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I'm in toilet training hell!

(5 Posts)
JessD2012 Tue 25-Sep-12 18:28:58

Hi, my little boy is 3 in November and we have been toilet training him since April. My daughter was born in March and I know this was probably bad timing to start toilet training but he was asking for his nappy to be changed constantly for even the tiniest amount of wee so we felt our hand was forced.

In the beginning we just used to have to potty around and let him use it as and when he wanted. We left him without any pants or trousers on and, except for a few initial accidents, he got it straight away and used it happily. The problem came when we tried to get him to wear clothes. Initially he flat refused to wear them. When we eventually got him to wear them he just wet and soiled in his clothes and to be honest several months later we have made little progress.

Our current routine is to take him to the toilet hourly. We use the potty in the downstairs loo. We tried sitting him on the toilet with a training seat and a step, also without the training seat but he prefers to use the potty. He regularly soils himself in between trips to the loo and sometimes wets in between toilet trips. He will never tell us when he needs to go and often will not tell us if he has wet or soiled himself either. He will tell me if he is dirty, however, if he is wearing a nappy (which he only wears at night). He also will sometimes ask to be changed at night if he has a wee in his nappy before he has fallen asleep. We have odd days where he appears not to exercise any bladder control at all and urine seems to just free flow though him as it would with a tiny baby (i.e. weeing every 5 - 10 mins). These occasions seem to have been when he is very tired or absorbed in what he is doing.

We have had the Nursery Nurse (attached to Health Visitor) out to help who said that he obviously can do it but won't and therefore she couldn't help us as she had lots of tools for children who couldn't do it but no advice at all for refusal. We have tried training pants which didn't work as he just used them like a nappy. We have tried sticker charts but he got bored with it after a half a day and wasn't at all interested. We have tried rewarding him with chocolate buttons but, while he enjoyed getting them, he didn't care if he didn't get one.

He is at home with me all day at the moment as I am on maternity leave. I go back to work in January and Luke potentially has a place at a school nursery if he is toilet trained by then. Otherwise he will go into a day nursery two days a week while I am at work.

I really don't know what else to try. Has anyone else been through this? Do you have any other suggestions or will he just get it at some point?

xkcdfangirl Tue 25-Sep-12 18:46:54

oh dear that does sound rather a trial. It must be very stressful.

I think your nursery nurse is probably correct that it's a "can but won't" situation. It could be a response to him feeling out of control in his life in general - possibly connected to the arrival of his little sister - and he is perceiving his power of his bladder and bowels as the one thing that he can make choices about.

I would suggest a course of love bombing to help him feel more grounded - during which time perhaps put him back into nappies and then trying again.

Does he have any (male) friends who are the same age. Among our social circle potty training seemed to spread almost like a virus as each DS spent time with a friend who was weeing in the potty, they seemed to find the idea funny and exciting and wanted to join in.

If he got bored with the sticker chart then there are ways to make it more interesting. I splashed out on some really expensive stickers in a variety of themes - glittery, 3D, hologram, they were fantastic - and I also ensured he didn't get access to stickers in any other situation so that they only way he got stickers was for the potty chart. It can make a difference what the sticker/reward is for - some DCs can be uninspired by a sticker which is awarded for getting a poo in the potty but feel proud to receive one for "keeping my pants clean". You could also show him a toy catalogue and get him to choose a nice toy that he wants, cut out that picture and put it in the middle of the chart, and explain that when all the spaces are filled with stickers, you will go and buy the toy.

JessD2012 Wed 26-Sep-12 09:21:07

Those sound like really good suggestions. I'll have a go. Thanks

xkcdfangirl Wed 26-Sep-12 21:37:36

good luck!

DaddyBrad Mon 08-Oct-12 13:33:14

I have a similar problem in that our DS who is 3 in December refuses point blank to poo in the toilet. He is happy having a wee when taken at regular intervals but continues to poo in his pants; he thinks it's hilarious. When asked if he wants to poo when he's on the toilet he says "no" and 20 mins later he's soiled his pants. I can't understand why he'll go for a wee in the toilet with no trouble but not a poo...... All advice gratefully received, thanks!

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