need opinions re:potty learning readiness (long) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-11-2002, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Mamas,

One of my dds is thinking about potty learning. She's been staying dry overnight for a wile now, so I started suggesting she use the potty in the mornings. At first this was great, but then she decided she didn't want to wear diapers anymore. So I thought maybe she was ready to potty learn, and I let her go without diapers from that day on.

On the first day she managed to stay-dry. On the second day she still managed to stay dry through the morning, but seemed to be holding it in IMO. This worried me since it can contribute to UTIs, etc. Finally, she just let it go all over the floor, even though I had asked her several times that morning if she needed to use the potty, invited her to use the potty while I did, etc. Of course we were very sympathetic, but didn't make a big deal out of it, cleaned her up, and went on with the day. The short story is that she continued to have accidents nearly every time she went, including poopy ones, and sometimes she wouldn't even tell me, and I'd just find her wet or poopy or both.

I noticed that she seemed more stressed out during this time, so I was concerned she wasn't really ready. After the third day of consistent accidents I told her that I wasn't sure she was ready for the potty yet, and that if she wanted to learn to use the potty that was okay, but that it was also okay if she wanted to wear her diapers still. She chose to wear her diapers, and she seems relieved by this; however, she also wants that diaper off the *minute* she pees or poops. In fact, every time I've suggested she could use the potty since then, like when she wants to run around bare bottomed, she replies, "no, diaper".

So it seems she's not *really* ready, but is thinking about it. I think she liked it until she realized it was going to be a lot of work on her part too. So, we've been watching potty videos which she's stuck to like glue. We're also looking for some potty books, so if anyone has some to sell PLMK.

It was so exciting to think that one of them might be out of diapers at least part-time. That would cut down on my workload so much--instead of every other day, I'd only have to wash diapers 2x per week. Also, we'd save money on clothes because all of those 2T pants we're growing out of would suddenly fit us perfectly.

Arrgh, how do you know when they're ready, and if you think they are, what do you do? I was thinking that maybe soonish I would encourage her to use the potty while we're home, but I don't want to push her either.

Wow, this post got LONG. If you made it this far, "Thanks!", and of course, any and all advice, tales of experience, comisseration, and/or insights are welcome.
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#2 of 5 Old 08-11-2002, 03:24 PM
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It's interesting that your post doesn't mention her age. On the one hand, it's good because the age doesn't mean much. On the other hand, she might be way too young. Ah, the paradoxes in parenting!

What I remember about potty training is that we just left the diapers off. Training pants were useless, because they're nice and thick like a diaper. Bottom bare and what spills there were, we wiped up. Eventually we went to regular undies, which are thin enough not to give an illusion of protection. Also, the potty was right between the kitchen and living room (we were in a small open-plan condo), where we spent most of our time, so it was always in the eye. Most of the photos at home from this stage (two-and-a-half through three-plus) have her in tshirts and nothing underneath.

Don't know if any of this is helpful, as one person's experience can hardly constitute a formula for others, but I hope it is.
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#3 of 5 Old 08-11-2002, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
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It's interesting that your post doesn't mention her age.
Oh, well my girls are triplets, so the 11/09/99 date applies to everyone. I think that makes her around 2 years and 9 months or so, although she's more like 2.7 developmentally due to prematurity.
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#4 of 5 Old 08-12-2002, 08:11 PM
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My dd1 has just potty trained in the past couple of weeks, and her story sounds a lot like your dd. She also was wanting her diaper changed the MINUTE she peed or pooped, so that's what made me decide she was finally ready (we'd had a few abortive attempts at potty training earlier). My dd1 will be 3 years old in October, so she's slightly older than your daughters.

We also did the bare bottom thing - actually, dd1 was completely naked for about a week of running around the house. That really helped. We'd ask if she needed to pee, and sometimes she'd go and sometimes she woudln't. But having a couple of accidents which we knew about immediately (because of no diapers) seemed to help her get the hang of the potty for peeing very quickly.

The pooping sounds more like your situation with your daughter. DD1 was also holding it in and not going, then having accidents when she finally decided to go. WE didn't do anything special, just cleaned up when we had to and kept offering the toilet. What seemed to help her was for us to leave her on the toilet herself...the privacy seemed to help her be able to go in the potty more easily.

If I were you, I might leave things for a week or two (diapers back on, since that's what she wants - we did offer dd1 the choice of wearing a diaper to poop in at one point, but she wasn't keen on the idea), and try again later? I know that's a bummer....

Good luck!
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#5 of 5 Old 08-19-2002, 01:04 AM
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From my viewpoint--having had three daughters who all trained at over 3 (3 and one month, 3 and 3 months, and 3 and nine months)--it sounds like your daughter is NOT ready. I could not deal with my kids peeing or pooping on the carpet or while sitting on the furniture, so I just left them in diapers until they were using the toilet pretty well. After my second daughter, who took forever, I learned not to do much about it at all if they didn't seem enthusiastic.

When the time comes when they are really ready, they will do it practically on their own and with very few accidents. With my kids, it seemed to take about a week or two and then it was underwear day and night. They had occasional accidents where they were already in the bathroom which I consider more of a timing problem than anything else.

I would say just wait and good luck.
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