Will Only Potty at Home

Dear Dr. Rene,

We worked with our two-and-a-half year old daughter for three months on potty training with lots of ups and downs. She was finally trained and had been diaper free for one month. She started daycare two weeks ago, and she refuses to go to the toilet there. We had this problem before daycare, that she refused to go to the toilet anywhere except home, but we would only be out for maximum two hours. At the nursery, she stays from nine a.m. till two p.m. She sits on the toilet but she does nothing, and she doesn’t even have an accident. Please help.

Sincerely, Jessica Neaven

Dear Jessica,

For using the potty away from the house, I would first practice with your travel potty at home. If you are expecting her to use a folding seat or a potty ring on a big potty when you are away from home, have her practice with it at home first. You might also try the travel potty at grandma’s or a good friend’s house before you expect her to use it out.

To help her become comfortable at daycare, take her to use the potty there yourself just before drop-off and again at pick-up time. She may have success at relaxing if she is with you. Don’t push her to go, just allow her time to sit on the potty and relax with you there. I would also ask the teachers to take her in to the potty at another time or two during the day to either just go and be social with the others waiting turns, or, if she is willing, to sit on the potty for a few minutes to try. Just watching others can help in the process and all the better if she’ll sit.

Continue to read the children’s potty training storybooks, and continue to encourage the potty at home.

Sincerely, Dr. Rene

Ownership in Potty Training

Dear Dr. Rene,

My almost two-and-a-half-year-old decided she wanted underwear 11 days ago. So, we are 11 days into potty training. She goes to daycare, and is now fully potty trained at
daycare (at least barring any regression that could happen.) At home, I still
have to take her to the potty every hour, or she’ll have an accident. She rarely
initiates on her own, and often tells me she doesn’t want to go on the potty. We
had her choose her brand new potty seat, and we offer her “potty treats” after
she goes. We tell her she is a big girl, and we’re proud of her. Any other tips
to help my very head strong little girl with potty training at home? Or is this
just normal for a young girl, and I just need to be patient? (FYI – my older
daughter did the three day method when she was close to three years old, so this is all
new to me.)

Sincerely, June (mom of two)

First, I would ask for what they typically do and say at daycare. If this is going smoothly there, maybe replicate what they are doing. Also, take her to the potty there yourself at drop-off and pick-up. It may be helpful for you to be associated with that success. If available, maybe purchase a similar potty seat or ring for home.

At home, I would do all the small things to encourage interest including reading potty training picture books, watching the potty videos, letting her observe while others potty and playing potty with doll babies or a dollhouse set.

Bigger things to encourage her to more fully participate include offering her choices, descriptive praise and language of ownership. Choices include, “would you like to use the upstairs or the downstairs potty?” or, “do you want to sit on the little potty or the big potty?” Here is a link to a previous post on choices: https://parentingbydrrene.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/how-choices-work-in-positive-discipline/.

Descriptive praise is being behavior specific when you catch good behaviors. This sounds like, “you knew you had to go. You got to the potty quick!” or, “you were taking care of your body. You put all your poop in the potty!”  Here is a link to a youtube video on descriptive praise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LH6Y-qPnAo&feature=relmfu and the differences between descriptive and evaluative praise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn2Ddh16xIY.

The language of ownership is saying something along the line of, “do you know you are the only one in the whole world who really knows when you need to pee? I don’t really know that from out here. That’s your job.” or, “you are in charge of when you go potty. When you feel that pressure on your bottom that you need to poop, it’s your job to go potty.” The idea is to encourage them to take ownership without adding pressure. Use this langauge maybe every other day and not around the time of an accident, it shouldn’t sound like discipline.

Sincerely, Dr. Rene

A Review of Our Potty Training Workshop

Our-Kids www.our-kids.com wrote a review of our Parenting Playgroups Potty Training workshop. Thought I would share here.

http://www.our-kids.com/static/?f=parentingplaygroups.

Thanks Our-Kids for the kind words!

Travel Potty Training Tips

Before you start potty training, it is beneficial to consider what you are going to do about the process when you are away from home. The first is to consider the potty itself. There are folding seats that fit on potties, folding stand-alone options, blow-up options and full-size floor potties available. Whatever you choose, it’s good to have your child use it a few times at home before taking it on the road.

In the weeks leading up to potty training, it can be helpful to start pointing out potties when you are out. Show them that there are potties at Target, or take a tour of bathrooms at Grandma’s house. This lets them know there are potties everywhere and people use them.

If you are planning a big trip in the next month, it may be best to wait until after to dive into potty training. The more consistent you can be the better, and it’s tough to expect a newly trained child to be successful at DisneyLand.

To be safe, carry a full change of clothes with you for a year after potty training. There will be accidents. We actually carried a change of clothes for each child in the car for several years. You never know when a big mud puddle will be the best playground entertainment.

%d bloggers like this: