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Potty training - how do you get them to ask???

(17 Posts)
cazzzz Wed 30-Apr-03 14:32:12

Hello - this is my first message on this site - I'd be really grateful for some help: I started potty training my 2y1m son a fortnight ago. He has done very well: I am catching nearly all the wees by sticking him on the potty / toilet about every 45 mins. He performs instantly. Praise and chocolate are given .. we have even had a couple of poos. BUT he hardly ever ASKS to go (3 times in the last fortnight) and if I miss my 45 min time slot he wees in his pants. He will tell me he's been but seems fairly unconcerned. So how do you get them to ask??? I feel like I'm permanently watching the clock! Many thanks, Cazzzz

SoupDragon Wed 30-Apr-03 14:39:32

I think 2y1m is quite young to expect them to ask. Obviously some children will be able to - I know DS2 wouldn't DS1 didn't get the hang of it until 2y10m.

It kind of sounds that he's not quite ready. If he'll understand rewards then try rewarding him for asking instead of you being "lucky" with the potty if you see what I mean. With DS1 we started to move the goalposts, changing from rewarding him for using the potty on to asking and then to going a whole day with no accidents etc.

Good luck! (and welcome )

cazzzz Wed 30-Apr-03 14:47:06

Thanks for the speedy reply and friendly welcome Soupdragon - rewards for asking are a good suggestion. I'm off to wake him from his daytime sleep now - so I'll give it a try this afternoon! Any other suggestions are welcome ...

Bozza Wed 30-Apr-03 16:04:02

A bit of solidarity cazzzz because I am in a similar situation. DS is 2y2m and we have been training for maybe a little longer and DS is just getting the hang of asking. He doesn't need to go as often as yours - maybe two hourly. He only just about says "wee" or "poo" (and not necessarily the right one but who cares)in time. But I have noticed an improvement over the last few days.

My problem is that he is OK at home or visiting my friends/family but hopeless at nursery/mums and tots. Its to do with being too busy, not wanting to miss out on play I think. Yesterday he had 3 accidents and no successes at nursery (there 8 til 5.30) but then a wee and subsequently a poo, both of which he asked for by 6.30. Can't think what to do but persevere, but feel a bit guilty to nursery staff.

expatkat Wed 30-Apr-03 16:11:17

DS, nearly 3.5, has only just started asking _reliably_, though he's been fully trained for a long time now. I encouraged it along by including 'asks to use the toilet' as one of the categories on his star chart.

SoupDragon is right: 2y1m is rather young. The whole toilet training thing, start to finish, can be a long process. But it sounds like you and your ds are doing great. Keep it up.

Bozza Wed 30-Apr-03 16:29:31

Thats what I think expatkat. I'm still amazed when he performs. And he looks so grown-up in his little pants.

Personally I think DS is too young for a star chart and would imagine the same applies to your DS cazzzz. So its just a case of persevering really.

Jimjams Wed 30-Apr-03 16:32:59

I've been trying this as well with my soon to be 4 year old. ( he can't speak but he has other ways of asking). he was doing quite well until Monday night. He would tell me when he had been. He went at 8pm - and took his nappy straight off. i told him he had to tell me and do wees in the toilet. So he refused to go for 40 hours!!!! I had to take him to the dr this morning. And now I don't know what to do. Just a warning about trying too hard I guess.

He has gone three times this afternoon (huge wees) but hasn't told me any of the times. Usually he drops his nappy and says Mmdan (toilet). I think it's psychological. How did he hold on for 40 hours?

cazzzz Wed 30-Apr-03 20:31:14

Thanks for all the messages, tips and encouragement guys ... I've just finished the bedtime routine so have immediately logged on again! I followed up on Soupdragon's suggestion of rewarding the 'asking' - basically I told my son to ask and when he repeated "Toilet Please" back to me I then immediately rewarded him with a smartie and a trip to the loo! He seems very cheery about this easy method of getting chocolate - so hopefully he'll clue up to asking without my prompting.
Thanks for the solidarity Bozza - it's interesting that your starting at around 2yrs as well - I am very confused about this... all the books and my Mum say start between 18m and 2yr, but the majority of people seem to do it now around 2yr 9m + ... what are your thoughts on that? I'm wondering if it's the difference between training a puppy by 'conditioning' (2yr) and teaching a mentally able person 'a trick' (2yr 9m+)... what does everyone think?
Many many thanks again!!

cazzzz Wed 30-Apr-03 20:42:10

Sorry me again - realised I haven't really given any feed back on anyone's points - hopeless! So... Bozza - don't worry about the nursery staff - they'll have done it a million times before! Suggestions for Mums and Tots... bribery with chocolate? Use the Tommee Tippee travel potty? ("Special Potty"!! - My son quite likes setting his up and if we're on grass at the park I don't put a bag in it - just let him pee on the daisies!)Take you own mini loo seat? I think loads of prompting will be required in these settings.
ExpatKat - thanks for the encouragement - I shall keep it up at the moment - I don't mind if it's a long process just as long as there's a light at the end of the tunnel! The star chart sounds good but I think we're still at the stage where 'hard rewards' are required - unfortunately for his teeth!
Jimjams - good luck with your son's training too - 40 hours does sound extreme: did he drink during that time? Are you sure there's not a sneaky wee in your airing cupboard of somewhere? Good luck!

SoupDragon Wed 30-Apr-03 20:54:59

When I tried to train DS1 at 2.5, he was utterly clueless. Didn't get it at all really. When I tried again 4 months later, he got it within days and was also clean and dry at night about 6 months later. I suspect, had I sat him on the potty every 45 minutes I would have had success earlier but I doubt he would have been *reliably* clean and dry any sooner. And I would have been driven mad by the clock watching and too scared to leave the house!

It's generally quicker and easier to train an older child and they'll probably end up being reliably clean and dry at much the same time they would if you'd started earlier. I guess you know your own child so do your own thing!

cazzzz Wed 30-Apr-03 21:09:39

Thanks Soupdragon - your last line is something that's particularly on my mind ... pointless clock watching for the next 7 months is a frightening thought. I think I run out of steam on that front in the next week or so if we don't keep progressing - fingers crossed!

chatee Wed 30-Apr-03 21:11:09

in january dd got up and said no nappies big girls knickers, so we tried and after 4 days of being in the house we were finally getting there with only one accident on the fifth day(dd was then 2.5 months)On the 6th day dd got chicken pox and that was the end of that-very poorly girlie and just couldn't cope with staying awake never mind anything else, but we did change from nappies to pull ups.When she was better we changed her routine-Every morning we put her straight on the potty, again after breakfast, lunch, dinner etc but as she shown no interest didn't push it.
Feb 17th she started pre-school(me staying with her as she has cerebral palsy and can not stand/walk unaided)the children there are toileted twice during the session(9-12.45)and she was treated the same but wearing pull ups(she wasn't bothered if they were wet as like nappies they are so good and she couldn't feel it)
During the first few days of the easter hols she got knickers from her bedroom and told me she wanted to wear them-so off we went again,a couple of accidents the first few days and we decided to persevere-we toilet her every 75 mins at the moment and it's working but today she has excelled herself twice and actually asked for the toilet....yippee i'm now going to the "proud thread" to carry on and tell you where she was when she asked!!

Jimjams Wed 30-Apr-03 21:11:27

cazzz 40 hours is ridiculous. There is definitely no sneaky wee as I was with him the whole time yesterday afternoon. I think the paediatrician thought the same- but my GP described me as a "reliable witness" which was nice. My friend's autitic daughter went 48 hours without weeing. As she says our kids are weird.

The doctor did think he may have been dribbling a little as when he examined him he was leaking urine (not surprised).

Anyway he has weed over half a litre in 4 hours this afternoon. Strange boy. I'm resting from potty training for the rest of the week.

SoupDragon Wed 30-Apr-03 21:12:55

Having trained DS1, I realise how convenient nappies are

DS2 will answer "poo" if I know he has a dirty nappy and I ask what's in there. Only, I suspect, because he knows it's the right answer though. My heart leapt when he came and told me without asking a month ago - it's not happened since so I don't think he's ready for training yet!

Don't give up yet though.

Jane101 Thu 01-May-03 15:48:11

cazzzz, my ds is 2 +4months and I haven't started yet - I'm dreading it slightly. You said all the books say between 18months and 2, but the ones I've read don't - they say it all depends on the child and you should wait until he is ready. Experts never agree do they?

Anyway, ds is showing some signs of being interested in toilets and nappy contents, so I suppose I'll have to start soon. But really, I don't understand the rush. It seems to be far less hassle to have a child in nappies, than to have to keep rushing to the loo. I'm hoping the longer I leave it, the easier it'll be.

expatkat Thu 01-May-03 16:00:14


just want to clarify that 2yrs or even before is a perfectly reasonable time to start potty training (that's when I did), but that it often isn't until say 2yrs9mos (a lot earlier for some, later for others) that the whole process is finished. And the asking bit can come even later, as some of us have expressed. And you're right, at his age the immediate rewards work best.

Bozza Thu 01-May-03 16:46:02

Cazzzz thanks for the reply about nursery etc. I'm just soft really but its only 3 days a week and they've only had one poo accident in two weeks (I think he saves it for the potty at home) so it could be a lot worse. That he can do that shows he has a reasonable amount of control. This Monday was the first time at Mums and Tots so there's time for things to improve.

I did try him before at about 1.11 when he moved up rooms in nursery (toileting facilities more available) but gave up. I know what you mean about the books though, Toddler Taming says that most children will be dry in the day by age 2 for instance but DS seems younger than most of his peers except one that was trained at 18 months.

We're planning on going out for the day on Monday so wish us luck.

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