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October 16th, 2008

At Sabrina’s 2 year check up, they asked if we had started potty training yet. I felt slightly defensive when I said no. There were no disapproving looks but from what I hear potty training starts on the day that kids turn 2 in most families (sometimes before). I say that Sabrina isn’t ready yet – but maybe it is me that isn’t ready. Potty training scares the bejesus out of me. I don’t want to be held hostage by her pea-sized bladder for the next 6 months.

Sabrina has in the past 2 months started indicating when she needs her diaper changed. She will say “Nina diaper” when she has gone to the bathroom. But she never shows any signs prior to going potty – I don’t think she knows when she is about to go. She is showing a little bit of interest in what we are doing in the bathroom (because you know we can’t go to the bathroom alone) but mostly just so she can announce “Mommy pee” when we pass a bathroom in public.

Tell me oh wise internets…what signs should I look for to indicate she is ready? I’m in no rush. Yes it will be nice to have half the number of diapers to change a day but I would rather change diapers than wash endless pairs of wet pants.

The cutie in question has been practicing her fine motor skills by peeling the crust off her toast each morning:

The cutie who will benefit from the mistakes I make when potty training her big sister:

And I add this because I was mocked endlessly via email about the after photo I posted of my hair cut. Okay T – I don’t look nearly as drugged and derranged in this photo so let it go!

I do, however, look rather like a soccer mom.

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 16th, 2008 at 10:15 am and is filed under parenting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

34 Responses to “PT”

  1. katie Says:

    I would say the biggest sign for being ready for PT is waking up dry and staying dry for more than 30 minutes during the day. But word of advice .. let HER lead the way. She will eventually and it will be SO much easier when it is HER decision !! Good Luck

  2. Kim Says:

    Good question – we haven’t started yet either. Alex is waking up dry from naps and morning on occasion, but he is REFUSING to sit on the potty. So, I’m not going to push it. My mom keeps telling me that he won’t go to college still in diapers. 🙂

  3. Megan Says:

    We tried as soon as Lily turned two, it was hit and miss…literally. I finally gave up for a little bit. We had though bought her a little potty and we kept it in the bathroom even after we stopped trying. Our Ped had also asked in the meantime, and Lily would go if you put her on, but she didn’t ask to go KWIM? Her Ped said that having them be able to actually sit and go was the biggest battle, and that we needed to just to every 15-30 min reminders in the beginning. Hubby and I gave ourselves a deadline to really start up again, but one day in July she asked to go potty while I was going potty, then it all snowballed from there. We also made up the Potty Princess. We told her that the Potty Princess was coming to bring her big girl panties and would take her diapers. Becasue she started on her own, when the Potty Princess came it was to bring the panties as a reward for going, instead of us taking the daipers away.Thankfully, I really didn’t want to do that!! We still us pull-up’s at bedtime and we we go out, but at home when we get dressed for the day, the pull-up comes off and the Big Girl Mommy Panties go on. We still have accidents esp when she schedule is off for any reason, but for the most part it is still going well!

  4. Sonia (FTC) Says:

    I thought potty training was easy! (Don’t throw anything, please…lol) I just set a potty chair in the bathroom when she was 20 months old and let my daughter take the lead. She was very curious… so I showed her how it worked (by setting her on it)…then we just practiced every now and then. One day I gave her a large glass of juice then took her into the potty about 15 minutes later, and had her just sit with a book. When she actually pottied… she was so shocked…lol… we did that a few more times and she finally “got” it. I kept her in pull-ups for about 4 months (I didn’t want to constantly be doing laundry either) but took her to potty on a regular basis, (I got to know the bathrooms in every grocery store, Walmart, and convenience store within a 4 mile radius) and eventually she went totally dry. Then I made a BIG deal about taking her to the store to buy big girl panties 🙂

    I didn’t stress over it at all – I knew she’d get it before kindergarten…lol… and we did go through a phase where the newness of the potty lost it’s charm and she got lazy about going, but that only lasted about a month. Again, I didn’t make a big deal about it – I just went with the flow. Chocolate rewards were a BIG hit 🙂 She still slept in pull-ups at night until just a few weeks ago – but mainly because Mommy doesn’t want to wash sheets all the time.

  5. Katie L Says:

    Yeah, we haven’t started here either. I am waiting for Alex to be ready..and the signs I am looking for are telling me when he is going potty and waking up dry from naps. I think it will be a while before he wakes up dry at night, since he sleeps 12-13 hours. We’ve gone a couple times in just undies and he would do great…as long as I asked him if he had to go every 10 minutes, and the minute I would stop paying attention, he’d go pee! So I just decided to wait a few more months…or I’ll my sister-in-law do it when I go visit during Christmas 😉

  6. Daphne Says:

    There’s no rush to potty train. Do it when it feels right for you and you daughter. She’ll let you know.

  7. Megan Says:

    You have the BEST attitude towards potty training! Keep it up and Sabrina will be successful! I was a wreck with my son, he was horrible, we went back to diapers, big no no, I was pregnant, he had “accidents” all the time, it was miserable! Therefore, with my daughter I didn’t care when she wore underware. She could be five for all I cared, plus I had just landed a free diapers deal! She showed no interest in it, I never spoke of it, nothing. Then one week this summer she just started going on the toilet when I was not around, would take off her diaper and everything. I was scared to death to “train” her, however I had to follow her lead. She actually trained herself in one day!!!! I believe a child is not trained until they can tell when they need to go, not the parent constantly down there back about going. Have FUN:)

  8. Steph Says:

    You *were* looking a little Stepford-y in that after picture from the other day. I thought you might be sneaking a few leftover percosets from your csxn. 😉

    As for potty training, I have no advice. Mimi is what like 5 or 6 months older than Sabrina. She’s still not trained. I have no luck getting any of my kids completely trained early. My bio daughter was 2.75 and both my boys 3.

    I’ve never heard of any kid going to kindergarten who wasn’t trained. I am totally lazy and let them train themselves. It’s just easier for me that way. Lazier. But easier. Not as good for the landfills. But I’m barely driving anywhere with all these damn kids so it all evens out, right?

  9. Kim Says:

    We’ve had potty chairs for awhile. Lilly showed interest a few months ago, but it died quickly and now she wants nothing to do with the potties most of the time. Emerson is starting to get interested though. Rewards are big stickers, m&ms, dips, raisins, crackers, etc. Anything that they get individually in our house. Huggies has a video that you can order (free) online. It’s cheesy but it does tell you signs that they’re ready and has songs for the kids. I decided to wait until I was home full time to try to potty train, so I’m going to start after halloween. wish me luck. Hopefully Lilly and Emerson will have it down pat by next year so I can start with Lucas.

  10. KimN Says:

    I wouldn’t let anyone push or guilt you into potty training at two. We didn’t start with Gabe until he was almost three and then it was easy. He got it right away. I do have to disagree with people who say that you should wait until they are waking up dry. If we had waited for that, he would still be in diapers. He didn’t care if he peed in a diaper and was wet. It totally did not phase him at all to have a wet diaper so that was not a good indicator for him.

  11. Abby (from JM) Says:

    We aren’t potty trained here yet either. We gave it a shot the day after she turned 2, but she clearly had no idea when she was going. She did know when she was doing #2. I think she is just starting to think about the idea of using the potty now that she has a baby brother…we are thinking of trying again after the chaos of the upcoming holidays. Good Luck!!

  12. Brenda Says:

    It is easy the earlier you start. From experience you do not want to start later than 3. At age 3 they become very stubborn and it’s very hard. My son’s preschool starts them right at age 2 (when he switched rooms at the preschool from age 1 to 2 b/c they have potties in the bathroom). I thought it was early too but his teachers are right “on”. He has been a breeze to potty train at 27 months.They put them on the potty every 20 min and then when he shows signs (like asking to go etc) then we did a underwear weekend. It really works! They have never had a child in the classroom leave the 2’s room that wasn’t potty trained quickly. My SIL kids are 3 1/2 (triplets) and she waited til they were 3 to start and they STILL won’t have anything to do with it. She’s at her wits end. Seriously when they are 2 they are so lovin the potty and become obsessed with it.

  13. Lisa Says:

    I mostly lurk here, but since we are in the midst of potty training I thought I’d chime in. My daughter is two and three quarters (also adopted from Guatemala). Around age 2 she started to show signs of interest in potty, saying when she went in her diaper, and even occasionally sat and to everyone’s surprise went on the potty 2-3 times. But, we did not push it, just gently encouraged it and did a lot of talking about it and reading books about it. (My favorite is Where’s the Poop?). So, her interest waxed & waned for a good 7-8 months. We did not try in earnest until 10 days ago when I suddenly realized she will be 3 in December and well, it was time. At first, she just peed & pooped as if she was wearing a diaper. When this happened in the middle of a pumpkin patch, I thought, what did I get myself into. We went cold turkey though (no diaper or pullup during the day) and used the lure of princess panties which she loves. After about a week, to our utter shock, our daughter goes pee & poop in the potty, at home, at the store, at the park. She only does not go at daycare where she is 2 days a week, she just tries to hold it until she gets home. Pee was easy and she gets an M&M for it, poop though took the lure of a big present. Anyway, I favor waiting until you think you and she are ready. Honestly, my DH & I were not ready to start PT until now and I think giving our daughter the extra time to really be ready helped tremendously. I am also big on the notion that kids who were adopted may need more time at various stages in early life due to early transitions & traumas they may have had. Well, that was long! Good luck, I hope you have an easy time of it.

  14. Tracy Says:

    My doctor told me my son probably wouldn’t be ready until he was about 3. Of course, 2 days later, he decided to pee on the potty. He’s 2 & 2 months, and can pretty much pee on the potty every time, but still uses diapers. Out of sheer laziness, I’m not going to start with pull-ups/underwear until I am off work for 2 weeks at Christmas time. Daycare also takes him to the potty, but I don’t think until I get him out of diapers and he feels wet, he’s truly going to get it.

  15. Kerry Collins Says:

    Cameron turns 3 in December, and until tonight, every time I asked him if he wanted to pee pee in the potty he would say, “NO MOMMY!” I just mentioned it out of the blue tonight and he said yes…only because I bought him Diego pull-ups and told him he could wear them when he starts using the potty. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m not really worried about it. I think the early training is about Moms competing with other Moms to be honest with you. As with everything, there is no one answer for every child.

  16. Alleen Says:

    I tried when Gabriella turned two and it only worked the first two times. Then, she was terrified of the potty(I chose to just use the seat on the big potty). I tried off and on for months and just quit for a while. I do want to do it in earnest soon but, like you, dread the thought of the entire process. But, I do want her trained by the time she is three. She doesn’t mind being wet or anything, so that is a concern. She never wakes dry either. I’m hoping a little peer pressure when she’s at school will help things along.

  17. kelly Says:

    I hate PT too. I say the biggest things are 1)waking up dry and 2) not being terrified of the potty! :0

    I thought it was going to be AWFUL with Kathelyn…but I am telling you, M&Ms worked wonders and have with all 3 of my girls (all trained by 2 and a half). I did pull ups for about 2 mos and then went to the THICK cotton undies. Starting on a schedule is a good idea, and I always put pullups on when we went in the car/etc when she was just starting. With 3 kids you cant be bound to the house or to a potty all day, like some people lock themselves in the house for a weekend or whatever. Mainly with K, we just DIDNT STRESS OVER IT! And it worked (plus sugar and chocolate and red dye).

    Kathelyn is now totally potty trained, and I cannot tell you how much I love the thought of never buying another diaper!!!!

  18. Bobbi Says:

    Ok, first off, your haircut and color ROCKS!!! And, those girls, are beyond adorable!! Tessa is getting so chubby. HUH!! I love it that Sabrina picks the crusts off. Can you believe noone has invented crustless bread?? OH, I might just be a millionaire yet.

    On the potty training, we have a potty here. Reese finds it great fun to announce the pee thing as well. He will sometimes sit on his potty, but nothing happens. He doesn’t really get how to make it happen, but at least he shows interest. He too tells us when he pooped, but that is about as far as it goes. I think in the morning when getting dressed and at bedtime while getting on jammies is a great time to introduce the idea. Make it more of a game at first. She is still young yet.

    OH, and we carried a potty around in the back of our car with both girls for quite some time…………

  19. Ansley Says:

    I know what you mean about dreading it. We had a preschool deadline to meet and started training at 2 1/2 (something I always swore I wouldn’t do– until we fell in love with this preschool). We were so intimidated by the idea and fantasized all the time about paying someone else to do it for us. My husband and I joked that we’d just give complete access to our bank account, such as it is, to anyone who would just come over and do it for us. I was very jealous of the people who said that M&Ms did the trick because I just knew that wasn’t going to be the case for us. We started with a couple of books and videos just to introduce the idea. At the same time, we bought the potty and put it out just so she’d get some idea of the process. When we finally decided to start the training, it ended up being a couple of stressful days followed by a couple of weeks of less stress, some resistance, some accidents and a lot of patience. I think it was a combination of bribery and praise that did it ultimately. If you want more detail about what we did during that time, just email and I’m happy to share.

    In terms of looking for readiness, we never did see some of the signs people talk about so we just hoped that she’d be able. Mostly, I think their receptive language skills are just about the most important thing so they know what you’re talking about when you start. Our daughter was 2 1/2 when we started and she could go for an hour or two with a dry diaper and her language skills were good. Other than that, we didn’t see much in the way of readiness, but she clearly was ready because she got it relatively quickly and we haven’t actually had to clean up that many accidents.

    Ultimately, I think we’d created a big, big deal in our heads and that was almost the worst part. It wasn’t the most fun few days we’ve ever had, but it wasn’t nearly as awful as we’d feared. Just keep taking deep breaths. If I can offer one observation, I wasn’t planning to be in a hurry to train and we really wondered if we were doing the right thing to push it when we did. Now that she’s trained and a few months older, I’m so glad we trained her when we did. At age 2 3/4 she’s much more oppositional than she was just a couple of months ago. Now would not have been a good time to start.

    You’ll be fine. She’ll get it. You won’t lose your mind (too much).


  20. Martha Says:

    We are potty training right now. Jamie has done pretty well, she will be 3 in January. She had a couple of accidents this week. But the funniest was last week. When telling Mike that most people let the child go commando (with no pants or panties) for a day or two, we left her pants off one night. He had her on his lap doing a puzzle. and you guessed it she let loose! And not with pee! He was so pissed at me! It was pretty funny, he laughed about it later. But I agree, M & M’s with Peanuts were our poop award, and originally they were the Pee award. Then we moved to stickers. Now in week 3 we don’t always reward, and she doesnt ask. She is just happy to be pottying in the toilet. (and she prefers the big toilet too!)

  21. Samantha Says:

    wow, i’ve never seen such a batch of long responses…nice goin’!

    julian can go when he sits on the toilet but prefers, usually go go in his diaper. once or twice he’s told us that he has to poop and we’ve gotten him to the potty on time. usually he tells us when he’s gone already. unless of course he’d rather be playing.

    we offer many times a day…and it has become part of our (pseudo) routine when changing clothes, going to bed, etc. we also offer whenever we’re going.

    yesterday i made the error of letting julian stand on a stool and pee into the “big potty.” oops.

  22. Kristin Says:

    Came over from Cass.

    I have 4 kids. Two are potty trained, and the other two I’m waiting until they’re 10. 🙂 My now 7 yo was potty trained before 2, but her daycare did the bulk of the hard work and we just followed along. My now 3 3/4 yo was potty trained just after he turned 3. He was much harder to work with and we let him dictate when he was going to be ready.
    My twins will be 2 in January (OMG!) and I’m just not ready to deal with it yet. So, like the toddler bed, I’m waiting until they’re a bit older. For my sanity.
    And I really like your haircut

  23. tonya Says:

    I liked potty training in the winter when we were home more. It was much harder to start and keep with it in the summer when we were away from the house more.

  24. Tera Says:

    Hi Michelle. : )

    *sigh* I am dreading the potty training thing too…and the moving out of the crib thing. I am going to enjoy reading everyone’s replies to this thread!!

    I love that photo of you, Michelle (hee hee soccer mom-ish but oh so cute) what a great pic! I LOVE the hair. : ) Enjoy your weekend! God bless.

  25. Tera Says:

    P.S. I love that you have a teeny weeny itsy bitsy smilie at the bottom of your blog… Do I get a little prize for finding that? ; D

  26. Heather Says:

    Our daughter is 8 now, but I still remember when we potty trained. Her birthday is in October and after she turned 2 we thought about potty training, but decided to wait until the holiday season was over and we had a three day weekend. I believe it was MLK Jr. birthday weekend that we put big girl panties on her and she didn’t really understand what pee was until she was wet. We did what her preschool did, having her sit on the potty every two hours. Even if we were out running errands, we’d find a ladies room at the two hour mark. It worked well. I don’t think turning two is the magic age. I think it’s a few months after. Lots of luck!

  27. MizFit Says:

    youve gotten a LOT OF ADVICE here!
    email me if you wanna kn ow how NOT TO do the p-training 🙂

    you look fantastic.
    have a great weekend.

  28. cass Says:

    I have nothing of helpful nature to say. But I will add that I was brushing my hair this morning and said to myself in the mirror “throw on a Go Mustangs sweatshirt and grab some cleats Betty you’re a f-ing soccer mom” Which may be prompting me to cut my hair shorter so it’s more edgy then soccer mom.

  29. Katie Says:

    I figure kids will let you know when they are ready, and heck if you want to feel really good, we didn’t get our oldest son potty trained until the week before his 4th birthday. Of course not for lack of trying, he just wanted nothing to do with the dang toilet until Grammy said he couldn’t have a pool party for his birthday unless he went potty in the toilet.

  30. Vanessa Says:

    You can encourage it, and provide opportunity but ultimately it will be Sabrina that decides when she is ready. All success stories are kid-led. Otherwise, you’ll be pulling your hair out and creating unneeded stress, hassle, and body-control power struggle. Oh maybe she just isn’t physically able yet. You’ll be surprised what gets them going all of a sudden – for my youngest it was seeing princess underwear at costco and she declared she was done with diapers and wanted those instead. And she did it – just like that. Not days or months or practice or running to the potty every two hours – just right away from HER decision. I have found that summer time is best – they can run naked in the backyard and figure out the connection there rather than in your house, car, etc. Hope that helps!

  31. Debbie Says:

    I know lots of people that do it at 1. I have no idea how to start when the time comes, but from what you say she sounds pretty ready for pull-ups maybe.

  32. Soltana Says:

    LOVE the new do!!! Looks great!!

    As for potty training… both the kids were pretty easy. Derek more so. Cerah we started at 2..could have cared less. So we waited..oh wait I WAITED..:) a few more weeks and tried agian. I NEVER used pullups. Once she peed in her “big girl panties” she hated it and didn’t want to be wet. It took about 3 days and she was done. She’s only had 2 accidents..my fault totally for not getting her to the potty when she said she had to go…We also out her on the potty about 15-20 minutes after drinking anything.

    Also try a chart with stickers or rewards (m&m’s are a fav) Good luck:)

  33. ani Says:

    you’ve gotten a whole lot of recommendations, all on the dot… i waited until my son showed signs of being ready, like telling me when he was about to go or asking to be changed bc he didn’t like the wet diaper. he was 2 yrs 10 months. we did the sticker chart (he doesn’t like candy… i know, lucky me!) and he was done. he still uses diapers at night time, he’s a deep sleeper. his dr said that was normal and to not stress about it.

    good luck!

  34. Vanessa Says:

    Let her lead the way!! My little Olivia started off really well but now rathers atke her undies off and poop on the floor and then put them back on as she was caught doing this twice today!! Shhessh!

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