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Potty training refusal - not sure what to do!

(42 Posts)
tinypumpkin Sat 17-Nov-12 20:26:38

Our 3 year old (3 yrs 1 month) is adamant she does not want to potty train. We tried in the summer and she was interested but we got nowhere. I did persist and went cold turkey but she was starting to get stressed about it. I posted here as I thought I should perhaps give up at that point and try later which was exactly what people suggested. I just felt we were making an issue of it when she had actually been interested originally! I did do the usual things of getting her to choose the potty, relevant books, bigging it up etc.

I have not officially started trying again but she is so resistant and I am getting worried. I knew tonight after bath she wanted a wee but will refuse to even consider the idea of trying the potty or trainer seat. Think full on tantrum. That is not a one off and is pretty much the response I now get if I even mention it. On a better day I just get 'not now, later..'. She is not keen.

I really don't want to make it more an issue but it is hard as so many peers are training at much younger. Stupid to compare I know but I find that so hard. She was prem (29 weeks) and I wonder if that is an issue or whether I am just making excuses. Bar talking (she is gifted in never stopping!) she did take longer to reach all the other milestones. I would say she has caught up bar this now though and the consultant agrees.

Any ideas? I am feeling like the crappest mum about this but truly don't know what else to do. Chocolate buttons are no incentive at all!

cacakariel Thu 10-Jul-14 19:20:16

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Lifeiswhatyoubakeit Sun 09-Jun-13 19:35:28

So glad to have found this thread. My very articulate DS is a few weeks shy of his 3rd birthday but not very interested either. Bought a load of cool pants today, and he was keen to try some but one wee in the potty and two accidents later (one wee and one poo) ended in refusals to sit on potty and end of training!

The gist I'm getting from this thread is that it's best to wait until they want to do it. But it's really hard resisting prompting from mil/mother/nursery. And of course all his peers are potty trained!

thegirliesmam Wed 01-May-13 09:19:18

watching this thread has made me sigh with relief! i have a 2.2 resister who has flown through milestones and is very aware of when she needs to go and has started to make attempts to 'hold it' but will not entertain the potty. But going of the ages of all your dc maybe im trying to soon? potty is left in the living room and she is aware its there but we chose it. would leting her choose a new one make a difference then? she starts preschool in september (at 2.7 as she is a clever clogs and needs the stimulus) and am daunted to send her there with no potty progression.

katgod Sun 21-Apr-13 23:45:26

Sigh. This is me. Tried DD about 5 months ago-couple of successes but many many more failures and the successes were due to long periods sitting on potty. Gave up. Now approaching third birthday sowed idea of 'big girl pants for your birthday'. Birthday is in 2 days and the weekend has been worst ever pt day (she's the third child, I have done this before!).
Am going to persevere until birthday, but if no improvement going to reluctantly give up again. She has a nursery place for September and must be potty trained by then. Star chart, SMarties, nursery ( she really wants to go to school with siblings)- all used to encourage/bribe but nothing works. So so frustrating.

flamingtoaster Mon 07-Jan-13 21:00:32

You can lead a child to the potty but you cannot make it poo or pee. If you turn it into a battle it is a battle you can never win.

We waited until DS and DD chose to wear pants. When I thought they were nearly ready I offered a choice every few weeks - nappy or pants (explaining that pants meant using the potty or toilet - their choice). Eventually they each chose pants, each had one accident and that was it. My friends (potty training is a competitive sport unfortunately) had children who were "potty trained" anything up to a year ahead of DS and DD but they spent hours each week cleaning floors, carpets, furniture, car seats and clothing following accidents.

Be patient - the DC will eventually choose to give up nappies and you can save your DC and yourself a lot of anguish (and work) in the meantime.

DewDr0p Mon 07-Jan-13 20:50:50

Hi there I posted earlier about ds3 who didn't train until he was about 3.8.

Thought it might also be useful to share my experience from ds1 and ds2.

Ds1 had lots of PFB pals who were 6 months older so was very aware that everyone else was pting except him. At 2.6 he asked to join in so we had a go. It was OKish for a day or two then all went pearshaped. Backed off, tried again a month or so later... and repeat. Fast forward to May, ds3 about to arrive and me panicking that I would have 3 in nappies! Ds1 announced again "I want to wear pants" had one or two accidents for about 3 days and then we were off - about a month shy of his 3rd birthday.

Ds2: thought he might be ready around 2.10 and it was May half term so decided to give it a whirl. TOTAL disaster. Decided not to ruin half term with it and abandoned. Waited until school summer hols, put him in pants, one accident the first day, went out for the day the second (taught him to wee in a hedge grin ) and stayed dry. It was easy peasy. So he would have been 3.1 when he cracked it.

My main advice therefore is try not to stress, they will get there - and I think you can choose between trying to start before they are ready and making life hard for everyone or ignoring nursery/MIL and waiting until it's dead easy.

MrsHavisham Mon 07-Jan-13 20:36:53

Dd aged 3.7 still refuses to even sit on the potty or toilet. Have tried bribery to no avail. Even tried to embarrass her by saying all her friends use the toilet. She wasn't bothered by this at all. She was an early talker but very late walker (21 months) Help!

lorisparkle Thu 03-Jan-13 19:26:17

we tried DS1 far too early and it was an awful battle. some children are trained amazingly early but in my experience the exception. with ds2 I waited until he was 3 to even try and it was a far better experience. what worked for us was to not worry about getting him to use toilet or potty but instead had a star chart for dry pants at the end of set time period. the stars were exchanged at the end of the day for a reward. from talking to friends having accidents is still common when they start school and not unusual at 7. my boys have weeed in some nightmare places including the bag area in the self scan till at tescosblush an apology, muslin cloths, wet wipes, spare clothes and plastic bags are essential.

CatL Thu 03-Jan-13 19:02:27

Thanks Constant Craving. We are still going with it when at home, just because she doesn;t seem too negative about the idea so don;t watn to go backwards. However, not sure we are getting anywhere - about 1 wee a day in the potty, alway when we've luckily got her to sit on it at right time, rather than her deciding to sit on it. Will give it a few more days. Might try the bubbles! My mum also bought some pants for her Bear factory bear, so might try training her too as leroy suggested!

ConstantCraving Tue 01-Jan-13 21:18:20

Hi CatL - it sounds to me like she's not ready yet. I tried DD at 3years and had the same sort of experience. she just didn't seem to click. We'd meant to wait til spring but as i said up thread, with the nappy rash we've ended up trying sooner - and she now does seem to be getting it (slowly). We have had no accidents today and even a poo in the potty smile - which I really wasn't expecting so soon. We are having to remind her to go though - or look for signs of her being fidgety.
For us waiting 2 months seems to have made a big difference - she's still not enthusiastic but is willing to try. Can't advise whether you should wait or carry on - but what helped DD with the loo was a suggestion I read on one thread to blow bubbles to distract them. Dd was anxious about being up high on the loo and would freeze up, but the bubbles made her laugh - and then she'd wee. The sticker chart has also suprised me by being hugely motivational to her - so am eating humble pie as i was convinced that was a bad idea!

CatL Tue 01-Jan-13 16:15:10

Hi all,
Checking back in here as am retrying potty training after previous failed attempts (see my original thread:
DD turned 3 just before Xmas, so in the month or so beforehand, whenever subject of potty / toilet came up, we put the idea in her head that she would be old enough when she was 3, and try again then. So, since the day after her birthday, she has been in pants in the house (except overnight), but so far pull ups out of the house / visiting others. She won't even try the toilet and gets very upset / scared by the suggestion, but is a bit more positive about the potty this time around and will sit on it (although sometimes refuses when we suggest it, but not as negative as last time so far). However, she has had no success at all with actually telling us she needs to wee (and we've been doing it a week and a half). Her only successes so far have been from times when we've suggested she sits on the potty, often encouraging her to sit there a while with stories etc, and from twice when she told us she was going to poo. She's weeded on the potty 7 times in a week and a half. We have made a fuss of these times with a sticker chart and lots of praise. There have been countless acccidents, sometimes a minute after we've asked her to sit on the potty and she has refused saying she does not need to go.
So, I'm not sure of she can't tell she needs to go (in which case she isn't really ready I suppose), or if she just doesn't want to bother going to potty so leaves it. is it possible she stil can't tell at age 3? My mother insists she should be ready and that we should keep going, but not sure it us worth it or I can keep up with the washing!!
Any ideas?

ConstantCraving Sun 30-Dec-12 13:53:13

Hmm. no wees in potty or loo yesterday. Today she has sat on the loo twice, but no result. i know she's needed to go but she seems to find it dificult to relax. I sympathise as I know I'd find it difficult to wee if i didn't feel at ease. She has a soft loo seat and prefers that to the potty but am not sure how else to help. Tried reading a book with her on he loo - but still nothing. she has good bladder control and will just hold on until nap time when she has her pull ups on.
Leroy i like the idea of training a toy - will try that this afternoon. thanks.

leroymerlin Sat 29-Dec-12 19:18:53

I have two ideas that helped my DS:
1. Have them train their favourite toy - we did a lot of 'puppy' needs a wee, and big rounds of applause when they sat on the potty. Also interestingly DS cried when 'puppy' needed a poo, and said that 'puppy' was scared. I helped DS to reassure him. This is a way to take the focus off them, and give them some control of the situation.
2. Make a sticker chart with them, but not a linear one. (ie more stars equals a prize, my 2 year old doesn't respond to goals as his existence is in the moment) We made one with a rocket ship and filled the swoosh part with stars and a race track one that we filled with cars (not in any order).
Good luck!

ConstantCraving Sat 29-Dec-12 14:44:13

DD has had a bad nappy rash for the past week and cried today when her nappy was changed. I told her today that it would probably heal up if she wore pants - and so she is in them, quite happily. However no success with loo / potty so far and several accidents. She loves her pants and hates the loo (and hates potty even more!) She's in a pull-up now for a lie down while i devise a reward sticker chart - i have never used one of these before with her or my DS and am a bit hmm about whether its a good idea to use for something like this, but DH is keen we give it a go and as nothing i've tried so far has worked i feel i need to at least try... will report back.

thanksamillion Thu 27-Dec-12 09:34:00

Signing in here with a 2.11 potty refusing DD2. It's compounded by the fact that we live in a country where all children are out of nappies by two (if they have them at all), mainly through economic neccessity. DD has been offered a place at kindergarten after Christmas but they won't take her in nappies. It's doubly frustrating because DD1 was out of nappies before she was even 2, and DS was by 2.5. I feel like I'm getting worse at this!

She's in pants and wants to wear them but won't sit on the potty and is more than happy just to wee on the floor then go and get herself some clean clothes hmm. Help me!

YerMaw1989 Wed 12-Dec-12 22:20:01

My son has never even got that far just feel such a failure.

skorpion Wed 12-Dec-12 14:27:13

My DD has just turned three and is completely refusing, too.
Thing is back in the summer she went for about two weeks of using the potty for both wees and poos, I thought smugly I had it zipped. Not so. After numerous pants thrown away the pull up has gone back on. And she became a poo denyer as well, blatantly saying no when asked if she's done a poo, when it's obvious she had...
Good to know I'm not alone...

YerMaw1989 Sun 09-Dec-12 02:09:57

I'm in the exact same position OP , its really rough you just feel useless and judged. markling my place OP.

my 3 yr old ds is scared of the toilet its just so hard.

trixymalixy Sat 08-Dec-12 08:28:52

DD refused to potty train aged 3. We had tried many times before, but she just refused. What worked for us was sheer bribery. She loves angelina ballerina and I said she couldnt go to ballet lessons unless she was out of nappies.

BranchingOut Sat 08-Dec-12 08:25:20

Signing in here, will share some very minor success that will hopefully encourage others.

lewishammomma Thu 29-Nov-12 23:00:39

It is really reasurring to read all of these posts. My DD will be 3 in 2 weeks and has been refusing to use toilet or potty. We have had a few gos at the potty training over this year with no success, all with her giving us a very clear message LEAVE IT, I WILL DO IT TOMORROW.....I have blamed myself for not giving it enough attention due to having a new baby and generally being crap mum not on top of things, but actually just don't think she has wanted to do it.

I kept her home from nursery as a last resort to try reward chart/potty prizes a few weeks ago as I felt we needed to give it some attention and try out a new strategy as life in pull ups was just getting too comfortable for all of us!!! ( I am really anti pull up now but she still wears them to nursery, and we have not moved on because what do you do when they won't actually use a potty or toilet at all??)

I learnt a lot from that week and it was tough, but although she still will not use the toilet it did get her actually sitting on the loo which she was very afraid of. Actually though what worked more than the rewards in terms of just getting her over the fear of sitting on the loo was spending time playing and making up games in the bathroom so we now have quite an elaborate range of fun stuff we do when she is on the loo (radio on, sunglasses on, special songs I have made up, jigsaws) she also enjoyed looking at happy pictures of other kids on the loo in my no cry potty training book, we also put happy photos of her on the loo seat and around the toilet. A good game to get her on the toilet was ready steady swap seats. So I would sit on the loo and she would be on stool or other removable loo seat and a soft toy on anther and then we would all move round. That actually got her sitting the first time.

She has not yet done a wee or poo on potty or toilet and holds on a lot when in pants, but I think there are some signs she is getting there and I have actually started to feel like one of these days she just might do it, but all your posts have reassured me that if she has not done by her 3rd birthday I am not a complete failure so thank you.

thing1andthing2 Thu 29-Nov-12 12:20:56

I would say, wait wait wait.
I waited and waited with DD (who is a bit younger at 2.11). MIL and nursery were going on about it. We tried over the summer (well DH did because I was preoccupied with newborn DS), and after two weeks had complete potty refusal and not a single wee in the potty. I just left it till I felt I could take control of it myself (was planning to start in December).
I read the gina ford potty training book, which apart from being ridiculous about what age children are ready, was quite good. So we did the offering the potty at nappy changes/bath/ getting up time thing and eventually a week or two ago she was willing to sit on it and very occasionally produced a wee. A potty trained little friend came round and she wanted to copy sitting on the loo. Last week she asked to have her nappy off which I did and she willingly sat on the potty 4 times before asking to have her nappy back on to actually do a wee. So I took the plunge at the weekend and took away nappies completely and she was dry in the day in 3 days. I still only offer the potty regularly, never try to force the issue, so it's sort of like she's taking responsibility for when to use it.
I am still in shock to be honest but glad I waited it out rather than force the issue. I can't see how you can get any where with an unwilling toddler? Maybe say in your mind, I will try again at age 3.6 unless she is willing sooner? That takes the pressure off. I had a friend with twin boys who had some learning delays (born early) and she waited till 3.6 and it worked out quite well.

specialknickers Tue 27-Nov-12 14:59:46

I've got another potty refuser right here - sitting happy as larry in his pull ups aged nearly 3. He wasn't prem, hit all the other milestones spot on and is a happy, confident, chatty kid. He just likes his nappy.

I did try, but after a week of being under house arrest he started nursery and I didn't want to make a big deal about things so back to nappies we went. Probably a mistake? I'm not sure.

Keep any other tips coming please, we're going to give it another go soon and I'll give anything a go if it means I'm saving £7 a week and can get rid of the stinky nappy bin...

maxmissie Tue 27-Nov-12 14:54:34

I would say to just leave it until she makes the decision herself to use the potty/toilet.

My ds potty trained about six weeks ago when he was 3yrs 3 months. I thought he would never do it, he showed no interest at all, had virtually no idea when he was going in his nappy and showed no interest in the potty or toilet. We had one proper attempt about two months ago which started off in the morning really well but by the evening he was refusing to go on the potty or toilet, held in a wee for three hours and no incentive made any difference.

I was constantly comparing him to dd who was out of nappies when she was two by just telling me she didn't want to wear them and that was that and why couldn't ds do the dame.. So I was convinced it was never going to happen with ds, made worse by knowing after our first attempt that he could go but he was deliberately not going.

Then we had another attempt that went the same way as the first...and by the end of the next day he was completely out of nappies and now looks like he might not need them at night.

I don't think the attempts we made before made any difference to when he stopped wearing nappies, he was just ready. by comparing him to dd and other kids I was sure he should be ready and needed some help when with hindsight I should have stopped worrying, knowing the chances were he would do it when it was right for him.

humblebumble Tue 27-Nov-12 14:51:46

My DS2 is 2.10 and is not keen that keen potty training. He knows exactly when he needs to go. He even has a special place that he goes for poos and will hold off needing to go until he is in a nappy.

He had similar milestones to Gins which I thought were average or even early? My DS2 is not a perfectionist though, he is too laid back ... except when it comes to potty training! I have also had to wash everything when I have previously tried. My DH is keener than me to get going on potty training so I might leave it to him this weekend!

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