For those who let their child self-"potty-learn"... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 05-22-2010, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If you let your child potty-learn by themselves (i.e., didn't use a program or put them into underwear before they were trained -- just waited until they woke up one day and decided to stay dry), how old were they when they "got it"?

(DD just turned 3 and still seems to have a hard time anticipating her potty needs. She's always been slightly behind in gross motor and body awareness, so I'm not surprised. DH is ready to start pushing potty training, but with a 7 week old in the house, I'm not feeling in a position to run her to the potty constantly or throw myself into a training program. I'd rather just wait until she got it. But I am really REALLY ready for her to be ready.....)

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#2 of 20 Old 05-22-2010, 11:48 PM
 
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My middle boy self potty trained at 2.5 years! I had just had my youngest and he told his father one day he wanted nothing to do with diapers and did not have a accident since. He had been using the potty on and off since he was 18 months watching his older brother (he actually pooped in the potty for the first time before his older brother).
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#3 of 20 Old 05-23-2010, 04:14 AM
 
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both of mine were right around 2. i did encourage them somewhat (but never did rewards or anything like that), and if they were capable i probably would have requested they change their own pee diapers but we hadn't come to that point. Do you do any naked time? mine were constantly naked, and if there was a mess on the floor i would just remind the kiddo that pee/poo goes in the toilet, but certainly no shaming/hint of annoyance/etc. just a casual reminder as i cleaned it up.
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#4 of 20 Old 05-23-2010, 09:31 AM
 
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Just after he turned 2. He chose naked time over diapers often, and just after he turned 2, he started using the potty during his naked time. One day he used the potty from wake up until nap time, and that was the day he started wearing underwear.

Rebekah , single working mom to Micah (04.12.2007)
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#5 of 20 Old 05-23-2010, 09:42 AM
 
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DS was 2 years 4 months when it happened here. VERY unplanned. I expected him to be one of those kids who does not train till they are 4 (now I'm ECing #2, obviously I've learned a thing or two since then!). He had no interest in naked time, did not mind a wet or dirty diaper at ALL (blech), and I'd heard boys train later. So, I did not have any plans, it wasn't even on the horizon. But one day, he was twisting and fighting getting a clean diaper put on (again not because he cared for naked time, just wanted to be playing instead of waiting for me to get the diaper on), I was feeling impatient, and kind of huffily said "Fine, go play - but if you feel like you are going to pee, come to me and say 'Mom, DS needs to pee!'" (he was talking about himself in the third person then). Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather ten minutes later: He came up to me and whispered "Mom, DS needs to pee!". I grabbed him, ran upstairs (no potty set up or anything), plopped on the toilet, and TADA! Potty trained. Seriously. He had 2 or three half-accidents that week (as in would start to pee then hold it to be taken to the toilet), and took that week to stop pooping his pants...and that was it! No diapers daytime, outings, and NIGHT.

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#6 of 20 Old 05-23-2010, 09:52 AM
 
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My oldest was 2 1/2. My middle was 3 1/2(we had tried to train her multiple times and she wasn't ready so I finally just gave up. she figured it out herself right before she turned 3 1/2. My youngest was 26months. It was very sudden. With the other two I kinda saw it coming and knew what to expect and had underwear around for them. With the litlest, you could have knocked me over with a wet noodle. I was shocked. I figured it was way too early, she was too little, and she wasn't going to train for a WHILE. I even had ordered some diapers 2 days before that that we hadn't even recieved yet. Had no undies for her, nothing. Fortunately I had her older sister's little potty in the basement which we quickly dug out and cleaned up. It's been 3 months and she's been completley dry for 2 1/2 months now during hte day. She is dry for naps too 99% of the time(unless she's had large quantities of liquid beforehand because she's a heavy sleeper) but she still wears nighttime diapers. She's not thrilled about it but cloth trainers usually are not meant for overnight and she doesn't wake when she pees anyway. So for right now, we are still using 1 diaper per day.

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#7 of 20 Old 05-23-2010, 02:16 PM
 
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I'm going to suggest that since she doesn't have great body awareness, she may need help learning to potty. My oldest was like that. He needed a switch to underwear (not diapers) so he could feel the wetness, a regular schedule, and some major bribes for trying. He also needed a small potty chair and not the big potty.

The schedule of 'trying' was really important because it helped him learn to associate the internal feelings with needing to go potty. The bribes helped motivate him. I have no trouble bribing a child to go potty. Unlike learning to do other things, this is a short term reward system to achieve a goal that you, the parent, want much more than your child.

However, that being said, I wouldn't do it now. Wait 6-8 weeks until the middle of the summer. Then your new baby won't be a newborn anymore, you'll have established a bit of a routine, and you might have some energy left for potty training. Doing it in the middle of the summer has the advantage of being able to let her go naked or wear nothing under a short dress (don't make it too long or she won't be able to get it up high enough quickly enough).

Letting her be naked has two advantages: clean up is so much easier when she doesn't make it, and you can really tell whether she's ready. If after 3-4 days she's still surprised by the sudden appearance of pee, she's probably not ready and you can try in another month. If she learns to anticipate it, then she's ready.

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#8 of 20 Old 05-23-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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2y 6m, she literally just woke up one day and that was it. Completely PLed, day and night, never had an accident. Now with my 2nd child, she needed lots of help.

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#9 of 20 Old 05-23-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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While it wasn't necessarily child led, my son was over 4 before I really pushed him to PL. Then it was a couple of days of deliberate accidents and now he is perfect. I suppose I could have pushed him sooner I didn't feel comfortable doing that.

Now, his younger sister was technically PLed before he was. She was under 3. Because we had potty seats for my son she just helped herself.
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#10 of 20 Old 05-23-2010, 02:44 PM
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With both my DDs I bought a potty and told them what is was for right before age two. They are 20 years apart in age so there was no learning from an older sister for my younger DD. My older DD started using her potty a day before turning two and wanted nothing to do with diapers. My younger DD took her potty apart and put it back together a few times but wasn't interested. She starting using the toilet when she was 3.5. She skipped using a potty, but liked using one of the padded toilet seat things. With my younger DD, she asked for the padded seat that was on a closet shelf and started using it one afternoon and never wore another pullup. She only had 2 accidents the next week. Then she just went , never needing reminding or anything. I'm glad I was patient and never made it an issue.
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#11 of 20 Old 05-23-2010, 05:15 PM
 
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We were living in Germany and bought dd a neat little potty shaped like a seal. It would play music when you pee in it. We bought that when she was about 2.5 years old. She spent the first 6 months pouring water into it to listen to the music.

Then one day she said, "I don't want to use diapers" and we let her go naked that day. That was the long and short of it. She was right at 3 years old and used the toilet from that day forward. I remember the one nighttime accident that very first night and that was it - she even woke up as she started to pee and caught herself. From day one she was night and day "potty learned", self-led.
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#12 of 20 Old 05-23-2010, 06:34 PM
 
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We did total child-led potty. When my DS was 3.5, he came home one day and said he wanted underwear. We got some and he had about 50% accidents in the first few days, but in less than 2 weeks he was 90%+ for both pee and poo. And after a month or two he never had an accident again, even at night. DD was just a month over 3 and basically did the same, a few accidents but very fast up to speed. She still occasionally has pee accidents; I'd say 2 per month. She is 3.5 now. IME, child-led kids will start out with potty learning later than their peers, but because it totally comes from their desire, they learn quick and don't have nearly as much accidents or regression.
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#13 of 20 Old 05-23-2010, 10:14 PM
 
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We did complete child led learning here. One day at about 3.5 years old my ds decided he didn't want to wear diapers anymore (we did have underwear in his drawer that I had purchased for whenever he might be ready, plus it was on clearance ) and wanted to wear the underwear. He put it on and since then has had exactly three accidents in the past two years (he is 5.5 now). We literally did nothing to encourage it other than buying underwear. It was all him and from that day forward he never wore another diaper. It was actually kind of baffling how easy it was. My dh and I joke that we took the lazy approach to potty learning and lucked out on this one.

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#14 of 20 Old 05-23-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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After trying to train dd and dealing with major issues both mental and physical for her I decided ds would do it when he was ready. DD wasnt totally trained because of that until she was 5yo.

He was 3y 11m and 2w old when he self trained with no encouragement from me at all and he went from diapers 24/7 to totally day and night trained within 4 days.

I did have some neat spider man undies that had been given to me that he saw and loved and occasionally wore over his diaper when he got the urge.

 
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#15 of 20 Old 05-24-2010, 11:44 AM
 
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My oldest DS was dry all night by 8 months. At 2 1/2 we went on a trip and were in the car for 3 days. By the end he was potty trained by his choice. You too can always drive to Disney World LOL

My youngest was about three months past his 4th birthday. He came home from preschool one day and asked why a friend was not in pull ups. I told him and he said he would use the potty from now on too. I do think he would have sooner but we had an extremely stressful year when he was three. We moved, he was in three preschools, he had speech delays and lost his nice therapist and hated the temporary one etc.
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#16 of 20 Old 05-24-2010, 05:57 PM
 
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I wouldn't say we did it COMPLETELY child-led, but we definitely didn't do anything specific to teach or encourage other than recognizing toilet success and not responding much to the misses other than cleaning up. DD was almost 2.5 when she was dry enough to go to preschool. She wore pull-ups sometimes at first, though. She was about 3 when she was reliably dry all day. At about 3.5 I stopped bringing a change of underwear and pants everywhere we went. She just turned 4 and is not (and never has been) dry overnight although she has been totally independent with using the toilet for a while now.
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#17 of 20 Old 05-24-2010, 09:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bugginsmom View Post
We did complete child led learning here. One day at about 3.5 years old my ds decided he didn't want to wear diapers anymore (we did have underwear in his drawer that I had purchased for whenever he might be ready, plus it was on clearance ) and wanted to wear the underwear. He put it on and since then has had exactly three accidents in the past two years (he is 5.5 now). We literally did nothing to encourage it other than buying underwear. It was all him and from that day forward he never wore another diaper. It was actually kind of baffling how easy it was. My dh and I joke that we took the lazy approach to potty learning and lucked out on this one.



First one was a few days shy of 4, and the second one about 3.5. And I actually -was- a bit lazy... three kids close in age, I really didn't want to fight over a potty, I just figured they'd start sooner or later, and they did!
My 20 month old boy is showing interest in the potty, I guess cause he sees his sisters don't have diapers, and he constantly sees them going to the bathroom. He'll let me know when he's gonna poop, but so far, if I take him to the potty, all he does is trying to play with the potty... eek...
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#18 of 20 Old 05-24-2010, 11:04 PM
 
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My youngest did it on her own before I would have started. She figured things out right about two years.

my boys I helped. We waited until the weather was warm, and then spent a lot of time naked outside. And naked in the house.

A trick a for girls that a friend taught me is to keep a potty in the car, so when you're out and about you can let her go as needed without having to find a bathroom. That has made life a lot easier.

If you're ready to help her, summer is a great time. In your place I'd stay home for a few days, and keep her in a t-shirt and nothing else, and well hydrated.

Twin boys (2/05) and little sister (10/07)
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#19 of 20 Old 05-24-2010, 11:43 PM
 
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DS was a couple of months shy of 3 years old when he self PL'd. Like you said, he woke up one morning and told us he wanted to wear underwear and didn't want diapers anymore.

Lindsay - Mum to Logan (May 3, 2007), Graysen (June 26, 2009) and welcoming somebody new in September 2011!
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#20 of 20 Old 05-25-2010, 09:54 AM
 
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The day after he turned 3 .. he said he wanted to use the potty and never looked back. He only ever had one pee accident, and that was overnight.

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