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Potty training: how to stop them 'holding it all in'

(6 Posts)
CookieMonster2 Thu 18-Sep-08 13:05:46

I started potty training my daughter at the start of the week. All the signs were there that she was ready. She would tell us when she was doing something in her nappy, and she was sometimes refusing to wear nappies saying she wanted to wear pants instead. She also managed to do something on her potty on a couple of occasions whilst still in nappies. The trouble is, she has now realised what wearing pants really means. The first couple of days we had loads of accidents, as expected. We didn't make a fuss or say that she had done anything wrong so she knows there isn't a problem with that. However, now she is managing to hold it all in for hours at a time and it looks as though she is causing herself pain in doing so. She knows that all she has to do is hang on until bedtime and she gets a nappy.
Is this normal behaviour? How long do we let this continue for before we give in and go back to nappies?
Any advice will be really welcome.

NellyTheElephant Mon 22-Sep-08 11:44:00

I had a similar problem with DD1. The only advice I can give you is to give her loads of drinks - maybe even things you wouldn't normally give her on a regular basis, e.g. lots of ribena / fruit shuits or loads of juice that she loves / chocolate milk. It's only a temporary thing (so don't panic about unhealthy / teeth!). If she's anything like my DD1 she'll drink the lot and then physically be unable to hold it in. I was unable to make DD1 learn until she started to have accidents (which initially she NEVER did - just held on until lunch time nap or bedtime when nappy went on). She potty trained in no time once she realised what was expected.

If it's any consolation I now have a similar thing with DD2. I'm not really trying to potty train her properly yet as only 19 months, but I wanted to get her into the swing of it, so for the last few days when at home I don't put a nappy on. She occasionally has done a pee in potty but mainly surprises me with her amazing ability not to wee. This morning she's been pottering around the house with no nappy for 4 hours now, in that time she's had her morning milk, a large cup of diluted juice, a cup of ribena and half a cup of chocolate milk - how is it possible for her not to wee??? She's not distressed. I'm not trying to make her sit on the potty (although it's in the room). She's playing with the potty (keeps taking all her toys over in turn and saying 'wee wee' then holding them over potty and saying 'pssssssss'). Oh well, no doubt she'll wee on the floor any minute!!

CookieMonster2 Mon 22-Sep-08 12:01:28

Thanks for the advice!
I had given up on this thread. Its amazing how quickly things change though, and she only managed holding it all in for a couple of days before she decided she wouldn't worry too much about accidents. We have now had a couple of days without any accidents at all so I am feeling very pleased as we have gone from wearing nappies to having no accidents during the day in a week. At the start of last week I would never have thought it was possible so hopefully this will encourage other people.

Sue28A Mon 22-Sep-08 15:00:32

I am having similar problems with my 21 month old daughter. I have just joined Mumsnet to seek help on this topic alone as I just don't know what to do!
She clearly has amazing control as she will go from 8am to lunchtime (when she gets a nappy for sleeping) and then go all afternoon until about 8pm when she is clearly desperate but just won't let it out. She flings herself yelling across the floor and is desperate to get in the bath as she knows she can get away with it there but just refuses to sit down on the potty and do it. I wonder whether she doesn't actually know how to let it out but then she does manage to do it in the bath or as soon as she has a nappy on so I wonder whether I should persist.

This has been going on for about a month now and she has only done a wee in the potty 4 times and most of those ocassions were 3 weeks ago when she would still sit on a potty and seemed most surprised that soemthing came out! We have also had only 3 accidents as she will just hang on to the point which I can't hang on myself!

I have tried giving her drinks but she refuses to open her mouth as if she knows what I'm trying.

I don't know what to do anymore. She is at Nursery in the mornings and doesn't need to be potty trained for this so should I just leave it for a few months or is she just being stubborn and I just need to grit my teeth and get on with it?!

Any advice welcome!

CookieMonster2 Mon 22-Sep-08 15:36:30

Sue, maybe you need to take a break and then try again in a couple of months.
We found that letting her watch other people used the potty really helped. Sounds a bit odd, I know, but she does see other people use it at nursery and she had a friend round last week who uses it and now she says she is like him. I think that really helped. As did the offer of stickers if she managed to get anything in the potty.

Sue28A Mon 22-Sep-08 19:12:29

Thanks for the advice. I think you are probably right - I'm more than happy to take a break now although no sign of her getting interested in the other kids using toilet at nursery but is still early days.

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