Our adventure potty training our daughter was not a short one. At nine months old, we started trying to get her to sit on a toilet with an insert – with no luck. Around eighteen months we tried to get her to sit on a potty chair – with little luck. At 29 months, we tried to potty train in one day – with no success. The result each time was a stiff child afraid to sit on the potty.
We tried bribery of all kinds, but she wanted nothing to do with it. We might have success for a few weeks getting her to sit on a potty for a few minutes a day, but if we pushed for more we were met with a rigid child. It took physical force to get her to sit, and that was more force than I was willing to use. Luckily I have two friends who reassured me she would eventually get it. Their four girls all potty trained between two and a half and three years old, so I knew I was not alone.
Then came the day she chose to wear underwear. She had started to become more interested in our use of the toilet, and given the choice one day she chose the underwear. The deal was that she had to sit on the potty when asked or wear a diaper, and it was enough to get her to at least sit. But, there was no success. She would sit on the potty for at least five minutes only to get off the potty, put on underwear, and make a puddle minutes later. She even got good at holding it after noticing she was starting to make a mess, but still she would not use the potty. Instead, we would end up with a puddle after two or three attempts on the toilet and a few pairs of underwear.
At that point, I was frustrated. So, I sent an SOS out via Facebook and got a few ideas. First we tried sitting on the potty, drinking water-downed juice, and watching a show. It took over an hour and more than eight ounces of juice, but she finally had an accidental success. Unfortunately that tactic didn’t work the next morning – she just held it until her show was over and her underwear was on, and then she made a puddle. We got another accidental success playing with a spray bottle in the bathroom (spraying into a bucket), but other distractions like books and play-doh didn’t work. So, when I went to the grocery store I bought candy. Maybe a small bribe would help. She already knew she would get a tricycle when she was fully trained, but that wasn’t complete tangible to her. And the candy worked. She got one piece for every success, and she milked it for all of its worth. Luckily I only put about ten pieces in the candy container, so when they were gone, they were gone.
After the bribery, she was completely trained when she was not distracted. As long as we stayed in the house, there were no accidents. I could plan errands after she went, and we were fine. But things that had to be done at certain times or were longer than an hour were a problem. She wouldn’t / couldn’t have success on demand, so she had to go while we were gone. But, she was too distracted to get to the toilet in time. So, I needed some sort of training pant. I had already learned she could take off a diaper (since she is skinny enough just to force them down), so I had a few options. I looked to see what was available at Kelly’s Closet because I wanted to use another free one-sized coupon. Unfortunately, none of the trainers in stock seemed like a good option for us. I thought about the Little Beetles, but the size she needed was out of stock. Then I got the idea that maybe a fitted diaper would work. She isn’t one to have an accident sitting down or sit down while wet, so a water proof cover while out wasn’t really necessary. So, I went with the Mother-ease one-sized option because it was the cheapest. And they work! They can hold a full accident without causing a puddle, which is what I wanted. I can also feel that she is wet on the outside, which is nice. And, since these are new to our stash, I am getting away with calling them underwear. She is skinny enough to pull them on and off, so they work just like underwear for her.
So finally, at almost 33 months, she is mostly potty trained. We have something to use when we are out to prevent puddles, and she is happy. Hopefully before too long we can go without the fitted diapers, but until then I am fine using them.
By Stephanie U.