It has been challenging to potty train my little man, but lo and behold, in the past 2 days something just clicked. For a long time now, he had been doing great using his underwear and asking to go “pee-pee” when he had to go, but going poopie in the potty was something he just did not want to do. I would ask him if he had to go, and he would still go in his underwear. It was a challenge.
As a good type A mom does, I went on Google and tried to find ways to help ease him into going poopie in his potty, but nothing seemed to work. We went out and got him underwear with characters he likes and I told him he didn’t want to get the characters dirty, so he had to go poopie in his potty. That didn’t work. I tried a potty training chart and he didn’t seem to care about that. I tried having him sit on his potty in front of the TV or with his iPad so he could still be entertained, and that would last all of 20 seconds at the most.
No More Diapers
I took away daytime diapers because the diapers seemed to encourage him to go in the diaper and I wanted him asking to go potty. I am only using diapers overnight at this point. Basically, wherever we went he was wearing his underwear. I would also tell him, “remember, you are wearing your underwear so you need to ask mommy to go pee-pee”. In doing this, he learned to try and adjust his bowel movements to when he was wearing a diaper, so he would go right after he woke up in the morning or right after his nap time.
At the same time, I was noticing that he would wake up and ask to go pee-pee in his potty and his diaper would be dry. So for nap time, I threw down a wool (water-resistant) blanket between his mattress and his fitted sheet and had him sleep in his underwear. Sure enough, he was holding his urine until he would wake up from his nap. Lately, he’s also woken up in the mornings a few times with a dry diaper. Overnight is a little trickier to have him sleep in his underwear though because some mornings he wakes up dry, others he doesn’t, so I will still put him in a diaper overnight until he has had enough consecutive dry diapers where I feel confident he is completely potty trained. I have noticed a trend, though. When he goes to sleep in a cloth diaper, he usually wakes up dry, but when he wears a disposable diaper it’s wet. So I think the trick is the cloth diaper, possibly because it feels a lot more like clothes, so I have done away with disposables altogether. I still have some lying around for instances when I’m not certain he will be able to hold out, but all in all, I’m pretty confident in how his training is going.
So as you can see, when it comes to urinating, he’s been doing great! He’s been excited about being a “big boy” and using his big boy potty and has even said that he likes potty training, but having him go poopie in the potty was just not happening.
The Moment It Clicked
I was on the phone with my husband who is currently traveling on business and was just talking about how I felt he was almost completely potty trained if it wasn’t for the issue that he still isn’t asking to go poopie in his potty, when lo and behold, he asked to go poopie in the potty! I was shocked! I thought he was saying that he had gone poopie in his underwear so I checked him fully expecting to clean up a mess and he was clean. But then he started running to the bathroom and kept saying “mommy caca!” so I followed, pulled off his pants and underwear and told him to sit on his potty. He sat for a few seconds and then said, “no mommy, it’s gone.” I told him we could try again in a few minutes. I got him dressed and he went off to play. Not five minutes later, he came to me again and said the same thing, so we went through the same motions; take down pants and underwear and have him sit. This time, he was successful! He was so excited, he was high-fiving me, he asked to call daddy, he asked to call nana. He wanted to let everyone know that he was a big boy and went in his potty.
This was the moment it all clicked for him.
Today, we had the same scenario. There were a few false starts, but in the end, we successfully went poopie in the potty and we did a little dance, and some high-fives were thrown. He was a happy boy that he has finally reached this milestone.
Through all of this, I learned a few things.
- Patience is key. Don’t stress if your child doesn’t get it right away, because they will.
- Your child needs to be ready! I think I tried to push him way too early and way too quickly to go poo in his potty and he just wasn’t having it. I don’t know if it was that he needed to watch mommy go in her potty more often or if he wasn’t understanding the sensation yet, but for whatever reason, he was just not ready yet.
- Google is not your friend. All my Googling to figure out this issue got me nowhere. In the end, my son set the timeline and my son set when he was going to be ready to achieve that milestone.
- Follow your instincts. My instincts were telling me to just let him be because he would get it on his own time, like everything else he’s done, and I was right. I just had to give him his space while still encouraging him. It’s a delicate balance, but it worked!
- Let your child watch you. I know, like there’s a choice, right?! My child seems to learn through observation so I think all the time I let him sit in the bathroom with me and explained to him what mommy was doing helped him understand that this was something big people did and became something that he wanted to do too.
- Don’t compare your child to others. This goes with every milestone when they are this young. Each child has their own pace. don’t worry if they are just not getting it. From what I’ve been told, for boys, after 3 seems to be key but my son was ready and willing before 3 so I wasn’t going to stop him. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, talk with his or her pediatrician and share your concerns.
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