Potty training, toilet learning.

[deleted account] ( 2 moms have responded )

My daughter turned three in December and this seems to be my biggest challenge. Not because I want it to be. I subscribe to toilet learning, which teaches a child to use the toilet and about the function of their body. However, I run into plenty of opposition from her day care center, other parents, and my own family.

When my daughter was in her early twos she was on her way to being completely potty trained, or toilet learned. She had met all the criteria except for one: she didn't have the developed fine motor to pull her pants and diaper down, and pull them back up. We were working on that when tragedy entered her life. I left my job at the center we both had been in since she was 6 months old. My intention wasn't to leave in the way that we had, it was to be more gradual, but when I gave my notice, they decided to just let me go at the end of the week. This was tragic for her. She lost all of her friends overnight, and had a really hard time handling it. It also meant that she regressed, and it seemed as if all our hard work on learning how to use the toilet was in vain.

Well, we're past that. We're in a new center, and we're happier than ever. Developmentally she is exactly where she needs to be for three. The center we're in now will not allow her to move up to the big classrooms, out of the young toddler class, because she isn't in underwear. I'm finding it hard to stand my ground and insist that I will not force her into underwear at the convenience of the adults her life, but I also know she is well beyond the other children in her class. She needs to move up. There are other teachers who see that, too, but it is what it is, until she's in underwear.

So I guess the reasons I'm here is to find out what worked with other parents. She will happily use the toilet at school (although it's during diapering, she doesn't ask or go on her own) but completely refuses to use the toilet at home. And the only time she asks to go is during extremely inconvenient times (e.g., we're standing in line at the grocery store, with our groceries already on the belt, or we're on the bus headed home). I don't want to force her but I also suspect she's playing a game with me. Is there anything you have tried, and it just clicked with your child? That seems to be the biggest problem. She knows what her body is doing, she can tell me that she has gone and what it was. She knows what I do on the toilet, where it is, and what it is for. I just don't know what to do to get her to associate those two things.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you,


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Dena - posted on 01/05/2009




Hi Amber...I know exactly how you feel. My daughter who will be 4 in a few week just recently took to potty training....She will go peepee on the potty like a champ now but we are still working on the pooping on the potty. I was at my witts end wtih the whole thing to where it caused me to break out into hives from the stress of it all. I was at my hubands restaraunt one Sunday speaking to one of the servers and she told me she use to work in a preschool in NYC and what they would do is get food coloring and put it in the potty and when the children would to pee pee the color would change to a different color. I tried this as soon as we got home with what I had in my cabinet...my daughter was amazed that she thought she was peeing pink, red, purple, green, & blue. The food coloring I had didn't change colors like I thought it would ( mine was more of a gel food coloring), but if you get the real liquid food coloring it might actually change colors. Anyways my daughter was so excited about the potty that she would go get the food coloring herself put it in the potty and go peepee. Another thing to was that my daughter didn't want us to make a big deal about her going pee pee on the potty, she didn't want the potty dance or the loud excitement screams, so I would have to hold all of my excitement in and just say hey give mommy a high five. The less fuss I made about it the better she felt. I guess she didn't like to be center of attention, just like her mommy. Also she needed her privacy, she didn't want me or my husband in there with her. So she would close the door and lock it and I would have my ear glued to the door just to hear peeing. For the longest time the sound of her going pee pee on the potty was music to my ears...and now we are having a time with her going pooy on the potty. She will hold it all day and wait until we get home give her a bath and put her night time pull up one and then she will releave herself. Although I can say she did go pooy on the potty today and a few weeks ago all by herself...when she is done the first thing she says is you aren't going to laugh at me...she just doesn't want to make a big fuss over it and as for me I am ready to scream from the roof tops from excitement...but I hold it in and give her hug tell her that I am still proud of her and give me a high five...and then we go on about the day. So some children maynot want to big production and some might...you know your child better than anyone esle. I wish you all the luck in the world and know you are not alone!! Ever child is different and they all do things in their own time. I also had to let the whole pee peeing on the potty go. I was on my daughter everyday about it to and I just quite talking about it and that also helped her because the more I stressed about it the more she stressed about it!! Good luck...keep us posted!!!

Danielle - posted on 01/05/2009




I am here too looking for suggestions...all I can offer is I know what you are going through. When my son was 2 he seemed so interested he even would stop in the middle of his little gym class and go to the bathroom. I thought wow this is going to be easy....but he is a week away from being 3 and doesn't seem interested in it at all. Alot of the wesites seem to indicate the harder you try or put pressure on them the harder they will be....so I am trying to read him books about it, give him incentive to use the potty and see how it will work..I thought for sure by 3 he would be ready!

Good luck I am right there with you(=


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