For the last year, potty training our oldest has been a huge struggle for us. About 6 months before he turned two in 2010, he was very open to it and liked sitting on the potty chair. But this interest did not last long; he got bored and moved on. We eased up a bit, but still, leading up to the birth of his little brother last April, he was extremely resistant to even sitting on a toilet or potty chair.

After a new baby enters the household is not the best time to do potty training so we waited about six months. He wore Pull-ups and we took him to the potty three or four times a day. However, he never initiated having to go to the bathroom.

Concerned (perhaps overly, in retrospect) about massive amounts of bodily fluids all over the house, I was really hesitant about letting him wear regular underwear or going bare-bottomed. But leading up the last week in December, we starting thinking he needs to wear something where he can feel being wet.

So DH researched a little and found SuperUndies, a brand of training pants that are supposed to keep the mess in but the child feels it when they are soiled. So we bought a couple from a place in Hillsboro called My Precious Kid. December 26 was the first day with no Pull-ups (except at night or during a nap).

Only, the SuperUndies kind of acted the same as the Pull-ups. After two days, he was still peeing and going about his business, totally oblivious.

A while back, we bought some Gerber training underwear that has some extra padding in the front, but if he peed in these, he would definitely feel wet and there would be puddles. We had plenty of those, so we started using them instead. Within the same amount of time that we were using the SuperUndies (two days), he starting telling us when he had to pee. I think it was due to the accidents he had in these, feeling wet and us staying on the course (we tried the Gerber’s before, but after a day of constant accidents, we chickened out). We also used an itzbeen timer that went off every hour that signaled potty time.

So now, a week later, he might have one or two accidents during the day, but more times than not tells us when he has to pee, sometimes before the timer goes off. We’re going to now stretch the time out to two hours. Still working on BM’s, but he isn’t resistant to sitting on the potty to try to go in it. To avoid constipation, we let him go in his underwear if he is adamant about doing that.

So we’ve made some astronomical strides in the potty department. What I’ve learned is that Pull-ups are useless, by and large. Maybe they are ok for some kids who are extremely sensitive to to their pants being soiled, but some, like our oldest, don’t care. They need to have it pretty much running down their legs before they can make the connections between that and the feeling of having to go.

I hope that by this summer, he is totally trained. Now using public bathrooms with him? Ugh. That is going to be another thing to get used to!

a cup of curiosity Family and Parenting