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Does this mean he's not ready to potty train?

(11 Posts)
Lovage Wed 03-Jun-09 21:26:25

DS is nearly 3 (2 months to go). We haven't pushed potty training so far, due to a combination of laziness, imminent new baby last summer, and hoping that it'll be easier if we leave it longer. And because he's very strong minded and we've had a huge battle about sleep and we really didn't want to make this into a battle too. Also because he never told us before or after he went. We've had a potty knocking around the bathroom for ages, but he never wanted to sit on it and we've stopped asking him.

So these last few hot days I've been doing nappy off time in the garden. I've brought the potty outside and said we're playing a game where we're trying to catch a pee in the potty. To begin with he looked a bit wary (he's extremely independent minded and can be contrary) but later he seemed to get into the idea of it as a fun game. Both days he's peed twice without apparently being aware that it's about to happen. Sometimes I saw it happening and tried to get the potty under it (failed) and sometimes he's told me afterwards. I've just said 'oh well, we'll try again next time' and he's seemed fine with that.

Is is likely that a child this age is not aware when he's about to go? Any suggestions for how to proceed? He's not the sort of child you can get to sit on the potty every half hour until they produce. I'm not keen on bribing/rewarding tactics, and he doesn't respond very well to them anyway. Praise and getting him to see that it benefits him work much better. But I can't really see how it does benefit him, TBH. The old 'big boys' line is beginning to sound a bit tired and emotionally loaded because we use it so much about sleeping in his own bed all night long, so I don't really want to use if for this too.

There's no real deadline, although his nursery and pre-school would like him to be trained by the time he's 3, and I need the nappies (cloth) for the baby who's growing out of the size 1 ones.

crokky Wed 03-Jun-09 21:36:08

I trained DS at about 2.7 - only thing I would say is at this age, I think you should go for the approach where you just remove the nappy (permanently) and don't put it back on. I think it is confusing to go in the garden without a nappy and then have one on inside. Just my opinion - it took us 3 weeks and he suddenly got it and suddenly was very reliable as well! During those 3 weeks, we didn't put a nappy on him in the day at all. It was just a question of sticking at it for us, but it worked very well.

EffiePerine Wed 03-Jun-09 21:37:23

DS1 is very stubborn as well and we've just started potty training seriously (he's 2.8). I tried the 'waiting till he's ready' and pull-ups, but when asked if he wanted to go on the potty he said 'NO' very firmly. So I decided on the boot-camp approach, stuck him in pants and had a day in the garden and got him to sit on the potty by being v matter of fact about it: 'time to sit on the potty DS1', obv with much praise and attention when he DID wee in it. We're on day 4 now, he's decided that he wants to sit on the loo rather than the potty (am not arguing grin) but is still pooing in his pants (sigh).

Anyway, asking doesn't cut it with DS1, nor did talk about being a big boy and all that. Fireman Sam pants did, as did letting him wee in his pants then changing them. By day 3 he was weeing on demand when sat on the potty/loo. He still won't ask to use the loo, but I think we're getting there.

Why not try ditching the nappies for a few days and see what happens? He may surprise you.

BTW I did read somewhere that one way of telling boys are physically ready is if they climb stairs 'properly' i.e. one foot on alternate steps. I noticed DS1 has just started to do this.

crokky Wed 03-Jun-09 21:37:50

btw there were lots of accidents on the carpet - day 1 - everything was on the carpet.

What I did was at the start of the day as soon as he wakes up, whip the night nappy off and give him a big drink immediately - then chase him around waiting for the inevitable wee. I did it with a baby in tow so I do understand that it is hard chasing a toddler about to wee on the carpet.

EffiePerine Wed 03-Jun-09 21:39:22

(for the wees on the carpet, I found a mixture of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle pretty effective. That was when DS1 got annoyed at being told 6am was too early for breakfast and went downstairs to wee on the carpet hmm).

thisisyesterday Wed 03-Jun-09 21:45:49

lovage- i think when they're really ready it should be totally possible to toilet train a child in under a week.
let him take his time and I am sure he'll do it just fine.

i think it's absolutely fine for him not to be potty trained at his age, and I also believe that trying to potty train a reluctant child is bound to fail (or at the very least cause you both a lot of grief)

have you tried just asking if he wants to use the toilet though? ds1 HATED the potty and never, ever used it. he was fine on the toilet though

cookielove Wed 03-Jun-09 21:51:32

i can't offer a parent point of view but i can offer the view of a nursery nurse who works in a potty training room,

what we tend to do with the children who are begining to train, is sit them on the potty at nappy changing times and also if the request to, and when the parents are ready to take the plunge we put them into pants, no pull ups as we feel they are to similar to nappys and most children need to feel the wetness to link to training.

what i would suggest is, to wait till you think he is completly ready to train as putting him back in napppies can be very confusing and upseting for children and set you back even further.

When children 'perform' they basically get a parade of excitement from all the staff even the other children join in with lots of clapping and smiles, and cuddles, we continue this the first 5 or so times and we also reward them with the special potty training stickers, and as they become more confident and trained we just start giving less,(stickers e.t.c) but still always a good girl or boy or a well done e.t.c

And also when they first start training we take to the potty alot, alot, alot, alot, depending on the child every 30 minutes ish maybe longer

i hope this helps

plimple Wed 03-Jun-09 21:58:14

My plan that is working so far is long and many staged. Phase one = every evening after dinner with a drink sit on pot for 20 mins with tv or whatever else will keep still for 20 mins. Once you catch a wee lots of claps and high fives. Once that's working well bring the pot upstairs so that a wee can be done between bath and bed nappy. In our house this time involves a lot of naked running about so a wee didn't happen a lot, but after a few accidents she started to sit of her own accord. Eventually the sitting on the pot became a few more times in the day e.g. after breakfast and lunch. It took months of getting her comfy to sit on the pot to get to the stage where I now trust her to choose when to sit. She turned 2 on Saturday and my aim is to get her totally potty trained by October when the new baby comes.
My DD has always been happy sitting on the pot though and I started at Christmas hoping to be ready for October so this has worked for us. A boy my sister looks after decided when he was 3 to not use a nappy and used a pot without a single accident having never previously shown any interest in sitting on a pot.
I look after a boy whose Mum went "cold turkey" in terms of no nappies at 2 1/2 and I'm pleased it's his last day tomorrow as he has no idea when he's peeing and although I can time the "just after a drink ones" on the pot, there are always a couple that don't follow this rule that go on my carpet. I am not happy about this so will be outside or on the pot all day tomorrow.
Basically then from my experience you just do what suits you and it'll all work out in the end!!
Hopefully!!!

EffiePerine Wed 03-Jun-09 22:09:31

on the 'don't confuse him' front, I decided on the day we'd start trinig properly and then didn;t mention the potty at all for a few days previously. I think they have pretty short memories at this age grin

cookielove Wed 03-Jun-09 22:12:15

i think your right they do have very short memory at this kind of age, but if i think if you try and potty train for a couple of weeks and then change your mind for whatever reason, that is where it becomes confusing for a child, and upsetting, unfortuantly i've seen it happen quite alot

Lovage Thu 04-Jun-09 21:45:17

Thanks all, really thought provoking responses. Not sure what I'm going to do though, as it's all so mixed up with general parenting style and philosophies. Also I am still getting woken every 2-3 hours all night long by the baby (and once a night by the toddler), so feeling very daunted about trying to do anything at all difficult when I'm so tired and run down. But it would be good to get it sorted before I finish Mat Leave in August. Hmmm

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