Potty Aversion (2 year old)

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Registered: 09-23-2004
Potty Aversion (2 year old)
4
Mon, 05-31-2010 - 12:41am

My daughter turned 2 last month. She's a great, sweet kid, very independent and strong willed like many 2 year olds.

Here's my question: we have 2 potties (a Baby Bjorn and a Boon potty), plus an adapter seat for the toilet. She's in cloth diapers, and sometimes I put her into cotton panties (though she usually wets them immediately, so it just seems to create a lot of laundry). I was reading this book, "Diaper-Free Before 3," and working from that (as phase 1 of the book) to get her used to just sitting on the potty. BTW, my main take-away from that book is that I waited much too long to start this process, as she's now highly mobile and distract-able, and we have a lot of trouble getting her to sit still even for meals, let alone on the potty.

Perhaps this is a big mistake, but I've been getting her to sit on the potty by letting her play with my iPhone (which she loves) as long as she sits on it. We installed some toddler games and it's a really high-value item for her because she usually only gets it if we're out in a public place and I desperately need to buy some peace. I just haven't been able to figure out ANY other way to get her to sit still.

I usually don't let her watch TV, but she's seen "Potty Time with Elmo" a few times, and the "Blue Bear" potty video a couple of times on YouTube, etc. So I think she gets the concept. Another thing is that we bought a book that I've been kicking myself for, called "The Potty Book for Girls." She's read it countless times, because at first, I thought it was great. It's a cute book and has some good stuff, but there's this one picture where the little girl, Hannah, pees a huge puddle on the floor, and it says, "Sometimes I hurry to the potty. Woops! I am too late." I realize this was to demonstrate that setbacks are a part of the process, but this lofty concept (the indirect "don't message") was way above my 2 year old. The lesson she learned from this is "Hannah pee on floor!" She thinks this is perfectly acceptable now. She got a really wrong visual message from this book, and it's very hard for me to un-teach it. I hope that with time, her memory of it will fade.

She prefers to be bare-bottom if possible. Often if I put her diaper or cotton panties on her, she'll just peel them off, and sometimes I just let her be, if we're hanging around the house.

I think she knows she's supposed to go in the potty, but (in the 2 months that we've been working on this), she never has -- not once. This is what happens: she'll sit on the potty for 5 to 10 minutes, then get up and do her little "dance" like she has to pee, and I'll encourage her to sit on the potty again...and she'll just pee on the carpet, literally 1/2 foot away from the potty. She'll say, "Pee carpet!" I'll say, "You're wet. Carpet is dirty. We have to clean carpet." Then I'll get a towel and clean it. I'll say, "Pee in POTTY next time, please. Pee in POTTY." It's very hard for me to not feel/express any frustration about it, because it seems like she does know she's supposed to go in the potty...or at least I'll think that from the last time she went on the carpet, she now understands she's supposed to only go in the potty. I don't think she notices my frustration. My husband does, though (he keeps telling me to be patient).

We have to wet-vac the carpet every day. Before we had kids (and pets), my husband insisted on upgraded high-pile carpet (I begged for hardwood floor!).

I haven't been rewarding her, or promising to. I guess I wouldn't mind trying a sticker chart, but I really hope to avoid doing a grab bag of wrapped gifts, and I refuse to give her candy for doing this or anything.

Perhaps the answer is that at 2 (since the other route would have been to start her WAY earlier), since we've gone the route of only starting now, she's simply not developmentally ready and I should stop trying for a while...?

Other factors: I am a stay-at-home-mom, with her all the time. She has a regular routine and consistency. There's been no transition, new anything, trips, etc. whatsoever. However, there will be: she's supposed to start a Montessori school (9am - 12pm, half day) in September, and needs to be potty trained by that time. Also, she's been an only child so far, but she'll be getting a sibling in December. I expect there will probably be regression at those points, and that's fine...but I just want to be on the right path.

Please advise on any aspects of this (what I may be doing wrong, what I might try, etc.). Thank you.

Edited 5/31/2010 12:51 am ET by thebayareagirl




Edited 5/31/2010 12:56 am ET by thebayareagirl
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2003
Mon, 05-31-2010 - 10:51am

your dd is the perfect age and ability to learn the potty:) i'm not sure if you have read any other posts on here but another book has been recomended to me and i HIGHLY recomend it.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2004
Mon, 05-31-2010 - 1:26pm

Wow! Thanks so much, Elizabeth. A couple of hours ago after I read your post, I purchased that e-book, and I've been reading it nonstop, and reading a lot of it out loud to my husband, too. It's VERY promising, and now I feel like I have a great plan, and hope!

1. We've hidden the potties and potty adapter.
2. Jamie says we can wait 2 weeks, but I think (since my daughter Zoe is 24 1/2 months and I don't want to delay too much further) we'll just wait 1 week -- and then we'll throw a party and "throw out" the diapers and inserts (which, since they're Bum Genius cloth, we'll secretly save for the new baby). :)
3. Then we'll break out the potty and have our three naked days at home, and I won't let myself get distracted from her for a second -- and then we'll cancel all of our playdates and things for a week or longer after that.

I want to give her time to mentally bounce back from the damage I've done; but I don't want to risk waiting too long...

So my only question is...since Jamie says 24 months is a pretty good time frame, but after 30 months is not as ideal (and since Zoe knows the ABC song and sings it perfectly 24/7 - a good marker), is it okay to wait only 1 week?

Or - since Zoe has developed an aversion to the potty already, due to my own fault of being inconsistent with it, forcing her to sit on it sometimes, saying, "Oh Zoe!! You need to go on the POTTY, POTTY, POTTY!!!" -- etc. -- which put pressure on her -- should I wait the full 2 weeks before the throwing-out-diapers party and re-introducing the potty?

THANKS SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2003
Mon, 05-31-2010 - 5:47pm

i felt the same way when i was reading the book-hope! i also read out loud to my hubby.

my dd was a combo of the 2 worst case senerios...fun. but i had planned on doing the full 2w in diapers for her. after 1w she started sneeking into use the toilet, lol(obviously i turned my head and pretended not to notice)! so i gave her the 'warning' that on a certain day there would be no more diapers just the toilet. we ended up going only 1.5w. i think it would depend on your dd. try for the full 2w it really gives a nice stress free break. if you find your daughter changing for the better and want to shorten it like i did i don't think it would be a problem. i also fully told my dd what was going on, i think that helped her too, but she was quite a bit older than your dd. i think tailoring it to your dd while still using the methods in the book help. that is what i did, we are going on 2-3w(isn't that great that i don't even know! it is just easy now!)

good luck!!!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2004
Mon, 05-31-2010 - 11:43pm
Hi Elizabeth! Thanks so much for the additional wonderful advice. Your dd sounds like she's doing great!! That's so promising! I will watch Zoe and see how she does. I have no expectations, but I'm willing to wait the full 2 weeks to let her start with a clean slate. I will also fully tell her what's going on in the simplest and briefest way. She's very communicative with me/us, though I don't know if she gets everything we try to tell her, but I'll do my best! :) I'll keep you posted...