My Toddler and Her Diapers

Thank you all for your advice on my last post. I’ve got several new brands to try now, and hopefully one will work.

Some of you asked why Cordy is not potty trained yet, or why we aren’t actively trying to potty train her if she’s wetting through diapers. I can’t tell you how many times I get variations of those questions from friends, family, and complete strangers based on her age and her size. (Let’s forget for a moment that I have a newborn, making it nearly impossible to give her the attention she needs for potty training.)

I jokingly tell people she’s just stubborn, or that she likes having servants clean up after her. She’s a real go-getter who doesn’t have time to stop for a potty break. She hopes to be an astronaut and wear those astronaut diapers all the time.

But the real truth is she simply isn’t physically ready yet. Yes, she’ll be three years old in September, and everyone I talk to has a story of how their kids were potty trained by two. Even I was potty trained by two. However, most experts say you won’t have any luck with potty training if the kid isn’t physically ready. Meaning they have to be aware of the pressure in their bladder, understand this means they need to go, and then have the physical control over the nerves and muscles needed to hold and then release urine. They should ideally be able to stay dry for three hours, and sometimes overnight. Plus a child must also be able to undress and sit on the potty.

Cordy meets very few of those physical readiness signs. She is never dry for three hours, and has never been dry overnight. She doesn’t realize when she’s peeing or pooping, and having a full diaper doesn’t bother her. I don’t think she realizes when she needs to go, either. A pediatrician once told me that kids who are big for their age (and she’s certainly tall and big) sometimes take longer to reach these physical milestones, simply because they are so big.

It’s not that we haven’t tried to get her interested in the potty. She is interested – to a point. I received a DVD called Go Potty Go to review, and it is now a favorite of hers. She watches us use the bathroom and we explain to her what is happening. (In fact, after watching Go Potty Go she now likes to walk in on me in the bathroom and remind me “wipe your bottom” – like I’d forget.) She has a potty chair and she is comfortable with it, although she likes to pull it out of the bathroom and watch TV while sitting on it. Oh, and she won’t sit on it bare-bottomed, either.

So while she has some interest, the physical readiness is not there, and that has made any tries at potty training complete failures. A few times before her bath, I’ve stripped her naked while I ran the water, and she peed while walking around, completely unaware of what she was doing. I’m still keeping an eye on her for any signs that she’s ready, and once she reaches those physical signs I’ll be ready to try again.

For now, we’ll stick to the diapers and only having juice and mashed up cheerios in our carpets. I’m not worried about her potty training by a certain age. She won’t leave for college with a stash of Huggies, I promise.

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  1. caity isn’t trained either and she just turned three.

    she is ok when she is naked..but that is about it.

    I am hoping preschool will be the clincher for her.

  2. Eh, my kid’s a skinny little string bean for her age and she’s not ready yet either. Don’t feel the need to defend yourself. I’m sure you’ll do what you need to do when the time is right.

  3. I’ve made three unsuccessful attempts at potty training Dawson and I don’t think he’s ready. He’ll be three in September and I’m hoping in these next three months he’ll grow up a little more and be ready. I really believe it’s up to the child and not the parent.

  4. Don’t feel bad, Evan isn’t even close to being ready either. I too get a lot of questions but I know deep in my mommy heart that he is not close to ready so I will not push it. When he asks me to go on the potty I will know it is time.

  5. Self-Proclaimed Supermom says:

    My kids weren’t potty trained until they were almost 4.

    You do it when both of you are ready :)

  6. The Flip Flop Mamma! says:

    A lot of parent’s push potty training early, and then get frustrated at the kid for not being able to do it. TheBeast is almost 19 months old and I’m not even going to think about PT until she turns two, and then we’ll see how she is with it. So far, she doesn’t fit any of those qualifications that you mentioned. I see nothing wrong with Cordy not being trained now, and as long as you’re fine with it, then so should everyone else! Geesh, some people!

  7. Major Bedhead says:

    Boo will be three at the end of November and shows no interest either. i refuse to stress out about it.

  8. WI Mommy says:

    Little J turns three next month and has made little to no progress on that front either. Go Potty Go is a favorite here too and he can sing the song perfectly. I know that if I make a big deal out of it like I want him to do it, that will just make him all the more determined not to! Add in the fact that he is over 40 inches tall, and I get lots of comments too. So far I have resisted the urge to rudely ask why it is anyone else’s business, but I can’t hold out much longer!

  9. Anonymous says:

    WOW, i love your relaxed attitude toward potty training AND critics. my first child was trained by 18 months and i thought it was because i was so wonderful. Then i had my son. he wasn’t trained until right before his third bday and neither was my next child. i teach 3 year olds and can tell you that they will do it when they are ready and not a minute before. of course there are a few who could be in undies and mommy just won’t do it because it’s the baby of the family or occasional accidents are just too much of an inconvenience but for the most part, it’s all up to the kids.~jjlibra

  10. I hope I didn’t offend you when i asked you how close she was to being potty trained. My 1st daughter wasn’t totally potty trained until she was over 3. I had no intentions of insulting you – i totally understand how it is with a newborn around and quite frankly I wasn’t going to force Elizabeth to be potty trained. My attitude is she will learn when she’s ready…

  11. Mrs. Chicken says:

    The Poo is 2.5 and she’s just really starting the whole potty thing.

    I think you’re on the right track – she’ll let you know when she’s really ready.

    Good luck!

  12. Hey don’t listen to everyone else. Parenting is so catty, isn’t it? Cordy will potty train when she’s ready. Doing it before then is just wasting time and sanity that you can’t afford to waste with a newborn in the house! Squeaks in 19 months and I’m not forseeing beginning anytime around 2. It will probably be closer to 3 for her and I’m fine with that.

  13. Colleen says:

    No judgement coming from me. Zoe will be 2 and doesn’t seem the least bit interested in the potty and that’s just fine with me. I’m following the “when she’s ready she’s ready” approach. The few times she’s wanted to sit on the potty I put her there. I will admit I’m lazy… and have no desire to start potty training until Zoe makes me.

  14. Suzanne – No, I wasn’t offended at all. We get that question all the time, although some of the in-person comments I get from family and strangers are pretty rude.

    I had noticed a few people asking about potty training in comments and realized I didn’t explain why she’s still in diapers. :)

  15. MBKimmy says:

    Good luck no matter when it comes … remember no matter who says what MOMMY knows best! Mommy … that is you … no matter what anyone says or asks it is up to you not to force her! Good luck and I hoep new baby is well!

  16. MamaMichelsBabies says:

    Holy, whoever has kids potty trained by two, I want them to come live with me. Not one of mine has trained before three, and I got a passel of kids. Monkey just turned two last May and thinks the toilet is a place to play in water. I’m not sweating it, he’ll get it eventually, and not a minute before he’s dang good and ready to get it either. Cordy will get it eventually as well.

    And seriously.. how the heck is anyone supposed to potty train when one has a colicy newborn? Crazyiness.

  17. Amen, wait for her own time so you can be “guaranteed” success! My three year old is only just showing one or two signs. He kinda needs to be ready in September to go to preschool – here’s hoping!

  18. I watch my granddaughter while her parents are at work. She’ll be 3 in September and has zero interest in going potty. We’ve tried 3 times now and cleaning up after her is just not worth it. Her other grandmother seems to think we just don’t “make” her…ha! Trust me I don’t relish dirty diapers…but I dislike scrubbing carpets and my furniture a whole lot more!

    I’m with you…your daughter and my granddaughter won’t be heading off to college with Huggies in their backpacks. They’ll go when they’re ready and not a minute sooner :)

  19. Mommy off the Record says:

    I think you have the right approach. Don’t let anyone pressure you into thinking that she should be potty trained by now. Just go with your gut. You know your own child better than anyone and you’ll know when she’s ready. Plus, like you said, it’s not like she’ll be going to college in diapers.

  20. CakeHead says:

    My son was not potty trained until he was just over three (he’s a September baby too, hmmm), and he had been exhibiting the signs of readiness for a very long time (he started staying dry at night at 18 mos). He just wasn’t completely ready for it and no amount of prodding was going to get him ready. People just need to understand that kids are different. At the daycare/preschool he goes to, they were unphased by the fact that he was still working on potty training at three. That’s how common it is. He’s approaching his fourth birthday and heck, we still struggle with #2 issues! You’ve got a very good attitude about it!

  21. I just got my 4yr old son potty trained right before he turned 4. He wasn’t ready to go on his own and potty training him early was a complete battle. I figured he wouldn’t be going on any dates in a diaper so it would happen eventually. I was thrilled when it clicked because i was not excited about the process.

  22. Don’t listen to anybody when it comes to child development. Kids develop when they are ready, and like you said, Cordy is clearly not ready. So no need to waste your time. My son needed a pacifier to go to sleep until his 5th birthday, and I got a ton of grief for that from all kinds of people. What can ya do.

  23. I am glad to hear you are not sweating this…
    My son wasn’t trained until he was 3.5 years old for the same reason as Cordy. There are some battles that just aren’t worth getting upset over. When she is physically ready, she’ll let you know.

  24. My oldest wasn’t potty trained until she was 3. Kids are ready at different ages. She will go when she is ready. Good Luck on diapers until potty time comes!!

  25. aimee / greeblemonkey says:

    I am convinced they do it when they are ready. When Declan was ready it was a snap. I know that comment will piss people off becasue maybe it didn’t go that way for them, but that’s how it was for us.

    Of course, Declan is still in pullups at night (age 4.75) – he is just a *terribly* deep sleeper and will NOT wake up to pee. I figure when he is ready for that, he’ll snap into that too. We try every once and while, but other than that… we wait.

  26. Being emotionally ready is a big factor too. Sweet Pea was physically ready for partial (poop) training by 2, but simply was not ready to make the commitment to any of it for longer than a week until a couple months after she was 3. She’s nearly 4 now and still has accidents.

    It’s frustrating to feel such pressure. I did too, and sometimes it colored my efforts with her. I probably pushed her more than I should have because my mom was always telling me that she should be potty trained by 2. I knew she wasn’t ready, and I didn’t have 2 as a goal, but even though I tried to leave it up to her, I was super sensitive to any interest she had and jumped on it every time. Probably even made it take longer by pushing. Frustrating.

    That’s interesting and cool that your pediatrician told you she may not be physically ready just because she’s so big. I would hold that up like a shield when people gave you crap. Even if your real motivation is that YOU are doing what YOU think is right, which of course you should, maybe whoever is giving you crap would shut up faster if you gave them a doctor’s opinion.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Cloth diapers help kids potty train sooner.
    They can feel when they are going opposed to it being “wicked” away.

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