Potty, Here We Come!

Most Favorite Duck using the potty.

We’re home after spending the last two months traveling. It’s been a wild and fun summer, and W’s grown up a lot. One of the biggest changes in the last few weeks is that she’s telling me in many ways that she’d like to start learning about the potty. It started with an increased interest in the mechanics of adult toileting; instead of coming to the bathroom with me just to chat while I used the potty, she wanted to talk about what was going on down there. This has been accompanied by a recent fascination with “the difference between boys and girls,” fueled by a few shared baths with young male cousins. It’s funny how, despite my generally relaxed attitude toward body parts, I’m finding myself pausing and choosing words carefully in response to some of her questions these days. If she points to a little boy’s penis in the bath and asks what it is, I have no problem telling her that it’s a penis, that it’s what a boy has, and that she doesn’t have one (and we talk about what she has instead). When she invariably makes the connection, however, that boys have penises, her daddy is a boy, and therefore (though he’s sitting beside the tub fully-clothed and she can’t see anything) he must have one too — and then points to the crotch of his pants and asks what’s in there — I fumble. Somehow, there’s a big difference between talking to her about little boy penises and talking to her about grown man penises. Thank goodness I’m not the parent who will have to dash through the men’s room with her during future potty emergencies, trying desperately to shield her eyes from the guys and their penises standing around the urinal, while fielding questions about what they’re doing and what they’re doing it with. There are definite perks to being the mama.

Anyway, regarding the potty, she’s also been telling me to change her diaper when she poops (instead of just waiting for me to ask), and even telling me when she pees (which is a big step forward; she never used to care about a wet diaper). She wants to get the wipes out of the box herself, and she prefers to be changed in the bathroom instead of her room; she’s clearly made the connection that toilet stuff takes place in the room with the potty. I have a copy of Elizabeth Pantley’s The No-Cry Potty Training Solution (I just love her books), and I took the “potty training readiness” quiz before we left on vacation. W was not ready, which didn’t surprise me. I took the quiz again yesterday, though, and she is apparently ready to start. I’m excited for her; she’s definitely growing up. I don’t have any expectations that the process will be quick; she’s still young, and I know it’ll be a year or more before she’s really capable of independent toileting, but if she wants to give it a go, we’ll start working on it!

I’m excited, but I also feel totally clueless. I’d love any tips or experiences that any of you would care to share. Also, W is a big fan of books; are there any great books about pottying that your kids loved?

Post-script update: After I wrote this, I bought W a potty that she could just sort of check out, sit on if she felt like it, etc. She is very excited, and has been asking me to read her potty books while we sit next to the potty. Her animals have also been using the potty. A stuffed turtle and Most Favorite Duck used the potty once each. Doof (the lovey) used it twice yesterday, followed by having his tushy wiped with actual toilet paper. I honestly think W is almost as excited about getting to use the toilet paper as getting to learn about the potty!



7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Megyn @MinimalistMommi
    Aug 20, 2012 @ 10:39:03

    First step, prepare to stay home a lot for the first week or so! Also, plan to clean up a lot of pee and poop in random places. That said, I truly think potty-training was just about the easiest thing in parenting thus far! I started both of our boys by 15 months. Both were fully potty-trained (even at night) at 2. It’s pretty awesome. My tip would be to NOT have a little potty. We just put a kid attachment to our potty seat with a step stool. It completely eliminated the need to teach that transition between kid potty and adult potty. Plus, you don’t have to dump the little potty, which can be pretty disgusting at times! I also suggest positive reinforcement. We did an M&M for every success. And that’s pretty much all we did. Pretty simple, but definitely time consuming in the beginning! Good luck!


  2. Supermouse
    Aug 21, 2012 @ 05:23:08

    I have no experience potty-training girls, but we found that our twin sons weren’t as difficult to potty-train as I feared.

    We waited until they were ready as well. Our daycare provider started by asking if they wanted to wear big boy underwear (They were about 2y7m at that point). Twin B did, Twin A was not interested. So we focused on Twin B, figuring Twin A would get on board eventually. Basically, he wore underwear all day, and in the beginning had many accidents. We were constantly asking if he needed to go. Sometimes he would say “yes” because he’d just had an accident, but it was a mere 4wks from multiple accidents/day to trained. Twin A jumped on board around then, and followed a similar pattern.

    As for night training, they basically trained themselves. They just stopped peeing in their overnight diapers, right around the time they were day-trained. We kept the overnights on just in case, until we ran out of diapers. It’s been almost a year now, and no accidents in bed.

    Both boys still sit to pee (they just point themselves downwards) though they are beginning to try standing up and they sometimes still need help with wiping. They still have the occasional pee accident because [whichever child] was too busy playing to remember to go pee.

    Overall, what I would tell other people about to start potty training is be patient. There WILL be accidents. It WILL be messy. Carry changes of clothes with you everywhere you go. Keep the undies on regardless of accidents (I mean, put a clean pair on her), because if she is already conscious of a wet diaper, she probably won’t like the feeling of wet undies and perhaps be more motivated to use the toilet. Don’t go back to diapers during the day.

    Night is a little different, but if you notice she is waking up dry more often than not, you’ll be able to ditch night diapers soon too. We made a big fuss about how the children are “Big Boys” now which totally worked. We did use some M&M/gummy bear bribery at the beginning (1 for pee, 2 for poop) but that phased out after a couple of months. Good luck!


  3. Ashley @ C is for Cockerham
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 06:50:21

    Potty training just started for us this week too. T points to the toilet or signs potty. He started school about 3 weeks ago, so I think seeing the 2 & 3 year olds go potty is the driver for this.

    He has zero interest in the little potty and only sits on our regular one. I need to put the little ring on ours, so we don’t have to hold him so much. I sing to him while he goes, and then he gets a big high five and praise about what a big boy he is. We let him flush the toilet, and he gets even more excited about washing his hands after. I want to get a double step stool (with a rail?), so he can get up to the sink by himself.

    I got pretty burnt out on parenting books when it came to sleeping, so I’ve skipped those on potty training for now. I think I might try to buy some kid potty books for T though, since he is definitely interested.

    This phase has really come as a surprise to us, so I’m taking a laid back approach and following T’s lead. No week or weekend timelines, no candy, and no pressure. We’ll see how much progress we’ve made in a few months!

    PS. I love that T & W are virtually growing up together. How random that this phase is coming at the same exact time?!


    • SquintMom
      Aug 22, 2012 @ 11:19:20

      It’s very cool that you guys are doing this at the same time we are! 🙂

      I pretty much skipped the potty books for parents, but W LOVES books about the potty, so we have lots of those!


  4. Dorit
    Aug 28, 2012 @ 09:21:30

    We’ve been making some progress (little D has been peeing in the potty since Sunday – but just that). He loves sitting on it and reading books, but does not always go. He likes reading non-potty related books, but we have been reading the Hebrew book that is translated to English as “Once Upon a Potty” and he really likes it (I don’t know if the English version is good). We also watched two DVDs on it that he likes – the English one is Rachel Coleman (from Baby Signing Time) “Potty Time”, and he likes that.


  5. Dorit
    Aug 28, 2012 @ 09:25:41

    We actually are not waiting for readiness and are not only going when he asks, and we are actively encouraging and pushing it. We have an external reason to want him out of diapers as soon as possible – he has really sensitive skin and gets really bad diaper rash every time he manages to hide a full diaper – and he has been getting better at hiding the fact that he is going (he can certainly hold it – he waits until he’s out of sight or behind something). We need him out of diapers. I refuse to have him in pain three times a week because of this. and as I said, we are making progress.


  6. Trackback: The Last of My Dignity | SquintMom.com

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