Potty Weekend: Because An App Can’t Do This…

GeekMom Technology

Image by Artnow314 Licensed under Creative Commons

I’m scared, no… terrified. There it is on the horizon. Looming in the not so distant future. If humans can build a rocket to take astronauts to the moon why can’t they build something to make this process painless. Potty training….. there I said the two words that every parent fears.

I have a little boy who is almost three years old and, honestly, I’ve tried to pretend that he would wake up one morning and in a confident voice tell me “Mother Dear, I do not require diapers anymore, thank you for your years of service.” Yeah, I know I’m delusional but it could happen… right?

We bought a couple potty chairs ages ago and they have been sitting in the bathrooms, collecting dust, waiting for their impending use. My son likes to take them apart more then he likes to sit on it to use it appropriately. We picked out underwear in a variety of designs including Lego Star Wars, Pixar movies, and Marvel Super Heros. We are learning that they aren’t actually headgear.

While reading all of the potty training books I find my mind wandering to more pleasurable thoughts like running away from killer zombies or being covered in spiders. I think I’ve reread those manuals a dozen times. However, each time I close the book in disbelief that my child will EVER be out of diapers. I have nightmares of sending my sons off to their senior proms sporting the largest possible size of Pamper’s Cruisers.

In reality I know that it will be easy when he is ready but my kid is stubborn and willful. He laughs at the status quo. He knows that the status is not quo. I ask if he has pooped his obviously dirty diaper and he looks me in the eyes and says, “um….. nope”.

Ah well, my day is coming and fast. Time to pull out the big guns… or attach an orange portal to his underpants and a blue portal to the underside of a toilet seat. If only it could be that easy. Instead the reality is that there will be SO many accidents… and SO many successes.

The reality of potty training is it is the last step of my son’s babyhood. In reality that is what I am dreading more then anything else. So… I suppose it is time to create a game plan. This weekend the GeekMom’s are going to help anyone dealing with potty training with a few experiences of their own.

For those of you yet to potty train, good luck, I’m right there with you. For those of you that have been through the gauntlet and survived, please share your experience with the rest of us.

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11 thoughts on “Potty Weekend: Because An App Can’t Do This…

  1. I was somehow magically blessed with a son that basically took his diaper off one day and was done with it. So far boy #2 is the same way. What I think helped was some time in cloth diapers(uncomfortable as all get out when wet), and lots of naked time. I don’t even bother with pants let alone underpants for the first month of potty training. Garden target practice helped too. Boys love peeing on anything. #2 loves peeing off the deck onto the roof. Gross, but no more diapers. Good luck! Each kid is different and needs different motivation.

  2. I am right there with you. My almost 3-year-old is not at all interested in ditching the diapers. Moreover, he freaks out when I try to let him go without diapers. Diapers are safe. But I have no deadline since I work from home so I will let him keep the diapers until he shows some interest, hopefully sometime before his senior prom. ;P

  3. I tend to agree with those that say it is a bit different for boys than it is for girls, simply because of differences in the “plumbing”, if you will. My son took longer than my daughter did (which seems to be typical for boys) and he still has some problems making it through the night. He is 4. Plastic covers for the bed are a must, I’d say.

    I was actively involved in potty training my son, maybe more than my daughter, for obvious reasons. I think fathers should take an active role; we can show our boys how to use restroom urinals (which will only be in separate restroom facilities, i.e., the men’s room) and how to pee standing up. (And yes, my boy likes to pee on stuff, too.) I don’t think this can be a mom-only thing! Conversely, my wife was more involved with my daughter, especially teaching her how to make the best of emergency situations.

    Both of them, however, are spooked by pressure-assisted toilets, to this very day. We have had to be very mindful of which places have “loud” toilets. It still bothers my daughter so much that she tried to hold it in once… until she couldn’t. But the place we were at was pretty loud as it was (Chuck E. Cheese on a Friday night), and both kids had accidents. Potty time can’t be a stressful thing, apparently.

  4. For both my kids, though my son more than my daughter, picking a date and going cold-turkey (no more diapers or pull-ups) was what it took.

    DD was sort-of potty trained, but both she and we parents would get lazy if she was wearing a pull-up, so we just had to decide it was time to move to underwear and deal with whatever messes we made. It took just a day and relatively few messes before she was pretty reliable.

    DS was really resistant. He was nearly 4 and told us that the pee would not come out when he was on the potty, with a tone of voice like “Geez, leave it alone already! I said it wouldn’t work!” Finally, the daycare teachers asked if we were willing to support them in just moving him to underwear. So we brought in lots of extra clothes and followed their lead. It was a pretty stressful two days until he finally had a success. And then he was potty trained. Well, he hasn’t tried standing yet, but there’s plenty of time for that.

  5. We’re in the middle of Potty Weekend #3. Our son is getting uncomfortably close to 4, and after a number of failed attempts over the last year we finally decided it was time to put the carpet cleaner on standby and go cold turkey on diapers whenever possible. Potty Weekend #1 was so stressful it’s amazing we’re all still alive, and Potty Weekend #2 was abandoned when we realized we’d like, if at all possible, to still be married by Sunday night.

    Of course, the refrain from him has been “I am not a baby anymore I don’t need diapers” and “But I don’t want to sit on the potty.” We were resigned to sending him to preschool next month in pull-ups, but this time around it’s gone surprisingly well *knock on wood*. Maybe third time’s the charm? Best of luck to you!

  6. My advice is to wait, if you can.

    I tried numerous times with each of my sons before they were 3, and each attempt was stressful and unsuccessful. I finally stopped worrying about it and waited another 6 months. By then they were ready, had seen their classmates use the potty, and I didn’t have to do any actual training. We just said goodbye to the diapers, started wearing underwear, and that was it! My kids did all the work themselves. It was one of my proudest and easiest moments as a parent.

    I have friends who tried potty training their kids too early, and instead they were the ones who became trained. One friend had a son who would only pee in the toilet, but if he needed to do anything else, he would only do it in a diaper. For 2 years my friend ran around putting diapers on her son when he called, then taking them off 5 minutes later and cleaning him, then putting the underwear on until the next time. It was a nightmare.

    Good Luck!

  7. All you young parents hang in there. The rewards are worth it. Just this year for Mother’s Day, I got cards from both my children (the youngest is 26). The card from my daughter said ‘Thanks for all you taught me, especially that potty-training thing. It’s really come in handy.'” I don’t remember exactly what the printed message on the card from my son said, but he wrote a note inside. “It was hard to choose between this one and the one that said ‘Thanks for all you taught me, especially that potty-training thing. It’s really come in handy.'”

    See, it’s a lesson they never forget!

  8. with my daughter , I bribed her with M&Ms , and she was naked for a bit of the day at home. For my son no amount of bribing would get him to use the potty. potty chairs are a waste of money cause after you get um using it you have to get them to use the big potty, why train twice?
    My son is almost 7 and still does not stay at night. Unfortunately night training isn’t training it’s waiting until they are physically able to hold it that long or you are lucky enough to have one that actually will wake up.

    1. We also trained directly on the big potty; we didn’t even use one of those things that make the seat a less scary size.

      Partly, my kids were just not interested in the small chairs that we bought. Partly, I knew that we spend so much time out-and-about that if they couldn’t balance themselves on a big toilet, they would not really be potty trained.

      And I get the no-bribe thing. DD was well past potty-training before there was anything she wanted enough for me use it effectively as a bribe. DS still isn’t quite there yet. (And in case you haven’t figured it out yet, “bribe” is code for “delayed gratification.” It doesn’t sound nearly so bad that way….)

  9. My son is now 3. He’s been urinating on his own for half a year now, but when he sleeps, it’s still diapers as he still needs a bottle of formula before sleeping (milk = sleeptime). For the other business, he still prefers to do it in diapers, but having gone with him abroad holidaying, we know he knows how to use the toilet. At home, he’s just lazy, I guess. However, he has promised that he’ll change all that when he’s four, and we chose to believe him. As to what helps to persuade our boy, we do tell him that so-and-so (some friend or another from his Nursery) has already stopped using diapers… If your kid is competitive (or embarrasses easily) then he/she will get the message and try to be better… I should also say, being first time parents, I’m glad we’re not the only ones with this problem…whew!

  10. i went against all the advise that came my way. Everyone told me I just needed to take away the diapers and not give him a choice. But I knew my son, and I knew that would not work. Not even a little. So I took him out and let him pick out some underware and pull ups. Then every day I would ask if he was ready to try the pull ups. After about a week he did, and he loved it. They were just like undies! He would sit on the potty with his pull ups on, and do his business. It took a couple more weeks for him to try taking off the pull ups.
    Then we moved on to undies and used pull ups at night. It was great! He was day time potty trained. And it took a few more weeks before he really got the hang of night time. But eventually he was diaper and pull up free! There was no aruging, no pleading, no problems. And I know it’s becaus ei let him lead the way and do it in his own time, his own way.

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