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!

thedicewoman Thu 26-Sep-13 22:43:29

That's excellent threepiecesuite, unorthodox as it may well be, I'm also at the stage of not caring how it's achieved so long as it is achieved! I've gone back to a reward sticker chart with rewards such as playing on iPad or computer for 5 stickers, we've had two days of only one accident each but I refuse to be even cautiously optimistic, we've been here before...

I definitely agree that a lot if the time it is laziness on my DDs part!

tinypumpkin Sun 06-Oct-13 10:08:40

Not posted here for a while but I feel so upset and frustrated by DD2's lack of progress. We have spent a month not talking about training as suggested and we are back on training. Rewarding for 'trying' on the toilet so at least DD2 does sit on it. She doesn't try though, she crosses her legs and holds herself, anything to stop herself weeing or pooing on the toilet. She hasn't used the potty/toilet in about a year, I kid you not.

We are doing pants under nappy and I just bought some chap pants so I can throw then away after poos. Bad for the environment I know but DD needs to know there are consequences and nursery also suggested this.

Everyone thinks they know how to sort this but they have no clue. I have tried every reward going. She has a see through sweetie jar for just sitting on the toilet for a bit which helps to get her there. Trying distraction with special toilet books and also bubbles but nothing will let her relax to see/poo. if you ask her about it she just says she 'does not like it'. Agh!

Nursery want me to go for broke and remove all nappies but she will just hold and hold and then wee everywhere. Huge puddles. It would mean that I truly could not take her out at all and this will keep up for weeks. I have tried before. ERIC have also suggested a slowly slowly approach. Why does everything think they know better than me?

BranchingOut Mon 07-Oct-13 11:19:28

Hang on in there, tinypumpkin. You are not alone.
I will give it a bit of thought and post back.

tinypumpkin Mon 07-Oct-13 12:48:40

Thanks Branching, I appreciate someone reading in all honesty. I am just so frustrated and even more so at others thinking they know best when they do not live it 24/7. At nursery she will often hold if put in pants so it looks fine, not the case all day though!

Sorry for typos in my earlier post.

steppemum Mon 07-Oct-13 14:04:57

I wondered if you have tried toweling lined knickers?

I tried these for all of mine. The advantage is that when they have an accident it gets absorbed by the toweling lining instead of going all over the furniture and carpet. They also feel wet to the child so they are much more aware of when they have weed
But they look like pants/knickers and pull up and down like pants

tinypumpkin Mon 07-Oct-13 14:18:55

Thanks steppemum, I have not tried towelling lined pants actually. I will have a look. We have pants under nappy so the feeling of wetness but contained. She does not seem to care at all sadly. Agh!

steppemum Mon 07-Oct-13 15:05:09

I think I went cold turkey during the day using the towelling. The knickers helped me not to despair over leaks and spills, and with long time without nappies, the message did get through (eventually!) I only had one slow one, the other 2 were early learners.

My slow one didn't seem to have a the message from bladder to brain to say that she needed to go IYSWIM. So we did get to the point where she would wee on potty and so i could keep her dry by regular potty visits, but she was very late before she initiated the potty trip. The wee always seemed to take her by surprise.

steppemum where did you get the towelling pants from? Think I need to get something similar for DS2 who is driving me mad with his endless alfresco pooing.

thedicewoman Mon 07-Oct-13 17:47:25

So I was right to be pessimistic...we had a few good days then it just reverted; yesterday we had two proper full on wee accidents and a poo on the floor, today I have lost count of the number of wet/damp pants I've changed. I've had enough. I'm seriously, seriously thinking of putting her back into nappies, even tho it's been 8 months and she is 3.2. Is this really so bad,I just can't do these days any more :-(

BranchingOut Mon 07-Oct-13 18:09:48

Tiny pumpkin, I would definitely look at the towelling pants option - Bright Bots or Motherease are the ones we used.

steppemum Mon 07-Oct-13 20:40:20

they were hard to find the mothercare ones are massive (although to be fair dd1 was tiny and we started with them when she was 2) Thye look like they shoudl go over a nappy

a friend found some in Wilkinsons but a few years ago.

try on-line

BranchingOut Mon 07-Oct-13 21:01:05

I think that what I am learning with this long, slow process is that as a parent I have to slowly keep changing the status quo, otherwise how do they know that they have not already arrived?

I think that the trick for you might be to just try to slowly increase the amount of time that she sits there for - using a timer? Unwrapping a present? Someone suggested a card-table on another thread, so she can do drawing and colouring there.

I found it quite helpful to encourage him to climb up there at odd moments even when the lid was down. Maybe towel dry her there after her bath?

If you are interested in the training pants then Babykind is a very good website.

PS. We are still no further forward with poo, but he put his pyjamas on by himself the other day!

Elfhame Mon 07-Oct-13 21:13:22

My son was not potty trained until he was four.

All advice from the health visitor failed.

His nursery tried and failed.

Don't get stressed, they do it in their own time. Ignore the smug 'mine was potty trained by two' What are they trying to prove? it's not a race FFS

It's not a reflection on parenting. I had previously potty trained my DD at an average age. They all have their own individual timescale and nothing you can do will change that.

tinypumpkin Mon 07-Oct-13 22:12:37

Thanks ladies, I know I am getting stressed about it. Mostly because others are trying to help. It is appreciated but it adds to the stress if that makes sense as often such people have different approaches.

I try to put it all into perspective and be grateful that she is here at all (her twin did not survive). I should know better than most for this reason.

tinypumpkin Mon 07-Oct-13 22:13:24

PS- Thanks for the ideas re babykind pants and colouring tables etc. It is all much appreciated as is the chance to let off steam and get cross with those who potty trained their children when they were 6 months (maybe not!)

tinypumpkin Mon 07-Oct-13 22:13:53

I am dim, yay about the pyjamas branching smile

BranchingOut Tue 08-Oct-13 10:09:54

Oh tiny, so sorry for your loss. That must add an extra layer of difficulty to any situation where you feel cross or frustrated with her...

tinypumpkin Tue 08-Oct-13 14:25:07

Thanks Branching, it really does. Not many people understand that so thank you for being so thoughtful. I didn't meant o go off topic. Apparently she will use the toilet when she is four and the girls' birthday is less than two weeks away so we will see. I don't believe it though!

Fishandjam Tue 08-Oct-13 15:51:40

Hi all, just popping in. We're making a bit of progress - DS is now doing very few wee accidents, but has gone back to having a very wet nighttime nappy. And he still poos in his pants. Still, I do feel like we're getting there now, albeit slowly. And I'm mentally a bit more chillaxed about it all - there are worse things than a kid who's not a toilet genius by age 2!

tiny, I'm really sorry to hear you're still having problems, and so hear about your DD's twin. I think you just need to be very kind to yourself, and to really try not to worry about your DD. As regards all the different approached, could you take the approach that you think will work best, and just nod and smile when anyone says you "should" be doing it a different way? Because of course what worked for them will be what worked for their children, and your DD is not their child.

Some wise words from elfhame there smile

The other day I did get to do some developmental one-upmanship - I don't usually boast about DS being a genius because everyone's children are geniuses. But one snotty mum started banging on about how her child was toilet trained at 18 months... I smiled sweetly and asked when he could write his letters? Because DS knows all his and can write them all (backwards because he's left handed but she didn't need to know that), as well as writing his own name and that of his little sister. I got a real catsbum face in response grin.

tinypumpkin Tue 08-Oct-13 16:03:04

Love the anecdote fishandjam. DD3 has 10 letters in her name so can't see DD2 managing to write her name!! That did make me smile a lot smile

Glad to see some progress for your DDS, it's all in the right direction.

bettybadger Wed 16-Oct-13 22:43:30

Evenin’ all. May I join you?
Your stories sound so familiar – even the bits about them being awkward in swimming lessons!
Tried potty training DS2 at the beginning of the summer holidays when he was 3y2m. He was quite simply not interested. The bribery that worked so well with DS1 proved ineffective. Don’t think bladder control is an issue. He can hold his wee if he wants – I sat with him for 3 hours once – not a drop. Till I got up to grab a book (funnily enough was going to re-read the chapter on stubborn toddlers in Toddler Taming), then he went off to the hallway and peed all over the floor – arrrrghh! The only time any wee went in the potty was the first day when I dragged him to it mid-flow. He wised up to that and next time I tried it he clamped shut. I struggled on for 10 days (as I had a wobble on day 4 when training DS1 but persevered and succeeded) but I knew it wasn’t going to work.
Scraping the barrel a bit but I count as small successes the fact that a) he actually wore pants (after being bribed first time with sweets) and b) he would sometimes sit on the potty and for longish periods.
As for wees/poos in the potty though, utter failure.
Haven’t had any negative comments really. Think MIL and DH thought I was being a bit soft/rubbish/inconsistent till they had a go themselves one day. Mwoahahahahha! After those few precious hours, DH finally conceded that I could give up training for the time being.
3 months on and I haven’t tried again though I feel I should. I have bought a toilet trainer seat that doesn’t wobble (the Pourty one) and a non-slip step should he decide that going straight to the toilet is the way forward but that’s it. He shouted ‘NO!!!’ when I showed him the new kit (he does that a lot, doesn’t like new stuff, even presents, until he’s decided it’s ok/got used to it).
Seeing SALT people for the first time tomorrow as his speech is a bit delayed, and a paediatrician in Nov for a developmental assessment (after I contacted HV re certain behavioural issues). Might wait to see what they say…..
Sometimes being really firm with DS2 is the only way to get him to do something (eg holding my hand whilst walking on the road) but you can’t do that with stuff like PT and eating. Glad I’ve met others in the same boat and good to hear others say it will all eventually fall into place. Just don’t feel like trying and failing again and actually making things worse.
Sorry for interminable ramble! I blame the wine smile

bettybadger Wed 16-Oct-13 22:45:00

Sorry about lack of paragraphs in previous post blush

tinypumpkin Thu 17-Oct-13 22:00:14

Welcome bettybadger. Sorry to hear that this is an issue for you and your DS too. It is such a pain! Hope you have a useful appt with SALT. Thanks for the tip re the non wobbly seat, I may source that one. Cheers.

I have no wise words as we are struggling on and I am feeling really frustrated (although trying not to show it). DD2 is four on Sunday and apparently will use the toilet/potty then. She has been telling us, nursery, GPs and the CM. I believe none of it as I have heard similar before. Wouldn't it be nice though?!

Good luck to all. We are still doing the pants under nappy thing which is a total PITA when she does a poo. Not making one iota of difference though. Going to give it a few weeks longer and try calling ERIC again to see if they have any other ideas.

thedicewoman Sun 20-Oct-13 23:28:28

Just wanted to update with some good news, my DD has been diagnosed with a urinary infection which I suspect has been underlying for the past 8 months... she has had about 3 episodes of damp pants in the week since she started her antibiotics. This is totally unheard of, usually we are through 6 changes a day or thereabouts. Lots of people had suggested this as a possibility and I had dismissed it until she complained of being sore when urinating. The future himself did not expect the urine test to come back positive and thought she was just sore as her skin was raw from wetting her pants.

It seems to have solved the problem for us and I cannot overstate the difference it has made to my life and my relationship with her! Maybe something worth getting checked for others with similar symptoms...

thedicewoman Sun 20-Oct-13 23:29:03

Doctor, not future!

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