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waaaaaaaa I don't know where to start!!

(26 Posts)
GirlWithTheMouseyHair Fri 29-Jul-11 22:38:22

DS is 2.9 and has a sister on the way shortly after his 3rd Birthday. Would love to have him out of nappies before she arrives but waaaaaaaaa I don't want to potty train!!

But ok, I need to at least start somewhere - should I buy a book or something? Is there really one essential way of doing this? Think I'd rather try to do it intensively over a week and either get it done or give it a time frame and if he hasn't got it then leave it a bit longer - is this realistic?

We don't have a garden and live in a 2bed carpeted flat so accidents I am dreading, but we're due to stay with my mum for a week in August who has a massive garden and wooden floors (sneakily wishing I could just get her to do it!), he spends a lot of time there so I don't think the change in setting should disrupt him too much.

He's going into a proper bed next weekend and we're yet to get rid of the dummy (something else I want to do before baby comes) and am aware I need to try to do all this "grown up" stuff a decent amount of time before November, but is it all a bit much too soon?

For the record he's shown interest in using the toilet when his toddler friends are doing it, but will happily toddle around in a poo filled nappy for hours if I don't catch him. And will more often than not lie when I ask if he's done a poo. Does this mean he's not ready and I should just back off?

piprabbit Fri 29-Jul-11 22:42:20

I'd buy a potty (or two) first and leave them around the house.

Why not ask your mum to help? My mum was looking after my DD 3 days a week (while I was at work) and DD was potty trained by 18 months. DS (who is stuck with me now I'm a SAHM) on the other hand would rather sit in poo all day than talk to me about it and is 3yo.

PelvicFloorOfSteel Fri 29-Jul-11 22:43:34

Have you tried getting him to use the potty/toilet at all? When he's got his nappy off anyway (before or after a bath, maybe) see if he has any interest in having a sit down and if he can produce anything, big praise for any successes.

TheWolfpack Fri 29-Jul-11 22:44:11

My ds is 3.0 and still has a dummy and comforter, still drinks from a beaker with a spout etc.

I am doing potty at the moment and then moving onto big cups in a few months, dummy gone by the time he's 4.

If you do too much at once it will upset him, especially with the new baby coming.

There is a Gina Ford book called Potty Training in One Week - I am following it loosely, but it's good for a bit of guidance.


alarkaspree Fri 29-Jul-11 22:44:17

My approach to potty training is to give it a try for 3 days - if you see no improvement then forget about it and go back to nappies. I understand why you'd like to have him potty trained before the baby comes - having two in nappies is shit - but tbh your ds doesn't sound particularly ready to me.

You will find a lot of (conflicting!) advice on how to do it if you search on here.

TheWolfpack Fri 29-Jul-11 22:46:20

Oh, and we introduced the potty about a year ago, and he has used it on and off for a few months so he knew what to do when we said goodbye to the nappies!

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Fri 29-Jul-11 22:50:54

we've had the potty in the house for about a year (why, I don't know), have asked him on very infrequent occasions if he wants to use it but he never has, though as I say recently has started copying his friends when he sees them.

Think we'd rather go straight to the toilet anyway because maybe the whole potty thing is confusing him - his friends all use the toilet is no potty is available and of course we don't use a potty. He's pretty tall and when I've sat him on the loo he's been pretty stable.

I suppose I want to give it a go this summer and if he doesn;t get it, leave it til after the baby is born....

PelvicFloorOfSteel Fri 29-Jul-11 23:33:15

You'll get a lot of different opinions and I don't think there is any one right way to do it, the one thing I would recommend is avoiding combining potty training with a new baby. We did DS1 (who was then 2.10) when DS2 was 3 months and that was pretty bad, with a newborn I think it would be a nightmare. DS1 would immediately 'need' the potty when DS2 had just got settled in for a feed and I didn't have enough hands for holding a baby, wiping bum, carrying potty (less of an issue if going straight to loo), helping DS1 on to loo and clearing up accidents. If you do it now, and it works, there's a good chance your DS will be toileting pretty independently by November, which should leave you with a few more hands free.

If it helps this is what I did: Prior to starting I'd managed to get DS1 to do quite a few wees and poos on the potty just by getting him to sit on it at a time when it was fairly predictable he'd do something, loads of praise when he did perform. Then totally cold turkey on daytime nappies, it would have driven me crazy staying in and doing boot camp so we carried on going out to parks, outdoor activities and sympathetic friends houses, but with plenty of spare trousers. DS1 totally refused to do the sitting on the potty every half hour approach, he would only consider going near it when he actually needed to go and quite often not even then, so there were a lot of accidents. He pretty much grasped the idea after about a week but we still had a lot of too busy to go, too stubborn to go, deliberately trying to get attention away from DS2, etc.

I didn't want to return to nappies because he could do it when he wanted to, but we did have a lot of ups and downs and it didn't totally come together until about 5 weeks in (sorry this isn't the most encouraging tale). I did let it become a power struggle though so, if I can advise others to learn from my mistakes, stay relaxed. The getting attention away from DS2 thing didn't help either. When I relaxed and stopped asking about the potty all the time he got loads better at asking to use it.

We just ditched the night time nappies but let the decision come from DS1 (3.2) and that's gone really well. Generally potty training has made me feel more clueless and helpless than any other bit of parenting so far but we made it in the end.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Sat 30-Jul-11 09:11:49

so how do you know that they know when they need to go? I've heard about putting them on the potty when they're likely to have bowel movement etc but DS seems to one day do 3 poos then another day none at all, and never at the same point in the day!

Trying out the potty seems like a good idea then going totally cold turkey, then getting a portable potty so we can still get out of the house!!

p99gmb Sat 30-Jul-11 14:49:45

I've just gone cold turkey.. he's 2.4yo - but I'm lucky in that he's seen his sister using it (she's 3.2yo) and so he knew all about it...

day 6 today and so far 3 poo's in potty and he's told me when he needs a wee - we are only doing bare bums tho - even out this morning it was wellies and a long tshirt only (shock horror) - was only in the countryside tho

I'm amazed at how quickly it has all happened tho - this time last week I was thinking he'd never poo on the potty... and he doesn't even have a nappy on at bed time anymore - proper cold turkey - just a bare bum.. no poos in bed at all (yet!!) - a potty at the side of his bed and he gets up and uses it for a wee first thing... ok.. some wet sheets but I can cope with that, not trying to get him dry at night too (altho it all happened at same time with his sis who was only 2.6), its more a case of him not waiting for his bedtime nappy to poo.. it gives me a fighting chance during the day!

Bullet has to be bitten at some stage.. In doing this I have noticed when I think he needs to poo... made me more attentive and can now spot the signs...

Leave the potty around, get him to sit on the toilet (even with the seat down) whenever he goes into the bathroom - let him see you using the toilet.. bit by bit.. step by step...

Last night tho he did have a poo in the potty in his bedroom - just some poo escaped on the way to the potty and then I walked in.. and yuk.. straight into the poo on the carpet!!! Oh well.. gotta be done...

Good luck

tubsandedward Sat 30-Jul-11 15:21:21

My advice is to stop stressing over getting this sorted before the baby comes but to do it when he is ready instead, whenever that may be. You don't need any kind of book. No harm in trying while at your mums house though to see what happens. Bear in mind though that children can regress when a new sibling arrives so be prepared for that.
Fwiw, I have potty trained 3 kids and have had 2 in nappies on each occasion when a new one has arrived. Imho, it it easier to change a nappy on a toddler when dealing with a newborn as well, than it is to stress over taking them to the toilet just as you are settling down to feed the baby etc. They always seem to need to go when you are busy with the baby. More importantly to me, trying to get out and about with a newborn and a newly trained toddler is not easy and you can spend extraordinary amonts of time in public toilets!
I have just trained my 3rd at 3.1 and it was surprisingly easy because he was ready. He was much later to 'get it' than my 2 older DC's but they are all different arn't they? A little bit of practice at home for a while but then we actually tackled it while on holiday. Being all together as a family helped due to an extra pair of hands to watch the others. Had quite a few initial accidents but by the time we travelled home, he managed a 7-8 hour car journey with only one stop without any accidents. Had a piddle pad on the car seat though - just in case!

tubsandedward Sat 30-Jul-11 15:31:32

Just to add, you cannot train for night-time dryness. It is simple maturity and that cannot be controlled. The body eventually produces a hormone - cannot remember its name - which reduces urine production at night. All children will be different on that one, both my older DC's were approaching aged 4 before that happened. Hasn't happened with the 3 year old yet. This explains why, when I worked nights, I could go all night without needing the loo, yet would wake up several times during the day bursting!

HoneyPablo Sat 30-Jul-11 15:45:16

I don't normally recommend parenting books, but this is a very good book.
As a nursery nurse, I have potty trained dozens of children. My advice would be not to even try until they are ready.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Sat 30-Jul-11 16:04:57

Really appreciate the responses. How exactly do you know if they're ready?!

Biscuitsandtea Sat 30-Jul-11 16:56:36

Hi, just been lurking reading this thread (DS is 2.10 and not potty trained yet) and I would love to know how to know when they're ready!

What is it we're looking for?

PelvicFloorOfSteel Sat 30-Jul-11 19:31:49

I could tell when DS was likely to do a poo as he'd generally get really farty, pretty often he went after lunch and if he hadn't then pre-bathtime was a good bet, wees seemed to happen at those times too.

The signs of readiness that DS had were asking to have his nappy changed after a poo (often but not every time), being able to hold on to wee for hours and generally being unhappy about using nappies - what made life difficult was that although he didn't want a nappy he wasn't very keen on the potty or toilet either!

I think the only way you'll really know if they're ready is to try for a few days, if it looks like it's going well carry on and if it's not leave it a month or 2. I had read up on it and was all ready to do the sitting on the potty every half hour, extending the length of time approach but DS definitely had other ideas, he would only consider it when he needed to go (and mainly just slightly too late to begin with). After a few days he was doing an obvious wee-wee dance and clutching himself when he needed to go so I could escort him there just in time (mostly).

I do remember thinking all the 'how will I know if he's ready/ if he needs to go/ what happens now?' thoughts but somehow it all comes together. If it doesn't then you can always give it another go later.

tubsandedward Sat 30-Jul-11 22:23:09

They are ready when they can indicate to you that they have just done something in their nappy or are about to. Until they have awareness of their bodily functions then you might find it time consuming and very tedious. And possibly counter-productive as well, by stressing the child if it is too much for them. I honestly don't get why people spend time putting children on potties for periods of time trying to catch something in them. I would give it your best shot whilst staying with your mum because the environment sounds ideal for bare bum time and see what happens. If he gets it then great and if not then leave it a while. While I understand your need to organise as much as you can prior to the new baby's arrival, chill out a bit because everything will fall into place.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Sat 30-Jul-11 23:16:03

If I waint until he's say, 5 or 6, until he's literally BEGGING to be out of nappies, surely then it can just get done in a day and I don't even need to think about it wink

Biscuitsandtea Sun 31-Jul-11 07:15:39

I sometimes wonder if that's where we'll get to. Perhaps he'll make the change when starting secondary school..... hmm

HoneyPablo Sun 31-Jul-11 07:35:25

Some signs they are ready:-

- Dry nappies between changes, or you need to change them less often

- Child tells you they have done a wee/poo

- Child does a poo same time each day

-Child shows an interest in potty/toilet

If the child is ready you can do it in less than a week. Be prepared for accidents. I consider it an essential part of potty training. They need to make the connection between cause and effect.

Top tips

-Stay calm. It is developmental. They will get there.
-Accidents are an essential part of the process. Some children may have lots of accidents the first day.If they are still having 10 accidents a day after a week, then they are not ready.
-Be prepared for them to still poo in their pants or want a nappy on to do it. This is normal. Different muscles are involved, so it just takes practice.
-Never tell a child off for having accidents. They are not naughty, they are learning new skills.
-Use praise, stickers, rewards. Whatever you need to.
-At first, take them when you think they may need to go, mormally an hour after food or drink. But then allow them to learn to recognise when they need to go. Some children are so reliant on the adult taking them that they will wet themselves rather than take the initiative to go themselves.
-Be prepared for some regression. This is quite normal. They just get over-confident in their abilities to hold it in. They just need gentle reminders to go as soon as they realise they need to.

Good luck!

kipperandtiger Sun 31-Jul-11 14:33:43

Good tips from HoneyPablo, which I found useful too. I also found it hard to get DS interested in agreeing to try potty training at the ages when others/books said you should start. One thing could have been that DH broached the subject to DS, and wasn't encouraging about it, rather, made it sound like a chore or obligation. I let some time pass and then offered a reward chart with stickers just for practising sitting down on the potty without taking off the nappy or having to do a wee or poo. This made him more comfortable with the concept of sitting down to do it rather than having to master it all at once. He got to choose which sticker to go on next, which made it like a fun game. You could do the same with a toilet if you are skipping the use of a potty.

kipperandtiger Sun 31-Jul-11 14:40:40

PS the Gina Ford book does set out some good tasks to follow, but I always seem to find her time schedules off putting - if your child is very cooperative, the time schedules work and are straightforward (that said, if your child is very cooperative, the time schedules - "do this by day 3, do that by 12.30pm!" - are probably less necessary!). Also if you have a child like mine who has very definite ideas about what he can and wants to do - mastering speech and the computer at an astonishingly young age, master walking and self feeding at a depressingly late age (!) - you can feel it's failed. This other book provides some counterbalance (that said, they have their opinions too - "we definitely think chocolate rewards are better for boys than stickers"!!)

seeker Sun 31-Jul-11 14:47:36

They are readynwhen they say "I don't want to wear nappies any more" and you say "OK - here are some pants and there is the loo" Honestly, it's not with a moment's stress.

And , honestly, trying to potty train,bout him in a bed and get rid of the dummy all in 3 months when he's about to have all the upheaval of a sibling is a recipe for disaster. Pick the most important one- maybe the bed thing if you need the cot for the baby and forget the other ones.

kipperandtiger Sun 31-Jul-11 15:00:09

P.S. OP - don't try to get him to do too much at once- 1) new bed, 2) no more dummy, 3) potty training, 4) adjusting to new baby. You're right, it definitely would be lot just before November. I'd actually say the new bed can be done, and if he gets to pick the designs on some new bed linen, I think he'd take to it very well. (My DS got to choose his own bed from the ones we had "shortlisted" as well his bedlinen so he couldn't WAIT to get into it!) He might be able to give up the dummy too, if he is very keen on his new bed. Because they still have accidents at this age, esp after appearing to have mastered it, it may be less hard work for you to do potty training after the baby is born and you've established a sort of routine for baby and gotten used to having two children around you. Even 3 and a bit is not really that late - if you have a sympathetic nursery or school lined up for him. Also, don't be surprised to see some regression with regards to the potty training or dummy use after baby is born as it is a bit of a shock to the system for any small child to have a baby sibling for the first time, no matter how supportive their parents and relatives are, or how well adjusted the child is.

If you can get your mum or friend who lives close by to be supportive in the potty training - eg when you go on regular visits to their home (just a week's stay isn't going to be enough), they are encouraging (without being overbearing) about the potty use (can even leave a potty in their home - the cheaper the better), don't mind the odd accident on their floor, might even offer the use of their washing machine for the wet/soiled clothes while you are there, etc. then it would really help you and your son.

With regards the poos that don't follow any pattern, aim to just put him on the potty frequently and praise whatever comes (Gina Ford assumes that the poo will always be the same time every day too, but it's not like that in real life!) - if you are putting him on the potty regularly at first, you should get the poo anyway. (Cor - even adults aren't that regular, let alone kids!) I disagree with Ford when she advises against pull ups (she assumes everyone lives in a house with garden and non-carpeted living rooms!....and the odd au pair or housekeeper!) - if your home is all carpeted, and there is no outdoor patio or garden to use for potty training, having multiple accidents on the carpet can get very expensive to clean. Pull ups have been invaluable for lots of friends who live in flats and have busy lives (can't stay in all week just to potty train) - and yet the children master using the toilet and staying continent!

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Sun 31-Jul-11 23:09:19

thanks so much for all this....I agree it might all be a bit much and I'm expecting regression when the baby comes, we also have the potential now of maybe moving abroad in the new year so poor DS won't know what's hit him!

We're doing the bed next week because we've been given one and have to pick it up next weekend and have nowhere to store it if it isn't used. I'll give it a while before attempting potty training, I think the dummy is the least of my worries as he only has it for sleeping anyway (hmm, we've been a bit lax recently and let him have it when he asks for it if he's in his buggy too but going back to be being more strict about that)

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