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arghhh! how long can this go on? (extended potty training support thread)

(150 Posts)
babymutha Sat 30-Jul-11 22:51:15

OH KAY.......
I know that DD WILL LEARN TO GO TO THE TOILET at some point before her 18th birthday. But at the moment she's 3 and a half and I am washing out up to 6 pairs of poo encrusted pants and leggings a day some days. It's been over a year of potty training and it's just NOT GOOD.
I've tried all the recommended "stuff", but now my 'inner mother' is telling me to just be PATIENT. When she's ready she'll be ready and this is just her way.
So Please... come share your months/years of unspoken angst. Let us band together in an ongoing struggle for liberation from our offsprings' collective excretions and gain solace in knowing that NOT EVERY CHILD POTTY TRAINS IN A WEEK (or a month, or a year........)

babymutha Sun 31-Jul-11 12:54:15

just me then? That's ok. I'll just support myself. Today we waited in all morning trying to get DD to drink water. Then she pooed. In the loo. Halleluia. Small victories. Now she's gone out with her dad so I can have a day of NOT washing out dirty pants justforachange. Although I'm sure DH will pop them all in a little plastic bag for me to wash out when he comes home....

alittlebitshy Sun 31-Jul-11 13:25:21

Is she fine on wees?
My ds (just 3) is 6 day into potty training and it is not going as well as i had hoped. my dd who is now 8 was dry by now BUT did the poo in pants thing for 2 further months...

babymutha Wed 03-Aug-11 22:02:12

Better on wees - but that took about a year...

sleepdeprivedby2 Mon 08-Aug-11 13:52:30

No, rest assured it's not just you there are plenty of us out here!

My DD is 4.7 and we are still potty training, so it's more like potty training in 135 weeks encounting.

Each child is different, my DD just doesn't see the point in going to the toilet until she is absoluely desperate and sometimes if she is too busy then not at all!

She can poo faster than I can wee (thankfully most of the number 2's make it to the toilet!) and she sees no point to going for a 'tactical' wee when we are out and toilets are scarce, because she doesn't need it.

We have just started potty training her younger brother and I am hoping for a smoother ride this time (<80 weeks maybe grin) but with DD as a role model I am not holding my breath.

marshkat Mon 08-Aug-11 21:03:21

we have had major issues with potty training. my 4 year old is still pooing pants after 2 and a bit years of trying everything, we have even seen a behaviorist. who suggested a marble jar! we brought a large jar and big bag of marbles, if he goes all day with NO accidents then he gets 2 marbles to play with then pop in his jar, when jar is full/half full he is aloud a treat with the family, eg going to his favorite expensive indoor play area! it has got better but still not 100% im hoping school might have the answer, roll on September!!!!

soupmaker Tue 09-Aug-11 09:52:15

Hello ladies, you are so not alone. DD insisted she wanted to wear pants at almost 3, and we have been training for 8 months. Not good is an understatement, it drives me insane. This has been the hardest bit of parenting for me and has driven me to shouting, screaming, and tears, and that is just me. She has at last got poo's sorted, but I spent months flicking poo's out of pants. She has spells of almost getting it and then it all just goes backwards. We've had a horrid summer, I had a mc and we lost a good friend all in the same fortnight, and I think the latest round of weeing in pants constantly is connected to all the stress we have had. This morning, before I left for work, she had wet pants. AAAAAAAGGGGGHHHH. I think it is becoming a game now. We tried pull ups for a week and she was great in them, but complained they were uncomfortable, so we went back to pants and she immediately wet them, WTF. She hasn't even been asking to go the past week and had 5 changes of clothing at nursery yesterday. I am considering just leaving her in wet clothes this weekend - that is the one thing we haven't tried. I'm sick off constantly trying postive enforcement, treat withdrawl and being left wet might be the only answer. All I get is "she's maybe not ready yet", well that is bollocks, she can do it when she wants to. Even had her at our GP to see if she had a UTI at one point, but no, just a lazy wee minx. I think she does it to spite me! I know that the only answer is to relax, not care, and just keep washing, washing, washing, but its so hard when you are knackered, sad and just want a night off from doing yet another bloody washing. Rant over, onwards and upwards.

Piccalilli2 Thu 11-Aug-11 08:49:03

Dd2, who is 3.4 and has been training for months, wet her pants 4 times and pooed twice at nursery yesterday. I am at my wits end with it, we've tried everything. We saw the doctor who said we just have to keep trying, nothing to worry about for another 6-9 months. I should be relieved there's nothing medically wrong, in fact I feel like crying at the prospect of another 6 months of this.

WipsGlitter Fri 12-Aug-11 19:46:02

I embrace you fellow poo encrusted mums. DS1 is great with the wees but we have real issues with the poos. Have tried stickers, sweets, lots of praise, promise of a big present and laculose. We have had some minor success but four "smudges" today - not full poos. In the end I put a nappy on him and he went it that. He starts nursery in September and is supposed to be fully potty trained, I am so stressed. I've been shouting when he poos in his pants which I am sure is not a good idea. Am going to print out the pooland book tomorrow...

Graham1 Sun 14-Aug-11 19:52:44

Don't know whether to be cheered up or depressed by what I'm reading! At least I'm not the only one, but none of you have the definitive answer that'd make things easier... After 4 months DD1 is mostly there with wees, but has only ever managed 1 poo in the toilet. Praise, bribery and fancy knickers haven't achieved anything; nor have television bans or showing irritation/disappointment. Also she doesn't seem to evacuate fully more than once every couple of days - prefers to let out a little at a time 6 or 7 times a day.
Advice from doc & nurse just to carry on.
Getting very fed up.

babybythesea Mon 15-Aug-11 20:07:47

Can I admit to being mightily cheered by this??
I have been told by SOOOO many people that poos are easy for them to master, wees are hard. I was resigned to the fact that my child is weird, having mastered wees and not poos.
Everyone else I know seems to have had no problems - I asked one friend who said 'I don't know really - my dd just seemed to train herself.'
I've only being trying a week so I wasn't expecting instant results but was worried because my dd can actually do wees in the right places, but not poos. I thought this was odd and so did a few others I spoke to. So I posted a new thread on here and then decided to explore the board a bit more.
And now I wish I'd read this first because we are not the only ones wandering round with a bottle of carpet cleaner and dettol, trying to wash the poo out of every pair of knickers and trousers she wears, or the carpets if shes gone free range!
Please god let this not go on for a year or more though....

katiepotatie Tue 16-Aug-11 21:35:12

Thank god it's not just me...DD 4.5 is still having accidents all the time. She is just to distracted to go, or doesn't want to stop what she is doing. She doesn't care either if she's wet! (on Saturday she just squatted and peed through her clothes in the park shock) Poo's are another kettle of fish though as she has been withholding those since she was 18 months old! I'm terrified she'll be doing the same another year down the line when starting P1

fairylouise Fri 07-Oct-11 10:13:38


Have any of you had success?

My DS was 3 in June. We started training in May. Wees are fine. He does it himself standing up. Brilliant.

HOWEVER poos are like you have described. 4,5 ,6 pairs of poo encrusted pants a day! He always does it standing up and will try to take himself away to hide if he can. He can do it super quick so I only have to go to pick up the phone from the other room and he'll have done it. Normally quite small ones too and then lots of them!

Apart from one right at the start of potty training and about 5 times where we have managed to convince him to push the rest of it out when he has started in his pants - he has not pooed on the toliet or potty.

The poo often happens quite soon after a wee but not always.

We always keep him in pants except for night time and swimming (We can't be that family with the child who poos in the pool!!!) If we are going out then we still stick with pant - I just have a bag full of pants, wipes and bags with us at all times!

We have tried stickers, reward charts, chocolate, getting cross, being understanding, giving no attention except to change.
He has a lego set that he will get if he does a poo on the potty - he knows exactly what itis for and when he will get it - he'll tell you all about it - but it makes no difference. It has been sitting there for nearly a month.

It is no different at nursery. The first thing he tells me when I pick him up from nursery is that he has done a poo in his pants (5 yesterday to be precse!) Nursery are very understanding and supportive though.

I had the health visitor round a week ago. She sugested the following things - in case any of you find them helpful.

1) Not to let him poo in any room but a toilet - so if we catch him pooing we escort him to the loo and tell him that we don't poo in the lounge, we olnly poo in the toilet. MUmmy and Daddy use the bathroom - that kind of thing.

The problem with this is as soon as you catch him he stops! But we are trying.

2) If we get him on the loo when he needs a poo to get him to blow bubbles! Apparently they cannot hold it in if they are blowing bubbles!

We just can't get him on the loo when he actually needs to go! Yet! We will eventually!

3) Use the 'Poo goes to Pooland' booklet.

He loves this story - he recites along with it, he says things like - I do it just like Ollie, he talks about it. However when it comes to him on the toilet and his poo he tells me his poo is fine!

4)Make the toilet a positive space with his books and toys in there.

Harry won't sit on the toilet for any length of time to read.

5)Make him part of clearing up. Get him to pull down his pants, put them into soak, tell him he is a big boy who should be using the toilet and so if he poos he has o help.

He occasionally is annoyed by this but most of the time now just views this as part of the whole routine!!!

He says all of the right things, tells us what we want to hear and then just poos in his pants again!!!!

I have shouted, cried, screamed, sared despairingly into the distance, googled the topic to within an inch of my life, blamed myself, broken down in front of friends and felt acutely embarrased in front of people - especially at nursery when I leave with all our carrier bags!

Can anyone help? Are any of you having any luck?


Dontpanic Fri 07-Oct-11 13:00:09

Thank the stars, I'm not alone! DS is 3 1/2 & only potty trained in the early summer. He had a few accidents but was mainly fairly good at going on the potty when he needed to.
Then end of August, he had a bit of a tummy bug & since then, any time he needs a poo, he'll actually go out of the room he's in, shut the door so noone can see him & poo in his pants. If you catch him while he's in action, so to speak, he'll flat out deny it. But will happily say after a day at nursery if he's done a poo in his pants.

We were on a holiday in Sept for 2 weeks & every time he went to the swimming pool, a poo happened. Most of the time he had swim nappy on, so it was contained, but of course, he wouldn't tell us & that cold water dispersed the smell a lot! shock Only once he went without the swim nappy since he'd already had his poo for the day, but no, he produced another one.

He started full time nursery last week & has had maybe 2-3 days without incident. He's fully aware that he gets a bribe reward for coming home in the same clothes he was wearing in the morning & that he should do a poo in the toilet, not in his pants or on the floor or in there or over there or etc etc. Then goes ahead and does it anyway.

He isn't constipated, it isn't hurting him when it comes out & he isn't holding on to it, in fact his reward scheme is so exciting to him, he nearly gave himself a hernia the other night trying to force one out that wasn't there.

Thanks for the tips fairylouise, will have look for that booklet.

thelittlebluepills Sun 09-Oct-11 13:36:22

Oh thank goodness - I really needed this thread. DS2 is 3.5 and we've had 5 unsuccessful attempts at potty training - on 6th go at the moment.

He will sit on the potty or the loo but nothing happens - for the first day he has accidents which we reward with lots of praise for having done a wee and say "oo next time if you get it in the potty you can have an extra big sticker"
by end of Day 1 he is holding onto the wee - for hours. we are now 6hrs into day 2 and he hasn't done a single wee despite lots of fluids. if he goes over 8hrs he starts getting alot of pain and risks UTIs - he had a circumcision a few months ago which has made no difference whatsoever (although needed doing for other medical reasons) when i discussed the weeing issue with the urologist he said not to let him go over 6 hours without weeing as he could overstretch and damage his bladder. When I spoke to the health visitors they said we are doing everything right and can't offer any more advice hmm

where do we go from here?? at this rate he will be going to school in nappies next september. Ive just had to put him back in nappies now - and I'm that close to tears. sad

is there any specialist support out there when the HV can't help??

FairyArmadillo Sun 09-Oct-11 14:22:10

My DS is also 3.5 and this is our second attempt. I'm trying to resist the urge to go and buy some pull ups and give up again. I would pay someone to do this for me if I could.

bran Sun 09-Oct-11 14:30:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bran Sun 09-Oct-11 14:33:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Brynn Sun 09-Oct-11 21:32:49

I gave up recently after about 3-4 months of potty training fail. Started when DS was 2.7, and initially had a lot of success, but then he just lost interest.

Where do I get one of those kids that decide they don't like nappies anymore and want to wear grown up pants? Seems like everyone else I know has one... envy

If DS wanted to be dry and clean, I'm fairly sure he would be. He runs off to hide when he needs a poo, then is quite happy to say nothing and carry on playing with a dirty nappy (or pants). If I didn't insist (and quite often physically drag him screaming and protesting into the bathroom to get him clean) he would gladly wander about all day with pee-soaked trousers and a pooy arse! angry

babymutha Mon 17-Oct-11 21:10:24

The joy of my DD is that she CAN when she wants to but mostly..... she just doesn't want to. She doesn't poo at pre-school only with me or DH. She is holding it in for 4 or 5 DAYS (OHHH MY DAAYS!) until biology gets the better of her and little bits start to make a bid for freedom (which she denies emphatically despite the obvious SMELL). The child is full of fibre (she eats a lot of fruit) and she is NOT, REPEAT NOT constipated - this is just sheer force of will and sphincter muscles of STEEL. She is going to be an AMAZINGLY determined person when she's grown and I will be VERY VERY proud of her and not mention this VERY INTERESTING phase in her young life to a soul......... oh no I'm not... no that would be wrong. I am going off to chant for patience and good humour and wash out some more pants. smile SO pleased to know it's not just us.... bless you

babymutha Mon 17-Oct-11 21:18:58

oh yes and on the wee front at our neighbours 20th wedding anniversary she crawled under the table yelling "I want to go home" during the speeches (when it was otherwise quiet) then emptied her bladder all over the floor. She didn't tell us and lay there screaming and soaking it up with her party dress. She also managed a small poo at the same time.
When she's not doing this stuff she's an absolute delight to be around. Honest.

DitaVonCheese Tue 18-Oct-11 17:10:14

Oh god, just found this thread after starting my own suggesting electric shocks. Not sure whether to be glad I've found others going through this or overwhelmingly dismayed over how long it might last. Veering towards the latter at the moment, sadly <sobs>

fairylouise Tue 25-Oct-11 18:24:55

We had the health visitor around again last week and still no joy. SHe said she didn't know what else to suggest. sad
I ma throughly miserable. We are away on holiday with some friends this week and it is awfully embarrasing and things are just still going terribly.
Anyone got any solutions for me?!?!?!

WombOnTheBroom Wed 26-Oct-11 09:57:19

Hiya all. Also at my wits end... DS is 3.2 and started training 3 months ago (at his behest). Wees are pretty good - very occasional accidents but oh my god, the poos! Glad it's not just me who gets so depressed at cleaning another pair of poo-encrusted pants. I can take sleepless nights, teething, vaccinations and separation anxiety in my stride but persuading a 3 year old not to poo himself is beyond me. We thought we'd cracked it about a three weeks ago when two poos went in the loo in a row. Not one since.

<<chants: this too shall pass, this too shall pass...>>

Fairylouise I'm trying the pooland book today with DS. Thanks for the tip off. Have you thought about using pull ups or training pants for the week away? I know you're not 'meant to' but I'm not sure the people advocating that have ever had to deal with a squishy poo in the middle of a coffee shop/supermarket. Or do your friends have young, toilet-trained children that might act as positive reinforcers?

Normaprice Thu 27-Oct-11 19:04:28

Can I join in!
Just put a pull up on ds (3 in August) as whilst I was cooking dinner weed three times in different parts of the house announcing it each time with glee. We have been trying since the beginning of the summer and occasionally I think we are making progress but then I realise we haven't really got anywhere at all. He comes home from nursery with at least 4 sets of dirty/wet clothes and they say he is doing really well and not to give up - I'd like to see what doing badly was! Any way - I've read quite a lot of this thread which has made me realise I'm not alone - what I'm not sure about is whether I should give up and try again in a few months or to keep going as sometimes (occasionally) he does ask to go on the potty and stays dry for an hour or two. My main concern about doing giving up is he will be going to school in September and I didn't want to leave it too late. I also think he knows exactly what he is doing and it is attention seeking or similar. Any help/advise/commiserations welcome.

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