potty training


Active Member
I'm going to post this on the general and early childhood forums.

I'd really like difficult child 2 to be potty trained but don't know how to go about doing it. The biggest problem is going to be keeping his hands out of his pants. Right now he always wears a onsie. If he doesn't "stuff" gets everywhere. He has been wearing a onsie 24/7 for about a year. I started potty training difficult child 1 at this age. It would be so nice to only have one baby in diapers. I'm kinda worried difficult child 2 will be in onsies and diapers forever. Any ideas?


Mom? What's a difficult child?
I can't help you here!!! but I had to laugh when I thought about my kids!!! My difficult child decided she was going to potty train right before she turned 4!!! I was seriously convinced she would never do it... and then she was just ready. I learned that no amount of prompting... would help her. The sticker charts, potty parties, all that junk, NOPE. I think becuase of her Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) she just didn't care, sometimes she couldn't tell. Others she really could care less and other times she didn't want to be bothered. We had many battles early on, but I realized it wasn't helping any of us.

I am finding that easy child/difficult child 2 is kind of doing the same thing now, she is 2.5 and is fully capable of being potty trained, she just doesnt care.
husband and I figure of all the things we have to worry about, this is the least of them!!! We ask her and sit her on it, but we try not to push or get angry.

Good luck on this one- let me know what works!!!


Active Member
If there are Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) issues potty training can take a lot longer. You can try, in summer (it's easier then because there are fewer layers of clothes) but if he's not ready you need to stop and wait longer.

I freely admit I used bribes. You can also note if there's any regular pattern to body functions, so you can 'catch' it in the potty and reinforce it.

If he plays with it, you could try displacement activity - while he's sitting on the potty, give him a small table and some play-doh to play with. And watch him closely. It may give you the chance to teach him the difference between play-doh and the contents of the nappy/potty. If he always has GOOD stuff to play with, would that help reduce the temptation of yucky stuff?



New Member
<span style="color: #6600CC">he's only two right? he may not be ready no matter how much you want him to be. for boys the magic age seems to more around three than two.

the best advice i read was if they resist stop. don't force it because it will only delay it more. it's the old "you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink." you can lead the boy to the potty, but.....well you get my drift.

give him the opportunity to make this developmental leap.

kris </span>

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
My easy child (girl) was trained through the night by two and a half. On the other hand, difficult child took quite a bit longer. My sister has three boys-all were ready when they were about three. I think it really depends on each child but boys generally aren't ready until they are a bit older. That being said my little godson is now trained and he is 2 1/2. I hope it goes well with your difficult child.


Former desparate mom
My difficult child took a very long time to be potty trained. He was much like totoro's difficult child. He didn't notice, nor did he care if he was wet or dirty. Just wasn't an issue for him. He was night dry at 3. Day dry was more like 5 when he started on ritalin and slowed down long enough to go.
I really believed he had less sensation or he didn't make the connection between the sensation and going to sit on the pot.
Nothing but nothing I did or experts he saw made it any sooner.
I wouldn't waste a lot of energy thinking you can control when a child is potty trained. You can't make it happen.


Active Member
I tried at 2 with both kids and they just thought it was a game. I stopped and didn't bother until she was almost three and when Mighty just turned 3.

With Mighty, we had to stay home, because Missy had surgery and we couldn't go anywhere anyway, so I just took his pants off and left him in underwear all day/pull ups at night. After a couple of days, he was just fine. We also kept a potty in the car. The best thing to do is line the potty with a plastic bag and put a sanitary pad in the bottom to catch the liquid. Tie up the bag when done and throw it away. Works wonders, especially when you are a half hour away from anywhere.

Honestly, I think three is the magic number. Seems that way with most of my friends kids. Some do it at two or two and a half, but they tend to have more accidents. Boys definitely are three or three and a half before training for most of my friends, anyway.


New Member
My difficult child was around 5 before he was completely potty trained. We tried charts and all, it didn't work. He did however like our game of targetting cheerios in the toilet, that worked well for him.
I wouldn't push it though.


Well-Known Member
The pottytraining thing was like a black cloud that hung over my head with both of my difficult children when they preschool age. Luckily, because they both had been designated special needs, Head Start tried to work with me, and help them, become toilet trained.

I agree with most here-don't push it. It doesn't work anyway.

Daughter stopped wearing pull-ups when she was 5 1/2. So, yes, she was in Kindergarten wearing them. Though, she usually kept herself dry. Then, out of the blue, she started crying while she was in the bathtub. I asked her what was wrong and through her little sobs she pointed to the toilet. I asked her if she needed to use that bathroom. She nodded yes. I think I broke the world record for getting a child dried off so she wouldn't slip sitting on the toilet. She was trained from that day forward. However, that began her facsination with flushing the toilet for the next six months. Though, the tradeoff was certainly worth it.

I went through about the same thing with Son. However, he went through his entire kindergarten year in a pull-up. Finally the summer before 1st grade he became daytime trained (whew!). However, we still have nighttime issues. He's such a deep sleeper that the signal to wake him up doesn't register.

With both of my difficult children they didn't care about how it felt and how they were behind their peers. They did when they were ready. That's how they both are now, too. Son finally learned how to ride a two-wheeled bike last summer. When we tried to help, and encourage him, it would only make him angry. So, I've mastered the parent backoff manuver.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
I never pushed potty training. Although I always started right around the 2nd birthday.
At first I'd take toddler to potty once every half hour. If this seemed too frequent then I'd up it to an hour. Success was always rewarded with M&Ms (2 or 3). Accidents were never scolded. The most my toddlers ever got was an "Uh, oh!" or "That's yukky let's clean you up."

Running a trickle of water in the sink sometimes helps them with the let down reflex to urinate. (have you ever tried to go with someone watching YOU? lol) Although may backfire in later years when you need them to wash dishes, and they have to keep running to the bathroom. (believe it or not easy child still does this)

I always kept a close eye on how much my toddler was drinking. It let me know how often we'd be running to the potty.

mother in law used what she called "potty books". These were books bought only for the bathroom. Toddler wasn't allowed to look at the books except while using the potty. Helped keep her boy's hands busy and gave them the patience to sit still. Downfall to this one, husband STILL has to read in the bathroom. Drives me nuts! lmao

On the whole, girls are quicker to catch on. Boys take longer. Either way patience pays off.

And pull ups make the whole process a heck of alot better than back when I was doing mine!

easy child and I just potty trained Darrin a while back. He did ok. Had some trouble remembering to ask, and to stop playing to go. She's transitioned him into big boy undies now. He has a rare accident. Which is good for his age.


Well-Known Member
I didnt have a huge problem with this. I dont remember pull ups being around so maybe they came out right after mine were trained. Billy was trained in a pickle jar in the car...I kid you not! He was 2. Jamie was trained by both the babysitter and us starting at 22 months and completed for daytime by 2 years with occasional nighttime accidents until 2 and a half. We really didnt want to be buying double diapers when Cory came along when Jamie was two which is why we pushed Jamie. Cory didnt train until he was 2 and a half daytime and 3 nighttime.

We used cheerios and fruitloops shamelessly as targets for the boys. It was a huge game of sink the battleship. They got even more points if they could "bomb" them...lol. Yes I bribed them heavily. I also let them run around naked while we did this. Much easier to train a naked child. Or should I say...a half naked child...just in a tee shirt. No pants.


Active Member
Thanks for all the encouragement and stories. I think I'll wait a few years. difficult child 2 is 2 1/2 and he doesn't care about the potty yet. Its me and the diaper budget that is effected. Right now if I tried it we'd not do so well. Thanks for the encouragement to wait. But yes I have seen kids in kindergaren in diapers.


Active Member
Janet, I had to chuckle about the Cheerios! But seriously, we were advised to put a ping pong ball in the bowl. It's too light to flush so it stays there for them to aim at next time. And woe betide the bragger who reckons HE can sink the ping pong ball! We take a tape measure to their nose...

We got sent photos of a loo somewhere in Europe or Asia where there is a fly actually permanently marked onto the porcelain. It's a public toilet and apparently since the fly was painted onto the porcelain the cleaning job in that loo has been much cheaper, the staff have far fewer spills to clean up.

Emily, see how he is by summer. You might be able to partly train him then. We had difficult child 3 bladder trained at the usual time but not bowel trained. difficult child 1 - BIG problems. And again, it was bowels that were the problem. He was terrified of using either the potty or the toilet, but then he was also refusing to do it in his nappy. He would last a week with this dilemma getting worse, util he couldn't even sit still for a second. We couldn't help him. We had to go visit grandad, who was the only person on earth who could bully the sh** out of him.
Once a week, off to grandad... and eventually, difficult child 1 worked out that this was going to keep happening, he couldn't hope that his body would stop producing this stuff.

difficult child 3 thought that. I remember hearing him say through the door one morning, as he went into the toilet first thing, "It's not right - EVERY MORNING there's wee!" It was a clear sentence, so he must have been at least 6. It was still hard to explain to him that out bodies make it all the time, it's our job to let it out when it needs to, and to do it in the right place at the right time in the right way, or to clean up if we missed.

But I'll never forget that outraged exclamation.