Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Potty Training Advice...

No, I am not here doling out wonderful, unbelievable, too-good-to-be-true advice for all who are awash (*ahem*) in the potty training endeavor.

I want advice. I want stories. I want hope.

Here's the deal. Bubbalu is staying dry and dirty-free all day and afternoons. He's wearing big boy (Lightening McQueen!) underwear and is having very few accidents. And when he does have an accident it is of the wet variety, not the other, less desirable option. Phew.

I have absolutely NO idea how to keep a kid dry during naps and bedtime. Does the pull-up wearing phase stretch onward for a few weeks, months, or YEARS? My guess is that complete potty independence is not in the near future but I am questioning the next step.

Do I grit my teeth, coat his bed in plastic and just let him wet his underwear during naps?

Do I shrug and just put on the pull-ups for the next decade?

What I DID do was put his underwear on UNDER his diaper this afternoon, hoping he would feel when he wets and catch himself. By putting on the diaper over his underwear I was hoping to avoid the mound of bedding laundry as my current dryer takes 3 hours to dry a load (no joke). We're all about living green over here.

Also, I want to know what YOUR household does for the naming of #1 and #2. I'm not too sure I want Bubbalu to yell down aisle 11 in the grocery store, "Mommy! I have to go POOP!"

So there you have it. Give me some hints, tips and advice.

I'm all ears...



  1. Oh girl, I feel your pain!

    B was doing so well, dry through the night & naps, even. We did pullups during nighttime to be safe, even though she'd stay dry.

    Now I wish I had switched to panties after the first week of dry through night. But being the ahem, Dutch person that I am, I thought, no we'll keep going through this pkg. of Pullups until they're gone - gotta get our full use out of them! LOL

    In the last week or two (does hot weather make them lazy?), we seem to be backpedaling. ((SIGH))... A was much easier with all this. ;0)

    We are pretty uninventive over here, btw. "potty" and "poopy". ;-)

    Crystal L.

  2. Well, first of all, I trained Drew when he was 3, going on 3 1/2. EVERYONE told me to wait with boys. So if Jude's doing the days well, cut yourself some slack.

    Yes, we do pull-ups for naps and bedtimes. One day when Drew was 4ish I was OUT of pullups for him, so I made him pee and crossed my fingers for his nap. He stayed dry. After that he only wore one at night. He's a VERY deep, sound sleeper, and just doesn't wake up enough when he gets the, ahem, urge.

    He's been w/out nighttime pullups for a year, probably, now. Occasionally if he's had way too much to drink during the day he'll wet. I have one of those HUGE crib pad thingies under his sheet so it's not a huge deal to change if it happens. That way I just have to change the sheet and not the mattress pad.

    Madeline (now 4) also is pullup-free for naps (probably when she was about 3-3/12) but I still have her wear a pullup at night. Most mornings it's dry but she just hasn't been consistent enough to risk it.

    I know I tend to do all this on the late side of things but it's so much less stressful and I'm okay with diapers/pullups longer.

    We use the real words. And yes, my kids have yelled "BUT I HAVE TO GO POOP" during church a time or two.

  3. PS - if Madeline's pullup is dry or mostly dry, she uses it the next night. See? Money-saving. :)

  4. For stories of our experience, visit in the June/July of '06 area. Peyton was 2.5 when he PTd. We say potty or poop - I'd rather hear that than "mommy, I need to have a bm..." like some teach. Maybe call it Pooh...then your fellow shoppers will have visions of Pooh bear, instead. As for nap and night, i know he wore pullups for another 6 months at night; after that we noticed they were usually dry in the morning, so we were careful to limit evening liquids and made sure he went before bed. I'm not completely sure about nap - I'm thinking he didn't wear pullups during naptime, but we definitely have a waterproof mattress pad on his bed.

  5. Oh, 1 more thing - buy the super-think Gerber training underwear in the baby area at Target. They absorb most of the mess but toddler can still feel he's wet - that way you won't need undies AND diaper.

  6. We have been through this with 3 boys so far. And my advice is that sometimes their bodies are not ready for sleeping dryness. It could be a connection between how hard they sleep (don't wake up when they have to go) or their bladder size. Whatever the reason I know a lot of boys who can't help nighttime wetness.
    It killed our oldest when his younger brother stopped wearing pullups as soon as he was potty trained while he still wore them at night. He was very motivated to stay dry but just could not. I think it was when he was 6-ish that he finally was able to stay clean & dry at night.
    I have talked to lots of men who remember being unable to stay dry at night when they were older & being so embarrassed about it.

    So for the wake times it is a mind thing. But sometimes at night (for boys esp.) it is a "when your body is ready" thing. All three of my boys are over it & for each one it just happened one night.

    Potty training. Good times for sure!
    I only have done it with one girl, but man was that ever easier!

  7. You're through the hardest part, I'd say, if he's staying dry all day. My pediatrician told me there bodies will be ready when they're ready to stay dry at night and during naps, you can't train that. My boys were dry as soon as they were potty trained but not my girls. I did the Pull-up thing for a while at night because they were unable to stay dry, one longer than the other. After a while I did start putting her on the toilet right before I went to bed in hopes of her staying dry the rest of the night. That did help some but she took her own time. Good luck!!!

  8. We had one who wore pull-ups to bed for a long time even after he was daytime potty trained. Like Laura, we limited drinks after dinner and made sure he went right before bed... sometimes twice.

    Do you have the book "The Poky Little Puppy"? Well, there's a picture of a "little grass snake" on one page, and one of the first times our eldest went poop in the toilet it was rather green and long. For several years we heard "I have to do a grass snake!" instead of, well, any of the other possible terms. We had to make CERTAIN to alert all babysitters to this unique terminology!

  9. Round these parts I will occasionally say 'pee' and my kids say "no mom, we say 'tinkle', or 'tee tee'. Not pee!" And the poo, well its just always been 'poo'.

  10. Most of the times they aren't going to stay dry for the entire night until they are closer to 4. I asked my ped about this and she said you can quit giving drinks after a certain hour, put them in bed with underware and then at around midnight wake them up to go again. No thank you! She said kids this age (Sam is 3) can't hold it the whole night. So...I did pull ups. Sam is finally going all by himself...He can turn on the light pull up and down his pants aim and shoot flush wash hands and turn the lights off without help. And there have been times at like 11 when we hear the toilet flush. Naps are different, we still have him in a pull up but it is dry most of the time, but you know I would rather have him keep drinking lots of liquids than worrying about wetting the bed. Ok so that's my input! Good luck!

  11. My 4 1/2 yr old boy still wets almost every night. When my 2 yr old daughter started to stay dry at night he got pretty frustrated that he was still wet even though he didn't think he peed in his bed. I looked for ways we could help him, but most websites say that they just have to outgrow it and a lot said it can be hereditary. He doesn't want to wear diapers (pull-ups) any more because "he's a big boy and big boys don't need diapers" so I found some stuffable training pants from Happy Heiny that work great!
    Good luck and give it time!

  12. Hey Amanda,
    I agree with your friend Moriah...I remember one of my brothers also being a really deep sleeper and have to wear diapers (in the age before pull ups!) to bed. It was embarrassing for him, but there was nothing else to be done! I think you're doing great and are really ahead of the curve! I am just starting to get serious with Amos and he's almost three! So cut yourself some slack and go with the flow! ;)

  13. So you don't know me, I stumble across your blog from your sister in-law Laura's. I have two kiddos who are potty trained. With both we let them were diapers at nap/bed until they were sleeping dry. With all the other things I have to do during the day I didn't want to wash sheets daily.

  14. Well Vintage Dutch Girl I have now done the PT things 3 times and each one was different. My son didn't train until after his little sister and we still had issues with him waiting until naptime to take care of #2 but eventually we go past that. With our middle child training was a breeze because it was her decision. She was fully day trained in a matter of a few days. And our youngest girl is finally day trained. As far as the issue of pull-ups at naps and bed time. I used them. With all of my kids, which we are still working on with the youngest, once they went a whole 7 days in a row staying dry the pull-up left I then knew that they could go with out and there was no going back. Yes there is the occasional accident which yes means laundry but my thought was I didn't want to discourge them by allowing them to wet the bed when they were training, but also once I knew they could go a whole nap several days in a row it was time for them to start being aware of the urge and if the meant some washing of sheets than so be it. My oldest once he was dry a week straight never had an accident. My middle girl has only been out of pull-ups for a few months and that took some forcing and washing of wet sheet and the right insentive. And our youngest we haven't gotten as far as night trained just yet. We're just happy to be day trained. I don't know if this will help you as every child is different, but for what it's worth even if it takes years the joy when it accomplished is still the same.


  15. Well, we call them Stinkies and Tinkle. That may still be too graphic for some. What I have finally settled on for potty training is, I determine what will cause me the least stress. I don't mean work, or effort, I mean STRESS. My daughter having accidents on the floor because she JUST DOESN'T remember to think about whether or not she needs to use the toilet stresses me out like you wouldn't believe. I put her back in diapers. Changing the sheets all the time would be a HUGE stress to me. I would recommend the pull-ups that get cold when they are wet. That encourages them to notice when the accident happens, but still contains everything. We used those on my oldest. I don't have a ton of experience with potty training, because I've only gone through it once, but those are my thoughts FWIW. :-)

  16. You and I have had this conversation before, haven't we? My advice? Just hang in there, girl. Definitely use the Gerber brand underwear for their thickness. My twins pooped in their pants for several months. It was awful. But we persisted and they figured it out. My 3yo did great at making it through nap time. Start with nap time and if it makes you feel better, keep him in a pull up at night. I did with my 3yo out of sheer laziness. Until the pull up was dry more often than not.
    With my twins, we woke them up before we went to bed and that prevented accidents. I also kept their potty in their room so they could take themselves first thing in the AM. This had some downfalls, but it did teach them some responsibility. Just be prepared for them to play in it out of curiosity.

    This didn't come out as encouraging as I had hoped. Hang in there. It will get better. I promise.

  17. Who knew...this was such a huge topic? You could have a blog totally devoted to potty training. There prob. is one out there actually! :) Anyways..C was much easier to train than M. He just started staying dry at night - 1 1/2 yrs. after pt-ing during the day. I think a lot of it comes down to them deciding and actually wanting to during the day and after talking to our pediatrician it is unlikely that boys stay dry at night until at least 3 1/2. There are some exceptions but physilogically they are just not able to. I found the less I pushed the more success we had. I had both kids go a few weeks bare butt (when appropriate) to help them realize when they were going. We tell the kids to say they are "going to the bathroom" and then to have them ask us to wipe them if they are going #2. C insisted we call it "stinky" instead of poop for a long time - apparantly my 80 year old son in the body of a 5 yr. old at the time thought poop was inappropriate! :)

  18. SO my advice is to not sweat it and go with the pull ups until the bedtime and naptime dryness comes. I had two opposite experiences Elliot had no accidents ever and was fine and was not even 2 at the time. Where as Grace Started at 2 and wasn't fully trained until 3. I think patience is the best advice and do all that you can to make your life easier aka pull ups or plastic sheets underneath the bedding. I think this is one area where each child is different and the more you push the worse it gets. As for what to call it we generalize with the work potty for both:)) I am sure you are doing a great job Amanda it will all work out!

  19. Keep up with the pullups while sleeping, but reward for dryness. My kids would do anything for an M&M. Keep a jar on a shelf in his room and give him one immediately if he wakes up dry.

  20. Well, you read how much I don't know about potty training. My thought is that you should just keep doing the pull up thing.

    We do call it tee tee and poop, though. And, yes, it's quite embarrassing to hear proclaimed loudly in any public setting! :)

  21. My daughter isn't potty training yet, but we'll start that this summer. NOT looking forward to it. I have little patience as it is.

    But we call it pee pees and stinkers. You gotta admit, though, that those words are so cute when they come from a little one. Especially when she has a high pitched voice. :)


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