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3 yr old DS v resistant to potty training, please HELP!

(10 Posts)
lulupop Thu 09-Dec-04 22:19:56

DS has just turned 3. Over the summer when he was 2.5 I tried to introduce the idea of potty training in anticipation of his start at nursery in Sept (not a requirement but I felt it would have been nice). It seemed then he didn't have any urge control so I left it.

More recently I've been trying again. A couple of months ago I set aside a few days. I got a great potty (DS is quite a sturdy boy and Mothercare's potties left his bits poking over the top!) and all the other toilet seat bits etc. Kept asking him if he wanted to go and we had quite a few wees on the potty/toilet. No poos. I gave lavish praise for the successes we had.

But that's as far as it's got. Basically, if I put him in pants, he will wee on the potty if I remind him constantly, but still has never once told me he needs to go of his own volition. Added to that, the main issue is he seems to have a real mental block about pooing on the potty/toilet. I have offered all sorts of rewards, talked to him about his friends who poo on the toilet, and so on. If I ask him to try at the time I know he needs to poo, he just says no, and if I press him, he becomes agitated and will only say "I can't".

I don't know what to do as I know he has the control for potty training, but it's obvious he has some sort of "issue" with pooing. He always goes to the same place to do a poo (in nappy), but if I ask him ot try the potty instead, he'll hold it until he's back in a nappy.

I've just left it the last few days as i don't want to build it up in his mind, but at the same time I'm starting to feel I'm never going to get him out of nappies. He doesn't mind being left in dirty or wet pants, so although I've tried that for 20 mins or so after an "accident", it has no effect. I feel like I've tried everything and just don't know what to do next.

Has anyone else had this sort of difficulty?

WigWamBam Thu 09-Dec-04 22:40:43

My dd is 3.5 and has been dry in the day for nearly a year, but has the same issues with pooing on the toilet as your ds so I can't offer any advice - just reassurance that you're not alone. We have literally tried everything, getting cross about it, using sticker charts and incentives, ignoring it, refusing to let her have a nappy - and nothing works. At the moment we've been ignoring it for three or four months, and letting her have a nappy for a poo, which she does at a regular time and in a particular place.

I have posted about this a couple of times and some very nice MNers came up with quite a few suggestions - I'll see if I can find the threads and post some links.

WigWamBam Thu 09-Dec-04 22:41:49

Here's the first one.

WigWamBam Thu 09-Dec-04 22:43:20

And this is the more recent one.

You might find some of the advice here helps you.

bluemoon Sun 12-Dec-04 12:50:25

My dd's 26 months now and a few weeks ago I tried potty training her as she seemed very keen and was getting increasingly fed up with wearing a wet / dirty nappy. She was like your Ds in that she'd use the potty readily when I asked her to but wasn't any good at knowing when she needed to go with enough time to get there on her own. She did poo on the potty but it tended to be if I managed to get her to it at the crucial moment. As a result I worked out that psychologically she was ready but physiologically she wasn't. As your Ds is older I would continue to persue it.

Now, one embarrassing thing I did in the beginning with dd, because she pooed but didn't wee on the potty, well, I did a wee on her potty to show her, just a little one. And it worked a treat! I'm not suggesting you do a poo on your Ds's potty but do you take him with you to the toilet? I know some people might find it too private but with my dd, being totally open and demonstrative helped. And she won't remember it in 5 years... I hope ...

cazzybabs Sun 12-Dec-04 12:59:19

The thing that I found worked best (I am sorry if I a suggesting you suck eggs!) is to try for the 1st week with him with no pants or nappies on and fpr the 1st few days remind him and then see if he will go by himself. I have a daughter and they are supposed to be easier, but I found when I tried simply swoping her nappy to pants she got confused - it was much easier when she was bare-bottomed. She has been potty trainned since august and we are still have pooing issues, but we are getting there. She also seems to forget she needs to go when she is busy playing. I just keep remining her to tell me when she needs to go.

lulupop Mon 27-Dec-04 08:45:10

Thanks for those links, WWB, and good suggestion from Cazzybabs about keeping them bare bottomed for a bit. I did suspect that might be a bit of an issue, so that;s what we're doing at the moment. Shame it's so cold! But he's a hardy little lad.

Thing is, though, I keep asking him if he needs a wee and he says No, but then 2 minutes later he's done one on the floor. Now, do I really need to spend every second of every day in front of him until he gets the idea? Because although I'd been prepared to stay at home for a few days while we cracked it, I do need to leave the room to put the washing on, answer the front door, etc.

He did a poo while still in his night time nappy this morning and we talked about how all his friends do theirs on the toilet, and he just said "Not me, I can't do a poo on the toilet".

What's wrong with him? He's very quick to do what all his friends do in every other area of life.

lulupop Thu 30-Dec-04 11:42:11

Just thought I'd update on our progress: today is day 4 with no nappies, and yesterday he managed 2 wees and one poo on the potty, on his own, unprompted. I realise this hardly sounds earth shattering to anyone else, but it felt like such a breakthrough - up to then he's only been weeing, and then only after saying he didn't need to go at all and being forced.

I think what;s helped is having no clothing at all on his bottom half - wearing pants seemed to confise things. But now he's started going on his own, how do I move on to him wearing pants and trousers but still going on potty? Any hints? He's back to nursery a week yesterday and I'd really love it if he could be fully out on nappies by then.

ItllBeLonelymumThisChristmas Thu 30-Dec-04 11:54:34

This sounds like my boys when they were potty trained. I had to force them to sit on the potty and bribe them with chocolate every time they performed. Also, I remember keeping their bottom halves bare helped.
It sounds like you have cracked it. I found mine never reverted to nappies once they had got over the first hurdle of using the potty and they soon got used to wearing clothes and using the loo too. Even the chocolate bribery didn't go on for long. They just seemed to adapt to the whole process and I was amazed how soon it seemed as though they had been potty trained forever. That is not to say they didn't have occasional accidents though....

cupcakes Thu 30-Dec-04 12:07:20

Are the Nursery happy to change wet/dirty pants? If so I would send him in pants - being in their care instead of yours may be the final thing to establish his dryness.
My ds took over a year to be clean - he just never seemed to recognise the feeling of needing to go. My final success came when he started to collect Shrek2 stickers and I gave him one for a wee on the loo and 2 for a poo! However, in retrospect I can see that this wouldn't have worked at any time previously it was just that he had come to the point of being able to do it himself. This also coincided with me 'giving up' and not being so involved with it - the constantly asking if he needed to go, the exasperation etc. It's very hard to stand back but sometimes it may be what's needed - to a certain extent I believe he enjoyed the attention he got from it, even when I scolded him.
BTW, he was 4 when he finally stopped pooing in his pants...

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