Friday, March 7, 2008

Potty Training

A mom needs your potty training advice!

Here's the question from a reader:

"I was hoping to have my son potty-trained before our second child arrives this summer. Evan will be 3 in June and will go pee once-in-awhile on the potty chair... But nothing consistent. Any advice?"

There is a lot of advice about potty training out there. I took the "take off the diaper and let the child run around the house naked approach." I put the potty seat in the living room in front of the t.v. with a towel underneath it. I would ask him frequently if he had to go and he would run and sit on the potty when I said that. Sometimes he would sit there and watch t.v. and eventually go.

If you are really worried about your child soiling your carpet or furniture, this probably isn't your best bet. I just tried it and my son ended up not going anywhere but in the toilet.
Well, sometimes he would run to the bathroom and pee on the bathroom floor. But that was easy to clean-up, so I didn't mind.

Eventually, we moved his potty seat into the bathroom and it was all okay from there. We did do pull-ups when we left the house for awhile because I wasn't sure if he would go on a public toilet. Oh, and we brought the potty seat with us everywhere. I took it into restaurant bathrooms with me when we were traveling. It took a few months before I was confidence enough to put him in underwear all the time.

It's probably a good idea to make sure your child is ready to be potty trained. Here's the checklist from the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Greene has some tips for potty training like reading to your child about it, getting some big kid underwear and putting dirty diapers in the potty chair. I also found a list of five potty training methods.

Family has some advice for parents:

"It may take up to 3 months to get potty trained. It is important for you to be patient and supportive. Do not punish your child when he or she has an accident.If your child is not toilet trained within 3 months, consult your family doctor. The most likely reason your child has not learned to use the potty is that your child is not yet ready for toilet training."

How about you? What worked for your kids?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


Karen S. said...

I used potty training rewards. The audio and chocolate treats were powerful incentives to fully potty train our son. He loved pushing the button hearing he is a Big Boy. He was peeing and pooping in his potty within a week. Have a look and see if this would work for you.

Anonymous said...

We tried everything to get our youngest son, who was 3 1/2 yrs old, to use the potty and nothing seemed to work. Then one day he asked to go to Chuck E Cheese. We told him he could go to Chuck E Cheese as soon as he started using the toilet to poop and pee instead of his underwear or pull ups. From that moment on he went both poop and pee on the toilet and did not have any accidents at night at all.

Two weeks later we gathered everyone up for a "potty party" at Chuck E Cheese. His older brother and sister were so proud of him they asked if we could get him a cake for his party. They picked out a smiley face cake with the words "Potty On, Nicholas!" on it.

It's been a year since his potty party and he's still doing great.

Diane Vespa said...

My kids seemed to be the most motivated by the promise of wearing their favorite character underwear. We always went together and picked out their favorite.

Anonymous said...

I downloaded the material from Our son started using the potty intermittently before he turned 2. I thought that he would eventually just start going. I was wrong. As we got close to his 3rd birthday, I decided that I was going to have to force the issue, and that is why I downloaded the material mentioned above. It basically said to take the child to the bathroom every 25 minutes whether they say they need to go or not. We set a timer and did this. He was peeing on the potty in no time. We had very few accidents. However, he turned 3 in February and still won't poop on the potty. We have all kinds of rewards in place, but he just won't do it. I would love to hear if someone has a solution to this problem. We make him clean up the mess when he poops in his pants. He gags while cleaning it up but continues to poop in his pants.

Rixblix said...

My oldest was trained before he was 2 and the younger by 2.5 . We used cloth diapers for both boys and I think that's why it what so easy. Having a wet cloth diaper is an uncomfortable feeling! It's important to put them on the pot AS SOON as they wake in the morning because they'll often be able to hold it through the night. Also, we didn't do pull ups or any thing like that. Before we'd leave the house, we'd sit on the pot and "bob" a balloon back and forth...this was a great way to keep them on it and distract them at the same time.

One more thing...for little boys, when visiting friends our out in public, sitting them backwards on the pot works very well, they can hold on to the wall or tank will automatically be aiming into the toilet.

My friends and I agree that there's a window of opportunity between 18 and 24 months were it seems easier to potty train. After this it seems like it becomes power issue.

I love anonymous' idea of the big reward, too. It just shows that there's control there much earlier than we expect!

Stephanie LH Calahan said...

My parents used cheerios to potty train my brothers - something like sink the ship. They loved it and potty trained quickly.

That did not work for us, however, our son did not care about that game. A friend told us about a book and movie called "It's Potty Time." We got it and he watched it over and over and loved it. It did the trick.

Shannon said...

My approach with all three of my children was more about letting them learn how to use the potty than it was "training" them.

Basically, I waited until they were ready and let them initiate. They all started using the potty and wearing underwear right around their third birthday, and all made the transition in a matter of days. With three chidren, I can still count on two hands the number of accidents they've had in their underwear.

It was hard, especially with my third, not to cave in and try to force the issue, mostly due to pressure I was feeling from other people or when I let myself compare my kids to what other kids were doing. I'm glad I didn't though, this "non-method" just worked like a charm for our family.

Peggy Meyers said...

I have a very head strong little boy and thought I would never get him potty trained. I thought I had tried everything when I found Lora Jensen. She owns a website called and it was magic. It was a long three days but it was well worth it. My little boy is completely potty trained and he's been dry at nights as well. You might want to check her out. said...

My co-anchor's wife, Michelle, just bought the 3day potty training downloadable book. They are trying it next weekend! I will let you all know how it goes!

Kathy said...

In March it was said,
"My co-anchor's wife, Michelle, just bought the 3day potty training downloadable book. They are trying it next weekend! I will let you all know how it goes!"

HOW DID IT GO?! : ) said...

I just emailed Tim to find out. I will post his response soon!

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