Thursday, October 04, 2007

I Want to Outsource Potty Training

This potty training business is MUCH harder than I thought. And it seems everybody I talk to has some advice on the issue - even those with kids who are 40 and those who don't have any. This one woman at work was telling me what I should do because she “potty trained” her dog and that made her qualified as a “pet-parent."

And then there are those parents who want convince me that their kid is Doogie Houser, like this one mom I chatted with at a birthday party on Saturday who told me that her 13-month old daughter uses the potty “all the time” followed by “and how old is yours…?”
I told her that her baby should be on “That’s Incredible!” She gave me a weird look, I think only because she’s too young to have ever seen “That’s Incredible!”

Things we've tried so far:

1. Potty Party: She pooped once and then she was over the party business
2. Bribing with Candy: Worked once, and that's about it. And I’m weary about giving her too much candy going down this path.
3. Toilet DVDs: We picked up that Elmo one where Elmo sits on the pot once and then talks and sings about it for 30 minutes. It didn't work, she’s 2 not 5. And did you know Elmo has a dad?
4. Lead by example: Going with mommy, and locking the door when it’s my turn (she walked in on me once and it totally confused her)
5. Diaper-less: She had no qualms about just going anywhere.
6. Wearing Underwear: Still goes OR holds it until she gets a diaper before going to bed.
7. Potty Books: Nothing. I finding these books to be a sham since it seems they’re geared more for 4 or 5 year-olds or even just the adults buying them. They don’t show enough doing because they get caught up in some long-winded story.

Now I’m starting to use unconventional methods:

1. Monsters, Inc (movie): She LOVES this movie, although she thinks Sully is Cookie Monster no matter how many times I tell her he’s his cousin. There’s this one part where Boo goes to the toilet then I tell my daughter “See! Boo uses the potty…” This gets her to go sit on the toilet.
2. Princesses: I’m not sure when or how it happened, but my daughter is really into princesses -I think it's because they can talk to animals and they wear “pretty” dresses. Anyhow she really wants a dress, but we keep telling her princesses use the potty. This gets her to sit, but nothing else.
3. Old School: My great-grandmother potty-trained me and about 18 cousins in one day by going “old world” on them. Feeding them salty crackers, making them drink water, even feeding them dried fruit to make them go and pretty much sitting them on the toilet all day. I’m not sure which village she was in, but apparently they did this when kids were between 18-24 months because there was no such thing as disposable diapers. I tried a version staying home all day, but it didn’t work. It was just messy and a whole lot of whining. When I did put the diaper on for the night, she pooped.
4. My own Potty Picture Book: I’m making strange little illustrations (I’m an artist remember?) of nothing but everybody and their mama sitting on the toilet. Kids, princesses, astronauts, teachers, monkeys, everything. Current books don't do enough. I know my daughter sits when she sees, not because of the story, so I’m hoping this will assist in the endeavor.
5. Peer-Pressure: Her cousins go to school and so does the crazy 4-year old next door that she idolizes. She really wants to go, but we keep telling her school means using the toilet. I’m not one for peer-pressure, but it seems to be having an influence.
6. Outsource: I’m looking…(India?)

Parents, any unconventional methods that worked? I’m having nightmares about having a 7 year old eating nothing but chili beans and still wearing diapers... and Huggies adding me to their VIP club.


Jenster said...

Wish I had great advice for you, but I don't. My son was nearly 3 when he finally potty trained. Which is better than 5 so I'm okay with it.

Blog Antagonist said...

I just waited. I was in no hurry and I figured if you wait until it's their idea, that's half the battle fought. You don't waste a whole lot of time convincing them how fun and neat it is.

My boys were older when they trained. One was almost 4. But when they decided it was time, it was accomplished in, literally, days. Nobody was stressed out. We didn't have a lot of gross accidents.

Shrug. Worked for us.

beta mom said...

The first time my son, now 9 - then 2, pooped on the potty we did throw the a poop party....but that was just a thinly veiled attempt on my part to get cake.

We've been through it all - stickers, songs, books (Everyone Poops is still our favorite book) foods with a laxative effect, etc. and the truth is - they just do it when they're ready. Screw the mom with the potty prodigy - you just know that baby's gonna grow up and run off with a biker.

Finally -
1) Elmo has a dad?

2) Sorry, but princesses don't do anything as unseemly as poop. They have roses where their nether-reigions should be.

Tuesday Girl said...

What worked for my twins was candy bribes because they never get candy and when they went to the potty one time without us, I had "dora" call and congratulate them on going potty. They LOVED it.
I think I found the phone calls on and I paid like $4 for it.
Worked like a charm.

Idaho Dad said...

I was so happy when our daughter was finally toilet-trained at the age of 4. If I could just get her to wipe her bottom. She's 6 now and still forgets. It's just disgusting... We go through a lot of bleach.

Yaniv said...

Have you tried:

Reading to her while she's on the potty?

Giving her a magazine to read to herself (e.g., National Geographic Kids, Ladybug, etc.) while she's on the potty?

Both should work to increase the amount of time she sits, contently, on the pot. The longer she sits, the more likely she'll poop.

And give lots of encouragement for success. I usually go with something like "That's WONDERFUL! I'm so PROUD of you!"

Darren said...

We kind of did outsource it. She used the potty more at daycare than at home. We never pushed it at home at all until she was ready.

I think she first used the potty around 1 1/2, but wasn't using it consistently until at least a year later.

They should bring back That's Incredible.

painted maypole said...

nothing unconventional, but when I knew MQ was almost there I cleared our schedule for a week, went without diapers, and stayed home. The first couple of days were rough, but then I started keeping track of how often I was cleaning the floor (appx. every 60 minutes) and then started making her go every 55 minutes. This got her used to going, and so by the end of the week she was mostly going by herself, with occasional reminders from me. Also, we just put a potty smack in the middle of the living room, as well as in the bathroom, to avoid that huge long dash through the kitchen. ;)

Pageant Mom said...

Sorry, no help here.

Due to lack of time and aversion to stress at home:

We used candy

(...judiciously, of course)

Only took 4 months.

(I know BAD mommy, but I am a pageant mom....)

Pageant Mom said...

...Oh and APPLAUSE.

Sorry i keep doubling my posts, I have this quick draw HIT ENTER thing going on right now.

Anonymous said...

I outsourced - the daycare did most of the work - and I would highly recommend that route.

My daughter too was (and still is) highly into the princesses. How the hell this happened, I'm not sure. One time she peed on one of her "princess dresses" and tried to convince me that it wasn't wet so she didn't have to change. They a strange breed, these wee girls.

And hey, thanks for leaving a comment over at my place. A little testosterone does a mom blog good.

mama speak said...

Kid #1 asked to go one day when she overheard my mom & I talking about it. She was 18 months old. For the next 6 months she'd go whenever we asked her to. Nice, huh?

Yeah, until at age two when she realized she could get MORE attention by NOT going. By that point I realize she got it, so we spent a lot of time on the patio w/out a diaper and a potty seat. She eventually wore down, but really it was on her time frame more then ours.

Ironically, #2 is wanting to sit on the potty these days. I recently heard a good trick: put them in cloth diapers w/ a cover, because they won't like the way it feels they should potty train faster.

Antique Mommy has some good advice on this too

BTW--did she express an interest or are you ready to potty train, cause if she didn't decide she wanted to, it's pretty much a no go.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the just waiting until they decide they want to do it camp. A lot less stressful.

The only reason for rapid potty training is if you're using cloth diapers in my opinion.

Jackie said...

I've been through it before and now I'm going through it again. I'm not even going to pretend to have any good advice. Potty training: the. worst.

sourpatchbaby said...

At least when she's seven she can change her own diapers, right? Right? Oh rats! I'm going to be that mom whose kid can't go to the sleepovers because their friends won't change their diapers, aren't I? No help here, The Kid will not use the potty at all. And BTW, my grandmother used a similar tactic on all my cousins. Except that she'd sit them in a potty from early morning until late at night and they couldn't get up until something was in the bowl. They even had to eat while sitting there and would fall asleep too. A very cruel thing to do to a child.

Anonymous said...

Try backing off for a month. Put the potty away. Don't talk about it. Nothing. Then re-introuduce the whole concept and be sure to use LOTS of bribes because more than likely, she's just asserting her independence which is a tough battle to win. But really good bribes trump EVERYTHING!

Maureen said...

Wow, sorry no real advice here... I can't even remember potty training time (must have blocked it out). Actually, I think we too, waited until she showed some interest, but for the life of me I can't remember how old she was! But I had a good laugh at your expense anyway; sorry 'bout that!

(and if you're outsourcing, India IS probably your best bet -- with that spicy food, she'll be on the pot constantly!)

Ryan said...

There is a time for everything and some kids just need more time. Mine certainly did. I will say this though, we read books like "Everyone Poops" and some other potty-type books. That helped us out. Candy worked alright too, but it was bad because I mowed through half the bag and then we'd have to go buy more...

Creative-Type Dad said...

Maureen -- I forgot about the spicy food thing. Maybe that's why the kids over there learn faster - can you imagine changing a diaper of spicy poop??

Ryan -- We have that book too (Everybody Poops) I'm afraid she's going to want to poop on the lawn.

Izzy -- Yes, she is asserting her control. It seems like she is waiting for the next big "prize" though. I think we may wait a another few weeks...

sourpatchbaby -- Maybe we had the same grandmother???

mama speak -- Yes, she has expressed interest since turning 2. She talks about it all the time, but just won't do it. That's what makes it so irritating.

painted maypole -- Yup! Been there. 409 became a good friend.

Darren -- I wish they'd bring back "That's Incredible!" too. I want to try out for the Pac-Man championships.

Rattling The Kettle -- Yes, we do. We sit with her with books. Her record is around 30 minutes and when we pick her up her butt is stuck to the seat!

Tuesday Girl -- WOW! I love that Dora phone call thing. I wonder if Cinderella can call her since she doesn't know who Dora is...

Phil -- Man, that's nasty. I hope we teach her how to wipe and she doesn't forget...

beta mom -- Yes! Elmo's dad looks and talks a lot like Seinfields' dad. And he wears a Hawaiian shirt. 2- LOL - "roses"

Joeprah said...

Hmmm, I never knew that was what those things in the bathroom were for. Hve you tried nakedness yet. Or putting them in a small area with a potty when they are naked. Ask them to go the same time every day and make it easy for both of you to remember. Also, preschool are great for this if you are serious about the outsourcing. My oldest daughter when she was 3 was potting trained in a week at her preschool. The teachers said that was average. I would pay the money, send them to school and you will have a smarter dryer child because of it.

Anonymous said...

I have 4 1/2 year old twins, boy girl. Girl potty trained in less than 1 week at age 2 1/2. Boy is just finishing up now (he has autism...I have a whole section of my blog devoted to this topic!). With the girl, what worked for us was a week of Potty-BootCamp. All day, every day, sitting on a little potty drinking water/juice/chocolate milk while watching TV. 2 M&Ms if you pee, even if you did not do it on purpose. But eventually, after enough times of feeling the pee literally fall out, they get the hang of it. The the next week, we put her in underwear and did not ask her about it, no obsessive "do you have to go potty?" Just made the potty available and let her do it (we own 6 of those portable potty chairs and put them all over the house). Also we did not make a big deal over accidents, but made her help clean them up. Finally, no nightime pull-ups (what is that? Permission to pee in your bed? Confusing. We just bought extra sheets.)
She never really had accidents and when she did, she would say things like "Oh no, I missed the potty. I need to try again." She was quite easy, which was probably good, since potty-training a boy with autism (2 strikes) is quite a bit harder. If she has no interest in using the potty, you might read some advice on potty-training autistic children, for ideas, as they too do not get the concept, have little or no interest in the topic and have a longer road to travel.

pixie said...

Forget what everyone says is the right "age" to do it. Kids'll learn when they're ready. Volcano was 3 1/2 when he finally accepted the idea, while Monkey was 20 months. It depends on the kid, and there's no need to stress about it until they're ready. It's just another thing for those Hypercompetitive Parents to brag about.

On that note, the thing I did with both kids is just let them walk around *commando* for days until they got it. It worked with both, but again, you have to be ready to stay at home for quite some time. And it could be a while: Volcano took 3 weeks while Monkey took 3 days. Again, it depends on the kid.

Good luck!

Morrisquads said...

My advice - wait as long as possible. Once she is potty trained you will be going into public restrooms that you can't even imagine.

Out to dinner - "I have to poop."
At the playground - "I have to poop."
Church (everyone praying quietly) - "I HAVE TO POOP!"
At the mall (the most disgusting restrooms in the universe) - "I have to poop."

Then you go into these bathrooms - wait 30 to 45 minutes in the stinky, damp, and dirty public restroom - while your princess pinches one out.

Wait as long as possible. Trust me.

kittenpie said...

Don't under-rate peer pressure!
But also? If she's not in a rush, don't make a big case of it, or she'll just use it against you. Seriously, don't give her the stick to beat you with, you know?
My MIL said none of her (perfect) children were trained until they were 3 because she had babies to deal with, so she just didn't sweat it.

Amy said...

This is the only parenting task that has me totally terrified. The Poo is half into it and half not.

I would buy those illustrations!

kellyo75 said...

What worked for me? I stopped trying to potty train until the kid was 3. It worked wonders.

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of waiting. For ME, it's easier to deal with changing four or five diapers a day than living on the bathroom floor, reading potty books and cleaning up accidents. I waited until my daughter turned 3 and then she trained over the course of a weekend. I waited even longer with my son, assuming it'd be a huge undertaking because he's autistic - and he trained himself at about 3 1/2 - we didn't have to do anything! My little twins are going to be three in January and I think I'm going to wait until they're close to their birthday before we delve into the world of sticker charts again.

Hey, Thanks for leaving me a comment on my "delurking" post! :-D

Anonymous said...

Dudelet was maybe two and a half - we just left everything lying around and eventually, he got the idea. Then he broke his leg and we had to go through it all over again! I'm very much in the 'in their own time' school.

Em said...

We just waited till they were ready. They either announced it or just went. No fuss. No stress. They were late...but no one cared.

In the meantime, the diaper-less method is just begging for disaster. LOL

Creative-Type Dad said...

Mrs. Chicken -- I think I might put it up on if it works!

Morrisquads -- Those are really good reasons. I never thought of it that way...

Beagoodmom -- 6 potty chairs?!?! Wow...

Dad Stuff said...

I'm convinced that they get it when they want to get it. Our son was four and half. Our daughter was two and a half. Both got stickers, candy, parties, peer pressure. It just worked out that way.
I will only watch 'That's Incredible' if Fran Tarkenton is one the the hosts.

Ruth Dynamite said...

I'll have your answer in a sec - I just have to go change my diaper.

crazymumma said...

Nope. nothing unconventional. Took away diapers, rolled up carpets, brought out the mop and disinfectant and bought them 'pretty' undies they could try and be proud of.

None of that pull up nonsense. Complicates the message entirely.

good luck!

Creative-Type Dad said...

crazymumma -- Maybe I'll try that method again, this time we'll stay in the garage. Nobody cares is the garage floor gets pooped/peed on

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I am going to be potty training #3 soon, and here is what I think: There are basically two types of parents---those who 'train' their child young and live through lots of 'accidents', peed-in pants, wet carpets, but get their kids out of diapers young; and those who put up with diapers for a long time and wait until their kid is sick of diapers or has a deadline (preschool, for example).

I've always waited until they are 3 to start b/c diapers are just too convenient, and none of mine have been ready before then.

One thing that seems to work, when they are older, are those drop-off play areas found in places like Ikea----upon hearing that they need to be potty-trained to go into them, some kids will step right up to the challenge (of course, many require the child to be at least 3, so you'd have to wait a while for that too, I believe).

Don't sweat it. She won't be 10 and in diapers.

JK said...

Was going to write a whole lot of stuff but Blog Antagonist said it all for me. Don't stress - they'll do it in their own time and you won't have the headache.

carrie said...

I'm so glad I'm done with that business!

Just relax, she'll do it when she's ready.

I know, easy for me to say.

Unknown said...

Ditto Izzy and others - take it away for a month or two and don't even mention it and then reintroduce. That's what we did and he took to it like white on rice. Good luck.

P.S. "Pet Parent" is priceless.

11111111 said...


beta mum said...

She's obviously not ready, so don't bother for a while.
It makes no odds whether she's 2 and a half, three or four when it finally happens. It just costs more in nappies.
My son would wee in a potty months before he'd poo in it. He always saved that up for his bedtime nappy.

Creative-Type Dad said...

Fairly Odd Mother -- Somehow I'm envisioning having the only 10 year old in diapers...
I like the IKEA idea, that might help-

beta mum -- Wow, at least he held it!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Buy fantastic new pants (underwear) for her, she's allowed a new pair for each hit on the doesn't work you understand, but it may work for a day, and each day is one step closer to no more poo.
(it also means that when she craps in her pants, you can just throw them away because you have so many other pairs to spare!)
Good luck, there is no 'right' way!

Unknown said...

Our daughter was about 2 yrs and 10 months. We knew she was ready but it was her new preschool where they were determined to get her to do it because she is the oldest in the class. We had almost no accidents and within a couple weeks she was doing it. I think it's much better to wait. We could have done it earlier but now she understands and is very proud. Our toilet seats are covered in stickers. Also, going letter allows you to skip the little potty and use an adapter on the toilet. I mean who wants to clean shit out of one of those little white things--diapers are easier. As for the public restrooms, it is an issue but at least you don't to constantly change diapers in random places.

wayabetty said...

OMG you're killing me with your Grandmother and her potty method. Dude! I've mentioned it before, when they're ready...they'll let you know. My Sophia is 2.9 months and one day she decided to "pee in the potty" and she's been doing that ever since. I thought she would have gone sooner being the 3rd kid and all but she might have been confused with her two older brothers standing up to pee and stuff.

I'm surprised you didn't try bribing her with a juicy drumstick from the Colonel. Good luck!

Creative-Type Dad said...

wayabetty -- I wish somebody would bribe me with a juicy drumstick from the Colonel...!

Paul -- Hmmm, Seems like I'm seeing around the end of 2-year old nearly 3 being the "magic time" of potty enlightenment. I'm going to write that day in my iphone

Heather said...

Even though you have 45 comments already and I'm new here, I'm going to give you my assvice anyway. Because you asked for it.

She'll do it when she's ready. I learned the hard way that making TOO big of a deal over it only made it worse. At least with my super stubborn boy it did. As soon as I let it go, he decided to start using the potty 100% of the time about 3 months later.

amusing said...

The obvious theme here is "they do it when they are ready" -- I did all of the above (even the cool Ikea playroom was of interest, but not enough to tip the scales toward the loo).

Both my [sons] just waited until they were four.

And their mommy just had to wait until they were four. (Even with her own mommy prattling in her ear about how she had me trained by the time I was a year old, etc. I attempted to explain the difference between training the parent to put the kid on the toilet vs. the kid remembering to go, but she didn't get that)

Creative-Type Dad said...

I'm just going to attach a bowl to her butt. That's how I'm doing it.