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My 4 year old refuses to use a toilet while we are out and about

(12 Posts)
Karenhibbert2 Fri 08-Jul-16 20:41:23

As the title suggests, my daughter was all potty trained around a year ago, was going to the toilet fine when we were out on day trips, in town shopping etc.

We went on holiday around a month ago and the toilets in the states were mainly all automatic flush and really noisy, my daughter was really scared of them and refused to use them pretty much from when we arrived. I ended up having to lug a potty around the theme parks etc while on holiday or we would of never had a holiday . Since being home over a month ago, she is quite happy using the toilet at home, at pre school, at nanny's etc but again is refusing to use the toilets when we are out, no amount of persuasion works. I have tried to use the soft approach I.e not to worry you will need to wait until we get home, or I have gone to the toilet to show her that there is nothing to be worried or scared about. I have then used the harder approach which I used tonight, that she does not have iPad time this weekend , unless she uses the toilet while we are out, this did not work as I thought she would kick up a fuss but she didn't.

We ended up leaving a barbecue tonight because she refused to use the toilet and then wet herself. I am at my wits end and I really don't now how to approach the situation or resolve this, she starts school in September and I am really worried that she is going to constantly wet herself.

Wolfiefan Fri 08-Jul-16 20:46:55

Does she say the noise is why? Have you shown her that the flush isn't automatic? Start with going to a friend's house?

Kittyrobin Fri 08-Jul-16 20:50:16

Is she scared because of the noise? If so maybe some ear defenders would help.
My 2 boys were too scared to use public toilets as they were petrified of the hand driers. They've outgrown it now. I used to take them outside to wee in bushes, not ideal but better than wetting themselves.

TheAntiBoop Fri 08-Jul-16 20:51:46

Is she scared it will flush while she is sitting on it?

Was the bbq at someone's house so she is also scared of other 'house' toilets?

Karenhibbert2 Fri 08-Jul-16 20:53:09

I explained to her in the States that not all toilets are automatic flush and showed her when we were out, she was fine with the toilet in the hotel room.

She just said tonight that the toilet was scary and noisy, again I explained there in nothing to be scared about, used the toilet, did not flush it while I was wiping to show her it would not flush, but again refused to use it. I hoping it's a phase.

Karenhibbert2 Fri 08-Jul-16 20:54:45

We were at her new schools barbecue, so worried when she goes in September she won't use them!

mogloveseggs Fri 08-Jul-16 20:55:29

Ear defenders. Ours were about £3 from the range. Ds doesn't like the dryers so I carry them with me when we're out so that he will go to the loo. Means you need a bigger handbag mind but having to go shopping for one wasn't a chore imo grin

mogloveseggs Fri 08-Jul-16 20:56:24

I'm going to pop them in his book bag when he starts school just in case they're needed too.

TheAntiBoop Fri 08-Jul-16 20:56:25

If she is scared of being flushed away - my dd was until she threw a toy down there and it didn't flush down - thus proving in her head that she too could not be flushed. So a positive side effect to having to fish a toiletty makka pakka out

With school you could tell her they use home toilets for kids. They will probably have little ones anyway so less intimidating!!

Karenhibbert2 Fri 08-Jul-16 20:58:01

We were in the toilets by ourselves so I know it's nothing to do with the noise as there wasn't any, she use to be fine, the hand dryers never bothered her, she uses them at her current pre school so really I am at a loss while this is happening so long after the holiday still.

BertieBotts Fri 08-Jul-16 21:01:34

Go the other way and offer some kind of lusted after prize. This is the only way we've ever managed to get DS to achieve any kind of toilet milestone. He was really anxious about all of them. Took until he was 7 for him to do a poo at school! He came out and told me all proud and I had to rush him into the supermarket to choose a chocolate bar grin

Can you set up a game where she is playing with a dolly/teddy and dolly/teddy is out and really needs the toilet and see what she does in that situation, don't push or prompt, just try and see what she does? It might help you get to the bottom of what's worrying her.

BertieBotts Fri 08-Jul-16 21:06:08

Should add - I think another reason not to penalise non-performance is that it's unfair if she genuinely doesn't need to go. Plus at 4 she will be unlikely to care about ipad time later - until later. But the promise of a big sweetie or a shopkin or whatever is highly motivating especially if she knows it's semi-immediate.

Might be worth leaving it to natural consequences as well. It's not very nice but if she tries to hold it in all day, sooner or later she will have an accident and then might realise that it's better to go to the toilet when she needs to go than have it happen like that. Obviously don't berate for any accidents but it is okay to matter-of-factly explain that it happened because she didn't take the chance to empty her bladder when she could have.

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