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Bothered by diapers, but afraid of the potty chair

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Old 03-14-2007, 05:09 PM   #1
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Bothered by diapers, but afraid of the potty chair

My 23-month-old is clearly bothered now by her wet and dirty diapers. If I don't pick her up right when she wakes up from her nap (she doesn't cry, so I don't always catch her right away), she is so fed up with her diaper that she takes it off herself. She started this recently, so we decided to introduce the potty chair today. We did the potty party thing where she potty trained the doll, which she really got into and wanted the doll to go every 2 minutes all morning and was fascinated by the stickers and treats, although she was jealous that the doll got so much attention and I felt terrible lavishing so much on the doll but we got through it. This afternoon, I gave her big girl underwear, which she was all into and reminded her all day that when she needs to go pee-pee or poopy, she needs to go in the potty not in her uunderwear. She had every one of her stuffed animals and dolls try out her potty and liked to play with it, but she refused to sit on it herself, even with her clothes on. We tried everything we could think of, including moving the potty out of the bathroom and into the playroom. She kept showing signs that she was holding it and frustrated (recognizing that she needed to go and didn't want to go in her new big girl underwear), but she would not sit on the potty. She ended up having an accident after holding it all afternoon and was mortified, embarrassed and really upset by it, even though I reassured her that it was okay. She still wanted to keep her big girl underwear on and kept trying to pull the wet pair up. After she calmed down, I offered her the choice of putting a clean pair of underwear on or a diaper and she chose the underwear and kept them dry again until bedtime when I introduced the pull-ups, which she was thrilled about.

I don't want her to hold it when she really needs to go and I don't want to discourage her from wearing the underwear that she is ecstatic about, nor do I want her to feel so bad about herself when she has an accident, but since she is so afraid to sit on the potty, I'm at a loss for what to do now. Any ideas? We'll try again tomorrow with the big girl underwear and the potty, the doll and the animals, but I'd really appreciate any suggestions as to what we can do to ease her fear of sitting on the potty herself. She's not afraid of it and will play with it, I think she's afraid of sitting on it because it has a hole in the middle. Oh, I also tried the portable seat adapter on the big potty to see if she liked that idea better, but that one was scarier. I didn't force either issue because I don't want to taint her potty trainign experience and want to keep it positive and on her terms. I just don't know what to do if she doesn't want the diapers, won't sit on the potty and is holding it in because she doesn't want to go in her underwear. HELP!

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Old 03-14-2007, 07:00 PM   #2
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Re: Bothered by diapers, but afraid of the potty chair

You may not agree with or be thrilled with my suggestions, but I say leave out the potty chair where she can get to it, take her to the bathroom with you once in awhile, talk it up every now and then and put her cute undies where she can get to them and be reminded, then let it go. Most 23 month olds are not ready. It is a totally developmental thing. This advice came from my ped the first time around and worked with all three kids like a charm. He told me that our son would not go to kindergarten in diapers and I should just relax about it, once when I was frustrated with potty training and he was 2 1/2. I let it go. One day a month after his third birthday (that may seem old to you right now but really it is right about average) he just came and woke me up and told me he had to go potty. He was trained that very day! I approached it the same way with our other two and it worked just as well. Our second was three and two months our third, our only girl, was two years, ten months. It is a totally stress free way to potty train and does work very well. I can also tell you as a mom of two teenagers and a second grader that when your daughter is eight years old no one on the face of the earth is going to give a hoot about how old she was when she was potty trained.


Old 03-15-2007, 05:35 AM   #3
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Re: Bothered by diapers, but afraid of the potty chair

I agree with you that I don't want to push her into potty training and had planned on starting later, but she gets bad diaper rash, takes her diapers off and is clearly bothered by them, plus she has a fascination with the potty and everyone else going potty. Our pediatrician told me to introduce the potty at 15 months, but I waited until now because she wasn't showing any interest back then and I thought it was way too early. I bring her with me on occasion but haven't forced anything with her. She has been showing signs of readiness lately, so I thought it would be a good time to introduce the concept and see what she does with it - no pressure and on her terms.

She wants to wear underwear and wouldn't let me put a diaper back on her last night (I put her in a pull-up and called it "bedtime underwear"). I don't want to discourage her interest in potty training, but I also don't want her to hold it until she is uncomfortable. If she won't let me put her back in diapers but is afraid to sit on the potty, what should I do? How do I get her used to sitting on the potty? I don't want to force her or traumatize her.

Old 03-15-2007, 12:22 PM   #4
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Re: Bothered by diapers, but afraid of the potty chair

What kind of diapers do you use? Try Huggies, they are the best. May be baby is very sensitive.
Do you read potty books for kids?
We are still struggling at 4.

Old 03-23-2007, 02:56 PM   #5
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Re: Bothered by diapers, but afraid of the potty chair

I figured out why she's afraid of the potty chair. It's because my mom traumatized her with the potty chair about a month or so ago, before DD was showing any signs of readiness. My mom was pushing me to potty train and told me she was going to start over at her house (she's over there one day every couple of weeks or so, not consistent enough to start potty training over there and not at home), but I specifically told her NOT to introduce the potty chair until I'm ready to start her at home. (My mom thinks that MY kids are hers, since she's going through Empty Nest Syndrome, and she even told me that DD is behind the "rest of us" since we were potty trained by 2, never mind that times have changed and this is MY kid.) It infuriates me that EVERYTHING I tell my mom about MY kids goes in one ear and out the other (not just the potty training stuff, but safety issues like BACK TO SLEEP, no peanut butter until 3, etc.). I limit the time DD is at my mom's to as little as possible, but I'm currently pregnant and having a lot of health issues and have been dealing with multiple doctor's appointments and I have no one else who can watch her, so she's over there once every couple weeks.

My mom went out and bought a potty chair anyway (I told her we'd buy one for her house when we're ready to start training her - I didn't expect DD to start showing signs of readiness this soon) and took it upon herself to attempt to potty train my DD. Well, my mom is aggressive and harsh and DD is very sensitive, so my mom's methods won't work with her. I'm convinced now that she forced her to sit on the potty, when she was clearly apprehensive. Now, she'll play with her animals on it, but refuses to sit on it. I'm so angry with my mother, and now she's lying about the whole situation and backpedaling like she always does when she does something with my kids that I specifically ask her not to (she tells my older DD, "don't tell your mom" when she does stuff with her she's not supposed to, then she lies to my face about it when DD tells me the truth - DD isn't a liar, despite my mom encouraging her to lie to me!).

Anyway, I'm not forcing the potty training (I wasn't before either) and am even more sensitive to her apprehension now that I know what happened. I moved the potty chair into the playroom and encourage her to sit on it with her clothes on when she's watching tv. If she sits on it for longer than a minute, I'm giving her treats, but even that doesn't really motivate her much.

As far as diapers, she prefers the pull-ups now (I give her the choice, she really likes the actual underwear, but I tell her she has to go in the potty if she's going to wear them, so she chooses the pull-ups) and won't let me put any diapers on her. She likes the idea of big girl underwear, so it's a good sign. The pull-ups are worse for the diaper rash, but I'm hoping they're only temporary and she'll decide on her own to start going in the potty once she gets comfortable sitting on it. I really think she would have been already if my mom didn't traumatize her with it.

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