1 year into toilet training and no further on(18 Posts)
We really need some help. I've posted about this before but I really never thought we'd be a whole year in and have no success. My daughter is 3 years 8 months and has been dry in the day for maybe 8 weeks of the past year (at different times). We have literally tried everything - star charts, rewards, ignoring it completely (for around 6 weeks at one point). We have even had a referral to a pediatrician and after the appt this week are being told that this is behavioural. Why cant my child just go to the toilet like everyone else. She wets (a little bit or fully) anywhere between 2 or 10 times a day and simply doesn't care if she's wet. She'll even sit in it for hours if I don't make her get changed. The paed suggested star charts and a timer for every 20 minutes but she's actually weeing every 20 minutes and still managing to have wet pants, presumably not emptying fully and then weeing purposely. If we tell her off it gets worse and sometimes she'll then poo in her pants too. Her behaviour also gets worse in conjunction with the wetting so we have to deal with a difficult, awkward child from the moment of waking some days.
I feel stressed, annoyed, fed up and on the verge of a mental break down with this. It's draining both myself and my husband. Does anyone have any ideas or know of any specialists who could help?
Did she seen enthusiastic about it when you started or were you driving it?
We stupidly listened to outside influences, tried to force an unwilling toddler and it was horrible.
We went back to nappies, let everything settle and tried again 6 months later.
She was fairly enthusiastic. Excited about big girl pants etc and was actually dry after 2 weeks. 5 weeks later came the first regression and it's been up and down since but mainly down. The paed said it wouldn't be helpful at this stage to go back to nappies but she is using pants as a nappy any way so who knows. It would seem pretty wrong after a year to put her in a nappy, even if we could get her to wear it. She is the most incredibly stubborn child I've ever come across. I just don't understand why she wants to wet herself!
Your poor things, that sounds very stressful for you all. I am no expert, but my instinct on reading your post would be to say put her back in nappies and spend a while just really enjoying each others company. Then, when you start again, ask her what would motivate her. We thought we had tried all the rewards with dc1 until dh got exasperated and just said what on earth will make you use the loo?? He got a completely off the wall reply but it worked .
Is your dd at a pre-school? Maybe try putting her in pull-ups. The best motivation can sometimes be not wanting to be different from the other children!
She goes to nursery 2 days a week and is totally not bothered about being wet there. She tends to be better at nursery though. Usually dry or 1 wet set of clothes and she's there all day. One of the staff has even caught her saying to another child 'im going to poo in my pants!'
How long do you think she should be back in nappies for (if she'll entertain the idea)? I'm embarrassed that I cant potty train my own child to be honest. Nobody else I know has had these problems.
I do feel we need to some how regain some fun and enjoyment though because this is totally ruining our lives. Even our parents have said they don't want us bringing her round because she has wet on their new carpets several times already. I feel like we're prisoners!
Have you tried the "old fashioned" trainer pants - the terry lined, waterproof outside ones? They are not nappies, are probably not as comfortable to be wet or dirty in as disposable pull-ups, do give you a bit of time to change a child before carpets, sofa, car seat or whatever are wet or soiled and IM (considerable) E are quite a good half-way house between nappies and pants.
Don't be embarrassed, op, I think some children just genuinely are harder to potty train. I didn't believe people who said their children just got it until I had dc2.
If you go back to nappies, I'd be guided by her. Sounds like she wants to be in control, so let her. Leticia is right that not wanting to be different can be a great motivator. At the moment, she probably feels the same as the others at nursery - I doubt she is unique in having accidents - so she just wears pants like all the others. Just let her know why you're doing it and that the pants are there if she wants them.
I don't know. I really hope you find something that works for you soon. It must be horrible, especially your own parents not wanting her round!
Squiggles, it won't help but I'm in basically the same position. My little one has been potty training for over 6 months and still it's awful. 5 accidents at nursery today. She isn't ever bothered. So frustrating and starting to take fun out of parenting. The terry towel pants is a good idea. Less comfortable than alternatives
That doesn't sound much fun. Our challenge was poo rather than wee - DD used to hide for a poo, and would only do it at home (which did make things easier tbh). A case of won't rather than can't. What worked for her (eventually) was that we went out and bought 5 (cheap) 'poo toys'. She got one each time she pooed on the potty. One was taken away each time she pooed elsewhere. It was a couple of months after we bought the toys that she finally 'got it' (she pooed in her pants for a full year). The reason we bought the toys together (she chose them) was that I'd read elsewhere on here that promising something as a reward isn't concrete enough for children this age, whereas she knew the toys were real - every so often we'd get them down and she'd hold them to remind her about them. Maybe worth a try?
Thanks for the replies. We have tried all sorts of incentives, bribery, punishments and nothing has an effect. We're on holiday this week so decided we'd just give in and put her in nappies. Worryingly she's more than happy to wear a nappy and since putting one on has not asked to use the toilet once. I think we're going to have to wait for her to decide although I have read (and I've read a lot on this subject) that some kids just don't decide to use the toilet of their own accord and have to be encouraged. I don't know what the answer is but the last 2 days with nappies have at least given us all a break and her behaviour has improved a lot. It's probably the weak option going back to nappies after a year but we've got nothing left to try. I will look into the non disposable nappies though as that could be a gentle encouragement without forcibly removing nappies.
DD2 is similar - I've tried everything, even taking a break and putting her into nappies again (but the smirk of triumph when we did that kind of rang alarm bells). She can be dry - she just has dry pants way way way down her list of priorities and can't be bothered to be!
She's a crafty bugger - when we were using jelly beans she was peeing in 5 minute installments a bit at a time to make the most of the jelly bean per wee yield! To fettle that one she gets a sweet in a jar every time she goes properly and then gets them at the end of the day, minus deductions for wet pants - it's not 100% but it's better than we were getting and 90% of the time she's dry for me in the day at least.
She bloody well can do it though - if there's a nice juicy reward on offer - bam - perfection! But that was getting ridiculous and bloody expensive too!
My DD didn't get out of nappies until 3 years 8 months. I was pretty embarrassed and it was totally behavioural on her part. The difference with her is she didn't even wet or soil herself - she just held it in and REFUSED the potty/toilet. She was perfectly happy with nappies.
Eventually I told her we were starting "knickers all day" on the Monday. Same scenario: held it in all day to the point of pain. I got angry and told her she was going to sit on that toilet until she did a wee and I didn't care how long it took. That worked The next day was a similar battle but the day after that was virtually trouble free.
She moved onto refusing to use a toilet away from home (hated the hand dryers in public toilets) so we had a miserable few months with her insisting on using the potty NOT in a toilet (baby change rooms and car parks were popular places for us).
The whole thing was a nightmare from start to finish, but she's now 5 and uses a toilet pretty much anywhere.
It's a nightmare when they're so stubborn and keep thinking of new ways to not comply. Sympathies
The whole thing is just soul destroying. I really have no idea how we're going to get passed this. She had a week in nappies while we were away and has gone back in pants only to start up wetting again. She simply cannot be bothered to stop what she's doing and use the toilet.
I asked her if she needed to go before leaving her nursery today and she said no but I made her go anyway and she did a big wee! Grrr why does she refuse to go when she blatantly knows she does need to!
Miaow the cat how old is your daughter? We're back to doing sticker charts on the advice of the pediatrician but it's simply not working. We've tried sweets after going and even before she was 3 she learned to go every 5 minutes or even lie about weeing to get one!
She really wants to go to school and I've told her she won't be going if she has wet pants as they won't let her in - no effect.
Bought a toy she really wanted and said she can have it when she has 3 dry days - no effect. She's not even managed one dry day!
Set a timer for every 30 minutes - no effect. She still wets herself in between.
Ignored it all - no effect
Got angry, frustrated, shouted and sent to bed early - no effect
How on earth (and why) is my child such a stubborn mule?! Went does she want to have wet pants. For the love of god why cant I find a solution!!
Sorry for the rant. I'm not that stressed about it with her but it does get incredibly frustrating when I stop and think that she is doing this on purpose.
It's so hard having such a stubborn child, especially over something like toileting. I really understand the despair.
Have you tried another tactic, like acting like you don't care whether she wets herself or not? Because it's stressing you out so much (and I'm not judging you for being angry, at all!) you may as well stop giving DD all this attention and just let her be responsible for her own actions - or lack of! Just to see what happens, even if that equates to her wetting herself constantly and sitting in it...
Also, have you ruled out infection? To be going for a wee every half hour and still wetting in between seems very strange. Unless you think she never empties her bladder when you make her go, which means there's always something left behind for her to let go of soon afterwards?
Is she a bad eater too? My DD turns everything into psychological warfare. Toileting was one, eating is another
Thank you for being so understanding. It really is despairing. We have acted like we don't care before. She actually spent 4 hours in wet pants last spring. She just doesn't care. It must be uncomfortable wearing wet clothes though. Perhaps we'll try it again or maybe just put her back in nappies. We're stuck at the moment because even family don't want her round because she's ruining their carpet, it's embarrassing and the amount of work with washing is nuts.
Infection was ruled out a couple of weeks ago when we had a paediatric appointment. I think she deliberately stores it when we ask her to go. When we went through a particularly bad patch she wet herself 12 times in a morning.
She's not a brilliant eater but as yet we've not tried to battle with her about that so it's not turned into warfare. I do agree though everything had been a battle with her from day 1! Getting her to sleep through the night was definitely psychological warfare!
She sounds so much like my dd. Stubborn as a mule! Every parenting step has been a battle. She is now 3y 2m. Going to get her checked with the docs but other than that it's perseverance. It's so difficult!
How's she getting on now?
It's no better. I'd love to report a miracle cure but sadly the wetting continues. We've had a follow up appt with a paediatrician and she's at a total loss and has nothing to suggest. We've put her back in pull ups with a choice every morning of pants / pull ups. If she wets she has to wear pull ups for the rest of the day.
I know everyone says how pull ups confuse the issue but I'm fed up of the washing, the battles and my ruined carpet / furniture. There's really nothing we haven't tried so I think we're just going to have to wait until she decides she's going to use the toilet properly. Her behaviour is also difficult when she's wetting so it's not just a case of wet / soiled clothes. It's constant battles, procrastination when we want her to get dressed etc and tantrums / sulking when she doesn't get her own way.
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