We Like, We Like to Potty

My son Jacob is almost 16 months old now, and I’m starting to think about toilet training. I first started the process with my daughter Hannah when she was around 17 months old, and I would like to do the same thing again. I actually toyed with the idea of doing elimination communication or infant potty learning with Jacob, but never got around to it. So, at this point, I am going to mostly repeat what I did with Hannah and hope that it works. Repeating the same thing and expecting the same result with a different kid hasn’t worked so far, but there’s a first time for everything, right?

The truth is that while I started Hannah on the potty at around 1 1/2 years old, she wasn’t completely out of diapers during the day until she was 2 1/2. However, she did take to the potty pretty easily. You see, I have this theory, which may or may not be complete hogwash. My theory is that the sooner you introduce the potty and the toilet, the less likely that your child will reject them or be terrified of them. Hannah, thankfully, has not been afraid of the toilet, and it would really be easier if Jacob was the same way.

I have discovered some tricks during my time that help to get the potty train rolling. The first trick I learned is that kids tend to eliminate either first thing upon waking, or else shortly after eating. So, as soon as Hannah woke up or after she ate a meal we would visit the bathroom. Catching the kid at the right time really does help to make the connection clear, and it’s more convenient, too. During toilet training I also allow lots, and lots, and lots of naked time. Because it’s much more obvious to both you and the kid that they’re peeing when they aren’t in a diaper. And the final trick in my arsenal is a super-cool folding potty seat, to make strange toilets more fun and less frightening.

The potty
The much-ballyhooed potty

Over the year that I spent toilet training Hannah we had setbacks and advancements. On the setback side, she didn’t really like to use the daycare potty because that meant stopping the fun and going inside. On the advancement side she pretty quickly stopped wetting herself when she was naked or at home. We went back and forth, sometimes I was convinced she was out of diapers for good. Sometimes I thought that she would be in diapers forever. Like most developmental milestones, using the toilet is not so much a ‘ta da!’ moment as a gradual progression for most kids.

Events like developmental milestones, growth spurts, teething, illness and emotional upheaval can affect the toilet training process. When Hannah went through a growth spurt, she would have lots of accidents, for instance. Knowing that this was normal and would pass in a few days helped me to keep perspective. It also just sort of makes sense – during a growth spurt the kid ate and drank a lot, and it seemed to take her bladder a while to catch up. Plus, who wants to learn a new skill when they’re in pain or they already have so much else going on?

I feel a little more confident going into toilet training the second time around, but I still have my concerns. Cleaning up after countless accidents isn’t really all that much fun. Plus, each kid is different and Jacob could throw me for a loop. So I feel some trepidation, but I firmly believe that the end results are worth it. Although, if you have any tips or tricks or even just funny stories, I’d love to hear them. More ideas never hurt anyone, right?

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  1. That’s the fanciest potty ever! I was never a huge fan of having to clean the plastic portable potties like this one ­čÖü I use the seat that attached to the real potty. Thanks for the tips – I needed a refresher. I’m going to start potty training my 18 month old in January. December is too hectic for me. Good luck with your little one ­čÖé

  2. At this point, I know for a fact that my 3.5 yr old will NEVER be potty trained. He’ll be crapping his pants in high school. I completely give up.

    Now, his 18 mo old brother has been showing all the potty signs for months now. If I leave a potty in the middle of the room, he’ll walk over and pee in it. He also tells me when he’s pooping, and he says “potty!” every time he sees me on it. He totally gets it. So why am I not potty training him? Because I cannot imagine having a potty trained 18 mo old while my 3.5 year old is still in diapers. My brain just cannot comprehend.

    Plus, I swear, I really just have given up on the whole idea of potty training. It’s like I’m completely skipping out on that part of parenting from now on because it has just been too upsetting. Failing to get my older son trained for the last 2 years has totally broken my spirit. I’m done. At some point I’ll break down and send my kindergartner to potty-training boot camp and pay somebody else to deal with it for me.
    .-= TheFeministBreeder´s last post ..An Open Letter to Target Regarding Breastfeeding Discrimination =-.

  3. For me the second was so much easier because he wanted to be like big brother. Positive peer pressure seemed to work, he went from diapers to the toilet in very little time.

  4. It’s interesting how different each kid is, regardless of age, gender, birth order. It’s obvious just from the few comments here already.

    I did almost nothing to PT Grace other than introduce the concept at about 22 months and help her get up on the toilet. She was trained and nighttime dry by 2.5.

    I started Connor the same way. He will be 3 next week and still isn’t daytime trained. If he’s home and naked (which is pretty much always), he’ll usually go no. 1. He’s gotten better about doing it at his grandparents’ houses too. But anywhere else is a crap shoot (no pun intended).

    On Thursday, he was naked and asked me for a diaper. I just kept responding with “Do you need to poop?” Repeat the request/response a dozen times while subtly maneuvering us toward the bathroom. And finally he climbed up and pooped on the toilet. YAY. It’s not the first time he’s done it but it is rare so I have my fingers crossed yet again.
    .-= Recovering Procrastinator├é┬┤s last post ..Gifts for kids that don├óÔéČÔäót mean clutter for parents =-.

  5. Hmm… I started both my kids when they were about Jacob's age. Neither ever rejected the potty, or were scared of it, they just had little to no interest until close to age 3! And then not fully off diapers til age 3.5 for both (*sigh"). But, it's all a distant memory now…

  6. I started both my kids around the 18 month mark…Kylah was not a huge problem, off diapers at a little over 2. My son, on the other hand, is a different story. He has been dry at night since 2.5, and during the day got the hang of it at age 2.5, then decided it was something he didn't want to do, and now at 3.5 he is finally done with pullups entirely. And here I thought i was pretty good at toilet training, realizing later it just depends on their personality, and if they like being clean. My son could have cared less if he went #2 and carried it around in his pullup for many hours. Seriously, it drove me crazy!

  7. Toilet learning with Victoria was a pain. We’d try, she’d show some interest, then nothing. I was hopeful we’d have her partially using the potty by the time Amelia arrived but it was a no go. And there was no way I was going to try teaching her the potty while dealing with a newborn.

    She pretty much showed NO interest until 1 month before she turned 3. One night after the bath she decided to use the potty…and never looked back. She’s dry all night and goes to the bathroom on her own without any prompting. It might have taken longer to get there but there was little to no actual “training”.

    I’m hopeful Amelia will take to the potty much faster. She’s already showing interest, uses the words potty, pee and poo and will climb on the little training potty we have. I’ve yet to catch her and get her to the potty on time but she almost always needs to pee right after the bath (I know because if she gets away from me she’ll frequently end up peein gon the carpet before I can get a diaper on her.)

    Every kid is different but I think in the end you have to let their own interest and desire to do it guide you.
    .-= Carrie├é┬┤s last post ..Follow Friday: Just when you think you’re a bad mommy… =-.

  8. Wee Guy was almost 4y before he started showing any savvy about learning to use the toilet/potty. He’d been dry thru the night for about 6 months but no interest/awareness in what was happening in his diaper during the day. Eventually I just threw up my hands, alarmed that I would still be diapering a 4y old – but once he could pee standing up (into the toilet!) then that was it. He never looked back and the actual training was minimal.
    Pooping was a different matter. His nervous system took the longest time ever to connect between brain and sphincter, but eventually the slow dawning of the “i need a poo” recognition came. Moist flushable wipes and a good book helped the process along. The few times he crapped himself when he was too lazy to stop playing I emphasised the message by making him take a looooooong sloooooooooooow tepid shower to clean up thus making it faster to go poo on the loo rather than in his underwear.
    Toilet training! Ugh – not a stage I wold wish to repeat ever. Roll on old age and incontinence
    .-= pomomama aka ebbandflo´s last post ..We Feel Fine published today! =-.

  9. Turns out if you’re just really lazy about potty training and wait until your kid is embarrassingly old, it doesn’t take any time at all ­čÖé And having the boy first makes the girl seem reeeeally easy by comparison. Although she developed an inordinate fondness for her princess pull-ups and pretended she needed them overnight much longer than she actually did (I think she’d wake up in the morning and pee in them on purpose, the crafty little bugger).
    .-= Allison´s last post ..****************Right there, next to the three-year-old kumquats =-.

  10. Emma was ready way before I was. She was 14 months old and I was days away from having Hannah. She wanted on the toilet and out of her diapers and I did everything I could to keep her in them and out of the bathroom. It worked too. I actually held her off for another couple of months, until I had my feet back under me from baby #2. By then, potty training was a snap. We ended up going to Ikea and purchasing alot of their inexpensive little toilets and putting them all over the house. There was a potting in every room. When we moved out to the country I even started carrying on in my van. Living 20 minutes from everything meant stopping on the side of the hwy to go…and it isn’t as easy for a girl as a boy. Having that potty in the van was a blessing on more than one occasion. I love that I can’t remembe what it is like to buy a diaper or change one.

  11. I feel exactly like the feminist breeder above. I started potty training my kids in their first summer after they turned 2. It took 2 weeks with my elder boy, a little longer with my middle boy, and my youngest is still in diapers after months of trying. A confirmation that, as you say, repeating the same thing and expecting the same result with a different child doesn’t work. Good luck!
    .-= Francesca´s last post ..A new stitch for a new necklace =-.

  12. No tips, but I did want to share that Kieran was 15 or 16 months old when he first went in the potty (we have the same chair as you!). I was SO excited and cocky – my kid was going to PT *early*!
    Um, no.
    He enjoys going in the potty most times, but he still hasn’t gotten to a point where he will tell us he has to go. He’s even gone poo quite a few times.
    I’m just not sure what else to do to help him learn the “gotta go” feeling. I probably didn’t let him spend enough time nekkid this summer, and I won’t subject him to nekkie time in our cold house this winter.
    Good luck!
    .-= Dionna´s last post ..Cream Cheese Cutout Cookies =-.

  13. Amber, your method is nearly exactly what I have done with my children. I am thankful for the slate floors in my new house ­čÖé

    The other day my 16-month-old had an accident on the floor, walked to the bathroom and flushed the toilet LOL! She’s getting some of the concept at least!
    .-= Angela´s last post ..Breastfeeding Representative from Georgia =-.

  14. Let me add a Dad’s perspective…it wasn’t a pain to toilet train Victoria. She learned how to use the potty when SHE was ready. No big deal. One night she said she wanted to use the potty and she did. After that there was no turning back.

    @FeministBreeder: I understand your frustration, but don’t worry about whether or not your son is toilet trained. EVERY child gets toilet trained eventually – it just takes longer for some. I suspsect you’re more concerned with what OTHER people will think about him not being trained. If people are worried that he’s not yet using the potty, they’re probably not worth knowing.

  15. Good luck!

    I’m hoping that the desire to imitate big brother will help us this second time around.

    Q-ster was plain not interested for a long time – no rewards system, “big boy” talk – nothing made a difference until one day he decided he was tired of diapers, and then we were done.
    .-= Lady M´s last post ..More Balloon, Now with Lightsaber Options! =-.

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  1. […] from Strocel uses the naked time technique as well. “During toilet training I … allow lots, and […]

  2. […] months ago now I started thinking about undertaking the grand toilet learning journey with my toddler Jacob. I was full of confidence and feeling optimistic. I was convinced that if I […]

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