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Potty training diet: No corn, no way

Monroe, finally, seemed ready for potty training. He started to have a more positive response to the question, "do you want to try to go potty?" My sister (who teaches preschool for two- and three-year-olds, and babysits for me regularly) bought him a bag of gum drops from Trader Joe's, and started offering them as prizes. His early intervention specialist mentioned the way to tell he was ready was, could he be dry through the night? And the next night, I let him go the night in his underwear, and sure enough: he made it!

So we began; put away the diapers and started the slow progress toward an accident-free future. Emphasis on slow. Though he lately seems to have almost conquered the pee accidents, the poop accidents are frequent. So we're on a potty training diet.

The first thing off my list was corn on the cob. We don't eat it much, anyway, as I rarely buy fresh food that's out of season, and it's not something I love enough to freeze. But Everett had asked for some, and there was sorta-local corn cheap at Limbo. Four corn-kernel-filled pairs of underwear later, gross gross gross, and I declared (quietly, to myself, no point in reminding him he loves it) NO MORE CORN. Yesterday, I let him have blueberries, against my better judgment. Yuck. Three times cleaning blueberry poop off the floor was enough to have me questioning that (delicious and healthy but oh! messy!) food, too.

It seems like a perfectly rational plan, to me, to limit the diet to less-poop-inducing foods while you're in the worst of potty training's throes. Maybe my brain is a bit addled by the ick. Have any of you done this? What foods have you, umm, eliminated?


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To this day my husband teases me about the fact that our took our first infant to the doctor due to blueberry poop and my concerns that something was wrong with him!

I don't have any other dietary advice, but I do wonder about letting him keep using his diaper to poo for awhile. I know several little ones (one of mine included) who would pee just fine but used the diaper to poo for a bit longer. For us, I knew that when he laid down to nap that is when he would do it. Very regular, that one. I just put him in a diaper for nap, came and checked on him 10 minutes later to change him/take it off, and then he napped.

We didn't have any dietary restrictions but we also let him poop in a diaper. He basically went at the same time every day and wasn't comfortable pooping at school so he was diaper free at school and we just put a diaper on him to poop. He eventually got it and went by himself all of a sudden.

I had an experience very similar to Mom22. My son just naturally put himself on a pooping schedule of pooping during his nap, when he would be wearing a pull up anyway.

I would encourage lots of fiber while poo-poo training. Lots of kids are afraid to go on the toilet, and having to push hard doesn't help.

I also found that having just the right reward helped. We experimented with several things -- food and non-food -- and found that the strongest motivators were organic honey hard candies from New Seasons. According to my son, they taste like chocolate. And he never gets to eat anything remotely like that, so it is a special treat only for when he poops in the toilet.

On a slightly different note, my 13 month-old's botton is literally stain blue from all the berries she is eating right now. I am glad to know I might not be the only one with this situation!

I'm stumped on potty training. My son was 2 in June and I am due with our second in October. He has zero interest in potty training. But I wonder if that is my fault? We have a little potty for him in the bathroom, we read stories about going potty. I ask him if he wants to use it. I just haven't pushed him at all towards it because I have seen potty training gone awry and I don't want that to happen. Plus I hear they can regress with a new baby. We tried the diaper-free method and several poops later in our 100% carpeted rental house I decided against that (its really gross the amount of poop now rubbed into the carpet no matter how hard I have tried to clean it - in fact getting a pro-clean before the baby comes for this reason). So tell me mama's - what worked for you when? My son is very head strong.....he does not respond well to bring pushed. Am I being TOO lack-a-dasical? Thanks!

My son potty trained in two days, but did not poop train until he was nearly 3. The doctors said there was nothing wrong with him and there was nothing that they would intervene until age 5! He appeared to have not control until it was on the floor - too late!! Best of luck - we just stuck with pull-ups because I was so done cleaning the poop on the floor!! I also had newborn twins so I had enough poop to clean up! :) I was so worried it would never happen, but it eventually did :)

I don't think you should push it if he isn't ready, anonamama. It is not your fault. It is normal.

I'm sort of in the same boat as you, anonamama. I'm due with our second in five weeks and have a 2.5-year-old who started showing interest in using the potty at 18 months. We've had several spurts of trying to go diaper free and all it resulted in was me spending several days in a row cleaning poop and pee of the floor. Thing is, she'll often, on her accord and while wearing a diaper, ask to use the potty and will pee and/or poop in it. But as soon as I try to encourage it by going diaper-free for a day or two, it backfires (and I try really, really hard not to push). I figure it's completely in her hands now. It's obvious to me that she just isn't emotionally ready to commit to being done with diapers yet.

I agree to not push it if a kid isn't internally motivated. And I think the method/timeline depends a lot on the child's personality. My oldest stopped wearing diapers all of the sudden at 2.5yrs. I knew she knew what to do just wasn't choosing to use the potty most of the time, and I was just ready to be done. She accepted "no more diapers" and had almost no accidents. My second is on month 2 of the transition, at age almost 3. He doesn't want to wear diapers (so he doesn't) yet has lots and lots of accidents at school (not so many at home, though certainly plenty). They're all different yet no one is going to kindergarten in diapers. Nothing is your fault, anonamama, and seems like if your son isn't interested and you'll soon have your hands full with new baby, you might want to forget the potty training for a little while.

My 2.5 year old had been accident free for months, but recently visiting my parents he ate too many cherries - that was messy. And he has had a number of poop accidents since. Like it inspired him or something. Trying not to be annoyed... I'm not even sure what he had eaten to prompt it today, but he had an awful messy one. Wearing underwear at least, so not on the floor. He went the tub and was hosed off afterwards. I thought we were past this stage.

My comments are about PTing in general, although I agree I wouldn't stop the fiber because you want to make sure it isn't too hard for your PTing er to go. We used the book "Potty Train Your Child in One Day." It's a great book, although you know you won't be totally done in one day. They do get the concept, though, and the book has really great suggestions for keeping kids motivated, ie. don't ask "do you have to go potty (or do you want to go potty)?" Say something like "Who is going to go first, you or me?" Or "I'm going to beat you to the bathroom." Best of luck! I PTed my son at 27mo. It took several months for us to be completely accident free. Mostly because I was PG and then had a newborn and relied on pull ups. My advice is to just do it. Use pullups for sleeping only and just deal with the accidents (maybe buy rubber pants for outings). They'll PT much faster IMO.

Thanks for all the thoughts Mamas. Its hard not to compare sometimes. 2 good friends of mine both had babies (one boy, one girl) the month before my son was born and both of them are 100% potty trained (the boy since 18 months!). It makes me feel like a failure that mine is still in diapers. I've never potty trained anyone before and between work and school, basically being a single mom and now due in 5 weeks with #2....I'm a little overwhelmed to say the least. I just want him to be able to go to pre-school and I know they won't take him if he's in diapers. I know that's still a year away, but I'm worried at the complete lack of progress. If anyone has any book recommendations, methods, what-have-you, that worked for you please let me know :)

BTW anonamama,

My son wasn't diaper free for a while at daycare; there they took them every hour, and used language along the lines that Stephanie says. It was just time to go, and either something came out, or it didn't. At home we also used the timer, if he resisted. He felt better if he had some warning, so if he said no he wasn't going, we'd say OK how about in 5 minutes? And that seemed to work (still does). I had the same anxiety with having a baby on the way. Just try and let go of the anxiety, as children pick it up even when we think we're disguising it, and they take it on. Anyway after about a month his daycare teacher said, why don't you try sending him in underwear? And after that it was fine, except like I said, the poops, which we let him do in the diaper until he wanted to do it in the potty (a couple more months. No books or rewards, treats, charts, stickers, or comparing to his friends or telling him what big boys do (I really don't like that, it's very close to shaming but my husband tried it) were motivating for him, so we just let all that go and talked about it and made regular, VERY regular trips, and then talked about how it felt, etc. Also at this age they want some control, so don't let this turn into a battle of wills between you and him, but help him feel like going potty is something that he controls in a good way. Good luck, my son also trained later than I wanted but that is because with him in daycare full time we had to do it on their schedule, and his birthday is in Nov. so he trained a year later than our friend's who had a birthday in Sept. sigh.

anonomama, really, put this one on the bottom of the list right now! It truly is okay to not worry about it. I had my second when my first was almost two and there was no way I was going to take on potty training him with a newborn when he was NOT interested. He did it the summer he was 3 and I heard an earful from plenty of people, but I just turned a deaf ear to it. We had a little potty in the bathroom, he often used it right before hopping into bath, but that was it. If you don't need to push it, let him lead the way.

There are three separate things that need to be in place for potty training to happen; they have to have the muscle control to hold it, they have to have the muscle control to release in when on the toilet and they have to *want* to do it. It sounds like your guy just isn't physically there yet. Kids all get there in their own time. Just like walking and talking and everything else, there's a wide, wide window of what is considered developmentally appropriate. You can reassure yourself of one thing however, as someone who had a daughter who potty trained at 24 months, there are serious drawbacks to potty training early. For one, we had to carry potty seats everywhere because she was too tiny to fit comfortably on the toilet in public restrooms and we had to go ALL THE TIME, because her bladder wasn't big enough to hold much in between trips. And really, don't fall into the trap of judging your parenting skills against the milestones of your friends' kids. Toddlers tend to take turns with their development. They might be having a language explosion, but not be able to jump yet, or they might be able to show compassion for a crying friend, but struggle with sitting still for a story or a meal. Potty training is just one of many many things they are working on as toddlers and is by no means the most important.

Also I discovered the hard way that headstrong kids can easily take potty training and make it a control issue. After all, it's one of the few things that they totally control, right? My son is still potty-training (hopefully, at the tail end) and he's 37 months. There were several rough patches throughout where he would purposefully pee on the floor to piss me off, like when I was already giving him a consquence. This got particularly bad around the time his new baby sister started to crawl, and changed from being (from his perspective) an annoying blob to a mobile, in-his-stuff blob.

So, you might consider totally holding off any potty training until your oldest is well adapted to being an older brother. Like, maybe when your baby is 1 year. I know it seems a long way off, but I do wish we had waited.

Well put, e.

My oldest initiated potty training herself at 18 months and then went back and forth for another 18 months. I couldn't really limit her diet, since all she ate was rice and pasta. The poops stories I could tell you. Whats worse is that she would try to clean up after herself, and then put the towels she used BACK in the drawer with the clean ones!
I was no role model here -- frustrated that she would have it under control for 3 weeks, and then backslide for 3 weeks.

In the whirlwind of my second being born, she just figured it out. I didn't even realize that she had been accident free until he was 4 months old.

Now, she is following the same on again off again pattern with her nighttime bladder control. And still bucks wearing 'nighttime panties' and will take them off during the night. I am much calmer, ie resigned, with the mountain of laundry that I will never summit.

My husband wet the bed until he was twelve. It does not seem to have had any adverse effects. Well, if he knew I just told all the urbanMamas about it, it might have an adverse effect on me!

I don't have any advice because my daughter started using the toilet pretty easily (though my approach was to not rush it), but I have to laugh about the berries! Both my girls are pooping up a storm this time of year, given all the berries we are eating. Must be a commmon affliction for Oregon kids about this time of year :)

I have a related question for you mama's of older kids - how do you get them off of the pull up at night? My daughter is 4 1/2 and she loves her pull up and has no desire to stop wearing it. She'll even sit there and tell me she's peeing in it while I'm reading her stories, it makes me crazy! The largest size is getting too small. I try so hard not to stress about these things, I know no one goes off to college doing this and that, but I'm ready to be done with pull ups! Any advice?

another mama, we "night trained" our daughter by initially wrapping up 3 small ($2 type) toys. I put them in a visible location and informed her that after a night of being dry, she could pick a gift. It was cold turkey removal of the Overnight diaper. She was very curious to open the gifts! so that helped with the initial change. Then I just informed her that she was all done with bedtime diapers (and removed them from the house). We continue to take her to the bathroom before we go to bed (around 10 pm), she always pees, and frankly I'm not sure she'd stay dry without that assistance... for me it's worth it to avoid being woken up at 3 am because she's wet and distressed. For the occasional accident, I've been grateful for another tip-- to make her bed with layers of waterproof pad, bottom sheet, waterproof pad, bottom sheet. Then if she wets, I take off the sheet and pad, she changes PJs and can get back into bed with the remaining sheet/pad for the rest of the night. Definitely cuts down on the middle of the night chaos!

another mama,

Our did the same thing. She was in pull ups at night too and would stay dry all night, but be too sleepy to want to get up to go to the bathroom when she woke up in the morning. Since she was only semi awake, she would often forget if she was in panties and wet the bed. I finally told her that all of those diapers were bad for the planet so we were switching to night training cloth (she was diapered in cloth up until she was daytime trained). I bought Nikki's night time pull up diapers and they were enormous and plain (unlike her princess or dora pull ups). She hated them and was so aware of them that she started getting out of bed to pee, just so she wouldn't have to wear them anymore. It took three days, of which she was dry all three mornings and got up to go to the bathroom, and we've been in undies ever since.

Thanks for sharing all the stories, mamas! I've started to think about potty training my 19 month old son and I've gotten him to poop once on his little potty when he told me "poo-poo" while in the bathtub (he was soooo proud of himself- it was the cutest thing!). Usually he only says poo-poo after he's already done it to let me know to change him so I'm hoping it will not be too difficult to get him to transition to tell me before he goes when I think he is more ready. I figure he is still a bit young to push it (I think I read in some book that even though some toddlers are ready at 18 months, some aren't ready until 36 months) and I don't feel like limiting his diet or cleaning up tons of messy accidents. He loves fresh fruit too much and I don't want to take that away, but I will definitely think about the corn story when we get to that point. LOL!

My oldest resisted nighttimes forever. forever. And he would wake up every morning soaked. Yet he kept asking to try without the diaper and I kept saying no because I needed to get a mattress pad first. One night we had family in town, I was gone, it was a little chaotic and he went to bed without a diaper. He woke up totally dry in the morning and said "I told you I could do it." He never went back. Sometimes if you wait long enough they do it on their own!

My daughter wore pull-ups at night until she was 5: really heavy sleeper, tiny bladder. The times we tried wearing undies to bed she would be completely soaked yet still sound asleep at 10pm. What worked for her, to enable her to physically hold it all night, was to drink lots more water during the day. Apparently that increases bladder capacity; the dr said the bladder has to be able to hold about 6oz to go all night w/o peeing.

Thanks for all the posts! I do actually feel a little better about it now. I guess I thought we were really behind, because like I said, he won't even sit on it, and the few times he has hasn't gone. I can telling he's pooping and I always ask him - "Do want to try to poo-poo on the potty?" and he's yells at me "NO poo-poo mama no poo-poo!!" even though that's clearly what's happening......he just denies that's its there. So until I can get him in a place where he can tell me when he needs to go, I feel like I don't even know how to progress at this point.

I'm having a baby in a month and that's about as much as I can handle right now. If he's in diapers for awhile so be it I guess.

So cute! I already like you on FB and also get your posts on Google Reader. :)

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