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3.5 Year Old will only go in his nappy, refuses to sit on potty. Help!

(10 Posts)
TacoLeBell Wed 05-Dec-12 20:23:07

I really don't know where else to go with DS's potty training, hopefully someone out there can help me!

He's 3.5 and can hold it, and knows when he wants to wee or poo, and will tell me, but he will only do it in his nappy, usually only in the same place in the house. He outright refuses to sit on the potty or toilet, and we've tried to get him to stand and do it to no avail. Sometimes he will wear underpants, but he asks for a nappy when he needs to go. Today I sent him to pre-school in underpants hoping he might use their toilets but he just wet himself.

I've never 'pushed' him, and I give him the option between nappies and pants. Today I managed to get him to sit on the potty for a treat but when I suggested doing anything in there he kicked up a big fuss.

We've tried going cold turkey with the nappies in the past, and just using pants but he started withholding to the point where he was in pain and crying, and then got very distressed at having an accident. After that he was even refusing to do it in a nappy so I decided to give up for a while, but now I'm worried the same thing will happen again. I really hope someone has some ideas for me as I really don't know what to do! Help!

jungletoes Wed 05-Dec-12 20:32:33

My dd was like this, but only with poo, and would hold on for days if she felt any pressure to do it on the potty/loo. The best advice I can give you is NO PRESSURE at all and he will get there in the end. I slowly, very slowly encouraged my dd to do her poo(in her nappy) in the bathroom instead of her preferred place of behind the tv. Then, slowly, I encouraged her to do it by the toilet. Then she sat on the loo, with nappy on. The final stage was I managed to persuade her to take the nappy off as she was about to go. When she finally cracked this she was four. Apparently some children are scared to "let go". I do know how anxiety invoking this can be, all her peers had got it months/years before and of course I kept thinking "she'll be starting school in Sept". But my hv was right, she got there when she was ready. Good luck.

TacoLeBell Tue 11-Dec-12 09:32:30

Thanks for the reply, he definitely is scared to let go and it's taken us ages to get to the point where he'll do a wee without screaming. Sometimes I wonder if I should go 'cold turkey' on the nappies as I managed to get him to wear underpants yesterday, but that might be pushing him too far. I know he'll get there in the end, it's just so frustrating when they're behind everyone else. sad

MrsHavisham Sun 27-Jan-13 10:25:38

I'm in similar situation with dd 3.8 so have no advice, but lots of sympathy!

DIYapprentice Sun 27-Jan-13 21:16:56

I'm in the same position, except that he's happy to sit on the potty, but doesn't hold wee or poo in, he'll just wet himself regardless of what he's wearing, and whether he's just sat on the potty 10 minutes before hand!! Right now I'm trying pants on underneath his nappy, so that he feels wet but hasn't had a proper accident. Might that be worth a try?

Stopsittingonyoursister Sun 27-Jan-13 21:24:08

I had the same situation with poo for my DS. We concentrated on the wees first, and did it through blatant bribery tbh - one wee in the toilet = one chocolate button. Amazing how quickly that worked (my DS will do literally anything for chocolate). The poos were more difficult, he was just scared of letting go for some reason. Whilst we got the wees sorted, we would just wait until he asked for a nappy, then whip it off as soon as he'd finished with no comment either good or bad. Then, when he got the wees sorted, we started on the poos. To begin with, it wasn't good - he would hold on to it until he became constipated, and then it would hurt, and so he would hold on more, until it created a vicious circle. In the end, after about 3 weeks of this, I started giving him half a dose of lactulose in the morning, so that I knew that a) he would have to go and b) when he went, it wouldn't hurt and then he would get over the fear. We did this for about three months, again combined with rewards if he did it without a fuss. We went as far as sending postcards from his poos, telling him how much they were enjoying meeting up with all the other poos at the sewage works (!!!). He got there eventually and now has no problems.

My friend's DD had similar issues. They took her on a trip to the sewage farm so that she could see what "fun" it is for the poos to be there rather than stuck in her bottom. Worked a treat. Sounds absurd, but may be worth a go??

Hope you get it sorted soon.

BranchingOut Tue 05-Feb-13 13:39:56

Lol at the postcards from the poos!

My DS is 3 years, 4 months and still has never intentionally done anything on the potty.

What has helped is getting him into training pants (Bright Bots and Imse Vimse), because absolutely nothing whatsoever was happening in pullups. What I did is talk about how we were running low on nappies, down to the last one or two, then said that maybe if we ran out of nappies he could wear pants. He was resistant and kept saying 'let's wear nappies'.

Then I took him to get changed, but pulled out the packet and, shock horror, there were none there! He looked at the empty packet, looked at his drawer full of lovely colourful pants and then turned to me and said: 'Maybe we can wear pants!' smile

What happens now is that every night I mysteriously 'find' one last nappy (from the secret stash hidden in my wardrobe), however he doesn't seem too bothered and never asks for them in the day, happily wearing his training pants.

Hope that is helpful to someone!

I suspect that he still does not know when a wee or poo is coming. He is not too bothered by chocolate buttons, sometimes he will go and sit on the potty after he has done something, but never before.

Tried Elmo's potty time DVD - not at all interested!

No real signs of progress here, although I am worried that he seems to be drinking a bit less as time goes on. Do you think that could be intentional?

We still change quite a few pairs of pants each day! I go through phases of being worried about it and am beginning to feel a bit of pressure from nursery.
Might go to the Dr or HV before long...

WorkingtoohardMama Tue 05-Feb-13 14:00:11

I found the hv brilliant when going through this with ds, he is now 6 and poos normally, so as they say its a phase and will pass.

I found some poo books helped ds, particularly 'everybody poos' and 'the mole who knew it was none of his business'.

I spent so much time agonising over ds and the poo situation, the best advice has been said already - the lactolose, so they have to go and that it doesn't hurt.

My dad was also brilliant, as he was that bit removed from the situation, and so didn't get emotional and stressed like I did and was able to make it into a game.

DIYapprentice Wed 06-Feb-13 00:48:41

Branching - DS2 is a few months older than yours and I've noticed in the last few months that his drinking had decreased - before I had made the move to potty train - so I guess it might just be the age.

2Tired2GiveaShit Wed 06-Feb-13 01:02:01

I never thought DS would ever use the loo but he does... I let him follow me whenever I needed it and let him flush for me.

If I put him in underpants he wet them every time... Boxer shorts it happened every now and then. I felt he thought underpants felt like nappies with them being snug fitting.

I basically let him go without any under garments at all, constant asking, "do you need the toilet?" to help him recognise the need to go. Dont pressurise him, he will use it when he is ready, I have been in your shoes, he is still reluctant to use any toilet other than ours and his great grandas. He gets a sticker at nursery every time he uses their toilet. Have a word with his teacher, and don't dispair, there is light at the end of the loo tunnel!!!!

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