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Seemed ready to potty train, but new baby and pre-school imminent

(10 Posts)
Brynn Fri 01-Jul-11 21:48:14

DS is 2.10 and I'm expecting DD mid-July.

DS used the potty on his own, unprompted, just over a month ago, and was almost completely dry in pants for a week afterwards. I was just beginning to think I was going to get lucky with PT, but after that brief dry period, suddenly the motivation was gone. It was as if he no longer saw the point in the potty and toilet.

I'd ask him in the morning if he wanted to wear big boy pants, and his response was always, "no, I want a baby nappy". I didn't want to force the PT, so I just let him be in his pull-ups, and continued to ask every few days if he wanted pants instead. It's been over a month now and so far the answer is always the same: "no, I want a baby nappy".

DS is going to be dealing with a lot of changes in the near future as it is, so my instincts are telling me I should not push PT (e.g. making him go "cold turkey without nappies" as some have suggested to me), until he's used to living with the new baby and settled in pre-school (starts in September) for a couple of months. This means he could be at least 3.2 before I start trying to incentivise him to PT again.

My main worry is that I read there is an ideal window for training, which if missed can make training more challenging: apparently it can become harder to motivate the child to use the potty when they realise nappies are much more convenient. I'm a bit worried I've already missed that window, although DS's preference for nappies does seem like it could be connected to the baby due in July. I know it's common for PT kids to regress after a new sibling arrives, so perhaps DS is just expressing anxiety in advance?

So, what would you do? Try harder to motivate DS now to PT, given that he's demonstrated he is capable? Or leave it until he is older and has had time to adapt to a new baby and a pre-school? If I leave it, should I stop mentioning wearing big-boy pants altogether, or continue to ask him now and then in case he suddenly has a change of heart?

Thanks for any input, and sorry for long post - I am crap at short summaries!

Firawla Tue 05-Jul-11 00:46:27

Is there anything you can use for an incentive to make him keener on the idea of pants and not nappies? my ds was the same saying he would rather have a nappy but I bribed him with thomas engines and it worked pretty well (just gave him one engine per day for wearing pants instead of nappies), it seems as though he has the ability just lacking the motivation, so something along those lines could be worth a try atleast? and if he did not respond to that then I guess just leave it, but it sounds to me like he can do it. Do they not have to be toilet trained to go in the preschool? if not then he might want pants once he goes anyway and sees the other children not having nappies, so wanting to fit in

Fifis25StottieCakes Tue 05-Jul-11 00:59:55


I took all my 3 dd's nappies away at around 2/2.5 at the start of the summer.

get a mattress protector and bed mats with a summer quilt or fleece blanket
let him choose his own underware/potty in the shop
let him chuck his 'baby nappies out as they stink' and put the 'big boys' pants on, make it a game
one of mine prefered the potty step and using the toilet/let him go in with dad and pee together.
Its always esiier when the weathers hot.
Dont make a big deal out of accidents
Constantly watch for crotch holding
Lift them onto the toilet asleep when you got to bed later on.

Good Luck grin

Fifis25StottieCakes Tue 05-Jul-11 01:00:53

Ive got girls but my friend who has boys and she used to put a cork in the toilet to aim at

girlywhirly Tue 05-Jul-11 09:27:17

I think the relapse was as a result of the new baby becoming much more of a reality to DS and he is showing typical regression and wanting to wear nappies like a baby. He has probably heard a lot of conversations between adults about the baby and is feeling as though he will be pushed out when it is here.

I would help DS boost his morale by letting him help you with preparations for the baby, and after baby is born, help bath and change, choose something for the baby to wear, fetch things for you. Tell anyone who will listen what a wonderful big brother he is, so helpful and you couldn't manage without him, etc. Make him feel proud. Also make sure he gets some special one to one time with just you, without the baby, every day.

You could try this: when you change the baby, hold him/her over a potty and suggest that DS could sit on his. He may be willing to do this, so as not to be outdone by a baby! And also not to feel as if the baby gets away with nappies, why can't he?

juneau Thu 07-Jul-11 18:01:55

My DS didn't potty train until he was 3.6 as I decided to wait until he wanted to do it. Yes, I'm lazy, but he was totally unmotivated before that - in fact he was very against it and I couldn't be arsed with months of him wetting and pooing himself so I just left it. When he trained it took just five days. However, he's now witholding poo, so I can't claim it's been perfect. Dr has him on twice-daily Lactulose to get things moving, but he's afraid to poo and I'm really losing my patience as I am fairly sure it's attention seeking (I have an 8-week-old as well). But don't get hung up on your DS's age. Some kids are ready earlier than others and if he's not ready you'll only make yourself more work by forcing it.

ClareyLou78 Thu 07-Jul-11 22:53:42

Our DD1 is 34mths old and we're on our third attempt at PT. I tried to do it before DD2 arrived ten weeks ago, but I (foolishly!) stopped because she was not instigating. I now realise she just needed more of an incentive! Day one this time around she did two wees and a poo unprompted on the potty and only had two wet accidents (one of which I'm pretty sure was on purpose as she was cross about something...). Day two and we have had no unprompted visits to the potty, in the same situation as before, and four accidents. I came in the room at one point and she was singing 'wee,wee' and splashing around in a puddle!! I just think she can't be bothered. What kind of incentives are an acceptable form of bribary and corruption do you think???

Brynn Fri 08-Jul-11 10:25:50

Thanks for the advice all.

@girlywhirly I've suspected DS might be reacting a little bit in response to all the adult conversation he hears about the baby. Sometimes even when DS doesn't look like he is paying attention (busy playing with toys), his head will suddenly pop up and he'll repeat something we've just said that interested him. It's hard to avoid the subject at this stage! Even when we go to the park, friendly strangers will comment (my belly is HUGE) and try to engage with DS about whether he's excited etc. His usual response is to go selectively deaf, or just talk to them about buses instead lol.

@firawla, fifi thanks, some new ideas for motivating DS, it's worth a try

@juneau yes, I had previously tried PT with DS when he was younger, but he didn't seem interested then and was still weeing quite frequently. I also decided that I'd be happy to wait until DS showed an interest, since when DS is interested in something he's MUCH easier to teach (listens attentively, doesn't protest or make battles etc). Pity when he did show an interest it was so short lived!

@Clarey it's difficult isn't it? Especially when the DC doesn't seem at all impressed with the idea of being a Big Girl or Big Boy! In fact, DS usually tells me off when I try to encourage him to be a big boy... "I'm NOT a big boy. I'm a LITTLE BOY" lol. I confess I've tried bribery a bit already, but not very successfully. Chocolate buttons failed, coins to put in his money box failed, stickers failed, character pants failed etc. I'm thinking of trying a reward chart next, but haven't had much luck with them in the past for other things.

Brynn Fri 08-Jul-11 10:34:13

Oh forgot to add @firawla, his pre-school doesn't require the children to be potty trained, so no pressure from that point of view fortunately.

ClareyLou78 Sat 09-Jul-11 14:05:27

Well... it's day four now and things are looking up!

We woke up on day three (bearing in mind we have gone cold turkey - just pull-ups for sleeps) and I said that if her (gorgeous Lola) pants were still clean and dry after lunch, she could have a present. Guess what? 3 self-instigated wees in the pottyand no accidents. Me and DH have also been squealing "I need the loo!!!" everytime we need to go! She was so pleased with her new juice cup, that she drank solidly for the rest of the day, giving her lots of opportunities to use the potty. Only one accident in the afternoon - I think she couldn't be bothered and was challenging what would happen. We just say, never mind, lets clean you up and we'll try and get the next one in the potty.

Today, day 4, we've just got back from a nice pub lunch - first proper trip out whilst PT, and today she's done 5 self-instigated wees including using the pub toilet and holding one for 10 mins whilst we walked home!

Sorry to gloat, but I'm SOOO pleased and I want everyone else to have faith because I nearly lost the will to live on day 2!

Only issue now is, even though she sits on the loo before brushing her teeth every night, the last three nights she's done a poo straight after going to sleep. She self-instigated a poo on day 1, so I know she can do it. I've promised her another present next time she does a poo on the potty... we'll see!

Bribary seems to work, and she's even lost all interest in the smarties she was getting for every trip to the potty, although I'm still giving them a few times a day cos I think she's so clever!! =D

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