If you have any suggestions for any of the following questions, please feel free to leave a comment with your ideas! We’d all LOVE to hear them!
Amazey asks: “They say girls are easier than boys. Well my daughter will be turning 3 this November and at the moment she has no interest whatsoever in the potty. We have had them sitting around the house collecting dust since she was 1 1/2. How do I get her to want to potty?”
Answer: You cannot force a child to WANT to use the potty. Encouragement, role modeling (yes even when it comes to using the facilities) and readiness are all factors that might help the process along! One suggestion is to use the potty before bath every night, then it simply starts to become routine. Just say, “We are going to try to go pee on the potty before bath. If you don’t go, that’s ok, but we are still going to try”, but make sure to not turn it into a power struggle. If she doesn’t want to go, she doesn’t want to go. Another motivation for her might be to take her out shopping for a new potty; let her pick a brand new potty that she is excited about. When you get this new potty home, put a basket of books beside it and whenever YOU go potty, ask her to join you in the bathroom for a potty party. She can even sit in her clothing at first and one day she just might surprise you and tell you she has to “go”.
Question: Do you have any advice for a single parent who is going to Potty Train a child?
Answer: This is a tough question to answer! My only advice that I can give is to make sure that you are always prepared for every Potty Training Event possible. If you don’t have a second pair of hands during an accident, it can be quite challenging. Let go of your household expectations of clutter/cleanliness etc. and make sure you have all of the supplies that you require on every level o your house (cloths, wipes, towels, all of the potty training/spill essentials!). You can see my post called Potty Training Essentials for an idea of what to have on hand. Oh, ok I have one more piece of advice! Potty Training can be draining on your patience. Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, repeat this phrase to yourself: This is just a phase! Good luck!
Question (from Janel C.): How do you get your nearly 3 year old who is fully potty trained to keep CLOTHES on!!!!!! He’ll go potty and then refuses to get re-dressed!! 🙂
Yes, we have a similar problem! Our son runs around in his underpants quite often. I’m not worrying about it right now because he isn’t fully potty trained yet and I don’t want to discourage him in any way! Is there harm in him not dressing? Will he get dressed when it’s time to leave the house? What about asking him if you run around naked – his answer will likely be no and then you point out that you wear clothing and it is good manners to wear clothing when you are running around. I don’t know – that’s a stumper! Any suggestions from the readers?
Question: Can potty training occur “overnight” without having to use trainers?
Answer: Well – if it does happen “overnight”, I’d love to hear the story, that is for sure. I’ve never heard of a child going from diapers to underpants – no accidents from one day to the next (although I’m sure it has happened!). However, some children definitely do “train” faster than others. The stage of “Potty Training” can refer to two things. It can refer to the actual process of teaching or having a child move from going in the diaper to going on the potty. It can also refer to the process of learning how to use the potty but still having accidents. Some would consider a child Potty Trained when they are no longer requiring diapers and are no longer have regular accidents. I’m not sure if this answers your question or not. If your child is truly ready to begin the process then “Potty Training” probably won’t take very long, a few days to a week at most. Some children require longer than that whether it be because they weren’t fully ready when their adventure began OR because possibly they are stubborn and require a longer transition time. Potty Training is a transition time.
Question: I’ve heard pull-ups are a waste of money for potty-training. What are your thought?
Again, “children are like snowflakes” would be my answer for this one! Each child is different and will require a different amount of time and a different amount of products and/or incentives during the Potty Training process. Some children require some time in pull ups to get used to the idea of potty training and pull ups are much easier than putting on a diaper in the washroom! Having said that, my daughter used pull ups for a good month before she actually potty trained, but when she “trained”, it happened in a very short period of time. My son hasn’t used pull ups too much at all. He went from diapers to underpants without the Pull Ups step in between! I would say try without them if you can because they are more expensive than regular diapers, but if you need them, they are a great help!
Question: What is a good age to start?
Answer There isn’t an official “good age” to start, in my opinion. However, I would recommend introducing a child at the early age of ONE to the potty. You can even make it part of their bedtime routine by sitting on the potty before bath every night. Then, when they are a bit older and start to tell you when they are going in their diaper or they are staying more and more dry in between diaper changes, you can then start to ask them if they’d like to try sitting on the potty during they day. Usually, it is best to follow your child’s lead, but especially after beginning the training process with my son, I’ve learned that some children do eventually need a good push to get the process started.
The answers in this post are simply opinions. MTM is not liable for choices made from the knowledge in this post. MTM’s background is in Child Studies, Education and Parenting.