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Friday, October 23, 2009

Potty Training, Puddles and Pampers

What am I doing wrong? My daughter is 3 1/2 years old and I can't get her potty trained. Oh sure, she will at least tell me when she has to do #2 so we have that conquered but wetting her pants? I'm ready to scream!

I suppose I should take some of the blame considering I jump and change her the minute I notice she's wet. I probably should just let her slosh around for a while and risk the leaks on the carpet, but I don't.

I had a friend suggest that I put her into panties. Her own daughter was horrified the first time she wet herself while wearing panties and never missed a trip to the bathroom again.  So I put cotton panties on her, within 5 minutes she had wet them and didn't even notice. So I  take her to the toilet, make her sit there, clean her up and then put on a fresh pair. Within half an hour, they were soaked. Two hours later, I was putting on the sixth and last pair of panties and gave up.

I watched a segment on Dr. Phil about dragging them to the bathroom 9 times every time they wet their pants. Well by time number six, my daughter is freaking out and I'm so exhausted, I need to lay down.

So I bought her the pull-ups with the "Cool Alert".  No Luck! She didn't even notice the icy-cold crotch and actually prefers this brand now, go figure.

At this rate, I guess I will just keep her in the size 4T pull-ups and hope they continue to make them right up to adult sizes.

In the meantime, if any of you have figured out a way to convince your kids that peeing in the toilet is a lot more fun than wetting their pants, I'm all ears!


The Four Week Vegan said...

I have to say that potty training was my least favorite thing about parenting, so big hugs. I have 3 kiddos and they ran the gamut from one that was almost 4 before he got it to one that trained himself at 18 months, go figure. A lot depends on the child and very little depends on you. I remember with the one that got it at the older end of the spectrum that we did an all day and maybe two all days in the kitchen naked with the potty chair there. He ate lots of salty snacks and drank lots of juice, so that he was gauranteed to need to potty often and alot. The nakedness helped him see how it all worked. The kitchen was good because there was no carpet (we also used the backyard those days too). We read books, made cookies, and had a good day. After those couple of days he started to understand the whole concept and started giving it a go, no pun intended :) Mostly, you just cannot let it be a power struggle. She will learn this concept, but maybe not on your timetable.

Buckeroomama said...

We're lucky with both J & Z. With J, we did a bit of elimination communication and he's been pretty "predictable" when it came to poo-poo, so we haven't had to change a poopy diaper since he was 11 months. He could tell us if he needed to go. Pee-pee took longer, but he was completely diaper-free, dry through the night before 27 months (right before Z was born). Z just recently went diaper-free throughout the night, too. She's now 2.5 years old. What helped greatly with Z is that we used a combination of communication elimination, the Baby Signs Potty Training Program, bringing her along to choose her big-girl underwear (which she absolutely adores). Oh, we also used cloth diapers with Z... and I think those made her "feel" the wetness more. Good luck. With potty training, it's like one step forward and two steps back all the time, until one day it just clicks!

Lee said...

She's just not ready. Keep her in pull ups so she can take them off herself and one day she will say, she wants the big girl panties. Ask her if she wants them every day, if she says yes, remind her she has to go pee pee in the potty. If she says no, say okay and put her in a pull up. Don't worry, she won't be wearing depends when she get's married or goes to college!!

Menopausal New Mom said...

Too Many Hats, thanks for sharing your strategy, I agree that each child has their own timetable and I try not to get too uptight about it, at least when I'm around her. She definitely has learned the concept, just doesn't care which makes it all the more frustrating.

Buckeroomama, Thanks for the advice. I will try letting her choose whether or not she wants to wear the big-girl panties and see if that helps. She definitely didn't mind wetting in them when I was the one who decided she should wear them!

Hi Lee, I agree that she just isn't ready and like both you and Buckeroomama suggested, I'll let her pick when she wears panties. I hope you're right about college although at this rate, she'll be wearing Pull-Ups to kindergarden next year!

Tracie said...

She'll get it eventually. I have boys and they were both horrible to train. One was 3 and the other 3 1/2 when they were fully there. Don't make yourself crazy over it.

PS Dr. Phil is a nut.

Anita said...

Of my three daughters, one "got it" at just prior to two years old and the other two were over three and half. Hard!
One of the things that makes it hard is the pressure we put on ourselves because when we hear so many stories of how little Susie was trained at 18 months, or even 2, we start making the comparisons and immediately start the questioning of our mothering abilitites.
I do believe that most children are capable of being trained by two, but the world has changed. Disposable diapers are comfortable, and moms don't have to spend time washing cloth diapers. The kids and us, have lost our incentive.
I was home with the kids; no outside people to make me accomplish the task faster. Also, I guess it wasn't disgusting enough to make me work harder. I always say - the things that bother us the most, get changed the fastest. Some moms just can't take it, and naturally get the task done faster. I just stopped making excuses and let Grandma and everyone else know that "I am not good at potty training." Like you, some of those methods just wore me out!
I hope I haven't said too much...good post...I hope you will get more suggestions from all the other moms out there.
Talk to you soon!

Kimi said...

Potty training is so the bane of my exsistance. Really. So my second child took forever to potty train. I believe he was nearly four before we got it figured out and I was thinking, "oh man this kid is going to Kindergarten in pull ups. This is not good."

The worst is those moms who are like "Yep had them potty trained by 18 months." I have an overwhelming urge to smack those lovely ladies. I mean...great for them...but lets not brag, right?

Thanks for stopping by my blog

Menopausal New Mom said...

Hi Kys, yes I've heard that boys are much harder to train, my mom shakes her head and tells me how easy girls are suppose to be every time we talk about it. PS: I think you're right about Dr Phil Lol!

Hi Anita, thanks for sharing that I'm not the only one who just doesn't seem to be able to get this done. You're absolutely right about how much easier it is today, she's comfortable in the pull ups in spite of the cold crotch and I'm not bending over the toilet washing out cloth diapers. Times have changed!

Hi Kimi, Thanks for the comment and follow. It does put pressure on when it seems like everyone who hears that I'm still working on this can't wait to tell me how fast their own little one was trained.

Like I don't have enough to do during the day reading all the great blogs out here!

Unknown said...

I feel your pain. Baby Boo is 2 1/2 and I swear she is going to be in college right along with your baby girl, wearing depends. I have tried training pants (the cotton kind) with the rubber pants to hold in the pee but she wasn't the least bit uncomfortable. In fact, she took to announcing, "I peed on the couch!" "I peed on your bed!"

I tried the Dora and Spongebob panties...big deal...she has no pity on wetting in her big girl panties.

I even tried the "you can't go to school if you pee in your pants" bit and she wasn't fazed.

What worked for my oldest daughters was to have my 4 year old potty train my almost 3 year old. She would have her go potty after she went. Each time she went, her sister went.

Good luck and if you find the key, please let me know.

Menopausal New Mom said...

Hi Chocolate Covered Daydreams, glad to hear I'm not alone although Baby Boo is a full year younger than mine so you are not nearly as far behind as I am. In the meantime, if I find that "key", I'll pass it along!

Thanks for commenting, BTW, I hope things are working out for you.

Life Laugh Latte said...

Just want to jump thru the screen and give you a hug, and a hot brownie straight from the oven with ice cream. I think you've gotten a lot of advice. Just want you to know you were heard today. It is hard. It will change. Have a great weekend. Holly at

Mama-Face said...

I have 3 adult children and 8 year old...potty training is the worst. Wow, that helps you in no way...I just want to commiserate with you on that point.

No child goes to kindergarten in diapers; so relax about that as much as you can. I learned it's better to not force a child; just encourage and don't sweat it if they're still attached to those diapers. I'd much rather change a diaper than disgusting
underwear! And the older they are the fewer the accidents. She is also old enough to appreciate a good bribe.

I'm not explaining this well at all...I've just been through this 4 times. Each one of them is potty trained!!!

Now let's talk about menopause. :)

Menopausal New Mom said...

Charisse and Holly, thanks for stopping by and lending your support. Would have loved to have that brownie!

Mama-face, thanks for stopping by and the follow. Bribing is the last thing I wanted to try but the way things are going, thats looking like a pretty good option right now.

To all the ladies who stopped by, thanks for the kind words and advice. Just for the record, I gave her a pair of her panties today in the hopes she would want to wear them. Well she is right now, only problem, THEY ARE ON HER HEAD!

Leslie said...

Try not to stress. My sister has four kids. The two oldest she had them trained by the time they were 2-1/2. Her last two (twin boys) she said forgetaboutit, they'll go in the toilet when they are ready. They did... right before their 4th birthday. I think I have a pic of one of the twins with his underpants on his head too! Haha!

Menopausal New Mom said...

Hi JAM, thanks for your comment, good to know my daughter isn't the only one who prefers wearing her undies on her head.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Too many hats is correct in my experience. I raised seven, and each was different. One was ten years old before he was fully potty trained, but he is mentally retarded. Everything took longer for him. All I know is that getting frustrated and passing frustration on to the child only delays things. It works better to let things take their own course. Good luck!

LZ @ My Messy Paradise said...

No Pull-ups! If she is wearing something she can pee in, she will. My daughter was 3.5, too, when she was trained. She just wasn't ready until then. Just wake up one day, put her in underwear, and set a timer for every 45-60 minutes and bring her to the potty when it dings. If there's no improvement within a couple days, or if she's not telling you she has to go, she isn't ready. Try again in a month or 2.
Good luck! It's so frustrating when you feel they are too old for diapers. I know I did...but it's a lot worse to ave a child feel pressure to use the toilet when they aren't physically capable of feeling they need to. It can take up to age 4 for this physical response to be fully matured.

Ina in Alaska said...

Hi from Anchorage Alaska and thanks for commenting on my blog.... there are no kids at our house anymore (whew) but I feel your pain!! Have a great weekend!

Menopausal New Mom said...

Hi Elizabeth, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, at this point and especially at my age, I'm too old to do anything but wait until she is ready, Lol!

Hi LZ, Yes, I've tried putting her into panties and running to the toilet every half hour, for some reason she preferred peeing in the panties to the toilet, after I ran out of panties, I gave up! Like you suggested, I'm going to try that again a month from now.

Hi Ina, Thanks for the support, it really does help!

KaLynn ("MiMi") said...

I had 5 kids. All were different ages when they decided to use the Big Potty. I would put them in the big heavy cotton underwear and if they pottied in them then they couldn't sit on the furniture. It really didn't take long for them to get the message. I even had trays fixed and a corner where they could eat when they couldn't sit on the furniture. Everyone else got to sit at the table. I guess that was mean. But it worked. We would talk about why they couldn't sit at the table, because they had wet pants. The big people didn't wet their pants and they got to sit at the table or on the couch, or on the bed.

Menopausal New Mom said...

Hi KaLynn, thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment. Five kids, I'M IMPRESSED!! It's all I can do to raise one, must be my age! Luckily, my husband is a hands-on dad when he isn't working!

I like the way you think, I might just adapt some of your method into my own down the road if she doesn't start cooperating soon!

Thanks again for commenting, every little bit helps!


Anonymous said...

I've only just discovered your blog and I know you've gotten a lot of advice already but I just want to share with you what my pediatrician said to me when my daughter was 3 1/2 and not yet potty trained. He told me she just wasn't ready. But not to worry, "She will not go to kindergarten in diapers, she won't go to high school sucking her thumb and she will not walk down the aisle with her bun-bun." And so far, he's been right!

jennifer elaine said...

Make sure that your child is not constipated. This is the most important in getting started. Children’s are afraid of the toilet and the whole process of getting in a cold wet small room. If you are not an expert in knowing about the constipation, get them to a doctor when you see signs of them not eating well or change of mood. Increase the amount of fluid and fiber in their daily diet. Water plays an import role in helping your child staying healthy and helping to digest easily. Give lots of water and encourage with praise when they drink. Fiber enriched food for kids include; Barley, Navy Beans, Baked Beans, Split Peas, Oat Bran, Raspberries, Green Peas, Prunes, Spinach, Broccoli, Raisins, Mixed Vegetables, Strawberries, Carrots, Potatoes, Corn, Rice, Apples, Oranges, Celery.

Read children's story books about potty training to your child. There are lots of books available for you get online on potty training. Reading and imagination helps the child to relate to the interesting characters and behaviors within the story and helps them follow accordingly. Offer lots of praise when your child does make some progress. It is not an easy practice but this will help you see results amazingly when you really put in the effort to make your child proud of their achievement. Avoid physical punishment for not using the potty. Stop all reminders about using the toilet. Replace the reminders with the potty training stories you’ve read to your child. This helps as their mind recalls the story and how will keep it in mind when its time.


jennifer elaine said...

Read children's story books about potty training to your child. There are lots of books available for you get online on potty training. Reading and imagination helps the child to relate to the interesting characters and behaviors within the story and helps them follow accordingly. Offer lots of praise when your child does make some progress. It is not an easy practice but this will help you see results amazingly when you really put in the effort to make your child proud of their achievement. Avoid physical punishment for not using the potty. Stop all reminders about using the toilet. Replace the reminders with the potty training stories you’ve read to your child. This helps as their mind recalls the story and how will keep it in mind when its time.