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Not sure where to go next with potty training

(9 Posts)
CatL Sat 03-Nov-12 19:28:23

Sorry, this is long!
DD is 2.10 - very bright and articulate, but quite young compared to others I know same age, e.g. social development - doesn't mix well with other children, really struggled with starting a playgroup in Sept. also late with physical milestones (physio suggested slight hypermobility). She also KNOWS HER OWN MIND - which is probably the key info here!

Anyway, we got a potty about a year ago I think, and took a laid back approach to letting her play withy it, sit on it when wants, encouraged her to try and do something in it before bath etc. Occasionally had ' nappy off time' with potty nearby. Have had a few successful wees and poos in potty, but more luck than judgement (or me noticing signs she about to go and making her sit on it). She defintiely knows when she is going to poo, not so sure about wee. Anyway, she became less interested in the potty a couple of months back, so we offered stickers everytime she successfully did something on it - get and would get sticker book/ peppa pig comic etc. She seemed to like idea of stickers, but wouldn't actually try and get them, e.g. even if actually straining to go whilst I reminded her she only needed one more sticker before treat, would still refuse to sit on it. We got a children's toilet seat too, but I think that scared her so never sat on that.

I'm afraid a few weeks back I finally cracked under strain of all the other children same age being trained, and decided to have a more intensive try at training - bascially pants or nothing on in house apartfomr at night. Still wentout in nappies though. She did every single wee on floor / in pants, and waited til night in nappy to poo (which if often her pattern anyway, and she only goes every few days normally). She was absolutely determined she would not sit on potty or toilet, and got very upset / angry if we pushed it. We have up after about 4 days, and haven;t really tried since, as we felt the potty was becoming a very negative thing and cause of conflict, which we donlt wanbt of course!! The onyl time we've even suggested sitting on it since are when she seemed to be gearing up to poo at bathtime, i.e.not in nappy, and again she was determined not to.

So, what do we do now? Am afraid she is so stubborn, and has such a good memory, that she isn;t suddenly going to change her mind about this in a week or so. And still not sure how much is her being stubborn / wanting to have control, and how much us just that she really doesn't know when she needs to go. I think she is clever enough to have realised going in a nappy if far easier! Everyone keeps telling me she must be ready by this age. So what should our next step be,and how can we make the potty /toilet a positive thing?

PS have tried 'princess Polly's potty', letting her chose own potty, letting her choose own pants, and reading to her on potty (we soon realised she was asking to go on potty to get book, but never did anything whilst listening to it!)

nextphase Sat 03-Nov-12 19:51:54

I'd forget about it for a few weeks, and stop stressing.

OK, they are boys, but I know several over 3 who are still in nappies. Its not the end of the world.

I HATE potty training, and am dreading getting DS2 out of nappies. Don't make it harder than it needs to be!

QTPie Sat 03-Nov-12 22:18:36

We had a very unsuccessful attempt at it at the end of July (2 years 6 months). COMPLETELY backed off for a month (HID the potty completely), then brought it out again to sit on whilst we ran the bath (just for familiarity - he didn't do anything). Did "cold turkey" this week (no nappies except nap and bedtime) and are getting very good results (even a poo the past couple of evenings) and only 3 accidents this week.

I would say:
- back off completely again fortune a month, then try "cold turkey " again.
- immediate rewards (sticker chart on the fridge, chocolate buttons, loads of praise, big high fives and hugs).
- clear your schedule completely - no pressure to get out, only go if you feel comfortable (stock up on ready/easy meals etc - just reduce all demands on you so that you can concentrate on her)
- don't stress/react to accidents. Don't worry about "poo'd in nappies at night" (DS has been doing it for a while too) - just tackle one thing at a time: as she gets more comfortable with wees in the potty, poos will follow.

It will happen, but I think that it is hard to force it - if you cannot convince them, then they will just fight like mad and go in the opposite direction.

RyleDup Sat 03-Nov-12 22:23:51

I would put her nappies back on. Make no issues of it, and try again in a few months. My little boy is as stubborn as that as well. He's reached the stage where he has decided to toilet train, not me. I must say its working a lot better now he feels he's taking control of the situation.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sat 03-Nov-12 22:24:47

For a wee? grin

unexpectediteminbaggingarea Sat 03-Nov-12 22:29:28

what qt said. Leave it at least a month without mentioning it. Then start again properly. Good luck. I hate potty training.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sat 03-Nov-12 22:32:58

Serious suggestions now.

Let it go for a month or so. Hide the potty, make no mention of it at all. Then go cold turkey. I have to say, with two of mine, the only way I cracked it was to have NO nappies in the house. Not even for night times.

Meant a few wet beds, but then they got the message that big girls/boys don't wear nappies. They ended up trained day and night at the same time.

I made sure it was a week where I didn't need to go out, which made it easier not having to worry about accidents outside.

But unfortunately with my stubborn DC's, having nappies in the house (even well hidden) for night time seemed to give them the idea that they could just wait and use the nappy at night, and that they just wouldn't use the potty or toilet in the day.

Stubborn toads!

CatL Sun 04-Nov-12 08:04:54

Thanks for messages. She has been back in nappies for a few weeks now and we have more or less left it, but potty is still about, so maybe I'll hide it. I'm quite stressed just thinking about cold turkey though - isn't staying in house all time, not doing normal activies and focusing totally on potty training putting too much stress on it? That's what confuses me, it seems opposite to the other advice of relaxing about it and letting her lead. I'm not the kind of parent who can stay sane in the house all day with my DD even if we aren't doing something like potty training!! We need to get out and we pay in advance for swimming lessons, play group (2 afternoons a week) etc. Also, she was not phased at all be weeing on the floor, so it wasn't that she was waiting to use the nappies (I know I said she pood at night, be she often does that even when in nappies all day).

How would you judge when she is ready to try again?

QTPie Sun 04-Nov-12 09:18:57


It is really hard to say - they are all different ..

I started last Sunday afternoon (after we came in from being away for the weekend), spent Monday in all day, Tuesday went for a short trip to the park, Wednesday in all day, Thursday two trips to the park, Friday toddler gym in the morning, friends here (also potty training!) in the afternoon, yesterday swimming in the morning (swim nappy and neoprene over nappy just in case!), afternoon park. Today we plan morning at toddler gym, lunch out and afternoon at the park. So we have actually done a lot, but didn't HAVE to do anything (if that makes sense). We have decided as we have gone along and my confidence and his has grown. No accidents out, but I accept that it may well happen. I am prepared (physically and mentally). We are not "stay in" people either, but this was half term (less organised activities to miss) and we abused the tv and iPad a lot more than normal...

A friend of me said that accidents will happen - you have to accept that.

Does your DD wear pants when toilet training or go naked? Maybe a few accidents in clothes will make her more uncomfortable and bring it home to her?

DS is very wilful, stubborn and single minded: without "cold turkey" I am not sure that he would have gone down the route willingly for some considerable time. He needed a gentle, but firm and consistent push in the right direction...

It really is about catching your child at the right time, choosing your strategy and "going with the flow" (stopping if it really isn't working). I only think that the most important thing is trying not to get stressed about it (I found that hard earlier this week!): if you are stressed, then they will pick up on it.

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