Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Potty Training Woes

Hey Humble Readers...

I am a very frustrated hobbit. 

I'm frustrated primarily with myself.  And with all the people who I have listened to about how Ginny should be potty trained by now. 

(and yes, I admit, I am a tad frustrated with Ginny.)

This was our third go round of trying to get potty training started.  And again we crashed and burned. 

It's likely that I'm the one doing something wrong here, but honestly, I'm stuck for ideas.  Here's what I'm doing right now.
  • I refuse to use pull-ups because they just don't make sense.  I have a bunch of the quilted, thick training pants for her. 
  • I put her in her training pants right after breakfast.  She sits on the potty right away, and then every fifteen minutes thereafter, until after lunch (naptime).  She doesn't wear any jeans or shorts. 
  • I push the salty snacks and fluids to make it so that she has to pee more often.
  • I have moved the potty from the bathroom to the kitchen, so that she doesn't have as far to go.  This also helps as I need to be able to keep an eye on Pip. 
  • I took her shopping for pretty 'big girl undies'.  She knows that she will get to wear them when she learns to go pee in the potty. 
  • I printed off a couple of different charts and got some Hello Kitty stickers for her to use when she actually goes on the potty. 
  • I give her a Smartie (like an m&m... it's a Canadian thing) every time she sits on the potty.  I've told her that she will get two smarties when she goes pee on the potty and three when she goes poop. 
  • We sing songs and read stories while she's on the potty to keep her seated and relaxed. 
  • We have tried "teaching" her stuffed puppy, Stanley, to go on the potty so that we can celebrate and go through the whole process.
And still... NOTHING.  Not a single drop in the potty. 

Repeatedly, she will sit on the potty for a while, then get up without doing anything.  Then, later, she will pee in her pants without even noticing.  Seriously, she doesn't notice that she's wet.

I'm getting really sick of cleaning up puddles.  And we don't have laminate or hard wood.  Just linoleum in the kitchen and bathroom, but we live in the living room.  Carpet.  *sigh*

I'm so angry with myself for being pushed into trying to start training her last summer.  It was ridiculous, but it's now set us up for this cycle of frustration and feeling like a failure (yeah, that's totally on me.  She seems oblivious, except for being irritated with having to interrupt playtime to go sit on the potty). 

I know that she's feeling my frustration.  How can she not?  A big part of me wants to pack it in until her birthday next November. 

Someone, anyone, please... tell me that this will happen.  That she won't be the only kindergartener still in diapers. 

(And I swear to heaven above, I won't even bother trying to start training Pip until he's 3!)


  1. I can feel your frustration! And I am so sorry. I am not looking forward to this with Cadet. I helped a family potty train their twins (I was their nanny for part of college). It took 3 months of consistent training before we had any success! My thoughts are with you!!!

    1. Yikes... 3 months? I don't know that I have that kind of wherewithal. And I don't think my carpets can handle it. Looks like I'm going to have to track down some rubber pants.

  2. I am in a similar boat except mine will go on the potty but has a hard time feeling the URGE to go. She pees on herself and doesn't stop or notice. My DD is 3 months older than Ginny and I was getting very, very frustrated. Then a good friend of mine told me that her son was the same and after some research (which I, myself have yet to do) she read that some kids just take longer for that part to develop in their brain. Their brains are not telling them that they need to go therefore they have no clue what is happening. This makes a lot of sense to me as my LO is very smart and catches onto things quickly and 'should' be able to potty train, but maybe she is just not entirely ready.

    1. I've kind of been wondering about this. I'm not certain that she can tell that she needs to pee. She tells me immediately when she has BM, but I don't think she recognizes when it's imminent.

      She's bright and is very into learning new things, so this shouldn't be so hard. I'm just wondering if she isn't aware of her body yet.

  3. I haven't fully committed to potty straining Ruby yet. All the signs are there that she's ready (and have been for a while) but the couple times I've started I was incredibly frustrated and gave up. I've decided that the diapers that remain will be the last that we buy and then after that I'll suck it up and just do it. My plan is to take a week off of work and then just let her run around naked and then putting her on the potty every hour. And I guess there should be some sort of chart or reward involved?? I guess I'll have to figure that out.

    Smarties. As in the little pastel discs wrapped up in a role? I had those all the time when I was a kid!

    1. LOL... no, what you in the US call Smarties are called Rockets up here. Smarties in Canada are like M&Ms. Chocolate with a colourful candy shell. Only they taste better, because Canadian chocolate is better. ;) just sayin'...

  4. Don't be so hard on yourself!!

    I don't think you should worry at all about waiting until her birthday to try again. We had a couple false starts when my girl was 2-3, then just a few weeks before her 4th birthday we tried again and she was really ready.

    We have Smarties here in the states as well-my sisters and I used to try and make them into donut holes without breaking them when we were kids!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

      And like I commented to Laurie, Smarties in Canada are different than what you're thinking of. The little chalky disks that you get at Halloween are called Rockets here. Smarties are pieces of chocolate with a candy coating. Like M&Ms, only better.

  5. So ... my twins are now almost 3. We've been letting Turtle run around naked when he's home Friday-Monday (he goes to preschool Tues-Wed-Thur), but wears diapers when we're out, for naps, at night, etc. He does great when he's naked. So far, he has peed when wearing underwear, but the other day when I dropped him off at preschool, he said something like "Mamma, am I wearing a diaper?" and I said yes, and he said "OK, because I just peed." So I think that's improving. He's only pooped in the potty once, when a babysitter was here. I've talked to the preschool teacher and we've decided to work on potty training this weekend and they'll work on it next week to keep things consistent. I will still plan to use diapers for long car rides, naps, and night time for now.

    Tadpole is a completely different story. She LOVES wearing her big girl underwear, but so far has not felt the urge to pee even once. She definitely notices when she's wet, though, but these are real underwear, not training pants. Since I don't want to spend all my time in the bathroom, I've more or less decided to not worry about Tadpole right now, and try to get Turtle using the potty regularly first. I'm hoping that it will eventually inspire her to do it, too.

    One thing that really helped Turtle is that he has a friend a few months older than him who he REALLY loves to hang out with, and he is semi-potty-trained (I guess he's going through regression, but he is out of diapers most of the time). Since we have two potties (since we have twins), they can go to the potty together at our house, and they are both excited about it. Peer pressure/influence definitely helped Turtle. Tadpole does not care at all.

    Ginny won't go to kindergarten in diapers. Don't worry. I have people pressuring me all over the place, or HAD when the kids were around 2, but I mostly ignored them and now they've stopped bugging me. I don't feel like a failure at all. I think once I mentioned that I took a parenting class called "toilet learning" rather than potty training, and it emphasized that it's a developmental step and occurs at vastly different times for different kids, that it's a long-term learning process, and that there is absolutely no reason to rush it. I feel that way about kids in general - why rush things? The diaper phase is a pain, but it's really just a blink of an eye in terms of an entire lifetime, and I want them to feel comfortable and not coerced or rushed.

    We also do not use charts or bribes, and while I might resort to those if the potty training ends up taking way too long, for the moment Turtle doesn't care. We make a big deal out of using the potty every single time, do a dance, a big cheer, and the thing he always demands now - a high 5 with everyone! He's just very proud of himself, which I think also helps, because he's very self-motivated.

    One more quick note (sorry, this is turning into a book). Often, if I ask Turtle in the morning if he wants to take off his diaper and put on underwear, he says no. But if I just don't put another diaper back on when I'm changing him and don't say anything, he doesn't seem to care, and will then let me know when he needs to go to the potty.

  6. It will happen. It really will! My daughter absolutely refused to put a drop in the potty until one day she said she was done with diapers. And she was. She only had a couple of accidents after that. It didn't happen on my schedule, but it did happen. Honestly I would stop showing her you care. She is probably enjoying having this control

  7. My twins didn't get potty trained until 4. Dovid still refuses to poo in the potty and has accidents all the time. Tzipora (who's 2 1/2) hasn't even started. It's not on the radar, because we can tell she's not ready. It will happen when she's ready.

  8. Okay, I didn't read any other comments first, so this might just repeat what was already said... but really, don't worry about it!!! I had so much pressure to potty train Simon. I even had my mom say "he's going to be in diapers for kindergarten!" to me, which really didn't help. But the fact is that all children reach different developmental milestones at different rates. Trying to force them along before they're ready is really only going to give you frustration.

    My story is that I tried to potty train Simon for about 3 years straight with no luck. I tried every option out there. EVERYTHING!!! (Well except the psycho who told me to just "spank him til he's blue" every time he had an accident. *shivers* Seriously, how do these people get to have children?) Nothing worked. So we'd work really hard with a new method for several months, then get too frustrated and take a month off, and then start with fresh vigor and a new plan... over and over again for 3 years. Then one day, out of nowhere he just says "I have to go potty." And went in and did it himself. No accidents since then. He was just ready and since we'd been practicing he knew what to do. I know 2 other mothers in my neighborhood with similar stories and timelines. (He didn't do this until he was 4 and 1/2 years old!!!) So with my next child my plan is to "practice" going potty rather than potty train. No pressure no discouragement. We'll just practice and play going potty as often as we feel like it. And I'm going to know that when she's ready, she'll know what to do and just do it. The best advice my oldest sister ever gave me was that, unless it's something that will still be affecting them at 18 years old just don't worry about it. No matter what, she'll be potty trained by 18 (LOL) so just relax and know she'll get there when she's ready. Be easy on yourself and her. She just might not be ready yet. *hugs*


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