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Help... no improvement with potty end of tether..

(37 Posts)
aloha Mon 24-Jan-05 17:51:16

Just lost it with ds. He is now three and five months and WILL NOT tell me when he is doing a poo. In fact, he deliberately waits until I am out of the room and then does it in his nappy. It is driving me insane, frankly. I have just turned of Cbeebies and thrown his new Ikea snake toy in the bin because I told him that I would if he didn't tell me he was pooing. I have been patient, I have been encouraging. We have a 'talk' about this subject every bl** day. He told me that he didn't tell me he needed a poo 'because I was too busy playing'. I am having another baby in two weeks and there is no sign of ANY improvement.... I don't expect him to take his own trousers/pullups off - he can't even take his own socks off - I just want him to tell me! And as for weeing...forget it. Can anyone help? Would so like to see some progress here and feel utterly frustrated and exhausted.

bakedpotato Mon 24-Jan-05 17:56:42

oh aloha, don't despair.
is there ANY pattern to when he does a poo? ie, does he usually do one shortly after breakfast or tea, for eg?

aloha Mon 24-Jan-05 17:58:48

Sadly, very little pattern so it's impossible to just think - oh, it's 8am - I'll put him on the potty/loo. He just did one while I was making h his tea and Something Special was on. No warning. Aaaaargh. Just feel incredibly frustrated.

bakedpotato Mon 24-Jan-05 18:05:27

but you're sure he knows when he's doing one?

aloha Mon 24-Jan-05 18:20:41

The fact that he waits until dh or I are out of the room makes me think he does.

bakedpotato Mon 24-Jan-05 18:56:03

hmm, tricky. probably not going to be much help but at least this will bump the issue for you.
why are you so definite that weeing on potty is going to be a harder haul for him? DD 'got' that quite a long time before pooing and i think that's commonly the case. have you tried sticking him on potty/loo at regular intervals to 'catch' a wee, ie after meals/before trips? then he familiarises himself with the sensation and gradually gets to grips with the mechanism.

aloha Mon 24-Jan-05 18:59:43

I suppose because pooing is a/more infrequent and b/more revolting to clean up...also because I thought the sensation would be harder to miss. I seem to have had potties in the house FOREVER. And he will just wee on the floor given half a chance. I really didn't think I'd have two in nappies with nearly a three and a half year age gap and feel very gloomy about it indeed.

MUD Mon 24-Jan-05 19:09:39

Personally I think you need to take a break and forget all about potty training

... have the baby and get over the first couple of months

you really don't need the stress right now

Also as it gets warmer (say around April) just take a week (DD still won't be moving by then), strip of DS and just encourage him to use the potty then ..

in the meantime start teaching him to take off and put on pants and trousers

and buy him some superhero pants too .. call them big boy pants .. and tell him he can wear them when he's ready

I think you know you've got yourself into a stressed out cycle that really isn't conducive to cracking this

oh and wees do tend to be first IME

lockets Mon 24-Jan-05 19:11:17

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LIZS Mon 24-Jan-05 19:13:34

Am I rememebering correctly that you think he may be dyspraxic. Reason I ask is that one of the things ds' former teacher identified as an issue was his failure to anticipate his toileting needs, resulting in occasional accidents, more so than she would have expected at his age (then 5 1/2-6). He had trained sufficiently at 2 3/4 to go through morning nursery sessions with only one accident in 5 months, but then relapsed when we moved and with the arrival of dd so that from around 3 - 3 3/4 we had many accidents. I wonder if that may also be an issue for your ds, in which case you may be fighting a battle not worth the energy - especially with a new baby due - as his brain may simply not be interpreting the physical messages yet.

Amanda3266 Mon 24-Jan-05 19:22:39

Hi aloha,

This sounds so stressful for you and your DS. I really liked the advice given by MUD. I'd agree with it - it might just be worth easing the pressure off for a few weeks and then trying again. He might be getting stressed and nervous about it all especially if it's being talked about every day, hence the waiting until you are out of the room before he goes. Boys do tend to be a bit slower with potty training.
Chances are that any improvement you get now will be undone by the arrival of his rival.
There is some good advice on the "Babyworld" website too which I think is at

Hope that helps a little bit


aloha Mon 24-Jan-05 20:22:08

Oh, it's just so depressing, changing disgusting nappies, his being the only child at nursery (in his class) who is in nappies and the staff looking really shocked (couldn't even take up his free pre-school place if I wanted to because he's not potty trained) plus having to lift him loads (eg to get into car) and having to spend half an hour of coaching just to get him to take his socks off (and even then not always succeeding)... sometimes my energy levels and my patience hit rock bottom at the same time. Add to that poo stains that will NOT come out of the newly and expensively cleaned carpets.... So, so, so frustrated. It's the fact that he invariably waits until he is alone to poo that makes me think he DOES know, but doesn't want to say. Also he said, "I was too busy playing" which I'm not proud to say made me see red. Yes, he has tentatively been diagnosed as dyspraxic and is due to see another paediatrician about it. It's the fact that I can't see any kind of end to it that I find particularly depressing. Yes, I know it's the not the worst thing in the world, and it's hardly the tsunami, but when you are hugely pregnant it does get you down...hormones, eh? I'd better retrieve the Ikea snake from the bin. I spend 7pounds on it today and it can go to a charity shop.

Vixxie Mon 24-Jan-05 20:29:19

Hello aloha,

This is really rough - we had similar probs with our DD. For us - what eventually worked was a hot sunny two weeks when I could leave DD naked and just lay in wait with a potty. That coupled with lots of rewards finally did the trick.
It's hard I know but hang in there


PS: Don't give away his new Ikea snake it really won't make any difference.

foxinsocks Mon 24-Jan-05 20:43:58

oh aloha, I do have sympathy. I have a 3 yr 2 month old ds who was VERY hard to train. Even now, we still get loads of accidents.

First of all, I think you'll have to give it up before it becomes a battle of wills. You never know, the sight of the baby in nappies may well inspire him to become a 'big boy'.

Secondly, the whole poo issue - many children have a problem with 'letting go' of their poos. My ds, for the first 2 months of potty training, pooed in his pants and he always hid or went to another room to do it. I was at my absolute wits end wondering how I would EVER get him to poo out of his pants. Eventually, I managed to get him to poo in the potty and just recently, he has attempted a few in the loo but it took months rather than days.

I don't know what it is about some boys and potty training. Dd was literally trained in a week so it's not like I hadn't done it before! I know it's frustrating. I was almost in tears a few times. In the end, I bought packets of cheap underwear (from Asda, Primark) for him so that when he pooed his pants, I just chucked them away.

Good luck - having 2 in nappies isn't as bad as you think (you'd just be having to take change of clothes everywhere instead anyway!).

Lorax Mon 24-Jan-05 20:45:15

aloha, had exactly the same with our DS - at 3yr 3/4 months, always took himself off to do it in anothe room, but equally didn't seem to care about walking round with poop filled pants/nappies. Timing-wise, coincided with second DS crawling/walking (and so getting lots of attention) and us preparing for a big move....Maybe a big look at me thing? however much you are doing now, at that age they want more (+ more, + more, +..). Ended up doing a lot of what's already been advised here (big boy pants, rewards, charts + gold stars etc) plus lots of special kit (toilet seat, step etc) - did emerge that he hated potty (potty = baby - toddler logic!!) but scared of falling into grown up toilet. Huge step forward also when DH started 'man to man' chats about "delights of pooing" - not a conversation that would have come easily to me!! Leave it for a while and come back post birth - you really don't need the stress right now

SoupDragon Mon 24-Jan-05 20:51:01

Aloha, I'd give up for now. Even if you do crack it, there is a chance it will all go pear shaped when the baby arrives.

When it's time to try again, go cold turkey into pants and grit your teeth. Tesco Value pants are great - at 75p for 2 you can throw away the dirty ones.

Also, IIRC, they are not allowed to exclude children from preschool on the basis of nappy wearing as it is discrimination.

SoupDragon Mon 24-Jan-05 20:51:54

Oh, and pooing wa the last bit to click with DS2. He'd grasped weeing but I was on the verge of giving up and going back to pullups when he got the hang of poo.

misdee Mon 24-Jan-05 20:52:45

dd2 wasnt toilet trained till 3.5years old. and even then it took months before she would poo on the toilet.

i'd leave it for now. try again in the summer.

SoupDragon Mon 24-Jan-05 20:53:17

<<note to self: think before finishing a post>>

And having him in nappies when the new baby is little will be so much more convenient given that children always wait until you're busy to should "I need the toilet".

Deep breath, think calm thoughts..

Yurtgirl Mon 24-Jan-05 21:28:47

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batters Mon 24-Jan-05 21:32:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Yurtgirl Mon 24-Jan-05 21:39:04

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colditzmum Mon 24-Jan-05 21:41:42

Can't you just keep his snake until he HAS done a poo in the potty? It could really hurt his feelings if you throw out his new toy because he didn't tell you he needed to poo.

Really, really feel for you by the way.....

aloha Mon 24-Jan-05 22:04:06

Ikea snake in washing machine. Still feeling really fed up about it...but thank you for all your messages. The pre-school woman was adamant that no child in nappies could have a place, and tbh I was so upset at having this said to me after trying to explain about his needing a small amount of extra help due to dyspraxia that I couldn't talk about it further with her. A child over three in nappies just seems to be a total no-no in nursery - I feel like screaming 'It's not my fault!" at them. I have to admit I am finding the nappy changing more and more revolting as time goes on - and I wish I could understand why he's not improving.... but there you are. My logical mind says you are all right and I do have to wait, but there's another part saying 'OMG, how much longer?" - he has pooed on the potty and the toilet on rare occasions and seems pleased when he has, but it has never moved on from this. He doesn't seem afraid of either, or of pooing generally, so I can't puzzle it out. Tbh, I'm not sure he understands it either.

SofiaAmes Mon 24-Jan-05 22:30:35

oh you poor thing. You sound so unlike yourself....remember the old aloha (pre pregnancy) who celebrated how different her son was? The wonderfully dreamy unique quality of your ds is not something that happens just in parts of his life and behavior. And who on earth said that you have to toilet train your child by the time they are 3 or 4 or else you are a failure as a mother and they are a failure as a child? Once you are no longer pregnant and hormonal, changing his nappies won't seem so awful and changing two won't be much worse than one. I know that you know this (in your less pregnant, more lucid moments), but every child has to do things at their own pace. Some kids learn to read at 2 (like your ds I seem to remember) and some kids learn to pee at two (like my ds...who on the other hand still can't recognize more than a few letters at 4). If the nursery is trying to make you feel guilty for your child being different and special, then find a new nursery that appreciates him for what he is! He is a lovely boy and you are an amazing mother and both of you deserve better.

Personally I am a firm believer in making potty training a positive game (wee aiming and poo counting/measuring are big activities in my home) and never ever punishing a child for having accidents...I think it creates hangups.

Also, both of mine got the weeing down way before the pooing. In fact my dd who has been toilet trained for 6 months now, still tells me she want to do a wee when in fact it's really a poo that comes out.

Best of luck.

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