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To be annoyed at my mum and her attitude that successful potty training is just about how "hard" you work at it. And to be pissed off at the implication.

(22 Posts)
Twinklemegan Wed 24-Jun-09 23:39:58

DS is nearly 3. He just doesn't get it at all. He's such a bright boy, but he's always been a little late with physical things like teeth coming through, learning to jump, etc. My mum is adamant that DB and I were both dry by the age of 2 or 2 1/2.

We just tried going cold turkey with DS, hoping that he'd catch on. But he just will not sit on a potty, unless he happens to need to go at that exact moment. Today was his first day at nursery since we started this, and apparently he was becoming very distressed when his key worker tried to get him to use the potty. I feel so guilty for asking them to do it.

Are all children like this? Is it really all about imposing your will and working at it for weeks and months. Or are DH and I justified in our child-led view (shared by DS's nursery) that he will be ready when he's ready and we could really create problems by pushing it too hard.

LupusinaLlamasuit Wed 24-Jun-09 23:42:04

nearly 3 VERY young. At least 3.5 and later for my eldest two.

All mothers had potty trained by 6 weeks in those days. At what cost? Don't sweat it, wait and it will be much less sad all round.

MollieO Wed 24-Jun-09 23:44:46

My mum was the same - routine, potty training, feeding. You name it she had a contrary opinion about it. I learnt to just ignore her unless her opinion agreed with mine - actually can't think of an example but as we are still talking there must have been.

Ds wasn't potty trained until 3.5 and not dry at night until 4.5. We had a couple of false starts but in the end he took the lead both times and said that he didn't want to wear nappies. With the night ones I just told him I'd let him stop wearing them when he had been dry for 2 weeks. Every time he wasn't we would start the 2 weeks rolling again.

steviesgirl Wed 24-Jun-09 23:46:49

They'll do it when they are ready. My dd is 3.1 and won't go to poo in the potty but will wee. She will, however, poo at my MIL's in the potty! I'm sure she will get fed up with it herself eventually, and will go in her own time at the end of the day.

Yep, in those days we were out of nappies by 2! But times have changed.

morocco Wed 24-Jun-09 23:48:22

we missed out the potty altogether cos dd went ballistic every time it was suggested - she was fine just sitting on the toilet seat. so could be worth a try in case he just doesn't like potties.
wouldn't worry about it apart from that - he could well be ready in a month or so but just not now.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 24-Jun-09 23:49:22


I feel a bit sorry for women who boast about their potty-training capabilities TBH. Who can even remember at exactly what young age this remarkable feat was attained. Maybe it was a big deal then but now we have disposables and efficient washing machines it just isn't a priority.

booyhoo Wed 24-Jun-09 23:55:47

your ds sounds very similar to mine. i intorduced potty traing at 2.5 which i now know was too young, and it took over six months, six long moths of accidents before he finally got the hang of it but please dont do this with your ds, my son now has a reall issue with the toilet and sometimes still has accidents almost a year and a half after we first started. i blame myself for this as i pressured him too early. your ds will do it when he is ready and it will be so much easier that way for all of you. its his body, let him decide.

Twinklemegan Wed 24-Jun-09 23:58:57

Hi everyone. Morocco - we initially tried with the toilet a couple of months ago, wondering if he didn't like potties. But it was the same scenario (and wasn't helped by him falling off sideways one day blush).

I'm wondering how on earth my mum managed with me and DB. Either we were very obliging toddlers who did as they were told, or she must have really imposed it on us - that can't be good surely. Or perhaps in those days they started "training" before we were old enough to kick up a real fuss.

In the days of terry nappies it is entirely understandable that they wanted us all out of them as soon as possible. But still, at the end of the day, that's a selfish, parent-oriented motivation. As Grimma says, that motivation doesn't exist any more so what's the point? Also I'd have liked to see my mum managing to potty train us so young if we were going to part/full-time nursery!

Grendle Thu 25-Jun-09 00:01:18

I think with a child of that age you have to negotiate, persuade, cajole and go with them tbh. If they really don't want to go there then you probably have to wait.

It is quite different potty training a child under the age of 2, as perhaps many of the previous generation did? They are more compliant and not yet at the full-on argumentative stage yet, so it's easier to persuade them to sit and read a story. Personally, I found potty training at 18-20 months both times relatively straightforward, though it did mean not wasting time with pullups (which feel exactly like a nappy and are treated as such) and sticking with either naked from waist down, pants or pants and trousers. The volume of wee in an accident is also lower the younger they are! It meant accepting that they did have accidents for a few weeks and there would at times be wee/poo on clothes and floor. Neither was having dry nappies beforehand or any of the other supposed modern "signs" of readiness like telling me they wanted to go.

Times may have changed, but children haven't. I can understand that many parents, perhaps especially those who work, find it difficult to do potty training with a younger child and childcare may less readily accept the inevitable accidents whle they learn. For example, ds's nursery were really wary about us training him so young and were clear they would expect him to wear pullups if he didn't get the hang v quick. Thankfully he did, as pullups would have hindered the process totally.

I wonder how long you went cold turkey for? With ds it took 3 weeks to get past the stage of constant accidents (1st naked, 2nd trousers and 3rd fully clothed). With dd it took slightly longer as we were unable to stay at home fulltime because of ds. It was definitely worth it not to be arguing with a 2.5 or 3 year old and also because having a clean and dry child for that time is so much nicer for me and them, cheaper and for me totally worth a few weeks of inconvenience.

Going straight to the toilet would have been my ideal, but both my kids loved potties.

MatNanPlus Thu 25-Jun-09 00:05:33

I was dry day and night at 18m in time for my Sis to have the terry's but then i was popped on the potty every 30 minutes from 6 months of age, my mum said and i still took a yr, my cousins were dry in 6-14 months, so 12-20m of age.

Grendle Thu 25-Jun-09 00:14:06

Oh yeah, the other thing to factor in is that as an older toddler on the v rare occasion that ds did have an accident it really bothered him, whereas with under 2s it's often no big deal. If training is stressing them out then I would say you need to follow their lead.

Just adding for interest really too, that both mine were keen to potty train young and actively interested, so it doesn't have to be the case that potty training with a younger child is entirely parent led or for the parent's benefit. Dd's poos came at a predictable time from about 11 months. As we still had potties lying around for ds, I simply sat her on it with a story at the right time of day, as emptying a potty is nicer for everyone than scraping it all off their bottom. Within days, she would wait for the potty, and has been poo trained pretty much ever since (she spoke early and could ask for it by sign or word). I didn't start with wees until about 18 months.

I am totally not judging anyone who chooses to wait until a later age, it's a very personal decision and each child is different smile.

Twinklemegan Thu 25-Jun-09 00:25:12

Grendle - I'm very envy!

Do you think it's possible to do this at home with him - no pants, as I think that confuses him - but put pull-ups on for nursery? Or would that just confuse him do you reckon? Anyone done this?

Grendle Thu 25-Jun-09 00:35:19

It does sound positive that he will actually sit on a potty if he happens to need to go right then. Can you engineer opportunities for this to happen so that at least this builds up the association between potty and wee? Maybe having some naked time at bathtime 10 mins or so after a nice big drink?? If he's wearing any kind of pullup or nappy then I wouldn't expect him to ask to use the potty. Actually, to begin with even in clothes that's likely also to be true. If you're having a spell naked or clothed without pullup/nappy then if you can find a way to take him to the potty rather than ask if he needs to go then this can work better sometimes. Toddlers love an excuse to say 'no' don't they wink. How about racing him to the potty?

What about some brand new books just for reading when sat on the potty and no other time? They don't have to be about potty training (though there are some lovely ones), perhaps pick a current favourite interest?

You're prob already doing this, but keeping potties in line of sight can also be helpful. Leaving an interesting activity to go to the bathroom can be a big step, but taking a few seconds to go over to the other side of the room is sometimes less of a big deal. You can also get colour-change stickers to put in potties that change when the wee hits them (they might be called "my wee friend").

Just a few ideas for you smile.

chipmonkey Thu 25-Jun-09 00:39:46

Twinkle, I think disposable pull ups are a waste of time, the child views them as a nappy and can't even feel if they're wet so not much help IMO!

I spent an entire year potty training ds1 because I started at 2.2 which was waaaay too early for him.

With ds2 I waited till he was 3 and with ds3 ( who is a very stubborn individual!) I waited till he said "I'm doing a wee-wee" because I knew we would get nowhere fast otherwise.
Both were trained within a couple of weeks.

Also all of mine were in nursery and I really think it's more important again that the child is ready and willing as otherwise there is too much confusion between home and nursery.

chipmonkey Thu 25-Jun-09 00:41:36

I also think running around in the garden in the fine weather with a bare bum can help matters along as they become more aware of their bodily functions without any wet patches on your floors and furniture!grin

Twinklemegan Thu 25-Jun-09 00:43:48

Never mind stickers, I succumbed to the ultimate embarrassment and acquired a musical potty! blush blush Honestly the main reason was that as a potty, toilet seat and step stool in one it was really good value. But is was also was one last ditch attempt to get his attention.

What happened? The little devil dismantled the thing, found the trigger and worked out how to operate it without needing to wee. grin

Grendle Thu 25-Jun-09 00:46:08

Bless him smile!

Twinklemegan Thu 25-Jun-09 00:48:02

Thanks chipmonkey. Actually we've been using pull-ups for ages, simply because I gave up trying to get a conventional nappy onto my little wriggler. If I only had terry nappies as an option I would have gone completely mad by now!

Running around the garden is fine as long as it's warm enough. We're in the Highlands and in a very exposed position, so it doesn't happen too often (although it's been gorgeous the last couple of days). It's also a really cold house which doesn't help.

callaird Thu 25-Jun-09 20:02:50

There is a BIG difference between being potty-trained and actually knowing when they need to use the potty. My mum said I was potty trained by 12 months, she is lying!!! I was put on the potty for 20 mins every 40 mins or so, eventually I would do something and removed, I think they tried much earlier in "those" days as they had terry nappies and no washing machines or tumble driers.

I have been a nanny for 23 years, I have potty trained at various ages, a child is not trained until he/she asks to go to the toilet at least in time to go to the bathroom (or potty) before they wee or poop on the floor.

I generally start around 2 years old, some get it straight away, some don't get it until they are 3-3.5. We went out today to buy potties for my 20 month old twin charges, they won't use them to go to the loo on, they will just be around for them to get used to for a few months, then they will sit on them when we go up for a bath as most children wee when their nappy is removed, just so that we can praise them, if they don't wee in the potty or do wee on the floor, we just ignore it!!

I try for 2 days, if the child has a few accidents on the second day, we give up for a month-6 weeks. I have trained twins, one usually gets it from day one and the other then goes back into nappies until he is ready. A child is not potty trained if he has accidents regularlly, give him a break and try later, you are just stressing him and yourself out!!

Vintagepommery Fri 26-Jun-09 16:39:57

Agree with you Twinklemegan. DD2 was lateish to be trained but she just very obviously wasn't ready earlier.

It annoys me when people (usually grandmas) say things like oh my little grandson is so clever - potty trained at 2. IMO it has nothing to do with cleverness - it's a physical thing. And i think you can create problems by pushing it too hard.

Chrysanthemum5 Fri 26-Jun-09 16:55:52

Take my FIL's advice. When people offered him 'advice' on raising his family, he realised he was never going to win the argument becuase people are stuck on their own opinions. Also, that they don't actually care what you do, as long as you agree their way was right. So he always listened politely, said how useful it was to hear from experienced parents, and ignored it! Worked a treat for him. And I have followed it since DC1 came along, and it works fine for me (but my ILs never interfere so I guess I'm lucky )

Donna x

whocaresaboutyourintellect Fri 26-Jun-09 18:11:33

I am a great believer in letting the child move at their own pace.

After all, how many 18 year olds do you see still wearing nappies?

If your OK still using nappies, and DS is happy go with it. He will get to a point where he just "gets it" and will be asking you for pants.

IMHO 6 months of nappies is a whole lot cheaper than replacing a carpet and a three piece suite.

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