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AIBU or is MIL re:potty training?

(122 Posts)
BionicEmu Fri 22-Mar-13 12:04:56

I don't normally post on AIBU because it scares the shit out of me , but this issue is really starting to get to me, so I could do with some honest opinions.

DS is 2.5 years old. He isn't potty trained. We tried a couple of months ago as he was showing an interest in the potty/toilet, but it quickly became apparent that he wasn't ready as he didn't seem to be able to tell when he wanted to go. We have since had DD, who is 8 weeks old, and DS is showing extreme jealousy, and even starting to revert backwards in some areas. So I do not think right now is the right time to try to potty train him either. I have a vague plan to wait until the weather's warmer, so we can spend lots of time in the garden (so saving my carpets from accidents!). I have no intention of persevering with the potty training until he can tell that he needs the toilet though.

MIL has been on at me from when DS was 9 months old about potty training him. Apparently with her son (my DH), she sat him on the potty after every meal until he went. Apparently he was fully trained by a year old (which is at odds to what DH remembers, as he remembers having a horrible accident at a family party when he was about 3, and he also remembers wetting the bed until he was quite old.)

So since DS was 9 months old MIL has been saying I need to sit him on the potty. I've tried explaining that what she did (sitting on the potty until he did something) is not really potty training, she basically just replaced a nappy with a potty. IMO potty training is the child being able to tell when they need to go before they go, then doing their business on the potty. I've also tried explaining that I think there's little point trying until he knows when he's about to go.

All of this is falling on deaf ears though, she always just says "there's only one reason a child isn't potty trained by a year old - idleness!" If I try and explain I just get "it's disgusting that he's not trained, how do you think he feels when all is little friends are trained and he's not? You can't get round this with fancy words and explanations, the only reason is idleness!" FWIW only 1 of his friends is potty trained hmm

I've also said it's not idleness. Idleness basically means lazy, and I'm not lazy, I've made a conscious decision not to train yet. But she just goes on and on about me being idle. She is driving me absolutely mad.

Was the way she trained DH common in the 1970s? Is it just that practice has changed? (Although MIL seems adamant that even if practice has changed, it's changed because every mother is idle. Argh!) DH was born in 1978. I've asked my mum, and she said she did the same as I'm doing, but I was born in 1985 and my sister in 1988.

So please, should I have put DS on the potty from 9 months old? Should I be trying to force him? Who is being unreasonable here?

YouTheCat Fri 22-Mar-13 12:08:49

I was born in 1969 and have plenty of early recollections but none of being sat on a potty. I remember using a toilet when I was 2 though.

With a mil like yours, I wouldn't bother explaining anything as it's pointless. Just say, I'll do it my way.

LastTangoInDevonshire Fri 22-Mar-13 12:09:06

You are right. She is wrong. Can you stop seeing her??

blackeyedsusan Fri 22-Mar-13 12:09:47

perhaps it is time for the old mn classic. that sounded rude. did you mean to be rude?

SofaKing Fri 22-Mar-13 12:11:31

She is.

Next time she calls you idle, ask her to explain how changing your ds's nappies is not hard work, but shoving him on the potty for an hour is?

Do not force him, he will be put off. Ds1 had a terrible poo accident at 2.9 and it went everywhere. Even though I downplayed it he became scared of pooing on the potty and poo'd his pants till he was 3.6. (every single day and I was pg with ds2!)

You are doing the right thing. You will know when he is ready. Ds2 is haling off his nappy every time he is phooey so I think he will be ready soon, even though he is only two - both his siblings were 3 before they were really ready. Every child is different.

flossy101 Fri 22-Mar-13 12:12:29

She sounds abit bonkers!


teaandcakesagoodmummakes Fri 22-Mar-13 12:12:53

YANBU at all! My DS is also 2.5 and is not ready. We have tried but he is happy to be wet, isn't aware of when he needs to go and is having very frequent wet nappies so I don't think he has bladder control yet. I Am leaving the 'training' for now and encouraging him if he does want to sit on the potty but will start again more intensively with him in a few more months. From my experience with my DD who is now 5 it's just not worth pushing it until they are ready, I was tearing my hair out with her from 2 onwards and she wasn't ready until 2.9 months, but she did it in a week. I've learnt to be more relaxed second time around. Try not to listen to you MIL, my DM has also commented on how he SHOULD be trained by now but I just brush it off, as someone said to me, he won't be walking down the aisle in nappies! I think also you are right about him regressing slightly due to his new sibling, my DD had more accidents in the first few months of having her baby brother so is completely normal. smile

oscarwilde Fri 22-Mar-13 12:12:55

YANBU - what a COW !

It's what was done back when nappies were made of terry towelling and you had to soak huge buckets of them every day. Given the choice you'd have sat him on the potty as soon as he could sit up too.
I agree - potty trained is defined as asking to go to the loo, not being forced to use one instead of a nappy.

It might be a chicken or egg situation but your MIL is being massively unreasonable and v v rude and should butt out. I would buy her a copy of Gina Ford Potty training (she takes an oldschool tone of voice but her methods are modern at least) and stick it up her ass ask her to read it.
Potty training commenced here just before DD2 was born. Bad idea, it's taken ages with lots of accidents and has been used by DD1 to gain attention, delay bed times and all sorts.
Three months after baby is born, things seem to settle down with my DD1 and friends with children of similar ages. If you want to get your MIL off your back then I would just pick a date in the future (eg May 1st) and say that you are starting then and does she want to stay for a few days and deal with the inevitable mess

SofaKing Fri 22-Mar-13 12:13:25

He is not phooey. Well, not much. I meant pooey :-)

acceptableinthe80s Fri 22-Mar-13 12:13:29

You are right, she is wrong, ignore. Ime most boys aren't physically ready until nearer 3 yrs. I highly recommend a book called 'potty training boys', very easy read and a completely stress free way to toilet train. I say train but really there's no training involved. If you wait until your child is ready it will be completely stress free for all involved.
I never got the whole taking a week off work to potty train thing. I waited until ds was ready and when HE decided he didn't want to wear nappies any more he was dry day and night pretty much instantly.

SugariceisaGoodEgg Fri 22-Mar-13 12:16:27

I started to train all three of my ds's from 2.4, I'm 44 and ds's are teenagers now. Your ds would have probably been well on the way until the jealousy kicked in.

I think you're right to wait until he feels more secure before you start again.

I imagine your dh remembers wee accidents from a child due to the stress his Mother forced upon him to be dry and wet himself in bed due to stress from her, silly woman!

Ignore her and tell her to back off.

quesadilla Fri 22-Mar-13 12:17:12

She sounds crazy, bullying and rude. I don't know why you even have to think about it, to be honest. Do what you feel is right for your child and if she challenges you again just say: "I will bring my child up as I see fit and would appreciate it if you could not get involved." Close her down. You don't need to engage with her.

firawla Fri 22-Mar-13 12:18:47

She is being quite rude and forceful with her point of view so I think you may have to take a similar approach. You don't have to justify yourself to her whatsoever. If she's kept this up from 9 months til 2.5 I would be sick of it and probably just say look mil he is not your baby and it's none of your business so kindly keep your thoughts to yourself as we are not interested.

thing1andthing2 Fri 22-Mar-13 12:19:23

Don't be pressured if you know he's not ready! I had a baby when dd was 2.6. Mil had been on and on about how she thought dd was ready to potty train for ages, and as we stayed with pil for a month when ds was 1 month old and dd was 2.7, I let DH and mil have a bash at potty training as they were so keen. After a week they called it a day as dd had done not one single wee in the potty and was stubbornly refusing to go anywhere near it.
Instead I waited and waited and when dd was 2.11 she asked to have her nappy off one day and was willing to go and sit on the toilet every half hour. So that weekend I took the nappies away, offered the potty regularly and basically left it up to her, and she was dry and clean on day 3.
So much less stressful than months of accidents because your child isn't ready yet!

flowery Fri 22-Mar-13 12:20:01

Well you are right and she is wrong, but actually it doesn't matter anyway, because she is wrong for sticking her nose in and thinking she is entitled to a say.

Is your DH not telling her to butt out and back off?

Eskino Fri 22-Mar-13 12:21:22

Things are different now.

Weaning is done later, potty training (by and large) is done later, and children are much happier and have fewer emotional hang ups than 20-30 years ago.

Tell her that.

puddock Fri 22-Mar-13 12:22:42

SIBU and should wind her neck in. Previous posters are right, you don't have to convince or persuade her - especially if she's being so rude to you! - just disengage.
I have a DS2 the same age, not ready for potty training yet, and I'd laugh in the face of anyone who tried to persuade me otherwise.

WilsonFrickett Fri 22-Mar-13 12:23:03

I'm usually on the fence in MIL threads because often it is just differing opinions. Yes, how she did it was the 'done' thing in the 70's. Yes, how you're doing it is the 'done' thing now (and how I did it, FWIW). But she lost any sympathy from me when she started calling you idle. How rude! Your DH needs to tackle this and tell her to keep her opinions to herself.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Fri 22-Mar-13 12:24:19

She's bonkers!!! Shoving a baby on a potty and managing to catch the odd wee is not training. That baby would have had no idea.

Train your dim when you feel he is ready and you have time to see it through properly. There are kids much older than him in nappies.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Fri 22-Mar-13 12:24:41

Dim? Ds- auto correct fail

Thumbwitch Fri 22-Mar-13 12:26:21

YANBU, she is.

Somewhere there is some study showing a correlation between early forced potty training and bed-wetting, I believe.
Anyway. I didn't force DS1 into being toilet trained, because apart from anything else he wasn't able to take his own clothes off - I know this wouldn't be a prerequisite for many people but it was one for me. He also couldn't at all tell when he needed a wee.

He was pooing in the toilet from about 2.4yo; he never poo'd in the potty at all until he swallowed Daddy's wedding ring and Daddy had to go through the poo until it came out but it still took another year and a half for him to "get" the weeing thing.

He has never wet his bed here - he wet the bed once while staying over at MIL's with DH, because DH forgot to get him to go to the loo before going to bed.

You can call it idleness if you like - I chose not to have to be washing the floors/ furniture/ clothes/ bedclothes on a daily basis but carried on washing nappies instead until he was Ready. So he was 3.10 when he became "Ready" - so what? confused angry

Thumbwitch Fri 22-Mar-13 12:28:19

Sorry, I think those smileys are probably a little inappropriate - I was nodding off as I was typing the last bit of that post and probably half-dreaming of something else entirely! blush

OKnotOK Fri 22-Mar-13 12:28:25

Agree with quesadilla. Close the bitch DOWN, this is your child and you will bring him up your way. Also this MIL is forgetting that every child is an individual, they will all progress at different rates.

My DD is 2yr 4months, she will be ready soon (probably) but im not going to bully her into it. We are planting the seeds now (when you get rid of the big heavy nappies you can wear groovy pants instead etc).

Your doing the right thing, just tell her where to get off! wink

Badvoc Fri 22-Mar-13 12:29:57

Ignore her.
She as mad as a box of frogs.

TheChaoGoesMu Fri 22-Mar-13 12:30:13

My gran used to put her children on the pot from 4 weeks old grin I guess she had an incentive though, less washing as they didn't have disposables or heating back in her day. So either way was a huge amount of effort.
I would wait until your ds is ready. It doesn't sound like a good time for him at the moment. You're not going to get anywhere if he's not, but you will give yourself heaps of stress. I just about got ds pot trained in the day when he just turned 3, but he still uses nappies at night as he's not ready to go through yet.

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