Potty Training Part 2: Advice from Local Moms

pottytraning.jpgAs I wrote yesterday , I’m about to potty train my 2-year-old. In addition to speaking with a pediatrician, I also asked all the moms I know for tips. The advice ranged from structured plans with lots of positive reinforcement to a very laid-back, go-with-the-flow approach. (What kind of flow? That sounds messy to me.)
The most creative method of all involved a poopie sandwich that the child can eat. Glen Ridge mom of two, Julie Law, explains:

When it came to pooping, we made a reinforcement chart (building off of reinforcement schedule from pee training). We put up a different color construction paper and bought a whole new pad set of sticker characters, The Backyardigans worked for us.
We stopped rewarded peeing success altogether, and we made her a very special poopie sandwich whenever she successfully pooped in the potty. A poopie sandwich is two small discs of melting milk chocolate with a tiny dab of peanut butter in between.

Bernadette McLoughlin, Montclair mom of three girls, told me now is the best time to start. “Summer time is always the best time. You can let them run around naked for an hour a day.”

Glen Ridge mom of three, Anne Gorfinkle, told me to relax. Her pediatrician told her not to worry when her almost 3-year-old daughter wasn’t trained. “He said, ‘How many high school kids do you see in diapers? They all get there, but they go at their own pace, when they are ready, they will be trained.’ ”
My friend Annie has four children and had a very difficult time training her first two kids. Her third kid was much easier. Why? She had hired an awesome nanny who helped with the training. It’s a lot easier with two people tackling the job. She was also able to leave her potty training son home with the nanny to run around naked and work on going in the potty.
Bribery is a method that worked for Diana Weinstein, Glen Ridge mom of two. Her son wanted a toy, and she told him he could have it if he went on the potty. That’s all it took and he was trained.
It wasn’t that easy with my first daughter. I tried many of these methods, and it was still a struggle. What I should have done was relax, and that’s exactly what I’ll do this time around. Or, I’ll hire someone to do it for me.
What is your best potty training tip? Would you use the poopie sandwich method?
Photo by GoonSquadSarah

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  1. And here’s one from a dad.
    I can barely remember any anxiety about potty training, and not because it was so long ago. My point is that it passes (no pun intended.)
    If you are trying it now, you are very lucky, because summer is your friend. My recommendation: let the little one run around bare-bottomed. They figure it out very quickly.
    Obviously, not everyone has the time or privacy to try this approach, but a few days of it in grandma’s spacious back yard did wonders for us.
    Oh, check for ticks.

  2. My 3 year old is right in the thick of things. Two weeks ago today I took of his diaper when he woke up and it hasn’t been on in the house since then. We made a potty chart and each pee is rewarded with a star, a cookie (when he remembers…i hope he’ll forget), and a potty dance – this is mommy shaking her booty, singing loudly, and generally making a fool of herself in whatever way necessary. For naps and night we’re doing pull-ups/diapers and we’ve tried to not leave the house too much. We’re on vacation this week and we’ll see what we do for day trips, but so far, so good – and this is a kid who has been REFUSING to sit on the potty for the last 6 months. FINGERS CROSSED! (So far, only 3 accidents in 2 weeks!)

  3. I’ve yet to have the pleasure of toilet-training a kid of my own. But I sincerely hope that regardless of what method I end up using, the words “poopie sandwich” will never become part of my vocabulary.

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