Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Potty Q&A

For the record, I was not anticipating STARTING to potty train Piper until this summer.  I was hoping that maybe, by the time preschool started in the fall, she’d be starting to get the hang of it.  But, apparently, just like everything Piper does, she’s been watching, analyzing, and figuring it out long before I knew.  After a few times of her telling me she wanted to go potty, I decided that I really needed to give it a go.  Even if I so did not have it budgeted into my schedule right then…

A couple of answers to questions and a few of the tricks I used:

  • We went straight to panties and kept her in them whenever she was awake.  She still uses a diaper at bedtime and for her naps (although she stays dry about half the time for naps now- hoping that we’ll be able to phase them out soon.)  I found that the Hanes brand at Target were the smallest around the waist.  I bought a BUNCH of pairs, took them home, and washed them in as hot of water as we could.  It shrunk them quite a bit, and although they’re baggy, they at least stay up around her middle.  My mom had bought her a lot from Gymboree, that are WAY cute, but they were too nice and just didn’t shrink enough (which is actually a good thing- hoping that she’ll be able to have fancy panties when she goes to preschool.)  I looked at Fruit of the Loom, but they looked like they would wash about 2.4 times and then die, and I knew that we’d be washing them a few more times than that…
  • We used cling stickers to the bathroom mirror as her reward.  They were BIG, she got her choice of which one she wanted, and it gave a visual reminder of what she was supposed to be doing.  She’d ask several times a day to go look at her “st st st” and we could take her in to see how many times she’d been potty.  They were well worth the buck a sheet at the dollar store.  They’re still up on our mirror, but getting ready to get taken down.  She hasn’t asked to see them in a few days, so I think it’s time they retire.P1130109
  • I will also admit that we used the training potty….  in the living room.  It served several purposes- it was always in eyesight, so she was constantly reminded about it, we spent lots of time on it in the early days and I could distract her with the television while we waited, and I could watch Adalynn a lot more easily, too.            
  • There were times when it was a “game” to see how long I could keep her sitting.  The biggest issue with that, of course, was her attention span and willingness to sit.  We watched this video and this video about 1.3 million times.  Both are worth watching, by the way.  The dog one, however, has had the unfortunate consequence of being something like Pavlov’s dogs- she watches it, and it invokes her peeing.  Almost without fail.  Which is great, except when I’m typing this post and she’s sitting on my lap.  It’s not watched as much these days…
  • Once we conquered pottying at home, we had to conquer pottying away from home.  There is no way she’d be able to sit on a regular toilet- her little fanny is just too narrow.  So, thanks to my mom, we have a potty seat with a nice bag (to camouflage the seat, obviously) to take with us.  The fold-up seats aren’t really meant to shrink the seat, so I think that, for the time being, this is our best bet.
  • We’re working on getting her to VOICE the need to go more efficiently.  Her “word” for potty is popping her lips, and because of our voicing issues with her, she sometimes thinks she says it without actually saying it.  I can usually catch her with body language as she’s usually really antsy.  And often squawking.  Seems to be, though, that the more she has to go, the less she’s thinking about voicing.  If I look up, she’s often lipping the word with no noise.  Frustrating?  Yup.  But we’re getting there.
  • She’s still too short to get up to the big potty without any help.  Even with a step stool.  I really like the idea of these, but not sure I like it $130 worth.  Anyone use one?  The Potty Stool for Toddler Toilet Training Step Stool

I think that’s about it.  I won’t disillusion you and say that it was easy.  Those first few days were…  intense…  (I was just about ready to give up one morning, and by afternoon, she’d pottied every time ON the potty…) but once she got going, it really wasn’t too bad.  I looked at some of the three-day methods, but I just couldn’t quite get on board with some of the parts; I just felt like she was too young to make her sit on the potty first thing in the morning for as long as it took to go potty (“hours, if needed”.)  So while that was our goal, it wasn’t really the way I wanted to go.  To each his own, right?


  1. I'm so proud of Piper! She really needs to come give Sweet Pea some lessons though! :-)

    As for the potty seat...we tried a number of seats and I really like the Kalencom 2-in-1 Potette Plus for on the go. It's small enough to take with us many places. We use it in the back of our car (or at the park, or anywhere really) with a grocery bag and a small cloth diaper (the old prefold kind) and we use it out on big potties. It's hole is pretty small and I think Piper would be able to sit on it without any issue. Just my two cents.

    Congrats to you on this success!

  2. Way to go Piper, Matthew (Bill & Ria) has that step stool and they love it. She has blogged about it numerous times. Love the cling idea. I guess my kids are easy they didn't need any rewards besides cheering.