October 20, 2011

Potty Training Updated

It’s been a little bit over a month now since we started potty training. Using the three-day method, we should have been totally done weeks ago. Right? Not quite.

H only wears diapers at night. But we go through several pairs of panties a day on average. There are some good days when she stays dry all day. There are many more days when we change panties almost every time she pees. At this point you may be wondering whether anything actually stuck when we potty trained. I might be getting her new panties, but very often there are only a few drops in her underwear. She’s still two. She understands the concept; she pees with regularity on the potty; she just doesn’t always give in to the urge to go before a few drops come out to remind her.

Believe me, it is very frustrating to have her answer the question, “Do you need to potty?” with a no when I can see her dancing from foot to foot, obviously about to pee herself. This has led to a substantial learning curve for me as a parent. When I see that behavior I automatically want to haul her in the bathroom and make her go. This impulse has resulted in toilet tantrums. There’s nothing like a half-naked toddler throwing herself willy-nilly off the toilet in an attempt to escape her evil mother. When this has happened both of us usually end up crying. Not really worth it.

We have high highs, like when she told me that she had to go potty when we were in the car driving from New Jersey to Delaware. She held it until I found a Wendy’s and went no problem. Then there are low lows, like when I was sitting next to her this afternoon and she peed in her bed for no apparent reason. Like I said, she’s two.

She’s doing well enough that going back to diapers doesn’t seem like a good course of action. Like everything else in her life, H will one day decide to focus her attention on this pee pee problem and it will cease being an issue. It’s on me and her dad to remain calm in the meantime. The girl has over 20 pairs of panties, and we have a brand spanking new washer and dryer. It’ll be fine.

I would still recommend the potty boot camp even though we clearly did not achieve the intended results. Whenever you decide to train, you have to learn to pay attention to your particular child’s subtle potty signs. That method is a really good way to do that.

I would also recommend the Primo Folding Potty Seat for on-the-go potty action. It folds up small enough that I keep it in what was formerly the wet/dry diaper bag. I stick it and any wet panties in the wet section and keep spare clothes in the dry section. It fits on virtually any toilet, is sturdy, and is easy to use. Most importantly, H will use it in public restrooms. Plus it’s only $10!

I’ll be sure to let you know when the day comes that we are totally trained. Just don’t hold your breath that it’ll be in 2011.


  1. We went through a lot of undies with E too, for what I called the quarter spot - literally a spot of pee the size of a quarter on EVERY pair of undies before he realized he needed to go. Frustrating for me, but like you say about Helen, he was 2, and he did get it! W is great with the pee, but still does 99% of his pooping in a diaper in his bed. (he wears diapers at night and nap, but often wakes up dry from nap) I'm hoping that he starts pooping in the potty soon, but I guess we will see!! What kind of wet bag do you have that has the separate sections? That sounds great! Mine is just one section - all for wet.

  2. We use the Planet Wise bags. They come in a million patterns and are very sturdy. Plus they are made in the USA. (http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/products/clothdiapers/accessories/wetbagsandpailliners/wetdrybagfromplanetwise)

    Glad I'm not the only one keeping the underwear industry employed!


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