Desperately Seeking Potty Training advice... from myself and possibly others (Sponsored)

This post is brought to you by Quilted Northern Soft & Strong® which is sort of the light at the end of our potty-training tunnel. Thanks, Quilted Northern. You are as soft as you are strong.
The following is a letter I wrote myself seeking advice from myself. You see, for some reason, and I know I'm not alone in this, second children do not remind all mothers of their first-children experiences. So now, in the dawn of our potty-training-Fable days, I have found myself totally confused, forgetful and annoyed that I have no idea what the hell I'm doing. I mean... I've done this before. Three years ago, but still. Three years ago! That's like.... THREE YEARS AGO! I have underwear like WAY older than that. In fact, all of my underwear are way older than that. Womp, womp.

Anyway. Here's a letter my present self (Fable's mom) wrote to my former self (Archer's mom) in hopes that by asking for my own advice, I might motivate my dead brain to come alive with answers.
Dear Archer's Mom,

Hey. It's me, you. I'm writing you today because I know you've "been here before" and by "here" I mean, standing in the hallway of my house in a puddle of toddler pee. It's not as warm a place as you would think, Archer's Mom, and even though I pride myself on being pretty patient with my kids, especially when it comes to milestones, I can't help but wonder if I'm doing something terribly wrong.

Recently it has become increasingly common for Fable's baby pals to step out for a park playdate clad in brand-spanking-new BIG KID underwear. The (organic) cotton kind complete with elastic waistband that aren't made out of ... diapers. And then I'm like, "Oh, yeah! We're TOTALLY making all sorts of potty-training strides, you know us" except I'm totally lying because the only stride we've made has to do with Fable not pooping in the bathtub anymore.

Here's the thing, Archer's mom. I know people who swear by the "hold your kid above the toilet until he poops" philosophy but that totally weirds me out (I mean... we didn't do that with Archer, did we? I'm pretty sure we absolutely did not). I also know people who have done the "just put them in underwear until they figure it out" thing but that, in my opinion, is even worse. I mean... isn't it? I vaguely recall poopy pants in public being one of my absolute low points as a mother... am I right? And then there's the "naked potty training" option where you let your kid poop and pee all over the house until they (supposedly) figure it out. So, last week, I figured, "Hey! Why not?" and let Fable spend the day stoked off her nakedness. I put the baby potty in the middle of the bathroom and onward with our day we went. Until she peed all over the kitchen floor. And her toys. And the futon in the play room. And the hallway. And my office. And a pile of books. (Goodbye, books!) And then there was the poop behind the couch which I didn't find until.... uh... later. The last straw was when Fable peed on the tile in the hallway and slipped, falling with a giant kaboom on her head. On the tile! Head. Tile. Hard. Pee everywhere. Crying. Tile. Head. "NEVER AGAIN!" said I and swore off "naked potty training" forever.

Back to square one, Archer's mom. The baby potty is still in the bathroom but Fable has yet to use it. Sure we sit on it every night before bath. I bring her into the bathroom with me so she can faux/mimic my potty-doing. (Sorry, TMI) but so far, no such luck in the potty department. In fact, Fable's response any time I point out the potty or any toiletesque paraphernalia = "Pee, NO! mama!" Pee, no, mama. Pee, no....

I know Archer didn't potty train until he was almost three (for pee. Poop didn't happen until 3.5) and Fable's only twenty-six months but with preschool around the corner, I was hoping we'd have made at least some kind of progress in the potty-training department, or at the very least, sparked some interest?

Ha ha ha! Archer's mom! Not even close!

So, here's where you come in. What kind of tips can you offer me to get the ball rolling in this department? And I know what you're thinking. "Just go back in the archives of your blog, duh!" but that's WAY too much work. I'd rather spend the time writing you this letter in hopes you'll write me back. Friday, specifically. A response by 3:00pm PST would be preferable.

Thank you in advance,

Fable's Mom
AKA "Pee, No! in WeHo"

And now? I wait for my reply.

Doo-too-doo, doo, doo.... La, la. Wait by the Internet, la.

In the meantime, perhaps you have some potty training advice of your own? If not, you're welcome to leave a comment anyway. All commenters will be eligible to win a year's supply of toilet paper as well as a $50 visa check card! Winner will be chosen via, announced next Monday, December 6th. Potty on, Wayne!


And now a word from our sponsor: For opportunities to win free Quilted Northern Soft and Strong® and help make the taboo talkable, join the conversation at or on Twitter @QuiltedNorthern.


EDITED, Monday, 12/6: Congratulations to #105 semipseudo! You just won a year's supply of toilet paper and a $50 gift card c/o Quilted Northern! Woohoo! Thanks to all for participating!


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Dana | 4:03 PM

we did a 3-day weekend of total pants off dance off (covering any valuable goods with washable towels). worked to get our stubborn son out of dipes. good luck!

Pres. Kathy | 4:04 PM

Ok - I am with you. I need all the advice I can get. My three year old is not potty trained yet and I get sick of everyone asking me! When he finally goes I will be sure to send an email ... :-).

Linden | 4:05 PM

We have yet to start potty-training our 27-month-old son, and many of his peers are also still using diapers. From what I've read, this is one of those things that you have to time just right. Wait until the kid shows some interest in using the potty, because otherwise it will just become a battle, and peeing/pooping is one thing you can't control. Did that help? Probably not.

Serenity Now | 4:06 PM

We are about to start this too - I thing we're going to sequester ourselves at home and try just putting the chonies on and see what happens. I've been told by many moms, if you try and it doesn't work - then they're not ready and you should stop and try again in a month. Good luck to you!

Unknown | 4:08 PM

For Lola we did the Dr Phil potty train in 1 day. It worked pretty well but she also had a desire to do it. I put her in panties and kept her in panties (except I did a few diapees at night and realized she does great at night and went panties all the time). I asked her often if she needed to go and now she just tells me when she does. The pooping took about a month longer but once she did it and knew it wasn't scary she caught on quick. She is all the way potty trained but I take a small wipe case and an extra pair of panties in my purse just in case.

If Fable is really resistant, give her some more time and try again a little later. I hear it can make it worse if they don't have a desire to learn and are pushed. I am not excited to potty train #2 when the time comes... Good luck :)

divrchk | 4:09 PM

She's still young. I wouldn't worry about it until she shows some sort of interest.

Wendy | 4:16 PM

My son was very stubborn, and although interested in the potty from 18 months, wouldn't reliably use it until just after his 3rd birthday. I tried the switching to undies...staying home for 3 days and putting him on the toilet every 30 min..etc. Nothing worked. I had to wait until he wanted to go. Then it happened in 2 days! Of course, once his baby sisters were born, he regressed. But that's another story! I would ignore everyone else's bragging and wait until Fable wants to use the potty. But keep up the demos-it's gotta help, right??

Red Stethoscope | 4:18 PM

Disclaimer: I am not a parent! Thus, my knowledge is limited to that of others! However, I do read a lot of parenting blogs (I want to become a pediatrician and blogs are so, I'm really weird, aren't I?). I am also the friend of many with babies.

OK, so routine seems to help. Putting Fable on the potty before bathtime is awesome. If you are home during the day and can do it every hour or so (even if nothing comes out), getting her used to the idea of sitting and not being scared of the potty will be helpful. Have her sit for only 5-10 minutes at a time, so it's not overwhelming (but warning: it will be annoying for YOU). Also, incentives seem to work for other people. Making a little chart on the wall that she can put stickers on for every poo or pee, as well as giving small candies (my friends have given either mini M&Ms or cut gummi bears in half) is a good idea.

I agree with Linden, though...if Fable shows any sort of interest in potty training, run with it! Does she have any potty books?

OK, that is my non-parental semi-medical (or not at all, me with my paltry medical school self).

I also love Quilted Northern and stockpile it in my apartment. I'm not just saying that because they sponsored this post. I truly do love that it is inexpensive and strong, but not too thick, like other brands. (OK, I wrote that last sentence because the blog was sponsored. Listen, medical school loans have an 8.5% interest rate. 8.5%!!! I want me my free tp and gift card!)

Helen Amanda | 4:20 PM

We kept the potty in the room with us and naked time combination. The moment she felt a drip she raced to the potty. It took a week of washing the couch covers twice a day but eventually she got it. Good luck!

Courtney | 4:21 PM

My aunt told my cousin that as soon as she could pee pee in the potty, she could get her ears pierced. 1 week later she never had an accident again! So maybe a motivational goal?

Danielle | 4:22 PM

I am not a mom. (I repeat, I AM NOT A MOM!) But I've babysat and helped raise enough kids to understand the challenges of potty training. I think Linden had it right when she said to just wait until the kid shows interest in using the potty. Otherwise it becomes something they're forced into, which will inevitably lead to disaster. (I.e. poop behind the toy chest, pee in your shoes, outright refusal to sit on the potty, etc.) Every kid is different when it comes to Ye Ole Throne, so don't let the kids who got it early psych you out. She'll get it eventually, it may just take her more time. Good luck to you!

Genesee | 4:23 PM

Can you follow some of these potty trained kids you see at the park into the bathroom with Fable so she can see that other kids are doing it? Sounds strange, but might be a motivator. :)

Desi | 4:24 PM

I run a dayhome and have two kids of my own, so I do a lot of potty training. (9 kids, so far) Here's my advice: Put her on the potty wake-ups and before sleeping. Most kids also need to pee about 15 minutes after a meal, and ever hour or so after that. Read a story, sing a song - whatever. At this age, sitting on the potty is a major accomplishment (really, sitting still at all), so give her a little cheer for just sitting there. And then if she pees? PARTY! We have a potty song (I'm not kidding), sometimes treats and stickers help. Once she's peeing in the potty for you a couple of times a day for a week or so, THEN do the pants-free weekend. If she does reasonably well with that, she's ready to graduate to big girl panties (not pull-ups). If she has more misses than hits during the pants-free weekend, then keep putting her on the potty at predictable times for a month or so, and then try it again. Poop is a bigger deal, for most kids. If she's the kind of kid who is obvious about pooping, then you can see her start to push and run for the potty. And then if she makes it, party big enough to make the peeing party seem like a minor event. If she's not so obvious? Well, you'll just have to wait until she does it on her own. (Cue party.)

I tell all my clients that it's the kids' show. It's up to them to show us when they're ready, and it's up to us to provide support and encouragement. And for most kids, it takes about a year from first potty success to clean-and-dry all the time. Good luck!

Linley | 4:25 PM

I teach 2's and 3's Sunday school so I've seen lots of parents trying all sorts of approaches, but nothing really works until they are ready. No worries-- they all get it by the time they out grow of my class! :)

Unknown | 4:26 PM

Don't rush the potty training. They will let you know when they are ready :)

LindaB | 4:30 PM

oh my gosh, it took us FOREVER with my son. Seriously. The more we tried, the more he denied. Finally, after we saw that he knew what to do and could do it but was just being stubborn, we left it alone. A few weeks later and after starting preschool, he did it and never looked back. Each kid is different though and while we try to figure it all out, they're probably sitting there laughing at us inside their cute little heads.
You can do it, Fable!!

lindalee7777 at hotmail

Amanda | 4:31 PM

Yep, totally in the same boat. So far Jack will usually pee in the toilet no problemo but as far as pooping goes, apparently not everybody poops. At least not this kid, at least not in the potty. So far we've tried that Pavlovian M&M trick, the cheering like a cheerleader on lithium if anything is produced in the right place trick, we even bought "Elmo's Potty Time" on DVD to show him that poo is coo'. Nada. The kid is poo shy so I'm just going to let him let me know when he's ready.

I have heard that putting them in big kid underwear to encourage big kid-ness helps a bit.

We'll see. It's a pain in the ass though. Pun unavoidable.

Krista Walton Potter | 4:32 PM

Only thing I've housetrained is a puppy. Treats for a job well done maybe?

Michelle M. Nebel | 4:36 PM

Aha! I'm not alone in the second-child potty training "what the heck did we do last time...." thing!

DS is nearly 5, DD is 22 months. She's pretty close (90%? 95%) to potty-trained for poop - and I have no idea why. That girl basically just hates the feeling of poop in a diaper. (I can't blame her, there, really, who wants THAT anywhere near your girly parts?) So she's very vocal about getting-thee-to-a-potty when she needs to go. Sometimes she even wants to go to the potty, then sits down and farts and exclaims, "Just gas!"

What is blowing my mind is that she seems completely care-free about peeing in a diaper. Or organic cotton training pants. Or adorably adorned Big Girl Underwear. Or naked. She just pees without a blink. Then she comes to announce, "I pee-pee inna potty!" When I get excited, she then points to either the training pants or underwear she has stripped out of, or the spot on the carpet... but, alas, never the baby potty which is often TWO FEET AWAY from the spot or wet clothing.

What goes on in those brains of theirs?

Unknown | 4:38 PM

I'm looking at that with my own kid ... he has absolutely NO interest in the potty. I'm terrified.

Rhea | 4:41 PM

ok, i don't have a babyfriend (yet), but i really want to win free tp for a year. how cool would those bragging rights be? oh, and i want to help you.
on jon & kate plus 8, she got the wee ones wee-weeing in the potty by rewarding them with m&ms. 1 for pee and 2 for poop, if i remember correctly. ugh, i am officially creepy.
i would also try bringing the potty with you from room to room. maybe if it's right there, she won't worry that she's missing out on anything. i say this as a 20-something who has risked UTIs from not being able to drag herself away from the computer.
failing both of the above, i would say give it time. you said archer was 3-ish, so that's, what, 36 months? you got 10 months to get this dance down, and even then, that's a pretty arbitrary deadline. don't stress out too much or else she might pick up on the URGENCY and STRESS!!! vibes. or something.
alright then, this here's my official letter to my future self. good luck!

Erin | 4:47 PM

Ok, so I don't have kids or anything, but I have a story to share. An old coworker of mine took two weeks off from work to do the naked potty training thing. Except she also made her kid (who I think was 4) clean it up every time she peed or pooped on the floor. Oh and she made her kid stay in the kitchen. The. Whole. Time. I guess it worked or whatever but man, I thought the whole thing was SUPER CRAZY! Good luck with Fable :) :) :)

Entwined Essentials | 4:50 PM

Oi vei, potty training sucks! I have 2 boys, 6 and 3 and they were both really tough to "train". I tried everything everyone suggested. In the end we just let it go, let them stay in diapers, and when they were ready they just started doing it on their own. They were both just a few months over 3 when they just decided to do it by themselves.

When it came to potty training and sleeping in our bed I just kept telling myself, "they won't wear diapers/sleep with me forever"!

Tara | 4:57 PM

I'm not looking forward to this! My husband and I are pregnant with our first child and I know we have many a bridges to cross before reaching potty training, but it is definitely not a part of motherhood I'm stoked about. In general I agree with a 'follow their lead' kind of approach. I think when Fable is ready she'll start showing interest. That being said, I have not been changing dirty diapers for the last two plus years. The potty sitting before bath sounds like a really good idea, getting her used to it without forcing anything on her. I'm sure you are ready for her to move on to the next phase in her life, but I think she'll tell you when she's down to get serious about the potty training. Good luck!

Dawn Myers | 5:12 PM

I have no advice, but I can commiserate. My 26 month old is also resisting tooth and nail. We had two weeks of potty success and then since then a whole lot of nada. I am trying to take the laid back approach to this, but I have to admit it is frustrating!

Cave Momma | 5:13 PM

Well, I only have experience with one kid so far. She is now 37 months and decided to potty train maybe 6 months ago. And I do mean decided. She literally just made the choice to start using the potty and that was that. I kept her in diapers till then. But I started talking it up to her around 2. Saying how COOL it was that I was peeing and pooping on the potty. And look how COOL her very own potty was. Got her some big girl panties that were totally awesome but the deal was that she couldn't wear them till she started going on the potty.

She tried it out a few times ending up with pee down her legs much like Fable so I would tell her it's ok and she just isn't ready and we would put them away. I even tried pull ups which didn't work at all for us (though she does still wear those at night). Too much like a diaper.

So I am now all about the talking it up and just waiting. I'll do it with my 25 month old son as well. My cousin with 6 kids convinced me of that. She said the last 3 didn't potty train till almost 3.5 but they were FULLY potty trained, at night even. No needing to remind/ask them to go (which I still have to do), no nothing like that except the rare occasion.

However, I have heard many people say they LOVE the 3-day method so you could always try that. Just keep in mind the younger they are the more you will probably have to remind them.

No matter how you do it, good luck!

Leslie @ Body Won't Break | 5:13 PM

I don't have kids of my own, but I did work at a daycare for a few years. We put the kiddos on the toilet every 90 minutes and praised them if they went. Then if they didn't go, we would try again (and again and again and again). If we found a wet diaper, we would put them on the toilet as well. Lots of parents also said they had their older kids help teach the younger one.

Anonymous | 5:14 PM

For my brothers and sister (I'm way older than them so I remember this) we did scheduled sits on the potty and Pull-Ups. Every couple of hours we would go sit on the potty for 15 min. That being said, I've discovered through potty training not only my siblings but lots of baby sitting charges that kids will start using the toilet when they're ready and usually not before. My brother gave himself encopresis because we forced potty training on him when he wasn't ready yet, so be careful.

Jessica | 5:16 PM

I have no good advice as we are not quite there yet, but I am TERRIFIED of potty training. Good luck! I am very interested in hearing (reading) how all of this turns out.

And I always find it amusing how often poop and pee enter the conversation after you become a mommy.

Megan | 5:17 PM

I was a nanny for 10 years and have potty trained many kids. However, now as a mom of two I need to write my former self a letter. My advice is to wait until they are so ready for potty training and then wait another month. Then when the time comes put on those (organic) undies and go about your business as usual. Take them to the potty every hour rewarding any effort with a jelly bean or m&m (or if you have a magical kids- a lousy sticker). The trick is to use the rubber diaper covers when you're out or in the car so you don't have to clean their car seat (or the coffee shop's couch) a million times. And if they poop in their underwear, throw them away. Seriously, I don't have enough time in my life to clean sh*t off a $5 pair of underwear. My son is 2 1/2 and still not ready. So I'll wait. I'd rather change a diaper and be the shame of the playgroup moms than clean poop of my bookcase.

CC | 5:17 PM

Yeah, I agree with the others. It's a lot of effort to make it happen if she's not ready. And just ignore those folks on the playground--so their children started using the toilet a few months earlier than the other kids... is that really such a great accomplishment?!?

Christine | 5:21 PM

Unfortunately I think they just do better when they are closer to three. It is a bit embarrassing when everyone else's kid is trained but it all happens in good time. Not the answer you were looking for I know!

Unknown | 5:22 PM

I fear potty training because I have the most stubborn boy ever.

My friend with a stubborn kid did the whole naked thing but with a twist. She stripped the kid down, got three cheap potties and let them run wild in the back yard all day. If he hit the potty super awesome dance party treat time, if he missed no big deal.

famousamy | 5:24 PM

As many others seemed to have done, we took the lazy-parenting approach and said 'screw-it'. We can afford diapers still, so who cares. We put the training potty in the living room, let her join mommy in the bathroom whenever she wanted and eventually she wanted to try it. Just shy of her 3rd birthday she got it; And in only a few days. And we didn't have a single heart attack. :-)

Liesel | 5:31 PM

I have no advice but toilet paper for a year?! Whoop!

Heather Tull | 5:34 PM

We're in the same boat. Our oldest is 7 and the younger will be 2 this week and one on the way. I was really hoping to have the 2 yr old in undies by the time the new babe comes but she's not showing any interest at all so I'm not planning to hold my breath.

Jenn/hippygoth | 5:38 PM

I gotta say, I think you may need to wait. I was feeling really stressed that my 2.5 yr old daughter wasn't potty trained, and I knew all these two year old boys that were, and weren't girls supposed to train "easier" than boys and shouldn't she be done by now and did I miss my window and what is the issue here? And then I sat back and listened to her saying "No, no, no," and realized that if I kept pushing it, I would just be pushing us back. So I dialed it back, and waited a couple weeks, just doing potty before bed, and then just switched to underwear cold turkey in the house. The car and bed and nap were pull-ups, but when she was ready, she was ready.

I guess my advice just boils down to - don't turn it into a battle - wait until she's ready - because I don't know how you respond to someone telling you to do something you don't want to do, but I know how I respond. And how my daughter responds. So I waited. And now we're all in underpants during the day. Hurray! (at 36 months)

KK | 5:49 PM

My almost 5 year old trained at 34 months & it was really easy because we just waited until she was ready. With my 2nd I feel like I totally forget how to go about it also. Best of luck!

The Hojo Family | 5:49 PM

I totally feel your pain! Unfortunately, I really don't have any advice.

It was a NIGHTMARE trying to potty train my son!! He was about to start preschool and still would NOT use the potty! I tried EVERYTHING!! Finally, the first day of preschool got here, I had to send him in a pull up (a BIG BIG no no for his school!) and pray that they didn't see it! Luckily the teachers didn't notice and my son had such an amazing day in preschool, I used that against him! lol .. I told him he couldn't go back to school because he didn't use the potty. He started using the potty THAT VERY SAME DAY!!

I dreaded having to potty train my daughter because my son was SUCH a pain in the butt to potty train. I put it off until she turned 3 and when I attempted the first day - IT WORKED!!!! She is almost 4 and still to this day has NEVER had an accident - day OR night!! I totally lucked out on that one! She got the conecpt ASAP and never looked back!!! I think God felt bad for me the first time around, so he let me get off EASY the 2nd time! ;-) lol

Unknown | 5:49 PM

I'm looking forward to the day my babe leaves diapers behind. I can hardly wait for your response to yourself! :)


Sara | 5:49 PM

As I'm sure your former self (Archer's mom) could tell you (and as other comments have as well) you gots to wait until the kid is ready. Kids are in charge of two things: what they put into their mouths, and what they excrete from their bodies. If you make it a power struggle, then war is on. Who wants war? She'll be motivated to please you, make you proud etc. if and when she is ready. So try to just chill about the other tots in undies and let Fable wear her diapers for now. She won't wear them forever! Good luck...

[LJT] | 5:58 PM

I hate to say this, but it sounds like she is just not ready. You don't want to push it when she is so resistant, it will only drag the process out longer.

But if you want to try maybe you could entice her with stickers? Or whatever her "currency" is. My daughter got one sticker for pee and two for poop. She was (still is) very proud of her stickers!

If she will sit on the potty, spend lots of time sitting and reading or chatting. And when she goes, whoop it up! Good luck!

Hannah V | 6:00 PM

I just got my little girl(22 months) potty trained. We made her sit on the potty every 10-15 mins all day for a week and only had a couple accidents and now she rarely has any accidents.

She's been interested in potty training for awhile, and she adjusts to change really quickly so I won't be surprised if the next one(I'm about to have another girl) will be a lot harder. :-/

Jenny | 6:09 PM

My son is exactly one week younger than Fable and we haven't started with potty training. Although he goes most evenings in the potty, right before his bath. I don't think he is really into it. Our pediatrician said to definitely wait until they show interest. So we're holding off...Good Luck!

Anonymous | 6:09 PM

The pants off option didn't work for us at all...matter o fact not much worked for us. Our son wasn't interested (at 27 months) until 2 things happened: his friends were all trained and we pointed that fact out mercillesly and he realized that peeing and pooping in any type of undergarment was uncomfortable. We had the extra bonus because his friends all got to move up to pre-school from the toddler room at daycare-and he was left behind. I realize that Fable isn't in this situation but I am saying that peer pressure sometimes can be advantageous. It also took a few accidents at home for him to start hating having wet clothes and that using the potty was much nicer. We put him in training pants and sweats, for whatever reason he found that combo worse than any other.

Another option is to put her on the potty every half hour, and ask her to try.

There is offering up rewards for successful pottying but she is a little young.

tlr | 6:10 PM

I don't think she's ready.
We pushed it on my son when he was 2 1/2 because all my friends were doing it. He was interested for a day or two and then completely reverted.
I then had to do it at 3 because he couldn't go to pre-k without being trained. I talked it up and kept bringing him to the bathroom but he had lots of accidents.
What finally worked (this is gross): I started vomiting after I cleaned his poop off the floor for the umpteenth time. I told him that was enough because Mommy couldn't take it anymore and the next day he was trained. I totally think he decided when to do it - or he just freaked out at his crazy mother.
To this day, we call messy poops "vomit poops".
My Jilly is 24 months and points at her diaper when she pees and is very interested in us using the toilet. She waves Bye Bye as we flush. I'm still leery of trying training though until she is really ready.
I wouldn't push it with Fable - she will do it when she's ready - and every child ends up trained eventually.
Although you might try talking up the whole "Mommy taking care of baby thing". Since she loves playing with baby dolls, you might talk about how only babies wear diapers and their Mommys wear big girl undies. Or have her teach her dolls how to use the potty.
Stop stressing and just cheer her independence on. Let us know what works. : )

Julie | 6:14 PM

Maybe try pull-ups or maybe wait a bit and try again?

Ronni | 6:16 PM

I have no advice, because I don't have kids, but free toilet paper for a year would be awesome.
Well, OK, I have a friend who did the 24-hour in the bathroom thing and it seemed to work.

Celina | 6:20 PM

Sounds like she's not ready and letting you know. It's SOOOO much easier when they're interested.
Regardless, we waited until my son turned 3 and made him sit on the potty every hour. He worked out the poop part before the pee part. I guess the sensation is stronger. He got the hang of it pretty quickly, but I think it really had to do with him being ready and understanding that his friends at school were potty training also.

Rebecca | 6:22 PM

Set a kitchen timer for 30 minutes and explain that when the timer dings it's time to sit on the potty. (My son will sit on the potty and make NOTHING for hours on end and then get up and 2 minutes later pee down his leg and continue playing and he's 3 and a half!)

Anyway the theory is that you're bound to catch something and the kid will be excited and you'll give an M & M and all will be good because it'll eventually click. An entire week did not do the trick with my we are going to wait for another month or two.

Unknown | 6:23 PM

I am so scared to potty train my son. He is the most stubborn person know, and training cannot be anything but awful with him. I'll be scanning comments for advice and hoping for all the toilet paper.

Janel | 6:33 PM

I know it's really hard, but just back off and try again in a few months. My daughter had a couple of false starts where we tried potty training, and all the methods you described didn't work with her either. She was close to Fable's age the first time, then a few months later I tried again, but no. The third time, about 2 1/2, it was like a light bulb went on in her head. Suddenly, she just got it. When she's ready, she'll go for it. Don't let those other babies with their fancy panties intimidate you :)

Ali Smith | 6:35 PM

We are not to the potty training phase yet, but one of my friends bought special diapers that feel really cold when the kid pees in them. That way they don't like peeing in their diaper anymore.

For some reason this seems very very wrong... but maybe if you get desperate?

Melissa | 6:37 PM

Oh potty training!

I have had quite the 2 year adventure in potty training! I am still completing it with my almost 4 year old. At least, she is potty trained during waking hours.

My daughter expressed interest in the potty right after she turned 2. I went out, got a big girl potty. She put that potty right in front of the TV and never used it! There were a few failed attempts at potty training while she was two. I was advised from everyone, don't push potty training.

Then she expressed interest again right before she turned 3. She did great for a few weeks. she had a sticker potty chart and at the end of the chart she earned a princess barbie, then the accidents started. After a few accidents at the baby sitters, my daughter convinced herself that it hurt when she went potty. I took her to the doctors, thinking she had an UTI. Nope! The doctor advised I stop the whole potty training thing for a few months.

Next we did a part time potty training. For three months, when she got home from the babysitters and on weekends, she was diaper free. She did fantastic (at home, not at the sitters )!

All along my daughter has not wanted to stop playing to use the bathroom. Completely ignoring her body. I wanted to keep her stress free when she was out of the house and at the sitters.

This past May, a coworker of my mom's gave us this HUGE box of build a bear clothes.I took a week off from work, every 30 mins we went into the bathroom and she had to try to go to the bathroom. After a day, we were in sink. Then Every time my daughter went potty she got to pick an outfit out. IT WORKED. She was potty trained and completely accident free after a few weeks! For about a month she had timed her pooping for when she had a diaper on. Then one day, she was popping on the potty!!!!

We have had very few accidents since this summer. Most of the time, my daughter can make it through her naps staying dry, and we haven't mastered over night. That will come when she is ready. I'm a strong believer in not pushing stuff. When she is ready, she will be ready and it will come naturally!

A friend of mines daughter after over year of peeing in the potty still would not poop in the potty. She would request a diaper when it was that time. Finally one day they said to their daughter, "enough. You poop in the bathroom. If you need to poop in your diaper go into the bathroom". She pooped in her diaper in the bathroom for a few weeks, next thing they knew she wasn't afraid to poop in the potty!!

(wow, that was a really long comment)
Good Luck!

Melissa | 6:38 PM

Oh potty training!

I have had quite the 2 year adventure in potty training! I am still completing it with my almost 4 year old. At least, she is potty trained during waking hours.

My daughter expressed interest in the potty right after she turned 2. I went out, got a big girl potty. She put that potty right in front of the TV and never used it! There were a few failed attempts at potty training while she was two. I was advised from everyone, don't push potty training.

Then she expressed interest again right before she turned 3. She did great for a few weeks. she had a sticker potty chart and at the end of the chart she earned a princess barbie, then the accidents started. After a few accidents at the baby sitters, my daughter convinced herself that it hurt when she went potty. I took her to the doctors, thinking she had an UTI. Nope! The doctor advised I stop the whole potty training thing for a few months.

Next we did a part time potty training. For three months, when she got home from the babysitters and on weekends, she was diaper free. She did fantastic (at home, not at the sitters )!

All along my daughter has not wanted to stop playing to use the bathroom. Completely ignoring her body. I wanted to keep her stress free when she was out of the house and at the sitters.

This past May, a coworker of my mom's gave us this HUGE box of build a bear clothes.I took a week off from work, every 30 mins we went into the bathroom and she had to try to go to the bathroom. After a day, we were in sink. Then Every time my daughter went potty she got to pick an outfit out. IT WORKED. She was potty trained and completely accident free after a few weeks! For about a month she had timed her pooping for when she had a diaper on. Then one day, she was popping on the potty!!!!

We have had very few accidents since this summer. Most of the time, my daughter can make it through her naps staying dry, and we haven't mastered over night. That will come when she is ready. I'm a strong believer in not pushing stuff. When she is ready, she will be ready and it will come naturally!
(wow, that was a really long comment)
Good Luck!

Anonymous | 6:45 PM

Both of mine were trained at 39 months. I shut out the competitive voices of others and waited until they were ready.

Kitty | 6:51 PM

How about grandma? I'm the grandma and I just decided one day that my granddaughter was way too smart to still be in diapers. We talked alot about the fun things we could do if she wore big girl panties. I told her how much I hated to change diapers. I bought new packages of panties and kept them out where she could explore them on her own. She was so curious, but kept saying "no". After several visits (over several weekends) she nodded "yes" that she was ready. We had just a few accidents, but we did it! Then I threatened momma and daddy not to put her back in diapers when they took her home! They couldn't believe she was already finished with diapers, but she quickly convinced them. Now, three years later, this is one of her favorite stories - the story of how she decided to not to wear diapers anymore.

beyond | 7:02 PM

she'll probably let you know. a sticker chart with a special toy when the chart is filled? i got nothing.

Anonymous | 7:02 PM

I still haven't started the potty training adventure with my son YET but I remember my aunt used to stick pictures on the wall in front of the potty for my cousins so they'd sit there and entertain themselves and hopefully pee/poo in the process.

WOW run on sentence much. SORRY.

Alex | 7:03 PM

I've been playing with potty training my son since he was 18 mths. He did pretty good for about 2 mths and then we both got lazy and picked it up around his 2nd bday, then we started traveling A LOT and we both got lazy. Now we've been successfully "at-home" trained for the last 2 mths and my goal was to make it Dec 1st and start fulltime on the underwear in public thing. I hear thats 2 days away and I'm kind of scared. And we've also had many fall down on hardwood in your own pee moments too.

Weird tip. My mom (has 8 kids) said you can smell when a kid has to poop. Yes. I'm proud to say I've sniffed me kids butt and made it to the pot on time at least 3 times.

Jen | 7:04 PM

Bribery. It worked for my brother. I'll be using it with my daughter. One M&M for pee, several M&M's for poop!

Sara Kay | 7:10 PM

My advice is to wait. She's not ready yet. And if you try to make them before they're ready, you end up in a battle of the wills and she still won't be completely trained at 5 1/2. Not that I know anything about it, promise.

corrin | 7:15 PM

My mom bribed both my sister and I with M&Ms and after 3 days of intensive potty training boot camp (her words, not ours) we were officially ready for sleepovers with our aunt, who doesn't change diapers.

alanna_migliacci | 7:16 PM

I don't have kids, but I tried to train my dog to pee on the street. She previously always had a yard to pee in, so city life was very confusing for her. She would hold it all night and then make me bring her to the park (ten blocks away)in the morning. I tried to make her watch other dogs peeing on the street, but she refused. So I don't know what to tell you except be patient.

Stacey | 7:17 PM

I have no advice for you, I'm afraid. Good luck.

What I really wanted to say is that that first picture of Fable is absolutely incredible. I love it.

Lora | 7:17 PM

Maybe a baby doll that pees? That might at least spark her interest. Or wait until a warm day and do the pants-off thing outside.

Shannon | 7:19 PM

26 months is pretty young. Of course some kids train that early but it's not by any means shocking if she's not ready yet. I know "they" say that girls train faster/earlier/easier than boys but it wasn't true at my house. My kids were both nearly 3 when they were ready and when they were ready it happened pretty fast. I'm a big fan of the "wait til they're ready method". :) Good luck!

mommaruthsays | 7:19 PM

Before we got our three-year-old potty trained, we had tried everything! Nothing worked, and we were near the end of our rope.

Luckily, one day a nurse at the pediatrician's office told us to sit our daughter on the potty and have her blow bubbles in a cup of water. We thought she was CRAZY but we did it - and lo and behold the pee began to flow! From then on it was a fun game for her, and she got the hang of it all within a week!

Weird idea but awesome results!

Annika | 7:22 PM

Sam just starting using the potty one day. He was like 26 months. I had approximately nothint to do with it. I KNOW. So now I am a liiiiiittle concerned about what I will do when it is Grace's turn. Maybe she will be the same way! Wouldn't that be nice!

Kathy in Florida | 7:22 PM

Not advice, just my current situation with my 22mo Daughter: She never cared for her "froggy potty"...I got one of those soft Dora/Elmo/random character seats for our toilet and she was all about it. Maybe try that?
Also, tonight, she ran to the potty from the garage (without pants because she peed in them), pooping little person pellets the whole way. I understand the misery - sometimes you just have to laugh at just how much they are like puppies being housebroken. I learned quick to not ask...just tell her it's potty time. I mention it every 30-45 minutes. She says "no potty mommy" and then I insist on trying...that playing/elmo/daddy will wait until she's done. There are good days and bad. I know eventually there will be more good then bad.

Melinda | 7:23 PM

We did the "just put them in underwear until they figure it out" method. We didn't start until she was almost 3, and only when we were playing outside.
A few wet pants and she figured it out.

We also watched this crazy DVD called Potty Power a few times and it did the trick.

Elle | 7:26 PM

I trained my twin girls. They're only a month older than Fable;) We used this based on several recommendations and it worked beautifully. Good luck:)

Unknown | 7:28 PM

No advice for you, but I'm reading everyone else's comments. I have a wonderful 27 month old that proudly sits on the toilet every day and then stands up and says "NOTHING!" as she inspects the empty baby potty. She can sit there for quite a long time and then when she feels the urge to go, she cries and asks for a diaper. Horrors. She is very stubborn and I can't see this going easily. Good luck fellow mamas!

Unknown | 7:29 PM

I wish I had some sage advice, but I have no kids! If you find the answer, will you write it here... I might need to know eventually!

Unknown | 7:29 PM

Lots of brilliant ideas here to help my 27 month old learn to use the potty. Love the blowing bubbles trick!

nicole | 7:30 PM

sorry charlie, but its diaper city for you a bit longer. the last thing you want is a power struggle in the potty department.... so, just chill and wait for her clues.

clues you say? here are the clues i look for: waking up dry from nap or morning, curiosity about the potty or selecting her own panties and the understanding that she controls the poop and pee. naked time should have enlightened her to this fact.

so, until then, i'd put her on the potty before each bath. hand her some books and let her chill. make it part of the routine.

if you do soldier on, the best tip for me was making my kiddo responsible for accidents. if we were in panties and she had an accident, i'd calmly state that 'pee/poop go in the potty' and that she needed to take her wet panties and pants to the washroom, go to her room and pick out fresh clothes. a few times of handling her 'tinkle pants' was all my kiddo needed. she didn't like that job one bit.

being told to wait sucks, but i think that is the best advice you will get. hang in there.

Heather | 7:32 PM

We did what you've started...sitting our son on the potty every night before bath. Then we slowly upped it to every morning before getting dressed AND every night before bath...then a few times during the day we'd sit him on the potty. We'd make a HUGE deal if he went on the potty, but never pressured him to go. We never rewarded w/candy or stickers, but did eventually start a penny reward system for his piggy bank. It's all about finding out what motivates your child specifically. Also, don't push too hard, or she'll never want to go...just try every now & then, and when she's ready, she'll go. GL!

Rachel | 7:34 PM

Our oldest daughter basically let us know when she was ready was pretty much potty trained by 2 years old. So when our second daughter hit two and still showed no interest, it was like a giant middle finger in my face. We've decided to stop stressing about it and trust that she will let us know when she's ready.

Susie | 7:35 PM

Well I'm sorry I don't have potty training advice as I only have a 13 month old...but I look forward to hearing how it turns out!

Meghan Elaine | 7:41 PM

I'm a new Mom. I have 21 month old twins and I'm already feeling pressure that they should be potty trained. My girl is all about going before the bath but my boy just laughs (before bath) and says 'boobies!' because he's naked. Ahhhh....I love this post so I can read your reader's advice.

Andi | 7:42 PM

I'm so glad our son decided he wants to just start doing this. He's only 13 months old but.. what the hell. If he sits ont he potty and poops well, more power to him.

Maybe he sensed that I was incapable of training him, so he just did it himself. What a considerate boy.

So for advice for you? I've got none. Sorry, sister.

lindsey | 7:51 PM

My favorite are the people that tell you to "have them clean it up themselves".
Yeah right.

Anonymous | 7:54 PM

I'll be stalking these comments hoping for a answer since we're in the same situation.
The problem is, Lucy knows what she needs to do, just refuses to do it.
Here's hoping!

Jamie | 7:55 PM

let her go naked and make it your total goal to watch for pee or poop...sit her on the potty every 20 min...when something goes in it, throw a HUGE party!!!!! also, try using some of that neon food coloring in the potty chair so she can see her potty change colors : )

Itskellerific | 7:56 PM

I typed out a few awesome paragraphs for you on potty training my daughter, and then my phone froze and I lost it all. Now, I will give you the condensed version.

I have a 2.5 year old little girl, who is recently potty trained. Recently as in about three weeks. I tried everything, including the naked method (I was also not a fan). One day, out of nowhere, she was ready. It was like I could see the light turn on above her head. She just got it.

Fable, I'm sure, will be the exact same way. I won't suggest that you should slow down and wait until she's ready, because I sure as hell didn't do that. And A LOT of people gave me that advice. Like you, I was thinking about pre-schools and other things.

All I know for sure is this: potty training is a real bitch. But when you get there, I know you will be as thrilled/proud/satisfied as I am now.

Allie Rose | 7:56 PM

My experience with potty training came from working at a militant Montessori preschool here in San Francisco. I was ALWAYS on potty duty and children were expected to be out of diapers when they turned three. Some of the guidelines were:

1. Don't go back to diapers out of convenience once you've switched to underpants. If you're not ready to commit to that, then just rock the diapers for a bit longer.

2. Buy a boat load of little kid undies (let her choose some!) and be prepared to sacrifice some if push comes to shove because...well, you know.

3. When she does have an accident have her get her fresh pair of undies and change her clothes by herself. Yes, this will take up time because you could do it so much faster, but it will get her consciously thinking about the whole peepee thing, instead of just going and having you clean up. (You could have things out for her to choose from to narrow the possibilities)

4. Have her put her wet clothes etc into the washer/laundry area, whatever and wash hands when done (duh)

Like I said, they were a bit militant, but my experience with this process is that kids slowly go from not realizing they have a wet diaper, to saying "I had an accident", then to "I'M PEEING MY PANTS!!!", then finally to "I gotta pee! I gotta pee!"

Finally, the chill parent method seems to work equally well. What they say is true, when they're ready they're ready. She wont always want to peep in her pants and you might save yourself a lot of hassle if you just have an open dialogue about it, and then go with the....flow

Anonymous | 8:01 PM

I did the naked potty training with both my kids. My son was 2.5 and I moved his potty from the bathroom into our family room where he was in plain view of it all the time. He was naked, it was summer, and he was potty trained in 3 days. I didn't care if he peed outside in the grass (pooping was only allowed in the potty). My daughter was a different story all together. She was just over her 2nd birthday and we did the naked potty training with her too. It took her much longer to catch on but it was summer, warm, and I knew by August we wanted her potty trained (Del Mar vacation...didn't want to hassle with diapers.) She watched her brother pee outside so she started doing it as well.It took us all summer to get her officially potty trained but it worked. She's 2.5 and diaper free. The one thing I realized with her was it was too soon. She just didn't quite understand the concept but I didn't want to try to potty train her during winter. Summer is easier. Naked is fun! Maybe Fable just isn't ready?? Good luck!

Unknown | 8:03 PM

I have no advice, at all. Two of the boys I took care of in daycare went through potty training while I was helping out with them, one took a very long time & was kind of a stubborn brat about it (& by kind of, I mean totally). The other one wanted to be like his big brother so it went pretty smoothly because that motivated him so much.

The poor college student in me mostly wants that toilet paper.

Bonnie | 8:04 PM

I think you said shes 26 months old. Well, all I can tell you what happened with my daughter. I bought her a potty seat when she was way too young (18months)because she was acting like she wanted to sit on the potty shortly before she peed in her diaper. I knew it was too young but figured it would hurt to get her comfortable with the potty. She was trained at approx 2.5 years with pee. And very shortly after also nighttime too. I think it was just the right time for her. Now for the poop part it was crazy, she didnt poop in the potty till about 7 months after. I guess I thought if she could pee why couldnt she poop. We promised her everything to try to get her to poop. I remember breastfeeding my son while I was sitting in the hallway watching her sitting on the potty telling her your not getting up till you poop. :) haha The funny part was one night during dinner she says, i have to go potty. Then she yells Im done....and I walk in and she says I went poop! We all were screaming and clapping. And she has pooped ever since. She then started cashing in on all the things we promised her. Chocolate, ice cream, cabbage patch doll, snappy shoes (what she calls dress shoes) I dont remember what else. Every few days she would remember something else we told her we'd get her. :) Anyways, in her case I feel like all the crap we did and all of the flipping out was a waste of our time. For her I think it was just the right time for her. Id say do the things you think your should be doing and go on with your day. My husband and I now laugh that I used to say shed poop in diapers forever. We will see if thats the case with my son, hes 18months right now. Hope everything goes good for your guys. Oh yeah, I did really like the training underwear. At least If they pee in them their thick and soak most of it up so they dont cause further accidents, lol. Their so cozy Id really like some for myself.

Mrs. Q. | 8:15 PM

We taught my son and nephew to pee standing up by letting them "water" my mom's ornamental grasses in the backyard. That totally works. For boys.

I have since shut out the horror of potty training my daughter, and then doing it again six months later when she reverted. I don't know if it's girls or the second-born or what, but I nearly lost my shit with the second kid. Godspeed.

Lisa/Kaiasmom2003 | 8:16 PM

I really wish I had some solid advice on this, but my daughter just decided one day she was going to do it and she did! My son took a bit more time but boys are a different breed (cheerios in the toilet trick did it for him,lol)

stephanie Toole | 8:23 PM

When my son was just a month old I had a dream that I potty trained him.. I was sick of diapers already and didn't even know what was coming! I wish you good luck and share what works because we are on that war path soon ourselves.

Smak73 | 8:45 PM

Rebecca, I have to say this post surprises me. I think you're a pretty cool mom, and I enjoy reading your posts on Fable as our daughters are just a few days apart in age. But why are you even concerned with this at her age? She JUST turned 2! I know you mentioned preschool as a motivator, but I'm calling shenanigans on that one - plenty of preschools take kids who aren't potty trained yet (in fact many parents tell me that's how their kids finally potty trained: peer influence at school)... Seems more like you're in competition with the moms at playgroup. Which is disappointing, especially in light of your recent post on helping your daughter maintain a positive self-esteem. Maybe by not holding her to others achievements, and by just allowing her to be herself? More walk, less talk?.... That said, good luck with the training. She'll do it when she's ready. If you force her before that it won't go well for either of you (i.e. "no pee mommy"). She's only 2. She's not 4 or 5 or even 3. She's 2.

nemens | 8:45 PM

I need some "second-time-around" refreshers too. My daughter (2 1/2) was stubbornly trying to diaper herself last week so I took it as a sign that she was ready. Nah. I think she was just messing with me. Meanwhile, my son (5) tells me "I potty trained my sister for you. But she's keeping it a secret." HA!

Amy D. | 8:58 PM

I have been a nanny for 15 years, and have potty trained 9 children. In my experience, the more you fret/push/worry, the longer it will be. Hopefully when she's ready, she'll show tons of interest.


Good ones, you guys! Thanks for the stories! And laughs! Potty training is hilarious at its core... kind of.

And Smak73? Not to worry - this post is the first of a two-part correspondence with myself. Hint: Archer's mom will tell Fable's mom what's what.


Amalia | 9:03 PM

When I was a baby my mom showed me how my older cousin went potty. I absolutely idolized her, so the moment I saw her using the toilet, that was it. I refused to wear diapers. Who does Fable idolize? Worth a try maybe.

{katrina} | 9:17 PM

I used the 3-day Potty Training method back in September over Labor Day weekend and it WORKED! At the end of Day 3 we were rocking the potty and had attained the promised trip to Disneyland within 2 weeks via a sticker chart.

I highly recommend it! And if you google for it you *might* stumble across a free copy of the eBook (*wink).

W | 9:26 PM

we are not having any luck with our 26 month old either... tried about a month ago, with general fail (thankfully limited to pee in the big boy undies, not poop) so we just stopped all efforts. Maybe we'll try again in a week. Maybe not.

Part of me wonders if the problem is that the baby potty is AWFULLY cold right now.

Muffin Cake | 9:38 PM

Pretty much I am commenting for the free TP for a year. If you knew my husband you would understand. ;)

We PTd my daughter the week she turned 2, about 6 weeks after I gave birth to my second kid. I was home on maternity leave, she was interested, and I didn't want to change 2 sets of diapers eleventy billion times a day. We'd had potties in the play area and the bathrooms since she was 15 months and started to let us know when she was wet (being first-timers to the parent gig we were SURE she was going to be a child potty prodigy) but she wasn't that into using them. So at 2 I sat her down, told her she was the big sister and big sisters don't use diapers, and that was that. It took 3 days in panties, no leaving the house, and a few accidents and she was PTd.

What *I* want to know is how to nighttime PT. 18 months later we're still not there with THAT.

Muffin Cake | 9:43 PM

I want to mention this too: we never, ever ever made a big deal out of 'accidents' or tough days. If she had an accident, I would say something like, "Oh look at that. Next time let's try sitting on the potty first, ok?" and we'd clean it up. I think it's super important to make it a positive experience and not a negative one!

Melissa | 9:47 PM

You have time...don't stress about. She'll do it when she's ready.

I was a lucky one...I put underwear on my daughter, she peed in them once, realized she hated the feeling, and was instantly potty trained. This didn't occur until a month before her third birthday, though. Patience.

Amanda | 9:51 PM

I had the potty training conversation with two of the foster parents I work with today. I really believe that when the child is ready they will let you know. It doesn't sound like Fable is ready yet. I know that there are extreme cases where other measures need to be taken but I don't think that Fable is old enought to worry about any of that. She will come around.

Altman family | 9:53 PM

Didn't even try till mine was 3 (boy) but I say just relax, she'll do it when she's ready, especially with the peer prssure from preschool (hers not yours). It's not a race. I promise (and yes I can guarantee it) that she won't be in diapers for her first date.

Rebekah | 9:58 PM

Here is what we are doing with our slightly over 2 year old son (and we are only starting now because our he is in full time daycare and they potty train them by 2 1/2 so they can move up to the preschool room which I think is totally crazy b/c I thought boys didn't potty train until they were three so, go figure....)

1) I bring him to the potty when he is mostly likely to go (who knows when that actually is???) but I try for about 30 min to 1 hour after he has drank water or milk
2) Give him an mm or sticker if he goes potty (he hasn't yet, so this all hypothetical)
3) Let him 'wipe himself' (Sorry for TMI) after, even if he hasn't gone, because that's his favorite part.
4) I ask him who went potty at daycare and he says 'yes' or 'no' for each child I name, which seems to make him really happy and therefore creates a positive and exciting tone to the whole potty discussion.

Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!

stephanie | 9:59 PM

ugh! we are working on this right now with our almost three year old. 3 year old!! if you find something that works let me know!

TexasBobbi | 10:02 PM

We are about 4 months behind you in age and a boy so no clue.

kfoxman | 10:04 PM

She's so young! I definitely wouldn't worry, but I hear the concern for preschool. What if you make it a really special event for her to pick out some fancy (under)pants? Then do the whole ask her every hour or so thing for a day or two. Try a sticker chart and give her a small little prize when she pees in the potty 5 times (earns 5 stickers). Good luck!

Lynsey | 10:59 PM

When my oldest turned 3 I tried about five different approaches. Zero fun. Then I bribed him with fuit snacks (which he'd never had before.) They were like crack to him! That was the ONLY way potty training worked for us.

Zakary | 11:19 PM

My daughter didn't potty train until she was 3.5. Wil my son, I was determined to have him out of diapers and into underwear by his third birthday. I started about a month before his birthday by putting his Cabbage Patch in a cloth diaper and asking the CP if he needed to go potty (I SWEAR I AM NOT A WEIRDO) and asking the Cabbage Patch if he was a baby or a big boy. We would then race to the potty if the CP said yes (Oh god) and he would use the potty while my son got to unroll the toilet paper and flush for the Cabbage Patch. The kicker was that the Cabbage Patch got an M&M for using the potty and my son was way into the candy, so he decided he would "try" the potty.

He accidentally potty trained himself in like four days, mostly so he could get candy like his Cabbage Patch. We just went all out and went straight to underwear. He was holding it through the night for about two months, that's how I knew he was ready.

Also, my son never liked the potty that sat on the floor, we have a bamboo ring seat for the top of the big toilet.

Feel free to use this advice if you have an Cabbage Patch that need help potty training as well. I had that Cabbage Patch trained in like an afternoon. :)

Good luck, man.

Honey | 11:49 PM

The best advice I've got about potty-training - though I do not have children of my own, but have been there with my now 2,5 year old niece - is: start the training early. Like even earlier than 26 months. It is usual here to get the diapers off as soon as possible - I'd say around 10 or 11 months. Yes, it is surreal and "too soon" for many of you, but it is much much easier and cheaper(imagine all those left-over clean diapers). I know it is too late for Fable but other readers with younger kids might take up on it.

The key is to put the child on potty right after they wake up and right before they go to sleep. Also, right after they eat. And sometimes in-between when it has been a long time (1.5 hours is long enough for babies). We have done it so that we tell to listen for the pee. Make it a happy thing. Praise the child when they have done it. Also a pee-song helps - seriously, something short and quick that only goes with the potty. Soon it becomes a habit and a routine - right after nap - on a potty with a song. It is amazing what reflexes do.

Obviously it takes times and even now when my niece get a little excited or notices too late, the undies are a bit wet but not much because she has learnt how to hold the muscles and she know she has to announce the "I need to pee-pee!" and storm for the potty.

So if you have a small baby, please consider it - make your baby "the miracle" who pees and poops on potty when they are 2 years old.

p.s - I do not want to participate in the prize draw :)

L | 12:50 AM

I'm afraid I was one of those "let the kid run around naked until he figures it out" kind of mothers :| My little one was 18 months when we did that and put him on the potty every 10 minutes or so (yeap... exhausting and tedious) - he was trained within a few weeks. A good potty book helped - we had one especially for boys and he loved that book.

L | 12:56 AM

P.S. I just read all the other comments now and I have to say I don't understand this whole thing of "wait until they show interest"... How are they supposed to show interested unless you encourage them to be interested? With books or having a potty every room or just telling them how cool it is, etc. We started using the potty before 1st birthdays and never encountered any resistance... Maybe we were just lucky?

Katherine | 3:20 AM

Well, maybe it's already been said...but here goes. I sorta forced my three year old daughter to potty train (she's now 5 1/2) and it was a disaster. We tried everything, I mean everything. Eventually she got the hang of it, but it took the better part of a year and it was painful for both of us. She still isn't potty trained at night, sigh. Then I had another baby and he is now 2 1/2 and has been potty trained since he was 2. He was just ready and it worked. I guess what I am trying to say is, you seem like the type of mom to listen to your kids and do what works FOR them. I think you should stick with that philosophy. Don't rush Fable if she doesn't seem ready.

Stacey | 4:11 AM

I am a big fan of the reward system. For my first daughter, it was a sticker on a "potty poster board" every time she went. For our second daughter it was an M&M.

Caroline | 4:40 AM

I bribed my daughter to sit on the potty. She had to sit there the entire time it took to eat a laughy taffy. (a while) then we moved on to gummy princess vitamins (target). The real break through was when I finally broke down and bought her a little potty to sit on (nasty). Potty training was a process in our house, I had a baby in the middle of it so ya know. Good luck!

Caroline | 4:43 AM

I bribed my daughter to sit on the potty. She had to sit there the entire time it took to eat a laughy taffy. (a while) then we moved on to gummy princess vitamins (target). The real break through was when I finally broke down and bought her a little potty to sit on (nasty). Potty training was a process in our house, I had a baby in the middle of it so ya know. Good luck!

carrielu | 5:28 AM

We have 3 boys, and what worked for us was to get the last package of diapers, discuss the fact that it was the LAST of the diapers, and that potty training and underwear was next, except during naps and night time. I made a sticker chart with 3 categories, sitting on the potty= 1 m&m, pee on the potty =2 m&ms, and poop= 4 m&ms, plus a sticker for whatever action/actions were taken. For the first 3 days, I would make him try every 30 minutes (literally set a timer), so obviously we were home bound. The last piece to the puzzle was that I bought a toy that he really wanted, and put it on top of the refrigerator where he could see it, and after 7 days *in a row* of no accidents, he got the toy. Nap time and night time were still diaper/pull-ups, and did not count.
Good luck, I know this can be a tough time!

Candice | 5:41 AM

I wish I had some specific advice about this for you. I remember feeling frustrated with my second child, she's a little over 3.5 years old. I wanted her potty trained before she was three for whatever reason. It seemed like every other child her age was already potty trained, I thought that since she was a girl that for some reason she would potty train easier than a boy (our first is a boy), I was sick of diapers. Finally I just decided to stop pushing her, she would do it when she was ready. We picked out underwear, had the potties, had some books but ultimately when she really wanted to do it, she did it and it was painless really. All that being said though...she was over three when she decided to do it. It was about a week before we were taking a three week road-trip to Canada and I debated whether or not to put her in pull-ups for the drive. We didn't, just put a potty in the back and pulled over when she needed to go and we've never looked back.

Ann | 5:41 AM

I think if she's not ready at 26 months...just wait longer. I mean have you ever met a 6 yr that wears diapers? It will happen. With my son I made a big push to get him potty trained before I had to go back to work from having my daughter. we did the "big boy" underwear only, but didn't go anywhere for a good week. Once he had to stop what he was doing to change his wet clothes he figured he might as well stop to go potty.

Kristin | 5:53 AM

I have a 2-year-old and no idea what I'm doing either. The comments are much appreciated. Good luck!

charlsie | 5:55 AM

With my daughter Laurel we took her every 30 minutes to sit on the potty. We also went ahead and put her in underwear. You can really only do that while at home. If you need to go out I suggest putting a pullup or diaper on her. I hope this helps. Potty training does suck.

Teresa | 6:00 AM

We put our DS in pull ups sometime during his 2 year old year. We would have days where we would put him on the potty faithfully and others where we would treat the pull up as a diaper. It didn't help that I was miserably sick and pregnant most of that year. When he was one week shy of 3, I took off the pullup and switched to undies. By that time, he was asking to go to the potty pretty faithfully and seemed very interested. For about 2 months after that, he still wanted to poop in the pull up, so we went with it. We had just had our second child and realized his world was rocked. 3 weeks before preschool was ready to start, we took away the pull ups all together. We lied and said that Target ran out of his big boy diapers and only had ones for babies now. It was a hard day because he couldn't figure out how to comfortably poop on the potty. I finally had success by encouraging him to hover over the little potty seat until he knew he was going and then sit down. SUCCESS! He was so proud! We also took away the night time diapers at the same time.

We occasionally have accidents, but mostly at night when he drinks too much water before bed.

Basically, my advice is wait until she is ready. It's such a nightmare to make potty training a battle. And if you wait until the child is showing lots of signs and wanting it on his/her own, you have much more success quicker than training yourself to toilet them before they are ready.

bluepaintred | 6:04 AM

She is not ready if she is saying pee NO!. Its just added pressure and stress in her life. Give her a break - at least 6 weeks where you don't talk about the potty or panties or potty training in any way, then try again.

Eventually she will train!

GoMommy | 6:04 AM

Hi! I have heard that girls are easier to potty train than boys...I have two boys, so I wouldn't know! What worked best for us: I put my little guy in his Big Boy underwear (Thomas the Train)and told him he wouldn't want to wee on Thomas, right? We brought his toddler potty into the living room and he sat on it while he watched cartoons, ate Cheerios (disgusting, I know- but it worked!) He was using his potty after one weekend. Stickers helped reinforce after he would actually go. Hope this helps! Good luck!

Megan | 6:05 AM

Anytime my kids are vehemently against something I really can't control (eating, potty, etc) I back off. Can't make them pee, eat, sleep... That said, I bribed for potty sitting, then peeing, then pooping and gradually weaned off the bribes (after every attempt, then after every success, then after a day of successes, etc). I didn't want to bribe with candy so I used other stuff (new mini tubs of playdough, painted nails, bubbles, etc..

Elizabethwi | 6:10 AM

My mom had special little toys that we could ONLY play with when we were on the potty. My own daughter, now, is only 15 months old, but I bring her into the bathroom with me, and she "helps" unroll the toilet paper.

Cara | 6:11 AM

We live in France where kids start preschool at 3 or 2 1/2 depending on their birth date and they must be potty trained before going. My son, who was born at the end of December was only 2 1/2 when he started school. A few days before he would potty most of the time in the potty, but was far from being 100% potty trained. I must say that after 2 weeks of preschool and a only a couple of accidents, he did it all by himself.

I am sure it has to do with peer pressure or group pottying since it is more fun to go potty with 6 of your preschool friends at once than with mama standing over you, but whatever works.

The key word is patience... just hang in there!

Christy | 6:16 AM

Sadly, I don't have any advice, but I'm starting to feel the potty training pressure and my daughter is only 20 months. We've put out the potty (which she uses as a seat to read her books) and I have her come into the bathroom with me while I take care of business, but that's as far as we've gotten. Seems like a lot of work!

emmittjames | 6:16 AM

So, i just read through all the comments looking for advice for my own 2 1/2 yo girl child, and not only the second child, but the more dreaded MIDDLE CHILD. Seriously, we all fear her wrath. Last winter at just 18 months, i thought we were almost done. She peed and pooped about 75% time. Now she's so hit or miss, i don't know what to do with her. I know better than to get into a battle with this child, but i'm so ready for her to be done. the cloth diapers that i prefer to use don't particularly fit under her 3t wardrobe. and i am cheap. Very cheap. want to stop buying icky diapers. I've moved on to candy bribes, but even that backfires on me. I am helpless against her rage. 1 smartie for pee, a whole roll for poop! even i am motivated by this idea. She however just wants the roll of smarties... I did just hear of a friend who kept a Pez dispenser up high above the potty, and gave one for each go round.


Anonymous | 6:22 AM

DO.NOT.RUSH. We started trying to potty train our son when he was two. It was totally a no-go. He wasn't ready at all. We could have saved a lot of hours of stress (on both us and our son!) by just following our instincts and putting down the gadgets and books. He was ready when he was a little over three. I've heard that's the magic age for most kids. Relax.

OneRadMother | 6:22 AM

I don't have anything to say that hasn't already been said.

Potty-training is like addicts - they will do it in their own time and you can't force it.

We started on the potty at about 10 months - but only because my son insists on doing everything we do. We were more resistant to the training than him...simply because we are badly horrible at routine.

Keep the offer open for her. She will go when she is ready. Every kid is different. Yadda, yadda...I probably haven't been helpful.

Leslie | 6:30 AM

It sounds to me like Fable is just not interested in potty training yet. If she isn't interested, I do not really think there is much you can do but wait.

I would read books about potty-training (kids books) and whenever you run across her friends in new big kid underwear, fawn over how big and grown-up they are. Maybe she will get jealous.

candace | 6:31 AM

Try putting the potty in the living room where she feels comfortable. We did naked training at 18 months and yes the pee and poo everywhere sucked but she figured it out. Now we are potty trained at 2 (other than for nap and night). We put the potty in the living room, let her run free and she stops and goes when necessary. We just tried to make it a common thing so she felt comfortable. Good luck!

The Belly Woman | 6:35 AM

my awesome friend jamie's fool-proof system:

seriousy. she is the queen of potty training.

Sonja | 6:35 AM

Potty on, Garth!

As the mother of a brand spanken' new 36 mo old (3 whole fingers) girl I can totally relate. We are now finally in underwear 90% of the time, but generally have to still change them once a day. And poop still goes in the underwear, unless I can catch the poopie face in time to run her to the potty. Honestly, we did a whole lot of bribing, little tiny dolls, stickers, suckers, you name it, I used it. And my shame is using the dollhouse that she wants for Christmas as a bribe. Big girls who poop on the potty get dollhouses for Christmas. (She will get it either way, so might backfire in my face anyway.)

Good luck!

tweetsweet | 6:40 AM

Why are we pushing it. Pressure from others? That is totally not like you. Are you not the same strong woman who allowed her to walk at her own pace, when she was ready? She will figure out the peeing/pooping in the potty when it is time. I have never pushed mine to do either and son was trained by age 3, daughter trained herself at age 2. I offered no prizes, no naked weekends (although mine would be naked all the time if she could). I know of others that have trained earlier and later. It will happen - keep the potty available and encourage its use. If it helps, buy some "big girl panties" and ask her occasionally, "do you want to try these today?" If she doesn't, she doesn't. I think the ONLY time it might get critical is when they are creeping up on going to preschool and have to be potty trained - but that is a few years down the road for Fable, right? Stop fretting - relax - if you have the potty, pee will happen (eventually).

Unknown | 6:42 AM

I am not a mom or a nanny or even a dog owner so I have no advice for you. I am the youngest child in my family and know that what motivated my sister didn't motivate my brother and what motivated my brother didn't motivate me. Maybe only Fable's Mom can really help.

Jen | 6:58 AM

I feel your pain (and Fable's)! Our son, Jack, flat-out refused the whole notion of potty for about one year. We attempted the first time when he was about 2.5 years old. Insert tempers, gnashing of teeth, and a diaper back by noon. We tried again around Christmastime (he was nearly 3 at this point). No luck. He didn't cry...which was an improvement, but didn't get it at all. The next attempt was a "by the book" attempt...the "train your child in one day" book. He was just past his 3rd birthday. By the middle of the day I was in hysterics in his bathroom floor, he was patting my matted hair while sitting on the potty and telling me "it's okay momma, I'll go pee" while my husband was cleaning up yet another accident of Jack's. Ugh. What a mess. We gave up and finally gave ourselves permission to wait until he was ready. With every other milestone in his life he just decided to do it one day-sippy cups, walking, talking, and we assumed potty training. We were correct. One day, while playing with older friends, he just started peeing on the potty. He was 3.5 years old. It was another month before he got the poop thing down and he hasn't looked back. This taught me I should always listen to my instincts and follow my child and not other parent's scolding advice. Fable will show you when she's ready, so stop feeling bad:)

Suzie | 7:01 AM

I don't have much advice, but I know exactly how you feel right now! As I read this post I had to laugh out loud and shake my head because I've had the exact. same. things. happen with my daughter! Observe:

. . . it's been 6 months since that post and while she DOES pee in the potty on a pretty regular basis now, she is still very possessive of her poo (gross, right?). Time. It just takes time. And, like I said in the blog, a touch of insanity. :)

Mary | 7:07 AM

Ummm, I have no advice. My son is one day younger than Fable and we are having the same exact progression that you are. NADA. I'll be scouring comments for advice myself.


Unknown | 7:11 AM

Yes, there is a three day method that is wildly successful if you can commit to the 24/7 three days. It's

Good luck!

Meredith | 7:21 AM

Me = childless (so far), but my mom, who was a teacher, likes to tell my how she mapped out her entire Summer off to potty train me. She had it planned out. By the time I was back to preschool (I turned three over the summer) I would be perfectly potty trained. I would have none of it, though. Eventually she gave up. Then I went back to preschool and all the other kids *had* magically shed the diapers for big-girl (boy) pant(ies). I came home and decided I didn't want my diapers anymore either. So my mom's method? Peer pressure.

Courtney | 7:23 AM

Bribes ... it's all in the bribes. We let our daughter pick out a boatload of toys from the dollar section in Target. She got one every time she went on the potty. Once that became frequent, we went to a sticker chart. If she kept her panties dry, she got a sticker. If she got three stickers, she got a treat. Treats can vary from a scoop of ice cream, a dollar store toy, getting to watch an extra tv show, having two extra books at night time. As she got better, we just started stretching out the treats until we got one for having an entire week with panties dry. Hope this helps.

Unknown | 7:30 AM

Wow, thank you for this post, Rebecca! PT is in our near future and all of the advice your readers give is great. Especially the part about waiting until they are truly ready.
But I get how tough that can be when preschools put the pressure on to poop or get off the pot. Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

jaclyn | 7:31 AM

We have hard wood floors and I pulled up the rug in our living room. When our son was ready to potty train, I put the potty in the living room, turned on public tv cartoons and let him be naked bottom. I should mention he didn't have a lot of interest in potty training, but he would sit for 20-30 min and watch tv. Sometimes he'd go and we'd throw a parade in our house. Over time and with only one or two accidents, he would be naked bottom in our house and high tail it to the living room potty chair. It was great! Then baby steps to get the potty to the bathroom, then baby steps to get him to wear underwear. He has mentioned to me that if the lights aren't on in the hall or bathroom, he doesn't like to go, so in the dusk/evening hours we keep those lights on so he doesn't stall and open himself up to accidents. Good luck!

Meghan | 7:33 AM

A YEARS WORTH OF TP. I have no advice given that I have never potty trained anything, even my dog came potty trained...

Good luck!

Jewlzy | 7:40 AM

Like you, i do not remember how i potty trained my first 2 children and now, i'm a little nervous about what i'll do when it comes time for my 3rd baby to start poopin and peein in the potty. Do we block this out for a reason?? Is it really that bad that i've omitted it from my memory banks? Lord, i hope not because i am way too tired to worry! Good luck to you and feel free to pass on any advice you get that works!

Caitlin Carroll | 7:41 AM

I only have a 15-month-old so I don't have too much hands-on experience. My sister bribed her very smart 3-yr-old with a trip to Disney Land after a year of trying to potty train her, and within a week, voila! I want to start soon with our kid though, I hear it's tough the older they get. We'll see... we luckily have hardwood floors!

anika ame | 7:45 AM

there are potty videos and books at the library that worked wonders for all three of my children.

each took a different amount of time, from one month to 3 /4 months to be fully potty trained, because i didn't push them, but i read those books, played the videos constantly, and they were singing the potty songs, and seeing that other "big boys/girls" are using the potty.

soon i would find them going into the bathroom, humming the songs from the videos, and very proud of themselves for using the potty.

we made a biiiiiiig deal out of it when they did use it, and that of course made them keep it up because they loved the praise!

Steph | 7:46 AM

I think the key is to wait until the child herself is showing interest. Until then it's fruitless. Unless you're superhardcore and you are lucky to have a compliant child. My 21 month old has been interested in telling us she has a poo coming but put her on the potty and nothing. But she keeps telling us and we keep responding. I'm in no rush to push her further. But the key seems to be it's easy once the child is ready. Then I don't think the method is particularly crucial. Although once you take the nappy away don't confuse the child by bringing it back.

M.B.Walker | 7:47 AM

My daughter was almost 2 when we were (still) potty training our almost 4 year old son. She did mos of it on her own, but to reinforce it they got one m&m every time they went to the potty. 2 for poop. The not being ready thing is important b/c if they're not ready you'll just make yourself and the kid nuts.
My husband is deployed right now and both kids have regressed a little bit in the potty department- so I'm back to using m&m's. also a chart where they collected stickers to pick a prize out of a box was helpful. There are also this anatomically correct dolls that come with a potty seat and a potty book. Since she loves her babies so much she might be into something like that.

Adina B | 7:47 AM

We waited till Nola was nearly 3, and then did the weekend marathon with leftover Halloween chocolate as her bribe, followed by some peer pressure at preschool (two of her classmates did the potty weekend at the same time) . I think the combination of waiting till she was really physically and emotionally ready and the group effort, plus chocolate really worked.

Anonymous | 7:50 AM

Not a parent, so my 'advice' is simple... Why not just be sure to reward the hell out of anything that resembles potty training successes. I feel that you must already be doing this, so, maybe better rewards?

Mariah | 7:53 AM

loving the idea of free toilet paper. :-)

my son wasn't potty trained until he was 3.5+. he was at home so there was no pressure from daycare or anything. so i'm thinking that with my daughter if i get we get it done before that age then we are doing good.


Steph | 7:54 AM

Also, something I have seen work is putting normal pants on underneath the nappy - disposables are so good at absorbing moisture that kids don't necessarily have the wet uncomfortable feeling that might motivate them to do something about it.

Krissy | 7:57 AM

I really - really need to start potty training my daughter. I know once you start you can't stop and I'm lost.

SkittleSkattle | 8:00 AM

Don't push it. She will do it when she is ready. By the way, my verification word is BUTSIT! How funny is that?

Gina | 8:01 AM

my daughter is 6 months old...little young to potty train yet. but, i do recall my brother having his twins sit on the toilet every 30 minutes? maybe there was more to it, though. good luck!

Anonymous | 8:04 AM

Uh oh. I was planning on trying the naked potty training (just pee and poop everywhere until you figure it out!) technique over the Christmas holiday with my 2-year-old son.

Now I may have to reconsider. My little guy is super interested in using the potty and even more certain of the fact that he doesn't want to wear diapers anymore. As he tells me "No wear diapers, Momma." But...not a drop has been spilled in the potty yet.

irelassred | 8:09 AM

I'd love free t.p. for a year!
It does seem that she isn't quite ready for the toilet yet.
I think yes, you can encourage them, but ultimately when she is ready she'll let you know.
Good luck!

Sarah | 8:11 AM

My daughter is 30 months old and we are in the same boat as you. POTTY TRAINING SUCKS!

I hate it. I cannot seem to get her interested or even (I hate this) BRIBE her to do it... nothing is working.

If anyone knows about a great book or anything that might help us get her into it, please post here!

Cas | 8:17 AM

I seriously dread this. I have 2 sons one is just now 2 years old and the other is 6 months I am worrying prematurely as we speak about the 6 month old...the worry about the 2 year old is justified. If you figure it out...let us know.

Laura R. | 8:21 AM

Try having Archer talk to her about pottying and how great it is to not wear diapers anymore. I agree w/ all those saying give her time. Best of luck!

dawn | 8:23 AM

My daughter just turned 3 and is so hit or miss with going in the "big" potty. Some days she will stay dry all day and some she will pee in her panties every time.

I just started putting her in potty training panties (blueberry & imse vimse) that don't leak all over but she still feels the wetness when she goes. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

She is super stubborn like her mama so she may just be in pull-ups for the rest of her life. I just need to not let all the comments about her not being potty trained yet bother me.

Sarah | 8:35 AM

I've never had to potty train anyone so I don't have any advice for you, but I love your blog and I love soft/strong toilet paper! A years supply would make my...year. :-)

Katie | 8:35 AM

I didn't leave the house for three days, taking him to the bathroom about every 15 minutes for three days straight. It was exhausting. I called it Boot Camp potty training. Once we took him out of diapers, we were done. He pee'ed in his pants several times, but learned very quickly that he needed to go on the potty. He did not like the way it felt for his pants to be wet and even tho he had just pee'ed I still took him to the potty and made him sit on it. Start watching for signs of her using the bathroom and make it exciting. Scream, shout, laugh, etc. I found that every single time he used the bathroom the whole house would have to shut down for about 3 minutes and make the biggest deal over it. He loved that. Never tried the sticker chart or the treat trick, but heard those work too. Good luck - Fable can do it. She just has to WANT to do it - make it fun.

meghanb | 8:39 AM

The only advice I have is from my good friend, a pre-school teacher, she strongly believes in the 'put them in underwear and make them clean it up' teaching. She swears the kids will be potty trained in 2 wks or less. Also, pull-ups are evil enablers. Good Luck!!

Rose | 8:40 AM

She not ready Yo.

Sassy Molassy | 8:40 AM

Dear Archer's Mom,

Wait until she shows interest or you might as well just slam your head in the door repeatedly. Kids go when they're ready, and I've never understood the big rush to begin spending an inordinate amount of time in bathrooms public and private, either waiting for a toddler or trying to keep a toddler from touching nasty surfaces, or peeling off wet and dirty clothes. I think when you are timing minutes from last sippy cup drained to potty time, it's actually you who are trained, not the kid.

Love, Mom of four kids who all use the toilet

ada | 8:42 AM

Sounds like she's just not ready. She's really young still isn't she? And I completely understand the stress of having other kids be potty trained and your child not be. The judging from other moms is just so harsh!!

My son turned 3 at the beginning of Sept. And is not *remotely* interested in using the toilet. We missed the window where he was interested in potty training, about a year ago. That was right around the time I had his little sister.

Now its a complete battle of wills and a horrible horrible power struggle. We have ended up with pee and poop all over our house. So I'm doing what I do with all (most) power struggles with him...I just opted out. On the advice of his doctor, I told him all about potty training, showed him how to do, and told him it was up to him. And I haven't said a word since. He'll get it soon enough.

Birdie | 8:45 AM

We tried to encourage without being pushy. Offered little treats for successful pee in potty (stickers, etc.)

For poop, we used "poop presents"- wrapped little dollar store toys/puzzles/crayons/etc. and put them on the back of the toilet without saying anything. When he asked "what are those?" we just said, Oh, those are some presents for when you poop in the potty.

Worked like a charm.

Anonymous | 8:47 AM

She is still so little you tried it didnt work right away. Let it go for awhile no pressure. It will happen when she is ready and she isn't ready right now.

Amy K | 8:50 AM

No advice yet, but I'm reading all the comments because my 20-month-old has just started announcing her pees and poops before they happen and pointing at her diaper, so I'm thinking maybe we should get a training potty. I wasn't in any sort of rush to train because she's still so young, but if she's showing interest then I guess we should run with it, right?

Sadie | 8:50 AM

Yes my potty training adventure lasted about 6 months, I think I started to early. Once we did these three things It worked liked a charm!
Number one, a super awesome potty video. . . Potty Power. It will annoy you but they love it! A doll that goes potty. And about 2 days of running a round in only undies.Every time they have an accident they need to help clean it up. Keep the pull ups or diapers on during nap and bed time.g

goodfather | 8:51 AM

Heh. Not a Mom. But.

With Girl #2, we used a doll. You know, the Betsy-wetsy kind. Filled her up with water, and our child took her to the potty. Sparked her interest, and showed her how it worked.


Max | 8:56 AM

My oldest was so easy. We made a sticker chart. Every 5th or 10th, don't remember, sticker earned him a hot wheel car. The final sticker earned him a much bigger car. He was trained 15 stickers in and we only finished the chart so he could go ahead and earn the prizes. There was a lot of naked time and a lot of juice given out. It all happened in a 4 day weekend I took off of work. But he was really close to 3 and he was beyond ready.

Now my second son is being a pita about it. We are top the point where he gets a hot wheel every time he goes potty on the baby potty. He knows how to use the potty but he chooses not to. He'll sit on the potty for an hour and do nothing just to pee on the floor the second he gets off it. Or in his diaper if he gets in it fast enough. He is a stubborn, fiery, red head. And is slowly going to kill me over the next few years.

Best of luck. But seriously, try the sticker chart. Naked or not rewards might work.

My Bottle's Up! | 8:56 AM

i've got nothin for ya. my 2.5 year old is still not potty trained. i'm at a loss and wishing i had bought stock in pampers.

much luck your way.

Peggy | 9:06 AM

Oh, the pressure! Out of sheer laziness the second time around, we just put a potty in each bathroom for our 24-month old, and asked our five-year old to show baby sister when she went potty. Because the little one wants to copy big sister, soon enough, baby sister clamored for potty, potty. So she'll sit on it, ask for a book (she takes after Daddy), and just hang out. Sometimes nothing comes out and she's done, and other times, huzzah! The whole family does a song and dance. So we're nowhere potty-trained with the second one, but we're having fun with it, if that's possible!

Anastasiya I. | 9:14 AM

I also did the naked potty training. I have to admit it didn't work the first time around. So we waited one month and tried it again. There were lots of tears, begging, some more crying (all done by me, away from my son) No pressure, bud! But it worked! Mostly the peeping, pooping came much later.

Andrea | 9:23 AM

I had my daughter in training underwear for a day and had her little potty right next to us in the living room. All day long I asked every five or ten minutes if she needed to potty. Every once in a while she would say yes and we would sit on it but she never did it. That night I had a breakdown (I was 2 months pregnant, crazy hormones upset after cleaning pee puddle after pee puddle) the next morning she was potty trained she has only had a few accidents since, poop is another story. We haven't reached that milestone yet, but we're hopeful. Training panties help not make huge messes.

Anonymous | 9:26 AM

How about cloth diapers? We cloth diapered, and I feel like it made my daughter potty train earlier. At around, 2 yrs old, she stopped liking the feel of poop in her diaper, and I started sitting her on the potty. She was potty trained by around 26 months. That could maybe be your transition? Instead of pull-ups?

But she also just may not be ready, which sucks for you. But she sounds like the type of kid who knows what she likes and wants.

Emily | 9:47 AM

Oh man. I worked at a daycare for the last couple of years in a classroom of 1.5-3 year olds, all of whom were in the process of potty training. It was insane, and while many of the parents were working really hard at home with prizes and charts and whathaveyou, it was usually seeing their peers using the potty and a bit of luck/personality that got them to make the switch. Good luck!

Lou Lou Belle | 9:54 AM

Here's the thing, potty training is one of those things that has my childless self really NERVOUS about having BABIES! I love babies. and kids. but I am TERRIFIED of potty training b/c i read nothing but these wonderful and hilarious but traumatic posts about potty training! ah! but I know you guys will figure it out, b/c Fable is beautiful and intelligent, and so are you! good luck!

yeah, alright. | 9:55 AM

all my potty training years are hopefully in the future... but I am compelled to say that I am a big quilted northern fan. I found that charmin clogs the toilet and quilted northern is strong and doesn't have that issue. yay toilet paper.

yeah, alright. | 9:56 AM

all my potty training years are hopefully in the future... but I am compelled to say that I am a big quilted northern fan. I found that charmin clogs the toilet and quilted northern is strong and doesn't have that issue. yay toilet paper.

Gretchen | 10:01 AM

For the 2nd kid, we brought the kiddie potty into whatever room we were in. It was kinda like the elephant in the room now that I look back. It took at least 2 weeks of this, but finally she got the jist of it.

Heathrow's World | 10:01 AM

We did the "naked around the house" with the "put them in undies and go with it" combination. Took a week for her to get it, by week 2 she was pretty reliably telling us when she had to go. She was only 18 mo at that point, so I bet the learning curve could be cut down for an older toddler.
Good luck!

Anonymous | 10:02 AM

With my son, I throw toilet paper in the toilet and let him discover the fun of hitting the target. Pooping was much harder. The day I knew he had the control figured out was when he was getting in trouble for something and he looked me dead in the eye and peed in his pants. Thankfully, it was a one time thing. He is now 10 and only uses his stubbornness for good. Most of the time.

pamela | 10:24 AM

i am SOOOOOO with you right now! my daughter is 29 months and will pee-pee on the pah-tay all day....if i leave her pull-up/big girl pants off. BUT she is afraid of #2. she will do it sometimes, but for the most part no. and if we are out, well, you can forget about her telling me and i can't bring myself to put her in big girl pants and have an accident all over the place... sorry i'm not much help, but hopefully you find comfort in knowing you're not alone!

Emily | 10:24 AM

my daughter just turned 2 and we started reading potty books. She's used the potty a couple times but other times I get a big fat NO!, so I'm just trying to be patient.

Anonymous | 10:26 AM

The whole underwear thing worked for us, but we put pull ups on when we were out though. Gerber sells training pants that absorb a little more than big kid undies.

Lisa | 10:29 AM

My sweet little boy didn't want to use the potty at all!! He was a little over 3 years old before he finally decided that the potty was a good idea. Cooper LOVED Bob the Builder. He REALLY LOVED Bob. So I searched the world over for Bob the Builder big-boy underwear. He didn't want to "ruin" his Bob underwear, so he had an incentive!

Barb | 10:34 AM

I'm afraid of the wicked karma coming my way when it's time to potty train Charlie. My mom said I was the worst. I'd hold #2 for days and then let it go in the worst places- including the backseat of her friend's car.

Good luck with Fable!

Dana | 10:35 AM

I have four children, the youngest is a month or two older than Fable. Want to know my trick? I wait until the kids say they don't want to wear diapers. I don't bother with it - NOT AT ALL - until then.
It worked for the older three, all of whom were out of diapers at 3.
I'm just not interested in who is wearing diapers and who isn't. And I don't care if the other parents think my children are too old for diapers.
Frankly, I don't have the time.

Just Keri | 10:41 AM

I'm not there yet, but a friend of mine recently suggested putting my little girl in underwear/panties under the pull ups. The idea being that they can feel the wetness from the undies that pull ups usually prevent, but the pull ups are there to save the carpets and such. NOT that I know if this works. Good luck!

Sonja Streuber, PMP(R), SSBB | 10:50 AM

Oh man, we're facing the same thing with Little Miss Kickboxer, who will turn 2 next month. I've let her see me pee and poop, and she's been wanting to flush the toilet, saying "bye bye peepee," but sitting on the potty? NOOOOOOOO!

Her daycare lady, babywhisperer extraordinaire, suggested to start putting her on the toilet, not the potty, not with a kiddie seat, nothing, several times a day, and just wear pretty underwear. We're starting that as soon as I get back from my business trip.

Here's the thing: She hates having her diaper changed when she's pooped--it's clearly a control thing, too. I'm planning to capitalize on that, i.e. giving her the control of telling me when she has to go and then helping her get on her "big kid potty."

Which will, of course, be in our as yet unfinished bathroom. OH man, something else to add to the ever-growing pre-Christmas list!

Heather | 10:51 AM

Biggest advice, no pull ups!

Second, they get it when they get it. You can't push them. :) I had one resistant girl who potty trained at just over 3 and one eager boy who self trained at 2.

Good luck!

lv | 10:57 AM

i can't wait to read through the comments to learn all the best tricks. my baby isn't ready yet, but a few more months...

Pebble | 11:04 AM

Hopefully she'll write you back before I have mine! :) Good luck.

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