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Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > The Potty > Potty Training Under Two



13-month-old is saying "poop" when he poops

June 2004

In the last few days, my 13 month old seems to be associating the word ''poop'' with the action. Several times, with me and at daycare, he has said poop and had a poop in his diaper. Today he said poop and then squatted and pooped (in his diaper). I'm excited by this, but it has also taken me by suprise. My husband and I realized that we don't know how to respond or what to do next. Do we give him tons of enthusiastic praise, or do we tone it down so we don't give him some sort of complex about pooping? Should we get a potty and encourage him to sit on it? How do we encourage this and the next steps of potty training in a kid who is only barely verbal (he says a bunch of words and does signs) and without rushing him? I know it will a VERY long process, but I want to do the right thing now to pave the way. I checked the archives and they don't address this issue with such a young child. Thanks!


Good for your boy! This is the first step. What we found very helpful is after pooping, take off his diaper, and together with him, put the poop in the potty and let him flush it down. Wave goodbye, clap hands! Celebrate the poop! You can get a little potty, and let him sit, but because he is so young, my opinion is just keep celebrating the poop and pee, but no other pressure. I got the potty when my first son was about 18 months, he was interested for a while, then lost interest, so you never know. BTW, both my boys just automatically trained themselves right on their third birthday, and we3 never had trouble with the fear of pooping. Maybe fear of pooping in the potty is rare, or maybe all their poop we put in the potty with them, and let them flush it was good. Have fun! lisa
First let me say how great that your baby is beginning to make the connection to the word poop and the action poop. But, in my opinion it's too early to start potty training. It should not be a long process. Once the child has decided to go in a potty, he will. You might offer a potty option, say having one in the bathroom and asking if he'd like to use it. But, no praise or excitement should be connected to his ''successes.'' And, don't be disappointed if he's 2 1/2 or even 3 1/2 and still doesn't have it down. To be potty trained is HIS decision, not yours, and he will do it in his own time. Anonymous
Here is your window of opportunity for potty training, take it! Although you might not be ready for it or weren't expecting it, this is your chance to begin the process, while he is so aware of what is going on. I just potty trained my 2.5 year old girl, and it would have happened a lot sooner if I hadn't been so ignorant. Last year when she was starting to show signs of knowing when she was peeing and pooping, I held off on the training process because we were going on vacation. I totally missed my window. Now with my second daughter, I found out about EC, (elimination communication) also known as early potty training. There is a whole world out there that doesn't even put diapers on their babies, and a growing subculture of parents practicing EC in the States. There are a couple of books written about it, but I haven't read them. The idea is that you learn to read your child's signals or rely on timing to get them to the potty before they go. Then you make a cueing noise or talk to them, saying something like ''Psss'' or ''Do you want to go potty?'' In the beginning you will make about 50 trips to the potty, but then you will slowly be able to cut that down as you're able to predict/listen to your child's cues. My now 5 month old daughter still wears a diaper, but I am able to ''catch'' nearly all of her pees/poops when we're at home. When we're out, I don't catch as many. But I don't really worry about it. I'm just happy to know that she'll be trained way earlier than her big sister, and that I don't have nearly as many diapers to clean. Also, she already almost always holds her pee until morning, so she wakes up with a dry diaper. I know, unbelievable. I hope that doesn't change. Anyway, if your son is recognizing his bodily functions now, you are a long way ahead of where I was with my first daughter.

In my opinion, what we do in our culture is suppress our childrens' ability in the beginning of their lives to recognize their elimination needs. We put diapers containing superabsorbent polymers on them so they feel dry all the time, up until the time we potty train them and have major headaches trying to re-establish their connection with their bodies as toddlers. If you are curious about it, do a search for EC on the Google, and think about joining the Yahoo ''late starters'' EC group. Also, here is a link to an article on starting EC after your child is 6 months old: http://www.white-boucke.com/ reviews/latestarters.html I'm still excited about all this as you might have noticed. Good luck with your little boy! Go for it!


Our little guy started at 16 mos. He was fascinated by watching us, so we got out the potty seat someone had given us and he began sitting on that while we used ours. Then he got hold of a potty training book in a stack someone gave us, so I read it. He kind of 'got it' and much to my surprise one night when he was without diaper, he went in an used the potty properly. I never told him to do it, but I did explain what was happening when I did it. I think he's basically potty training himself, and now at 20 mos has the whole poo thing down; we're working on pee whenever he's diaperless but have a way to go there. We are leaving him without a diaper in the house more and more to facilitate the learning process.

So, while the books say don't rush it and don't work on it until after 2, I don't see any reason not to facilitate whatever the child is initiating in a low key way. We do clap and praise when he does it, but try to contain our glee to a moderate level. I've heard these things move in on and off ways, so have been warned to get too disappointed or pushy if things regress for a while.

Also, is your child using cloth diapers? Ours is. There is a much better feedback loop and such children normally potty train much much earlier than the kids on disposables. margaret


I started potty training my baby girl (now almost three) at the age of four months, after reading a book called ''Infant Potty Training'' or something like that (I since gave the book away). It can be had from Amazon. It may sound strange to Western ears, but most babies around the world are potty trained by the time they can walk, or even earlier. This is especially true, of course, in the ''developing world'' where diapers are too expensive a habit to maintain.

Anyhow, it's not too hard to do, but it does require some attention. Keeping dry is totally natural. In my opinion, humans are hard-wired for this. My daughter was really into it up to the age of about six months, and then went back to peeing in her diapers until the age of about 16 months, when she started walking. She clearly wanted to use the potty, so we put her back on it. You don't have to go 100% all the time, just ease into it. But do your best to keep the diaper dry or off all the time. She was definitely pre-verbal at the time, but could readily make her wishes known through gestures, etc. I was surprised that she really wanted to complete a potty sticker chart in the back of a potty book called ''Lift the Lid, Use the Potty,'' illustrated by Lisa McCue. It had space for about 30 stickers. I was worried about how to keep the chart going after that, supposing it would take many months to complete the training. But much to my surprise, she was very reliable by the end of 30 stickers, and didn't need any more! I was thrilled, especially after my first-born wore diapers until 4 and a half years old, and still freaked out when I forcibly took them away (just kept waiting until she ''showed interest'' as almost all advice books say, which she never ever did. Well maybe she would have at some point, but you can't wear diapers to kindergarten)(but that is a whole other topic--I think she has other issues besides wearing diapers too long).
happy pottying


15-month-old naked time opportunity?

Feb 2009

My 15 month old LOVES to be naked, and recently, he's added a love of peeing on the floor to his magical after-bath naked time. He's got a couple of favorite places to pee, and seems to have the ability to stop himself mid-stream (to increase the hilarity on his part when he starts again!). He's fascinated by mommy and daddy peeing, and likes to offer toilet paper afterwards and flushes the toilet for us.

I bought him a little potty chair and he used it right away--we called grandma, she made a big deal over it, daddy made a big deal, mommy clapped, etc.--but since, whenever I ask him (during naked time) if he wants to pee on the potty, he says ''no'' very firmly--and pees on the floor! He does like to stuff the potty with diapers, which I find pretty funny, and he'll sit on it for a minute, but not long enough to pee.

I realize 15 months is early for ''real'' potty training, but I want to be sensitive to his cues (which seem to suggest he's got at least a potty awareness). Also, I want to do the right thing with the floor peeing--I don't get upset, but I do say no, that we pee on the potty, not the floor. He just cracks up the whole time.

Any suggestions? No idea how to potty train!


Please don't worry about starting potty-training too early! Your child is obviously having a lot of fun discovering his ability to control the flow - it's a good cue. Why not hand him a rag and tell him that he needs to clean it up after he pees on the floor? He'll probably eventually prefer to not have to do that and will head for the potty instead. Talk to him strictly if he does it the wrong way, but give him plenty of good praise when he gets it right. Distract him with a toy if he needs to stay on that potty just a little longer.

In many European countries potty-training starts way before kids turn 1 and no, it doesn't give them a complex. Quite the opposite, I believe there are many health benefits to starting early. Just think of women wearing sanitary napkins during the period and how itchy and sore the skin can get after an especially long and heavy period. Little kids wear something similar not for days, but for years! The phenomenon of cheap diapers that last for 2-4 years of kid's life is still so new that we may not even know what this may mean to the overall/reproductive health. Go potty! Potty training believer


And what exactly is his incentive to stop peeing on the floor during naked time? He thinks it's hilarious. It doesn't matter that you say no.

A few minutes of naked time is the reward for peeing in the potty. Naked time without that, even if your child didn't think floor peeing was the most exciting thing in the world, is just asking for trouble.


We have very recently fully potty trained our 27 month old little girl. Except for at night, she is now diaper free and accident free. Yeah! We had been part-time ec'ing with her since she was about 7 months old. The part I liked best about starting ''potty training'' early was that she very seldom soiled her bottom with poop, which meant less diaper rash and less mess. I don't think, however, that it helped her become really potty trained any earlier than if we had just gone the more traditional route and waited for her to show all the signs of being ready. I think the advice I would give you is, go ahead and encourage your son to use the potty but only as long as it is fun and does not become a stressful thing. Reading books with her while on the potty kept her there long enough for her to pee and poop. The problem with that solution, though, is it becomes difficult to convince her to get off the potty. We only started really potty training her when she asked for underwear about a month ago. Terri
15 months is NOT too young to potty train. I'm not saying that it's right for every child, but for God's sake, he loves his potty chair?! Use it!

Consistency is the key if you're doing the naked nature boy method: every single time he pees on the floor, you rush him to the potty chair and sit him on it. EVERY SINGLE TIME. Even mid-stream. Don't wait for him to finish, because for sure he'll be looking to see your reaction. If he pees in the potty, you cheer. If he doesn't, you look disappointed and unimpressed and say, ''Aw, too bad. Maybe next time.'' You're goal is to get him to work for the reward of praise -- praise and joy and happiness when he pees in the potty, and nothing when he doesn't. (And, if he pees on the floor, he does NOT get praise -- if he then makes more in the potty, he DOES get praise.) And keep on telling him that he needs to say when he needs to ''make peepee.'' Good luck! kevin


16-month-old is announcing his poops - is he ready?

December 2003

All of a sudden our 16 month old son (first born) has started to announce, sometimes, when he has made a "poo poo". All we have done is call his attention to it when we or he goes, in the same way we would point out an airplane flying overhead. No pressure. Since he now seems to be interested we have pulled out the Everybody Poops book and gotten a potty chair. He likes to look at the book and sit on the chair but, again, we're taking his lead. And there are times that we have offered the potty chair after he has pooped and he doesn't want it.

I have read the books but my question is that he seems so young developmentally. Obviously he has reached some milestone in that he is somewhat aware and we would like to capitalize on the "window of opportunity" but we also want to be sensitive to his cognitive development and that he may not be ready for actual potty training. We just don't know. Any advice about where to go from here? Our goal is, of course, to gently encourage continued progress in this area without overwhelming him or turning him off of the whole process. We are not in any hurry. We are completely OK if he doesn't progress at this point and we have to wait until the more average 2-3 years.
Just wondering but not in a big hurry


Our little guy developed an interest and started talking about it at around the same age. He's now 2-1/2 and has the same passing interest that he did more than a year ago. So, yes, it could be that your son is getting ready to train, but it could also be that he's just more aware of it now and will need more time before taking more steps. Our philosophy has just been to keep the potty available, talk to him about it when he seems to feel like it, and let him go for it when he's ready. He just started a daycare/preschool in October where some of the bigger kids use the potty, and he's sort of interested in that, but not really at home yet. But, you never know, you could be one of the lucky early ones! :) Laura
Concerning your curious 16 month old I would definitely move on the potty training. They really do have control and if you're lucky enough to have him verbally express interest this is the perfect time. Most grandmothers tell their daughters these days that all kids used to be potty trained about that time. They were almost all home with the kids all day and didn't lead such hectic lives. My feeling is that we are too busy these days to notice all but the most obvious signs of interest in potty training in kids. Also, potty training is a little time consuming at first. Having different care givers with different opinions can also complicate this process. As I was trying to train my then 2 1/2 year old daughter my infant boy was 6 months. I started putting him on the potty for her to feel a little solidarity. He picked it up beautifully and easily learned to pee when the diaper was off, not on. He would get fidgety when he had to go, so up to the bathroom we all went. My daughter, on the other hand, had never peed out of a diaper before and it was a very difficult transition to learn. Of course they all end up getting it. But do the whole weekend at home thing with lots of juice and some little reward and he'll be done very quickly.

I moved my little boy to pull-ups when he was about 12 months because I got so tired of taking on and off diapers. We would usually only need one or two a day. He went to underpants at 19 months. ladysaraj


I think you should listen to your child's cues and disregard normative information about when children should or shouldn't be potty-training. My own experience: I started calling my son's attention to urinating when he was around your son's age, by making a ''ssssss'' noise when I would use the toilet. At 18 months he learned how to control the flow of his urine by standing up in the bath and trying. I had seen him peeing a few times and made the sssss-noise to call his attention to what was happening. At that point we bought him a potty. He started using the potty occaisionally from that point on, although almost never for pooping. At about 2-years old we started reading him ''Everyone Poops'' and bought him underwear. He asked to start wearing it a 2 1/4, and soon after potty trained himself in the course of a weekend. All this was at his lead (he had a first experiment in underwear that proved too stressful for him, so he asked for diapers again, we obliged, then he asked for underwear a couple months later when he felt ready). The toilet training happened without any stress and he rarely has accidents. Ultimately, between the first awareness of peeing and becoming toilet trained more than eight months passed, so it was still a long process, but one that happened easily and at his prompting. Good luck with your son, if he wants to talk about pooping be receptive! anon

16-mo-old hates diapers - too soon for potty training?

April 2004

My 16 month old hates to have her diaper put on and often asks for a diaper change right after she pees or has a bowel movement. I wasn't considering toilent training until around 2 years, but I really have to approach her carefully to get the diaper on without a fit. I'm not into Elimination Communication.

We've taugh her sign langauge for diaper change and toilet (she uses toilet to mean bowel movement, pee, fart, or burp). She loves to help flush and seems familiar with the toileting proceedure. But, I don't think she can pull her own pants down. Is it too soon to toilet train? If not, how should I do it (gradually)?
To potty or not to potty


Sounds like you have a fine opportunity here. That is IF you want to put in the time, and if you accept that potty training at this age is a collaboration and not an indepedent skill 'cause of pants, timing etc., if you can accept accidents, and if you can approach it without attachment to the outcome. It's certainly possible. It's just not entirely in your control.
EMi
I'm sorry to tell you this, but you ARE doing EC (Elimination Communication). :) You are honoring your childs needs and desires in elimination already. I EC'd #3 starting at 7mo and #4 was diaper free at 5 weeks at home and 4mo in public. I think I'm pretty well versed in EC. :) I would simply take his diaper off. He is telling you what he wants - I'd go with it.
Kathy
It sounds to me like your daughter is ready to at least try potty training, though I'd suggest keeping it low key. She's too old for EC (though I suspect some would disagree), but she shows some of the signs of being ready for traditional potty training. She's communicating that she needs to go, shows interest in the toilet and doesn't like being uncomfortable in a diaper. Even though she can't pull down her pants, she's going to need your assistance for awhile anyway, so you can work with that. You might want to get a potty training book that would give you a set of steps to follow. I'd start changing her diaper in the bathroom. While you're changing diapers, talk with her about how she can tell you she needs to go and you'll help her put her poo and pee in the potty. When you see her showing signs of needing to go, take her into the bathroom, even if she won't sit on the potty, so she associates the activity with the room. A couple of times a day, just take her into the bathroom to sit on the potty, so she gets used to it. Reading books there is a good way to get started. Let her show her dolls and teddy bears how to use the potty. Read her books about pottying. Eventually she'll get the idea and want to go. I bought a potty video so my daughter could see other babies sitting on potties and she totally gets the idea. Now we trying to get her to put it into action. She's 21 months and we started this at 17 months. She was doing similar things to your daughter. Now she talks about pottying, tells me after she's done, runs to the bathroom to go, sits on the potty, etc. Everything but actually going in the potty, but she's getting there. We're not putting on any pressure and she's just enjoying learning it. You may want to let her go naked a little while so she sees the results of the feelings in her body of going potty. It would speed things along. I'm planning to do so outside this summer as I'm not real excited about it in the house. Good luck!
Lori

19-month-old using the potty - what's the next step?

Oct 2007

I am hoping to get some advice on how to transition a 19-month old out of disposable diapers. We began potty training at 17 months because our daughter was pretty verbal and able to understand the concept of the potty. She enjoys it a lot and tends to sit on the potty for several minutes entertaining herself with various toys/books. She has been peeing/pooping on the potty many times a day over the last two months (with toileting ~ every 2-3 hours) but still has wet diapers in between. Approximately once a week she has a poopy diaper. At the moment she is not consistently able to tell me when she has to go to the bathroom.

So- my main question is: How/when do I transition her to big girl panties? I have not felt pressured about the switch given how early she's been potty training but will eventually need to make the change. Is it the case that kids need to consistently be able to detect the urge for toileting and communicate it to you before they can switch out of diapers? Is it generally best to try pull-ups first before regular underwear? (I'm not even sure if they make pull-ups in her size (21 lbs)). I'm assuming that working on daytime continence first would probably make sense.

Any ideas from folks with early potty training experience would be welcomed. Thanks in advance. Rocking the Potty


I have been potty-training my son (23 mo now) for the last 4 months and we have been successful. However, from the very beginning we started using training pants. It was a summer of a lot of soiled outfits, but he gradually got used to them and did not demand wearing diapers anymore. Now he pees on demand almost always and he goes to the toilet gladly. The trick has been to take him there regularly, otherwise he is still not used to telling us about it. He would announce it about 1-2 seconds before he does it. Now, number two has been more difficult and until recently he only pooped when wearing a diaper. He now switched to doing it in the training pants and I think will be ready to do it on the toilet soon. I don't think pull-ups make any difference, they are just like diapers and if we were to use them now, it would take us back. He still sleeps with a diaper. I think at this age it takes longer than if we were to do it when he was 3, but I still feel it's worth it. I am hoping that by the end of the year he will be potty trained. As you can see we do a lot of laundry in our house :-). It was tough at first when he didn't know how to hold it, we could go out only in diapers, but he gradually got better and now we leave the house with an extra outfit. Good luck! BZ
The best way to take the next step in situations like this is to do ''nakey butt time.'' :-) Don't put her in underwear just yet, and definitely not in pullups (which are just diapers in a different format; toddlers treat them exactly the same way they treat diapers). Just leave her bare. This is, of course, more pleasant in the summertime, when temperature isn't a concern and you can spend a lot of time outdoors (where accidents are less of a hassle) but if you're really motivated to do it now, try putting her in dresses with legwarmers (like Babylegs) or warm knee socks. (It's so much easier to use this method with girls, who can wear skirts and dresses and remain 'decent', than with boys!)

She will have accidents at first, but if she's ready to train and you pay close attention to physical cues that she needs to go, she'll be going to the potty almost every time within a week or so. That's when you can let her try wearing big girl undies. (Or cotton training pants, if she's prone to releasing just a dribble before getting to the bathroom.)

You may decide to use pullups for long car trips or other situations when a toilet may not be available on a moment's notice and an accident would be a serious inconvenience. But the more you use them, the longer it will take to go from where you are now to fully trained. You will probably need to use diapers or pullups at nighttime for a while, though; staying dry while asleep may happen pretty quickly after she's daytime trained, or it may not happen for years.

Don't let the process stress out either you or your child. Take it at her pace and don't push if she resists using the potty or gets upset about giving up her diapers. It's okay to go back to diapers and try again next summer or next year. But, depending on your daughter's temperament and attitude, you may find sticker charts or similar reward systems helpful if a little motivational nudge is needed. (Some kids are motivated by this sort of thing, while others are annoyed by it and double their resistance. I had one of each.) Start with a sticker for every time she goes potty. Then award a sticker only when she goes all day without an accident. Then offer a special reward (a new book or toy, perhaps, or a trip to a favorite play place) for the first time she has an accident-free week. Good luck! Trained Two


You can move her out of disposable diapers any time you want. They could be holding her back from fully potty training. Its easier to use them than to make time for the potty.

That said, I would let your daughter run around the house with her bottoms off for a few days. You will be able to tell pretty quickly whether she is really potty training or whether you are being potty trained. If she is consistently putting herself on the potty when she has to go, then she is potty training. If you are consistently putting her on the potty/or asking her if she needs to go when you are beginning to fear for your sofa or she is going to hang out there read like Daddy does, then chances are pretty good that you should not discourage her use of the potty, but drop the issue of princess panties for now.

I've had both ends of the spectrum -- a daughter who trained just before turning three and had the whole thing down within a month and the daughter who started training herself at 18-months who a year later is still having an accident a day. In both cases, the panty-fairy did not pay a visit until I was 100% that the muscle control was there and that they were really ready -- its a gut feeling, not anything that a checklist can tell you.

Most kids treat pull-ups like diapers. I don't view them as a training tool. Pampers makes a kind that fits the 20-lb set.

Don't stress if your child is not truly ready (and she quite well may be...plenty of kids get it by that age). A lot of my first-timer friends got a little stressed out when my second child was basically potty trained before she was 2 while their kids were happily playing while sitting in a poopy diaper. I keep reminding them that it is not an accomplishment going on her application to Berkeley and it is certainly not a reflection of my parenting. Potty training is not a competitive sport. Take your time and let her take the lead. -been there, still there...


My daughter was wearing panties at about 20 months. We never used pull-ups during the daytime (except for occasionally when we went on a long trip in the car in which case the pull-up was on OVER her panties so that she could actually feel if she was wet). Once you decide to switch to panties, plan on keeping a slightly modified schedule for a week or two and initiate bathroom trips every 1.5 - 2 hours. You can use a pull-up for naptime and bedtime for a while. But once you switch to panties, don't go back to diapers unless you decide you want to wait a long time before trying it again. Consistency is key.

Incidently, my younger son is 20 months now. Even though he uses the toliet sometimes, I haven't worried about switching to underwear yet. It does take a little longer to get it down when they are younger. We'll probably wait until he's a little closer to 2. A Mom who likes saving money by not buying diapers!


My daughter potty trained pretty early, too. We did the regular bits: we made up a little song for when she was successful and applauded her efforts when she sat on the potty. We weren't really stressed about ''misses'' though and didn't really focus on rewards beyond the song.

The most important part of the process was that we combined it with naked time and talked about ''listening to her body''. She didn't really have the skills necessary to pull up and down her underwear on her own at that age and so we made it as easy as possible for her to monitor her own needs.

She was rarely unsuccessful. After a while, she would be successful EXCEPT if she was wearing a diaper (which we continued to use if a toilet might not be accessible for a while). Her daycare provider allowed her to wear dresses and no underwear so that she could continue to ''work on listening to her body'' while we were away.

We practiced pulling on and off underwear and, after a little while, she told us she didn't want to wear diapers any more. When she made it to the bathroom and got her pants down and was successful, we made a really big deal about it and if she had a full day of success, we would share with family and friends that we saw and sometimes they'd give extra hugs or stickers. I think she got comfortable with sharing this information with these people so she could feel OK about telling us or asking for help when others are around.

She continued to wear diapers at night for 2-3 weeks after that (we would ask her if she wanted underwear or diapers and let her choose). And then, one day, she said she only wanted underwear. It was slow (about 4 months), but pretty painless (a handful of day time accidents and one night time accident). Good luck! undies please!


I tried to potty train my daughter just after she turned two years old, thinking she was ready. It turned out she was willing to poop in the potty, but not pee--and we didn't get her out of diapers until just after she turned three! In retrospect I wish I'd just waited until she was really ready, rather than starting when I was ready. I just stressed myself out needlessly. I decided not to push the issue of nighttime training at all, and just after she turned four she said ''why do I have wear pull ups to bed?'' I explained that she could stop wearing them when she could go dry all night. The next night she said she didn't need them, and she never once wet the bed. Better to wait Anon
My daughter toilet trained early too. I'd say just start using training pants (the thick cotton underwear). We just talked to her about it, and she was happy to be in them- I think they are more comfortable than diapers. The flip side is we did have a lot of accidents- a few a week, and we had to be vigilant about putting her on the potty every few hours, as it took a while for her to learn to cue us. I think it was still easier than diapers. She poops at about the same time every day, so we usually just put her on the potty and remind her to make a poop. She did (and still does at 2 1/2) wear diapers for naps/night time. tia kadri
My 2nd child (girl) toilet-trained at 21 mos and her little brother at 22 mos. They showed signs of readiness (which included making it abundantly clear that they wanted nothing to do with a diaper) for a couple months before I had the courage to take the plunge. I am a SAHM so my plan was do-able for me. Rubber sheets on the sofa, tarps on the floor, little potty in the playroom and in the bathroom, no clothes on the kid. Lots of towels waiting and a big bottle of stain and odor remover at the ready! Took about a week for them to get the hang of the potty 90% of the time. The other thing I did was no undies. My oldest regressed every time he put on undies and I was told that sometimes they feel too much like a diaper. So my kids potty trained to commando status...not big kid undies. Over time we introduced undies successfully. It takes a lot of patience and consistency. I did not get out of the house much in the initial two weeks. Both kids were also dry through the night and at naptime before they turned 2. I also carried a little potty with us EVERYWHERE. Really takes the pressure off of needing to find a bathroom in a jiffy. Happy training! Potty Goddess
We started potty training our daughter about the same time you did and for the same reasons. It took about 6 months for her to be consistently able to toilet in the day time. I think it would have gone faster had I just bitten the bullet and switched to cloth training pants on a full time basis. Instead I initially just used them for a three or four hour stretch every day and then switched back to a diaper, mostly because I don't particularly enjoy cleaning poop out of a pair of training pants. Letting our daughter run around pant-less in our home in an area with easily cleaned hard flooring seemed to help, I think because she could see the immediate results of her physical urges to urinate or defecate. But we got the most mileage when we committed to keeping her in underwear throughout the day (except at naps and at night). That uncomfortable sensation of wet clothing really seems to do the trick.

Don't be lured in by pull-ups. They are nothing more than fancy (and expensive) diapers. Which is not to say that there aren't times when they are convenient (such as plane trips, or once you switch to a ''big girl bed'' and your daughter wants to get up to use the bathroom herself, but isn't developmentally ready to be dry at night on a consistent basis), merely that there's no special magic to them. Kate E.


My son was potty trained (not nights tho) by 26 months, which is considered really young for a boy. We started around 18 or 20 months, but very slowly at first. Here's a few things that worked for us:

- Put the potty in the living room. My son was/is very active and he just didn't like sitting in the bathroom away from all the activity. Eventually he was fine with it, but for the first couple of months he'd get to hang out on the potty where all the action was. Any time he watched a video, we sat him on the potty.

- Rewards. I think the potty thing is one item that deserves to be rewarded. Stickers for pee, an M&M or one jelly bean for poo in the potty. My son was never into stickers, so I did the candy thing and it was pretty easy to wean him of that. Or those Trader Joe's cat cookies are a less sugary option.

- Don't do pull ups except for the car, etc. They feel like diapers and pretty much look like one. My son did much, much better not wearing pullups NOR underwear for that matter. Having nothing on under his pants seemed to make him more aware of the potty issue. At one point we took him to Target and gave him his pick of ''novelty'' underwear (Spiderman, Thomas the Train, etc.), but with the explanation that they were big boy underwear and not for pee.

- Books about potties. I especially like the ''My Potty Book for Boys/Girls'' series as it's photos of actual kids. Seems they can relate to them more than drawings.

As for night time, we only stopped using pull ups at night around 3.5 yrs, when he would go long stretches without wetting his pull ups. anon


Questions about 20-month-old's potty training

Oct 2007

hi our 20-month-old has been using the potty quite a bit over the last month. this surprised me, as her brother was much older, but she is a very independent girl. this was all her idea! i guess i have a couple of questions. she has not pooped in her diaper in several weeks, and seems to not only know when she is going to go but is able to wait a little while. she is less consistent with peeing, but some days pees 4 or 5 times (same at home and at babysitter's house). what i'm wondering is if kids are physically able to feel when they are going to pee at this age. it seems like she often notices someone else going to the bathroom, or i ask her, and she will sit and often pee. but her diaper is just about always wet, no matter how many times she goes in the potty. how many times a day does a 20-month-old pee? anyone out there know? a few people have told me to put her in underwear but this seems like it might be jumping the gun. i dunno. my other question is--does it take younger kids longer to poop? my daughter will sit for 20 minutes or so. it is hard to wait with her as we have a busy and active household, and a tiny bathroom. and i won't leave her because she has some ideas about cleaning up after herself that she is not quite ready for.

i guess i am looking for some advice and answers on making toileting with a less than two year old work more smoothly. oh, and my daughter has great comprehension but not great expressive speech and language and can't really communicate much about the subject. thanks so much. jamie


It is not impossible to toilet train early. Most of the world does it by 6 months. My 11 month old uses the toilet regularly with some misses into her diaper and hasn't pooped in her diaper since she was 3 months old except on rare occasion. At times she actually will hold her pee until I take her to the bathroom. You should read a book on Elimination Communication, especially if your child has difficulty talking about the subject. As for taking a while to poop I think that is an individual thing. I would suggest getting her a little bjorn potty she can sit on by herself. You can place the potty where ever you are or if you want it in the bathroom just put it out of reach of things she would use to clean herself up with so she has to call on you to help her. I put the little potty in the back of our truck when we go places so my daughter always has a place to go when we are on the road. EC Mom
It's a known fact that toilet training boys is much harder than training girls. This method should work well for both, it just might take boys a little longer to catch on. You have to set a potty schedule. Put them on the pot at the times that it is normal for people to go to the bathroom. When they first wake up in the morning, right after meals, when they wake up from naps, and right before bed. I would make them sit for about 10 minutes each time, whether they actually potty or not. And of course make that 10 minutes fun for them. Sing songs, play patty cake, whatever your child likes to do that will take their mind off of pottying. Also, for boys, when its time to stand them up at the toilet for some reason they get a kick out of ''making bubbles'' in the toilet. So it may be helpful to have Dad demonstrate ''making bubbles'' for them. Potty Champ
Belated advice to the parent of a 20-month old who's obviously interested in the potty: Go with it. Every child gets body awareness at a different age. If your child knows that they have to pee-pee, it must be ''the right time'' so now you just have to figure out what can you do to facilitate it.

My daughter got interested at 15 months, and by 18 months could consistently get to the potty in time if she was naked. So we stayed home and had a lot of naked time, with potties in lots of different places. But I was so daunted by our generation's fear of ''pushing them too fast'' that it was hard for me to respond to her clear signals--I just couldn't figure out what the next step would be, like to help her get out of the house.

Finally, I decided that it was probably MORE confusing to her to have to remember whether she was wearing a diaper, or panties, or pull-ups, and what she could do about each of those possibilities, than to simply make the switch: ''You're wearing panties today. Let's try not to pee in them. Let me know if you have a pee feeling and we'll go to the potty. If you forget, we'll change you.''

Accidents will follow, so you carry extra clothes whenever you go out, check in periodically to remind them to pee (this nagging quickly became unnecessary), and then let them learn by trial and error. There's nothing so disastrous about peeing in one's pants--a little inconvenient, that's all. No need to react strongly--they have the sensation, they know what it means.

I was sorry in retrospect that I couldn't find more step-by- step instructions on how to facilitate the transition. The best thing we did was go to Target and buy lots of pretty panties, which were the best incentive of all.

Hooray for body awareness!

P.S. My daughter is now 28 months and still wears a diaper to poop, but she knows when she has to poop and makes sure to request a change with plenty of time. Also, naps and nighttime are still with diaper--just daytime/playtime with panties. Panty-Loving Mama


20-month-old is ready, but refuses to sit on potty

Oct 2006

My daughter is 20 months old now and I feel she is ready to be potty trained.At 1 year old I started her for fun and she took to it, however I read the books and it told me she was too young so I (stupidly)stopped.This mistake has haunted me ever since.I feel she is ready and old enough to be potty trained but refuses to sit on the potty.Whenever she needs to potty,she goes to a private area and if I look at her she keeps saying,''excuse me'' over and over again till I look away.She will not let me bring her to the potty and refuses to sit on it.I've waited 3-4 months and tried again, she still refuses.I resent listening to the books and info I've read about this.I'm lost.How do I potty train a girl who refuses for me to even look at her while she is busy at #2, let alone will not sit on the potty?I've tried giving her a reward but that does not help.I have no idea what to do.I would appreciate any input,advice,info,help,stories that anyone can give me.I am also struggling with the dred of having to bring her to a public bathroom once she is being (has been) potty trained when I will not even go to one myself.Any advice on that would be helpful too. PLEASE HELP ME!
''EXCUSE ME!!''


I believe 20 months is very early to be potty trained. My own children were not ''trained'' until 2 years 9 months(girl) and 3 years(boy). It was a breeze because they were really ready - absolutely no fights and almost no accidents. Please consider relaxing your expectations around this issue.
Late potty no worry
Most kids will potty train themselves between 2.5 and 3.5 years. If she isn't interested in your attempts, then she just isn't ready and you shouldn't push it. Just wait until she is ready. You can ask her about the potty and remind her about it gently, but if she doesn't want to, just drop it. She'll use the potty when she is ready.
Good luck!
My child wanted underwear at 31 months, so we went ''cold turkey'' on potty training (much praise, no diapers), for 3 weeks until I was sick of cleaning poop off furniture (not once in potty). We switched to pullups , with much frustration and impatience on my part for ... a year! In the end, all those moms who said, ''When your child's ready, it'll be easy & happen quickly''... were right! My child used the countdown to preschool (about a month beforehand) to prepare himself mentally, and once preschool started, has not had a single #2 accident in 6 months! He needed his own time, space, and me to back off & stop making it my own issue & problem. I regret my impatience and frustration that I verbalized to him and I wish I'd listened to all those veteran moms who told me to settle down, he'll be potty trained by kindergarten. It's a skill our children need for life. We're there to guide, but it needs to be THEIR accomplishment, not OURS hang in there, I hate poop cleanups, too
I also started my daughter's potty training at around 20 months. At first she was enthusiastic and did pretty well. But as the novelty wore off, it went downhill fast. She went back in diapers until she was around 2 and a half when I tried again. That was an even BIGGER disaster, with much resistance, anger, and even ''accidents on purpose.'' I didn't think it was a battle worth fighting with her, so back into diapers she went once more.

The funny thing is that just a few months after that very unpleasant attempt I tried again, and this time it rapidly clicked. No tears, no power struggles, and only a reasonable number of accidents before she had it down. We were both happy through the whole process.

So, my advice would be to not worry too much if your daughter isn't cooperating or just doesn't seem to completely get it yet. Let her wear diapers exclusively for a break from potty- related stress, and try again in a few months. When she is ready, it will be very obvious (and easy)
E in Oakland


You could start by having her private spot for pooping be the bathroom. Then, or with this, you could just start putting her in training pants or naked. It seems like she definitely knows before she goes, and she will not like being wet, so the potty maybe more appealing.

As for going in public restrooms, I don't know what your aversion is to them, but you can take solace in having her sit on a potty there too, instead of the public seat. My daughter, who pretty much trained herself at around that age, seems to enjoy visiting exotic bathrooms around town!

Oh, also get the story book, ''The potty book for girls'' and read that to her a lot
anon


22-month-old won't fit in diapers. Potty train?

June 2007

My son is HUGE for his age and has grown out of the largest diaper size. I do not think he is ready for potty training but the only ''diapers'' I can find that will fit him now are pull ups. They say that they have wetness sensors in the diapers that make them cold and uncomfortable for the child to be in so they will be encouraged to go in the potty. I don't think this is really fair to do this to him since we aren't in potty training mode yet. (perhaps I am misinformed about the pull-ups too ...) We have tried to encourage him to use the potty but he is just NOT interested at all. It would be great if we could jump start this process since we will be charged an additional monthly fee at his new school this fall for diaper changing but I know if they are not ready they are not ready. Anyone else had a similar experience? I could use some advice on either where to find EXTRA EXTRA large diapers (or is it okay to use pull ups are the virtually the same as diapers?) or how to get my son interested in using the potty. Clueless Mom


Hi, There are two posts on this very newsletter that might be a warning to you in regards to waiting much longer to encourage your son to pee/poop on the potty. Both sound pretty horrible. My son and all his pals that took the advice of our very smart Waldorf teacher in SF was potty trained before he was 2, for the most part. Here's what she had us do (I may not get every detail, but the gist of it, which was enough for me & my son). And this was when they were 'ready', meaning they knew what the potty was for and when they were wet, etc. 1.) TAKE THE DIAPERS OFF. Stay home for 3 days, no dipes and pump 'em full of fluids. Put potties all over the house. If you have an upstairs, put one up there in the bedroom, or next to the toilet. Let 'em run around half naked (Porky Pig'ing'!) They become VERY aware of their bodily fluids then. Every time they start to go, whisk them to the potty. When cleaning up, it's ok to say 'I don't like having to clean this up'. I can't remember now if part of her 'program' was to lead them to the potty at obvious times, ie, first thing in the AM and right after nap. I feel like that's what we did. Compliment your SPOUSE, talk not to your child, but to your parter, 'OH You're going pee in the potty! WoW!' She also recommends NOT going back to diapers. THat if they wear training pants (and wet them) they will be far less comfortable and therefore, will switch to the potty MUCH faster. She ALSO said this: there is a WINDOW of time in which they will best respond to this. IF you miss the window, see those later posts about 3-4 y olds who will only poop in their dipes. Anyway, I'd put my son in diapers for naptime and bedtime. The dipes at naptime were consistently dry, so we got rid of those. Then by 2.5 he refused diapers at bedtime. He doesn't get up to pee at night. He occaisionally has accidents even now (at 3 y old), but rarely. Some parents in our group who've done this (ALL of them--even the boys were out of dipes by age 2) some still put their kids to bed in dipes. Ours refused to wear them. Anyway, this is the BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED. Wiping up poopy kid butt is no fun! This has been SO SO SO easy. Kids don't need to sit in their own refuse. They KNOW when they've gone. (Also, I could ask our teacher if she is doing any more seminars; I got my info second hand, but she does hold little teach ins about this. Email me if you're interested and I'll ask her.) Again, this is for when you feel like your child is AWARE enough This was not something I had to push on my son AT ALL. --Good luck to you! namastesf
Hi, My son is huge too, and we moved to Pullups a long time ago. He is 2.5 and wears the 4T-5T size, so I'm a bit worried about whether he'll be potty-trained before he grows out of them. I don't think he's really ready for potty training yet. No interest at all.

In any case, if you buy pull-ups, just buy the Learning Designs type (NOT Cool Alert, which were the ones you knew about). The Learning Designs ones have some type of design that changes when there is pee in the diaper. I have never noticed this change and we have never mentioned it to my son. We just use them like regular diapers and we LOVE them so much more than regular diapers. They can pull on and off and also have sides that can be opened and closed, giving us lots of flexibility in getting them on and off my active kid. Target also sells a less flexible style of Target-brand training pants that also fit my son. They work just fine too. Anyway, hope that helps:) Laurel


Potty training really does happen very easily in most cases when the child is ready. My daughter was out of diapers and fully trained in a week when it finally clicked for her. I just wanted to warn you that pull-ups do not hold anywhere near as much stuff as a diaper. I tried a lot of brands and none of them held as much pee as a diaper and they all leaked. Not all of them have the cool feeling, you have to get those specific ones. Try Good Nights, they hold more pee and are big. Or maybe a pull up with a diaper doubler or maxi pad for extra coverage. Pull ups are really expensive, because they just don't work as well as diapers. I think pampers has a really big diaper, size 7 that might work for you. ccs
My son was potty training at 22 months--so don't worry about being 'fair' to him. If you use cloth diapers, the child sense the wetness all the time, so you are not being cruel or anything, it is just the reality of the situation--if you pee in your pants it doesn't magically disappear, it makes you wet. This is the first step to potty training. Have you ever considered using a cloth diaper service and getting gerber training pants delivered and then folding up a cloth diaper into thirds and putting it inside? The training pants go up to size 3T and 4T... then you just throw them in in the hamper and the service washes them for you. It may seem expensive at first, but not as expensive as another year of disposable diapers!

Begin by getting books--and movies--about the potty. Once Upon a Potty movie is good because it shows babies not 3-year-olds with potties... there are tons of books you can get about the potty, too. We call it PottyPropaganda. Good luck, and just keep smiling through it all. you can do it


My son also grew out of diapers but isn't ready for potty- training yet. We now use Huggies pull-ups (size 3T-4T). They have little symbols that disappear when the diaper gets wet but he doesn't ''feel'' wet like some of the other pull-ups that help them feel wet. I found that they don't hold quite as much pee as diapers so the normal Huggies pull-ups are fine for the day but I need to use the Huggies pull-ups 'overnights' for night- time. Costco has the regular daytime Huggies pull-ups pretty cheap and Target has sales. Long's also has their house brand 'training pants' (we use XL sometimes) and they don't feel wet either. Andi
I didn't see the original post, but it sounds like you are using cloth diapers. Cloth-diapered kids potty train a year or more earlier than disposable diaper kids. (If more parents knew that, I bet more would use cloth!) Everyone I know who used cloth had children trained around two years old.

As for personal experience, my cloth-diapered daughter spontaneously asked to ''poop in potty'' at 22 months. Yay! We began talking about it and putting her on the potty when she woke up and 45 minutes after drinking when she was 20 months old. Many parents who don't follow the mainstream on this issue begin much earlier.

The mainstream idea of ''waiting until the toddler shows interest'' comes from T Berry Brazelton, who was on the payroll of disposable diaper companies when he advised doing so. Why would they spontaneously show any interest?? Of course it's not appropriate to force your toddler onto the potty. But they will not show interest if they are not introduced to it, allowed to watch others use it, positively reinforced for spending time on it, and wildly applauded for using it.

When I went through age 2 with my daughter I knew it would never have worked if I had waited to potty train until that age. My 2 year old had absolutely no interest in pleasing me or doing what I encouraged. Luckily, potty use was not an issue because it was already completely ingrained.

I agree with the previous respondant, ''early'' (in many diaper-free countries babies are trained at a year old) potty training was the best child-care advice I ever received!!!

Go for it early and spare yourself and your child trauma!!! Jenny


At a standstill with 22-month old's potty training

May 2004

We have been taking a *very* relaxed, ''follow-her-lead'' approach to potty-training our 22-month old daughter over the past 3-4 months, and are now at a standstill. She seems ready to be potty-trained in every way, except to actually deposit the contents into the potty. At this point, she constantly takes off her pants and diapers whiles playing. Periodically, tells us she's going to go potty, and loves to sit on the potty for prolonged periods of time-- only when she doesn't really have to go. When she does really need to go, she demands that we put on her diaper. She'll hold onto her crotch and cross her legs to hold off pee-ing till I put on the diaper. After she wets/soils the diaper, she promptly asks to be changed. The times I've coaxed her into sitting on the potty (when she really needed to go) with the promise of stickers, she released only a few drops then clamoured for the diaper, which she promptly soaked. I don't want to withhold the diaper for too long for fear of causing her long- term problems with release. Pee-ing or poo poo-ing into the potty (the few times she's done so) seems to make her very excited and proud as well as agitated and anxious. I know we still have plenty of time to get her potty trained, but she really has seemed ready for a long time now-- she's very (exceptionally) verbal and communicative, knows when she needs to go, can manipulate her clothing well, hates wet/soiled diapers, can hold off going till she wants to, etc. Looking back, I wish I had done the ''week-end potty- training'' method way back when she initially showed the interest and readiness. Does anyone have an idea as to what's going on inside her head and what I can do to help her realize it's OK to release her pee and poo-poo into the potty? This has been going on for a while now, and I'm not sure how to progress from here. Kim


Both my daughters were the same! My 28 month old just finally decided it was OK to use the potty. She had control for at least six months, and was wearing a diaper only to relieve herself for about three or four. My oldest did the exact same thing. Just don't stress on it. Your daughter will eventually decide its okay. I have no wisdom as to what is going on in their heads; I often wondered myself! But I do know having gone through it that they'll do it in their own time and not when pushed (tried it; didn't work). Fortunately for me, my youngest was able to pee and poop right away, whereas the oldest still had to use the diaper to poop for several more months. I do not regret this method at all; it was easy and stress free (except for the times I pushed too hard). The weekend method would not have worked for my children I suspect.... Don't push it; your daughter isn't even two. She won't be going to Kindergarten with diapers, and maybe not even preschool! Hilary
Sounds like your daughter is actually very well potty-trained at a young age. I'm sure the potty part will come in soon enough. When my daughter was completely trained for pee, she requested a diaper to poop for several more months. I just dressed her in cloth training pants and gave her a diaper whenever she wanted. She didn't have ''accidents'' because she told me when she wanted a diaper. The potty was always available and one day she just started using it. We didn't make a big deal out of any of this. I encouraged a nighttime diaper, but gave her the choice. As an avid nighttime nurser, she really couldn't stay dry at night until she weaned. anon
It is pretty early for your 22 month-old to be potty trained. Since she knows what to to but doesn't want to, I would give it a rest for a few weeks to a month. Just stop talking about it and let her initiate it. This is the age where they are starting to understand about control and she might not be ready for that next step. If you don't object to changing her diapers, give her some more time without pressure. Joan
We have an organic/no processed foods household. But when it came to potty training I let my beliefs about sugar and food coloring go and introduced Skittles- We kept a jar of them on the back of the toilet and every time my little girl actually went in the toilet we gave her one- Which sometimes meant five or six Skittles per day. It completely changed the game. We were amazed to see what a difference it made. It was probably more significant because she had no other refined sugar in her diet and had not had candy before. She is now potty trained and so I threw out most of the remaining Skittles and eventually they were 'all gone'- It seemed to work for us. We also used it as a color game- she would pick out which color of Skittle she wanted each time- Good luck! Beth

Final step in potty training a 22 mo old

Feb 2004

Help! We have been ''stranded'' in the final stages of potty training my 22 month old boy. I EC'd (elimination communication) since he was a baby and he also wore cloth diapers up until a few months ago so he is VERY aware of his bodily functions. His language skills are excellant and he knows all the words for elimination (plus he has an older brother to watch and learn from). Our problem? Well, we don't always make it to the potty, we are on the move constantly(out of the house) and I can't seem to break through to 100% potty/no diaper. He's also too short to pee standing up so public restrooms are particularly stressful(for me) b/c I don't want him to touch anything. Yes, I have one of those take along, fold up potty seats, but he doesn't like it.

Some people might say he is too young, but I think he is ready and he's always been interested. I also know that I missed this opportunity (my laziness) with my oldest child when he was 20-24 months, and then we had to endure diapers till he was 3 yrs old. Should I just say bye bye to the last bag of diapers, and go with underwear all the way(and all the mishaps with it)? Do you take your potty seat(borjn) with you everywhere? Any creative tips? Cannot stand diapers!


My daughter was 23 months old when we said goodbye to diapers -- and I mean that literally: when it was clear to me that she was ready, I told her that in three more days, she'd be wearing underwear and not diapers, and would be putting her urine in the toilet every time.

For the first two days we stayed home the whole day and spent a lot of time with her sitting on the potty while I read to her. She spent these two days naked so that she'd see right away if urine came out while she was not on the potty. She had six ''accidents'' the first day, three the next, and then about two or three every day for a week, then two or three times a week, then rarely.

I've read in several places (though I can't cite them) that it's best to go cold turkey on diapers. Using them again sends a mixed message. Learning the consequences of missing is part of toilet learning. I required my daughter to wipe up any urine that was on the floor, and if the sheets needed changing we did it together. The only allowance I made, and did this for about six months, was to put her in a Pullup, which we called ''road- trip underwear,'' if we were going to be in the car for more than about half an hour.

I found training pants (Gerber's one brand that makes them) helpful because while they weren't all that absorbant, they stopped the urine from reaching beyond her own clothing, if she was standing, which was helpful when she peed in the grocery store on day three!

I strongly encourage you to stick with it. Your son sounds really ready. Best of luck! xinesinnott


My son ''nearly'' potty trained at 24 months but we did struggle with timing stuff for a while. What I did was to carry an empty wide mouth plastic bottle wherever we went and stopped immediately (often not the most convenient or discreet of locations), and allowed him to relieve himself. Seriously, I had a stockpile in my car. I really think that correlating the sensation of having to pee along with the telling you that he has to pee with enough time to find a place to do so, takes a while to develop. I did not put him back in diapers and just carried changes of clothing for a while. To solve the peeing in public while too short problem, I would just have him stand on the rim with the seat up. It helps with learning to aim as well as the yuck factor. good luck. everyone has dry pants now
I EC'd my last two babies and used cloth diapers with my first two. I think you should pee him when he needs to pee. I still pee my 2yo in parking lots, beside trees, etc., when she absolutely HAS to go. The other kids just wait in the car. Before we go anywhere we all pee. Well, the 4yo and 2yo do. If the 2yo doesn't want to pee on the potty, we pee beside the car. We take a potty in the car with us. I'm not sure if the problem is that HE doesn't want to pee of if you're simply having trouble getting him to a restroom - if it is the latter, I'd simply take him to a bush/tree/car with a potty in it (the 4yo's choice) and pee/poop him there. The 2yo rarely poops more than 2x a day and she always holds it for home, but if your boy poops a lot, simply take a prefold (cloth diaper) with you, place it on the ground and have him poop on it (at the bush/tree/etc.). I hope this has been helpful. Kathy
Sounds like you are right where we were at 22 months. I did carry a bjorn potty in a backpack, stroller basket, or trunk of my car for a few months, along with a spare pair of pants. We did not use pull-ups or diapers because I thought that was a confusing message. My son is 30 months now and I still carry a spare pair of pants for the rare occassion when we have an accident. It's a big help if you can teach him to pee outside. I'm not sure when that ''final step'' happens. He still needs my help with his pants and getting off the potty. Seems like there is always ''one more step.'' Good luck, emi
Not to be totally annoying, but can you get over your wish for him not to touch the toilet seat? He's going to need to do it for awhile -- and I'm sure you've heard this a zillion times before, but one encounters a thousand times more germs on the door handles of public restrooms than on the toilet seats. And obviously you will do much better if you can use the public restroom! My son (2 and a half) is about where yours is in terms of potty training, though in his case it's that I have a hard time getting him to tell me before the need is truly urgent, and sometimes we don't move fast enough. When it comes to public restrooms, I just balance him while he sits on the seat, and he's fine with it. He also won't use a porta-potty of any sort, because it's not ''what big people do'' and he's very into that. I've just taken to carrying two extra outfits and a plastic bag everytime we go anywhere, and reminding him often (''Do you need to go to the potty?''). I figure we'll eventually get there -- but I also assume it's going to take awhile, and that I'm going to have to deal with accidents. Karen
Based on observing potty training in my daughter's toddler class, it doesn't seem to matter too much if the child starts potty training before turning two or after turning two. They don't get it completely until they are about 2.5. Maybe this is physical rather than based on the child's/parent's intent. To prevent accidents until then you will probably need to take a potty with you when you go out, scout out restrooms in advance before going somewhere, and put on diapers when using public transportation. My daughter was completely potty trained day and night at 2.5 after being close to it for several months. LC
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