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Potty training 27 mo old-is this ... too harsh?

763 Views 19 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  WithHannahsHeart
Dd and I are working on using the potty instead of diapers.

IYO, do you think it is too harsh to go "cold turkey" so-to-speak, and just let her wear underwear (except at night--undecided there)?

History--she has sporatically shown interest in potty learning since last fall (1 1/2). We have a potty chair, she has had times where she enjoys just sitting on it while I use the toilet or shower. Occasionally she has peed in it or next to it (when she stands up as soon as she starts to pee). We have done the naked-around-the-house thing and she has no problem peeing inside or outside. She was excited when we bought her first pairs of underwear and will sometimes request them. I am now hoping/finding that keeping her in undies and pants draws her attention to the fact that maybe using potty would be less uncomfortable (I only leave her in them long enough for me/her to clean up pee-she politely asks me to change her pants and I do so with lots of love and support).

The problem--Dd is a very expressive, strong-willed child and enjoys "going-against-the-grain" just for the sake of it. If I request, ask, or give choices as to what she will put on (diapers, underware, bare bummed, pants, combo) she will often choose the opposite of what she (correctly) assumes I want.
Sometimes this will turn into a tantrum or a tickle-fest. Depends on both our moods, KWIM?

So, anyway. Today we went all day with no diapers. We even went into town to do some errands (I brought potty in car). She peed in pants 4x (pooped 1x) throughout day but not while on trip (I was impressed because we snacked and ate alot).
There were a few gliches in morning after the 2nd accident--she wanted diapers or nothing, but we had to go to town so I had to wrestle them on her while trying to keep her laughing instead of getting upset. By bedtime she did not want to wear her nighttime diapers, only her underwear
: go figure.

So now I'm thinking, let's just bag the diapers and get this over with. We have been so off-and-on with this for a year and I feel like (hope) we will get through this quickly and with less hassle this way. I know the experts say not to push it if they are not ready, I guess that is why I am concerned, however, my child needs my direction and assistance with her learning to be consistant and this seems to be no exception.

What do you think. What have your experiences been?
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My dd sounds a lot like yours. My dd is 32 months and was showing an interest in the potty as early as last summer. In retrospect, I think a lot of what was going on when she was 20 months was a type of elimination communication where I'd happen to ask at the right time if she wanted to use the potty and she'd often say "yes" but rarely initiate going on her own.
So fast forward to this spring when I start talking about using the big girl potty and wearing underwear almost daily. We did the nekkid baby thing and she was pretty good about getting to the potty on time and seemed fine with it. The biggest glitch was that, given a choice, she would always choose a diaper over underwear. We had several different types for variety but she preferred diapers which I totally understand.
What I decided to do was let her current stock of diapers (I use disposables) run out. I told her every diaper change how many were left and that when they were all gone that she'd need to wear underwear. The day came when there were none left and she was fine with it. Never questioned it or seemed upset. Now she loves to pick out her underwear and has only had a few accidents in the 2 months that we've been at this stage of training. I work part-time and she has diapers at her daycare so that she has the option to wear them if she wants and she's asked to a couple of times. Very few accidents either, btw.
So to make a long story short, :LOL, I don't think it's harsh to phase out the diapers if you feel that your child is capable of using the potty. Because our progress had been so gradual and spanning almost a year, I knew where she was at in terms of capabilities and it ended up being a good decision. My biggest thing was to stay open and positive about things and to at least try!
Good luck!
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As someone with experience working with special needs children, my advice is yes, as soon as the potty training starts, put the diapers away (except perhaps at night because night control usually happens after day control is maintained.) You want to reinforce the peeing/pooping in the potty happens so underwear can stay dry and comfy and that way if she has an accident, it's rather uncomfortable and she'll want to change out of them right away. Plus she may have little accidents like my current student did, which I noticed right away and enabled me to take him to the potty to "finish", which he did.

I don't think 27 months is too young! I was potty-trained by then. My supervisor's son was at 18 months, and she is NOT the type of person to force anything on children. IF she's able to go in the potty and aware of her bodily functions, she's ready to use the toilet all the time. My biggest advice is don't start and stop. Keep it up until she's able to do it. It may take a little while before she stops having accidents but don't let that deter you. THe most successes, the faster she'll finish learning it.
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But definitely keep the night time diaper. That's not a choice to pee while sleeping or wake up. When you have dry diapers every morning for a week, you know her body is ready for that. It usually happens 6 mo to a year after potty success. I think a little after 3 years old for the average girl. Every kid is different, but night bladder control is a different issue than daytime awareness.

I also think if she's having 4 pee accidents and 1 poop in her pants, she's not ready. It's you pushing her. JMO
My dd was 22.5 months old & was waking up dry. So, about 6 weeks ago, we just went cold turkey, no diapers except at night. Even for naps! The first day she was naked, and then I bought her panties. She averages 0-3 accidents/day, depending on what we're doing, how rested she is, etc. I did ask her very frequently in the first few weeks & would make it something really exciting. We put her potty seat right on the toilet & bring a little potty in the car wherever we go. For us the pooping has been the biggest issue (sometimes she's afraid, etc), but she's making steps.

I don't think it's too harsh. I think if you just go full force, without forcing her (support & encourage), she'll surprise you. Also, we're using Bummis trainers at night now, so that we don't send mixed messages about diapers. They go on like panties & I just call them night time panties. Honestly, my dd was probably wet 2 diapers in the past 2 weeks at night. For her, night time dryness came before daytime dryness.

Even now, 6 weeks later, I wouldn't say she's "trained" (or learned or whatever the PC thing to say is, LOL), but it's a process. I expect it will be another few months before she's 99% all the time. But, she does tell us when she has to go, etc. One difference I can see between my dd & yours is mine is very compliant & non-oppositional (YET). I think I caught it before the major rebellion stage.

Good luck!
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I went cold turkey with my first and she trained in 4 days. I don't think that's harsh, either. My 27-month old has been part-time on the potty since 19 months (he uses it consistently for poop)- he's not quite ready for cold turkey to underwear, but that's what I'll do as soon as I can see he's ready.
One thing that helped my dd leave diapers behind (also at 27 months) was for me to STOP reminding her and let it be her deal. She is likewise a strong-willed child, and I finally realized that as long as I was asking her if she needed to go, or telling her when she needed to go, it was MY potty training, not hers! She had been using the potty competently for a long time - well over 6 months - but we had not made the move to diaper free, mostly, I think, out of my own hesitation. She would wear underwear at home but if we went out or were traveling, I put her back in diapers. I realized that that was confusing for her and took away her ownership of being able to use the potty. When we finally went diaper-free, we had a couple days of accidents. I was very conscious of trying not to put a lot of energy or emotion into my response - not letting on if I was frustrated, for example - just helping her to get some clean dry ones, and guiding her to put the wet ones in her laundry basket, and saying simply, "I bet next time you will use the potty." Just a few days later she was accident-free, self-initiating, and so very proud!!

So, if you feel she's ready, I would say go for it! and good luck!
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Well, the 4 pee and 1 poop was the first day without diapers at all (yesterday). I notice she is dry in the morning if I check before she does her morning pee. This has been the case for a while.

This morning (in undies and pants) she did not pee until 10:30 when we went in the bathroom and she heard me going in the toilet. She said she didn't want to sit on the potty so she peed in her pants, then she let me pull them down and assist her to her potty. After changing her I went to town for about 1 1/2 hrs and she stayed with my parents. She didn't pee at all
. When I got back she nursed quite a bit, we read books and ate some food. She just now peed when the doorbell rang and the dog suddenly barked loudly. That's understandable.

The prompting to go into the bathroom and use her potty is not working and she does not want me to take the potty out of the bathroom. I think I will continue to tell her that I have to go and ask if she'd like to come (she always does
) and maybe this will work.

Thanks for all your advice and stories!!! What did you all do for outings? Has anyone tried the folding seats that go on toilets or do you bring potty in car--how does that work for you?
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My DD sounds like yours. She will not "try to pee" and she goes rather long stretches between peeing. We went cold turkey (including nights) when she showed signs of readiness.

I brought along spare pants on outings and encouraged her to be comfortable going outside and in different toilets. I still hold her on the toilet in a strange place.

We've had our share of accidents but never nearly enough to consider that she wasn't on her way to being completely dry. Also, her accidents didn't cause her *any* stress and were not consistent. It's been about a year since we put the diapers away and she's completely dry in the day save some freak accident. She can wake in the night to ask me to take her to the toilet (which I think is unusual but I also go pee in the middle of the night) but she has accidents about 2x/month still. I see that you are bedsharing, which is good because you'll notice any pee right away - although rolling over in a warm wet spot is NOT my favorite way to wake up, LOL! I am glad to be there for DD when that happens though.

So, yea, cold turkey "worked" well for us. I would say to continue like this if it works for you and does not stress your child. Incidentally, DC seemed to forget about diapers for a few months and then saw them on a new baby. She asked for diapers back and I let her but by that time she forgot that they were for peeing in and asked me to take them off when she had to go.
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I agree that cold turkey really seems to be best. My 25-month-old has been wearing panties all day for almost 2 months now. It really was her decision about when the potty learning took place. I honestly didn't think she was ready because she wasn't dry through the night like my first dd was by that age. But one day around mid-April she came up and asked me for panties. So I we did it. She had a few accidents but nothing really major. Like most kids it was usually when she got so busy having fun that she forgot to go until it was too late. A few times when I have put diapers on her for any reason---mainly being chicken to go out all day at first without them---she would often pee in them simply because she was wearing a diaper. And she would tell me that! "We can pee pee in diapies, but no pee pee in panties." So the diapers are reserved only for night (and now 5 out of 6 nights she is waking up dry as well). If we are in public she'll tell me when she needs to go and we find a potty. We've never used a kid's potty--she didn't want to use one even though we had one. It's now her step stool to get on the big potty. So, no, we've never taken a little one in the car with us.

It's still strange to see my big basket of cloth diapers sitting in the corner of the room looking abandoned!

Good luck!
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It's strange that this would be posted today. I have just decided to start potty learning with my son. He is 23 1/2 months old. Will be 2 July 1. I want to keep pants on him when we are at home to get him used to them. At the end of the month I'm going to be off work for a week. During that time I want to focus exclusively on potty. I am really hoping that he can or will figure it out during that week. Or at least get enough of an understanding that when he goes back to day care the next week, I'll be able to send him in pants instead of diapers. A little while ago he starting yelling and pulling at his pants. We rushed to the bathroom but he was already wet. So we sat for a while on the potty and them put on clean pants. He is a bit delayed in expresive language so he needs to develop a word that I know means potty. We're working on a sign for it as well. I'm really hoping that by this time next month we're well on our way to using the potty all the time.

We did the cold turkey thing and it worked great. BUT (and this is a big one), we waited until my son actually asked for big boy underwear. So it was his decision to switch and I think that made all the difference. Now, we did ask him on and off for a couple of months before that, "Do you want to try big boy underwear and going potty in the toilet", so it wasn't like he just came to me one day and said he was ready. But it was his idea. We'll do the same with my daughter when she gets there.

As for outings, I took lots of spare clothes with me at first. But we just used the regular toilets. He sat sideways for a while (because otherwise he might fall in) and I held him around the waist so he felt secure. Then he was OK sitting regular and on his own. Now he can stand anywhere, which is really helpful. I guess I'll have to lift and hold my daughter for longer because she is so petite.

Whatever you do, good luck.
Yea, being ready, IMO is the difference. I'm sure there are some "lists" for signs somwhere on-line.
When my dd was almost 2, I'd pretty much had it with changing three bums so I decided to potty train her slowly. She had also shown interest in the potty, sporadically had peed on the potty etc. I just went out and bought her panties and just put them on her. Didn't offer her a choice or we would have been there forever. I did, however, play up the panties BIG TIME before we used them, so it wouldn't be coming totally out of the blue for her. Thankfully, she liked the idea of panties (like mommy wears) and wore them. We only do diapers at naptime/bedtime because she's still waking up wet. We'll do that training when I see she's ready. She's had some accidents, but is now pretty much daytime potty trained. Good luck to you!
my kid sounds like yours.
mine will be 3 in july though...and still not trained.

he too does the opposite.

we are going to "force" the issue by putting him in cloth (like it or not) when he turns 3.

i guess everyone has a point which, as parents, they feel a child is too old for the diapers..................

my cut off is three years.

but, it would depend on the child.

Originally Posted by ja mama
I also think if she's having 4 pee accidents and 1 poop in her pants, she's not ready. It's you pushing her. JMO

I agree. I read a study somewhere and I WISH I had bookmarked it where it said the average age for potty learning is around 3 for girls and 3 1/2 for boys. That's daytime. Night is a whole different issue and may come years later. Some children may be ready to be dry earlier - but not all. My oldest started showing some interest even as early as 13 months old. She even had a few all dry days around 25-27 months. I tried to put her in underware - but she was NOT ready. She had accidents and felt horrible about it - it stressed and upset her. So we went back to diapers for about another 4 months. Then she only took a couple of days to really figure things out. Same with my boy only he had trouble with pooping in the potty and pooped in his underwear once a day, every day for one month.

So as long as your child is ready -cold turkey will probably work. But if they are having multiple accidents a day - they are NOT ready. For my kids to not wear a diaper or cloth bedwetter pants at night - they have to be dry 1 month.

Another point is that it's humlilating and upsetting for children to be wetting their clothes all the time and esp in public. Plus what it does to the child's self esteem to "fail" so many times a day. So my dd was actually relieved when we went back to diapers. I also can't imagine having to deal with months of accidents 3 or 4 times a day. Never mind what that would do to my carpets/furniture. yikes! So much easier to wait until the child is really ready.
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Thank you all so much for your support and advice and for sharing your experiences

My Dd is doing so well. I am pleasantly surprised that she is not showing signs of stress from this process. She has not worn diapers since last Thursday. On the third day we decided to go "bare bummed" and that helped quite a bit. She realized she had that "feeling" and asked me to go to the bathroom with her. She sat on the potty and we read a book and she went. She has been doing that ever since.

On the fourth day, while she was playing at the sink, she called to me and said, "the poop is having a hard time coming out. We should probably try to get it in the potty". Talk about proud Mama
She also remembered I had told her that when she pooped in the potty she could have a piece of chocolate (I know, I know...but it worked--she wasn't the least bit concerned or scared when she pooped, she just did it and then asked for chocolate). We have been reading books while on the potty (currently her favorite pastime) and one of the books has a small sticker chart in the back we have been using. When she fills it she can buy a new stuffed animal.

She has not had any accidents while we have been out running errands or visiting friends (minus one while playing outside with water). She even asked to use a friend's potty twice yesterday
She has yet to get on a big toilet, however. She seems a bit intimidated but I'm sure she will try soon.

The only tough period has been while getting ready for bed. She only wants to wear underwear, not nightime diapers and has gotten quite upset. Last night was a little better. She asked to wear underwear again but did not get upset with my explanation and let me put her diapers on. I'm hoping tonight will be better.

Cold-turkey was definitely the trick. All the back and forth since last fall caused way more stress than just going for it. This has been a great learning experience for me as well.
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I'm so happy it's working for the two of you!
Try using undies and putting old fashined "rubber pants" over the panties. This will save you from having to wash your sheets, sofa cushions and car seat when accidents occur. I think target or wal mart carry them.
My dd is almost 23 months, and a couple months back, i thought she was going to magically potty learn overnight by herself. No, that did not happen
, though she did have a couple of days of almost no wet diapers. Well, now, when she is naked, she can feel when she has to pee or poop,and will tell me 'Uh, oh pee pee potty' or 'POOP!"
; sometimes she will do her business on the potty (big potty with minimizer thingy), other times flatly refuses. She does not ever tell me she has to go if she has a dipe on. I am kind of at a loss as to what to do, since she so often refuses to go even when she tells me she needs to, and she can hold it, too. Also she has no qualms about pooping. I think there is no need to push it yet, and i am still enjoying using the cloth on her
. Should i be working more with her? It just seems like way to much effort to expend for such a young toddler.
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