potty training with underwear???

Lindsay - posted on 03/07/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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So my son is just about 20 months old. He's been 'using' a potty for almost 2 months now, as in he will go poop and pee on it, if he is sitting on it - no problem. However he doesn't seem to realize to go ONLY in the potty, like he will go in it if i put him on there and he has too, but if he isn't on the potty he will just go in his pullup. I was reading that maybe putting him in big boy undies would help he understand to go only in the potty so the last 2 days hes been in just undies...and hes 'gone' in them several times. Like before he will go on the potty if he happens to be on there, but otherwise he will just go in his undies! HELP! has anyone else gone through a similar situation? if so, what did you do about it? I've thought of maybe letting him sit in a wet (not poopy) undie for a bit so he can really 'feel' it..not sure?? I feel discouraged...unsure if I should continue right now with the 'undie only' direction!

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Sarah - posted on 03/08/2013

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He may not be ready for that stage of potty training yet. He is still pretty young, so give it time. It is a processes. What I do is I start a routine first with potty. We go about an hour after we eat and then right away when we get up and right before bed. At first sometimes they go and sometimes they don't. There is a reward if they go and lots of praise and encouragement. But if they don't go it is not a big deal.....as this is the learning processes. As they get more consistant with going pretty much going each time that is when I start to introduce the underwear. But I keep the routine schedule yet.....not asking if they have to go, just taking them at those times. This might be where yours is at. Once they get good with this then I start to ask instead of take right away. So at that hour after we have eaten instead of just taking him I ask if he has to go....if it is a "no" then I remind him not to go in his underwear. I will then continue to ask every so often (as a reminder to them)......if it has been awhile and he is still not wanting to go (like 2hours or so after a meal) then I will say lets go potty and just take. My reward system also changes with the different stages. When I am wanting them to go on their own then the reward is only given when they go when they were asked if they had to go.....if they go when I take them praise is given, but no reward as I am wanting them to move to the next stage.

Denikka - posted on 03/07/2013

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I am doing something similar with my daughter. I basically did naked training with my boy, so I can't help you there :P
My girl will sometimes take herself to the potty or tell me (she's 26 months) but sometimes just won't think about it/get distracted/whatever reason and she'll go in her undies.
When she does, I tell her gently *no, we don't go potty in our undies. We go in the potty.* and then I take her to go sit on the potty for a minute or two.

I'm not on any kind of schedule, so we've been gently potty training since each kid could walk (just getting them used to being around the toilet, flushing it so it's not scary, etc) and then they started actually using their own potty at about 18mo (extremely sporadically, it's slowly gotten more consistent).
In the past month, my daughter has really buckled down and decided to push the training, so I'm supporting her. She's gone from going about 10% of the time up to about 75% of the time.

The thing that you may want to remember is that boys traditionally take longer to potty train than girls do. Plus, you're starting pretty young to begin with. He may lack the physical maturity to actually know when he needs to go, or to be able to hold it long enough to go from *oh, I need to pee* to actually getting to the potty.
Is he able to tell you when he is wet or dirty (in a diaper or undies, will he ask to be changed?).

I would say, personally, if he's been unable to give you any warning before he goes potty, keep encouraging sitting on the potty, but stop with the undies. He's not ready. Try again in a few months, maybe after his second birthday :)
And I would advise against letting him sit in wet undies for any length of time. It can cause rashes and, in my personal experience (with my younger brothers), really doesn't help them at all.
Good luck :)

Liz - posted on 03/07/2013

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I have potty trained my 3 boys in underwear. That way, we both know if he went. I would start by setting a timer for every 30 minutes and taking him to the potty when the timer goes off. If he doesn't go, take him again in 15 minutes. It can be a bit discouraging at first, especially when you have seen results before, but he will get it. 20 months is still young, so you can't really expect perfection yet :)

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