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Keep going or give up? She understands totally but refuses to use potty - please help!

(15 Posts)
eccentrica Thu 25-Jul-13 11:35:17

Hello all

Your advice would be much appreciated.

My daughter is 2 yrs 10 months old. We had a couple of abortive starts at potty training from 2.5 onwards, but she never seemed to be ready (we never stuck at it for long).

Nappies finally came off on Sunday afternoon, she has had a potty for ages and definitely understands exactly what it's for. She is an articulate little girl and plays with her toys on the potty, making them wee and poo, she has a book "Lulu's Loo" and the Little Princess potty one which she loves, she even made up a little song about how you mustn't wee wee on the floor!

All sounds great - until it comes to actually going on the potty. She hates it. I know this because she says "I don't like my potty, I don't want my potty, I won't sit on the potty no no no". She sometimes throws it or kicks it. Since Sunday we have had one or two wees in the potty, both under protest, and countless wees on the floor.

She knows when she's going to go as she'll start getting agitated and saying "no I don't need to wee" before leaving the room to wee on the floor somewhere else. She also is able to hold it, as she has twice wet herself immediately on coming back home.

She only poos when she has her nappy on at night - so she can control it, but just outright refuses to go on the potty. We've tried bribes and incentives (5 mins telly, chocolate, etc.) and sometimes she'll sit on the potty for a bit but she generally freaks out when she actually needs to wee and stands up!

I've read a bit online about resistance and I definitely think there's an element of power struggle/refusal for the sake of it, maybe we've talked about it too much, plus I think she is a bit scared about weeing/pooing on the potty - not sure why. If you ask her she says "it's scary" and "it hurts me" but I'm sure it doesn't really. She will sit on the potty wearing a nappy.

The advice re resistance is to stop and come back in a few weeks once the power struggle has faded away, but I really feel like she is ready in so many ways and she understands exactly what needs doing, and that it would be a mistake to give up now.

I really really don't want to go back to nappies. Am 17 weeks pregnant with DC2 and want her safely trained before the baby comes along and she starts preschool.

On the other hand we're on day 5 and it feels like no progress at all. It doesn't help people who say "oh my daughter was dry in 2 days" or "you were potty trained by the age of 2".

Please, can anyone advise what we should do - keep going? will it get better or is this doomed to failure?! Thank you smile

ellesabe Thu 25-Jul-13 12:46:59

I have no advice I'm afraid, just sympathy as we are in exactly the same boat. We tried when dd was 2.8 but it was all just too stressful so we abandoned and are considering trying again at 2.9yo.
She still says she doesn't want to though...

On one hand I don't want to force her if she's not ready and I know she will want to eventually but she's so flipping stubborn that she could demand nappies until age 4! She didn't walk until 20mo, not because she couldn't but because she didn't want to, and I can see this going the same way if we just leave her in nappies as long as she wants.

Watching with interest!

eccentrica Thu 25-Jul-13 13:48:08

Hello elles

Good to know it's not just us! I know exactly what you mean about stubbornness, I can't see it getting any better if we wait another month or two. my daughter also didn't walk until 18 months and that was only with great persuasion!

We had a small success today, another wee on the potty. Knew she needed to as she started saying "I don't need to wee" which means the exact opposite grin

I coaxed her on to potty with lots of hugs, kisses, support and also putting Abadas on the laptop. She sat down (with me cuddling her throughout) and did a wee on the potty - reluctantly but successfully.

I feel quite encouraged by this. We're unfortunately going to stay with my in laws this weekend, who will have a houseful of people, but think we will stick with it for the time being. At least we haven't had a repeat of the poo on bedroom carpet incident from Monday (touch wood)

tygertygerburningbright Sun 28-Jul-13 08:31:57

My ds did this for 8 days, but he is 2.11 and I knew he was ready so I refused to give up. I let him pee all over the floor every day but still reminded him about the toilet.

On the 9th day he woke up and asked to use the toilet and has been weeing in there ever since! He is very stubborn but he caved eventually.

eccentrica Sun 28-Jul-13 22:23:38

tyger and elles I have a positive update! We've just got back from a weekend away with in-laws. When we left on Sat I was feeling very gloomy about it and starting to wonder if we should give up. Then I went out with friends on Sat night, my DP looked after her, and DD did a wee and a poo in the potty (at her request!)

This morning there were a couple of accidents but then we had a looong motorway drive home. DD announced that she needed a wee, we asked her to hold on as long as she could, we finally got to services, jumped out and put her on potty next to the car. She wee'd straight away!

A while later, on the road again, she said that she now needed a poo. A bit sceptical but we took her at her word and pulled over. Within a minute or two she did a poo in the potty (by the side of main road smile) and was delighted with herself.

really happy that she was able, and chose, to tell us, and of course really happy that we avoided accidents in the car seat. I'm sure there will be setbacks but I am really glad we've stuck with it so far. I can believe now that it will succeed eventually, it will just take time.

Incidentally we also bought a new potty today, at her request. The old one was from the pound shop and compared to the new one (from Mothercare) is quite small and uncomfortable. I think that might have played a role too. elles maybe you could get your daughter to pick out a new potty for herself??

ellesabe Mon 29-Jul-13 18:43:11

Well done for sticking with it!

We're still firmly in nappies here with absolutely no desire on dd's part to wear her 'big girl pants'.

We have a big family wedding next weekend in which I am chief bridesmaid and dd is flower girl so I'm quite pleased that we won't have to squeeze dd's toilet trips (as well as dd2's breastfeeds!) into the schedule smile

After the wedding though I really feel like there's no excuse to hold off any longer apart from dd's unwillingness

Am considering just telling her we don't have any nappies left and not giving her any choice in the matter. What's the school of thought on this?

It's very encouraging to hear someone coming out the other side but the prospect of starting this whole thing off is really very daunting!

eccentrica Tue 30-Jul-13 14:20:14

'Coming out the other side' is a bit optimistic! It all fell apart yesterday, had a poo accident and a huge argument over potty, she kept asking to go on it then getting off it again, all ended up very overwrought.

My new strategy today is not to mention it, although this has resulted in 2 wees on the floor so far. bangs head on desk

Thankfully the next 2 days are my work days and Daddy will be back on potty training duty. He seems to have a lot more success than me, maybe because he's calmer?

ProudNeathGirl Tue 30-Jul-13 14:23:57

My advice would be to go straight to getting her using the toilet "like a big girl". If she can hold her wee and poo, then she can get to the bathroom to use the toilet. You can buy little seats to fit over the big seat, but my DDs didn't use them after the first few goes - they would just hold themselves over the toilet.

ProudNeathGirl Tue 30-Jul-13 14:24:55

But I wouldn't sweat about it - you never see a 14 year old in nappies (medical probs aside of course).

eccentrica Tue 30-Jul-13 19:58:35

Diolch proudNeathgirl smile

We do have a little toilet seat, and she quite likes sitting on it, but will panic at the crucial moment, freak out and get up. We had a poo disaster this afternoon for that reason. confused

AnnaRH Wed 07-Aug-13 16:18:20

Hi, my daughter (2 yrs) is doing exactly the same thing. Happy to sit on potty whilst reading or watching cbeebies but then the second she feels a pee coming she stands up. She gets hysterical when feels a pee or a poo coming and after seems inconsolable for a few minutes after doing a poo in either pants or in potty (if I put her down on it half way through). Has anyone else had this experience (the hysterical crying and anxiety)? I a don't want to go backwards (we are on day 10) but am worried she is becoming traumatised by the whole experience!


JuliaScurr Wed 07-Aug-13 16:37:28

oh my god - dd is out with her mates having pizza for her 14th b'day but the potty saga all comes back like yesterday.

she maintained an elaborate regime of putting a nappy on to poo kneeling on a rocking horse leaning on a sofa until 3 yrs 9 mths

finally progressed to no nappy, dp & I catching poo in potty

then the great day on the anniversary of VE Day WW2
she pood in the lav

oh joy

lots of kids do this sort of thing

just because

intheshed Wed 07-Aug-13 17:05:53

My DD waa like this, happy to wear pants but got upset at sitting on the potty or toilet.

We left it for a couple of months and she has just potty trained in one week, with absolutely no hassle or bribery and only one accident, at the age of 3.2! Sometimes it's worth just waiting until they are ready!

ellesabe Wed 07-Aug-13 23:09:18

Julia grin

Well we have had progress today. Sort of.

After weeks of refusing to wee on the potty she suddenly decided that she really wanted to with the promise of a haribo once she'd done it


However she sat on the potty for about 10 mins, produced nothing and then cried hysterically when the timer bleeped and it was time to get off.

So we have progressed from crying hysterically at the thought of weeing on the potty to crying hysterically at not being permitted to wee on the potty confused ...

JuliaScurr Thu 08-Aug-13 10:25:28

well, it's warm weather - naked in garden with potty might do it?
which you're not meant to do because clothes on/off is all part of the whole magical process :D

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