Marisol Nichols’ Blog: Pondering Potty Training

09/02/2010 at 09:00 AM ET

Our newest celebrity blogger Marisol Nichols is back in Los Angeles after a spring and summer based in Shreveport, Louisiana as she filmed her latest project, ABC’s The Gates.

Although filming has wrapped, the actress is still working hard — potty training 23-month-old daughter Rain India in time for preschool!

In this week’s blog, Nichols talks about tackling one of a toddler’s toughest challenges with stickers, words of encouragement — and a lot of patience!

Courtesy Marisol Nichols

Oh boy, potty training.

My daughter, Rain, is going to start preschool in about a month and one of the requirements is that the kids are potty trained. I’d been toying with the idea for a while and had researched all the signs on whether or not she was ready to start.  According to the “experts,” we’re a go!

I actually first attempted this when we were in Shreveport. I went and got a huge poster board and some star stickers — big gold star stickers. As soon as Rain saw the stars she said, “Oooo … stars.” Exactly!!!

I told her very slowly and clearly, “This is for when you go pee-pee in the potty — and every time you do you get a star.” She yelled, “Okay!!” and ran over to sit down, and then just kinda stared at her pee-pee for a while.

We did a back-and-forth thing where she would sit, and it wouldn’t come out or she would stand and it would go on the floor. Then I would try to get her to stay longer, which took the fun out of it because it became something she had to do. So I decided to walk away from it for a while and not mention potty-training at all. Nothing, but just kept her potty there.

Then when we got back to Los Angeles, she started liking to pretend pee-pee in the potty again. And then she wanted to sit on mama’s potty — the big potty. She was again interested!

Last week we toured a preschool for Rain. I have never seen her so excited about something. After the tour, Rain talked nonstop, “School, school, school. School fun!” So I explained to her that they don’t let people who wear diapers go there. So in order to go to school we would have to learn to use the potty, to which she responded, “Okay, school!”

A friend had told me about a “potty training in three days” book. I didn’t get it but thought, “Hey if it can be done in three days then I should have no problem!” If this was a movie here’s where the director would cut to me on the floor cleaning up pee with a scroll on the bottom of the screen saying, “Day Eight”. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Courtesy Marisol Nichols

Day 1:

We closed off the two rooms in our home with carpeting and let her run happily throughout the house — naked. We have her two potties nearby, one in the living room and one in mama’s bathroom. I’ve showed them both to her and explained, “Rain’s potty. This is where we let the pee-pee come out.” She then repeated, “Pee-pee come out.”

And … Oh my God! Rain went and used the potty, while excitedly declaring, “Pee-pee come out!” I was ecstatic! Then she looked at me and asked, “Star?” Oh noooooo, I forgot the stickers! And she remembered?! She’s a genius!

Fortunately my husband was at home so I raced out to the nearest Staples and picked up poster board, happy-face stickers and small star stickers. I promptly showed her the stickers and said, “This is because you put pee-pee in the potty.” She loved the big, multi-colored happy-face stickers. She got to pick which color she wanted (teaching her colors at the same time, multitasker that I am), and happily put it on the board which I then put on the wall above her potty. I was so excited I could hardly stand it. Is it wrong to get this excited about pee-pee?

She drank a lot of water and peed probably 20 times that day. She had a poster board full of stickers and I felt I had probably cleaned up more pee than I’ve seen in my life. I would cheer and jump up and down and exclaim, “Yay!” every time she used the potty, then promptly let her pick out a happy-face sticker. She did great!

I also discovered the drawback to having her naked all day is poo-poo. Whole different ball game there.

Day 2:

Staying home again. Weather is great today so we’re venturing outside in our backyard and bringing her potty with us. More naked Rain. More pee-pee. More happy-face stickers.

Right after breakfast, first thing Rain said was, “Sticker, pee-pee?” I asked if she had to go pee-pee to which she replied, “Okay!” and I got her down off her highchair. She ran over to the potty, sat down and did it. “Yes!” I thought. “I totally did it. Could we be done? Could it be that simple?”

My question was answered 15 minutes later when she stood five feet from the potty looking at it while peeing on the floor.

Day 3:

Rain didn’t particularly want to wipe; she just wanted to pee and get her happy-face sticker. So I added that step to the routine. I showed her the star stickers I had brought home two days ago and added, “When you use the toilet paper you get a star!” making it sound like some mysterious, amazing magic star that would be the ultimate thing to get. I gave her the TP; she wiped — and it was all good. The day continued on with more pee in the potty and yes — more on the floor.

At one point, I was on the couch and I heard her saying, “Rain clean, clean.” Actually it was “Rain keen, keen,” which sounds adorable to me and I happily looked over to see that she was cleaning up pee-pee on the floor … with mama’s sweater. That took a beat.

“Oh, thank you, honey.”

She was proud: “Keen, all keen!” Well, what’re ya gonna do? Never liked that sweater anyway…

Days 4 – 8:

I’m very proud of my little girl. We’ve got smiley faces all over the living room — on the floor, poster board, couch. She’s saying pee-pee and running to the potty and it’s going really well. There’s less and less cleanup for me to do and sometimes she doesn’t even ask for the sticker — she just wants to use the potty.

Still working on it though — what was the name of that book?

She’s getting better and better. Last night when I was putting her nighttime diaper on to sleep in she said, “Pee-pee?” And we went over to the potty and she used it before going to bed instead of just going in the diaper. Good girl!!!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to follow me on Twitter and keep up with me on Facebook, or you can check out The Gates — it airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on ABC.

To all you wonderful moms out there, I love you so much! Moms rock!

— Marisol Nichols

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Showing 77 comments

Jennifer on

Kids aren’t always ready to potty train at 2, I think it’s disgusting that your preschool would insist on it. My daughter wasn’t ready until about 39 months but when she was we did it in a day, and she was out of night-time diapers at the same time. Every kid has their own pace, a preschool that doesn’t realise that isn’t a place I’d be sending my kids to.

Jeanne on

I’m just hoping my son won’t go to high school in a diaper! He’s almost 3 and his interest is on and off… I may be checking out that book!

Kim on

Preschool at 2??? Usually preschool starts at 3 and even then, they don’t normally mandate potty training — often, but not always. I think it’s way too soon to require a 2 yr old to be potty trained. At that age most of them are just starting to understand the directions and the ideas behind it. If she’s successful at 2 then that’s great! But if she ends up truly not ready, I’d find a different school. Or wait another year.

mary on

My daughter is 25months ,started daycare yesturday.we’ve tried potty training,she did ok but doesn’t seem ready.she can turn on the dvd player but no sitting to peepee.

Maritan on

I have that book and while I couldn’t follow through with the suggestions, I think it would work if you devote the time and energy entirely to potty training for 3 days. You also have to explain, using a doll/prop, what is happening when we eat/drink and how it all comes out the other end. That said, your child should be able to understand these concepts.

Everyone’s child differs greatly with this. Don’t worry so much – kids will not be in diapers in highschool! It’s too bad the preschool is determining when this should be done. I was thrilled that my daycare was part of this process as they advocated no underwear-type diapers once the training begins. The teachers and I followed the same routine and I couldn’t have done it without them while working full time and travelling for work.

Babs on

So funny and so true! Try another pre school that will let the diapers stay for awhile and good luck.

Catherine on

The preschool each of my 3 started, in the fall after they turned three, had the same rule. We didn’t have any trouble and it helped them to know by a certain time they had to be doing this, if they weren’t already. Of course, most places have you leave an extra outfit with them, accidents do happen. We didn’t do the naked all day, we did the every 20 minutes to the potty with them wearing character undies. That only took a few days to accomplish, with lots of washing loads of undies🙂

katie on

I am about to start the Potty Training in 3 days this long Labor Day weekend with my 19 month old. She has been peeing the the potty for months now off and on, and we are ready for just the potty and no diapers. She is also ready, she says “pee pee” and holds her diaper. I hope we have good like like you did.

Saleen on

I feel for you! As for preschool, having served on our preschool board I’ve learned that depending on the charter for the school, health dept and child care laws of your state, toilet training is mandatory because the teachers are not allowed to change diapers. It’s not to be mean but for things to be safe and clean and to let the teacher do her/his job.

lola on

Not being potty trained by the age of 3, especially for a girl, is on the late side.

L on

I have a 2.5 year old and none of his friends (boys OR girls, ranging from 2-2.5) are potty trained yet. “Preschool” (daycare??) requiring it for a 2 yr old is extreme. Some are ready, but that is on the early end even for girls. No matter when you start, they will not be trained until they are ready so there is no point in trying until they are ready to listen!

Anna on

I think the potting training age slowly became later and later because people are saying the child needs to be “ready”. Why can children in non western countries be ready so much earlier?

Turning 2 seems like the perfect age to start. No reason to keep adding diapers to the landfill waiting for your child to give you the sign he/she is ready.

Tiffany on

My son was potty trained at 18 months. Out of night time diapers at 19 months (he had dry diapers for 2 weeks but I was scared no him). Each kid has their own pace but I think it is easier to potty train younger. We will be working on kiddo number 2 potty training in 2 1/2 months. Hope it is just as easy!

Leesa on

If you work on it too early you will be potty training a long time! Potty trained my son 2 months before his 3rd b-day, took one day and no pull ups at night. He was ready! Good luck!!!

Bethany on

Marisol, do not pay attention to the naysayers on here. There is absolutely NO REASON why a 2-year-old should not be potty trained, and there is also no reason why a three or four year old (seriously, people??) should still be in diapers. Anyone who has any doubts needs to do some research into how the disposable diaper industry (yes, that’s you, P&G) has manipulated the parenting process in this country for their express (and I would add, obscene) financial gain.

Congrats on your latest mommy experience!!!

Genevieve on

As a community of People readers, comments have been kind of harsh for this blogging mommie, Marisol. Sheesh the car seat comments alone from her first blog would have kept me from ever wanting to put my parenting thoughts out there again. My kids were easy trainers, for that I feel very lucky. We’ve had plenty of other things that have been hard and I’m sure I haven’t always done it right. But there is love, there is patience, there is kindness. I think this celebrity mom shows a lot of love, for that I say hooray!

sola on

Anna I agree with you. My Grandma had 10 children back in the day and age when all they had to use were cloth diapers. She said that most if not all her kids were potty trained between the ages of 12-18 months.

I figured if she could do it with 10 I could try with my 2. My first daughter was potty trained by 15 months and we’ve just started our 11 month old and she is already catching on. I do admit it’s more work on our part because they are not able to wipe or hop up there themselves but I have also found it’s easier to start before they learn the word “No”. We use sign language since she can’t say “pee-pee” yet but she still understands all the clapping and positive reinforcement she receives when she goes. Understand this probably isn’t the method for everybody – but it worked for us.

Andrea on

Loved it!! I totally could visualize it. Thanks. I haven’t potty trained my 2 year old boy yet. Stickers might not be his thing but will have to thing of something else for a reward. I hope mine is that interested in going potty on his toilet.

al on

my sis-in-law started potty training her kids (girl and boy) at 18 mths. they are now 3&4 and still have ocassional accidents. their school didnt mandate having to be potty they are at a school where once the child is 3 they dont get naptime…

Alicia on

I was potty trained before I was two and my dad did it on his week long vacation. It can be done. I began teaching mine about the bathroom when she began walking. Nothing serious, just showing her the potty and what it was used for. I’m open with my daughter and so she’s seen my use the restroom. By the time she was 1.5, she started trying to use the potty. It was only a few weeks at the most before she was potty trained. She had a few accidents (as all kids who first begin do!) but for the most part she was fine. I don’t see the problem with kids learning early about the potty. If it’s not your way that’s fine, but for some that’s just how they potty train their kids, and there’s nothing wrong with it!

Christina on

Way to go with the potty training! My mom ran a daycare out of our house and ALL the kids were potty trained by 2-2.5 years old. My mom would put the kids in underwear and on the potty every 20 minutes, for most it took a week and that would be it. If you went “potty” you got a 1 smartie (its like an M&M). I like the sticker idea better. My sister potty trained both my nieces by 18 months. Yup, it can be done, you just need to stay on top of it & keep asking/reminding your little one.

Felice on

2 years old is too young to potty train. My daughter began preschool, 2 days before her 2nd birthday. Her site, Kindercare, had no problem with the fact that she was not potty trained, as most in her 2 year old class were not. They work with the parents on that issue. My daughter did better at school, because all of her little friends were training and would congradulate each other when they “went potty”. The teachers gave happy face stamps on the hand when they woke up from naps dry. Too bad this Mom could not find a school that was more kinder and gentler with this issue.

Jill on

I can’t imagine spending so much time on potty training. When a child is truly ready for potty training, you don’t have to “train” them. They get it on their own. My daughter is 2-1/4 and not at all ready, so I don’t even bother with it. My son wasn’t ready until 3-1/2 and got it immediately b/c he was ready. At almost 5, he finally got over wearing diapers to bed at night. I really didn’t care – both of my kids are very bright and to challenge them to do something when they weren’t ready would not only have been a waste of time, it would have taken time away from learning things they actually wanted to learn like their alphabet, numbers, singing, and reading. But to each her own I guess…

Alicia on

potty training your kids early does NOT take them away from learning other things! Come on! You may not agree with potty training your kids early, and that’s your right; but don’t say that by potty training them, “it would have taken time away from learning things they actually wanted to learn like their alphabet, numbers, singing, and reading”. That’s untrue. My daughter knows her alphabets, numbers, shapes, and colors. Plus she’s beginning to read. There is nothing wrong with starting at the age of one, let alone two. If you choose to start whenever your child tells your they are ready that’s you business; but don’t try and say that to start early would take a child away from learning other things.

B on

Most babies in the world are out of diapers by the time they turn a year old. It’s sad that people here in America are so lazy that they teach their kids to go in a diaper for years. When will our society let people know that it’s ok to actually take care of and pay attention to their children?

poppykai on

Just like every milestone, potty training (learning) varies for every child. I know in Europe (at least Ireland and England) preschool typically begins at 2 years of age, so toilet training may begin earlier. I know a couple of mums who are frantically trying to MAKE their child learn to use the potty.

In my experience, making a child learn something that they are not interested in will backfire. I tried to potty train my son at 2 1/2 and he was completely defiant. I kept trying every few months saying he HAD to learn to use the potty or he couldn’t go to big kid school- still no success. When I stopped pushing him, (at 4 years old embaressingly enough) he used the toilet for pee and poo and never had an accident. My daughter just turned 3 and has been dabbling in going to the toilet but I wouldn’t say she is totally potty trained (probably within a month though).

Every child is different developmentally and with a different personality, so whenI hear moms say “A child should be ____ by X age” it really is just ignorant. I think it is great the Marisol is watching for signs and praising her daughter when she has a success, but I think that if you have to push a child to learn something (which it doesn’t sound like she has to), then it should be revisited another time. I found a preschool in my area that took children who were still in diapers (although toilet trained was encouraged) and it turned out to be an amazing and fun learning and social environment for my children!!

I think that as Moms we should be more tolerant and supportive of each other and our children. I see too many Mom’s responses tearing other Mother’s methods down. It is sad to me that we can’t all see the differences in each child and know that there is never ONE right way to raise a child. Best of luck to everyone out there doing the best they can by their children!!!

Carina on

My soon to be 2 and a half year old is potty trained. We introduced the potty to her when she was 14-15 months old and have been using it on and off since then. Never any pressure and just happy dance if she went. Then about a month after she turned 2 she said she was done with diapers and that was it. Yea I am not going to lie we did have some accidents at first, but hey she is out of diapers complietly and man its nice. Love it, keep on work at the potty training. It is so worth it. And to you lazy parents who think its okay for your 3 and 4 year olds to be in diapers when their brain and mental capacity has been able to understand the potty facts, just leave the comments about its too early to potty training be. And our preschool requires potty training too, but you have to be 3 years old the year you start.

bobby jo on

My girls were both fully trained at 2 1/2. I used cloth diapers, so needles to say, I couldn’t wait to get them trained!:)
Things are certainly a lot easier now.

April on

I am soooo jealous Marisol!!!! My little girl will be 3 next month and she has no interest in potty training. She was doing well a few months ago, then she didn’t want to anymore so I backed off. Now I am trying again and she could care less, but I know she will do when she is ready.

Darrah on

I don’t think there is a magic age for potty training. Each kid is different.

I tried and tried for like 6 months with my girls when they turned 2, all to no avail. They just couldn’t get the hang of it, and started getting really mad when I’d try taking them every 1/2 hour or so and eventually they just quit using it all together. When they got close to 3 however, all I did was put them in real big girl panties and told them if they had accidents in them I’d have to throw them away. My oldest took maybe 3 days that way, and insisted that I take her out of night time diapers within 5 days of starting the potty training. My youngest started potty training about 3 weeks ago, and she’s had 4 accidents that entire time, only one of which was poop. She’s been dry at nap time and nighttime for about a week, so, if she can do one more, I’ll take away pull ups at night.

I think that there is an age where it just “clicks” for kids. For some that’s 18 months, for others it 3 years. I think the main detriment is diapers. Cloth diapers, I hear, make it easier to potty train, because the child gets more uncomfortable with one wet accident than a kid will in a disposable with 3 of them. The only time I EVER use pull ups is at night or during long car trips. Pull ups just do NOT work.

CMS on

Jill, that’s one of the silliest things I’ve ever heard — that putting them on the toilet would have taken time away from singing, learning, etc. (??!) If you really believe that, you are very closed-minded and uncreative.

My son is 2.5 years old, and he is potty-trained. He can read about 50 words, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say that potty-training him did not cut into his “intellectual development” in any way. In fact, we were able to take his love of books and singing into the bathroom, as he often reads a book or sings as he sits on the pot. He is very happy, polite and social as well — no one forces him to use the toilet, ever.

I agree with the other posters who say that the Pampers/Huggies industries have done an amazingly effective job at brainwashing American moms into believing that kids should sit in their own urine and feces until they are “ready” — meaning until they are 3 or 4 or 5 yrs old. Those business executives have made billions of dollars off of this scheme — it’s brilliant, if you think about it.

Natty on

I so agree with Jill – kids will train when they’re ready. Pushing a 2 year old to train for preschool is just dumb.

Tiffany on

I tried at 2 with my son, as thats when his pediatrician recommended we start. He just did not understand, and he grew to hate his potty. So we stopped. He’s now about 29 months and we just started again. I think he gets the concept now so I’m trying to stick it out. I think I’ll have to try undies instead of pull-ups, maybe that will move him along. I also have a little prize box, so when he goes he gets a sticker or something, except that backfired as he just wants them all now.

amy on

Potty training can be done when children are 2 or even before 2. I always love it when proud moms proclaim their child potty-trained in a handful of days at 3 or 4 years old. Of course they will pick up on how to do something much more quickly at an older age. That doesn’t then mean that they couldn’t do it at an earlier age.

I think later potty training is a result of us continuing to baby our kids and see them less as growing humans who can handle or deal with more than we realize. And this is where we get health care for your adult children until they are age 30. Sad.

Michelle on

As my pediatrician says, “you make your own problems”. If your kid isn’t potty trained by 4, it is because the parent is lazy and can’t be bothered. There is no such thing as “ready”. If your kid is still using a pacifier or bottle at 3 years old, it is because the parent doesn’t want to be bothered to change the situation (so don’t complain about it). When my son turned 3, he was completely out of diapers. That is because my husband and I made it a priority that we were going to be consistent and be on the same page and get him trained. And we both work full time, so our daycare helped us as well. Jill – my son knows his numbers, letters and colors and much more, so that argument you make is strictly a sign of your own laziness.

KAT on

My Mother had ALL 13 of her children potty trained BEFORE age two!! I believe it is gross and disgusting to LET a child stew in his or her own bodily waste any longer than necessary. YOU train the child, it DOES NOT train YOU!!!!

Sandra on

I think it is great you were so honest, I tried to train my little girl Grace she is 2yrs 6mths, she is the same as your daughter, one day she is wants to go in the potty the next day she wants the diaper, her preschool will change her so there is no worry there and have offered to help train her when she is ready, they are only little for a short while so if I have to change a diaper for another few months I don’t mind. I have two boys 9 and 11 both trained at 3, at some stage they all want to get out of diapers……….

Chris on

Because my grand-daughter lived with me from the age of 1.5 to about 4 years old, I was very much a part of the potty training process. Because during the day she went to day care, they partnered with the training. At home we would set a timer which was a cute little character that my grand-daughter loved. We would set it for about an hour or 2 hours. When it went off, we would take her to try to potty. Since she loved Cinderella, we bought a cinderella toilet seat and princess steps so it fit on the regular potty. When she would use the potty I would sit on the edge of the bathtub and read to her. This made it less of a chore for her or something bad that she had to do…she actually enjoyed it. Sometimes she didn’t want to leave the potty and I would read a couple stories and she eventually would pee or poop and then we would make a great deal about it, letting her put stickers on her calendar. If I couldn’t sit with her because I was making dinner, she would climb up herself with a book and pretend to read. Very cute!

We always praised her for doing a good job and rewarded with stickers. She had problems with having accidents at daycare, so I did what I probably shouldn’t have done, I bribed her with a sucker. I told her if she went all day with no accidents she got a sucker at the end of the day. The first time we tried this she ran to me very excited saying Grandma, I didn’t have any accidents today. She was very proud of herself and I told her how proud of her I was and gave her a sucker. In addition, we bought her really cute training underwear or put regular cute panties over the training ones. She felt really special because she got to pick out her own panties for the day.

Potty training doesn’t take away from learing because you can turn anything into a learning experience. I loved taking Sydney grocery shopping. I would tell her what vegetable or fruit I was buying and ask her what color it was first, then let her open the baggie, and count each item as she placed it in the bag. Sometimes we would even add or subtract. You make everything a game and they learn quickly. Build confidence and they feel secure. I miss her though…she is now 7 years old and lives in Florida with her mommie and other grandma. But – oh how I cherish the memories of my grandaughter.

Marisol…..enjoy this time, it goes by all too fast.

megan on

For us it was a pretty long process….bought her the potty around her second birthday…but didn’t really start getting serious about training until 3 months after that. Then 3 months after that she was day trained…and a month after that she was night trained. I wouldn’t expect a child to learn in a month…you really can’t put a time limit on it. Every kid is different…some learn in a day. GOOD LUCK!

Lynn on

I work in a preschool and teach the 2’s class. The 3 day potty training book does work because I have had several of my parents succeed with the training. Yes it does take alot of work on the parent and child but is worth it in the end. I agree 3 and 4 year old kids should not be allowed to linger in diapers. My son and daughter went to a church preschool who also required 2 year olds be potty trained and they were by the lst day of school. Good Luck Marisol with the training!!

Sheena on

Ugh, why is it that when women have a child they automatically become know-it-all experts on every subject involved in child-rearing? Who CARES how each of you potty train your kids? At the end of the day all of your kids are going be using the toilet, none of your kids are going to be sitting in their Pampers in high school. It seems like a lot of moms use their kids as a way of making themselves appear better than others, like a new car or house. That’s just shameful. You should all get over yourselves and get off your high horses.

Samantha on

Every child is different, and there is no right age for toilet learning. There are, however, signs that you should watch for, as many of the moms on here (and Marisol herself, already know). I was toilet trained at two years old. I don’t know if I was ready or not, I just know that my mother was 100% opposed to me being in diapers past two, so it didn’t matter if I was truly ready or not. My daughter is 17-months old, and nowhere near ready. We introduced the potty when she turned one, and I give her potty time everyday, but she doesn’t have the patience or interest to sit for longer than 30 seconds. Frankly, she just doesn’t understand the concept, so there’s really nothing I can do about that. I’m not someone whose being bamboozled by the diaper industry (we use cloth diapers), I just refuse to force my child to do something that she’s not developmentally ready for.

Bridget on

I think the moms that are saying this is to young need to chill out. Did she say all kids should be trained at 2. No! My daughter is two and we have been playing with potty training for a while now.She uses the potty when she wants if she doesnt we will not force her. I would have loved for her to have been trained at 18 months. Is there something wrong with that? Is the child going to grow up to have mental issues because they learn to use the potty at a younger age?? Thats fine your child is still in diapers but I find it very disrespectfully to basically tell another mother that she is doing something completely wrong unless its harmful for the child. Its one thing to say doing something like that potty training that young was not for me and my child, but you almost sound like mother in laws. SCARY I know! The comment board is for opinions not nasty your wrong i am right comments.Bring postives instead of negitive. We are all on the same side. I think for some of you its a envy issue. Ill admit I am totally jealous lol!! It almost upsets me that I typed all this people will read it but few will listen. Keep up the excellent work Marisol! You sound like a awesome mommy to me!!

Katie on

I agree that the diaper industry has completely brainwashed parents into thinking that it’s perfectly fine for 3- and 4-year olds to sit in dirty diapers because they’re not “ready” to be potty trained. As parents, it’s our responsibility to make the child ready! As Kat said, you train the child, the child does not train you.

Meghan on

I teacher PreK Special Ed and often have to work on potty training with 3 and 4 year olds who have varying delays and disabilities. Two is kind of early, but if a child is ready, they are ready. Three is NOT late for girls, it’s right on target. What worked in the classroom (and some parents tried it to) was if a child was starting to work on potty training and soiled or wet their diaper, we made them stop playing and go wait by the bathroom to get cleaned. We would just say, that’s dirty, you can’t touch toys, go wait for one of us to help you. We would always be “busy” for at least a few minutes (b/c so many of them expected immediate attention). A few times of having to stop playing and wait while others got to use whatever toys they were using really makes an impact!

Laure on

For my oldest son we waited until he was ready, backed off when he protested, and then battled through it again at almost three and a half. We used the rewards method and it was tough. For our younger boy we potty trained at 26 months using It worked perfectly – the combination of the young age and the NO Rewards system was the key. And it feels really good to not be contributing to landflls for another year.

Daniella on

I personally have no children, but I did work at a pre-school where the children were required to be trained by age 2. This was done for both the teacher’s, caretaker’s, and the children’s sake. By the time a child is sent to preschool, they should be potty-trained and if they are not, then keep them home or at another daycare for a year. We did handle a lot of accidents of course, but all of the children were for the most part fully potty-trained. And it is definitely possible to train children under the age of 2. My mother had my brothers & myself all trained by 18 months while both my grandmothers (who had 6 children each) had all of theirs trained by 2 years old. Diapers are ridiculously expensive & the industry has learned how to manipulate people. If the 92% of the remaining world can have their children potty-trained by the age of 2, why can’t we?

Sharon on

Amen Sheena!!

Romy on

as you can see from comments there is no perfect age to train them. sometimes it clicks right away, and sometimes it doesn’t. sometimes it’s not worth the fight at the moment and sometimes it is. so you have a month or what? find a new preschool? Most 2’s programs still expect at least a pull-up for a while. I guess you have to go extreme here. no diapers ever. do night training too so she doesn’t hold it till she gets the diaper. or find a new preschool or wait for preschool until 3yo.

Belsey on

I’m thinking if my girlfriends judged me about my child’s potty training the way some of these posts have judged Marisol, I wouldn’t have any friends now. Sheesh people, if Rain doesn’t want to use the potty, she won’t use the potty. If she wants to, she will. My child is 8 now, but I do remember how my wants didn’t necessarily coincide with his all the time…

robinepowell on

A girl I work with didn’t start her son until after his third birthday, not because he wasn’t ready, she didn’t feel like it (She was barely 20 when she had him). Now she’s trying to get him to do it because sometime this fall, he’ll be going to daycare.

The funny part is her aunt had a baby a year later and she’s getting her two year old daughter to use the potty too. I think she’s having better luck.😉

angie on

Potty training means something different for everyone, I myself have been working with my daughter since she was 18 months, and she is now 3. She is developmentally years ahead of her age, walked early, off the bottle early, achieving many milestones early. She is smart, funny, with a crazy/silly/fun personality, though she is as stubborn as the day is long.

When I read the celeb posts, its fun to see they have so many of the same concerns and issues every other mom has. What is disappointing is the lack of support for anyone from so many other women/moms. We should all take a deep breathe, practice a little tolerance, and realize each person is doing the best that they can. You can judge, from a silly three line post, but you don’t know someone’s situation. Maybe they have other things going on at home like a sick special needs child,and a full time job and 2 other kids. Maybe it is a stay at home mom with one child…it doesn’t matter, because you don’t know. It would be nice if moms could get together and not be catty or mean when sharing experiences, because we can really learn a lot from each other.

Lindsay on

Oh my goodness! I’m rolling here. Your daughter and mine sound identical. I’m currently potty training my 24month old and like you, I’ve been having to “keen” up lot’s of messes but we keep getting closer and closer to big girl panites. Thanks for sharing and the laugh it gave me.

Irina on

Hi everyone! I have read all the comments, and some made my hair stand up! My daughter will be 2 yrs old next week, and we haven’t used diapers in 8 months! Izabella started doing #2 by the time she was 10 months old, and she was fully potty trained by 14 months during the day and at night. Now I am not saying every child should be like mine, but saying that a kid is not ready by the time they are 3-4-5 is crazy! If they understand what they want, and tell you what they want, they are definitely ready to go on a potty. And for those that think that potty training takes away from learning, my daughter knows her alphabet, can count to 20, can read 120 words, and is very friendly and polite! Of course there are cases when the kid is trying to control the parent, but c’mon people we are the parents, we should be teaching them! Great Job Marisol! Keep up the great work with your little angel Rain!

MarijaP on

I don’t have kids but I can say the here in Macedonia ( miles away from USA) kids are potty trained early. Maybe just after their 1st birthday and before the 2nd. The best trick moms are using is that in spring/summer when is hot here they let kids only in their underwear or naked especially in the yards or the beach during day or a few so that kids can get some idea of what they are doing. There will be tons of accident in those days. And also a lot of kids before doing #2 like to hide somewhere or make sound so it’s easy to notice that and take the kid to the bathroom or to its potty

Claire on

I agree with Michelle, Kat, Sola, Alicia, and Katie. In 1960, 90-95% of 24 month olds were potty trained. This is back when our moms/grandmas had to wash cloth diapers so they wanted to be done with it ASAP! When disposables came along, they were easier so it made Americans lazy. I also agree with the whole, “You train the child, the child does not train you” thing. There are many things kids don’t want to do. Back in the day, parents were in charge and didn’t care what their toddlers wanted to do! Think of all the clever and creative things your toddlers can do. They can probably work your T.V. and DVR but you think they’re “not ready” to pee in a toilet?!? Pick a day to train and just do it! Throw away the diapers. If you go back and forth between diapers and underwear, you’re sending mixed messages and it will take months.

Go buy “Toilet Training in Less Than a Day” by Nathan Azrin. For one day, throw the nutrition rules out the window. Pump them full of salty snacks to make them thirsty, pump them full of juice or natural soda (something that’s a treat so they’ll chug it) and practice going potty every 5-10 minutes. When they have an accident, hand them a rag. You need to teach your kid to be responsible for his/her own messes. You can help clean up, but if you do it all on your own, there is no natural consequence for peeing in their pants. Don’t use Pull-Ups, it just confuses the idea. I did this with my daughter. We started at 7:00 am. By 8:00 am she had gone in the potty 9 times (thank you Hansen’s Natural Soda!) By 11:30 she had “gotten” it and we were done. She was 2 years and 3 months old.

You can do it moms! Your child is ready, you just need to be sure you’re committed to the process!

Jennifer on

Sure we all used to be potty trained younger, and we all had a lot more accidents. Everyone’s kid is different, and that’s all there is to it. You don’t know my kid, or why she potty trained so late (but I can tell you she didn’t live in America so Pampers didn’t brainwash me). Just because we used to force all kids to be out of diapers before 2 doesn’t mean it was what was best. Bear in mind that the mothers making their kids do this were also having to wash old school cloth diapers, not the great ones we have today.

Monica on

Boy! I could write a book about potty training because I just spent the last 3-4 months working hard to potty train my daughter. She had to be potty trained before starting preschool in August. So just after she turned 3 we started boot camp and she finally got it. I had half heartedly tried when she turned 2 but I was pregnant and tired and she wasn’t really into it so I backed off. Then when the baby came I was still too tired and didn’t want to push it. But once summer started and we had the preschool deadline looming I really kicked it into high gear. I found a great online book and used a potty watch set for 30 minutes and within a week she was “done”. The main idea I took from the book is that potty training is a process, not an event- so I still have to be vigilant and make sure she goes on the potty but she’s been only in panties for about 2 months now and would be considered potty trained. So good luck to anyone out there in the process! Just keep praying for patience and dedicate a few days to nothing else and you’ll get there!!

Jessie on

imo i think between 2-3 is a great age to potty train, most kids that age are becoming more independent and want to learn anyway and be a “big kid”. i wouldn’t wait until they are “ready” so to speak because they may not say they’re ready until they are 4 or 5. a parent should make that decision and not leave it totally up to the child. (off topic a bit but just like pacifiers at some point the parent just has to decide to take it away.the kid can’t start kindergarten sucking on one,lol) good luck with your potty training!

erica on

If a child isn’t ready, he or she shouldn’t be forced simply because a parent wants them out of diapers. I made that mistake with my first son. We spent months on potty-learning simply because “the signs” were there. There were hours and days of frustration because in my mind “I KNEW” he understood. That’s all nonsense. I don’t think Jill insulted any child’s intelligence, but in our situation, we could have been spending more time enjoying one another rather than having the “potty battles”! Instead of spending time just sitting on the potty…waiting…each and every hour, we could have been enjoying the days! I had read all the books, Potty Training in 3 Days included. My middle child is 3 years old. He’s still in diapers – cloth ones. I am not lazy nor do I not care about my child. When he is ready, he’ll do it. Some children want to use the potty at a very early age and others don’t. To put a cap on the age and then call parents names if a child isn’t “trained” by that age is ridiculous and just shows ignorance.

Sara on

i agree with everybody else that says 2 is NOT too early. at least give it a try. if your kid knows they peed, that’s the first step for them. yay! our son was out of diapers at 14 months, and he throws a huge fit if we even say the D word. i made him special airplane underwear (25 pairs because there are accidents)that he absolutely loves! at night, i put a newborn size prefold in them… just in case. let your kids pick out their very own underwear. let it be all about them. they’re the ones wearing them, so why shouldn’t it be their choice🙂 … however, most kids don’t actually have the ability to hold it in any longer than a minute until about 18 months, and boys feel the “i gotta pee” feeling a little later than girls do, so don’t get upset if they have an accident. it’s not a step back, they’re trying, and i’m sure they want to be out of those icky diapers just as much as you do. (especially disposables!!)
**Bethany** did you know that the new average age -nationwide- for fully potty trained children, during the day, is 5 1/2 years ???!! SAD! it IS because of the diapering industry, yes, and the lack of education and laziness on the parents’ part. a lot of times they feel they are “pushing their kid to do something they’re not ready for.” most likely because the “experts” and doctors have told them that. come on, guys, start thinking for yourselves again!! don’t go by the new statistics, make your own!!🙂

Denise on

Ok, I haven’t read through everyones comments so I may sound like a repeat. I started potty training my daughter at 18 months (she showed all the signs of readiness including staying dry through the night). Initially it went well and she was excited about it. Then, she lost interest. Even suggesting using the potty would result in a meltdown. We decided not to push it. She would eventually be ready. Then, when she was 2.5, our son was born. Tired of diaper changing hopping, I started suggesting the potty again (we had kept it in the bathroom the entire time. I had tried a few times during the pregnancy to get her interested, but nothing worked). Well, if I was changing her diaper, I wasn’t with her brother, so why would she want to give up those few minutes? A few weeks before her third birthday, she decided to go on a drinking binge (of milk) and peed so much at once, her diaper couldn’t hold it. It went down her leg and onto the floor. She was so upset and apologetic. That was 3 months ago. We have only had 1 accident since. Sometimes, it is easier to wait. I was getting frustrated (we knew other kids her age who were potty trained at 2). I should have realized it would eventually happen. The point is, what works for one child wont necessarily work for another.

Leslie on

My three kids were all trained prior to age two. My youngest was 20 months. It is easy and MOST kids are ready by 21 months. Parents tend to make it harder than it is. It just takes a few weeks and consistency. And, yes, I used the Potty Training in Three Days book for all of them. In actuality, and mentioned in the book, is the fact that it takes three weeks. The three days is to set the pattern and break the ‘habit’ of using a diaper. Keep it up. In three weeks she should be pretty successful at it. One month from now you will wonder why you didn’t start it sooner.

Jennifer on

I started potty training w my son when he was 18 months. Looking back, I dont think he was quite ready, because it took until he was 2 to be completely potty trained. (even then he still had occasional accidents) I was planning on starting toying w/ the idea of potty training my daughter around the same time, but she surprised me and started showing interest in the potty at 16 months. We are still working on it a few weeks later. She is doing a great job going pee and poo in the potty, but on the days she just isn’t interested I dont push it. She’ll get there when she’s ready, until then it’s pulls ups and me asking her every 20 mins if she has to go.

Elizabeth on

To accuse a mother of being lazy, just because her child is not out of diapers yet is insane. I cannot believe the amount of judgemental and ignorant women commenting on this post. I bet u you are not perfect! You are just trying to make yourself feel better by looking down on others. Every child develops at their own unique pace and that must be respected!

hillary on

I just giggled reading this… because I am going through the same thing with a 21 month old. Don’t let the people tell you she’s too young!! There are plenty of cultures who train their babies via elimination control and they are not even 5 months and know how to do it… we have trained the babies to go IN diapers and it’s our job to train them OUT of it!
I haven’t pressured her.. she has come to love that potty but I have my struggles… I need advice too😦
I feel like I can’t leave my house… she has it perfect at home and tells me when we are out she has to go potty but won’t use public potties!!

Best of luck!!!

Lorus on

My daughter potty trained just before turning 2. I know it’s earlier than the average but it’s definitely not unheard of, especially when cloth diapered. My two sisters and I all potty trained between 22-26 months old as well.

LauraL on

Although not brainwashed by the “diaper-industry”, I, too, believe in letting kids taking their time with this issue. It´s not actually something that one has to teach kids, because it´s a normal physical function, like breathing. One just has to train kids to use a certain item associated with it: the toilet. But first of all, they have to understand bodily functions like bladder and bowel control, something that is simply biological and sets in within a certain age range. It also has a lot to do with “letting go”, on the psychological side. My son trained himself, so to speak, and he was 3. We had a hot spell, with lots of time spent naked in the pool outside, and everytime he needed to pee or poo, he just stepped out and used the toilet (no potty, because then you might risk a problem with real toilets when on the go. We had a ladder for him to climb up by himself). He used toilet paper, flushed and washed his hands afterwards, all simply by observing his parents doing these things. And I don´t believe in rewarding this milestone, because it is after all a normal thing to do and I just thought to myself: if I reward him everytime he goes to the toilet successfully, then what will he think if he does have an accidént? That he let me down and was a dissapointment? And please consider this: if “potty training” was something that actually was something you have to train and one leaves the physical aspects of it aside (the “readiness” for it), then why does one lose the ability to control the bladder and bowel as one reaches a certain age?? Do elderly people have the hots for diapers? I think not. Give all the moms around the globe (I´m from Germany, by the way) a huge break, but more important: give the kids a break. And don´t let anybody dictate you as to what is a normal age, just go with your own instinct.

J on

Okay so I have read all these comments and am appalled at how many of these Mom’s think they’re experts on Potty Training!! Every kid is different. I am not saying two is too early to train I am saying for my son two is too early. I am expecting #2 in February and would love for my son to be out of diapers before than, but I am not going to force him to sit on the toilet. My question to some of these mom’s that think any child can be trained by two…what do I do if my son completely refuses to sit on the toilet? Kicks screams and throws a fit if I try to get him to sit on the toilet?? I offer the potty still and I talk to him about it constantly so I am not being lazy. I am just trying to not pressure him so much that it backfires. Also, I have not invested in Pull Ups yet either, because he doesn’t stay dry. So if he isn’t trained until three does that make me a “lazy mom”? Why are Mom’s so judgemental of eachother!?!

JoAnn on

I have three daughters. The first one we bribed with gourmet jellybeans. I had to carry them with me at all times. She would jump off the potty and say “jellybean”. We started with 2 if she told me had to go and actually did, one if I asked and she did. She tried the sitting on the potty every half hour to get them but no go. Her birthday was in March and she had never had jellybeans before. We kept a jar on the counter where she could see them and it did help remind her. I went through less than one pound of them before she quit asking for them. Did I mention that all 3 girls were born in 2 1/2 years. Well, the second one hated her diapers and she basically potty trained herself at about 16 months. Nights and all, definitely not my doing. The 3rd one was a stripper so we rushed her training, but still she wasn’t completely trained until about 2. I think every child is different and they have to not like the icky diapers before they will really start working at the training. The middle one wanted to be like her big sister with panties, we bought them and before a week was up she was sleeping in them and waking up in time to make the bathroom. She is still an overachiever and just got her BS/MS at the same time in Occupational Therapy, now makes more money than I do. Youngest one, still floating along, happy as a clam just to survive. Those personalities develop early and stick

J.J on

Why are people judging? Some kids will be trained early, some not, it just depends on the child if they are interested. You should never force your tots to be trained, let them be curious, engage in their `curiosity and you will be success😉. All kids will be potty trained before the age of need to rush!

Gayle on

In the case of potty training,I keep getting conflicting information about what age a child should be potty-trained & how it should be done. I think a book that was mentioned was by a paediatrician named Gina Ford & I think it was something like “from child to adult” or somethin like that, im not entirely sure. The book says stay home for 5 days, the continence nurse told me stay at home for 2 days encouraging my son to blow bubbles while sitting on the potty & others say I shouldnt stay at home but take loads of spare underwear & clothes etc plus take a portable kids toilet seat with me. Only the latter worked for my eldest son. I had the same problem with both my sons because they suffered delayed speech & as a result had difficulty understanding the concept of potty training by the time they were 2 so its not a case of being lazy & not potty training them at 2. the speech therapist told me he needed to be able to use language as a form of social understanding & not as a tool before he can begin to know what a potty is & what it’s used for. My youngest is about to start pre-school(nursery)& the staff there say they’ll help me along the way & the continence nurse will also visit the nursery to introduce her method. Which method(s) do any of you agree with? Please help & reply/blog back

MiB on

I used to work in kindergarten and have seen “it all” when it comes to potty training. Some kids are early, some are late, some need you to make a lot of fuss about it, some do best without, some will quit diapers just like that, others take longer, some love their potties, others prefer using the big toilet directly. The one thing I have noticed is that pull ups delay potty training unless they are only used outdoors (accidents in winter clothing is a bad idea), during naps or trips or when the child has diarrhea. In my experience normal underpants work the best since most children hate the feeling when they pee (or even worse, poo) in them, distraction is also a good tool, wether it’s reading, singing, blowing bubbles or playing with a bucket of water and some bath toys (the later is particularly effective since the luke warm water sort of “activates” the peeing mechanism), as is routine and frequency. Finally, accidents are a part of potty training, some kids need more time to learn to recognize the signs in time (some are just to busy to pay attention).

Just remember, accidents do happen and they are no big deal (if they happen often, make sure they go potty more often). Also remember that day time dryness and night time dryness are two completely different things and need to be treated that way, bedwetting is often heredetary, and it is not unusual that children wet their beds until age 6-7.

missy on

I agree that requiring a child to be potty trained at two is quite young, however, please keep in mind that it is standard in a true pre-SCHOOL (not daycare) program that children be potty trained at age three.

After all, a school is not a day care facility and does not have the proper equipment to change diapers. If your child is not potty-trained at school, perhaps they are not ready for ‘school’ just yet.

Geri on

I started having my son use the toilet as soon as he could sit up. He would sit on his potty as I brushed my teeth and got ready in the morning. If he used the potty he got lots of praise. I did not have to change messy diapers after about 9 months because he would “tell” me he needed to poop. I just had to be prepared to produce a bathroom in a timely manner.
I learned where all of the bathrooms where everywhere we went. I learned to take him potty before ordering food. But the payback was that I did not have to handle messy diapers.
He did have occasional accidents which were no big deal because he wore easy Velcro diaper covers over cloth diapers.
The stay dry lining in today’s disposable diapers does not educate the child that that sensation produces wet pants. This is why kids train so late. It is so much easier for the child and mom/dad to just change a few diapers everyday than to pay attention and see when the child pees.
I have potty trained over 50 kids in my care so I do have some experience. The cloth diaper kids train much faster and want to get out of the wet diaper. Disposable diaper kids do not care until the overfull diaper interferes with what they are doing.

amy on

Potty training starts with the brain and the brain will send a signal for them to go..Who on earth wants to run to the potty,ask constantly,wipe up pee and poop off the floor? You can’t force them to walk.You can’t force them to talk and you can’t force them to pee.Teach them what it is and let them be.Anywhere from 18 months to 4 yrs old is normal..stuff rushing and enjoy them being little……mom who of started using the potty at 3.5 yrs and I didn’t care one single it!

Sara on

I too am surprised how many people think let their children dictate when they should be potty trained. In China (I have been there and seen this) their children learn to go on cue. I imitated this practice and my 7 month old does 90% of his pees and poos on the potty. Most people don’t realize that their children are born with the natural sense of when they are going potty. No animal wants to sit in its own waste. So they try to let mommy or daddy know that they are going. If we pay attention we can accommodate their needs. Waiting to “train” is ridiculous. You’ve already ‘trained’ your child to eliminate in a diaper. Toilet training is simply retraining. However, everyone has to do what works for them, I just think its sad that parents have to go through such hassle to desperately try and teach their little ones something that they could have very easily avoided from the very beginning.

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