She Says… Pee Chronicles

I’m thinking of starting an entire blog related to Owen and his exploding-diaper-super-peer issues.

Ok. Not really. I can’t imagine I’d get very many followers.

But I could.

I have the material.

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you’ll know that it’s been this way since he was born. (Remember the time I actually tried putting a maxi pad in his diaper? That Mommy fail still makes me giggle.). Maybe he has an abnormally large bladder, or above-average pee-holding abilities, or a Three Stooges-esque sense of humor wherein he finds the physical comedy of soaking himself exceedingly hilarious. Either that or, after 2 years, I’m STILL putting his diapers on wrong. (I don’t think it’s the latter, but hey, I’m open to the idea that the fault in here is mine).

Contrary to what some readers have suggested (thanks for the heart attack, there, folks!), he does NOT, as far as we know, have a physical abnormality, nor is this habit a symptom of a larger issue (diabetes, etc.). Believe me, I’ve asked the doctor. Surely the pediatrician thought I was a nut, asking if my kid wetting the bed was a sign of some horrible disease. Um, no. Just unlucky, I guess?

The issue has come and gone throughout his life. Sometimes, in retrospect, I’ve been able to identify a trigger (teething, illness, timing of bottles/diaper changes/naptimes). But normally it just… comes and goes without a decipherable reason. I’ve tried bigger diapers, smaller diapers, different diapers, things in diapers, things on diapers and things around diapers. Currently he weighs only 28 pounds and is super duper long and lean, but is in size 6 diapers (we use Huggies Little Movers because they fit his body the best) due to the sheer amount of pee he pees at a time. We’ve been using night time diapers (which were a lifesaver for us) every night since he was only a few months old, and I’ve considered using them all day long for my little super pee-er, but damn, they are expensive. We’ve stopped short of duct taping the waist band to his tiny little waist, but perhaps that would actually help. (I kid! I kid!).

We limit liquids at night and a little before naptime, but the diaper explosions happen at other times, too. And the kid LOVES drinking water and sucks his milk like it’s his lifeblood. We were sitting at dinner just last night and Owen says, nonchalantly, “Der’s pee pee on my leg”. Sure enough, when he got up, his pants were soaked all the way down to his ankles. And the other night, THIS happened on our couch while we were playing in the middle of the afternoon. His diaper had been changed 1.5 hours prior, and was dry not very long before this picture was taken.

Luckily we all (generally) find it amusing and I never go anywhere without a change of clothes for him. The funny thing is that he’s also sometimes bone dry when I expect that he needs a diaper change. He’ll go hours dry (the other morning he actually woke up dry after the WHOLE NIGHT, which I found astounding and immediately worried about his hydration), and then BAM he turns on the faucet and the diaper is ready to pop after one “go”. It’s a mystery.

Lately I’ve been thinking, “I know it’s early for a boy to potty train, but perhaps he is already catching on to the concept of holding pee. Maybe it’s potty time…”. Let me start by saying that this is one milestone I am NOT looking to rush. I know so many people who turned potty training into a full-on battle with their children (involving whining and tears for both parties and complicated reward systems and bribes), and, as my pediatrician reminded me at our most recent checkup, it’s more of a milestone for the parent than the kid. The kid will do it when he’s ready. Also… I very much like being able to just toss a diaper in my bag when we go out for the day and not having to plan around a potty break every hour. (You know, except for potty breaks for me… since I’m pretty much on a toddler schedule too). It’s easier for me. So I’m not pushing him.

BUT! He’s been peeing on the potty every night before bathtime every night since July, when he saw a slightly older friend doing it on vacation with us. He is so freaking proud of himself when we read our special potty book and we clap and high five him for “so much pee pee”. Seriously. The kid pees as much as an adult. The other night, randomly, he pooped too, which was a first, as he’s normally a morning pooper. I went over the top with my praise, and I think I scared him with all of the “Great pooping, buddy!”s and now he keeps saying he doesn’t WANT to poop in the potty. Got it, little dude. I’ll dial down the enthusiasm!

Other than encouraging him before bath time, I haven’t pushed it. Recently if he mentions that he needs to go, or just went, I’ll ask if he wants to sit on the big potty. He has never said yes, and that’s totally cool with me.

But here’s the question: What’s the next step? I know he’s super young and I’m still trying to figure out if he’s to the point of having control over peeing, or if he just always happens to have pee waiting at bathtime. I’m not interested in bootcamp yet, or the other techniques of food rewards or charts. He’s little. He JUST turned two, and my pediatrician said that 80% of boys are potty trained by 3, but many take longer. However, he also said that Owen is mature and advanced in other ways, so may be on the early side of this as well.

But if he’s ready to move on to the next step… I’m not sure I know what it is. Asking more often? Encouraging him more or just letting him decide on his own when he wants to go?

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12 responses to “She Says… Pee Chronicles

  1. Wow he is the super-peer! We’ve been putting Maya on the potty every night before bath, too, since she hit 18 months. They also do it at school with her a couple times a day but last Wed out of nowhere she freaked on her teacher on the potty so we took a break. It sounds like he could be ready–but it’s SO hard to know!!! She has only peed twice out of all these times so I do think it’s early yet–but the idea of letting him tell you when he needs to go helps. She always tells us she poops AFTER the fact. I want to try that 3-day potty-training program with her when the time comes. Just need 3 straight days with no plans … ha! Good luck and way to go on his first potty poop!

  2. I have no right to give advice (even though I have 2 boys who have and are potty training) because you know I made every mistake. But then again, here I go giving advice. At this point, if you are in no rush, just let him keep doing what he is doing. Routine potty trips (AM and PM) as you are doing. And I think asking him is fine, but I wouldn’t get too compulsive over it because the truth is, not many toddlers *want* to go to the potty–especially if they are busy boys playing with trains. I found that my incessant nagging made things worse. I ended up going the “it’s potty time. It’s just what we do.” And not even asking (cuz I knew the answer). The boys now know they sit in the AM, after school (they recite, “take off shoes, go potty, wash hands.”), and before bathtime. My biggest suggestion is to get on the same page as his childcare so there is consistency in terms of what is done. (From terminology, to how they do it, etc). I recently had to change some strategies when my oldest went to PreK. He is still fine with everything, but now we say “going to the toilet” and also go before snack, like they do at school. I think peer peeing exposure is a great motivator! When the time comes and you want to try going for it (I suggest a long weekend), I suggest move him straight into undies all day. Equip yourself with lots of Bac out or Nature’s Miracle. And see if over the days he starts initiating it all himself. (We still used diapers at night, though, until they were daytime trained). I love the idea that it is a parent milestone…it SO is.

  3. The answer to this question is probably yes, but just in case…have you tried pampers? I have heard from so many people that huggies leak. My son has seriously soaked his pampers at night and they hold it all really well. As for potty training, I am clueless–my guy is only 4 months :) good luck!

  4. I don’t think Owen is young at all. My son turned two in June and has been potty trained for a few months now! I’d say go for it if you think he’s ready. Take him potty after naps and when he wakes up in the am. And if you notice his diaper is dry when you thought it would already be wet, put him on the potty. Make sure before getting in the car you try to get him to go. Just start slow if you are apprehensive! You can always keep diapers on him between potty breaks “just in case,” unless he is going in his diaper just because he knows he can (my son was doing that some so we went cold turkey). Sing songs or read him a book if he isn’t sitting long enough for him to go. He might surprise you! My son has been #2 potty trained since he was 16 months and I’m sooo glad!

  5. 18 months used to be the average age of being potty trained before disposables were invented. ie he’s not too young to potty train! go for it!

  6. therapeuticbaking

    E was doing those massive pees all over our couch too and that’s when I decided I had had it with the diapers. I’m no expert but to answer your question, I would say your next steps would be either:
    a) gently encourage him to use the potty if he wakes up dry from a nap or first thing in the morning (as even if he is wet, he probably has to go again)
    and/or
    b) if you have a good sense about when approximately he has to poop everyday then encourage potty use around that time every day

    He does sound ready to do some more intensive potty learning as he’s telling you when he’s peeing down his leg! If he refuses to use the potty when you encourage it, just leave it. It’s not worth pressuring him. I think this whole potty learning stuff is about them just getting into a new routine. The old routine was you diapering him but the new routine is about him learning about his own body’s signals.

    We just did the whole “3 day thing, no one leaves the house, etc.” I admire you sticking to your guns and allowing Owen choose his pace. After 11 days of this potty business, I do regret doing the 3 day “bootcamp” to some degree. It’s stressful on them and I really worried about E throughout those 72 hours. On the other hand, it’s a wonderful way to get everyone on the same page. My husband and I had 3 days of no distractions to figure out how to manage this potty training. What led us to start potty training with E is that he was staying dry overnight and throughout naps. He was also doing those huge pees and reliably pooping in diaper every night after dinner. Another positive of the 3 day bootcamp is it makes you very aware of your child’s elimination pattern. It’s easy now to leave the house with E in underwear because I know when he last used the potty. E is no where near potty trained but he has been without diapers (daytime and nighttime) now since August 31st. He does have sometimes everyday or every other day accidents (usually poop–have yet to master the poop on the potty) but I feel some sense of progress there and I know that this is an ongoing learning process for him.

    They also suggest not to potty train before or near a sibling’s birth. You can expect a set back then if you do. I think while you have more time on your hands (before #2 arrives), it would be a great idea to have Owen fairly potty trained. I’m trying to do this with a 6 month old too and it’s not the most ideal situation. In fact, it’s very, very hard.

  7. Eli gets an m&m for going potty and therefore LOVES going to the potty. I am not above candy rewards :) He’s not potty trained yet (we’re going to attempt to stop using diapers during awake hours this weekend!), but we’re hoping it’ll happen soon. He’s at the point now where he tells us he has to potty. I wrote a little more about it here: http://thebakerbee.com/2012/08/21/the-potty-plan/

  8. Thank you, everyone! Your comments are INCREDIBLY helpful as we move forward into potty-training land. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  9. I took advice from “Toddler 411″ on this one… (a great book by the way by the same people who did “Baby Bargains” and “Baby 411″.) They say, if you pick the right day, all it takes is one day. You’ll know pretty quickly if he’s ready or not. Some Saturday, why not simply try big boy underpants (you can make a big deal buying them with him prior to the day), telling him that today we’re going to try doing our pee in the potty and keeping our underpants dry. You’ll know after one day if he’s ready or not. If he has numerous accidents and no sucesses then he’s probably not ready. If he makes it to the potty a couple of times, then he could be on his way! And if he’s not ready–no biggie, don’t make a big deal of it and just tell him that you’ll go back to diapers for a little while and try again later. We had a few false starts with both girls but didn’t make a big deal about it and tried again about a month later. For me, it was almost easier to just try than stand around wondering if they were ready. If you give it a go then at least you’ll know for sure. And wouldn’t it be amazing if it actually happened? It really is so great once they’re out of diapers! Good luck!

  10. My pediatrician has the same stance as yours saying that they’ll train on their own time and not to push it. I’m good with that and also enjoy not having to worry about where the bathroom is at every stop if we’re out on a Saturday. However, I have the same thoughts about whether or not I need to do things to encourage the potty. We too sit on the toilet before baths but she never pees and she wants to “potty” if she sees me in the bathroom. The one thing that may work for my daughter is that she does not like it if her clothes are wet so she might put the potty training thing together if we just put her in underwear. Who knows! Thanks for the post. I like the comments and I plan to get more info at our 2 year check up to see what I should look for when she’s ready.

  11. Just remembered a valuable tip to save your poor couch! I bought a few cheap bath mats (the ones with a rubber liner on the under side) and put them on the seat portion of our couch where E usually sits. Hope this saves you from some cleaning up!

  12. @meredith, Genius! Thank you! That is easily moved for company, too :)

    This morning Owen woke up dry again, and I encouraged the potty. He declined, but I suggested that maybe this weekend we would try doing it every morning. I think we just have to get into a routine of doing it every morning just like we do every night, but I really don’t want to force the issue. Delicate negotiations :)

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