Any tips on potty training?

@ethanmama (1746)
Philippines
March 8, 2007 6:13pm CST
I have a 17 month (18 month next week) son. My mother has been pressuring me to potty train him since he was about 7 months old, I think. She tries to do it the traditional way, bringing him to the sink and making the "ssssss" sound at regular intervals. My son WAS able to pee whenever she (or I) does that but it didn't seem to stick. He still pees in his diaper. I have to admit we're not very consistent with that, though. For the past few months, we've also started putting him on the potty everyday after breakfast. He protests loudly each and everytime unless we bring out a toy for him to play with. Sometimes he poos in the potty, sometimes he doesn't.......then poos later in his diaper. Sigh. We have conflicting opinions with my mom. My mom insists he's old enough, too old even, to still be in diapers. I thought that he's okay, I wanted him to be able to communicate that he needs to "go", which he hasn't. What should we do? When is the right time to start? Are we starting too early? Are we pressuring him...and us...too much?
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18 responses
@shaz6611 (951)
• Australia
9 Mar 07
I am a child care worker and we have just completed a workshop on toilet training for toddlers, here are some tips: A good indicator that your son is ready to be toilet trained is when you would expect his nappy to be wet but it isn't and when he wakes up from a sleep and his nappy is dry. Your idea that you want him to communicate his need to 'go' is also very important. If you wait for the right time toilet training will be a very smooth process and should be complete within 2 weeks. If after 2 weeks there is still little success take a break for a little while before you try again. But remember these things when you start: Some do's: 1. Let your child watch other children use the toilet. 2. Teach your child how the toilet works. 3. Be supportive. 4. Keep the process enjoyable an dpositive. Some don'ts 1. Don't start toilet training when your child is in a stubborn or negative phase or is unwell. 2. Don't use any punishment or pressure. 3. Don't force the child to sit on the toilet or potty. 4. Don't flush the toilet when your child is sitting on it. 5. Don't lecture or remind your child. 6. Don't expect too much of your child, there will be accidents. Good luck
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
9 Mar 07
Thank you so much! I really needed those tips!
@shaz6611 (951)
• Australia
14 Mar 07
thanks for the best response :)
• United States
9 Mar 07
hm i ihnk 17/18 months is to early. i say u should try like at 2 1/2 if not 3.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 07
I also think that 17 months might be too early. Does he sleep through the night without wetting himself? If he takes a sippy cup at night or a bottle than you need to eliminate that first, so that he doesn't have something in his bladder at night. Also the best thing I ever did with my kids is don't use the diapers or pullups. I used training pants that were cloth, or regular underpants, so they felt it when they wet themselves. I also made sure I set them on the potty frequently (like 1 time every hour to hour and a half), so he didn't forget. It is messy but it really does work. They really don't like that wet feeling. Try not to jump back and forth with the decision to potty train though, it will make it harder for you in the end. I have 3 boys going on 4. I waited until they were about 2 1/2 to start with them. You don't want to start too early. Some kids don't have the ability to control their bladders at that early of an age yet, but some kids do. It is a decision that you are going to have to make. I have also had to deal with people being kinda pushy and hinting about how early such and such walked and when they did this and that. You really have to ignore it because all kids are different. That is what makes them all such fun!!
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
9 Mar 07
Hmmm, the general concensus is that it's still early. Thank you, moms, for your comments. You don't know how much it means to me. Being a first time mother, I occasionally have doubts on what I know, and my mom has ideas that sometimes don't jibe with mine, so I doubt myself even more. Re: my mom, I think she was really just trying to help.
@Michele21 (3095)
• United States
9 Mar 07
My son just turned two (24 months) and we are not potty training him yet, he just isn't ready. You can pretty much tell when they are ready, if your son isn't interested in sitting on his potty chair then don't make him!! I think trying too early can discourage him, if he doesn't understand. I would give your son a break and if he wants to sit on the potty then let him, but don't pressure him! Make it fun and a happy time!
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@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
10 Mar 07
Thanks for your advise! I wouldn't want my son to think of pooing or peeing as an unpleasant experience!
• India
9 Mar 07
The right time to start potty training is when the child is a little over two years of age. I think many of us have been trained by our moms who used the 'sssss' sound but that was in the good old days. Times are achanging. Children, especially small children cannot be pressurised too much. If they do happen to poo in bed, let them be. Do not reprimand them for it.
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
9 Mar 07
Thank you for your comments. You're right about our moms training us using the "ssss" sound. Her friends also did that :).
@deeeky (3669)
• Edinburgh, Scotland
9 Mar 07
A special seat can be put on the main toilet and that will encourage him a bit more and understand the need for him to go there if he needs it and make him feel more grown up at the same time.
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@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
9 Mar 07
I already bought that, but he's still quite small for the seat I bought AND he cries when we try to put him there. I guess it's not yet time for him :)
• Philippines
9 Mar 07
It's good your mom is trying to help you with your son but personally, i think your son is too young for the potty training and it seems he's not that ready yet for it. My kids - all five of them - learned to go in their own time at different ages. Don't worry too much about teaching him on when and where to go. He'll go and he'll do it when he's ready. You're doing a pretty good job being there for him so relax. It's all in good time.
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
9 Mar 07
Thank you. You've made me feel so much better that I'm having the right idea! :)
@butmommy (18)
• United States
9 Mar 07
i myself have three daughters ages 7,5 and almost3. all my daughters did it on their own. amazingly enough they all did it at the same age each was 22months old. i dont remember doing anything in particular other than making them aware of their body and how it works. i did that from the time they each were very little and kept up with it. being constant is very important and they will pretty much be ready when they are ready.them all being girls i would take them to the restroom with me and let them know what mommy was doing. in november of this year it will be 2years that i havent changed a diaper!!!
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
9 Mar 07
I know, it's really difficult to be consistent, especially at this age! Thank you for your comments. You've helped a lot and actually encouraged me!
• United States
9 Mar 07
I agree with the fact that boys tend to develop the muscle control later than girls. I wouldn't worry about it too much honestly. My son started being curious about the potty at about that same age but just wasn't ready to use it all the time. What we did was to have his potty chair nearby in the bathroom so that if he decided to go in there he could. Everytime he used it we made a big fuss and told him what a big boy he was. We even made up a "potty" song to sing when he did something in the potty. He sometimes went in just to hear the song I think. He didn't get to where he could go days with "big boy" pants until he was around 3 (maybe 2 1/2 at the earliest).Now he's just turned 5 and I can keep him in underwear all day,even at naptime. He still needs pullups at night,but is getting better at keeping them dry at night too.My pediatrician gave me the best advice ever. Just remember that he'll work it out in his own time. How often have you heard about a college student wearing diapers? If he is still having problems at age 6 or 7 then there might be a more severe problem, but you have a long way to go for that.
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@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
9 Mar 07
You're right. I haven't heard of a child going to school in diapers. Hmmm, maybe I'll do the potty song if we're going to train him later. Thanks!
@charms88 (7546)
• Philippines
9 Mar 07
Hello ethan, here's what I did with my 2 girls. My eldest daughter started using the potty at around 2 years old. But I never pressured her to do so. She was completely weaned from diaper at the age of 4. But she still pees on her bed from time to time. Just look at my bed...full of stains. My youngest stop wearing diaper as early as 2, but that's because she saw her big sister not using diaper. And this one never stained my bed. You see, every child will outgrow things like that in their OWN TIME. I can't give you much advise regarding your mom. They can't understand that we are living in a generation far different from theirs. You just need to extendddd more your patience toward your mom. Avoid pressuring your son too much. It won't do any good.
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
9 Mar 07
Thank you so much for your comments. I know, I'm basically being patient with my mom, because I know she means well and it's good for her to help me out with my firstborn. :)
@eden32 (3978)
• United States
9 Mar 07
Especially for a boy, 17 months is just too early for him to have control over the muscles. What your mom is doing sounds more like a type of "elimination communication" technique (try googling it for a good defination) than a potty training technique. EC does work great for some families, but it requires a lot of work on the part of the mom & any other adults who care for him. If EC is not something you are interested in, I'd tell your mother (gently) to back off. It really is too early for potty training.
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@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
9 Mar 07
Yes! I believe they call it elimination communication. I don't quite believe in it though because I believe that it won't really last. Oh well, what I'm doing right now is ignoring mom when she's a bit too pushy about the issue. She said she did EC with the 3 of us and it worked well for her. However, we were born before the advent of disposable diapers and EC was easier at that time because you'd have to deal with less washings if you do it. Thank you for your comments!
@beaniegdi (1966)
9 Mar 07
He's a bit young yet, boys are always a bit slower than girls at this. They havn't developed properly to have control over this. If you make a fuss about it you could end up with problems. I would leave it until he was a few months older, my first son was still in nappies until way after my 2nd son was born and he was 2 and a half then.
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@laurabeth (146)
• United States
9 Mar 07
He is still very young, the thing about potty training as with most things is that they need to be ready. When he is ready he will do it. If you push him to do it (which if he is protesting sitting there that is pushing) it will only take longer. Boys train later than girls most times anyways and at his age he more than likely doesn't even have the full physical control. How many people do you know went to high school in diapers? Give him time and let him do it on his terms or you will be in for the battle of your life.
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• United States
9 Mar 07
I think that you are trying to hard. He is still very young in my opinion to potty train. He has to be able to know when he has to go and I am not sure at his age if that is possible. I think it is like a habit..He has not had to do anything for the last 18 months just go and get his diaper changed. Now he has to learn the difference. I would be afraid that if you pressure him too much that when he is ready he will not want to because it has been such a stress on him and that he will remember all the stress and the drama.
• United States
9 Mar 07
try putting some of the blue stuff you clean the toilet with in his potty and tell him it will change color when he pees in it !It turns green and some kids are helped in training with this mine did !
1 person likes this
9 Mar 07
It is true that he is old enough to still be in diapers. becuase you should make them to sit on the potty within a year. No matter whether they pee in it or not. But they get used to it by the time they reach one year. Slowly after a month they wil start doing in it and by the time they reach 1 1/2 years they do regularly in the potty. Anyways you can try doing it now also. It will take a month or two to get used to.
• United States
9 Mar 07
When my kids were young I remember having a terrible time with the first one. They didn't like being in wet diapers, but didn't want to go on the toliet either. We tried the pull up training pants which they liked and went through the whole big boy routine. What we didn't know was the training pants we picked out kept him a little too dry. When we discovered this, we bought a little cheaper brand that made them feel uncomfortable. Also I wouldn't let bathroom time become play time. He sounds like he knows how to communicate just fine if he's using going to the bathroom as a way of getting a toy to play with. Just let him start to have a fit, correct him for his behavior and then try again. At this point it will take a lot of patience at first but it should pay off. When he does what he is supposed to do, then he can have a toy or something else as a reward. Its better to nip it at the start than have an older child who throughs a fit to get his way.
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@chaime (1153)
• Philippines
9 Mar 07
My son is 23 months old and is still not potty trained. So you're not alone in this boat. Like you I want him to feel ready before I actually pressure him into going potty. I don't think there is a right time to start potty training, I feel that it depends on the child whether or not he is ready. I think you're doing okay with regards to that. Try to be more consistent when you're teaching him. But don't think it's done overnight, it takes time and just let him do it at his own phase, he will eventually learn.
@JWREDBUD (28)
• United States
9 Mar 07
My experiance with children has been to keep them at broomstick distance when potty training. Of course being that I have no children it often leaves me with awkward glares from parents as I scream "pee little johnny pee". This tactic was common practice at my daycare when I was younger so I've embraced it as my own and have shared my wisdom with my fellow camp counclors.