Potty Training for #2 – Poop Problems
Hey guys welcome to the blog today! Wow, I can’t believe it’s been weeks since I’ve written a blog post, I’m not even going to count Monday’s Bachelor blog because that one was a given! I’ve never gone this long without posting. I guess I’ve just found some time to slow down during quarantine. It’s been nice. But also, let’s face it, quarantine with two small children is kind of hectic so I also haven’t had much time… I mean I’ve been dealing with poop problems over here. Ha!
Anyway, I have been wanting to write this blog for a while now. First, if you want a full comprehensive blog to potty training I highly suggest checking out the blog I wrote after we potty trained Molly. I’ll link it here so you can check that out first. But this blog is specifically about how we potty trained Riley. I probably won’t go into too much detail on how we potty trained him to go pee, and focus mostly on how we trained him to go poop on the potty. Because that is where we really struggled with Riley and I’m hoping that by writing this I can help other parents who are also struggling with the same thing.
Real quick before we jump into it, because let’s face it, potty training can be a LOT and shopping is more fun, I wanted to share our outfits with you, especially because the kiddos outfits are so affordable. I absolutely adore this dress with the puff sleeve. I love that it covers my arms and it’s just so feminine and beautiful. It’s got a tie back so you’ll need to wear a bralette underneath because a real bra will show, I’ll show you a photo of the back below so you can see what I mean. I love that it is so comfortable especially since the one place I’m wearing this dress is at home, for now at least! It is a little pricier than dresses I normally recommend but it is so gorgeous and the quality makes it absolutely worth it. I see this being in my closet for a long time!
I’m wearing a size medium in the dress which is my normal size, but I maybe could’ve even size down because I don’t have big boobs. My recommendation would be to get your normal size if you have large chest, but you could potentially get your normal size or size down if you have maybe a C cup or smaller. As far as shoes go, you can definitely use them to dress it up more or dress it down, I love wearing it with my white Steve Madden loafers. It looks like they stopped making these exact ones, but I found a few sizes on Amazon and other sites if you’re interested!
Now for the kiddos clothes which are so stinkin’ cheap… and cute! Molly’s My Little Pony outfit is only $9 and comes with both the shirt and shorts! She really is starting to love My Little Pony more and more and could not even believe that her outfit had rainbows and Pinky Pie all over them. It also has the cutest little bow on the back! I got Riley’s shorts in a two-pack that comes with this precious minty blue color and a gray. The set was only $24 which is such a great price for shorts.
What Age to Start
So where do I start? I guess I’ll start with what age we decided to potty train at. We didn’t start potty training Molly until she was I believe around two years and four months old. We didn’t think she was ready till then. But, I also think that as first time parents you don’t really think your child is ready even though they might be. So could we have potty trained Molly earlier? I honestly think we could have. But again, I think you tend to take things a little bit slower with your first child. So with Riley we potty trained at 23 months. Would I recommend other people potty train this early? Honestly, no. I think the reason we did it is because I read so many things saying that around 22 to 24 months was the ideal age to potty train and we were in the middle of quarantine, which I really did not think would last as long as it has, so I wanted to potty train him while we were still quarantined. I thought for sure we wouldn’t be in quarantine anymore come May. Boy was I wrong.
Also, he was totally giving us signs that he was ready to potty train, so don’t get me wrong that I think we jumped in too quick. He was telling us when he had to pee. He was very interested every time Molly went to the potty. And every night before he got in the tub, he sat on the potty and went pee on command. All of which are signs that your child may be ready to potty train. So we decided to give it a go.
The No Pants Dance
What we did is we essentially kept him naked for about the first two weeks. I think that 2 weeks was the first sign that maybe he wasn’t totally ready. With Molly we only had to keep her naked from the waist down for the first 3 or 4 days. After that we put her in pants but no underwear for at least a month. Again, you can read all about how we potty trained her here. Riley just wasn’t getting it as easily so we really had to keep him bottomless for about two weeks – thank goodness we were quarantined and didn’t need to go anywhere. And still after that first 2 weeks, he rarely wore pants because we are having such a hard time with going number two on the potty that we would just keep pants off of him because we had to keep running back-and-forth to the potty doing to poop dance. I’ll get to that in a minute.
When we did try to put pants on him, he would just have frequent accidents. And this wasn’t the case with Molly. She barely had any pee accidents after she was potty trained. It really only took three days to potty train her for pee and maybe five for poop. For Riley, we are about three months into potty training and he still has some pee accidents. Not super frequently but he definitely has them. And we finally have gotten down going number two!
The Dreaded #2
So Riley figured out going pee in the potty probably within 48 hours. We would put him on every hour or so and if he ever just started peeing we would catch him doing it and quickly put him on the potty. We essentially did the exact same thing that we did with Molly. But he was absolutely terrified of going poop on the potty. It took him a good six days to go poop the first time. I was so worried about him holding it that long. We gave him so many packs of prunes and, under the guidance of our pediatrician, we gave him some Mirolax. We made sure his diet was as high in fiber as possible. But he still was able to hold it for six days, and when he eventually went he would hold it for five days after that and then another five days.
And here’s the thing, after he went #2, the following 48-72 hours were hell. I hate even using that word but I don’t even know how else to describe it. Riley was so fussy and uncomfortable and we were just constantly following him around for that 48 hours doing this dance where he would say he had to go poop, so we put him on the potty and then he would cry and want to get off. He was so uncomfortable again and crying and fussing, so then we would put him back on the potty and it was just this vicious cycle. I feel like we didn’t sit down for two seconds during that last 48 hours before he actually was so backed up that it just fell out of him. He was miserable and we were miserable. Heck, even Molly was miserable because she got no attention from us because we were hovering around Riley for every second.
I Asked For and Got A Lot of Advice
I got a lot of advice to just let him be and let him do it in his own time but that just wasn’t possible. We tried to just leave him alone, but he would just be crying telling us he needed to go to the potty – it wasn’t an option to leave him alone because he didn’t want to be alone.
Some people also suggested that maybe he wasn’t ready so that we should put a diaper back on him and try again at a later date. Oh my goodness, what I would’ve given during the first couple months to be able to go back to diapers. We tried to go back to diapers within two days of attempting potty training. But Riley wasn’t having it! He refused to go in a diaper. So then we started another awful cycle where he would ask for a diaper when he got uncomfortable and we can put it on him but then when he felt the urge to go he would cry for it off so we would take it off him and put him on the potty. Then when he got scared to go on the potty, he’d want the diaper back on and once again would want to back off when the urge came. Needless to say this is even more exhausting. So after maybe three or four times deciding that we would try the diaper thing again, we completely ditched it and basically told him no more diapers. That is except for naps. He still wears diapers for nap and for bedtime. We will eventually phase those out when they are consistently dry. Some days they’re dry, some days they’re not.
How did we eventually get him to feel comfortable going number two on the potty?
I can’t even tell you how many times in those few months I beat myself up for potty training at 23 months. I thought I forced it because of quarantine and maybe believed he was ready when he wasn’t. Looking back if I could change anything, I’d probably wait a couple more months. But there was no going back after attempting it so we needed to figure something out.
The first thing we did was get him a new potty. The potty that he had been using was the same one we used with Molly, which we really liked for her, but it just wasn’t working for him. First, she was bigger than him because she was almost 2 1/2 when she started potty training so the bigger potty we had worked for her. But it did not work for him because his poor little legs barely touched the ground, so he didn’t have a good leverage to push to go poop. So we ended up getting him this potty. I highly recommend it! It’s got a little stool for his feet to go on so they prop him up in the proper squat position. It’s like a little squatty potty for toddlers! Ha! And it’s really cute because there’s buttons on top that make a flush sound and ones that make a cheering sound. Riley loves pushing them. But even with this new awesome potty, Riley was still resisting. We needed something more.
I feel like I tried everything. With Molly it was a simple as putting a diaper on her and cutting a hole in the back and having her poop while standing over the potty thinking she was going into her diaper. But then the poop fell out the back and she saw it go into the potty and that was that. It fixed everything and Molly never was afraid of going poop in the potty again. But again, Molly was older. With Riley we tried prizes, treats as a reward, bringing him to the bathroom with Molly every time she went poop so that he could feel comfortable with it, we tried giving him space and privacy to do it when he was ready, we tried not making a big deal out of it, we read him books while he would sit on the potty and we gave him our phone or the iPad to play games while sitting there – we tried EVERYTHING! I will say the iPad distraction definitely helps but that alone wasn’t enough for him. I’ll say more on that in a minute.
I reached out to you guys for advice multiple times and social media and one piece of advice I got over and over and over that I kind of dismissed was a sticker chart. I thought to myself “if getting a big Peppa Pig prize isn’t gonna make him want to go potty, then why would a sticker?”
My goodness was I wrong. What eventually made me stop dismissing all the advice and try it was a girlfriend of mine sent me a text saying not to use any sort of laxative or suppository because every one of her nieces and nephews that used those things have issues going poop on the toilet to this day and they are preteens. And then she proceeded to tell me about the sticker charts. So at that point I figured what do I have to lose. I’ll try the sticker chart thing even though I was positive it wasn’t going to work. So I went online and printed a free printable sticker chart and then ordered a bunch of stickers on Amazon. I got this pack with a bunch of rocket ships and cars and airplanes that I knew Riley would love. Someone recommended these poop stickers to me which I think are pretty hilarious and they said their kid thought the poop stickers were super funny. I say go with whatever stickers have characters or images of things your child loves!
I also printed out a sticker chart for Molly because I wanted it to be something they could do together. Plus when I first printed one for Riley, Molly wondered where hers was? Ha! So Molly earns one sticker per day every time she goes number two on the potty. That girl goes a lot so if she got one every time, she’d fill up this chart in three days. Ha! Kind of kidding. But Riley gets a sticker every single time he goes number two on the potty. So if he goes three times in one day he gets three stickers.
The first time he got a sticker, it was after a five day streak of not going. So he didn’t go to get the sticker on his own because he couldn’t hold it any longer. But we celebrated big after he went and then I went to get the sticker to show him how he could earn it. He was very intrigued. Then he kept seeing Molly get stickers for the following few days for going potty and he really wanted one. But we were very firm that you only get a sticker when you go poop on the potty. So in between his first sticker and his second sticker was about four days. But that was seriously a huge improvement for him. And then between the second and a third sticker it was only two days! And between the third and the fourth sticker was only two hours! I’m telling you, I don’t know what it is about the sticker chart but it worked! The sticker chart we used at the beginning also had a reward every five stickers so we had prizes that we would give him then as well. But I honestly don’t even think the prices were necessary. All he cared about was getting the dang sticker. When he did eventually get to a reward spot he cared more about the sticker than the actual toy – so we stopped that chart after we filled it up and switched to one without prizes.
And like I mentioned above, it also really helped him for us to give him the iPad to play a game. Especially if it was a game he had never seen before. Because he was so focused on the newness of the game, he wasn’t thinking about having to go potty and the poop would just come out. So that’s something else I highly recommend if you’re having the same issue.
Now he goes every other day. I wish he was going everyday, but I’ll take every other day. We still have some issues where hold it longer than I’d like. He still will go three days sometimes and I know he shouldn’t. But we’re no longer doing the miserable dance back-and-forth like we were in the first couple months. If anything, maybe he’ll say he has to go one night and then won’t and then will wake up the next morning and still not go and then not go until the following night. And it breaks my heart a little bit because I know he needs to and that he’s uncomfortable, but it’s not as much of a dance and it’s not as frequent.
So what did I learn from all this? First, I’m no expert so my advice is purely from one mom to another.
Don’t Rush it
First, I think I started too early and that’s the truth. I think I felt like I needed to try because we were in quarantine and he was showing signs. But I think early signs aren’t enough based on my experience. I think they basically need to be telling you I don’t want to wear a diaper anymore before potty training. Or ripping them off. Riley was totally happy in his diapers and I think because he’s so smart in all area other areas of his development that I thought he was ready for this too.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
I also learned that simple things are better than big rewards and prizes. Some people told me that they would give one M&M every time their child to went poop. And I think sometimes it’s more enticing than a whole candy bar. For the same reason that the sticker chart was more exciting than a big toy prize.
You Can’t Always Go Back To Diapers
Also, sometimes you can’t go back. I know for me one of the reasons I figured we might as well try is because so many people said well if it doesn’t work you can always just go back to diapers until he is ready and you want to try again. What I would’ve given to go back to diapers after that first week! It just wasn’t possible for us and it might not be possible for you. So don’t rely on that as a backup option, trust your gut if you think it might be too early for your child to start potty training.
A Few Things to Get
I want to recommend a few other quick products that have really been helpful for us. We got this car seat pad when were potty training Molly. But because she had so few accidents, we basically stopped using it after a couple weeks. But with Riley, he has more frequent accidents so this is very helpful in the car. It makes clean up after accidents much easier!
Riley also loves wearing big boy underwear! But we really need ones with a little bit of padding in them because he has frequent accidents. And when I say frequent I mean maybe every other day a tiny little bit of pee in his underwear. He never full-on pees his pants. Just a few drops will come out and then he’ll realize he has to go to the potty and he will. So these are really helpful because if a few drops come out, it’s okay and it doesn’t completely ruin his pants.
And I know with Covid right now, none of us are doing a lot of traveling. But this traveling potty is a lifesaver! When we traveled down to San Diego a couple weeks ago, we had to pull over on the side of the road so Riley could poop in it! Ha! After your little one uses it, you can close it up safely until you can get somewhere to dispose of it. And when you do need to use public restrooms seat covers will be essential! And the ones that are in the restrooms just don’t work with kids. Heck they barely stay on when you’re an adult trying to use one. These adhesive ones for kids are much better!
1. TRAVEL POTTY
And this might seem like a weird thing to recommend, but I recommend getting some Native shoes. For one, Molly’s school let us know that when the kids come back, they’re gonna have to wear Native shoes or Crocs because their wipeable. I guess it’s a Covid precaution. I also find that the shoes are great with potty training! For example, when we would be outside in the backyard with Riley and he didn’t have pants on, if he did end up peeing and it got all over his shoes, it would be fine because we can just hose them off easily. So get them for potty training, but also get them because you’ll likely need them when your child starts daycare or preschool.
Well that’s it for me. Sorry if this is long or too wordy. I just want to make sure I gave all info since I know that when we were potty training I couldn’t find any information out there about what to do when your child won’t go back to diapers. So I wanted to give as much info as I could. Also tried to give as much info as I could without any of you having to read an entire book. Because let’s face it, what parent has time for that?! Ha!
Good luck to all the parents out there tackling potty training! If you already tackled it and you’re in the poop dilemma situation that we were in, I wish you even more luck! It’s so hard but hopefully if you try everything we tried some thing will work for you. But I’d say start with the sticker chart!
Oh and one last outfit mention of me and my little man! Earlier in the blog I posted a photo of me and Riley, where he isn’t wearing any pants, ha! That’s because a lot of time during this potty training adventure he’s been pantless, and wears his little shark undies, you just can’t see them here! I wanted to share the info about his cute flamingo shirt because it was only $10! It comes in 8 different colors and the style is soooo cute! Riley is wearing a size 4 in his shirt. I loved it so much but the smallest size it came in was 4 and I got it from anyway and it totally fits. Like I mentioned, for the purpose of the potty training blog he doesn’t have pants on, but it’s so cute with little blue jeans or shorts.
My top is also so affordable… I am talking under $15! Can you believe that? This shirt is only $13! All the detailing is so beautiful and honestly makes the shirt look so expensive. It reminds me of one that I see some bloggers post that is over $125! The top is also lightweight and can be worn when its hotter out or you could throw a cute jacket over top.