Any tips for potty training a toddler when I have a baby to care for too?

Solomon's been showing signs of readiness for potty training: he seeks privacy when he needs to poop (he's been doing that one for a long time) and more recently, taking off his diaper after peeing or pooping. Not every time, but frequently. I was thinking of potty training shortly after he turned 2, but I didn't want to do it too close to nightweaning and we thought we were going to try to nightwean before Abram was born. Then we decided not to, but I didn't want to potty train because it was near the end of my pregnancy and I figured Abram's birth would cause a setback and we'd have to do it over again anyway. Then I had a newborn and thought it would be too hard and too many changes for him at once, blah blah blah. Now Abram's approaching 6 months and I'm out of excuses.

We introduced the potty a long time ago, he knows what it's for and used it a few times between ages 1.5 and 2, but hasn't recently. I put him in undies every so often so he can get used to them but never for extended periods of time (except the other day - we were outside all afternoon and he was playing with the hose too so they were soaked and I'm assuming there was pee in them too).

Anyway.... I don't know if it's possible for me to do it alone during the week when I can't give him my full attention 24/7. I don't think he would tell me when he has to go potty, so I'd have to take him every 30 minutes or so until he gets the hang of it, but I'm worried that will be impossible while caring for Abram too. I'd love to do it when DH can be home to help... he has a 5-day weekend this weekend which would be perfect BUT we have lots to do because we're hosting a party and having overnight guests. We need to devote our full attention to it when we decide it's time. Would a regular 2-day weekend be long enough - or long enough to start at least? If he has the full attention of one of us 24/7 for 2 days, by Monday will he at least be able to tell me when he needs to go? Obviously every kid's different, but if he's ready? If he's not ready we have no problem backing off and trying again in a few months. We're in no hurry.

Also, any thoughts on skipping peeing sitting down and just teaching him to pee standing up? Whenever he sits on the potty I have a hard time getting his penis to point down and in. Plus he seems to like peeing standing up (in the bath, once he's stripped in the kitchen, or the other day he pulled off his undies in the backyard, climbed up his slide, and peed standing up in the tower of the swingset).

Thanks in advance for any replies!
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
First of all, I think you are making too much of a big deal about it, as our culture tends to do. If you think about it as a traumatic change it will be traumatic. If you wait until you are perfectly ready, you will never start. Just do it. A weekend is good. You can start by going potty right after waking up, devote a few hours to it a day, and do diapers the rest of the time to start. I would also suggest putting Abram on the potty at the same times. I think the boys can learn from each other and it would be good for both.
There is a little urinal, called Peter Potty, I think that is awesome for training boys. It has a little reservoir you fill with water so they can flush, and it really helps with the mess. You just have to make sure you empty the pee drawer often enough cause overflows are messy, but it is awesome.
To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
I agree with geeky, you are making it a much bigger deal then necessary. Although I do understand why you might not want to tackle it with your party coming up, even though your husband will be home. Sounds like you might be a little busy.

My 2 year old is potty trained, and I did it during the week by myself after the baby came (he is 3 months). It was fine.

I am sorry, I am having a lot of trouble expressing myself. It has taken me way too long to write this post!

Maybe I just don't understand what the big deal is. I took her to the potty. If she went, great, if she didn't, oh well, we will try again later. Did she have accidents? Of course. It can be part of the learning process.

Just do the best you can, and stop worrying so mcuh about it.

No advice for training a boy, but I know I will be asking soon enough!!

Last edited by ruralcurls; 05-24-2010 at 08:40 AM. Reason: having problems today
You don't have to devote full-attention to potty training. Put him in underwear and take him to the potty often. If he uses the potty, great. Clap and jump up and down like a maniac praising him. If he doesn't use the potty, fine. Just go on with your regular day. After a couple of accidents, you'll figure out he's not really ready, so go back to diapers and wait a couple of weeks and try again. Potty training truly only takes a day or two if the kid is ready. And it doesn't take 2 parents or undivided attention. Peeing and pooping is part of life. You can fit it in with everything else.

Standing up to pee is fine if that works better for his anatomy. Get him a little stool to stand on.
I agree...I think there is such a push to potty train early that is just stresses parents out...I do not know how many times I have heard "He is STILL in diapers" about S, and he is 3.5. I know he is not ready, so I do not stress, he has underware he wears and loves to, KNOWS what to do in the potty, but that little link is not there yet.

If he is in underware and I need to tend to C I will throw a diaper cover on over his underware, this way messes are contained (if there is one), but the underware are still on. I also put a stool infront of the toilet for him to use to stand up (we have the same issue sitting down). Also, if we are doing underware I typically skip clothes and just put a tee shirt on him, easy to clean up messes, one less thing to clean.

I have been looking into the peter potty but have not gotten it yet.
Me? Make too big a deal out of something? Never!

Thanks for all the replies. Maybe I will start small and put him in undies whenever we're outside, and bring the potty with us. That way if he has an "accident" we won't have a big indoor mess.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
Me? Make too big a deal out of something? Never!

Thanks for all the replies. Maybe I will start small and put him in undies whenever we're outside, and bring the potty with us. That way if he has an "accident" we won't have a big indoor mess.
Originally Posted by PixieCurl
I think it is easy to make a big deal out of things with your first...I do it all the time with Steven (even without meaning too)...I do notice (and you probably do too) I am MUCH more relaxed and have a more "whatever" attitude with C.
Yup, or you can even let him run around nekkid hinie outside. If he has only been going in diapers for 2.5 years he may have no idea what it looks and feels like. You could also have him run around in prefolds with no cover to get a sense of his schedule, though it sounds like you have a pretty good idea with him telling you. Try to put him on the potty at his regular times.
My feeling is he will be trained when he is ready but it does not have to be all or nothing and you can provide learning opportunities. If you are not opposed to it take him in the bathroom when you and your husband go, and show him and describe what is happening.
To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
Me? Make too big a deal out of something? Never!
Originally Posted by PixieCurl
This made me laugh.

Since you have mentioned you want other kids...it could be worse.

Like a 4 year old in the mix, and a potty training kid, and a new baby.
Yup, or you can even let him run around nekkid hinie outside. If he has only been going in diapers for 2.5 years he may have no idea what it looks and feels like. You could also have him run around in prefolds with no cover to get a sense of his schedule, though it sounds like you have a pretty good idea with him telling you. Try to put him on the potty at his regular times.
My feeling is he will be trained when he is ready but it does not have to be all or nothing and you can provide learning opportunities. If you are not opposed to it take him in the bathroom when you and your husband go, and show him and describe what is happening.
Originally Posted by geeky
We do this also...Well, I do, DH thinks it is wierd to let him watch, but S has not problem busting in when I am in the bathroom and we have "potty talks"
We're potty training with Dylan now, but I am waaay lazy about it. I didn't start until he would. not. keep. his diaper on anymore. I got some trainer undies for outside, and he goes naked inside. I don't really believe in praise-based parenting, so if he pees on the floor, I just tell him that pee goes in the potty and remind him where the potty is. When he pees in his potty, he always brings it to me, and I say, "Oh you put pee in the potty. That's where pee goes!" I don't watch him like a hawk or anything, but I do remind him if he hasn't gone in like an hour or if he's acting out. Being mean to his brother seems to be a sign of needing to go but not realizing it. I put a prefold under him in his carseat, but he's only had one accident there. He's really good about holding it when out, and I bring the potty chair if we'll be out for a long time and have him pee behind the car (don't park right by the entrance to Target ). I really didn't even have plans to potty train yet, and I think it's been pretty easy bc HE's the one wanting to do it.
*Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
Yeah, Kaia, it's just like Dylan. He just won't keep his diaper on. The only ways to keep it on him are these jeans he has with a built-in belt I do really tight (any other pants/shorts he can remove) but the jeans are too short on him and it's too hot for jeans lately anyway. Or, he has a wool soaker with a drawstring that works if I double-knot it but it needs to air out between uses and sometimes I (gasp!) need to wash it. It's weird though because sometimes he rips his diaper off after he goes (even a snapping cover, even a snappied prefold) and other times he just leaves it on. I'm lucky he doesn't undress in public when he goes, though he did take off a poopy diaper at my parents' house last night (oops).

Whe he does take off his diaper, if it's just pee and there's no mess to clean up, I let him run around naked for a while before putting a new diaper on. He just loooooves being naked.

OK, so I think I'm going to just start putting him in undies and/or nothing more often and try to encourage potty use. Luckily our house is mostly hardwood so messes should be easy-ish to clean, I just hope he doesn't get poop on the good area rug or on the furniture (though of course I know he will).

Oh, and he totally follows us both into the bathroom all the time. For a while before Abram was born, I used to put him on the potty and read him a book while I was sitting on the toilet.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
Yeah, Dylan wouldn't keep his diaper on at all, even if it was clean. I'm a path of least resistance parent, i guess.

Is there any way you can roll up the rug and put it away while he's learning? I just got rid of my rug after D peed on it a few times (but it was old and ugly, and I was looking for an excuse to ditch it anyway).
*Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
Are you able to roll the rug up for a little while? Or are you able put something down to protect it, like a flannel back table cloth?
Yeah, Kaia, it's just like Dylan. He just won't keep his diaper on. The only ways to keep it on him are these jeans he has with a built-in belt I do really tight (any other pants/shorts he can remove) but the jeans are too short on him and it's too hot for jeans lately anyway. Or, he has a wool soaker with a drawstring that works if I double-knot it but it needs to air out between uses and sometimes I (gasp!) need to wash it. It's weird though because sometimes he rips his diaper off after he goes (even a snapping cover, even a snappied prefold) and other times he just leaves it on.
Originally Posted by PixieCurl
It sounds like he should train pretty quickly and really why would you hold him back (with drawstrings and such) when he is so obviously trying to train. As for furniture, why not get some cheap blankets to cover it temporarily
To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
Just to add...it was much less messier when Chas' started peeing standing up. If able...I would just teach him to pee standing up...let daddy show him how he does it.
I have the opposite problem. Sophia only wants to wear diapers. She's been pooping in the potty since she was about two, and pees about half the time in the potty, but every time I've tried to put her in underwear she gets all excited about her Kai-Lan undies for about two hours, then asks for a diaper again, and she absolutely refuses to wear pull ups.

It's just a PITA to stay on top of her and make her to go the bathroom when I have to take off/put on a diaper. I'm totally slacking off here. I might have to go hard core with the underwear and just make her wear them.
If you got nothing to bring to the table - don't even bother sitting down.
I have the opposite problem. Sophia only wants to wear diapers. She's been pooping in the potty since she was about two, and pees about half the time in the potty, but every time I've tried to put her in underwear she gets all excited about her Kai-Lan undies for about two hours, then asks for a diaper again, and she absolutely refuses to wear pull ups.

It's just a PITA to stay on top of her and make her to go the bathroom when I have to take off/put on a diaper. I'm totally slacking off here. I might have to go hard core with the underwear and just make her wear them.
Originally Posted by Jenny C

I've broken the diaper addiction and trained a couple of my kids by telling them "oh no, the diapers are all gone. I guess you have to wear underwear". Kids always understand "all gone".
I went through that last summer, and I don't have any great advice, because I let the potty training make me a little crazy and obsessive. I still am, honestly, although I'm working on that.

Abram is probably not very mobile yet, which is a good thing. I did have once instance last summer where Connor went poo-poo in the potty chair, and Oliver (who could crawl) got into it and caused havoc. I think I recall that you have mostly hardwood floors in your house, so that should make cleaning up accidents a little easier.

I just switched cold turkey to cloth training pants or underwear or naked bottom except for naps and bedtime. I used something like these , except I bought them cheaper from Ebay. They have a thicker reinforced cloth crotch, so the child still feels wet, but it makes less of a mess than regular undies. I also had good luck with a potty chart. I was skeptical of that, because Connor had never seemed interested in stickers, but he was very excited to put up a star when he went potty successfully. He also got a little treat like a couple M&M's, or a big treat like an Oreo for going poo-poo.

Good luck! Try to keep a laid-back attitude, like if he goes potty successfully, great, but if he has an accident, no big deal, he can always try again next time. (That is still hard for me. )
I took a very laid back approach to potty training and in the long run, I think that's what made it so much easier. Everybody was on my case about him not being potty trained but I really just let it go until I felt he was truly ready. I figured he would eventual learn how to go on the potty and not end up wearing diapers until he was 15. LOL! He had shown some interest for a while but it was very sporadic. One day, he happened to see a new pack of undies I had bought for him and insisted on wearing them and I just told him that if he wanted to wear big boy undies he needed to go on the potty all the time. My son was a little over 3 when he was trained but it literally happened in about 4 days. He still had the occassional accident a couple of times a week but that's to be expected.
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