Potty training??

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Potty training??
Tue, 06-17-2003 - 9:51am
I need all the tips i can get. Catie needs to be potty trained by the end of August. I have had a friend suggest to just switch her over to panties and suck it up. After a few days she will get it. But i live in a newer apartment, with NEW carpet. And three cats, one of them is a male. I cant have her urinating on my carpets. I have tried to put her in panties and then continuely asking her if she needs to go potty, but in the past, she has sat in it, almost unaware she had done it. But that was several months ago. She has since showed more interest in the potty.

I know that if she would actually GO in the potty, she could "get it". "OH! that is what you want me to do in there". But i cant get her to actually GO in the potty. She will sit on it, read a book, etc. She loves to stick toilet paper in there and she loves to flush. She goes through the motions, but doesnt go potty.

I dont have any pull ups, and i have been told those send mixed signals. I am up for any suggestions...



Avatar for maresgood
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 06-17-2003 - 6:49pm
Hi Helen, My 10 yr. old dd still has toileting issues- she's the one with AS. She was trained around 3 1/2 or close to 4. She would go pee but #2 was & still is a problem. She is anal retentive and only goes about every 2-3 days. If we travel, it is a big problem! Something about the change in toilets...My older dd was about 3 when she was done.I had potty chairs for both of them. They were afraid of falling in the big potty I think. Then we progressed to the plastic hat which sits inside the potty. I only used pull-ups with my younger dd & she would go & then tell me AFTER the fact. It was convenient @ night though. I would try regular panties with plastic pants over them. They do need to feel the wetness & know the difference. This is why pull-ups aren't a good idea during the day 'cause they feel like diapers. I remember the pressure to get my dd's potty trained for pre-school. I ended up sending them both to Children's World Learning Centers & they loved it there. They help you potty train when they're @ school. My dd later went to the Mont. school @ age 5. Anyway, good luck in the process- MaryAnn
Avatar for littleroses
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Thu, 06-19-2003 - 10:23am
If you're going to have to suck up anything, it's the fact that it will be impossible to escape accidents on the carpet. That's why it's training and you will have to throw any anger out the window. Imagine trying to learn to drive a car with the instructor yelling or angry with you. Make it as loving and positive experience as possible. (Did you know toilet training was the #1 reason given for child abuse? I was surprised.) I also had an apartment with new carpet (no cats though). My daughter did know that pullups were diapers. It's the first thing she said when I put them on her. Since everyone is so unique, I don't think one way has done the trick for everyone. My daughter was also extremely afraid of the toilet (still is to a degree;hates the flush noise). When I took away the potty and put her on the toilet, it was a whole different experience in her mind.

Anyway, what worked for us finally was a regular loud kitchen timer. I'd give her lots of her favorite drinks and set the timer. I don't know why that worked so well for her, but the noise always sort of startled her and it seemed like it was "the law". The bell rings so it's time to sit on the potty. Instead of mom being the bad guy, the bell was so it reduced control issues. I would set the timer for every hour (or less depending on how often she would go with all those drinks) and not let her off the potty until she went pee.

I don't know if that was the best way to approach it, but it was what finally worked for us. It took her a month to potty train. I didn't know she had autism then either. My oldest daughter took only 3 days to be trained for both day and night so my expecations were high when I got to her. What a lesson on individuality for me! My daughter is 5 1/2 now and wears pullups at night since she can't hold it at night. It's not her fault so I don't belittle her for it. I just tell myself it won't be forever. It's not like she'll be wearing pullups in high school. Going poo was another issue altogether. There were lots of accidents on the carpet I was none to happy about. She was so afraid of the toilet and would hide behind her bedroom door and go right in her undies. Good thing I love that kid. After keeping a sharp eye on her and being consistent, she finally got the poo part too.

Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 06-19-2003 - 10:58am
I'm with the 'suck-it-up' croud. Suck up the fear, suck up the anger, get a SteamVac and suck up the accendents (best anniversary gift I ever got, btw). The timer is a widely recomended potty training trick, pull-ups are not. If Catie is going through the motions of pottying then she is deffinately ready to do so. Go ahead and have her in the bathroom when you go so she can see exactly what you mean. To this day, and much to my dismay, the "OH! That's what you want me to do!" story is still my mother's favorite toddler story about me to tell people. (rolling eyes, LOL)

I waisted time with my older kids trying not get my carpets dirty. In the long run they made more 'messes' and were sick more often than my younger ones, whom I handed a package of panties and said "This is how things are going to be....." With Jade and Eva I showed them what I expected, bit my lip when they made mistakes, and did a lot of carpet cleaning. But I did FAR less carpet cleaning than I did with the ones I tried to 'gradually' train with pull-ups. With the older ones they just didn't see any reason to to go in potty since they were perfectly comfortable sitting in an extra-absorbant dirty pull-up. And then at one point each of them got it in their heads that they could change their own pull-up. So then we got to play 'poopy hunt' and find all the little messes that managed to fall out of the pull-up as they dragged it through the house after changing themselves. Oh, and they can't clean their own bottoms propperly(kinda hard for little arms to reach and little eyes to see) so I had to change them again anyway.

I say go with the panties, the timer, the examples, and the steamvac. They saved me an emmense amout of frustration. But I warn you, one mom to the other, potty training is NEVER frustration free, or mess free for that matter. No matter what you do there WILL be messes. How you handle them and how long you put up with them is up to you.

Just my copper pennies.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Sat, 06-21-2003 - 11:54pm
Thanks for all of the replies. Catie and i have been in California for a few days, so i havent had time to check the site. But i appreciate all the suggestions. i think i will go buy her a "special" timer. Maybe one of a farm animal or something,and use that. So she will know, it is time to go potty when the "Rooster Crows". I guess i will need to purchase a hand held steam cleaner (wonder if those work) and carry that around with me! lol.

I do worry about trying to potty train her while we are traveling so much. This summer is just really busy since Catie starts school in Sept. So i think alot of caos is going to make this harder on us. But, we will try this.

I did watch an episode of Dr Phil, and he recommended throwing a "potty Party" and whenever the child actually goes potty in the toilet, to call his favorite super hero on the phone. Although this would probably work with an "average" child, I dont think Caitlin is mature enough to anticipate phone calls, people, events, etc. You say swimming, she wants to go NOW. She understand 5 minutes from now. So telling her she will talk to Winnie the Pooh on the phone AFTER she goes potty will only cause problems and tantrums, IF she even understands the concept.

Thanks again for all of the advice. I will definately try the timer and see if it works.