Anyone have Experience/Tips for Early Potty-Training?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2007
Anyone have Experience/Tips for Early Potty-Training?
Sat, 01-28-2012 - 5:02pm

Hi All,

So my son I think is pretty smart . . . we do signs with him and now he will usually sign "potty" before or after going poop and sometimes pee, also . . . so I'd like to try to potty train him, or at least start letting him try it or encourage him toward it . . . he's 14.5 months.

The problem is when I've tried to leave his diaper off and just let him be naked, he will HOLD his pee/poo . . . at least, whenever I've tried, he's held it until naptime (when I put on a diaper) and/or pooped in his high chair (after the first time I learned to put down a cloth diaper under his butt, LOL).

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Hi Adrienne, Do you have a little potty that is portable? We had one as a permanent fixture in our living room for awhile (class, I know!) so my youngest didn't have to be contained in the bathroom. Like your son, he was always on the move.

We set a timer to go off every 15 minutes and I gave him a sticker for each time he sat down on the potty, whether he went or not. If he went, they we broke out in song and dance and did all those silly things. Eventually we moved to 20 minutes, then 30 and we started giving stickers for the times he actually went pee.

Hope that helps!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002

My youngest was completely reliable without diapers by the time she was 14 months, but the difference from your ds is one you identified: she was never training into the idea of eliminating into clothing in the first place. We practiced elimination communication and kept her mostly out of diapers from about age 5 or 6 months. She did most of her peeing in the toilet from that point onwards.

I would think that you might be able to get him to learn about using the toilet / potty by letting him watch you pee. Make a "sssss!" sound when you're peeing, and show him what's happening. Then, if you are ever holding him and you feel him peeing, make the same "sssss!" sound. When you put him on the potty or toilet, make the same sound as a cue.

in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998

Your life will be easier and his less stressful if you hold-off on potty training until he takes interest in using the potty himself. Certainly have a potty seat for him to get comfortable with... having both a portable and a one that plugs into a normal size toilet is helpful. Have the little books around for him to look through if he wants. Let him "play" potty for awhile to get comfortable with it all. When he tells you before and/or after, be postive about it. However, kids usually have "signs" of readiness for quite awhile before they are truely ready. Since you say he's extremely willful, it's very important not to set this up as a power struggle or you might be waiting until he's 4 to use the potty regularly. These kids can have really long memories and so if this attempt doesn't work, any negative experiences will poisen later attempts.

For us, my DD had signs of readiness for about 6 months before she was actually ready. I did try to "train" her around 18 months but it seemed stressful to her and so I backed off. At her 2nd birthday, she told me she wanted underwear and that was that, totally trained night and day with no accidents or stress. DS was a longer process. He also showed signs of readiness early but didn't actually want to use the toilet until 2.5. It took him a couple months to really get it down and to stay dry all night too.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2008
Noelle started potty training at 12 months. I didn't do much to help. I call myself a lazy potty trainer. With Noelle I got her the small portable seat and put her on it without a diaper to get her use to sitting on it. She just started peeing. After that every time I put her on she peed. She didn't show any signs before hand. She was basically potty trained in a month but I keep her in diapers because she had diarrhea all the time and couldn't always make it. Also she needed my help to get her clothes off. Marcel is 20 months. He is showing all the signs you said. He started showing the signs at 17 months. I can put him on the potty and he will go but that is all I am doing. He has accidents all the time still. Marcel at first would not sit long enough to go so I started playing catch with him well he was on the potty. Then I moved to books and then him just sitting there well I talked to him. That is where we are now. He didn't start peeing on the potty till he could sit there for a few minutes without playing. So I guess with my long post my advice is just let him sit on the potty without a diaper for now and wait till he starts to use it to really train him.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-1999

I agree with Miranda.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2012

Let him see/ hear you use the toilet, or better yet Dad, or another male.