How to start potty training

Sharon - posted on 05/14/2010 ( 35 moms have responded )

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I need advice on how to start potty training my DD. I just got her a potty chair and up until the day I got it she was always trying to climb up on the the toilet when she'd go into the bathroom and I'd take her diaper off to give her a bath. I figured that was her way of telling me she's ready but now that I have the potty chair she wants nothing to do with it. she'll sit on it with her clothes on and for a few days she would even try to get on it herself but once I tried putting her on it without her diaper on she has totally stopped wanting anything to do with it. Can anyone give me suggestions on how to get her interested in the potty again or give me the name to a good potty training book or tape or video I might be able to sit and watch with her? She'll say poopy when she poops and there was once that she actually got on her potty and sat there after she already pooped in her diaper but how do I get her 1) interested in the potty chair again and 2) actually use it at the right time?

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Beth - posted on 05/20/2010

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It depends on how long you want to potty train. In my experience before two was too soon. I started my son at 2 1/2 and he was potty trained in a week. Those who "train" at 4 months are basically spending a riduculous amount of time training. Do what is best for you and your child and good luck!

Melissa - posted on 05/21/2010

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This is an individual thing, as others have said. My DD has been obsessed with going in with my husband and I for several months. She pretends to wipe when we do and holds the front of her diaper and does a "pee-pee" dance sometimes. I bought a potty this week. Not with the intention of starting hard-core training but so that she has her own potty to sit on when she's in there with us. She can say "tinkle" and "potty". She has told us several times this week that she wants to tinkle on the potty. She exclaims, "potty" and runs in there. She's able to hold it until I get her clothes and diaper off and then tinkles in her own potty. I'm so proud and excited, but I DON'T want to push her or put pressure on her. We were at a friends yesterday and I offered her their potty insert seat. She seemed interested til she was sitting on it. Right now it seems she is most comfortable using her own potty at home and that's more than fine. She still tinkles in her diaper which is also fine. I want the potty to be here and I'm proud of her for trying it so soon and so early, but I am by no means in full swing potty training mode over here.

A friend of mine, her daughter will be 4 this year, made the mistake of going too hard too fast too early with her child. She also displayed signs early so they jumped in with both feet. She did great for a few months and then regressed to the point of tinkling all over the house, even when she was old enough to know better. At nearly 4, she's still not completely there. She's fine during the day but still wears a pull up at night (that they have to sneak on her when she's asleep or she'll throw a fit). I love my friend, but I'm terrified of having to do this with my own DD.

From what I've read, it is easiest and fastest if you wait til closer to 2, however it is possible that children can be ready before that. I also believe new studies have shown that waiting too long (around or past 3, I believe) is also detrimental. There seems to be a window for when it works best.

I say follow your child's lead, but going to hard too fast can scare them off. If your child has decided she's not loving the potty right now, I'd back off and let her come back on her own.

Good luck!!

Jeanine - posted on 05/19/2010

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I have heard that between 18 and 24 months is a prime time to train...if you wait until 2 to start they are too busy with other things developmentally. My niece just turned two a couple weeks ago and and she has been potty trained and completely out of diapers for a month or two. She tells her parents when she needs to go...no more diapers! My DD is 18 1/2 months. I have a potty for her and when I go to the bathroom I invite her to go to. She will sit on the potty but doesn't go yet. I think the key is to follow her lead and advance as she likes. Make it a non-threatening thing...even fun. There are some great ideas above. I am looking forward to my sis-in-law being around in a couple weeks so I can pick her brain :-) I am introducing things without being pushy at this point. Good luck! :-)

Abbey - posted on 05/18/2010

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My son is starting to tell me every time he "poo-poos" which includes potty. We bought a chair and he sits on it (clothes on) when I go to the bathroom, I give him some tissue and he pretends to wipe. I let him flush the toilet and wash his hands. Today he told me "poo-poo" and rather than going upstairs for a diaper change he ran to the bathroom and went through the clothed routine. The ped says we will know he is really ready when he starts tugging his pants down. So until then...it's a little game to let him act like us. But he has tinkled on it once! YAY! Long way to go.



OH! And I read something about as they get further along you can dump their dirty diapers in the potty to show them where it goes.

Sarah - posted on 05/15/2010

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My son did not statrt potty training until he was 3. when he would go in his diaper I would just put him on the potty for aproximately two minutes afterwards, he would then realzie that you need to go potty on the potty before you go in your diaper. I would tell him to go potty in the potty and not his diaper and tell him it was okay, we will get it next time. encouragement works, do not yell at her or spank her. since my son was 3 i also gave him a sticker on his shirt when he went. My daughter is almost 18 months. I am going to wait a while to train her. the stickers probably wont work with her, she will try to eat them. I am going to have to give a oreo or something like that. good luck and just be patient. don't push it if she is not ready.

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Andrea - posted on 07/14/2013

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I know that it is quite difficult to train a baby to use a potty. But then it is our job to help them all trough out. Just have alot of patience. And try different things in showing her how and when to use the potty. When I started training my baby to use the potty, I actually tried many things until I came across an app - Potty training learning with the animals and I downloaded it. My baby now is good at using her potty. I hope this one will work for you too.

Shova - posted on 06/20/2013

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I am start to give training my boy......would instead recomend you to start introducing the potty, and playing games, and reading stories about potty training....also, i also dowloaded a great potty training app called potty training learning with the animals.......then after months of theory,,start the process...that will definitelly make it succesfull and easily!

Darlene - posted on 06/06/2010

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this is week 3 for us noah was born on november 19, we have had a few wet accidents but hey even 3 year old have accidents, he tell me or his father that his had an accident and doesn't like the wetness, today we even went around to my mothers place which we stayed for an hour and the entire time he was dry and as soon as we came home he did a wee, he seems to grab on to himself just before he goes and he usually does or I sometimes put him on every half hour or hour just depends on how much he has to drink. We have had a few rude people telling us that Noah is too young and wait till he tells you but its our child and we know whats best for our child, don't let anyone tell you how to toilet train your child, if your child sits on the potty or toilet then you know you wont have problems, its when they scream that it will take longer.

[deleted account]

Try sitting him on the potty in front of the mirror? Sometimes my son wants to stand and pee because he likes to watch. But sometimes he likes to do it just because his papa stands...

Deborah - posted on 06/06/2010

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If you find out a way to potty train an 18 month old let me know! My son will go stand beside the potty while he is going in his diaper and if I take his diaper off he will go stand beside the potty and pee ON it but if I sit him on the potty he throws a fit!

Darlene - posted on 05/27/2010

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I've started the full on potty training since monday I've been putting noagon potty and toilet since he was 15 months, I just let him run in his undies and one way i find that he needs to go is he grabs himself so its an indication and just after 2 minutes or less he goes and with poo's he starts grunting, when he does have an accident he hates it with a nappy on wouldn't even know his been. every child is different I knew a lady who had 3 girls and a boy she had her 3 girls trained by 18 months but her son was nearly 3 before he was trained.

Dee

Julia - posted on 05/27/2010

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I started putting my son on the chair at 12 months and would act so excitede and praise him when he did sit on there. Now at 18 moths he loves to sit on his chair and will want me to praise him for it. He hasn't quite relized how to control the whole process but it takes time. He is not scared of the poddie and that is the biggest thing. He knows to go to it because we don't keep him in a dirty daiper so when he is wet he comes to me to be changed and I timed it out to where right before he needed to be changed I would take him to the bathroom. Long explination but this is what worked for us so hope it helps

Adena - posted on 05/27/2010

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I say start off by reading potty books, getting cartoon dvd about potty training and sitting the potty chair in the bathroom and telling her what is for. It takes time but they will get it

Stephanie - posted on 05/26/2010

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i havent evern thought of pottey taining my 18 month old yet!! im just startin my 31 month old and it does take time! she goes with nappies in the moring and we see how she fells by the afternoon! but untill we took her to see her nursery she wasnt interested! and now we are saying that she needs to be a big girl if she wants to go to nursery! and shes using the toilet! but its a steady thing they dont just learn it over night! just let her aware that it is there and maybe when she brushes brushes her teeth sit her in it in her cloths. let her get use to it and feel comftible with it.

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I did elimination training with my son from the day he was born and he always had control of his bowel movements and urination. Please don't let anyone tell you that humans are unable to control their own elimination. You need to feel out for yourself and your child when it's right to start potty training. My son decided that he didn't want to use the potty and only have his diapers when we moved house (he was about 11 months old) He just recently started showing interest again (now he's 18 months) and he's still got it! He knows when he has to go and *sometimes* he'll let me know. If he's having too much fun, he doesn't want to waste time going to the potty.
I did have to get him used to the idea of sitting on it without being ready to run away mid bowel movement (not easy!) We started rewarding him with raisins for 1. telling us he has to go 2. sitting on the potty 3. when he goes 4. when he's all done. The whole process of getting more raisins entices him to stick around until he's finished. He also gets to 'deposit' his waste from his small potty into the big potty and flush it when he's done. VERY fun, apparently.
So now that you know how I've approached it, my advice to you: just make the whole thing about her...make it an adventure so she'll be excited about going on her potty. Visit it during the day even if she doesn't give you any cues and just admire her potty and talk to her about how great it is to be able to use it and then flush.

Tara - posted on 05/26/2010

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I think it depends entirely on the child. My first child potty trained herself at 1, no help or push from us. Both of my boys did not fully potty train until 3 years old and my youngest (a girl) is 18 months old and goes occasionally, I never push it, it is completely up to her

Tiffiny - posted on 05/26/2010

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My son is 18 months and we are just starting. My ped said go ahead and start, just don't be disappointed when we aren't done in a week lol So I don't have any real success or failure stories here BUT my sister has a son and he was showing signs at 18 months as well of being ready. My sister started training him and then her Ped told her not to until he was three. She stopped and at three, when he was supposed to be ready, she had one hell of a battle on her hands. He did things like peed next to his potty and then put his potty on top of it to hide it. He knew what he was supposed to do, but was strong willed enough to refuse. She had to bribe him with hot wheels.

Shannon - posted on 05/26/2010

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I think what you're doing is just right. Your child obviously shows knowledge about potty training concepts, and is ready to start learning. The most important thing to remember about the process is that it must be done on the child's schedule. Children will become resistent if we try to 'push' them to any steps before they are ready. Your child's interest in sitting on the chair at any point, even after a poopy, shows that she is familiarizing herself with the equipment, and making mental links between her eliminations and sitting on the chair. Be patient, and ask her at down times during the day and when you change her if she'd like to sit on the potty. If she says yes, ask if she wants you to take off her diaper. If she does, GREAT! If she doesn't, at least she is being given control over her acclimation to the potty process. Less stress and letting the child dictate when to move to the next step is a guarantee for success.

Melissa - posted on 05/26/2010

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I posted the other day about how my 18 mo old had started using the potty...well, she did it for 4 days and now hasn't used the potty in 3 days. I have to be honest and say I'm a bit disappointed, but I'm not going to push her. I still ask her if she wants to tinkle on her potty when I go. She wants to go in there with me and play with her potty and she'll sit on it with her clothes on but she doesn't want to use it anymore. She went and went for days, then the other day she said she wanted to use it. I took her diaper off like all other times, sat her on it, and she started saying, "no, no"...so that's it for now. The potty will stay there, we'll let her sit on it as she wants, but we'll wait on trying to convince her to really use it again until she tells us she wants to.

Kristen - posted on 05/25/2010

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First of all good for you for starting with her. It is possible and I do not agree that it is too early. My son was completely out of diapers, even at night, at 18 months, and my daughter, who is 18 months, is using the potty. Layla did the same thing your daughter is doing, she was all about it til the first time she sat on it. My son, who is 3, made up a song for her about how she is a big girl and that she is supposed to pee pee and poop in the potty, which distracted her long enough to get used to the idea of sitting on it. If you have a chair, you may want to try one of the seats that go on the toilet. As far as getting her to go at the right time, this is tricky. I use underwear instead of pull-ups, that way she feels it more. This will also give you a better idea of how often she is actually going, therefore how often you need to be taking her. When there is an accident take her to the potty, she will eventually put two and two together. Also you may have to go every thirty minutes and make her sit there for 5 minutes. Everytime she goes it will get a little easier. You may also want to come up with some sort of reward system for her. Maybe take her shopping for big girl panties, if you haven't already, this may also boost her interest. Just remember that the most important thing in potty training is consistancy. Good luck to you!

Amy - posted on 05/25/2010

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My mother trained all of her kids at 18 months! But I potty trained both my kids at age 2. Both my kids were potty trained on the FIRST DAY! This is what I did... Plan in advance what is going to be training day. I put down towels everywhere (mainly in front of the tv and play area. I put the potty chair right out in the front room where they played and watched tv. I had them naked from the waist down. I stayed by them pretty much at all times. When I saw them starting to go pee I rush over put them on the potty and then they would finish going pee in the potty. I then showed them the pee in the potty. I clapped and sang and gave them a potty prize. They understood what the big deal was. They were excited. Then the same thing would happen later. By the end of the day they were both doing it on their own. My daughter even wore underwear to bed that very night and never wet the bed in her life. (I would wake her up at 11pm and sit her on the potty). Good luck, you have to be very comitted for that day for it to work.

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My daughter was 2 1/2 when we started her. Summer is the best times for girls. Leave them with a dress and underwear. Take her to the potty every 30 mins. Sometimes I gave her a book to read and liked it. I also put up a reward chart. She loved stickers and we had a sticker for each time she used the potty. At the end of the chart, we went to the Dollar Tree to shop for something she wanted. Even when you go out, still use the 30 minute potty and she will get the hang of it.

Christi - posted on 05/25/2010

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My oldest was playing around with a potty chair at 20 months and went a few times, then didn't do a thing with it until her 2nd birthday. Literally that week she potty trained. I just left it in the bathroom and when she was ready, she took her diaper off and went. We still have accidents but very rarely now. It seems 2-3 is the most realistic time to potty train. My 18 month old now, tells me poopoo and peepee when she goes or when her 2 1/2 year old sister goes, she wants to go in with her and sit on the stool by her. I see that she is starting to understand what is going on, but from my previous experience, I am not going to put her on the potty just yet. Oh, and my 2 year old LOVES her potty training book and reads it all the time. "Once Upon A Potty" and they have boy or girl specific!

Kelly - posted on 05/23/2010

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With my 3 girls, I put them on the potty 4 15 mins every hour. Then when they went I would give them a toy 4 being a big girl. After a week they got the hang of it n started going on their own.

Tammy - posted on 05/21/2010

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I got my 18month old son a potty chair and it is in the livingroom right now cause he uses it as a stool to get up on the couch but he will sit on it with the lid up at first with cloths and he liked to take it apart and put it together. I took his diaper off about a few weeks later and had him sit on it and he did for about 1min and then was done. He has sit on it a couple of times since then after taking diaper off. He also want to help wipe when I change his diaper and through his pants.
I am not pushing him and in time I know he will learn.
When I go to the bathroom I say mommy got to pee and he follows and watches and wants to see when I get done.
Good luck to us all with this next step of our precious ones growing up.

Andrea - posted on 05/21/2010

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When my daughter was 15 mos she started showing interest in going potty on her own. I cloth diaper, so she could probably have a better sense of when she would go. We had a small potty, and a seat to put on the big potty (she likes things like us, not "special" for her as a baby). When she was at a neighbor's house, she saw him use the potty (and she sees me all the time. As a single mom, she goes with me everywhere). She did exactly what he did...use a little potty as a step stool, climb up to the big potty, and go pee. The problem was teaching her she had to sit down to go, since he is a boy! It took her 2-3 times of peeing on herself to realize this wasn't working the same way for her. Now we have a little potty in the living room, and a small potty she puts on the big potty. I never "tried" to teach her. Sometimes when I walk by the little potty, I'll notice she went potty! And once I heard her going when I was doing dishes. So at 18 mos now, she is about 80% there...with NO trying on my part, but just giving her opportunities and equipment. Sometimes I'll ask her if she has to go potty, and she will either say, "ya" and go, or "no" and not go! So far it is working REALLY well! She even tells me when we are out at the park or the Dr's office, etc. She can go potty anywhere! (But she was also walking at 9 mos, and feeding herself with a fork/spoon at 10 mos). My advice...have things ready for her, but don't feel you *need* her to be "potty trained" at a particular time. Now when my daughter goes in the bathroom when I go, she says, "Yay, Mommy! Mommy go potty too!" and claps for me! So funny! :) Good luck! :)

Tina - posted on 05/21/2010

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There are some great ideas in this discussion. I too believe that all children are different. My oldest DD was potty trained before she was 2. She was just ready for it. My oldest boy was 2 1/2 before we started with him. He had no interest in it at all until then. My youngest DD was 2 yrs. and a week. I think it took her a week to learn to use the potty. She was dry after naps and she was dry in the morning after a full 10 hrs of sleep. So she was more then ready!? After that week of potty traing she never wore a diaper again even at bedtime. My youngest son is 18 months now and is already showing an interest. So we are letting him go in and sit on his potty chair when we go or his older siblings go. He wants to be "BIG" like them. In all of our cases a lot of praise and mm's worked!?! If accidents happen, just remind them where we need to try to potty and let them know they can do it next time!?!

Shada - posted on 05/20/2010

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i just took my daughter to the dr. for her 18 mo check-up yesterday and asked about this. My DD already shows signs of interest in the potty. I bought her a chair that goes on the big potty. She LOVES to go in there and sit. Her doctor told me that it was fine to put her on the potty as much as she wants, but don't force her to at this age. So I may ask her if she wants to sit on it and if she says no I let it go. I think you will know, but I don't think it is too young to introduce it. Just let her get on it when she wants, but don't make a big deal out of it yet. Good Luck to you.

Christine - posted on 05/20/2010

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I agree that all kids are different and that you should start potty training when you feel your child is ready. However, I stress that you should start when your CHILD is ready, not when you feel you want your child to be done with diapers. The earlier response that said some book has people starting to train their children at 4 months is rediculous! Any such book belongs in the trash!

Anyway, my oldest two girls didn't start training until 2. Each of them were very slow about it and weren't completely trained until 2 1/2 and 3 respectively. However, my youngest, who is now 18 months, has for some time now been telling me "poo poo" and patting her butt after she poops in her diaper. Or, if I smell her dirty diaper and ask do you have poo poo? She'll nod her head and start walking toward her room for the diaper change - she'll even get her own diaper. So, I plan to start potty training when the school year is out in a couple weeks (I'm a teacher). I say, just take cues from your child. If she's showing resistence, back off for a little while and then try again. If you try to push it, you'll put her off of it and it will be a bigger battle.

User - posted on 05/18/2010

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The average age a child develops the nerves to know when they need to pee is 18 months. So some children it may be younger and some older. You know your child is ready when they wake up from a nap with a dry diaper.
I started potty training my daughter over a month ago but i dont pressure her yet. I got her interested in the potty by buying her a doll at Walmart that came with its own potty and bottle. I showed her how the doll peed in the potty and praised the doll. This made her want to try it as well.
My daughter also likes Elmo so I bought her a DVD and book on Elmo goes potty.
I believe you should not pressure them into sitting on the potty because you do not want them to associate it as a negative thing.
There are days where my daughter will just go to the potty all by herself. Then there are days where she will just refuse it.

Hillary - posted on 05/17/2010

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I don't agree with Louise... Charmaine is right... There's Elimination training which some people do from like month 3!! I didn't do it though.
I have a few friends who's babies are fully potty trained around 18 months and 20 months... then my neighbors daughter didn't train until 3Y 4 mo!! It depends on the kid

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DONT LET ANYONE TELL YOU WHEN YOUR CHILD IS READY TO TOILET TRAIN!!! I mean really it's your child! she is obvioulsy showing sign of being ready i am getting the book "early start potty training" in this there are children that start at 4 months old, i have heard great reviews for it also the huggies website have a few things on toilet training. and dont worry what some people may say if u read many conversations in November babies there are allot of us who are starting or perfecting toilet training...i wish u all the best as i need it too

Karen - posted on 05/15/2010

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I don't think there are any hard and fast rules about when to start training as all kids are different in this regard (and pretty much everything else). My daughter has been using the potty on and off for a couple of months. Some days are better than others. She can control her pee as she often stays dry for hours and then pees as soon as I put her on the potty. So, it may actually be the right time for your daughter as well!
If she's more interested in the regular toilet then maybe you could get her a little seat that goes on top of it (they're fairly inexpensive and you can bring them with you when travelling etc). Maybe she just wants to be like you. Or you could try reading a special book or singing special songs while she's on the potty. That way she'll have good associations with spending time there.
Also, when I check my daugther's diaper (we do cloth diapers) and it is dry I'll have her touch it and say, "You kept your diaper dry! Can you put your pee in the toilet so that your diaper stays dry?" That seems like a good motivation for her.
Good luck and don't sweat it. I would suggest keeping things low-key and just gently encouraging. She'll do it eventually!

Louise - posted on 05/15/2010

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You are trying to potty train an 18 month old. This is far to early! A toddler can not control there pee until they are 2 years old. Although they are able to feel the sensation that they need a poo at about 18 months. My suggestion to you would be to stop and wait a few more months as your are expecting to much to soon. The adverage age to potty train is between 2 and a half to 3.

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