A Cautionary Potty Training Tale

Mom Moment 40

potty trainingPotty training has got to be the worst thing about the terrific terrible 2s. Seriously. It's just so much pressure from all the other parents who have kids about the same age. Molly is potty trained! She wanted to do it even before she turned 2 1/2! Well la ti da Molly! My kids seem to think their potties are step stools so they can reach the sink and wash their hands. Yes, hand-washing has become a fun activity in my house. (Does Molly know how to wash her hands? Huh? Does she? Does she?) I kid. Sort of. My twins did show an interest in going on the potty a few months back. They sat on it. Clothed and with pants down. But there wasn't any action.

Now, like I said, they just use the potty for other things -- as a stool, a place for toy cars. When I was talking to my pediatrician about it, she told me something scary.

Never force them or make them sit on the potty to go, she told me. Not that I was, of course. She said that pressuring your kid to go on the potty could make them end up holding it and not going when they should, making them all constipated and backed up ... and um, if you are an adult and ever had that problem you know how horrible that is. Imagine how bad for a little kid?! My doc also said that if we try the potty seat on the toilet, instead of the free-standing ones we do have, to make sure they have a step stool that allows their feet to rest on when they are sitting. It helps ground the feet so they can go properly. Interesting.

All of this makes me think ... and I'll have to ask my mother, but I'm so very poo shy in public bathrooms that I wonder if there was ever some forced potty training going on oh-so many years ago. I swear since I've become a stay-at-home mom (TMI warning!) and am able to go number two in my own bathroom, I am much more regular.

Oh wait ... let's get back to the kids. I'll admit that I am totally fine with changing diapers. And if my kids aren't ready for potty time, they aren't ready. But I know they aren't going to be in diapers forever, so I'm not worried. It WILL happen. For now, I'm changing diaps, knowing that they grow up so quickly and I will cherish even these poopiest of times.

I'm going to call my mom now.

Are you worried about your child not being potty trained yet?

Image via Manish Bansal/Flickr

potty training


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tifferie tifferie

No. My son toilet trained early. I think with my daughter we will have to wait. She is allergic to dairy and I fear some other foods as well. She gets explosive diarrhea with blood. I want to wait until we get the allergies figured out.

nonmember avatar Michelle

Quite honestly, potty training was the ONE thing as a parent that made me take a step back and say "YOU CAN NOT CONTROL THIS!!!". Frustrating as that may be, you need to let them do this on their OWN time. My daughter was a shade over 3 years old, but guess what? She day AND night trained herself in one fell swoop. Plus, she also poops and pees on a REGULAR toilet...no kiddie potties. They will do it when their little bodies are ready...leave them be!

meaga... meagansmommy07

My DD was easy to potty train...we left her naked from the.waist down, put her potty in the middle of the living room where she played and let her run around...fully potty trained within 1 week...BTW I can't use public bathrooms either...my husband makes fun of me for it...

nonmember avatar Nicole

People: stop waiting so long to start potty training. Your baby/toddler is smarter than that. They don't have to talk and tell in order to be ready. Does a dog or cat talk? No. Are they potty trained? Yes. I swear the whole concept of waiting until they're 2 to even begin baffles me and I think was invented by diaper companies.

nonmember avatar zizzler

It takes a day to a week to potty train a 1 year old, but weeks or months to do the same with a 3 year old. Babies will simply sit on a toilet. Toddlers can have an argument with you about it. I've potty trained DOZENS of my foster kids. If I get them young, I can train them in a few days. If they're over 2 and still in diapers when they move in, it's a nightmare trying to get them on board. If a kid is so anxious about sitting on a toilet that they make themselves sick (which I've never seen or heard of, and among my foster parent friends, I know hundreds of kids), then they likely have some other emotional or cognitive problem.

Caela... CaelanOceanamom

Mine is three and wants nothing to do with the potty; to the point it is becoming a struggle. I remind myself that she will figure it out; when she's ready. She just pooped and didn't tell me. Off to change another one!

GlowW... GlowWorm889

@ Nicole - Waiting until a child is 2 or older has more to do with their physical development than anything else. A child has to have bladder and sphincter control, which doesn't happen for most children until the age of 18 months or higher. Beyond that, they need to recognize when they have to go, be able to walk/run to the potty, and be able to fasten/unfasten clothing and pull their pants down. Potty training before that isn't potty training---it's parent training, as parents are doing all of the work. Babies do not have the physical development to control their excrement, nor do they really care. However, most experts do advise not waiting until the age of 3.

nonmember avatar Nicole

@Glowworm, that is where you're wrong. Before my son turned 1, when I sat him on the potty he consciously pushed. Kids don't have control later because they're so unaware of their bowel movements that have been hidden in a diaper forever. He's now 18 months and pees and poops on the potty on demand--he knows how to push it out. He absolutely is physically ready. He also goes to the potty on his OWN. Sure for months I had to physically put him there when I saw the signs, but so what? He never protested and enjoyed not shitting and peeing himself. Don't knock it before you try it.

csecor1 csecor1

My son is 3.5 and still not totally trained. And you know what? I started training him at two. Not everyone has perfect luck with this. He's getting there, and that's all that matters.

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