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Help!! Struggling and need advice on regression and nursery

(6 Posts)
aimzj7 Sun 14-Oct-18 18:52:03

My 3 year old has been fully potty trained since June.

For some reason when he returned to nursery this sep he has refused to use their toilet and either has accidents or holds it all day. He's not used the toilet there before.
He asks to wear a nappy and the nursery put him in one.

He kicks off about nursery unless he has a nappy on and I don't know what to do. Do I not send him in a nappy and upset him and make him wear pants or put one on him and let him be happy and content and hope one day he doesn't want it on and try encourage him to use the toilet.?

Also at home he's fine and out and about he has no accidents until about a week ago. He's started weeing on his bed and the floor on purpose. No idea why !!

WonderToddlers Wed 17-Oct-18 16:14:14

We had a very similar case in the nursery last year, but we didn’t put the nappy back on the child.

It took us some time, but in the end, we succeeded. Our magic formula was: doing the same thing in the nursery as at home+being consistent and patient (teachers and parents as well).

I am very shocked to hear, that the nursery put a nappy on him despite the fact that your son is fully potty trained. Did you agree with that beforehand?

It is totally normal for a child to have accidents in the nursery even if he doesn’t or has less at home. It can also happen, that a child refuses to go to the toilet and either wet himself or holds it all day, plus throws some nice temper tantrums…

There must be several reasons why it happens with some children, but I just tell you a few:

1.) The nursery is a different environment, where there are no mommy and daddy, siblings or the nanny… Even if your child used to go to the same place, it is still a different environment, especially if he was away for some weeks.

2.) The nursery usually a very busy and extremely stimulating place, where children just want to stay in the room or outside playing. Going to the toilet would mean, that they need to finish playing and put their precious toys down.

3.) Bad communication/relation between child and teacher.

4.) There is bullying going on between children.

5.) Showing their will, testing boundaries. There are some children who try to get back to wearing nappies, because a.) it is comfortable and b.) saying ‘no’ gives them a sense of control, power.

Obviously, I don’t know the real reason why the teachers put the nappy back on your child, so I don’t want to be judgemental, but in my opinion, it might have happened that with this action your son got mixed messages: basically he got what he wanted! From that moment on, he became the ‘boss’ and manipulates everyone.

That is my opinion and my advice is this:

At home:

1.) When your child wees on the floor or on the bed, tell him using simple and short sentences that it’s not okay and what he should do instead. You can ask him to help you clean up and ask him to change by himself. Stay with him, show him how to do it (don’t let your child use chemicals of course) and help him a bit.

This can teach him, that every action has consequences, and hopefully he is going to be bored by cleaning up and changing his wet and dirty clothes all the time.

It is very important, that your child should not feel the cleaning up process humiliating! It needs to be absolutely normal, as what others do when they make a mess. No shouting at him or nagging or saying bad words to him. Just act casual and clean up together without using negative comments.

Instead of telling him off, just explain what happened and why you need to clean up, and what to do next time.

As I don’t know how, when and where it exactly happens, I can’t give you more advise than that.

2.) I wouldn’t put nappy on him (don’t even let your child know that there are some at home…) at all. If he refuses to go to the nursery without a nappy, don’t give up, and try everything whatever you can to encourage him to go without it.

3.) Tell the nursery, that they can’t put nappy on him and tell them your, opinion and instructions. Communicate with them daily, and try to work together.

It continues...

WonderToddlers Wed 17-Oct-18 16:16:52

In the nursery:

1.) no nappy…

2.) Teachers should encourage your child to go to the toilet, and you could also talk to the manager or the head of the nursery.

As I mentioned above, we had a similar case in the nursery and solved it in 3 months. Yes, it took us 3 months, but we succeeded.
We didn’t put the nappy on, so our case is different….but, I still want to share what we did:

1.) We talked to parents and the nanny. We analysed the situation and came up with a plan. This is very important because we have to be on the same page to prevent any future argument between us teachers and parents. Also, following and carrying out the plan meant, that we do the same thing what parents do at home, so the child will realise that he cannot ‘play’ with us teachers and testing his boundaries will fail.

2.) Our plan was to keep encouraging the child to use the toilet, no matter how many accidents he has a day or if he could hold it until somebody came to pick him up.

3.) Most of the time, we took the children to the toilet in little groups, because it can be very motivating for some and it can look like a fun activity.

4.) We sang…we talked…we did funny faces…we danced…we played out toilet scenarios…we read books to the children about using the toilet in the nursery…we had to be very creative how we encourage him.

5.) We tried to use the child’s toilet seat from home, but it didn’t work for us (I heard that it helped in some cases)

6.) We didn’t get angry if he wet himself or refused the toilet, but of course, we explained him with short simple sentences that we are not okay with that, and what he should do instead.

7.) We didn’t put the pressure on him or forcing him to use the toilet.

8.) When more and more accidents started to happen, we agreed with parents, that we can ask the child to help us clean up the floor and he had to change himself (of course we helped a bit and we always supervised him) it taught him that using the toilet is much easier than cleaning up after himself, plus changing his clothes is very uncomfortable and boring…plus he learnt that every action has consequences.

Hope I could help you a bit! Keep me updated and let me know how things are moving forward.

I wish you the best,


WonderToddlers Wed 17-Oct-18 16:24:39

PS: I just want to summarise: 1.) working with teachers together, doing the same thing, following a plan 2.) being patient and consistent 3.) positive encouragement 4.) no nappy 5.) keep on trying, never give up! smile

Since2016 Wed 17-Oct-18 16:28:41

I think the PP advice is brilliant. We’ve had a similar issue with DC1 - potty trained since summer. New room - full regression. Nursery have been fab - once we had a proper plan agreed. Checking every 30 mins for wees etc... happily - and although it has taken around 6 weeks we’re back to no accidents. I should add though that nappies were never put back on. I was religious about it - she’s not dry overnight yet but it comes off straight away and she’s told to go to the loo upon waking. Good luck!

WonderToddlers Wed 17-Oct-18 16:58:01

Thank you 'Since2016'!

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