Support thread for 'late' potty-trainers and/or gentle/slow training?

(253 Posts)
badchat Sat 03-Aug-13 21:02:27

DD has just turned 3. We've had a potty for a year. I've been reading potty books, talking about using potty/toilet etc. for months and months, and watching and waiting for signs of readiness. So far nothing. She shows no awareness of doing a wee or a poo, or of needing to. She has been uninterested in, or hostile to, the potty and knickers up until recently, and she doesn't seem to mind having a dirty nappy at all. Also, up until quite recently she would sometimes wake with a poo in her nappy.

She is meant to be starting at a nursery/pre-school in mid-September, which will require her to wear knickers, although if she is not potty trained they say they will work with me to try and help.

So, for the past few weeks I've been getting her used to sitting on the potty, e.g. regular reading on the potty after breakfast. For the past week stepped it up to wearing knickers or nothing for a few hours a day as well (she asks for nappies quite quickly and I encourage her to stay with knickers but if she gets upset I don't want a power struggle over it so I go back to nappies).

So far, nothing in the potty, just a few wees on the floor. She says she doesn't know when she is about to go.

I am trying to stay positive - we have moved on at least from refusing potty/knickers to giving them a go. But I am finding it really difficult - I am worried about her going to nursery and having a horrible time being worried about it, or being teased. My sister is very disapproving and seems to think that it is my fault she isn't potty trained yet. I have mentioned it to a few friends and they have responded with slight shock, and e.g. "oh, x was dry before she was 2"... I don't know a single other person in RL who is struggling or has struggled with potty training - everyone seems to tell me that their kid wanted to train, or responded quickly to adult-led training.

Anyway, sorry this is so epic. Just hoping some of you out there are in same kind of position and will come and huddle here for support!

ChocChaffinch Sat 03-Aug-13 22:03:49

it's probably more common than you think. My own dd was a challenge, I personally loathed potty training !!
My niece is 3 1/2 and is in a similar situation.
I think they will suddenly ''get it'' if you know what I mean and pick it up v v quickly.
All kids are different; all will do it eventually.
Maybe she is picking up on your anxiety, enjoying the extra attention,
so first - she is not constipated? or has a urine infection. They are common in little ones, and can affect them with not wanting to wee.

let her choose a pretty toilet seat at the shops? choose her own big girl pants? choose a step up for the toilet? put food colouring in loo? make it all pink for girls grin
await a quiet week and hide all daytime nappies at back of cupboard, and just get ready for a bit of mess?
I think once you start you have to not look back, as it were... howabout a starchart? or simple sweetie bribery for performance on the pot/loo
for nighttimes use totally diff style pullups - these are bedtime 'pants' tackle bedtime after dry days.
lots praise for performances.
Im sure other MNetters will have better ideas - best of luck!! you'll get there.

snickers251 Sat 03-Aug-13 22:05:06

We've certainly struggled!

Ds is 3 in a few weeks and has only just started using the potty after a very bad attempt earlier in the summer resulting in poo withholding.

He's getting better and has only just in the last couple of weeks started using the potty for wee. Poo is still an issue but we've had a few now so it's really improving.

The only thing that I found worked for us was bribery, star charts meant nothing but if he was promised a treat for a wee, he soon clicked on and forgot about the treats after a while (although I still give him them for poos) he had a lot of moaning and plenty of accidents for a couple of days but he's really getting there now.

I don't think people realise how they make you feel when they say what early age their children were potty trained, it wouldn't surprise me if they have just forgotten the stress and pressure potty training brings.

badchat Sun 04-Aug-13 08:12:58

Thanks for all the tips

I have offered a bribe of a toy dd saw the other day for the first succesful wee in the potty (clearly not every wee will get a toy I just want to motivate her in the first place to try it). I'll think about smaller rewards after that - we've never had star charts before so I'm not sure how much they would appeal.

She has chosen her own knickers and likes to choose which animal, just doesn't actually want to keep them.on! We have 3 potties now, and a toilet seat, so I don't think I want to let her choose another of those

I can't hide daytime nappies as I have 15mo ds also so need to always have nappies around and Dd lnows this. they wear the same size so I can't pretend they're baby nappies. may try getting pull ups though so they are clearly hers and more like knickers and then perhaps can hide those in time.

I know you're right snickers about other people. It's nt their fault I am so sensitive about it! Best not to talk abot t too much at the moment I think for me, so I can just concentrate on doing it how I and Dd are comfortable with.

anyway great to hear you are having some success. I had to encourage a little bit after the initial "dont like knickers!" but dd put her knickers on this morning and has had a go on potty already so we'll see how we go today.

redwellybluewelly Sun 04-Aug-13 08:23:20

Hi, I've a 3yo who just is not ready to full on PT however yesterday did come and tell me she'd done a poo in her nappy which I think is progress.

I loathe changing her nappies, it sounds strange but I hate it, she's a tall girl for her age and all bit one of her peers at nursery are fully potty trained, one for almost a year. DD goes into the big preschool room at nursery in September and she'll be the only one in nappies.

That said there are reasons I think why she hasn't managed it but I don't want them to become excuses IYSWIM? First is a speech delay and second is a development delay of about six months, she also has mild CP so isn't well coordinated to get her clothes on and off.

I'm trying to wait until she tells us she is ready. Im also thinking of switching to cloth nappies as a friend told me they have a greater awareness of weeing in those.

badchat Sun 04-Aug-13 20:19:56

Hi redwelly. It's good for me to hear about another 3yo who's not ready yet! (although not great for you obvs) Weirdly enough I don't hate changing nappies yet - it's a pain, but worrying about wee and poo on the furniture freaks me out more, which doesn't help with the potty training motivation from my side, and keeping the anxiety levels down!

Moved forward a little bit today. DD wore knickers for most of the day; just put nappy on to go out for a couple of hours in the morning, and then from 5ish til bedtime, when she was tired and upset and demanding a nappy not knickers after second wee accident of the day. No wees on potty, and she didn't seem to recognise need to go, just knew she had weed after the event.

My sister says she just took hers out from day 1 of potty training, and stuck to her guns on no-nappies, knickers only, but I'm not feeling brave enough to try going out and about with knickers on. (Also it limits our options somewhat - clearly I can't risk her having accidents in e.g. soft play room as it's not fair on the other children). We don't know many people to playdate with here as not long moved, so that's not really an option either.

So, tomorrow I think I will just try and do knickers all day, except for going out, and hope we get something in the potty.

I'm not sure if this is all just pointless and I am going to just spend days clearing up and then giving up and waiting again, or whether being in knickers and wetting herself will help enable her to recognise when she needs to go and get to that next stage of trying to get to the potty. We shall see...

RugBugs Sun 04-Aug-13 20:28:50

DD is a bit younger, 2.8, but is very reluctant to go nappy free.
We've been trying but after the first accident of the day she gets hysterical and begs for a nappy. She understands she gets a sticker if she goes in the potty but just doesn't seem bothered, dirty nappies have never bothered her either.

DD2 is due in less than 2 weeks and I was really hoping to not have 2 in nappies but hey ho.

badchat Mon 05-Aug-13 19:56:17

Good luck w dd2 rugbugs! I have had two in nappies for 15months now - it's not been too awful, but I can definitely see the appeal of having older one out of nappies!

We havent really moved forward today as out and therefore in nappies most of the day. Knickers in morning and evening at home and a few potty attempts but nothing in or out of potty.

I'm trying to get dd to take more responsibility whether in knickers or nappies - she takes trousers down, opens nappy and has a go at wiping after I've wiped.

Been reading heaps of mn potty threads and getting more than a bit obsessed. Think I will probably cry with joy when we get our first wee in the potty...

Thereonthestair Tue 06-Aug-13 17:07:25

Hi I shall join in my ds is 3, 5 but was 3 months prem and is another child with CP but in his case can't walk and struggles to stand so getting trousers down is an issue. I have decided that life is too short to obsess and tbh also decided that given the CP he was always going to be late to train.

I didn't even start to try until a couple of weeks ago. last weekend was a bit of a disaster although we made progress when he was happy to sit on the potty which he had done a few months earlier then taken against. We are on full on bribery he gets to buy a toy he chose if he earns enough stickers (which he also gets for walking with his walker) and he got the last one of the 6 he needs for a poo. he then chose the world's most annoying tractor which goes cock a doodle do amongst other things. That is now only allowed out if he sits on the potty (otherwise I would go bonkers). and that works to get him sitting there As do peppa pig magazines and sometime pirate pete's potty. Last night he giggled at me and said mummy I am not potty trained. So he knows what he is doing.... and I suspect playing me. But I ampicking my battles.

We went cold turkey on nappies, but that was a disaster and he missed so much being cleaned up after accidents. So now again we are doing a mixture. I don't care that people say don't go back once you switch it wouldn't have worked but going into nappies and giving DS the choice is now getting to the point where he can and will chose to sit on the potty. he did his first wee last night and then delighted in showing us. But back to nappies overnight.

we have decided to take what comes. I think the CP affects my attitude because it means I really don't care what people think in his nursery/preschool about him not being potty trained. I can always blame CP if they ask and then they will back away. It doesn't mean I won't try but it does mean i care more when he walks than i do when he goes to the toilet. He'll need to do both in order to be independent.

However because I don't care I also do find it funny how much some others obsess. There is a boy in DS nursery who is 2.11 and the nursery have told the parents he is not ready so don't try. There are also quite a few who were 2,10 through to 3,3 ish who trained in that window. I am sure the parents were desparate to get things sorted, because there were and are many who train earlier. However none of DS year were trained when they moved rooms in the nursery which they do from 24 months. So persoanlly I do not believe all these tales of children who sucessfully train early. i think far more are late than anyone admits to.

I suspect DS is now the oldest who is not potty trained, but he will get it in time.

Also fwiw I have a friend overseas who says that it was only her UK mother that pushed her to train her dd when she was over 3 the locals in her european country don't even try until they are 3.

badchat Thu 08-Aug-13 21:03:32

That is all very reassuring about the nursery and other country thereonthestair.

I think I am going to have to try to emulate your stance and try to relax and care less. After 5 days wearing mostly knickers, we have had plenty of accidents, and quite a lot of sitting on the potty, but nothing actually on target...

I almost thought we had it today when DD ran in, scrabbled off her pants, and plonked herself on the potty, all of her own accord. I thought I'd stay calm, no pressure, just let her get on with it. A few minutes later, she pipes up "I've done a wee", so I go over to check, thinking how it is perfect timing for us to all get out the house and dance to the corner shop to buy the celebratory cheap pink play shoes I promised her for a wee in the pot... And nothing. A minute later, hear a big bang and DS crying out in next room; rush in and find he has slipped over in what is clearly a large puddle of wee, is bruised and soaking.

Not sure I can keep pushing it any more without getting any sign that DD is getting anywhere. It's just going to drive me crackers. I think I will offer her knickers or nappy tomorrow and let her lead the way. If she is getting nowhere by the time we start pre-school then I'll have to just work out a strategy with them and hope that peer pressure...

Ugh, it's kind of exhausting. I think I shall have to think up a bribe/prize for myself for when this is all cracked...

Thereonthestair Fri 09-Aug-13 10:23:59

badchat. After we went back to nappies ds has now sucessfully managed 3 wees in the potty, in the evening. It is also the easiest time to get him to sit there. i am beginning to suspect he will sit on the potty to wee when he needs a wee, and won't if he doesn't as as he puts it "I'm too busy mummy". he is also telling us when he needs to go. So for the moment this approach of going into nappies seems to have made more progress than us forcing him into pants.

badchat Sat 10-Aug-13 15:19:28

Thats really interesting there - especially as I am feeling a bit of a failure for putting dd back in nappies. My mum has started to weigh in too with her opinion that it is 'just training' and 'just needs to be done'. not particularly helpful.

ChazDingle Sat 10-Aug-13 21:29:22

my DS is 3.3 and i'd previously had a couple of unsuccessful potty training attempts where i'd given up after a few days, one at easter and then again around May/ June time.

He wasn't showing any signs but i had a two week window starting last thursday where we didnt have anything organised so i thought i'm just gonna go for it and give it two weeks. From the start it was just different this time and he just seemed to get it more, its been a week and 2 days now and he is now doing all wees on potty or toilet, very few accidents, he's not as reliable with poos yet but getting there. I really though he was never gonna be out of nappies.

yawningbear Sun 11-Aug-13 08:42:07

I haven't read all of the thread and I know you have the pressure of the nursery thing but I would be tempted just to stop for a while I think.

We tried with DD when she was about 2.8 I think and the nursery said after a couple of days she wasn't ready and just to leave it a while. Left it until she was over 3 and she got it immediately, it just clicked.

I did start to get a little anxious the longer I left it as she seemed to be the last one in nappies etc but I think developmentally she just wasn't ready and when she was, it just worked. I now have a DS who is coming up 2.7 and I am planning on leaving it as long as possible with him too although every now and then I feel the MIL'S societal pressure to take him out of nappies, hence looking at this board, but I am going to try and stand firm and hold off for as long as possible, unless he actually starts taking himself off to the potty that is grin

elsiewoo Sun 11-Aug-13 20:44:28

Can I join in? DS has just turned 3 and is yet to get a single drop of wee in a potty or toilet. We did cold turkey with nappies last month, but after a week and a half, there was no progress, just constant wetting/pooing in pants and he didn't seem to mind/notice when he had done it.

I feel like such a failure, but it's comforting to see that he's not alone.

badchat Sun 11-Aug-13 21:25:17

chaz - how soon could you tell that ds was getting it this time? I'm tempted to try again in a week or so, slightly different approach to last couple of times, but not sure how long to leave it before I decide it's working or not. Partly of course it depends on how long my sanity lasts out...

and yawning - when you tried again with your DD at 3, could you tell she was more ready before starting, or as soon as you started, or did it take a while still?

I have read through all the various lists of readiness and not readiness and the things that DD hasn't ever ticked on the readiness list are 1.telling me when she's about to have a poo or wee, 2. stopping/being quiet/finding a quiet place etc. when doing a poo/wee and 3.being interested/keen in knickers/potty. She understands the concept, and will sit, but she doesn't want to. She is also not particularly regular with pooing - between 0 and 3 a day and at all different times. On the positive side, she is dry for several hours between wees and can get herself to the potty and just about get her clothes on and off.

elsie - a week and a half with no progress shows some serious determination on your part, so noone can say you haven't tried! I know what you mean about feeling like a failure - I am constantly questioning myself at this point about whether I have taken wrong approach in the past etc. etc. - but at the end of the day we have no power over the physical readiness of their bodies and we can't make them wee in the potty so I guess we do need to accept how things are and trust it will all work out in time. It's comforting as well for me to see of others at similar stages, so thanks for posting!

yawningbear Mon 12-Aug-13 07:09:39

I am not sure that I particularly noticed before we started the second time round that she was more ready, I certainly wasn't anymore confident. She had been doing some of the positive signs from the list for a good while though, like standing in far corner of the room with back turned whist hotly denying any poo action but she had been doing that before we tried the first time. So I don't think there were many more signs IYSWIM but straightaway it was obvious that this was the right time. I think we had one accident on the first day and that was it, whereas the first time we literally had rivers of wee running down the living room floor, flat had subsidence so it all flowed downhill grin

I think I used the no cry potty training book, at least it is on the shelf here so it was probably read at some point.

elsiewoo Mon 12-Aug-13 20:38:09

badchat - snap! DS has shown none of the signs of readiness and also to the irregularity of pooing (although up to 5 times in our case!). My instinct tells me he's not ready, but others think he's not potty trained because I haven't forced the issue - aaaarrgh!

badchat Tue 13-Aug-13 20:37:53

It is frustrating isn't it, when others assume you are just not firm enough... Has been so useful having input here from people who know what it's actually like.

That is useful yawning - I think we will try again in a week or so, but given what you've said, and what others have said about how quickly they get it when they are actually ready, if I see no progress within two days I'm going to have no qualms about quitting and waiting again this time. This makes me feel much less daunted than when I was envisaging another week of battling rage and frustration and mopping up accidents.

I realised I have another problem today - DD still sleeps in a cot. She has had a bed ready in her room since she was 20mo, but although she tried it one night, she hasn't wanted to try it since, and every time I ask insists on sleeping in her cot. She quite often poos early in the morning before I go in to get them up, so even if we crack the daytime, night-time is going to be a whole other big thing. Anyway, will cross that bridge when I come to it.

Fishandjam Tue 13-Aug-13 20:49:05

Placemarking for a time when I can post properly - but just to say that I will see all your "just turned three" prodigies grin and raise you my DS, aged 3 years and 8 months, who has only just started potty training. And by only just, I mean in the last week.

Lifeiswhatyoubakeit Wed 14-Aug-13 22:01:16

I also have a DS 3.1 yo not taking to PT. By not taking, I mean deterioration in 3 days with pants on to complete hysterics (scratching and pinching) when I put him on the potty to poo.

Wees were generally successful - in potty after prompting to sit. Poos in pants every time and today has been asking for nappies to do a poo in after 'witholding' (see other thread, When to give up?).

After feeling like a failure and sobbing in the kitchen (after he pooed in pull up I put on him for pm nap) I rang up children's centre and advice was to back off. Not only am I not ready (crawling 6mo not helping), he isn't either. He has to show some willingness to poo in potty otherwise it's futile. So back to nappies/pull ups but I will encourage wees on potty (or poos if tht miracle ever occurs) but no pressure. Worst thing is guilt I might be failing him by not giving him opportunity. Also bad is pressure from mum, MIL, nursery...

I don't think it's that uncommon. My neighbour didn't PT DS until nearly 4. No SN. And children's centre lady said it was still early for PT.

Fishandjam Thu 15-Aug-13 14:36:36

OK, got time to post now! DS is, as I have said, 3y 8m old. Until really recently, he showed no sign of being ready for potty training - didn't tell us when he was doing a wee or poo; irregular bowel habits; couldn't care less if his nappy was pooey or so wet it was dangling round his knees; no interest in the toilet, where the poo and wee went, etc. We bought a potty and toilet seats well over a year ago and placed them in prominent positions in the hope it would pique his interest....nope. We took him to buy big boy pants; he chose some but then wasn't interested in wearing them. When I did manage to wrestle him into them, he just weed/pooed into them with no attempt at even telling me he was going to do so. We tried bribes, stickers you name it - he's not motivated by that sort of thing, so it was a non-starter. In the end I decided that sufficient unto the day was the evil thereof, and as I had a colicky, screamy, non-sleeping baby DD to deal with as well, I would ditch the potty training for a good bit.

A few months ago Nursery told us they'd get him started, it was time, etc. OK we said, on you go. Sure enough, after multiple accidents, they said that they didn't think he was ready and that maybe we should leave it for a bit longer... I nodded and smiled.

But in the last 10 days/fortnight, he's started showing an interest. He's managed to wear his pants and pee in the potty a few times, though we're still getting accidents. He has also done one gigantic stinking log poo, to great applause from me. We're still two steps forward and one step back, but the big difference is that he's ready to give it a try.

But I feel all your pain re the pressure that can be put on by family and friends. I am a bolshy old trout who can shrug off most of it, but even so it has been niggling away at me that DS's little mates are all sorted and he's the one still in nappies. Especially when one of the little shits them says things like "fishandjamminor is still in nappies, he's a wickle baaaaaaby". Had to resist giving him a flick on the ear for that, didn't I just.

muchadoaboutsomething Thu 15-Aug-13 16:03:28

hi. I have namechanged. But I have also given up for a bit at the moment with my ds with CP. mainly because trying to potty train him has made the rest of his behaviour very difficult. If he is being potty trained he misses out on too much at nursery. he already misses out compared to his peers because he can't walk so get to things too late, so then he does wet himself but won't move because he'll miss even more. No fun for anyone so in the greater scheme of things have decided to keep up with nappies. keep sitting him on the potty but relax the rest as i can't have his behaviour deteriorating because he doesn't want a wee. he is interested in potties/wees and toilets, but not as much as trains, tractors and flapjacks!

ChazDingle Fri 16-Aug-13 12:22:26

badchat> Sorry been away so haven't replied till now. It was just different from the start this time. Alot less accidents and he would say if he needed a wee, although i usually would have to ask if he needed prompt him.

Two weeks and a day in now and i can't believe how well he's done never thought we'd get there. He hasn't had a wee accident for days now, can't remember the last time, (hope i'm not tempting fate). He's still not there with poos yet and had a poo accident the other day but i suppose you get less practise with them!!

Also suprisingly he seems to also be dry at night. I've still been putting a nappy on him but its dry every morning and he just goes on potty and does a big wee.

Joining thread as DS who will be 3 in December will now sit bare bummed on potty but won't wee or poo. Accepts choc buttons for trying but after 2 hours and huge amounts of dilute juice begs for nappy!

At least he will now sit on the potty.
Has mild autism.
Is going through very oppositional stage.
Has awareness of when doing poo and wee just won't release when sat on potty .
Nor will he wee on loo, outside, sitting up or standing up, on trainer loo seat or big seat.

He just holds it in. Should I try later?

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