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Support thread for 'late' potty-trainers and/or gentle/slow training?

(253 Posts)
badchat Sat 03-Aug-13 21:02:27

DD has just turned 3. We've had a potty for a year. I've been reading potty books, talking about using potty/toilet etc. for months and months, and watching and waiting for signs of readiness. So far nothing. She shows no awareness of doing a wee or a poo, or of needing to. She has been uninterested in, or hostile to, the potty and knickers up until recently, and she doesn't seem to mind having a dirty nappy at all. Also, up until quite recently she would sometimes wake with a poo in her nappy.

She is meant to be starting at a nursery/pre-school in mid-September, which will require her to wear knickers, although if she is not potty trained they say they will work with me to try and help.

So, for the past few weeks I've been getting her used to sitting on the potty, e.g. regular reading on the potty after breakfast. For the past week stepped it up to wearing knickers or nothing for a few hours a day as well (she asks for nappies quite quickly and I encourage her to stay with knickers but if she gets upset I don't want a power struggle over it so I go back to nappies).

So far, nothing in the potty, just a few wees on the floor. She says she doesn't know when she is about to go.

I am trying to stay positive - we have moved on at least from refusing potty/knickers to giving them a go. But I am finding it really difficult - I am worried about her going to nursery and having a horrible time being worried about it, or being teased. My sister is very disapproving and seems to think that it is my fault she isn't potty trained yet. I have mentioned it to a few friends and they have responded with slight shock, and e.g. "oh, x was dry before she was 2"... I don't know a single other person in RL who is struggling or has struggled with potty training - everyone seems to tell me that their kid wanted to train, or responded quickly to adult-led training.

Anyway, sorry this is so epic. Just hoping some of you out there are in same kind of position and will come and huddle here for support!

TrucksAndDinosaurs Sat 17-Aug-13 15:11:51

Ps don't mean he sits on potty for two hours! Just on and off during that period with treats and praise and stories for sitting.

badchat Sat 17-Aug-13 20:52:31

ooh great news on your recent progress fishandjam... Hope it is still going well. I would have really struggled to resist responding to the 'wickle baby' comment! At the very least there would have been very icy glaring!

and brilliant news also chaz - two weeks in! this is all giving me much hope.

I got very excited the other evening when DD suddenly stood still in the bath, looked a bit worried and held her bits. 'Do you need a wee?' I said, and she shook her head, but sure enough, wee in the bath a few moments later (no potty to hand to whisk her out and on to). Poor love looked really upset, but I was terribly excited about her seeming to know it was coming, and told her that now she knows what it feels like etc. etc. she can remember next time and get to the potty, and really hoping this is a Good Sign.

trucks - the more I read the more strongly the message comes through that if there's no progress it's probably best to stop and try again later, however clearly I am no expert. I have seen a few threads where people encourage the opposite - i.e. battling on in the face of little happening - and say it has worked for them. To some extent I guess it depends on how happy you are with the whole situation, how stressful it is to keep trying etc.

building up for another go starting on Monday I think...

TrucksAndDinosaurs Sun 18-Aug-13 13:34:17

He managed a few wees in potty because so full of liquid he couldn't hold any more and was rewarded and praised. But today we tried big boy undies and he cried and cried.

I think not ready so we've put potty away for a few weeks; he is not ready sad

MrsHelsBels74 Sun 18-Aug-13 13:36:21

DS1 is 3.6 & still not potty trained. We try & try but he has a few days when I think he's getting it, then it all goes to pot again. We're just gently persevering & eventually he'll get it. Glad it's not just me struggling.

spinaltap Sun 18-Aug-13 14:06:28

Phew, we're not alone! DS is 3.2 and shows all the signs of being ready and yet refuses to wear pants. We had a couple of days where he wore them ok (with accidents) but since then he's gone off the idea again. He had a meltdown when I suggested he do his poo on the toilet/potty when I caught him nipping off to the understairs cupboard where he goes to do them in his nappy.

It's frustrating as I hate changing his pooey nappies and you do feel like your child is the only one. I don't agree with bribing him so waiting it out seems to be our only option. Age 3 isn't actually "late" to potty train, it just feels like it!

5madthings Sun 18-Aug-13 14:19:48

You are all doing the right things, my dd, youngest of five has just potty trained at 2.8 and was clearly ready as in the hot weather I was letting her be naked and she would ask for a nappy as she needed a wee and then demand it off again as soon as she and weed! So I thought right we will do this, she was a bit wary at first but within three days and crackled it.

Mine have all varied,'my eldest trained at 18mths all of his own doing as I had no interest in potty training him but he wanted to!

Ds2 was about three and was harder but again once he got it, he got it in days, ditto ds3.

Ds4 was not remotely I terested and was 3.5 when he potty trained and even then that was only for were and pops were done in his night time nappy for a bit... Plus he refuses to use Amy toilets other than our one at home which made going out difficult, he got very good at holding it in! In the end a camping trip away meant he had no choice but to wee when out, a few accidents and then on the second day of camping after Mich coaching from older brothers eh weed in a bush with them! It still took a while' after that for him to be properly comfortable to wee anywhere and even last year on holiday he was a bit wary of pooign in a different toilet. He is now five and absolutely fine!

Really my five have shown me that they are all different! Summer is great for being naked and with boys the novelty of weeing outside Ina bush/against a tree often helped.

Otherwise it was patience and being relaxed, when they are ready they do get to quite quickly ime smile

ShoeWhore Sun 18-Aug-13 14:29:40

My dcs are older but can I share my experience? All 3 were relatively late to potty train.

Dc1 has lots of friends who are 6 months older and was keen to join in the whole potty thing when they were doing it. So I thought I'd go with it and from about 2.5 we tried in fits and starts but it wasn't terribly successful - sometimes we'd have a day or two that went quite well - and he was brilliant at going at nursery hmm but then he'd lose interest or focus (he is a v v laid back child!) and we ended up going back to nappies. Then a week before dc3 was born (dc1 aged 2.11 at this stage and I was beginning to think I'd have 3 in nappies!) he said again I want to wear pants now Mummy and that was it, we were off. The odd accident in the first couple of weeks but I am literally talking 2 or 3 mishaps.

I learned a lot from that! With dc2 I tried in May half term when he was 2.10, total disaster, 5 wees on the floor before lunch time. Decided we couldn't spend all of half term chained to the house so put him back in pullups. Tried again at start of summer hols - so 6-7 weeks later - and he got it straight away. We had 1 accident on day 2 and by day 4 went for a long day out where he mastered the art of weeing behind a tree grin

You can imagine that by dc3 I thought I'd got this potty training malarkey well-sussed grin Oh dear. Dc3 showed no signs of readiness at all. 3rd birthday came and he was downright hostile to the idea. At 3.3 the nursery staff suggested I was being a bit slack and offered to have a go - I said sure be my guest - after 3 days they agreed he wasn't ready and suggested pullups! grin The months dragged on, I applied for his school place, still not interested. I wondered if he was going to go to school in nappies. And then suddenly at about 3.8 he started showing signs of understanding he was having a wee and then quickly that he needed a wee. I decided we needed to brazen this one out so we went for it - I told him he was a big boy now and needed to wear pants - the first few days weren't brilliant (but not awful) - but after about 5 days or so he got the hang of it. He had more occasional accidents than his big brothers though and it took about 3 weeks for him to get the hang of poos in the toilet (I threw a lot of pants away <boak>).

I don't really think 3 is all that old in the grand scheme of things. I know plenty of children who trained around that age - and more who were officially trained before then but were still having regular accidents hmm

By the way, your nursery isn't allowed to insist that they are toilet trained, that is considered discrimination. So don't stress about that aspect of it.

I know it's really tough, especially when they look far too big to be in nappies or all their friends are already trained - but they do all get there in their own time - I am sure you lo will too. I really am a big fan of the back off and try again in a month approach. It's a lot less messy and stressy! grin

ShoeWhore Sun 18-Aug-13 14:33:01

My friend's ds cracked the wee thing quite early but they had terrible trouble getting him to do a poo anywhere but a nappy. she used this technique which really worked for them - start by getting them to sit on the potty in their nappy to do a poo. Once they are comfortable doing that then try undoing the nappy at the sides. again wait until they are comfortable with that and then next time open the nappy out more - basically gradually remove the nappy until you feel brave enough to suggest they try without!

filee777 Sun 18-Aug-13 14:47:05

My ds is 3.1 and I haven't even broached the subject, his speech is behind his peers and he shows no signs of being ready.

I don't really care what people think of it, the most important thing for us is that he is happy and that things happen naturally.

It's hard having 2 in nappies but I am sure he will be ready eventually and we can move forward. He is July born and I have kept him back an extra year at nursery, I don't intend on him going to reception until he is five, so we have another couple of years until then.

Fifilosttheplot Sun 18-Aug-13 15:08:32

Hi all, can I join in {flops down with a sigh and gets out wine and a hanky}

My DS is just 3 and I am feeling slightly teary as I have just aborted out second attempt at PT after 8 days. We have done everything the books and advice tells you, all the shopping for Potty and pants etc, bribery with sweets and stickers, toys etc and non of it has worked.

He showed no real signs up until a week ago when he suddenly asked for his big boy pants. We had the accidents you would expect and did all the reactions you are advised to do and we made little bits of progress for about 4 days then he just started going all over the floor and outright denying he wanted to go then 2 minutes later going all over the floor. He knows wees and poos are done in the toilet and knows what should happen he just outright defiantly won't do it. He only wants to use the toilet (which is fine) and flatly refuses to use a potty.

I have been determined that we would get through it the time and not go back (the books tell you not to go back to nappies) but I have just cracked after cleaning up about the eighth puddle today and put him ack in a nappy. I'm the same as everyone else, have DM hovering and tutting and all his nursery friends trained. Feel completely crap now.

BrianTheMole Sun 18-Aug-13 15:14:37

My dd was like this. She had a potty but wouldn't use it. A friend suggested that I take her out and let her choose a potty for herself. So we went out, she spent hours choosing it and then came home and did a wee on it. We really turned a corner. Might be worth a try.

Fishandjam Tue 20-Aug-13 14:16:16

I dunno about progress badchat - we're still struggling! The main problem seems to be that DS doesn't yet get the idea of holding onto his wee until he gets to the potty/toilet, and telling us he needs to go. So he can wee if we take him on a schedule (every 30 minutes or whatever), but then if he wants to go at other times, he just goes. For example, this morning he was keen to wear pants and sit on the cludgie (with one of those kid seats on), but minutes later, while eating his cereal, he did the most enormous wee all over the chair and floor. No warning, not even an acknowledgement that he'd done it. <sigh> Back into nappies for a bit, I think...or take out shares in the manufacturers of 1001 carpet cleaner grin

fifi, I think you did right to put your DS back into nappies (though as you'll see from my posts, what do I know about successful toilet training!) Don't feel crap - your DM can tut all she likes when she's the one mopping up the piss puddles.

Hi filee. I have two in nappies and frankly I'd rather that than one in nappies and one in piddly/pooey pants. Scraping turds out of underwear not much fun!

filee777 Tue 20-Aug-13 19:14:40

That's my thoughts exactly fishnjam he has not the communication skills to be reasoned with right now so I will wait until he has improved in that area to actually converse with him about it rather that push it upon him!

MrsHelsBels74 Wed 21-Aug-13 11:08:29

We're finally getting progress, he has started to tell us he needs a wee (or says he's started to do a wee) but can actually hold it until we get to the potty! grin

badchat Wed 28-Aug-13 22:18:33

hello again...
Well, didn't end up trying again last week as I was feeling super exhausted and really not prepared, but we had a clear run of days with nothing on this week so we gave it a shot again yesterday. And...


I put DD in just a t-shirt - no nappies or knickers - and watched for signs of needing a wee. Then once she started wiggling around a bit I suggested a potty sit, and - it seemed like a bloody miracle - she finally got a wee in the potty. After that I prompted another time, but then she told me the next time she needed to go, and apart from one accident around dinner time when I wasn't paying any attention to what was happening, we got everything (including a poo) on target.

Today - day 2 - we have been to the cafe and park (have a Potette to take out and about) - she's told me every time she needs to go and we haven't had any accidents.

It is SUCH a relief. Fingers crossed progress continues. Definitely think backing off and waiting to try again was the right thing anyway given how different it went this time to last couple of times.

I loved reading the stories of your 3 and 5 dcs shoewhore and 5madthings - really does show they are all different and you can't just 'train' them according to your will.

matana Mon 02-Sep-13 15:38:52

Ds is 2.9 and has done several wees on the potty while we have given him time without his nappy and have reminded him to use it when he has obviously been holding himself. However he will not tell us he needs a wee and will tell us he doesn't need a poo right up until the point he has done it on the kitchen floor and trodden it through to the lounge!

A very reassuring visit to his new nursery today though. The owner's reaction when I told her he wasn't potty trained was to tell me he's still quite young! She said 2.5 for boys "at the very earliest" and "3 and still in nappies is nothing unusual". I could have kissed her when she told me that women get too much pressure from older generations and end up pushing their dc before they're really ready!

Rhubarbgarden Tue 03-Sep-13 10:40:45

Hi, wish I'd found this thread earlier! We are on day 7 of PT 3.2 year old dd. It is our third or fourth attempt - I've lost track. Tried everything to no avail. Pressure from nursery made me promise to try again over the summer holidays so here we are again with cabin fever setting in from being stuck at home for a week.

This time around we did the Potty Fairy. Lots of hype for a couple of weeks - "The potty fairy is coming soon!", then one night she she came overnight and took all dd's nappies away and left a pile of presents in their place. She got to open one straight away then one for every wee/poo in the potty.

The presents were very motivating. The first day she was very enthusiastic. When they ran out we moved to a giant jar of gummy bears.

We've certainly had more success than previous attempts. As long as we prompt and remind, she goes on the potty. If I don't tell her to go though, she just wees wherever she is and doesn't care at all. I'm not sure how we move things forward.

I find it all immensely stressful and frustrating. Also have a 15 month old who is very demanding so it's been an exhausting week. Determined not to give up this time though.

Pounamu Tue 03-Sep-13 15:14:13

Hello, can I join in please? We have been continuously potty training my DD (3yrs 8 mths old) and she still isn't fully trained.
I think she knows when she needs to go but refuses a lot of the time, so ends up doing some in her knickers. I then tell her to sit on the potty, which she does for maybe 30 seconds then says 'there's no wee coming' before getting up and wandering off.
We have tried regularly asking if she needs the potty, 'no thank you mummy' (followed by a wee in her knickers shortly after). We've tried making her sit on the potty to see what happens, and she will either wee, or just get straight up and say nothing is happening.
The trouble is she gets so engrossed in what she is doing when playing she will forget to go, or just say no when I ask/tell her to sit for a bit. She still has a nap some days and wears pull-ups to bed, so will just hold on all morning then fill her pull-up, then hold on all afternoon.
It's really annoying because I know she can do it, some days she has no accidents, then she can have 3 accidents every day for a week. She also sometimes does a poo in her pull up before getting out of bed in the morning.
We've tried reward charts, giving her loads of praise for using the potty and not telling her off for the accidents. It has been going on for so long now though I am getting fed up, and have been telling her off for the accidents blush.
She wet herself just before her nap today (she still needs a nap some days) so I put a nappy on her for it, which she absolutely hates. She wears knickers when out of bed, so I have said once she gets up, if she can stay dry all afternoon then she can wear a pull up at bedtime and not a nappy.

Sorry for the rambling - It's just so frustrating and I feel like we are not getting anywhere.

RugBugs Tue 03-Sep-13 15:39:21

Hurray badchat that is some significant progress!
Potty training has taken a back seat here, DD2 arrived 3 weeks ago.
DP and DD dropped something off at his mother's house last week whilst I was at the drs round the corner. DP said the minute they were through the door she had DD stripped and sitting on a potty! I was not amused.

Rhubarbgarden Tue 03-Sep-13 16:12:23

Pounamu I hear you. Sounds very like our experience here. We got to that stage where there was no progress and I was getting too frustrated to be constructive any more, so I put her back in nappies for a few months.

I'm starting to feel that way again today to be honest, and this time around it's only been a week.

Rhubarbgarden Tue 03-Sep-13 16:14:34

RugBugs my MIL does that. Brings new pants every time she visits and plonks her on the potty. It isn't helpful.

StrawberryMonkey Tue 03-Sep-13 17:39:53

My last 3 kids all learned to take themselves to the loo about 3y old.
One took a week of a few mishaps, then was fine. The next slung her nappy off a week before her 3rd birthday and started using the loo rather than potty also...again maybe a few accidents but a week later all quite reliable. Last child was 3y 4m (boy) and his older sisters "trained" him in a day (with lots of praise and clapping when he got to the loo on time)!

Rhubarbgarden Tue 03-Sep-13 17:54:09

I think I'm going to give up.

Ivytheterrible Wed 04-Sep-13 11:26:18

Any words of wisdom for me - really need help as DD 2.11 is not getting it at all.

Just given up after 14 days of hardcore no going back pant wearing. 1 wee in nursery toilet nothing at home for the whole time.

She ticks all the boxes for being ready and is very articulate, been dry at night for months, asks for pants etc.

She tells me she needs the potty after she has been in her pants.

Have tried everything! Bribes etc. Nursery were really pushing for her to be trained and even they have said to give up for the moment!

Do I just wait until she "gets it?" How long if she is ready now according to the books etc?

Ivytheterrible Wed 04-Sep-13 11:28:30

I also have the MIL who rings every other day to give 'helpful' advice as "her dad was fully trained at 18 months."

Driving me insane...

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