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Potty Training Your Child

Most parents eagerly look forward to the days when their child is potty trained. However, children don't always learn as quickly as parents would like, causing stress and discouragement. This is a guide to potty training your child.
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October 22, 2009

This is a potty training tip. I never realized the importance of using a potty chair.

My nephew was taught to use a regular toilet, not a potty chair. As he grew older, he was having trouble moving his bowels. His mother, thought nothing of it, and assumed he would eventually grow out of it as kids sometimes do. In fact, her younger twins were fine "going potty" on their own chairs without having any issues.

He would sit and sit without any bowel activity. Once he did relieve himself, the movement was hard and not normal in size. His diet was fine, he ate plenty of vegetables, fruit, and high fiber. His mother was getting frustrated thinking he was "holding back" and causing his own discomfort. Also, the toilet he used was often becoming clogged. They had a plumber come and he could not find anything wrong with the toilet.

When he was six, she finally talked to the pediatrician hoping for some advice about curing his emotional problem with moving his bowels. She was surprised at what she was told.

As a child learns to potty train, their feet should have leverage, they should not hang. There are special muscles that "push out" bowel movements. Pushing down on your feet help develop these muscles.

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Since my nephew never used these muscles because his feet would hang, they never developed properly. This made it physically difficult for him. His mother was so upset that all this time she felt it was him, never knowing it was a physical problem.

She was given exercises for him to do so he could develop the muscles. After a few months, he is getting better. She was told that a child should use a stool for their feet if they do not use a potty chair. This way they have leverage when they "go".

I have never heard of this but I have known many other children who have had this trouble and wonder if that was their problem. I hope this helps anyone who is in process of potty training their children.

Source: My niece

By it's.only.me from NE PA

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April 28, 20100 found this helpful
Top Comment

Because for some people Teresa, the closer to the natural squatting position that they can get, the better the bowel movements and the less problems they have, bowel wise.

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Most people don't realize that sitting on a toilet can actually put pressure on certain nerves that are used to evacuate the bowels, and that can cause a multitude of troubles. Most people also do not realize overseas, in most places, you don't even get what we in America consider the norm. You get holes in the floor (Some are very nice) and using them places us in a more natural position than our American toilets do. Using a stool/bench, even after the feet can touch the ground, helps corrects that for some.

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By 4 found this helpful
November 18, 2009

For Moms with little boys. I read a tip by someone regarding potty training their little one and it reminded me of of a time long ago when I was trying to graduate my young son from the potty to a stand-up position. He loved being a "big boy" like Daddy but his aim wasn't good and I was washing down the toilet and wall several times a day.

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I figured that if he concentrated on his aim that all would be well and I was right. I bought a package of colored paper confetti (the kind they throw at weddings) and placed it in a plastic bowl on the toilet tank. Every time my son needed to do his stand-up business, I dropped a pinchful of the colored confetti into the toilet bowl and encouraged him to "sink the battle ships". It worked and within a week, most of the extra cleaning was eliminated.

Here's the cute part. My son remembers this time in his life and bought paper confetti "battle ships" for his own son.

By Wilhelmina from Amherstburg, ON

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December 16, 2011

Potty-training a boy? Take a small stack of baby wipes and place them behind the toilet seat on top of the hinges. If the little guy misses (like in the night), the wipes make it a whole lot easier to keep the toilet clean. Replace often.

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By Brianna Southworth from Dutch Harbor, AK

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May 2, 20070 found this helpful

My tip today is for all you mothers out there needing an inventive way to reward your child for doing the right thing. When your potty training, it gets really frustrating trying to catch your child when they need to use the bathroom.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 31, 2005

A great potty training tip is to purchase "cheap" coffee filters and place in the child's potty, it makes cleaning up #2s a snap!

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July 8, 20180 found this helpful

If you have a young child, carrying a plastic potty in your car can be a good idea. This is a guide about using a portable potty for bathroom breaks.

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November 20, 20170 found this helpful

This is a guide about potty training an older child. Potty training is not always an easy task. If you are trying to potty train an older child, here is some advice that you may find helpful.

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May 4, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about potty training a toddler. When a youngster is making the transition to using the toilet, it needs to be a positive experience.

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May 3, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about creative potty training ideas. Although there are standard recommendations for potty training your child, sometimes a bit of creativity is needed.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
June 24, 2013

I have a 3 year old daughter named Breawna. My husband and I started potty training her when she was 2 and she was doing really well, but later on that year my mother-in-law's colon cancer returned full force and shortly after that she passed away. My daughter and her "gaga", is what she called her, were very close, especially since we live in her house. Now my daughter refuses to go potty on the toilet, it has gotten so bad I had to resort to diapers again.

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I have tried everything from telling her she will get a prize if she goes, to sticker charts, to just putting her in underwear, and finally even putting her in time out, which was a last resort by the way. I'm stuck! Any suggestions I have not tried? She will be 4 in August and we need to stop the diapers and to be honest its getting kind of expensive. lol Thanks!

By Nichole Brinager

Answers

June 26, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

I strongly suggest that you put her back in diapers and forget potty training for a while. You're wasting your time and causing her frustration. She has had a traumatic experience with the loss of her grandmother. She needs time. Try again in about 3 months. And if it doesn't work then (you'll know within 2 days whether it's working), wait another 3 months or so before trying again. I know that diapers are expensive, but you said yourself, you're having no success! Some things cannot be rushed. If she's not ready, she's not ready--and she can't help it!

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By 0 found this helpful
June 15, 2012

How do I get my 3 1/2 old son to want to potty train? He just started talking now. My other son is almost two. Should I train him at the same time?

By Karen

Answers

June 26, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

With 13 grandchildren, I can offer what I think works best. Kids love to imitate & "compete", especially with siblings - train them at the same time. Let the older one watch the younger one & vice-versa.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 28, 2011

My dh and I have let our dd start wearing panties to bed at nite since she went one week without an accident in her pullup at nite. Now she has been about a week without accidents at nite, but is having at least one every morning after she goes to the bathroom first thing.

Can anyone give me some advice as to how to stop this? I really don't want to put her back in the pullups unless I have to. We are so close to no more diapers since we will soon be potty training our ds as well.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

By Jessica

Answers

April 30, 20110 found this helpful

Accidents are common, sometimes for up to a year or more after they are trained. It just happens....

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May 1, 20110 found this helpful

Sorry about the cost of diapers and pull ups but...parents are often too anal about potty training. They'll be fine when they're ready!

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Anonymous
May 1, 20110 found this helpful

Since she's doing fine at night and until after her first poddy of the morning why don't you just change her panties after the first oopsie and not make a big deal about it? That way she'll learn it's okay to have a boo boo and that all she has to do is change into fresh undies. Making a big deal out of it or putting the pullups back on might confuse/embarrass her and take that much longer to finish training. I am sure you wet your panties once in awhile in one way or another and simply change them. Treat this situation just the same.

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May 1, 20110 found this helpful

Both my daughters went through a phase of wetting themselves during the day after they had been potty trained. I am not sure if it was a control issue, ie., something THEY controlled or not. It lasted about 2 weeks until they stopped doing it purposely.

Good luck!

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May 2, 20110 found this helpful

I am 55 years old, on our youngest daughter, we used big girl panty liners most were small enough to help get her to the bathroom before she had a bad accident

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By 0 found this helpful
September 2, 2011

My daughter is 3 and a half. She is usually usually fab with toilet, but for the past 2 weeks, she's constant weeing herself. I have been to the doctor and there is no infection. With her, it's not normal that she can't hold her wee in. She's weeing herself few times a day. For some reason, this has been since we had been on a plane.

By Danielle

Answers

September 2, 20110 found this helpful

I would get another doctor's opinion, and fast. Either there's a psychological problem that needs to be addressed, or if, as you mention, she's actually unable to control her urination, both could be signs of a larger problem.

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September 6, 20110 found this helpful

Could there be something that she is eating that is causing this? My son had problems one time when he was a little guy from eating a lot of watermelon. However, this only happened a couple of times. I think perhaps you should have her checked out by a doctor again, or look to see what other changes have been going on her life that might cause her to regress. Three is pretty little; she might be upset over some changes in the family or something that is going on at daycare or?

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August 18, 20110 found this helpful

My daughter is now over 3 years old. When I first started to potty train her she would rather poop then pee on the potty. Then the past couple of months have been stressful because I can't seem to get her on the potty to poop. She makes a huge fuss and screams and cries because she doesn't want to go on the potty. I need help! Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get her on the potty to poop?

By Kelly R.

Answers

August 20, 20110 found this helpful

Stop forcing her. Forget about it and put her back in diapers. Soon she will tell you she wants to use the potty. It has become an issue so you need to let time pass and wait it out. Years ago we tried to get the kids trained by two. I have noticed that these days children are taking longer. Either way, your child will get trained so stop worrying.

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August 20, 20110 found this helpful

Is she using the "big potty"? May be too big/scary! If she's using a training potty, try using it as a reading opportunity. She sits on the pot and you read to her, distraction! Another thought, take her to Walmart/Target and let her pick out her own Big Girl pants and impress on her that she cannot mess these pants, that they are her very own, special, picked by her, panties. Just some thoughts.

I had boys and had always heard that girls were easier than boys - shows what "they" knew, huh? Good luck, relax, and remember - one of these days you get to teach her to drive - it'll make potty training a breeze! :)

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August 20, 20110 found this helpful

There has to be something great that happens every time you put her on the potty, like a special song, or a small treat (my sister used an MandM for her son). Then there has to be a special reward when "results" are produced in the potty, like a sticker. My daughter had a special sticker book for this.

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September 22, 20100 found this helpful

My son will be 3 in 2 weeks and now I have another baby on the way. My problem is, is that he absolutely refuses to poopie in the potty. But he can pee like a pro.

We've tried praising him, bribing, scolding, and we are now to the point that once his diaper bag runs out, that's it, no more. We have no clue what to do anymore.

He's our first little one and despite advice I've read, I know my son well enough to know that dancing or stickers won't cut it with him. It's going to be a while before the diapers run out, but if he gets his bull-headedness on the kiddie gloves are coming off (haha). I'll keep ya'll posted on the progress.

By tanya giffin from Lancaster, OH

Answers:

Potty Training a Resistant Three Year Old

You may think this sounds crazy, but I use to sit my son on the toilet backwards. I would give him some of his cars or something he could play with while he did his number in the toilet. He would play for awhile on the tank lid with his toys. Then, praise him because he's done such a good job. Might help you. My kids were 17 months apart and I remember it was nuts at times. Also, I remember he got to get some "big boys underwear" when he was doing it the right way. That was his reward. Hope this helps. (02/14/2010)

By Edna Raisor

Potty Training a Resistant Three Year Old

You may want to hear this, but give up until the new baby is born. Then he may enjoy being a big brother. Right now he may want to be the baby while he can. 3 years old is not old for a boy to be training, at this point he is training you. Let him be, ignore the situation and things will work out. I never knew of any kids going to school with diapers, preschool is a great incentive also. Letting him change his own pants after a "mistake" could also make him think twice! (02/15/2010)

By Marlene

Potty Training a Resistant Three Year Old

I must have been lucky. I had 4 boys and a girl. The girl of course trained faster than the boys. But they were all trained by two and the girl at 15 months. They always say that the parents are trained if it is done too early. Yes, it does take persistence, so you might say the parent is trained. But if it works, so what? I never had to bribe them, just had to tell them they did a good job. Sitting them backwards is an excellent idea if it works! (02/17/2010)

By Elaine

Potty Training a Resistant Three Year Old

Be careful. A very good friend of mine had trouble getting her son to use the toilet as well. Long story short he had to be taken to the hospital for constipation and they were sharply reprimanded by their doctor with the threat of child protective services being called. She (the doctor) informed them to let the child take the lead in this area and it would work itself out. I feel that the medical community over reacted to the situation and probably could have handled the entire issue better. The line between raising a child and abusing one becomes blurrier each day. Good luck to you and please share if you find a "trick" that works with your child. (02/17/2010)

By paula

Potty Training a Resistant Three Year Old

Definitely stop making this so important, he knows he's winning. Buy some fabulous "big boy" pants and show them. Say in a matter of fact tone that when he is a "big boy" and uses the toilet like big people he can wear them. Then put them up where he can see them, but not play with them. Go about your business. When you change him, do not scold, tease, or threaten, say nothing. It's just a thing you do. I suspect he loves the attention, so perhaps you can up that in other areas. He's a smart kid, he'll figure it out and some wonderful day, he'll say he's ready. (02/17/2010)

By CarolJackson

Potty Training a Resistant Three Year Old

It is possible that it could be a sensory integration issue. It's not frequent, but some kids don't recognize the feeling of needing to go. You might try talking to an occupational therapist or physician before you take off the kid gloves. (02/17/2010)

By Margaret Oren

Potty Training a Resistant Three Year Old

Make sure the child's feet can touch the floor, as in on a potty chair and not your toilet. Children need to be able to push using their feet, as the muscles used to have a bowel movement aren't yet developed. I read this in a Dr.'s column. Good luck! (02/17/2010)

By Lisa S

Potty Training a Resistant Three Year Old

I think it was Super Nanny who had this problem on one of her shows; find out what your son really loves to do or wants to do and make that part of your resolution. For example, if he loves to play video games, make sure he knows only boys who poop in the potty can play the games and stick to your guns. (02/17/2010)

By Nina

Potty Training a Resistant Three Year Old

You know your son well, if you know what bribes won't cut it with him. If that's the case, then you know that 3 is not too young to be honest with, or expect some sort of conformant behavior.
Just be straight forward. Let him know when the baby comes he will have to do it, because it will be a big help to you. Tell him honestly what you expect, and why he has to do it. Let him know you'll appreciate him being such a big boy.

If people think 3 is too young to understand honesty and straight talk, they are nuts. He's not too young to learn, and it will help you both, so there's no shame in wanting him to do something he could do, if there is no medical reason he can't. (02/17/2010)

By Jarron

Potty Training a Resistant Three Year Old

My nephew was 18 months when he first pooped on the potty. He's almost two now. If we let him run around with no diaper, he knows to go potty. If he has a diaper on, he poops in it. We also taught him to sit backwards on the toilet. (02/18/2010)

By Colleen Stuchal

Potty Training a Resistant Three Year Old

Don't know if you're using a potty chair or the Big Boy toilet, but ( light years ago!) my son was just like this.

Our problem ended up being that he just didn't want to use the "baby" potty chair and leaving his droppings on the floor was something he didn't want to do, either. I covered an old phone book with contact paper to create a washable step-up and for him. That's all it took, along with taking off the diapers and the training pants altogether when indoors. He didn't want to poop on the floor, either.

Remember: he'll train in his own time; they all do. Also remember that there's payback: my little pooper was tearing his hair out when his firstborn gave him potty trouble :) (02/18/2010)

By Candy Killion

Potty Training a Resistant Three Year Old

I threw a handful of Cheerios in the toilet and told my son to sink the submarines. It worked really well. (02/18/2010)

By tikko marie

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June 17, 20080 found this helpful
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