Personal Posts Potty Training

How My Slacker Mom Potty Training Method is Going This Time

Last year, I posted about my slacker mom method of potty training that worked so well for my first child. By March of this year, I was starting to doubt my son would ever use the potty.

He had used the potty (#1 and #2) on his own accord when he was barely two, and had been going a few times a day for a while, but when he started picking up that we really wanted him to use the potty, he stopped using it all together. I was afraid he’d never use the potty and wouldn’t be able to go to preschool in the fall.

I’m not a fan of bribing my children (there’s a fine line between rewards/encouragement and bribes I know, LOL) but my husband (the king of bribes) had been saying for a month that he would make cupcakes if my son just tried his underwear on. We had debated sneakily taking the inserts out of his pocket diapers, taking diapers away etc. but in the end I still felt like my “method” of letting him lead the way was best. For other children, other methods might work, but not for my son.

So around the end of April, I was working on my May post for the Kelly Wels blog, which was about cloth diapers & potty training. Although the post published on my son’s third birthday, by that time he’d been in undies for nearly a month! Literally the day after I typed that post, he said he wanted to wear underwear, and he hasn’t looked back since!

To encourage him to remember to use the potty, we bought a bag of Dum Dum lollipops, and he got one each time he went. Again, bribing isn’t the best and I know foods as rewards aren’t either. BUT, using the right things to motivate your child can go far. For my daughter, a chart where she got to put stamps and stickers was perfect. The lollipops were just right for my son. By the time the bag of lollipops was empty, he was rarely having accidents. It took him just a few days to figure out #2 in the potty, and he hardly ever ends up wet, usually when he is too busy playing outside & forgets!

I’m really not even trying to get him in undies at night right now. I felt like a bad mom when he didn’t want to put a diaper on that first night, and I put him in one anyway, but his mattress is not waterproof, and I didn’t have a cover for it yet! He wakes up with a dry diaper sometimes, but not always. That will happen in time.

Right now he’s just using the little potty we have in the family room, and he takes his pants and underwear completely off each time (LOL.) He uses the “big potty” with a potty seat upstairs, but he still needs some help getting up and down. He is quite petite and needs help reaching to wash his hands, and of course he then needs help putting his pants & underwear back on.

I’m trying to tell myself that 3 months is a long time and that he will be able to go to the bathroom by himself, without stripping, by the time preschool starts! I try not to compare my children, but I recall that my daughter was going to the bathroom totally by herself, and not even using a potty seat at that age. She was also dressing herself! Then again, her birthday is 3 1/2 months earlier in the year than his, and 3 1/2 months is a long time for a 3 year old to grow and change.

Is anyone else potty training?

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Maria is an aspiring "fit mom" of 3 children, writing about cloth diapers, going green, and her life as a single mom. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development, and other services.
  • Hannah Avery
    June 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    I am working on potty training my 21 month old son. A lot of the day he runs around in his undies. I bring him to pee every so often. I hit upon the idea of holding the little bowl part of his potty seat in front of him to pee, and telling him to go, and he usually goes, unless he is in a really bad mood. Yesterday, we were out and about, around campus where we live, and he didn’t have a diaper on, so I brought him to potty, but he wouldn’t go anywhere, so today, I tried holding him over the toilet and telling him to go, and he went, so maybe after doing it several times at home, he will do it in other bathrooms too. He hasn’t done #2 in the toilet yet. Some of the day if we are out and about he wears his cloth diapers, and he usually ends up pooing during those times. I need to work on that too. My goal is to have him day time potty trained by the end of the summer.

  • June 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    My son turned three in May so he is right at three and has been dry during the day since about February/March time. I have four, so I knew he could train at 14 months (my daughter announced she was going potty at this age, and never wet again) or 4 years old (my oldest son was 4 when he figured out how to stinky in a potty) But he balked, ran and peed his carpet multiple times and I was at my wits end. I did what you have done, waited until he brought it back up 2 months later, and viola! He has had very few accidents, all centered around being busy, or clothes he couldn’t get off by himself. He is a bit bummed about Diapers at night, but he still wets every night twice (once around midnight, once again before morning) so I am not ready to go to underwear to clean up bedding too! Sounds like you are on the right track. Kids go when they are emotionally ready, and he wll figure out the clothing thing. If not his teacher will work with him. My mom does potty time with the 3 year old class, and she sees that plus many more fun things 😀

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