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DS aged 3 has never told me he needs a wee - does this mean he's not ready?

(32 Posts)
KKKKaty Fri 26-Oct-12 13:51:42

I've tried to potty train my just-3-year old DS on and off for a while. He will go to the toilet if you tell him he's going and take him, but he has never once said that he needs a wee and asked to go to the loo. If I ask him if he needs to go he always says no, and often will then wet himself a short period of time later.

Do I have to go through a stage of this i.e. taking him rather than asking him and waiting for him to make the connection between wanting to go and wet pants, or is he not yet ready?

I am of the opinion that there's no point putting him in underpants and then training myself to take him to the loo every hour or so. Unless he knows he needs to go and at least makes an attempt to get to the loo to wee then I don't see the point in trying yet. Am I right?

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Fri 26-Oct-12 13:54:32

With ds1 we put him in underpants at about 2.5 and I had to escort him to the toilet every hour or so.

Just to try and wee.

Big reward when he did. He picked it up in no time.

I still ask him before we leave for school if he needs a wee, he says no. I say, go and try, and sure enough he has a wee!!

He's 6 next week!

Good luck!

KKKKaty Fri 26-Oct-12 14:04:36

Thanks for your reply. So you do think we need to go through a stage of lots of accidents and us making him go? I know even with older children who have been trained you often have to remind them to go, and that's OK, but they don't wet themselves all the time as well!

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Fri 26-Oct-12 14:21:57

Honestly, I don't think he wet himself half a dozen times.

I don't think (though I don't know) they learn to know when to go until they get used to the sensations of everything iyswim.

And we taught ds1 to wee standing up 'like daddy'-very novel for a two year old wink

He quickly picked up he got a reward if he wee'd, so after a few days he would offer to go for a wee.

Try it, and just be really blasé about it (to him) and fuss him when he does wee. Play it by eat and see how he gets on.

Ds1 really surprised me.

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Fri 26-Oct-12 14:22:31

Ear-not eat confused

SamSmalaidh Fri 26-Oct-12 14:24:44

I think some children do train themselves if you wait long enough (or at least I have read about them on here!) but most kids you do need to take the lead at first - put them in pants, remind them to go frequently, until they get the hang of it.

noblegiraffe Fri 26-Oct-12 14:40:01

My DS trained at about 2.9. He was showing utterly no signs or interest but we needed to sort him to start pre-school.

The first morning we put him in pants (explaining that he's a big boy etc) he had wet an entire packet of pants in the first couple of hours. We put him on the potty every half hour and after catching a couple of wees (major celebrations) he started to get the idea. 2nd day we put him on every hour, a couple of accidents. Then since then, hardly any. We continued to put him on regularly for another few days, spacing it out. Now we only put him on before we go out. I can't remember when he started asking to go but it didn't take that long, he didn't want wet pants!

KKKKaty Fri 26-Oct-12 16:03:50

Well, OK, perhaps I will try for a bit longer then. I did try for about two and half days a couple of months back, and every time I took him he did a wee and I gave him praise, but I felt i was just training myself to remember to take him! He just seems surprised whenever he ends up with wet pants.

SamSmalaidh Fri 26-Oct-12 19:28:33

You definitely need to stick at it longer than 2.5 days - most people seem to find they need a week staying mostly at home to crack it.

ConstantCraving Fri 26-Oct-12 21:04:47

Hi Katy, I've been trying a potty training week with DD, just 3 years. Day one lots of accidents, day two huge success (3 wees in the potty!), since then not one single wee in the potty / loo and she seems oblivious still to when she needs to go. I remind her, encourage her to sit on potty and praise her for that, she will do nothing and then 2 mins later whilst playing she will wee! Think she might not be ready, despite being 3, but think i'll have to carry on as she loves her pants and even loves washing them!

KKKKaty Fri 26-Oct-12 22:13:34

Thanks everyone.

Constant, I am in the same boat. I can keep the accidents to maybe three a day by taking him regularly to the loo, but that seems kind of beside the point. He seems oblivious too. We had two poos in pants today as well, which is rather grim.

Would anyone in my position try and leave it longer before trying again, or should I just keep persevering and put up with the accidents? I really can't face staying in for a whole week, not least because he's a little horror when he doesn't get his exercise and tends to take it out on his poor little brother.

IWillOnlyEatBeans Fri 26-Oct-12 22:20:55

It took DS about 2-3 weeks of potty training before he started telling me he needed to wee (although he was dry from day 3!) I just popped him on the potty/loo whenever the opportunity arose (I'm pregnant so am weeing all the time myself, so no great hardship there). He only wees 3 times per day generally.

Your DS been weeing wherever and whenever he wants for the past three years!! Give him a chance to get used to a different way of doing things smile

ConstantCraving Sat 27-Oct-12 21:20:29

Katy not sure what to advise as am dithering myself. DD won't even wee on the potty or loo now - and has started not wanting to even sit on it. I don't want her to start getting negative about the whole thing so think i'll give her the choice of nappy or pants tomorrow - if she goes for nappy I'm going to wait another month or so, preferably til she really wants to do it, and then try again.

Tweetinat Sun 28-Oct-12 07:49:58

We potty trained DS 1 week before he turned 3. He had previously been very resistant to the idea of potty/toilet and would get very anxious if we tried to make him so we decided to take it very easy and let him take the lead. We told him about the 'potty fairy' (dummy fairy worked a charm in this house) and that she would come when she felt he was ready.

We were quite happy with the way things were but preschool suggested we just give it a go as he'd been watching the other kids have their pre-snack wee so we sent him off with a bag of pants and trousers. He was very upset initially at not having his nappy but a bit of TV distraction and he didn't realise it was gone. Anyway, we're now three weeks in and we've not had one accident - wee or poo. The preschool sat him on the potty every 10 mins or so but we've just waited for him to tell us and he always does 'feel wee wee coming' so we've not done the whole 'train ourselves to remind him' you're worried about. We also just did the whole standing up thing which for us was much better than potty/sitting.

Tweetinat Sun 28-Oct-12 07:54:47

Just to make clear, we used TV as distraction when we first put the pants on, not the preschool!!

Also like Constants DD he was very distressed about the the whole thing and wouldn't go near a potty/toilet. We also tried asking 'pants/nappy' today and he would always say nappies, even for the first few days after starting pants. Now however, he says he doesn't want nappies at night which we're not ready for!

If the preschool hadn't suggested it then I don't think we'd have been brave enough to try for a whole yet - been very pleasantly surprised by the whole thing.

MousyMouse Sun 28-Oct-12 07:57:56

dc1 didn't show 'signs' at all. we started buying different 'night nappies' and told him when the day nappies are empty they are gone. we then went to buy knickers. I had a box of plastic tat treats, a big one each for first poo/wee in toilet and about 10 more little ones for after.
took about a week and a couple of puddles.

dc2 at 2.5 just decided that she's not a baby anymore and will not wear nappies. that was it. not accidents at all. only a very stressed out mum as we were in the middle of moving house and wanted to wait until we had finished with that.

KKKKaty Sun 28-Oct-12 14:04:18

Iwillonlyeatbeans - You say your DS only wees about three times a day - it sounds to me as if he has greater bladder control than my DS. The only way to keep him dry is to take him to the loo every half hour or so, if you leave it any longer he wets, which makes me think that he's not even trying to hold it in.

Tweetinat - this is what I was ideally waiting for - the situation when you start training and he tells you he needs to go. I really can't be doing with days and days/weeks of accidents. He doesn't even tell me straight away if he's wet himself.

Also, if you ask him if he needs to go he often says yes, but then can't produce anything, or says no, but then wets minutes later.


SamSmalaidh Sun 28-Oct-12 14:55:14

To be honest you are sounding quite lazy about it - you basically want him to train himself without bothering you too much. Sometimes you do have to put a bit of effort in and inconvenience yourself - small children will have accidents.

MousyMouse Sun 28-Oct-12 15:02:29

try reverse questions.
if you ask 'do you need to go do a wee?' the answer will be 'no'
but if you say 'tell me if you need to go' when they show signs they need to go the success will be better

KKKKaty Sun 28-Oct-12 17:00:52

Well, yes, SamSmalaidh, I was hoping he would train himself without too much bother. What's wrong with that? I do accept he will have accidents, but I don't want to start too early when he's not ready and have weeks of accidents when I could leave it until he's more ready and have him get it quicker. Wouldn't we all? My question is more - do all children reach a point when you can just crack on and get it done in a few days (barring a few accidents here and there for a bit), or will some always have loads of accidents at the beginning, regardless of how long you leave it.

ConstantCraving Sun 28-Oct-12 20:13:37

From what i've read on here, when children are ready they get it very quickly, with minimum fuss and bother. Some are just ready later then others. We've gone back to nappies for a bit as DD isn't ready - she's far ahead with lots of things (speech, motor skills, numbers, letters... even basic spelling), but with the physical stuff she's always been a bit later to reach milestones.

noblegiraffe Sun 28-Oct-12 21:27:12

Minimum fuss and bother doesn't = no fuss and bother.
My DS trained remarkably quickly and easily, lots of people commented. The childminder of 20 years experience said she'd never known a boy to take to it so rapidly. But we still had (as I mentioned upthread) a morning of wet pants every half hour, then a few more accidents over a couple of days, and putting him on the potty every half hour to hour for probably a week. Asking him if he needed a wee, yes, but putting him on regardless, then stretching the intervals.

If I'd waited till he was saying he needed a wee first, before training, he'd probably still be in nappies. He needed the pants and the accidents and the sensation of actually having a wee (which nappies don't give) in order to learn when he needed a wee. Him saying he needed a wee came much later, after learning first that he needed to hold it in. Clearly from our first couple of days of training he had been weeing so regularly when he was in nappies, that he'd never actually held in enough to feel the need to wee. Spacing the wees led to bladder control which led to him feeling the need and then telling us.

KKKKaty Mon 29-Oct-12 09:54:43

Thank you Noblegiraffe, that's helpful.

ConstantCraving Mon 29-Oct-12 20:22:33

The problem with my DD is she doesn't want to sit on the potty at all - let alone every half hour. I don't mind cleaning her up at all, and don't expect it to be mess free, what I do expect is that she will be ready and happy to try - which she isn't. She's getting anxious and upset - hence waiting.

EugenesAxe Thu 08-Nov-12 13:03:06

Was going to post on a similar subject - DS is nearly 2.9 and he has had reasonably good success at holding and weeing on demand. We are a week in now and I am getting angsty - I need to rein back massivley or risk losing him/scaring him about going. It's because he's proved he can do it I expect it now and I should still (I think) be giving a lot of encouragement. He's already (little sod) realised he has me over a barrel with it and cries wolf about weeing quite a lot when I'm keen to leave and go somewhere.

His control is OK - he will often not wee after breakfast and go to nursery for 3 hours without weeing (because he's uneasy going there) - then come back and do a huge wee at home. I've considered this the first stage of training - when I tried before (around 2.5/6) this wasn't very noticeable and he'd has a lot of accidents.

However I was getting worried about his lack of interest in telling me he needs to wee - I always have to catch it. It's good to hear EatBeans' testimony so I will not stress for a bit.

How soon before they willingly poo in the loo or the potty? He still favours shitting in his pants but he has done it every now and then in the right place...

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