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The Potty Looms - Elizabeth Unexplained
Lots of data but no answers
The Potty Looms
Margaret is sending definite signals that she is ready to start potty training. I've been pointedly ignoring them for a while, but really, the only way she could get much clearer about it would be to write "Hey Mom, potty train me already" on the wall.

Potty training is the one aspect of parenting that I find really daunting, probably because I remember bits and pieces of that period of my life and how much it sucked. Long story short, my Mom went back to work when I was six months old, leaving me in the care or a woman I did not like who tried to potty train me way too early. I'm not keen on the whole potty training thing, and I also hate parenting books, so I won't read a how to manual. Oops.

I could look on the bright side, with Margaret it's not beyond the realm of possibility that she might just figure it out for herself. Perhaps we should just set up the small potty and start buying her pull-ups.
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chenoameg From: chenoameg Date: April 23rd, 2010 11:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Executive summary

I warn you -- if you don't teach her how to do this now when she's ready, you might be in for a long long time when she's three.

Plan A: naked outside weekend, lots of beverages, bribe (m&ms are traditional, but you can choose) for using the potty.

Plan B: a week or so of teaching her how to use the potty; setting a timer for every couple of hours and having her sit on it whether or not she needs to go.

Plan C: have her practice on the small potty from time to time, but don't make a routine of it. (This probably won't work unless she's very motivated.)

Plan D: Wait until she decides she is a big girl, and big girls wear underwear. Sometimes this is encouraged with a bribe of very special underwear.

remcat From: remcat Date: April 23rd, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Executive summary

Everything Meg says is true, especially the first. I know lots of kids who potty-trained before 3, and lots who potty-trained after 3, but the "Hitler Threes" seems to be a near-impossible time to potty train.

My additional piece of advice is that getting emotionally invested in a child's pottying (or lack thereof) is extremely counterproductive. My experience has been that while it is obvious that getting angry doesn't work, the less-obvious "getting excited & happy" doesn't work either.

Good books for the kid:
"Everyone Poops" (very funny!)
"You Can Go to the Potty" (a Sears book, do not be fooled by lesser books)
jaedian From: jaedian Date: April 24th, 2010 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I had a terrible time with both Sara and Alex for different reasons. Sara was 4 at least. And Alex was still having accidents in kindergarten, and was only completely potty trained when naked at age 4 or 5.

Juliette has been a dream. She is pretty much on her own for pee. She still wants to poop in a diaper, but apparently has settled on getting a pull-up changing into it. Pooping and then alerting me to her need to be changed. So it isn't so bad really.

I will say, "don't wait". I waited with Sara cause I had a little baby and clearly missed a window of opportunity. And I waited with Alex for other reasons. And it was SO hard for both. They were stubborn and wouldn't go on the potty for my asking, either every 30 minutes, or say when we were about to leave the house.

I recommend starting with the small potty and letting her go when you go, just to get used to it at first. (IKEA has really inexpensive ones so you can get several)

Plan A can work nicely in the summer. (you can also do naked inside and just have a mop handy, especially if you have hardwood floors)
Plan B you probably should start before you go back to work! (so it is at least underway once you have childcare)

You pretty much are gonna have accidents. You need to be calm about it and not to get upset. Reinforce that she is learning and next time she will do better. (I know I considered it a win when accidents were happening in bathroom as they are getting closer) They learn from accidents, so if you get her in underwear, you may want to keep her in underwear except for sleeping.

You can try training pants, they feel wetter in those so they learn faster. (I have some recommendations if you need as well as a pair I bought from ISIS and never used as she just got it at that point)

Let me know how it goes. I am most of the way thru training Juliette. She isn't 100% but she is getting there. We now need to address the poop thing, but I don't want to push her.

oh and don't push her. Let her lead. You can't make her go on the potty, it has to be her things and I can tell you that is one mistake we made with Sara - pushing too hard. It can set you back months. If she doesn't want to , let her be and back off. She will come back to it again.

Hope this helps.
jaedian From: jaedian Date: April 24th, 2010 04:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, one more thing. Given she is about to experience a lot of changes in her life: the change in daycare, lack of J, you going back to work. I might take the casual approach first and play it by ear. Generally they say not to try sleep or potty training when a lot of changes are going on. So maybe you should just focus on introducing the idea and letting her try the potty with you? (switching to pull-ups is a great idea at this ago though since it offers flexibility) You can see how she handles it, and just leave it casual.

Juliette was interested in going on the potty for awhile 6-9 months earlier and did it a bit and then backed off it for awhile. This isn't unusual, so just follow her lead.
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