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« Sunday morning confessions | Main | The face of a girl who's tickled to pieces »



I'm all about early potty training. I'd be extremely impressed with anyone who managed to get a kid fully potty trained - by which I mean able to take him/herself to the toilet unassisted, even if he/she returns unwiped and with pants around ankles -- before age 2, but kids can certainly learn to use the potty much younger than that. Dorian's been using a potty since he was 11 weeks old (though he wasn't fully trained, by my definition, until he was 2.5).

The best thing you can do now, IMO, is to have her sit on the potty at times when she's likely to do something on it. Immediately after she wakes up is a good time, as is after meals. Let her see you using the toilet (what a joke, I know, what mom ever gets to do her pottying in peace?) and if possible, let her see young kids using the potty. Ask her often if she wants to pee or poop, and if you notice any telltale signs -- crotch grabbing, squirming, farting -- hustle her off to the loo. Reward her with copious praise whenever she manages to deliver. When she gets more consistent with it, you can introduce bribes for staying dry all day.

I am also firmly convinced that true potty training can only happen in the absence of diapers... and Pull-Ups are diapers. When you're ready to make the big push and get her totally trained, put her in underpants and try to keep her off the nice sofa.


Thelma is just adorable! It's the same model we had for Callie.

As for how to potty train a child, I think you need to ask said child. Callie announced at 2 years, 9 months that she wanted to wear big girl panties so I put some on her. She had one accident and that was that. Seriously. I took her grocery shopping in panties the next day without concern and she was fine. We did Pull Ups at night and called them "sleeping panties." She ditched those (by her own decision) in about 6 months. I changed wet sheets one time when she was sick with a fever and just didn't wake up quickly enough to go.

On the other side of the coin, there's my Preston. He's 3 and knows exactly what a potty is for. He's seen me, his dad, his sister, his grandmother, and lots of friends use one. He'll tell you that tee-tee and poo-poo go in the potty. He'll also tell you that he's not big enough to use one and that he'll do it when he's bigger. I am hoping he's "bigger" before college. Seriously, though, I could care less. I think he'll do it when he's ready and not before. And let's face it, he's had something of a busy past year and I'm certain that has something to do with his delay.

Good luck!!


Thelma was my maternal grandmother's name. I am honored you named Delaney's potty after her! LOL :)

We didn't start working with Caitlin on training until she was 2 but that was primarily because that's when they start the potty emphasis at daycare and I didn't see any need to confuse her at home any more than she is!

Good luck! We went ahead and bought our potty early, too, just so she got familiar with it. I have some hilarious photos of Caitlin sticking her baby doll in her potty!

p.s. we have the exact color tile circa 1968


Oh dear no potty training advice here. I hope you blog about your adventure, I can not wait to gleen any thing I can. So Thelma? Thelma and Loise maybe, is the potty driving off a cliff anytime soon? Or just D's new partner in crime?


Oh good! You're starting the potty training thing at the PERFECT time. Why? Because you'll be just exactly far enough ahead of my training Lil' Whiskey that I can learn from YOU! YAY! :)

As for advice? Um...I have none. I, too, am clueless. {shrug}


We just did the same thing for our 25 month old girl. Sadly, she wants the potty in every room. She hasn't connected the dots yet either, but I tell ya, it will happen soon. We have been checking out a lot of videos and books from the public library and our Ms. JB loves them. It is surely helping foster the love of the potty.
I did see a little potty training guide from Dr. Phil, of all people, that seemed appealing.

Mrs. Flinger

HAHAHAH! Thelma. We have a dora seat and OMG, the child will sit on it for four hours just because she can say "Dora! Peepee!" It's a freaking game.

I'm all, "DUDE. If you poop in the toilet, I won't have to clean up your diapers anymore!"

And i'm clueless. But I'm running to Traci's Dr. Phil link now (I think we've talked about that once. Sounded good, really)


Yay! Potty!

We bought Lauren a stand-alone potty at about the same age. She would clamor at her pants until we'd help her so she could sit, bare bottomed on it while we did our business.

My observation about the big P is that it was a game for a while, but once it was Time, that was it. Summer's experience rang true here. Potty training was not successful until we gave up diapers (including Pull Ups). In fact, those panties that Carters makes in cheery colors and waffled cotton never made it through a wear either. But pooping on JoJo the Clown's likeness was right out.


Emma has pee'd 4 times and poo'd once in the potty, all before she turned 18 months. Now, she is 23 months old and how often does she use it? I can say never, although we talk about it all the time. With Lily, I started letting her try it out at 2 yrs old and she was trianed by 3. I think it all depends on how much you push them and how interested they are. Good luck!! Diaper free is the way to be!


yay! we have the same potty! and it works! and wooooo delaney!!

but bad, bad mathilde :(

okay, that's it. bye :)



Potty training, as defined by the critics, never happened here. There was no taking the child to the toilet every X minutes. No chanting of cutsy rhymes about bodily functions and where to put them (although we heartily enjoyed the Poopsmith song when we heard it, years later). Ross knew what to do because he watched us and we talked about how grown-ups and big boys go. We told him he'd go in the potty when he got to be a big boy. When he'd just turned two, he saw a battery operated Jeep in the store and said he wanted it. We told him that only big boys drive Jeeps and when he was "all undies, all the time," he could have a Jeep. The next day, he was all undies, all the time. He got the Jeep.


I'm so glad to see all of these encouraging words! Makes me feel a little better about doing this with my boy. I guess all of us yet to go thought all the potty training fun can take heart that one day, diapers will be a memory.

(and naughty Mathilde!)


Hey, if you can get to to train at 18, I'm all for it. Last time I checked, potty training wasn't an ethical or moral issue. At least in most homes--good luck! We're pulling for you and Thelma!


Bella is also showing interest at 18 months. Beaugh is 30 months and has NONE. NONE i tell you. None. none none none none.

steven davies

I completely support you Summer in your opinion.Potty training can only be successful without diapers.I've tried other methods,but they weren't so effective.

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