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3 year old terrified of potty and toilet

(4 Posts)
ahamm1 Tue 21-Jul-15 18:43:16

My son has just turned 3 and we decided to start potty training at the weekend. After a couple of accidents, he did fantastically on Saturday and really got the hang of it. He was also great on Sunday morning and had no accidents. On Sunday afternoon we went to my mother in laws as it was her birthday and there were lots of family there - however this is where it went wrong as my son refused to use the potty there, holding his wee until he was crying in agony. He held it until we got home and eventually went on the potty. Yesterday I put him back in pull ups and didn't really mention the potty, this afternoon I asked him if he wanted to wear pants - he said yes and then did the same as Sunday, refused to go on the potty or toilet until he was crying in pain. I asked if he wanted a pull up on and he said no but just wouldn't go. In the end I told him to just wee while he was sitting on me just to get him to go! I tried putting him on the potty whilst he was doing it and he went hysterical. It's so distressing, I just don't know what to do! Grateful for any advice!

JeffCourgette Tue 21-Jul-15 19:15:47

My son was also very frightened of going in the toilet or potty, and would hold it in until it became concerning health wise and also felt cruel. He was 'trained' in that he had good control but the fear was massive for him.

What we did was have pull ups in the bathroom that he would go and put on literally to wee in at first when he needed to, so he was still developing his independent skills while we worked on the fear.

Getting him to use the toilet was a very gradual process, with rewards, stickers, dolly mixture, little toys for making little steps, like sitting on the toilet in his pull up to wee, or sitting on the toilet without a nappy and not doing anything, doing one little drop in the toilet before he put his pull up on.
We progressed eventually to making a small holes in the pull ups, and eventually cutting a square out of the bottom of the pull up so it all felt more secure and familiar. Once we took his fear seriously and took tiny steps it took about 3 weeks. We also wrote little social stories together about it to read and build his confidence.

ahamm1 Tue 21-Jul-15 21:16:31

Thanks, that's really helpful, I think we will have to give it a complete break for a week or so as he has been so distressed then I will try again. It's so frustrating as he did so well to start with - he was even tipping his own wee from the potty into the toilet. He will be starting school just after he turns 4 next year so I really hope we get this resolved by then!

ladyflower23 Wed 22-Jul-15 17:24:33

We went through this. We took a complete break but still spoke about it and 3.5 months later he decided he wanted to try again himself. He was dry within a week including at night. the only thing is he will only go on potties and only wants to use his. And will still only poo in a pull up so still some work to do!!! I am so happy though as like your ds he was completely hysterically scared and I didn't know what to do. Turns out doing nothing worked and we just had to wait for him to be mentally ready himself. He's 3.8 btw and luckily not starting school till next year!!!

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