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When will he go again!? A Potty Training False Start


Photo by Lisa Nolan
I get potty training questions a lot, like: "How and when do I start potty training?" Not, "When do I start potty training AGAIN?!"

Jessica wrote me: "Last summer [my son] was really interested in potty training and for a while he would pee in the potty every time.... As it got cold he lost all interest in the potty and would not go at all.... I am waiting for him to show interest in it again. From time to time I ask him if he would like to pee in the potty always the answer is no.... I appreciate any tips on potty training as well. Thanks for all your help."
 My response: Sounds like a typical boy! They often take a lot longer to potty train (because of both sitting and then standing), and will usually have a "false start." (My son had many!)

Did your child have a false start recently? You can wait until he shows interest again, but there is no predicting when that will be.

Read potty books together, that is nice to do while you are waiting (and it makes you feel like you are doing SOMETHING).

There are also good potty videos and DVDs to let your child watch! (See a list of our favorites at the end of this blog post.)

Some moms offer stickers for rewards for going in the potty, but this soon wears off after so many stickers are given out. (Plus it is not a Montessori Method of no rewards no punishments, oh well.)

One of my mom friends accidentally used jelly beans for rewards! She rewarded her son one day for trying, with a jelly bean from a tub she got as a gift, and he never forgot it. He insisted on getting one every time he TRIED and he'd try ten times a day but never go--ha! So if you use this type of reward, have them brush their teeth, but make sure it is for GOING not trying!

Most experienced toddler teachers will say the only way to do it is to put them in underwear all the time. Hmmmm... That makes it a question of: "When are YOU ready for potty training (again)!"

If you can put your child in pull-ups, that gives him practice to pull it on and off. And they make pull-ups that allow the child to feel wet, but don't use them at night as they hold very little!

Plastic pants are also a good choice, if you can wash them all!

And wait until summer to let him run around the house or yard in underwear, or not--some moms do it the old-fashioned way: nothing below the waist! (Not recommended for carpets.)

Here is a list of my son's all-time FAVORITE potty learning DVDs and books we used at home: Everyone Poops, Potty Power DVD, It's Potty Time DVD, Where's the Poop, A Potty for Me!, The Potty Book - For Boys, Potty Time, and It's Potty Time-Boys.

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Looking for affordable Montessori programs for birth to age nine? Visit my website Montessori for the Earth.


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