Looking for some suggestions

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011
Looking for some suggestions
Fri, 08-10-2012 - 12:29pm

Hi all!

I am wondering what, if anything, I should be doing right now to help my DS with toilet learning.  DS is 20 months old (yes, young especially for a boy).  He goes to daycare and is in a clasroom with kids who are older, so he sees them use the toilet all day.  He also goes to the bathroom at home with DH and me pretty much everytime, always has.  We have always taken the approach that using the toilet and being the bathroom are a normal part of the routine--wiping, flushing, all of it. 


I bought him a very basic potty chair several months ago when his daycare moved him into the classroom with toilets.  He would take the potty chair apart, play with it, sit on it with clothes and diaper on.  We told him he could use it when he wanted to.  About a month ago, he started trying to take his diaper and pants off to sit on the potty chair, so we would help him.  He actually pooped in the potty 2x over the course of about a week.  We congratulated him, let him flush the poop in the big toilet and kept on offering to use the chair.  He generally announces when he is pooping in his diaper and talks about poop and pee often, so we ask if he wants to use the potty at this time.  We don't make him sit on it or have him on a schedule.  Just offer and he refuses. 


This week after he took a bath one night (maybe Wednesday) he was walking around naked and said "poop-pee" like he does.  I offered to let him potty (we were in his bedroom by this point).  He said no.  I told him I would put a diaper on him so he could go in his diaper.  He said no to that also.  I told him that he could choose diaper or potty but that poop and pee belonged in one of those two places.  (We use cloth diapers.)  He walked over to the changing table, got the waterproof cover part of the cloth diaper off the shelf and put it on the floor, and then proceeded to pee on the water proof cover.  I took the cover to the bathroom to rinse of the pee and brought his potty chair back.  He took the top of and squated over the bucket part and peed into that 2x while he was hanging out in his room.  


So I don't know what to do.  I know that he doesn't really like to sit on our potty chair.  I think it is too small for him since he is very tall and he has to pull his legs toward his chest to sit that low.  Clearly, he has much more awareness of his functions then I thought, as long as nothing too exciting or distracting is going on.  I also don't want to push him hard and have him resist, but I know he dislikes his diapers and trys to get them off whenever he can.  He also complains at times about being uncomfortable with poop in his diapers.  I think there are signs he doesn't want to be using the diaper, but clearly our potty chair isn't working for him.

Do I get a different potty, maybe a seat on our big toilets?  Do I just let it be until he is really motivated to get out of the diaps?  Any direction at this point would be appreciated.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-23-1999
Sat, 08-11-2012 - 1:34pm

welcome to our board akhtarsa,sorry for being so long in getting to you.

20 months is not to old to start potty training,espectially when using cloth diapers.the average was between 18 months and 2 1/2 years of age.

I would try getting a seat for the big toilet and if needed,a step stool for him to reach it.it really does sound like this is too small and uncomfortable for him.

You said he used the plastic portion of the diaper?are you using all-in-one diapers or are the plastic pants seperate?

With children showing this amount of independence,I would try going to thicker cloth training pants for daytime with plastic pants and see how he handles this.

I hope this is helpful.

Please keep us up-dated on what you try and his responces.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011
Mon, 08-13-2012 - 1:25pm

We have the super basic babies r us brand potty seat right now.  Here's the link to it.


It really is small for him.  I was watching him again yesterday.  I don't know exactly how tall he is right now, but he was 35.5 inches tall at his 18 month visit in early June and is wearing mostly 3T clothes at this point.

We have a step stool for the bathroom so he can brush his teeth at the sink, so we can use that for the toilet too....just need to get a seat.  I think this will be better for him anyway since he has never been a kid who liked using the "kid" gear.  He hated his highchair and wanted to sit on big chairs at the table.  He didn't want "kid" plates, he wanted plates like mom and dad.  He has a play kitchen with wooden pans, but would alwasy rather get real metal pans from the kitchen and try to use the big stove (daily struggle here).  He has been this way since day 1, so it totally makes sense that he would do better on the real toilet than on a training seat (even if it were one that fit him).


As far as what types of cloth diaper we use, we do both.  We have AIOs and pockets for our daycare because they prefer the 1 piece.  At home we generally do prefolds with a wrap cover.  I don't have any pull up covers, but can snap the wrap covers we have and pull those up like the plastic pants.  The part he peed on was the wrap cover laid out flat on the floor.  He also peed on a prefold (flat) diaper over the weekend after another bath.  We do have several pairs of thicker training pants......these ones


We just tried them out over this weekend for the first time.  It seemed stressful, but maybe that is just how it goes and I need to get used to the fact that he.  He was very proud of wearing his big boy pull up pants, but did not want to go to the potty when I told him it was time to try (about every 20 minutes, training pants stayed dry the whole time and he only peed a tiny bit once).  After an hour of this, we put him into a diaper so he could go to the park for a while with dad and relax a bit--both him and me.  Then I didn't try again because I was afraid I would totally turn him off to his training pants or using the toilet until he was like 7 or something.  He really didn't want to have to sit down on the little potty.  He got really unhappy about me making him try to sit down on it.

Thanks for the input both of you, keep it coming.  Really.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-23-1999
Tue, 08-14-2012 - 1:03pm

Hello akhtarsa

The step stool is great,and these look to be a pretty good training pant,but I would recommend the regular pull-up plastic pants(these you can find in different colors as well)and they can come in handy later when he is older if needed.

As for getting him to sit at regular times,try setting the kitchen timer for about every half hour and race him to the potty wqhen it goes off( he will win of course).

Send all the aio's to the day care and only use the diapers for night time,and his trainers and plastic pants the rest of the time.

I do hope you will excuse me being repetitious,this is the way I have trained for many years,so kind of a one track mind.lol.

Hope this works,he sounds like a very bright lad.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2007
Wed, 08-15-2012 - 4:09pm
My DS1 will be 3 in Sept and we've occasionally had to bribe him to get him to go sit on the toilet. Either with his TV show (that we already intended to let him watch) or his computer game that has several little games in it. He likes to change games and so when he asks for a "difrent one" we make him go try to go potty. He also prefers sitting on the regular toilet as well, with out his little ring even. But that is because he likes to slide down into the bowl and get his bum wet in the cold water, lol. And often its with other things too, just whatever he's wanting to do that we are interrupting by making him try to potty.