Thursday, September 2, 2010

Toilet Training: The Imperfect Panacea

I hesitate to refer to The Boy as toilet trained.

I guess I shouldn't because he wears underpants all day and has 0-2 accidents in a day as opposed to the 6 or so he was having before.

But he only sometimes takes himself when he needs to go, and almost never when he is in pants. We take him or remind him, and heaven help us if he doesn't think he needs to go.

I got quite the eyeroll from some middle-aged woman at the Chinese restaurant when I went to take him after dinner. I wanted to tell her off, but I figured that a dirty look would suffice. Little kids throw little fits. It happens. I was in the process of moving him anyway. It didn't help that Meatball decided to raise his voice at the same time.

Anyhow, parents look forward to the end of diapers. But unless I'm missing something here, the end of a child's diaper usage doesn't mean an end to the parental involvement in the child's bathroom practices. It seems to be a gradual transition, even after you give up the diapers. I count pull-ups as diapers, too.

Speaking of which, it seems as though frequently it is the parent who really gives up the diapering, not the kid. The parent is giving up the convenience of being able to go out and not worry as much about where to find a suitable toilet. The parent now has to make sure that the child goes every hour or however long. The parent needs to make stops on car trips that might not have been necessary for a diapered kid.

Eventually the child is fully responsible, but The Boy isn't there.

So I want to hear from you: if your kids are similar in age to mine, where are you in the process? If your kids are older, at what point were they going prompted? Unprompted? Even while on outings? When did you call them trained?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


alltherage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Logical Mommy said...

To clarify (for the person whose comment was deleted but I still got) The Boy wears no diapers during the day. We are still using a diaper at night for now.

areyoukiddingme said...

We were very lucky in that my daughter (almost 4) was VERY easy to train. We put almost no effort into it between 2 1/2 and 3 (just pull ups and asking if she needed to go), and then got more serious. Within a few days of switching to regular underwear, she was good for months - very few accidents, maybe 1-3/week. She's also never been a kid who peed while sleeping, so we were ahead of the game there and didn't have to do anything to sleep train her. She did some backsliding about 6 months ago, and had to be put back on a schedule, which irritated her.

We still have issues when we insist that she tries to use the potty (before we leave for somewhere) - she throws a fit. But she's getting very good about holding it when she misses out on her opportunity to go (i.e. when we're between places). I have noticed though, that much of the time when I ask her if she needs to go, she'll say no. Then, 5 minutes later, she'll have to I think power of suggestion plays a role.

Her father says that when she turns 4, she will be in charge of her own bathroom practices, but she is resistant to learning how to wipe properly. We'll see how that goes - it will be a great pleasure to no longer be responsible for the state of her rear end!

MommyP said...

My boy will be 4 in December, and I'd say he is fully trained at home, and when he is out with me. He's about 80% at school, so he still has to wear pull-ups there. He lets us know when he needs to go most of the time, but since he is on the shorter side, still needs a little help climbing up onto the toilet. He won't tell people at preschool, so they just take him regularly. Generally, he won't let anyone other than me or his dad know if he needs to go. He wears diapers at night still, as he is not ready to night train. He'll get there when he gets there with the night stuff - I'm not inclined to ever limit fluids after a certain time anyways.

Erin said...

With my husband’s twins we had a difficult time. They bounced between our household and their mom’s, with her trying to start them at 18 mo. and 24 mo., because it fit into her schedule. Lots of accidents and issues that continued into 5 year old kindergarten. I swore it would be different with our first, E, who was 4 years younger. It was.

He turned three in July of ’07, the same summer that your BOY was born, our 2nd boy was born on 8/25. Does that make sense? Since I didn’t want to deal with any regression issues over jealousy of the new baby, we waited to even think about training until things were really settled with the baby. That meant Thanksgiving weekend for us. I told E that since he was a big boy, we were done with diapers and he could now wear underwear. This was not a shock as it was something we had been talking about for awhile, but just not really practicing. Happily, we never had one pee accident and considered him trained right away that weekend. Poop however was a different story. He didn’t poop for 10 days. When I called our pedi he told us to put a diaper on him to let him poop, he did. I then told him that when he did his first poop on the potty I would take him to the store to get whichever GeoTrax engine he wanted. Sure enough, 9:45 pm the next night, he pooped on the potty and we were on our way to the store the get the engine in our pajammies. Never had a poop accident either.

I feel that we were both very lucky and very prepared with E. We had seen what could go wrong with the twins. We were patient and waited until he was physically and mentally ready for the task and we did it on his schedule, not ours. He is six and still wears Goodnights at night, but I am not worried about that, the twins wore them till they were nine. I don’t like it, but all the “experts” including our pedi say that bedtime wetting is not something that is controllable.

As for S, our little guy that is your BOY’s age, we are taking the same approach that we did with E. We’ve had him on the potty to pee a few times when he’s woken up dry from a nap or overnight from bed and he’s pooped on the potty once. We tried underwear for a weekend (we don’t believe in pull-ups for potty training) but he just didn’t seem ready and we had more accidents than successes. We’ve set a goal of Christmas vacation and will be doing the casual encouragement and praise route until then.

I think you have to do what you think is best for your family, as you know. It’s too late to go back to diapers now…but I wouldn’t stress out about The Boy’s daily progress, or lack of at times, it is what it is. He won’t be in diapers in college after all!

Anonymous said...

My son was 3 1/2 when he potty trained himself. We had similar problems and I just figured, he will go when he was ready. And he did. One day he came out from using the potty and said he went. He took his diaper off and pee'd in the potty and we never looked back. I think from the same experience we have had, that a child has to be ready to be potty trained or it just wont work. Boys are harder to potty train, thats a known fact. Our Ped said he rarely sees a boy under the age or 3 or 3 1/2 potty trained. Its their last bit of freedom they have control over. Everyone is always telling kids what to do, how to act, what to eat and so on...their bowels are the last thing that they can control, they will go when/where they want to :) - Jessica

Rebecca said...

B is 2.5 and is not potty trained completely. He does excellent at daycare, and does great at home too. I would say on average he has anywhere from 0-3 accidents a day. He still is not efficient at taking himself to the bathroom. When we are in public, he tells me he has to go all the time, but I attribute that to his interest in seeing new bathrooms and the new found discovery that he can ask us to change his scenery and we will. That can be irritating. He still wears a night diaper because he seems to pee a lot at night. He doesn't get a ton of liquids before bed, so I don't really get that. I'm not pressing that issue yet. So, it seems as though B and The Boy are at about the same stage in their training. I am just sticking it out and I assume that eventually, he will get it.

JC said...

I would say Summer was trained when she was about 2 1/2. She really started on her own with not much pressure from me. I think that has a lot to do with success, the "want to" factor. Chemo set her back a little in the fact that when she was on it, she sometimes had no control. But, mostly she was trained before then. Now that being said, she still wants me to wipe her most of the time. But, I do not need to prompt her. If she poops, no way will she wipe since she does not think her arms are long enough to go from front to back. She will sit there until I can come do it. Even with pee she wants me to wipe sometimes too. She has been getting better about that one lately though. I wonder, too, when will she be fully trained and need no help. Oh well, until then I guess I will just try to feel special in being needed. LOL

Katri Ervamaa said...

I have twins, boy and girl, almost exactly the same age as your boy. Girl potty trained herself overnight two months ago, including night diapers, we've had one accident. Boy is still fully in diapers, would probably be able to potty train for no.1 but definitely not for no.2 - we have some poop issues that we're trying to solve and we won't even try training again until we get those issues fixed...

Logical Mommy said...

We solved our poop issues which was why we restarted potty training. And yes, Rebecca, I'd say that we're at about the same place. The Boy is in underpants (or the cloth training pants, which just make accidents slightly less messy) comfortably during the day, provided that we are good about getting him to the toilet. Getting to sit on the pot playing with iPod, and getting jellybeans after, have really helped him.

Alina said...

Glad to hear the poop issues are over! Woo hoo! So it was the juice. From both personal and professional experience, boys are much MUCH harder to train than girls. So this won't help you here, but just to boast, Rebeccah is an angel of a child who loves to please and was potty trained by 2. Now she is 2 and 8 months and is completely diaper free including at night. When Ausonie was this age I was working crazy hours so it didn't occur to me to even start. When she was 2.5, Michael and my step-kids potty trained her in 1 day (not kidding you!) with the help of the TV and a box of cookies, both of which were very unfamiliar to her. Minimal accidents afterwards, despite my not believing it and keeping her in diapers for months :) lol

So Rebeccah really was the first child I potty trained. What I used was profuse praising with successes (dancing, cheering and tight hugs) and completely ignoring the mess-ups. I also did elimination communication with her when she was little, so I was pretty intuned with her, but that didn't work because you'd have to be home-bound to do that, and there is only so much I would do to do away with diapers.
The only piece of advice I have in general is do not push! I know it's hard... I think pushing girls to potty train is especially harmful in the long run. I don't know what to think about the 'connection' between training under pressure and the development of sexual behavior in adulthood, but my gut tells me there might be one in terms of 'release' or 'abstain'.
I imagine having 2 kids in diapers is hard, but in the end it doesn't really matter, as long as it doesn't go on their resume ya know ;)

The Farmers Wife said...

Drew is going to be 3 in November and we started about 3 months ago, had a rough start and then backed off for a couple of weeks.. I now consider him fully potty trained, he almost never has accidents, maybe one per week, and will take himself to the potty when he has to go. He was pee trained for a good week and a half before he moved up to poop. It will come, just give it time...My oldest it 16 and he was over 3 when he was finally what I considered trained.

Jennifer said...

It's interesting to read the comments and to see how different each kid is. My DD will be 3 Oct. 9th. I didn't push potty training until this summer after my DS was born. We "practiced" some before and tried a little, but not really working on it. I always heard they regress after a sibling, so we waited. She refused to go in the potty until I put her in panties and she made a few messes. We gave her a sticker chart...after 10 stickers we took her somewhere (ie park, children's museum, etc - places we were planning on going to anyway). After 50 we took her to Sea World (another place we were planning on going anyway).

After a few weeks she was doing great. Only "accidents" in a pull up at nap/night. The rest of the time she was in panties (unless we went out). She did great pooping in the potty too. She kind of did that on her own. Then after three weeks she started having accidents pee and poo. It's frustrating because I feel like we've had to start over. She was even starting to take herself to the potty.

Now she does okay, but has poo accidents a lot (1 out of 3 or 4 are in the potty). She gets mad if I tell her to sit on the potty and says she doesn't have to go...even when she does. She does tell us when she has to go and sometimes when she just wants a change of scenery. I know she can do it and I think it's a power struggle thing now. That and a "I don't want to miss something going potty" thing.

The B Family said...

I still wake my 6 year old up when I am going to bed to make a quick trip to the bathroom. Both boys were about 3 1/2 when they were potty trained and it was easier when they were in diapers b/c once newly out of the diaper you spend a lot of time running to bathrooms, reminding them to go to the bathroom, etc. We never did pull ups, there just came a time when I thought "enough of this, they can do it, I know they can, they know they can" and we conveniently "ran out of diapers" and never went back.

MeTalk said...

Aurora turned 3 on Sept 6th, she is fully potty trained, even at night. When at home she uses the potty on her own 99% of the time, the only time we are needed is if A. she cant seem to get the light on..she does not like the dark or B. She cant seem to get her pants down, but for the most part she is on her own. Out and about, we go with her always. I would NEVER let her use a public restroom alone....the thought freaks me out.

With our son, John, who is 21 months old, we have not really begun potty training at all. We did buy him some undies and let him wear them around for the day, but we felt that he wasnt quite ready yet. However the other day I was cleaning their room and he just comes over to me, tells me poo and pulls at his diaper, I sat him on the potty and he went! I was amazed. I think we will begin potty training him after the new year.