we haven't had the bandwidth to devote to this. I wish I had seen that 'diaper fairy' idea months ago! I wonder if I could modify it in terms of giving the diapers to baby brother now. 

sassyfirechick 02-16-2014 05:33 PM

Oh no! I say go for it! It was all I could think of when I was upset one day at having to run for a diaper because she wouldn't poop on the potty she had JUST peed in!

farmingmama80 05-21-2014 10:03 PM

As I read these threads, I too have a 25 month old who is learning, I am very upset at the mindset of the older generations!  My family always asks if shes potty trained yet, and roll their eyes and talk about how I was trained at 10 months old, or whenever!  I tell them Im letting her do it at her own pace, sure I interject suggestions of peeing or pooping on the toilet, or her potty, but its not a big deal to me and my hubby that she is still in diapers, especially with a 4 month old taking a lot of my time, too, its hard to focus on remembering to ask if she needs to go.  She is positive about it, not scared to go either on the toilet, and sometimes even tells me when she needs to go.  She mostly tells me when she is wet, or poopy, but she still can't even dress, or undress herself yet!  Why is it the in laws, and great grand parents are so adamant that by a certain age, the child needs to be reliable on the toilet?  And, what is with people shaming kids?!  Ugh, makes me mad!!  Im very lucky` to be home with my kids, so I don't have to worry about people messing it up, but I feel for you mamas that have to rely on others for care/training. 

sassyfirechick 05-22-2014 07:49 AM

Well update for us - DD is 30mos and has ben completely diaper free since March.  The turning point?  A stomach bug :p  It was her first stomach bug, hit all 3 of us at once, and after one explosive liquid poop in a diaper that she requested, followed by an explosion in her undies (god that was horrible to clean up!!) - I managed to toss her on the toilet and catch the 3rd explosion!  She played with holding it for 2 or 3 weeks because she was afraid of how it might come out which resulted in pooping every 3 or 4 day instead of daily, but nothing some chiropractic visits and prune pouches couldn't fix!  We got lucky in that she was ready and has trained fairly early.  Still has occasional accidents, but she's getting there and she led the way!

erigeron 05-22-2014 08:12 PM

We did the "push the baby bird out of the nest" approach, and told her she didn't wear diapers any more because she was too big, and held firm. Within a day she started to get with the program with pee, and now 2 weeks later is basically trained for pee. Poop is a different story though. She's been kind of constipated. A typical day involves her grabbing her bottom and crying, over and over, insisting nothing is wrong and she doesn't have to poop and doesn't want to sit on the potty, sitting on the potty and nothing happens, getting up, then repeating all of this several times before having a poop accident, and starting again a few hours later.

DrLinda 05-23-2014 11:35 AM

Potty training is a natural part of all childrens development. As i say: nobody ever goes to college without being potty trained.

Having said that there are two major factors to it, the toddler needs to be physiologically ready for it AND he or she HAS TO WANT to do it!

You will know that your baby is ready physiologically when he wakes up dry three nights in a row, can pull his own pants down and can tell you before , not after, peeing or pooping. Those are good general rules.

The next hurdle is the wanting part. As you well know as the parents of toddlers, they will argue over anything, not because they are Bad , not at all. It is because they are brilliant fabulous humans who have very little control over their lives. As parents we get to decide when they eat and what , but NOT whether they eat! We decide on their comings and goings, etc... They want some control over their lives, so they choose things that they CAN control and try to use them namely eating and potty training. Hence the sage advice to choose your battles carefully. If it is not under your control as a parent please do not engage because you can't win. NOT unless your toddlers gives in and decides to let you. 

 With potty training the best thing to do is NOT to act like it is a big thing. If he poops or pees in the toilet great , if not, no big deal. You don't make a big fuss when he breathes right? 

  Giving too much attention to the potty training lets your toddler know how important it is to you, giving him something he can use for control. As awful as this sounds the best thing to do is to stop trying for a while , leave the potty out, and ignore it. Wait and let your toddler come to you when he wants to wear big boy or big girl pants or pee and poop in the potty like the older kids. It will save you both a lot of grief and make life quieter if stinkier than you would like right now:)

DrLinda 05-23-2014 11:52 AM

Hi, This is a very common problem that happens around potty training time  because toddlers tend to hold their stool for too long, it gets hard and then it hurts. This creates a setup where she does not want to poop, drying the stool out further and so it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy, a vicious cycle, if you will.

The best thing to do now is to get her stool soft for long enough that she stops associating stooping with pain and then can finish potty training.About a month I would say. Make sure she gets plenty of water. Get her a lot of fiber in the form of prunes and other high fiber foods like oatmeal and whole wheat if she is not gluten sensitive. Aloe is nice as a stool softener. Make sure you get her on a good probiotic to help regulate her intestines and decrease any inflammation she might have. There are other things like homeopathics and OTC things you can use if these do not work.

Massage and acupressure at the points one inch out from her belly button should also help her intestines get moving.

  Once her bowels are regulated she should potty train easily because she will loose the negative association.

sassyfirechick 05-23-2014 12:02 PM

Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

We did the "push the baby bird out of the nest" approach, and told her she didn't wear diapers any more because she was too big, and held firm. Within a day she started to get with the program with pee, and now 2 weeks later is basically trained for pee. Poop is a different story though. She's been kind of constipated. A typical day involves her grabbing her bottom and crying, over and over, insisting nothing is wrong and she doesn't have to poop and doesn't want to sit on the potty, sitting on the potty and nothing happens, getting up, then repeating all of this several times before having a poop accident, and starting again a few hours later.

That was us minus the accidents, got lucky in that she was asking to wear diapers to poop and would go in her closet and shut the door with a diaper on lol. She also did the crying and holding, insisted she didn't have to go, and would dance on her toes.  The first time she went 4 days without pooping and I took her into the chiropractor - she pooped 5x in the hour following her adjustment.  Then I think she went 3 days, then 2, and once she went a few times and realized it hurt a lot more to hold it in, she was good and I was able to stop loading her up with the prunes and we went back to the monthly chiro visits.  There was a gap of about 4mos from when she figured out peeing to when she figured out pooping.  I hated the crying and denying she had to go, but I nudged her a bit by making myself busy and not getting her a diaper right away to poop in, or making her wait a few mins to change her, but when it came down to it, she made the final decision to stop wearing diapers.

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