Monday, July 8, 2013

Potty training problems

We have a problem with the Herd. It’s a good problem to have but, par to the parenting course, it’s something I have not dealt with in nine years of parenting. I honestly have no idea what to do.
Cole has been using the potty for about a month now. When he had the chicken pox, most of the spots that really bothered him were in his diaper area, rubbing against the tabs on his waist band. I thought about putting him in cloth again (sorry Mother Earth!) but Adam nixed the idea, worried that the wetness would just stay against his skin, and the pox, irritating it further. On impulse, I grabbed of pair of baseball underwear and said, “Hey, Bear, want to wear super cool BASEBALL PANTS?” He was all for it and I added, “When you feel the pee-pees coming, let me know and you can use the potty.” He had had a couple of successes before, so I figure it was worth trying to “catch” a pee but didn’t expect anything to happen.

At dinner that night, I asked Cole if he had to use the potty. He said, “No pee-pee!” but then hopped down from the table, went to the bathroom, took off his underwear and used the potty. I totally did an end zone dance and figured if we were going to be stuck in the house under chicken pox quarantine, we might as well work on potty training.
As the days went on, though, Cole spent more time in his bathing suit. He didn’t like wearing a diaper under it and one day, tired of changing his bathing suit and washing it, I said, “You can wear your suit but you have to pee-pee in the potty. If your suit gets pee-pee on it, we will have to take it off and put on a diaper.” He eyes got wide . . . and I found him using the potty frequently. Since then, I haven’t had to remind him to use the potty; as long as he knows where one is, he will take himself. I still can’t force  him to go but if I say, “We all need to use the potty before we leave” he’ll take the hint.

I am thisclose to calling him 50 per cent trained.
Why 50 per cent? He has not pooped on the potty.

All my kids were pee trained before they did number two on the potty but it was only a matter of days. It’s been a few weeks now where he is dry coming home from school (he won’t use the potty there), does all his pee in the potty but will not poo. He still wears a bathing suit at home (and when we go out sometimes, honestly) and there’s no neat way to get a pooped-in suit off. If I don’t let him wear his suit, he goes around naked (able to dress and undress self? CHECK!) and I don’t feel like finding rouge poop on the floor.
He’s not a sticker-chart kinda kid. He has no interest in the little potty since he can get himself on and off the big one just fine. He’s not constipated and doesn’t have any pain or fear about going. We’ve talked about getting a treat, like a Sonic drink or ice cream, if he goes poop in the potty. I refuse to engage in power struggles I will loose.  Other than that, I have no idea how to encourage putting his poo where it belongs.

So help me interwebz. How do you get a strong willed and stubborn three year old to finish up the potty training business so you can pass all the cloth diapers onto your sister and do the diaper-freeeedom dance?


  1. Emma didn't potty train until she was 3 years and 9 months. It took an ear infection and being on antibiotics that caused her pretty bad diarrhea and a bad diaper rash. I told her if she went on the potty the rash would clear up. So she went on the potty! I then made all diapers/pull ups disappear!

  2. Both my boys were trained before 3 but, the best thing that worked was to have him do all the cleanup- with a little help from mama. Make it a long drawn out process. ie take off soiled clothes, dump solids in the toilet, sit on toilet to see if any more will 'come out' , clean floor if necessary, take soiled clothes to the laundry room. Put in laundry sink and wash off bits, Start the washer, and start a load, Take a shower to clean bottom, go upstairs to get new clothes, get dressed... then .. he can go back to what he was doing before. Doesn't take more than a couple of times before he gets that it is more trouble than it is worth.