Aug 22, 2010

This mommy needs some help

I am sending out this post to all the mothers who have walked the treacherous road of potty training before me for help and advice. I was planning on reading a book or something before this all began but it kind of came upon me suddenly and I am feeling somewhat unprepared and a bit like I am in a dream (possibly a trance as I am on pins and needles at every moment waiting for the next time small fry needs to pee and can't seem to even relax-not even to sleep). So here is where we are at and what I need some advice about:
-she has the pee in the little potty thing down I would say 90% of the time-maybe even 95% of the time if she doesn't have on panties. Put the panties on and the success rate seems to drop. I am fine with her running around without the panties but I don't know if that is giving her the idea that she will never have to get dressed below the waist again (which right now I think would be fine with her). So I am not sure how we make the transition. She wears panties to sleep.
-poop is a hit or miss affair despite the fabulous basket of prizes I have. We have had 2 happen in the potty on her own free will and 3 happen in other locations. Not sure how to conquer that beast.
-this is my biggest unknown-the night. What do we do at night. Since I am not using pull ups I have just been putting her in panties at night and she actually can sleep almost through the whole night with a dry bed and underwear (I know because I wake up 50 bizzilion times to check) until like 4 am when I have finally drifted off to sleep and then she comes running to say she has to pee but she has already wet the bed and then finishes in the potty. Should I wake her up in the night and have her pee? I try and reduce drinks before bed but she is used to drinking a "BIG BIG" (as she calls it) drink always before bed so it is easier said than done. Is this normal? Will I just be washing her bedding every morning for the next month or what?
Does anyone have any advice that might help? I have read other blogs with tons of potty training advice-I am just hoping someone out there can offer some words of encouragement/insight to help us on this path of unknowns. What a fun stage of parenthood.
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  1. We do pull-ups at night still but I remember that my brother used to have a problem wetting the bed and my parents would wake him up before they went to sleep to go one more time for the night. May be worth trying! Hang in there, I think the whole thing is pretty much trial and error since everyone seems to have their own experience/advice.

  2. I don't have any real advice to give, but I am in the same boat. My son is still using diapers. We haven't moved onto underwear yet. He is in cloth diapers, but I don't think it makes the difference that everyone claims it does because he could care less if he is wet! He hates having his butt changed and so I thought that the transition to using the potty would be easier, but it's still hit and miss for us. You can get cloth training pants. I'm in Canada, but I order from

    I also have two step-children that are grown now. I was just in the picture when the youngest was potty training. She was waken in the middle of the night to pee, but from our experience that didn't help because she didn't learn to wake herself. She was school-aged before she stopped having accidents at night.

    I'll be watching this thread for any further advice.

  3. I have 4 girls and they are all potty trained at this point, but the best thing I ever did was wait until they were ready. I tried to get my 1st to do it when she was 2 1/2 and it took until she was just over three to be completely trained. I waited with my last 2 until they initiated the whole thing and they potty trained day and night in a week. I believe in pull ups at night and after about a week maybe 2 they were done with them. It sure does make life easier but also when they are ready to potty train they don't want those dumb things on any way so they'll do all they can to get out of them. I think just letting her make the decisions is the way to go, then there is no pressure on her and no stress for you. They all tend to get there before kindergarden somehow or another! Good luck!

  4. I did the big girl panties during the day, and used the pull up at night with Ky. This helped a lot with the washing of the sheets. The only other time I used the pull ups was if I knew that we were going somewhere that the toilet was not going to be close by. Shopping, traveling etc. Sorry I can not give more advice than that. I am trying to figure out what to do with the little guy and getting him potty trained, and I know that boys are way different.

  5. I did pull ups at night, but only had to use them for a week or two. Sometimes the wetting the bed is a hormone thing, so having them actually wet the sheets is counter-productive. Just get used to cleaning up accidents, but it will stop. Soon. Just remember that all normal kids eventually get it. And the poop thing -- that's tricky. Not all kids get it right away. She will. It took my daughter 3 weeks, but it only took my son a few days. One more thing -- when you go to a store, use the potty right away. Trust me, it will make things so much easier.

  6. i would say let her go diaper-less during the day.
    it is not harming you or her anyways, so you have nothing to loose.
    my DD went diaper-less since she was about 12 months old and by 18 she got the poo poo part done in the potty. pee pee were not a big deal to me because it is a lot less messy. but she loved going diaper less. it was comfortable for her.
    now, she is 3 and 3 months and she wears her panties ALL the time and she has since she manage the whole pull down and pull up the panties thing.
    at night, yes make sure to wake up at around 2 am if lets say she goes to bed at 8pm and make her go pee. that ways you don't have to worry anymore. i did that with me Foo and she wet her bed maybe 4 times total. now at 3years and 3 months she goes to the potty by herself all day and goes only with undies ALL night and she has since she was 24 months old. every now and then she night wet her panties but little enough that she stops and doesn't wet the bed. she feels sad because she had an "accident" but we always say "accidents happen and that's ok" like the elmo's DVD. :D she loves it.
    good luck with potty training. i have faith in you. you will get it and so will your girl. :D

  7. I always put my kids in a pull up or diaper at night. I agree that once they start potty training and are ready to do it, they don't want them on anymore. I told them that once they could go 3 nights in a row without wetting at night they could wear their underwear to bed. That way I didn't have to worry about accidents, and they had a goal to work toward. It never took them very long. Hope that helps! :) Now if only my 3 year old would decided it was time to do this...

  8. Thank you for all your advice. Now I am in a pickle though. My thoughts and decisions about potty training had come from things I had read on other blogs-moms who had asked basically the same questions I had and recieved hundreds of responses the majority of which said that pull up diapers were a waste of money and didn't work. I guess no one specified whether they meant for the night or not. Now I have asked the question and recieved 7 responses all of which tell me I should use a pull up. The only problem with that is now how am I supposed to get pull ups when I live in podunksville and have to travel an hour to walmart to buy them with a newly potty training toddler while my husband starts school? So I am sunk either way. Guess I will just wash sheets every morning until we can get out of town. Ahh the joys.

  9. I have a 2 year old that just finished, and i would say that the best advise i got, and can give is to not go back to diapers or pullups. dont use pull ups at all. It will make it soooo much harder on you! Just go cold turkey, make her waer panties and pants all day and night, and i promise you'll wash alot of clothes at first, but it will happen soo soo much faster than using pullups. And the #2 thing is normal, or atleast it happened to me. It is just tkaes more time to get them used to it, and i think its hard for them because it takes more time, thus it takes more time away from play time.

  10. The thing that works best for me is waiting until they are ready and it is their idea. It happened with each of my kids around 3. I tried before with some, but it just seemed like I was cleaning a lot of mess, and I was the one trained. What I would do is buy some underwear for them that they were really excited about (my boy really liked race car underwear)Then I would talk about it a lot. Then one day it was their idea and they just did it. From that point on I didn't use diapers and I never used pull ups, and didn't have messes to clean up, and I didn't have a lot of laundry to do. It seemed like waiting for them to be ready, they were a little older, and were both able to go through the night without accidents. I love doing this because it was so easy to potty train them, they did it all themselves. I think there will always be occasional accidents for the first little while, but I never had very many. Good luck with what you decide to do.

  11. Ok, my oldest son turned 3 in June. One weekend in January when it snowed and we were not going anywhere, we decided to give potty training a whirl. He had been curious about it, asked about it and so we decided to try. He went around without underwear during the day from the moment we woke to the time we went to bed. I never used pull-ups. I used diapers at night. We gave him a reward each time he peepee'd in the potty, which in the beginning was about 22 times a day, so he could get a treat. It took about 2-3 weeks of him running around naked to get the idea about how long it would take him to go to the bathroom. I started putting pants on him that was 1 size to big so it was not binding on him at all...didn't want him to feel the closeness he felt from wearing a diaper. We had very few accidents. Going #2 didn't seem to be a big deal. I told him if he needed to go, to let me know and we would get an extra special treat...(either 2 of the #1 treats or I usually gave him something better, like a small chocolate heart). At night, I figured it would come with time and it did. Because he wasn't wearing a pull-up and it didn't SEEM like underwear, one night he said that he was a big boy and big boys don't wear diapers. And that was it. He had 3 accidents in the bed over about a month and a half period. Potty Training at night does really come with time. I would not wake her up because that just means no one is getting sleep. But you obviously don't want to have to strip the bed several times a night either. I would go back to a diaper at night and get some rest. Baby steps if you will. It really will come in time. Oh and the no underwear thing, after he was potty trained completely, one day I told him he had to wear underwear. I took him to the store and let him pick it out and he has worn it every since. However, for about 6 months, he went commando and I was fine with that. It just takes patience and time. I have a 2nd son that will be 2 in October. He is already showing an interest because Big Brother uses the potty, but I am not pressing him in anyway. He will take his diaper off and tell me, "Pee-pee in the potty" and he will tinkle a bit and then he gets a treat. I hope that helps and don't stress to much over it, just take deep breathes. Tomorrow is a new day! Good Luck!

  12. And one more does help if you can wean the night time Big Big. Ours actually went to bed with a BIG cup of juice and would drink throughout the night. I switched his juice to almost all water and that resolved pretty quickly. Yes, we had a couple of transition nights, but now, he can drink all he wants and wakes up on his own if he needs to go. And he does still drink a ton of fluids through the night. I get the, "Mama, I'm out of nighttime water" once every couple of weeks, more now then him waking up to go potty. Of course, when he comes in for a refill, I make him go potty then too so it does work well.

  13. I would stop the drinks at least an hour before bedtime and make sure she goes potty right before she gets in bed and then for my kids I put them in pull ups for the first month at then they had trained at night. I don't think it is necessary to wake up in the middle of the night to go potty if they go right before bed. I think it helps them train their bladder because it's a new thing for them to "hold it" at night too.

  14. Don't fret Momma, I know I am jumping in a little late, but catching up on the blogs i frequent is just beginning to surface after the addition of #3.

    I do agree with the other Mommy blogs out there, pull-ups are a waste of money. We buy one bag to prep for pulling underwear up and down as they learn to dress them selves and begin showing interest in the potty. Other than that, diapers are just fine. With my oldest I explained that sometimes are bodies don't wake us up fast enough and I didn't him to be upset, he got it and was quick to run to the bathroom firs tthing in the AM to take it off and go in the potty. (Night time can come much later for some so don't stress)

    As for the panty dilemma, she is beginning to understand the alert he body is signalling and that is AWESOME! Once you put panties on it can trigger the familiar thought of being safe and "dry" again. So expect a few accidents and set a timer for the first few hours so you know she is being successful without being the "potty monitor". The egg timer "potty timer" is in charge.

    Also a side note for the bedtime routine, you don't have to halt the BIG BIG right away, just slowly wean her off of it, filling it less and less each night until it is almost empty. At that point, make sure she gets plenty to drink after dinner and call it quits for the night by 7 or so. I personally wouldn't recommend waking her, but to each her own. Do what is right for your little one and her circumstances. (my reasoning: I try not to wake a sleeping babe, so until they can keep a diaper dry through the night, that is what they wear) By limiting fluid consumption at night after weaning her from her Big Big, you will find her diapers getting dryer and dryer. That sensation at night is harder to detect especially in a child that sleeps deeply.

    Lastly Good luck Mom you are doing a GREAT job!

  15. The only problem with pullups is that it can encourage them to just pee in it. "Oh I'm wearing a pullup, I'll just pee in this thing" vs "Oh, I need to get up and go to the bathroom. I heard this great idea for taking care of the bed changing - especially if it happens in the middle of the night when you are half asleep. Place a large trash bag or water proof mattress cover and then the sheet and then repeat. (So trash bag, sheet, trash bag, sheet) Then is she has an accident in the middle of the night, simply strip of the top layer and the bed is ready to go again.

    And try to relax, she's get it eventually!
    :-) Clair

  16. Hugs Momma! It takes a lot of patience and really good tennies to get through potty training. My first woke up one day when he was 18 months old and threw his diapers in the trash and he was done with no accidents. I KNEW I should never have had any more kids at that point because you only get lucky like that once. LOL The 2nd and 3rd children came at the same time when I had twins so potty training took on a whole new level when it was time for them. They proved that a child is going to be ready to potty train when THEY are ready, not because of their age and certainly not because their twin is already doing it. I had all boys so I did not have to deal with little girls but in everything I read and with my friends back then who did have girls they were pulling their hair out. Girls, I've been told are much harder at times to train. One hint that two different friends both found to work is to take her to the store and make a big deal out of letting her pick out the fancy panties and that worked for both my friends. Their little girls did NOT want to mess up their pretty panties so making it to the potty worked wonderfully.

    At night back when I had little ones they didn't make pullups so what we did was to put plastic covers on the bed so the mattress would not be ruined and then put thick flannel pads under the sheets to soak the wetness up if an accident happened. I did not allow ANY drinks after suppertime for my kids and rarely had any accidents overnight with two of my three. That third one was just stubborn at night and during the day with both #1 and #2. I swore I'd never have hair left when he was finally trained. LOL

  17. I started potty training Emily at 3, and it was hard. We got her treats, we tried a big reward, and that seamed to do the trick. I sat her down, and told her that I couldn't tell her when she needed to potty only she could know, and I told her she could have that toy that she picked out when she went potty all day. She did, and I gave her the toy, but she messed up and then I took the toy away, and told her that she would have to re earn it back, and it worked. After that, she went potty for the most part in the potty. We still had our problems now and again, but for the most part she pottyed in the big potty. It took a good month or so. Best of luck Heather. I have not tried to help Byron yet, but he is a boy and they take longer then girls. I am just waiting until he can talk a little better to me. :)

  18. There are so many different ways to approach it and what is most important, in my opinion is to do what works best for you and your family!

    Having said that, you did ask for advice, so here is mine...

    You can buy waterproof pads at places like Toys R Us that you can place on top of your daughter's fitted sheet so that when she does pee in her bed, it's not a huge production of having to strip her entire bed.

    As for the underwear thing, I'm not too sure what to say. Is she willing to wear it when you go out? I would definitely say keep her wearing what she is wearing at night time!

    Potty training is difficult and it takes lots of tricks and lots of patience. Remember, it's a stage and you will make it through!

    Good luck.

  19. When I potty trained my 2 boys they both had just turned 2 when I started and it only took about a week or so. I personally have never bought pull ups because I thought they were too expensive. When I started potty training I would make sure I would be home for that week and I put them straight into underwear. Ever 20 mins or so I would have them sit on the potty. After the first day or two I was able to figure out when they would need to go, it was almost like clock work. My oldest would hide when he had to go #2 so if he ran off for more then a couple minutes then I knew what he was up to. If I needed to go on a quick errand I would have them go potty before we left, then again when we got to the store.

    As for bedtime they wore a regular diaper for awhile. My oldest is now 6 and I still wake him up before I go to bed (around 1am). Some nights I forget and he is fine but other times he'll have an accident. My 4 year old hasn't needed to be woken up in over a year.

    Just remember to stay patient and it'll happen when they are ready. Also, invest in a waterproof matterss guard and a pee mat. That why you don't ruin the mattress and fingers crossed if she has an accident it's on top of the mat. Then you don't have to change sheets in the middle of the night.


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