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

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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 random.org, announced next Monday, December 6th. Potty on, Wayne!

GGC









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 www.facebook.com/QuiltedNorthern or on Twitter @QuiltedNorthern.

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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!

339 comments:

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Alissa | 11:11 AM

We went with the treat for potty route. Everytime my son peed in the potty he got an M&M. A couple for poop but that took longer, I think it scares them because they can't see where it comes from (TMI). I also don't recommend the pull-up route. I think it's a backstep because they never feel wet so they don't associate the action with the feeling. I bought those old fashion plastic underwear and put them over regular underwear so that we didn't make a huge mess. Good luck and it's early, she'll get it when she's ready.

Livetrylove | 11:12 AM

Potty on, Garth!

\m/

Joanna | 11:13 AM

We used a reward system with my daughter - M&M's. Also being around other "big kids" at daycare helped speed the process along.

Sonja | 11:25 AM

I feel kindof awkward giving anyone advice, because I just always feel like they're rolling their eyes, saying "SURE...." I'm going to duck and knock on wood as I write this...but I kindof consider myself a potty training savant. HA! I laugh as I write that, but I swear, we had such good success with our first that I was thinking about having a Potty Training Camp at my house! Again, I'm only half way kidding. It's a lot like what the Dog Whisperer says. The majority of it is training YOU and actually not them. My son was fully trained by two. Sleeping through the night in underwear trained by 2.5, and that would have probably been sooner but I had a baby at that time and I just didn't believe that he would be able to do it. So without writing my own post... Get a timer. Set it every 30-60 minutes. When it goes off get excited and say "(gasp) that's the potty clock!! It's TIME!" Then make them go sit. Limit their liquid intake. It's not hot. Unless they're exercising, they don't need a beverage all the time. I do prescribe to the underwear versus training pull-ups. They'll feel an accident coming on sooner. But you've GOT to watch them like a hawk. Make them sit on something waterproof if they're not on tile or wood, etc. Don't get on the M&M/treat kick of reinforcement. I've seen kids work that system good and think of all the other things they've learned to do without you bribing them. I don't know, I feel like I'm being preachy, but I'm just now starting the process with my 17 month old and she's pooped on the potty three days in a row now. Like I said, knock on wood, but I think she's going to be even easier. Think about the environment and how your efforts will decrease the amount of diapers in the landfills and how the US's average potty training age is the oldest of any other country. Holding off until "they're ready" is part of the problem. Then they're stuck in their ways. Maybe I should just do a potty blog with this second one... HA! But keep up the good work! She'll get it! BTW, Target has a Christmas card that I saw today that has a little girl on it that looks JUST LIKE FABLE! I think it says, "Screw Egg Nog - I'm going shopping!" Thought of you two!! :-)

Sara | 11:30 AM

I bought the new undies first, but my 25 month old had no interest in wearing them on her butt, just on her arms. Okay, put it on hold. A month later I got the potty chair and put in in our family room. (gross, I know) The first day I did the naked butt routine and just stayed by her side all day (oye). She knew she had to pee and would do a little panic dance, but was terrified to go in the potty chair and felt sad about going on the floor. So there I was holding her down forcefully at the first sign of a dribble until she finally let her self go on the potty. Then she was proud and carried it to the toilet, dump, flush, treat time. We continued that about 3 more times. I felt like the worst mom, because she HATED going, but was proud afterwards. Finally aroun 6pm it was happening again. I stopped and said, sit here, I'll get a treat. She sat, I got her an ice cream bar (a really BIG treat), and she peed happily while eating her bar. No fear, nothing. An hour later, she walked over to the potty chair, sat down and peed. I was stunned. The next day she pooped on it, without my knowledge, and carried it to me to show me what she had done. From then on easy sailing. I have no idea how it worked but it did. Good luck. You kind of just have to find your own way.

Caitlin | 11:31 AM

talk it up - never underestimate their ability to understand. Talk up how you do it, your husband does it, her brother does it, her friends do it...she'll get it eventually, obviously!

Alyssa | 11:36 AM

We let our son pick out some awesome Superman undies and bribed him with candy. We also had his older cousin tell him that he goes potty on the toliet and that helped. He wants to be just like his older cousin. Maybe Archer could talk to Fable?

AlyssaC | 11:53 AM

It will happen when she's ready! Good luck!

Autumn | 11:58 AM

I tried twice with my son (at 22 months and 26 months) and both attempts ended in frustration. He would do so well at first and then he would get bored a few days later and give up. Then at 30 months, he decided that he was ready to potty train so we went to the store, picked out some pixar undees, and haven't looked back since. We sequestered him in the house for the first three days, which isn't hard in Alaska in November, but after that he was good to go.

I think the best thing to do is make sure they are familiar with the potty, know where it is, how to use it, etc. Let them see you using the potty. Then, when they are ready, they already have the tools for success. And awesome colorful undees are a great motivator too.

Elizabeth | 12:05 PM

My son is 4.25 years old. He still pees his pants. Like, alllllllll the time. While in the midst of potty training, people told us all the time that our kid would use the toilet when he was ready, that we couldn't push him, that it was up to him. Yeah, I only think that's half true, because if it was up to my son, he'd STILL wear diapers and just stand around and pee wherever he was, no matter what he was doing. He doesn't like having to stop what he is doing in order to go to the toilet, and I have no idea how long it will take until he finally starts caring. Meantime, I'm still walking around with a spare pair of tiny little underpants in my purse. Oh, joy.

Mar | 12:14 PM

My daughter is 16 month and we take her on the toilet as soon as she wakes up and before bath. We also aske her if she has to go potty after meals but she just runs to the toilet but doesnt usually go. I think reinforcement usually works but it takes a while...Hope Fable is ok!!!

rachel | 12:15 PM

I just kept up the mantra that my little one would not be wearing diapers to....college. I can't really be of help because he was going through a lot of change at the time and I feel this was the one thing he had control over so he took it. By pooping in his big boy underwear. This too shall pass.

sarawr | 12:16 PM

Honestly... it sounds like maybe she's just not quite ready yet. I know it's frustrating as all hell, but when a toddler isn't ready? You cannot make them be ready. You can try all sorts of slightly reasonable-to-outright-insane methods and the one that works is just the one you've gotten to when your kid is ready. So maybe just... hold on, and wait, and try again in a month or six weeks or when she shows some signs of wanting to do this thing.

Charisa | 12:19 PM

I've done it twice and both with totally different kids, just recently, my 30 month old daughter. She's stubborn and independent. The more I demonstrated that I really wanted her to use the potty the more she backed away. I cooled off and presented her with rewards....or bribes. Stickers, a chart, and Thomas the Tank big boy undies as the dangling carrot worked for my son. My daughter could care less for all of those. What worked for her? M&M's. She got 2 for peeing, 5 for pooping.

They're all different and will do it when they're ready.

lacy | 12:24 PM

I am in a similar boat as you, but with my first boy. He actually goes pee pretty often in the potty. But seems to love to poop in his CLOTH diapers. I thought using cloth might speed things along since he can tell he is wet. I think it has with the pee but poop is still a work in progress. I would love to hear your results!

Kendra | 12:42 PM

It sounds like you've received advice from about every angle. I l*loved* Bess' comment though, and it mostly the approach we are taking with my nearly 3 yo son. It will happen when it happens and there is no magic that makes it happen when WE, as parents, THINK it should happen. Frustrating? Sure as can be! Nature of the beast that is parenting? You betcha. Go with the flow (pun intended), and you both will be rewarded. Best of luck.

Bombdigity | 12:43 PM

aahh i do not miss the days of finding pee puddles in the bottom of the toy box ... our son started (yes, started) potty training at 3.5 ... I had to put skittles in his potty chair and the toilet to even get him interested ... the only suggestion I have is to have another potty chair that you keep in whatever room you & Fable are in (or bring the one out of the bathroom and move it around with you) ... let her play on it, sit on it (with & without clothes) ... let her get comfy with it ... I've always felt like potty training was pushed on parents, like they are supposed to do it at exactly the same time that all the cookie cutter kids are doing it ... like its supposed to be forced to add bragging rights ... when she is ready, she will sit on the potty and do her business ... sending lots of luck your way along with patience and a sense of potty humor

chisparoja | 12:44 PM

I wish I had a good answer for you but we STILL have night time potty issues. Sigh...

Christy | 12:52 PM

Patience! You can't force the potty, and if you try? Things only get worse!
Good luck!

Call me Kate | 1:03 PM

Gold star sticker?

Miranda | 1:07 PM

I'm SO looking forward to reading more about this and all the comments. I have a 21 month old that is starting to show interest in not wearing a diaper and we have NO IDEA what we're doing.

Amy G | 1:10 PM

As with everything in life with kids- when they sleep through the night, when they potty train, then later when they start to read and write and do math, it's all when they're developmentally ready to do so. My daughter didn't train until after 3 yrs of age and when she was ready, she was ready. It really was simple. Don't get bogged down with what other people's kids are doing on a timeline that might be different than yours, trust me, that way of thinking will drive you absolutely batty as they get older. Just like grown-ups, every kid is different. Have patience and good luck, this can be such a frustrating task to master for both parent and child. :)

Melissa | 1:23 PM

I referenced the book "no cry potty training solution" by Pantley It answered all my questions and the ones you have written about. My daughter was wearing undies at 20mths. Then took a 6 month potty hiatus after her brother was born. It took some mighty patience to wait till she was ready to start again. But by 28 mths she is a pro. 1, 2 & bedtime!

Shannon and Carey | 1:24 PM

I trained my b/g twins earlier this year and I have to say that it was a pleasant experience...(ok slap me)
But it really was. I got the Baby Bjorn potties, put them in the bathroom by the adult potty, put on Potty Time video and they basically did it themselves. The girl was trained first...wearing pull ups at night and then eventually she just got it....the boy was a little later but he got it eventually. I will say that I waited until 3.5 to reallly get started on it. We got the undies, the books, but until they were ready, I didn't sweat it. We also did the reward charts with stickers or sometimes m&ms.....now that I look back, it really went well. And please please please.....it doesn't matter is Joe Blow's kid is trained and yours isn't. Take it easy on yourself and it'll happen!!!
Lots of luck 'n love,
Shannon in Austin

Jen | 1:29 PM

Umm...no. No advice. I suck at potty training. My 3.5 year old is sort-of kind-of potty trained, but a LONG battle with constipation/withholding has delayed things...A LOT. Good luck with Fable!

Anonymous | 2:00 PM

I just potty trained my soon to be 3.5 y/o son. We got him a potty watch (yes you read that right, a potty watch) It is a watch in the shape of a toilet that you set at 20, 60, or 90 minute intervals. Lights and electornica diddys come on when it is time to go to the potty then the watch just resets itself. With that said, it did not work for my son, but it did for a bunch of his friends. When he finally became "trained" it was because he was ready, not anyting I did. I say relax, don't push it, and she'll let you know when it is time.

Cynthia | 2:19 PM

I am in the 3 year old boy who knows exactly how to start and stop and just refuses to do it - at all - no way. So I am waiting for him to come around, or waiting until I think up something else that does not involve frustration.

becky | 2:23 PM

Ok, my daughter i only 14 months, so I'm no help to you. But the letter to yourself.... Awesome. I know I'm home a lot with my kid, maybe I need to get out more, but seriously funny. Thanks for some laughs on a rainy afternoon.

Olivia Singleton | 2:38 PM

Advice? I don't think I really have any. At some point Fable will show interest in using her little potty. Until then, maybe it's just not her time.

Now that you've outwardly said Fable has stopped pooping in the tub, she's totally going to surprise you sometime soon with a quality poop once again in the tub. Kids love to work that way.

Sherri | 2:54 PM

I potty trained my grandson less than 3 weeks! I got a basket and filled it with little toys from the dollar store. I bought $20 worth of little toys. I showed my grandson and told him that everytime he potties he would get to pick out a toy from the treasure basket. The potty chair was in the living room near his toys and cartoons played on the tv. I put him in cloth training pants with the plastic cover. He was so excited the first time he pottied and got to pick out a toy that he couldn't wait to go potty again and get another toy! It was so easy!!! Everytime he pottied we did a dance,clapped and hugged.Once those toys ran out..he was pottied trained! I purchased a "Big" toy that sat ontop of the refridgerator and told him that was the "big" prize for when he does a poopie in the pottie. It wasn't too long that he called me in the living room because he had a "suprise" for me! He did a #2!!! and got his big toy. After that,NO PROBLEMS! :) He doesn't drink after 7:30 pm and he is COMPLETLEY potty trained both day and night! This works!!!!!!Less than 3 weeks!

Katy F-H | 2:55 PM

we are having the same problem, I am a very flexible person- I don't care if she is first to be potty trained... but I am sick of diapers and I have an almost 3yo who chooses not to poop in the potty (at least not at home).

Daisy | 3:02 PM

I did an intensive potty training exercise with my daughter when she was about 26 months old. It started with talking about what was going to happen and going shopping for a potty and big kid undies. Then we spent 2 days at home putting her on the potty every 30 minutes.

We made it fun with lots of songs, books and treats. She quickly learnt what the potty was for. There were accidents and for a while poos only happened in bed in a daiper. We are now 6 months down the track and she reliably tells me when she needs to go.

I know not everyone thinks giving food treats is a good idea, but it has worked for us. Although, I am a bit worried that for the rest of her life everytime she sees a milky way she will feel the need to poo.

Oh, and her little friends all love going to the bathroom together on play dates and watching each other go. Funny little critters!

Kate | 3:11 PM

in addition to some of the things you've tried, you could try getting some more potties, or moving the plastic potty you already have out into the play area/living area. that may sound gross but can't be grosser than poop on the floor right? I've heard it helps them to think of it more, or perhaps go out of boredom if not "interest", when it no longer involves having to stop the fun they are having to walk down the hall to go to the bathroom. (I mean, sheesh, the inconvenience, right?) : )

I will say, though, I think pantslessness at home did the trick for my daughter, even if it meant cleaning up a few accidents.

buena suerte!

Autumn | 3:20 PM

Can you even get to this comment? People went all out on this one.

We used the naked potty training. It was the only thing that worked. In underwear, my son would pee himself more often and pull-ups are just like diapers as far as I am concerned.

Granted my son was not potty trained until 2.5 years old.

So here is what we did. Lots of books and cartoons about potty training months in advance. Lots of warning that we were going to start it. Talking about it. Watching his friends use the potty. Watching me use the potty while I talked about it. Then one day I just let him go naked. We spent most of it outside right near a potty. I reviewed constantly about what to do and where the potty was. Every time he peed in it he got tons of praise and an M&M (his color choice). Every hour, I'd have him sit on the potty and read a book/sing a song to make it fun. First three days, pee every freak'in where. For about the first two weeks I had to watch him like a hawk. Poop he always got in the potty. Inside I kept a potty in whatever room we were in right near him.

Outside the house he used pull-ups but I called them "trainers" and explain what they were for and why he had to wear them. I made it very clear that they WERE NOT diapers and because I wanted him to learn to feel wet, I put training underwear under the pull-up. Outside the house he got Jelly Beans (lots and lots) for going in the potty and one if he said he had to go put didn't make it.

Pretty quickly he was potty trained at home as long as he was naked from the waist down. When he got good at that I put him in underwear (it was many weeks before we got there with many failed attempts). He regressed just a bit and quickly caught on. It took longest for him to get good about going outside of home. By the end of August we had all the bases covered.

So about a month and a half total before he was in underwear 100% in and out of home.

We began in July and now he rarely has accidents. He uses the big toilet now and we are going to transition to underwear at night any day now. I wouldn't change a thing we did. It was VERY stressful at first though as I had NO IDEA what I was doing.

River will be three in a couple weeks.

P.S. Keep a potty in the car! I also carry a fold-able potty seat in the diaper bag.

Dianne aka Lil's Mom | 3:23 PM

Being a first time mom with a daughter two weeks younger than Fable, we are currently working on the potty training thing. So far we have used two different types of potties, put cotton panties on, and now everytime we ask if she needs to go potty we get a big fat NO!! So when you figure this out will you let me know!!!

Thanks!!!

dana | 3:44 PM

Find something that realllly motivates her. I tried using jellybeans, then m&m's as rewards w/ my daughter and she didn't care. But stickers... WOW! We made a little potty chart together and bought a pile of cute stickers. She was potty trained in a matter of days. :)

HaydEn | 3:45 PM

Hi,
Not sure this will halp any. Our 2 1/2 year old had been out of nappies a while now and all of his own doing, in terms of choice. We do have a lot of naked time in our house and we had a potty around for a long time and we sat and shared our toilet experiences: still do! He would take his teddies, dolls to the potty and cheer when we went to the toilet but wasn't overly excited to get on himself, in fat he was a bit scared of the toilet. Until one day and then he decided he didn't want to wear nappies at all, day and night, and that was it. We had accidents and sharing a bed some of that was unpleasant and a test of patience! For a few weeks/month we reminded him and took him to the toilet frequently. Now he insists on doing it on his own and having no-one in the bathroom with him. He came to me a few days ago and proudly announced 'Mummy I did a wee in the bath!' and sure enough he had climbed up and peed into the bath! I think it's about readiness and preparing and nurturing your child for readiness. You are doing the right things and it will happen when she's ready...

jessicaj75@aol.com | 3:51 PM

i have 3 kids and am a preschool teacher. here's the secret: there is no secret. everyone else lies. the kids do it when they're are ready and that's that. my first born was 18 months old (i swear!) and I thought i was all kinds of fabulous. then, i had my son. he was about a month away from being 3. all of my previous tricks did not work. he was not the kind of kid who cared to please. he didn't try to go just for the applause like my first had. so i blamed it on him being a boy! because, you know, boys are slow.
then came number 3. she was also a month away from being 3 yrs old by the time she trained and i couldn't blame it on her being a boy. this meant i was not fabulous at all. all of the potty training had nothing to do with me. it was just my kids being ready.

Tanna | 4:01 PM

We only trained boys. Just repeat, repeat, repeat... My second son we just took him before nap and bath and bedtime. He eventually just started telling me. I'm sure you've heard this but sometimes they just aren't ready. Keep up the repetition along with rewards for dry pants or pee in the potty. She'll get there.

Jennifer | 4:01 PM

here's a terrible or good terrible 80's song that goes "Don't rush me/I've made that mistake before/It's well worth waiting . . . " or something like that. I think they were singing about potty training. I am pretty sure. Don't get swayed by the yuppie-mommy pre-pre-school hype of my kiddo is almost potty trained themselves at 18 months. I am sure there are SOME kids who may do that, but there are others who show an interest in the potty at that age, and then soon regress back into diapers after a few weeks/months of spotty toileting. There are a few good articles about this behavior -- it is called early adoption -- my kid did it at about 2 yrs (20ish months)-- she was fascinated with all things potty. She was in and out of the bathroom, on the baby potty, trickling tinkle, running around naked, peeing all over the house, even pooping in the big potty (with the aid of a kiddy seat and stool). But just as fast as her love of all things toilet started, they fled, and it wasn't until almost 3 years that she got serious about potty training again.
We were lucky that she had a day care who understood, let her use the kiddy potties when interested, but did not push it, and really just treated it as a non-issue. And at home we did the same. For that entire school year, she maybe showed an interest in going on the potty scant times. And then we packed up our entire lives and moved 3000 miles to a new city, new job, new school. And that was the summer my little girl decided on her own to stop wearing diapers and potty train. I would have NEVER picked that summer to do it. But she decided to do it herself. And in about 4 weeks it was done. So she started her new school sans diapers at about 34 months.
So hang in there Fables mom, and as long as you don't have to worry about a pre-school that is pressuring you (which I understand is a valid reason to contend with) don't rush it. She'll get there, and in the most unique and surprising Fabeulous ways that she knows how : ).

Shelley | 4:04 PM

I'm not a mom quite yet...but I recently heard that if your child is sleeping through the night and wakes up with a dry diaper (in theory)it's a sign that it's time to start potty training. All these things work great in theory...but I feel that it's one of those things that she'll do when she's ready. I know you've done a little role playing between Fable and yourself and the potty...but maybe when she plays with her dollies you can maybe role play a little and have them start "using" the potty?! that may help to demonstrate the concept a little better? Good Luck!

Nicole | 4:27 PM

We've tried here and there but I only try when my daughter is interested (which has been few and far between so far).

Claire | 4:38 PM

My son is very close in age to Fable, his 2nd birthday was Sept. 25. Since about the month before his birthday, every time I go to the bathroom, and I do mean everytime, I told him. And when I would poop (TMI, but hey - we all do it), I would say "Hey, guess what I just did!" and if he seemed interested I would actually show him. (Gross, yes, but he thought it was awesome).

I attempted the 3-day cold turkey method, and by day five we had made no progress. I told myself I'd give it 2 more days, then throw in the towel. I was adamantly opposed to rewards like MMs, because I felt it was morally wrong and just plain weird to give a treat for doing something people are supposed to do anyway. I finally gave in, though, and started giving him two MMs each time we actually made even a tiny bit in the potty. Then one day, I sat him down on the potty after coming home from the park, because I had to go myself. Lo and behold he went, and never looked back. I think he needed to realize it wasn't a big deal. When the bag of MMs ran out, we didn't buy more, and he quit asking for them.

I have to say I don't buy into the whole "wait until they tell you they are ready" business. To a certain extent, yes this is true. I mean, you can't force them to eliminate. It's just a skill like anything else that you have to teach them, like using a fork or holding a crayon. You just have to commit to it and do it. I firmly believe if your child is at least two, they can be taught.

I think the longer you allow them to poop and pee in their pants, the harder it will be to convince them to do otherwise.

Claire | 4:42 PM

My other piece of advice, Rebecca, is to NEVER EVER EVER EVER ask Fable "Do you need to go to the potty" or "Do you need to pee/poop." The answer will always always always be NO, usually an emphatic no. Just remind her to remind you, like "If you need to go, let me know" or "If you need to go, tell Mama (insert your potty word here)."

You're asking a toddler, "Hey, do you want to go sit still in a boring room for a few minutes?" Well, duh, of course they don't!

I made the mistake of asking my son and it just made him mad. Ditto for attaching big rewards, like if you go pee in the potty we can go to the playground. When they are this little it's more about elimination communication and you getting them there on time than them being truly potty trained, as in telling you they have to go and then doing it themselves. I just take Grant every hour or so or before and after going out. Occasionally he will tell me he has to go, but mostly it's just me taking him. I'm cool with this. Diaper free was the goal, and that we are!

That's IMHO, at least!

Able Ponder | 4:56 PM

bribery bribery BRIBERY. we are a low-sugar crunchy household but nothing does bribery like candy.

We did one swedish gummy fish for pee and two for poop. kept in a teapot above the fridge. spent some time (not all the time, but sometime) without a diaper, and every time she peed on the floor, we would shake our heads and say, too bad, kiddo, if you'd done that in the potty you'd have gotten a gummy fish.

it didn't take 3 days. or a month. it was a process. some days were bad and some days were great. but it definitely worked. if your child can understand what you're saying, i recommend bribery.

she's been in big-girl panties for at least 4 months now and she's not quite 3. we just went away for thanksgiving and she pottied like a champ, on the plane, in the airport, etc.

(we do still put her in a pullup at night. 12 hours is a long stretch.)

but i'd ask yourself...what do you think would work for fable? gummy fish rocked for us, but maybe they won't with my second, dunno yet, he's 18 months and we're not talking about it yet.

B&B | 5:12 PM

I'm in the same boat as you! My daughter is almost two and will have absolutely nothing to do with the potty.

"Potty?"

"Noooooooooooooooo!"

"Yo Gabba Gabba underwear?"

"Yea..uh...nooooooooo!"

sigh.

We're going to try nekkid time again. Last time was disastrous...puddles everywhere...

I could definitely use more toilet paper.

Amy beth | 5:27 PM

my son was totally done with all things diapers and pull ups before he was 2.5--total fluke though, he was just into it, nothing to do with me. now my daughter is 2.5 and could care less about the potty...i started to force the issue but it was a no go...so i'm just waiting for her to make a move, hopefully its sooner rather than later. i did buy a pack of beauty princess-y undies and showed her to try to motivate some potty doings, she was not impressed. hope you have some luck!

The Baby Memoirs | 6:00 PM

Even though I'm only pregnant with my first, I'm the one who taught my Godson how to pee in the potty and it only happened because he really wanted a toy and me being the awesome and responsible godmother that I am (haha who am I kidding?) I bribed him with it, and it worked like a charm ;)

Now as far as number 2 goes... well that's a work in progress.

Kathryn | 6:04 PM

My son is 21 months and I totally understand where you are. I'm scared of the whole "naked weekend" idea. I'm 3 mo preg. and would love to have only one in diapers, but my child is stubborn like his two parents, so I think we're going to offer up the potty still, but wait til he's ready.

Maggie | 6:25 PM

I've never commented before even though I absolutely looove your blog! But I have to say from my own experience, even though it sucks and being free of diapers would be just about the bestest thing ever, just give her a little more time. Keep the idea out there, read some potty books, talk about it, etc. She'll let you know when she's ready (and she's still pretty young!). Don't compare yourself to the others, it's a total waste of energy, mental and physical. A little more time and it'll be like flippin' a switch

Anonymous | 6:27 PM

Nothing worked for us until (when she was 3.5) she started spending a lot of time with friends kids who were a year younger who went on the potty regularly! Then she was fully trained in 1 day. A little peer pressure?

Elizabeth | 6:34 PM

Unfortunately I don't have any great advice except for not pushing her into it just yet, if she does not seem ready. As others have said, when she's ready, she'll show more interest. Especially since she's saying "pee, no!" -- then maybe the answer is no for now. I have yet to potty train our twins, as they are only 16 months, but we have that to look forward to. One preschool we are considering requires they be potty trained before entering, and many kids there are just over two years old! Based on our food wars here at home (where food used to be a great, calm exercise in discovery and enjoyment, it's now a battle of wills) -- I'm not excited about potty training at all. Getting rid of diapers, hell yes, but the negotiations, no. Sometimes wish we'd done EC (elimination communication) but that's a laughable ridiculous thing to attempt in our situation, and sounds like something you would not have been into at all either. You get to skip diapers though, and potty training. Good luck to you and Miss Fable... she'll get there when she's ready, just keep the opportunity available to her.

Anonymous | 7:11 PM

I feel your pain!! I tried on and off for an entire year with my daughter. I tried at least 3 different "methods". Nothing. 2 weeks after her third birthday we finally had a breakthrough. Once she decided it was something SHE wanted to do, we've had no problems.

Not really advice, but I can commiserate.

Kila Bell | 7:39 PM

Wow people want some TP!!!
With Rita I potty trained her in like one day...i said pee and poop goes here and bye bye diapers adn done! But with Ruby it was about 8 Months of the roller coaster of all of the aforementioned naked baby running around the house peeing everywhere.
On the plus side she's really good at cleaning up her own accidents now...and we were lucky not to have any poop accidents in public!
Good Luck...they decide when they're ready!

Anonymous | 8:02 PM

We were very casual about the potty starting when our son was about 2.5--had it in the bathroom, encouraged him to sit on it every night before bath, etc. We made a big deal when he finally peed in it, and he loved the attention and continued to use it (to pee) once a day before bath (NEVER unprompted).

A few weeks before his third birthday, we started talking more about it, trying to get him psyched up for peeing in the potty (maybe even pooping?), saying that "after his party" he'd be using the potty more. Then, the weekend of his birthday, I set up an elaborate system of bribes (ahem, rewards) and a potty chart. He'd get a star for every pee in the potty; five stars in a day = a matchbox car; and (the kicker) THREE M&Ms if he pooped in the potty (a very special treat). I swear, the second M&Ms and matchbox cars were on the table? Bam. He was pretty much potty trained in a weekend.

Accidents continued for a few weeks (usually one per day toward the end of the day when he was tired), but mostly he just got it. And we just made it clear that once the 5-pack of cars was gone and once the small bag of M&Ms were gone, the rewards would end. And that was that. We're still working on no-dipes-at-night (it's been about 2 months since his birthday), but we're getting there.

Overall, it was far less work than I expected, but that was in part due to the fact that I'd had SO many moms of boys say: do it at 2? It'll take a year. Do it at 2.5? It'll take 6 months. Do it at 3? It'll take a weekend. And that's what happened. Maybe Fable just needs to hold off a bit.

Kate | 8:23 PM

dont rush it
k k g r a y 8 8 @yahoo

LiZZ | 8:36 PM

Whatever you do, don't force the issue. I have friends who've tried that and it only makes the kid less inclined.

I've also heard that making the kids clean up their own pee/poop mess from their underpants can help discourage them from doing it there. If you're just going to keep cleaning Fable no matter what, why should SHE learn to do it?

L.L. | 8:45 PM

My son is 6 months old, so I have not gone through this yet, so no words of wisdom here. Potty training was one of the big shocks I had when I started reading baby book after baby book when I became pregnant because I really had very little experience with kids. I was so surprised to find out how long kids stay in diapers, I think I just assumed that once they walked, talked and ate regular food, they were also using the potty. Obviously I was way off!

Nicole | 9:09 PM

we tried everything with my daughter from the time she was 18 months until she was finally potty trained at 2 1/2. what finally worked was just waiting until she was ready. we constantly talked up the potty and talked about how yucky diapers were. we asked her one day if she wanted to use the potty, she said yes, we ditched the diapers and have only had one accident.

Jen (and Audrey, too!) | 9:24 PM

We're working on potty training, too, and I'm enjoying reading a lot of these comments!

We've had some successes so far here and there, and mainly, it's about keeping my little girl occupied long enough between her initially saying she needs to "pooooop" or "peepeeeee" and when she actually goes. I've found that singing helps her. It keeps her relaxed and keeps her mind busy. She's really into "Mary has a Little Lamb" right now. Getting her puppy panties as a reward has also made her excited, too.

Good luck!!! I keep reminding myself that my daughter will not go to the bathroom in her diaper for her whole life. That's just not going to happen; let's be honest.

Jaime | 9:43 PM

According to legend, the moment I saw my younger brother getting his diaper changed and made the connection to my own, I settled everything for myself. This, of course, is apocryphal, and no help, since you're potty training the younger sibling.

Haley | 2:12 AM

Wow, I have zero potty training experience, but good luck!

Some guesses: Do you act stressed about trying to get her potty trained? Maybe that's freaking her out about the whole thing? Try to make really awesome associations with the potty, make it as fun seeming as possible and try to figure out good incentives. Others have said those, but that seems to work. Really, though, it sounds like the consensus is waiting until she's ready. I'm just kind of wondering if there's a reason she's freaked out about it and maybe you could help her get ready by making her realize that the potty is awesome.

Anonymous | 6:52 AM

Ok - I think she might not be ready. But by the time she is, you could just tell her diapers are for night time only from now on. Let her wear normal clothes, so when ever she pees her pants, she feels the wetness. Soon enough she'll get sick of all the changing.
Good luck!

Taryn | 7:33 AM

Let them pick out their own special panties/underwear/whatever.

And skittles for rewards. Lots of skittles.

Anne-Katherine S. | 7:54 AM

If she's not ready, don't push it. She'll eventually come around. Most likely during the worst possible timing. Like the weekend you planned a bunch of things and then she decides she'll visit EVERY. SINGLE. RESTROOM. IN. TOWN. urgh. good luck!

amstanle(at)sfu(dot)ca

Kait | 8:38 AM

I offered panties to my child with every diaper change and talked about being a big girl and peeing in the potty. It took her three months (yes, every.single.diaper.) to decide she was interested. When she was, she potty trained within a week with only a handful of accidents.

Don't push it. Give Fable the choice and she'll decide when she's ready.

Nicola, Cape Town | 9:00 AM

Becks, be led by the girl herself. She will tell you when she does not want to wear the nappy or diaper, and then you start. The less pressure the higher the success rate and the quicker she will get it.

I started Thomas when he went back to school after the summer holidays, just shy of 3 years old. And the play school teacher did the morning and I nappied him up for his sleep and then I did the afternoon. Within a few weeks (I know, it isn't an eternity!), he was accident free!

Christopher is now 2 and a half and is showing absolutely no signs, so we will keep waiting to bring out the GAP undies until he is ready.

Good luck and go with the flow ;)

Love Nick in South Africa x

Erin | 9:02 AM

M&Ms and stickers!! Gracie is 29 months and is an off again, on again potty user. I have no idea what to do next, Im hoping to just follow her lead.

Lauren | 9:14 AM

Wear rain boots with good treads? (can you tell I don't have a child..)

Best of luck with that - I will archive your successes for when it my turn. xo.

flybigd | 9:46 AM

Oh lord. I feel your pain. It took my Dad and his dog (!) modeling peeing outside to get my kid to pee standing up (he never did it sitting down on the little potty). Still haven't gotten number 2 to happen on the pot yet. Sigh.

oona. | 10:09 AM

My daughter did the whole "here's the potty in the living room--weee!" thing but she wasn't truly successful until she had done it perfectly, on her own terms, not mine. Frustrating, but things went the best when I totally backed off and (pretended) I wasn't frustrated. I feel you. I grew so weary of mopping up pee that I wanted to rip my hair out....Good luck!
Thanks! foxsquirrelrabbit at gmail dot com

Emily | 11:22 AM

I wish I could help ... But my son is only one at the moment. I'm totally dreading my own adventures in potty training! Maybe I'll have to go back through your archives and tell you what I find! ;)

Sammy | 11:47 AM

Oh how I wish I had advice for you. Our son is just 2 months older than Fable and not much interest from him, either. He will sit on the kid potty to "go pee-pee wif mama" when I go, but he hasn't actually done anything when the diapers come off. I know boys typically PT a little after their ladyfriends, but I am getting a little tired of cleaning up poop. Just a little.

Best of luck!!!

Danielle | 11:50 AM

Keep encouraging her to use the potty..don't push it...if she's yelling NO! at the potty (my son would scream no, slam the lid to his potty down, kick it and run away) then maybe it's time to take break and try again another time. I tried introducing my boy around age two, he was interested for a second then started getting all pissed off at the potty...i waited until he was almost 3 and really it was my husband that did most of the training as he was home with him most of the time and the had the whole boy thing in common anyway...he's is almost 4 and still wears pull-ups at night (sorry I am really not into changing sheets in the middle of the night EVERY night) and still has accidents during the day (these frustrate me..must have patience)...i'ts a slow, long process. Now we have an 16 month old girl that already seems interested in the process and tells me when she does or is about to do a poopoo, which i think is pretty cool...She has sat on the potty a few times so we'll see. Just gonna keep showing her what to do and eventually, when she's ready she'll do it... and so will yours :) btw that was a really funny and totally cute letter to yourself!

Anonymous | 12:04 PM

My best advice is to wait until the child is ready. I have seen parents "potty training" their children for more than six months, when really they should have just waited six months and tried again. Based on my experience, if you wait until the child is ready, it will be easy (like maybe one day of accidents before they are trained).

Myssie | 12:52 PM

I am all for the "wait until they are interested" approach. My now 5 year old was 3ish and we just followed his lead. Oh and we cheered, sang pee/poop songs and called family members every successful attempt. They were troopers, cheering and wooting each time.
I am hoping this works when my daughter (12 months) is ready.
Also, more exciting than potty training is the wiping your own butt training. I CAN NOT WAIT for that to happen!!

amelia | 1:24 PM

Fable and my little girl are the same age...and we had the exact same potty training problem. Excited for this follow-up post?

Bunny | 1:41 PM

I have been working on potty training for a year! Okay. Not quite a year. We have definitely lapsed. My 3 year old has special needs and is FINALLY FINALLY starting to take interest. But it's been a year since we introduced it. My advice when she is ready you will know and then swoop in and offer chocolate chips. One per pee. :D

Anonymous | 3:16 PM

From what I've seen, I second all the wait until Fable's ready, and have lots of positive encouragement for trying it out like stickers, etc.

Also, consider moving the potty out of the bathroom. A family I know had luck once they moved the kiddy potty into the central room in the house (the kitchen/dining area where she usually played and where grownups were). Eventually she transitioned to going to the bathroom, but she felt way more comfortable peeing in her comfort zone, with familiar faces around. She was too young to need privacy I guess, but it took a while to figure it out!

Mila | 3:43 PM

Most of the comments seem to refer to potty-training - is it uncommon in the US for kids to move straight from diapers to the toilet (with a special seat, of course)? I live in New Zealand, and most of the parents I know skip the potty entirely. Only advice I can offer is there is no better time than the present. I once nannied for a four-year old boy who was still in nappies, night and day. It was ho-riffic. By four, his diet was not that dissimilar to mine so it really was like me changing your diaper. Further, his parents had put off training for so long (when all his peers at kindergarten were in underpants), he actually feared the toilet and potty. The parents' holistic approach - "we'll train when he's ready - was tempered with "unless you can be bothered", so I really do believe the whole process requires proactiveness. It took six months to train him, and I am definitely an advocate of the start them young-ish approach.

Chantal | 6:10 PM

I think they really need to be able to wilingly communicate that they need to go and give cues before you can take the diapers off; our big break through with our daughter (after a full year of her stalling!) was when, just before turning 3, she changed rooms at daycare this September and found herself with older children. She potty trained in under a week.
Of course, tonight is going to be our first night without pull ups. Wish me luck.

Little Red Dog Studios | 6:25 PM

A few days after E's 2cnd birthday my young, very fun SIL came to visit (she happens to be a toddler teacher.) I just had my second baby a mere few months prior and was in no position to begin any form of PT. SIL says "oh, I think E is ready." humoring her we took away diapers and SIL hyped E up. I thought we would try and when is didn't work I'd just go back to diapers until E was "really ready." We haven't looked back. We did have some accidents and a little regression but overall is was rather painless. I think she was just ready and it had nothing to do with me. Maybe Fable just isn't there yet.

Liliana | 6:40 PM

No tips here, but I def need some for potty training my 2.5 year old too! I don't know how it will work with a 6 month old needing my attention too. I mean, I can't exactly spend 30 mins on the potty waiting for jack to let loose while Diego screams. Hmmm...

EMQ | 6:52 PM

I'm preparing to potty train before my second baby comes along. I have a feeling that soon I'll be referencing these comments daily. Hooray for community knowledge!

Ewokmama | 8:33 PM

My son was older, at least 3 before he potty trained. Which is kinda crazy because he was peeing in the potty at daycare long before that. And he didn't pee in his diaper at night - woke up dry every morning. So what the heck? Anyway, it just had to come in his own time. I tried everything. What finally caught his interest was money. Yes, money. I offered him money with which he could buy anything he wanted and he immediately said he wanted a Transformer. So...what motivates Fable? That might be the key.

But, seriously, don't stress and keep with the diapers. It WILL happen.

Mama Cas | 9:00 PM

First of all...don't buy into the whole "they'll let you know when they're ready" nonsense. My son was 3 1/2 and happy as a clam to sit in a poo-filled diaper until his butt was bloody with a diaper rash (yes, that actually happened...repeatedly). I finally got fed up and told him, "The Hulk stopped by last night and took away all of your diapers. Here's a stack of underwear. The potty is over there. Have fun." That was on Friday. By Monday, he was 99% trained. Same with son #2. Child #3 and Child #4 were both girls and they trained by 2 1/2, but I used the very same method.

Also? Don't do the whole "set a timer" or "ask them if they have to go" thing. When you set a timer to go off every 5 minutes and then you ask the kid if he/she has to go potty, you're only training yourself....you're not training the child to read his body signals.

Good luck! Potty training is the 7th level of hell, as far as I'm concerned. Who cares if the kid is ready...I trained them when I was ready!! ha ha!

robin | 9:27 PM

Well, I'm probably going to be a bit redundant, but...
Both my girls were potty trained at about the same age-28 months or so. For kid #1 I tried all kinds of things, first starting with just having the potty around from abt 18 months on, so she could sit on it, pretend, etc. I later got a bucket of special "potty toys" that she could play with only when sitting on the potty. This encouraged her to sit more often, and I didn't have to force her. I would, like you, have her sit at certain times like before bath. When she would go we'd celebrate like crazy. I'd give her rewards, like stickers or an m&m (yes, candy bribes. I'll probably go to hell. Or she'll become a stripper.). This worked and she really wasn't that hard. Pooping was harder. For kid #2 I put the potty in the bathroom also at abt 18 months. She was much more motivated to sit on it. Also, she hated poopy diapers (which she proved again and again by removing them at nap time and smearing poop everywhere) and poop-trained herself before she was even 2. The peeing took more time, and we just stuck her in underwear, so when she went it felt yucky to her. My nephew is 4 months younger than my second kid, and he just turned 3 a couple months ago. His parents try to use peer pressure ("look at your cousin, what a big girl"), but he could care less. He showed ZERO interest in the potty forever, and when I have him (every week) I never pushed the issue with him. I figure it's best not to force it. But he LOVES peppermint; candy canes, altoids...and one day I told him every time he goes on the potty he could have a "spicy candy" (altoid). So now he's mostly potty trained.

BAsically, after all the rambling, I'd say that it's important for the child to want to go. If they cry, tell you "no," resist, it's not worth forcing them. 2 year olds don't have a lot of control in their lives. Pooping, peeing, and eating are probably the only real things they have control of, and as you know, they WILL seize any opportunity to exercise this power! So if Fable doesn't mind sitting on the potty, or you can get her a special book or toy she can use while sitting there that motivates her (or whatever), then great, just have her do that as much as possible. Eventually she'll go. But it's best if she's in charge of it. If she wants to, likes to, etc. Diapers are annoying, and we want our kids out of them asap, but really, she won't be in them when she enters kindergarten, so there's nothing to worry about!

robin | 9:29 PM

BAsically, I'd say that it's important for the child to want to go. If they cry, tell you "no," resist, it's not worth forcing them. 2 year olds don't have a lot of control in their lives. Pooping, peeing, and eating are probably the only real things they have control of, and as you know, they WILL seize any opportunity to exercise this power! So if Fable doesn't mind sitting on the potty, or you can get her a special book or toy she can use while sitting there that motivates her (or whatever), then great, just have her do that as much as possible. Eventually she'll go. But it's best if she's in charge of it. If she wants to, likes to, etc. Diapers are annoying, and we want our kids out of them asap, but really, she won't be in them when she enters kindergarten, so there's nothing to worry about!

(I do have the experience of my own 2 girls and my nephew, who JUST started using the potty at age 3 years, 2 months...with the help of being motivated by altoids, of all things!)

celebrator | 11:34 PM

free tp for a year!... I can't even imagine what that looks like... but it would probably be cool

Sara Maria | 3:10 AM

We just tried EVERYTHING and finally told my niece (and this worked for my godparents son) that he could not go to school unless he started going on the potty. They both go on it now. Dunno why that worked but it did!!!!!

Kate | 10:58 AM

Never underestimate the power of stickers!

Brandy | 11:53 AM

Okay - the first thing to remember is consistency. The second thing to remember is once you move to big girl panties, do NOT go backward to diapers. The third thing to remember is bring backups - until she gets it you are going to need them. So, okay. Here's what we did - we started sitting our daughter on the potty every 45 minutes. We set a timer. When the timer went off, to the potty we went. Sometimes she kicked and screamed - we still took her in there and got her near it but we didn't force her to sit on those occasions. For the most part she tolerated it - and then, when she peed a few drops...LOTS of cheering and clapping. Eventually, this got her on a schedule - she started learning that when the timer went off, she would tell us whether she needed to peepee or not. And then she started telling us on her own that she needed to peepee - no timer required. And finally (she just turned 3 in November) we have hit a point where we hear the toilet flush and she comes out pulling up her pants all by herself. Yes there were days when I wanted to call it quits and just let her wear diapers forever...but now that we're over the hump I'm so glad that's behind me (at least until it's time for our little boy to come out of the diapers). Good luck!

Tatiana | 1:22 PM

Ah, honey: she's just not ready.

My son (oldest) was a breeze. My daughter (who is the youngest) eventually got there. This was key in letting her feel like a big kid: http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=6766&parentCategoryId=85180&categoryId=86184
My advice? Leave it alone a while, then try all the same steps again. Eventually the right thing will click at the right time.

Pam beantree@pacbell.net | 8:54 PM

I used the good ole' , He'll do it when he's ready and if I push him, he's going to push back. He was done at about 3.5 but he just turned 5 and I'm still wiping his bum. When does that get done independently? That's what I'd like to know! ps. My 2 year old loves to NOT go to the potty. I think peeing on books and toys is all the rage with these kids :)

Alana | 1:17 AM

my parents did the sit on the toilet with a supply of books method. i have no idea how ill even tackle this when it comes time. im very helpful!

Petri Dish | 8:16 AM

I have no advice since we are desperate to get our 2.5 yr old boy to EVEN sit on the potty. He is terrified of it and refuses to sit on a training potty. Our dilemma is two fold: he's allergic to rubber/plastic so we are having a hard time finding a training potty that is either wood or resin. Candy and bribes do not work so I will be scanning your comments to glean some wisdom! thisismomma@gmail.com

Catherine | 2:39 PM

Ok. We potty trained at almost 3.5 because someone was terrified of poop. What worked for us finally was nail polish on a finger nail every successful pee or poo. I was something that remined her all day of her mission, gave her quality time with mommy and was something she could brag about.
Good luck.

Dana | 2:41 PM

such great advice to yourself. she's still a wee babe! :)

Carly | 2:41 PM

We made a big deal whenever the potty was used correctly. A BIG deal. As in, run around the house clapping, yelling out the window to the neighbors, having cupcakes as a side dish with dinner big deal.

Julie in TX | 2:48 PM

I don't have any kids, (but I would love free TP!) but I say take your time. It's all good.

Shelly | 2:48 PM

I don't have children, but my girlfriend told me about how she put her son through Potty Boot-Camp. Really?! A bootcamp for non potty trained children!? I guess it worked though! :)

Amber | 4:09 PM

I totally need a year's supply of toilet paper. My daughter isn't ready to potty-train yet, but she loves to sit on her plastic potty with her pants on and "read" a book.

Also, she loves to grab the roll of toilet paper and unfurl it all over the bathroom floor. So like I said, I totally need a year's supply of toilet paper.

Whitney | 4:13 PM

i am not a mother so I have no real advice, but she'll get it when the time is right, thats what happens with the rest of us, or maybe just the best of us. :)

KH | 4:15 PM

You are probably totally maxed out on advice, but here's one more: switch to cloth diapers (also enviro-friendly! Woot!) and wait for her to get interested. The cloth will not keep her as dry as disposable diapers, which may gently speed along her natural getting-interested process.

Alaine | 7:01 PM

A little individual, personal toilet that can be carried around when you go places.

Ester Jean | 7:18 PM

oh my gosh!! Who couldn't use TP!? I asked my husband :) He said "everybody could use it." I have no advice. I'm not a mommy (YET!), but I appreciate getting all this advice anyway! ...future reference. Thank you GGC!

andrea.d | 7:21 PM

I just want to say that I think it's great that Fable can tell you she's not interested yet.

My (cloth-diapered) daughter decided at 15 months that "diapers are for babies!" and thus began several months of soggy tiny underwear, car seats, carpet etc. We actually burned out one of those spot-bot carpet cleaners and bought a second one. Her brain was ready but her little body wasn't! It was a long, drawn out and often stressful process. All the kids I know who started on the potty later (2.5 - 3.5) figured it out in a couple days to a week. Easy peasy! Hope that's the case for you and Fable.

Katie W. | 7:26 PM

I believe every mother stresses over potty training. I am not a mother but I was a nanny for 3 years and I have been through potty training with all of its poops and pees. We introduced him to the potty at 2 by sitting it out in the living room and if he wanted to try that was cool if not, that was cool too. he decided he wanted to use it at 2 1/2 . I think if you are relaxed about it it will come more easily.

That one girl | 7:42 PM

I'm sure someone has already said this but I read (notice how I actually have no experience but will pretend to be a professional), once they are ready to give them a doll that goes pee and let them "potty train" the doll. Guess that is suppose to get them like SUPER interested and then fingers crossed, they start to go pee in the potty too.

We will be trying it once my child shows signs of potty readiness...

Anonymous | 8:19 PM

I waited, and waited (and waited some more) for my son to 'be ready' to self-potty train, and apart from a few poops in the potty when he was 2, he wasn't ready ever. Until, that is. I was told he couldn't go to Pre-k in diapers!! WAKE-UP CALL. With 2 weeks to go before school started, we went cold turkey and it worked! And what's more, it was painless. He had one accident but that's because he was on anti-biotics and, well, there are side-effects. I have no intention of waiting until my now 8 month old daughter is 4 but I do not regret letting nature take it's course (with one swift kick in the (under) pants by the school director) It just seems so easy in retrospect - although I could have saved a ton of money if he was out of diapers sooner. Ah well.

janie | 8:45 PM

Relax, no seriously, relax because I can't have your kid beating mine at this potty training thing and mine is 3 and still not so excited about the whole notion. (though yes, we are to the encouragement and gentle bribery phase.)

stacymichelle | 9:19 PM

I want to be like you when I become a momma. For reals.

Red Stethoscope | 9:22 PM

Ooh! Double commenting is allowed? As previously mentioned, I want some free tp and a gift card! Woot!

Lynsey | 10:09 PM

Buying diapers sucks...but enjoy the fact that it's totally socially acceptable for this little person to pee in her pants. It makes life a bit easier for you. Especially, when the new potty trainee announces their need to "PEE NOW!!!" when you're standing in line at the grocery store, just entered the freeway and there's traffic, etc., etc. :)

Jess | 11:48 PM

I have no kiddos (yet - working on it!!) But I tend to think of it like I do with training puppies. I can't imnagine that this will go over well with the mainstream.

All of them are different - but a general weaning normally does them good. By weaning - I certainly don't mean from the breast - but from what they know. Kids know diapers. Pups know wherever it is they are. Put them in the environment in which they are supposed to do what they are supposed to **do** and praise them for it when they do it right. I'm sure that I'll be proven wrong when I spawn my own creatures - but for now at least - I think the theory seems to make sense.

marie | 11:49 PM

Congrats on the decision to just chill about the potty... sometimes it feels so hard to put things into perspective :)

Kim | 12:17 AM

A year's supply of toilet paper? Oh hells yes.

Sarie | 5:43 AM

good luck. My oldest decided one day he wanted to pee in the big toilet and that was that (except for the occasional mistake). Pooping was a whole nother story. That took forEVER.

Robin | 6:07 AM

Our little girls (and little boys now that I think of it) are close in age so we've been toying with the idea too. We have the potty, she's interested (sometimes) but she's not fully on board. I needed to hear your letter to your self about just letting go and letting her do her thing. That's how it happened with my son. Great advice.

Bitter Betty | 7:13 AM

My little dude, who is 2.5 has NO desire to go on the potty! We were doing really well after he turned 2, he was pretty much peeing pretty consistently, we'd give him stickers as a reward. But when we tried to encourage him to do it on his own, (by putting him in big kid undies) he completely regressed. Now he doesn't want anything but a diaper touching his bum, and pooping? Forget it!
So we have decided to just keep suggesting it occasionally, never pushing him, and kind of let him be the boss of his own potty training. Because if he doesn't want to there is no point in making him!

Cindy | 8:18 AM

My 32 month old has gotten it in her mind that she will use the potty exclusively at 3 yrs. Nothing can convince her otherwise. I know she can do it; she did it for a whole week! But, according to her, 2 yr olds use a diaper and 3 yr olds use panties. I'm hoping it'll be like Archer and the pacifier.

Great Googely Moogely | 9:51 AM

WE can't even get our 2.5yr old to sit on the potty so this is going to be a long adventure. He's nervous about a lot of things like sand, snow and now the potty. It will come but I wish he was ready NOW!

mishi | 11:43 AM

I got nothing. Ours is still 9 months old, so we're not sweating about potty training yet, but we're crossing our fingers it goes okay when we get there.

Tammy | 12:44 PM

All I want for Christmas is for my son to agree to poop in the potty. He's almost 3 and has pee down, but is so reluctant to poop. I'm just waiting it out. I learned from my first that this is nothing I can control. Sigh.

Candace | 4:41 PM

Fable's mom is way smart! Pushing a kid into the potty world is a bad idea. She will totally be potting on her own in no time. Actually make it fun and encourage her always, as I'm sure you do.

Good luck!

Freckled | 5:18 PM

No advice but since my baby is still in the womb I'm just hoping that when we do our 4D ultrasound he's not drinking his own pee. I mean, anything is an improvement.:)

leeshka | 8:24 PM

Give her time, and for the love of all that is good and pure in this world, avoid the Pull-Ups if you can (sure, sometimes if you're going to be out for a long day, that's ok), but for the most part, rubber pants, baby. I hate Pull-Ups for their quick whisking away of unwanted wetness. The kiddos need to feel uncomfortable for them to really get it.

Hang in there, kid, and say hello to that beautiful Pacific Ocean for me. This Inland Empire girl transplanted to the middle of the desert southwest misses it.

Brandy R. | 8:46 PM

We went the nudie "hey, you make the mess, you clean up the mess" route. But whatever works. It's kind of like co-sleeping. You know this isn't going to last forever so what's the point of obsessing about it now. KWIM?

Pam- beantree@pacbell.net | 9:10 PM

Hear ye hear ye...no potty will be used before it's time. That, I can promise :)

Kila Bell | 10:44 PM

sure wish I would have seen this when i was potty training...i needed a letter to myself many times...now come on TP gods pick me!

Amy | 11:32 PM

This post came at the perfect time. I'm going through this with my 2.5 year old son right now. I need to remember to lighten up and just chill about it all. Looking forward to reading through these comments!

Flight Attendant Extraordinaire | 8:10 AM

I have no babies, but I was once a baby and I've heard the horror stories from my mom. My sister was a breeze. She saw my older cousins wearing bikini-style undies and she wanted to wear them too. My mom told her, sure, we'll find bikini underwear for a toddler, but you have to give up the diaper. Bam! My sister was instantly potty trained. I mean, I'm sure she had an accident or do, but for the most part, easy peasy.

Fast forward a few years to my potty training days. Nothing worked. I was OBSESSED with lacy be-ribboned satin-y panties. My mom tried taking me to the store and telling me I could have ANY pair of pretty panties I wanted. But I'd have to give up the diaper. Thinking that this had worked so well for my sister, my mom was very hopeful. She said I thought about it for ages and went through the store and touched all the underwear before declaring, "I keep my diaper." She tried putting me on the potty chair in front of the tv. I would sit on the chair until I had a ring around my butt, then I'd get up, walk away, and pee.

To this day, my mom doesn't know how exactly it happened, but probably sometime closer to 4 years old, I guess I just decided it was time to use the potty. And I did. At that point, my mom had basically given up the "training" part of potty training and was letting me do my thing. And when I was ready, I was ready and not an instant sooner.

Heathrow's World | 1:33 PM

I totally got some help from a couple potty training books at the library. Diaper Free Before 3 was a good one for us!

Hope | 4:44 PM

So I don't have children, so I won't be one of "those" that give all that worldly advice, but have never had a child of their own...lol.

And geeky as it may sound....a years supply of TP would be fantastic!

Desiree Fawn | 6:29 AM

I don't have a ton of great advice, only because I think I've seriously lucked out. G started using the potty here & there around 17 months and now, at 22 months she's using it 90% of the time. Even when we're out she'll tell me! I'm amazed!

Fable will get the hangs of things soon, and you will too ;) No worries, mama!

SkittleSkattle | 7:46 AM

potty on!

Ashley | 11:25 AM

No potty training advice here (childless. sorry.) but I would totally love a year's supply of toilet paper.

Ankh | 12:44 AM

I don't have any kids yet, so take this with a major grain of salt. I think part of the issue people have with potty training is that getting the kid to use a toilet is completely entwined with switching from diapers to panties. If a kid uses diapers for the first several years of their life and have never been on a potty, the prospect of losing the diapers and using a toilet are going to be foreign and daunting and hard. What if one separated the two things? My mom started putting us (four kids total) on a potty or a toilet not long after we were able to sit up ourselves, and at regular intervals throughout the day. That got us thinking that sitting on the toilet was a perfectly normal thing from an early age and got us familiar with the mechanics of it all. It eliminates the battles of will that come later and made the toilet/peeing/pooping thing seem like it was just part of life. Only once the toilet performance became regular did the diapers come off. We were all toilet trained at 2 (the boys regressed a little when the next baby arrived, but not for long). I used to think the elimination control people were a little nuts, but after thinking about it a bit, I think they're on to something. I think it is way more nuts to allow a four-year-old to shit his diapers (unless there is an underlying medical condition).

Pebble | 6:17 PM

Booyah, Fable's mom!

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