Tuesday, April 13, 2010

potty woes

Last summer we embarked Luca on the potty training journey. He seemed ready by all means. He warned us when he was about to go in his diaper.  He kept his diaper dry for long periods of time. He expressed discomfort when his diaper was wet.

I found a cute frog-face potty to make the process fun for Luca, stacked up on Blue's Clues stickers that could be used as rewards, and read the section on "potty learning" in my What to Expect the Toddler Years To our surprise, Luca is still having several "accidents" a day. Although he was physically ready to be potty trained, his psychological readiness is another story.

Eight months after we started potty training, it seems like we are making little progress. He does not warn us when he needs to go potty, refuses to go when we take him, and tends to have "accidents" when we are tending to Andre. The funny thing is, that he learned to use the potty very quickly. As soon as the novelty wore off, however, so did his willingness to use it.

This week, we've decided to try yet another approach (we've tried several already): continue the rewards and accolades, let him "stew" a little so he feels the discomfort of soggy pants, and discontinue any type of attention when an "accident" happens. In other words, treat accidents as matter of factly as we can. It dawned on us that the immediate response and the caring scolding Luca has been getting when he has an accident might be perceived as rewarding to him. I'll report later on the effect of this method.

In the mean time, I keep consoling myself with the thought that this is just a phase and that we are learning valuable lessons for when Andre is "ready" to potty learn.

Do any of you moms have tips for me?


  1. I have potty trained 4 of my 5 children so far, and everybody always tells me to potty train earlier then I do ( mine have all been 3).I will tell you they do it when they are ready,it will all of a sudden hppean overnight.
    so don't worry he will be potty trained before yu know it!

  2. I am happy to report that the approach we took has worked! After about a week of completely ignoring accidents, Luca is no longer refusing to go potty and even lets us know when he wants to go.
    Rachel, I wish I had your advice last year and I would have started later. I guess if you start too early all you are doing is making the process longer!