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I was out for 5 hours and my mom put a pull-up on my 25 month old daughter who refused diapers at 19 months. She never used a pull-up before though she has 2 cloth trainers that are thick but they still made her feel wet. She did pee in the pull-up btw.

I took them off her as soon as I noticed. The past 3 pees have been straight to the floor waiting for a diaper to catch it. She didn't even tell me she peed which she used to do because we do have a lot of accidents when she is distracted or doesn't want to stop playing.

I'm really trying not to make a big deal out of the diaper because I don't want it to be this power struggle thing now but I am definitely ticked that her training is going down the drain - pun intended.

Has anybody else (unfortunately) gone through this? What did you do?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

As Valkyrie said, no child goes to college in diapers. Don't put too much pressure on yourself or her as that tends to make things worse. If she has an accident, just gently remind her that pee pee and poop go in the potty--which she knows all ready, but you know how often you have to remind kids about stuff! Then find a way that she can help you clean up the mess. Maybe she can hand you the paper towels as you wipe it up, or if you use a carpet cleaner to clean up a mess on the carpet, she can help you do that. Obviously you probably don't want her actually touching it.

Secondly, you have to address the issue with your mom. Try not to assign blame--your mom probably wasn't trying to sabotage your potty training efforts. Next time you talk to her on the phone or something, you might say, "You know, dd has started having accidents at home, and I think it was because she wore that pull-up at your house". Maybe you've all ready done this, but if you haven't then it needs to be addressed or the next time you leave her with your mom the same thing may happen again. Maybe your daughter wasn't comfortable using the potty at your mom's house?

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+1 - nice answer as always. I would just say the issue doesn't need addressing with the grandparent if the grandparent rarely watches her, however, if it is common for the grandparent to watch the daughter then this is spot on! Either way, It can be tough to adjust to hourly reminders when you've been "retired" from the job too, so forgiveness is a good thing here. – balanced mama Dec 10 '13 at 6:22
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Thank you yes I talked to my mom about it. She didn't know I was on a no-diaper regime then and after I talked to her, it didn't happen again. – Rhea Jan 6 '14 at 2:42

Potty training is so fun with kids. It's one step forward, two steps back, three steps forward, a shuffle to the side... In short, this sounds like one of the usual stops along the route towards full potty training. I don't see that you're doing anything wrong.

Have you tried to talk with her about it? I don't know how verbal she is; my daughter was VERY verbal early, but my son (who is about your daughter's age) isn't nearly as able to express himself in words. Maybe she has a concern about pottying that you might be able to figure out (for example, my daughter was scared to go potty because she didn't know what happened to the waste after the flush; once the process was explained, she felt much more sanguine about the whole thing).

Another thought: if she has a particular attachment to a character that might be on underwear (our daughter is NUTS over Thomas, so she trained in boys' underpants :> ), maybe go ahead & take her for a big-girl shopping trip to get big girl underwear, and explain that Dora (or whoever) doesn't like to get wet. That worked for my niece like a charm; a bit less luck for my daughter but it still helped.

And be kind to yourself; potty training is very much a curvy path rather than a straight line, and there will be all sorts of obstacles that pop up along the way. Most kids do not go to college in diapers, though, so chances are she'll work this out and it'll be fine.

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+1 for "most kids do not go to college in diapers". That was my mantra when we were potty training my son! – Meg Coates Jun 4 '13 at 15:58

First: your mom did you a favor. She wasn't trying to undermine your authority, she was probably just skeptical that your daughter was potty-reliable, and didn't want to deal with pee (or worse) while doing you a favor. Try to be patient with her.

However, potty training is important, and it is important to send clear messages to the child. Let the last one go. But the next time you are going to leave child with her, here's what you say:

Mom, thanks so much for watching [child]. It is so nice of you, and we really appreciate it. She loves the time you spend together.

However, I have to ask you to do me one important favor this time. I realize it is a lot to ask, but it's important to me. As you know, I'm potty training [child] right now, and I don't want to send her mixed signals. Please don't put a pull up on her. I realize a pull up is much more convenient for you, but it sets back her progress for days. She becomes much lazier about using the bathroom, has a lot more accidents, and I have to retrain her.

If mom resists, make a decision. If she is your only dependable babysitter, then you are stuck. If not, just say:

I know that it is a lot to ask, and so watching her right now may not be a good fit for you under these conditions. I completely understand. We will ask you to watch her again once she is 100% reliable. I'm the meantime, we will have [auntie / friend / babysitter] watch her instead. Love you!"

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Funny enough none of our parents had any suggestions for potty training. It was our friends we relied on for advice since they had potty trained in the recent past. I think all our parents agreed that it mostly came down to the individual child, how ready they were and the best way to bribe them. Our parents had such different experiences with all their kids, they just let us take the lead and do what we felt best for our kiddo.

We ended up doing the three day potty training boot camp, cold turkey, no more diapers (pull ups at night mostly because I'm lazy and hate changing sheets at 3am). Our girl did amazing with the boot camp and was pretty much fully potty trained in those 3 days. We talked to the grandparents and her teachers before hand so we were all on the same page. They were all incredibly supportive and I attribute part of her success to everyone around her sending a consistent message. We waited until she was ready (just over 2 years old) and we got everyone on board with the plan and we went for it. Worked out great for us. Now we will see how the second one goes in a year or so :) or if we were just lucky with the first one!

I wrote a blog on this here: Start potty training

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This question is asking about how to deal with the issue of the grandparent's actions that were found to be detrimental to the existing potty training plan, not for advice on potty training. – Dan Henderson Mar 17 at 16:45

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