Potty Training Question

Parent Question: By this point, my child has the hang of peeing in the potty. She still sometimes goes in her pull-up, but more so on the toilet. We’re continuing to have two issues I’m hoping you can advise on:
1) Very rarely does she ask to go to the potty. She’s not good at vocalizing her need to go. Does this come with more practice and maturity, or is there something I can do to help get her to realize she needs to go and then tell us (before the fact)?
2) She has only pooped in the potty a few times since we started potty training in the beginning of September. Most of the time, she goes in her pull-up. Any advice?

Answer: For both issues, I would start with the language of ownership. For the first concern, something like, “do you know that feeling in your tummy/that pressure in your tummy when you need to pee? You are the only one in the whole wide world who knows when you feel that. It is your job to tell me when you need to pee.” or, “let me know when you need to pee. Remember I can’t do that for you.” For the second concern, “you are so potty trained for peepee! I know when you are ready, you will put your poop in the potty too.” I know this language can feel awkward, and it is supposed to be delivered in an upbeat (no discipline) way. Also, not around accidents or on the potty as it can feel like discipline. More a peptalk as you are tucking her in or while driving home from preschool, out of the blue.
Yes, the first concern should also settle with age and practice.
Have her at least be in the bathroom for the second concern. Say, “the place to be when you need to poop is in the bathroom. I know you’re not ready to sit on the potty for that, but everyone poops in the bathroom.” Don’t force this, just encourage. If she is willing to do that, you might have her sit (starting with pull-ups on and even dressed) on the potty.
I know this can be a long process.

Author: Dr. Rene Hackney

With a MA in school psychology and a PhD in developmental psychology, I founded and work as a parent educator at Parenting Playgroups. Somewhere in there I trained in the Developmental Clinic at Children's NMC and in the public schools. I have two beautiful, funny children who make me practice what I preach most everyday.

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