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Potty training please help

(12 Posts)
Adviceneeded123456987 Tue 28-Apr-20 12:53:14

Advice in potty training a stubborn toddler please!

My son is 26 months and I have recently read 'the gentle potty training book' by Sarah Ockwell Smith and have been following the stages in the book. My son definitely showed most of but not all the 'signs for readiness' before we began and a few months prior to starting he had voluntarily weed and pooed on his potty without being asked, looking back I think this is when we should have started the potty training as he was showing us that he was ready but we naively ignored these signs and just let him have potty time before his bath each night. (He is our first child so going in slightly blind before reading the book). My partner and I decided that during this lockdown it would be a good time to get it done so we read the book and decided to start Friday last week. Day one went really well he had two accidents but willingly went on the potty when we asked and did himself a few times. Day two was not as good, accidents were increased and when we started prompting hourly as in the book he would refuse and get angry towards us, sometimes even hitting and pinching. This has been the same for the past 3 days, he gets very distressed when we ask him, he hasn't gone to it himself since Friday and he keeps weeing behind the chair in his bedroom. The addition of pants seems to have added another layer of stress and when he occasionally agrees to try the pulling down of the pants causes him to go into a meltdown. I feel like it is causing him great stress however he is a very stubborn boy, he has been from birth so my question is do we carry on or stop for a few months and return at a later date? I am worried we are all going through unnecessary stress when if we possibly left it a while longer he would be more willing? This could not be the case though due to his stubbornness. He has fantastic communication skills and he has done every poo in the potty so far. Any help from people who have gone through something similar would be great. I know these things take time as I'm really not trying to push him to get it done it's just even having a conversation about it seems to get him worked up and I don't want to scar him leading to more problems. Thank you in advance - Rebecca

OP’s posts: |
Adviceneeded123456987 Tue 28-Apr-20 13:02:43

Sorry to be annoying but I‘m bumping this for traffic smile

OP’s posts: |
Mylittlepony374 Tue 28-Apr-20 13:09:24

No expert here, only having potty trained one of mine so far. I will say that we tried too early with her initially. We felt pressure to start because she's cognitively very able & we felt needed challenges of preschool but couldn't go unless potty trained. She did exactly what your boy is doing, zngry, refusal etc. Loads of accidents. We gave up, tried again at around 32 months and she had it in 3 days. So I would tend to say leave it and try again.

KatnissK Tue 28-Apr-20 13:12:43

My oldest is nearly 3 and exactly as you describe. Anger and upset at being asked to use the potty. If we leave him nappy free or put pants on him he holds for HOURS. Like literally 12 hours one day (even though I put a nappy on him after a while as I was worried he hadn't gone). I've read the gentle potty training book and advice online and just don't know what to do! At the moment I'm leaving it and hoping he suddenly clicks and wants to do it. So, solidarity!

mamalicious3030 Tue 28-Apr-20 13:22:33

I potty trained using a book called Oh Crap and day two was terrible but after that she got it remarkably quick. I didn't use the potty I put her straight on the loo. She learned about the same age as your little one and we basically had her in her bare bum for the first few days, and just had towels everywhere. We did however put a nappy on at night and when she was getting it, went nappyless at night and only had about 4 accidents. We did put a potty in her room at night during this time and also kept one in the car for Emergencies!
Anyway, I just kept taking her to the toilet all the time. I would try and go too so we were all doing it together. They do get annoyed and they do have tantrums. There were times where she of course wet herself but she hated it all running down her legs and felt very guilty so she quickly learned to use the loo.
After a few days I'd introduce just pants, then trousers.
I hope that helps. Xxx

Adviceneeded123456987 Tue 28-Apr-20 13:23:42

Thank you very much indeed for the replies. It’s such a difficult time I feel as though I’m always questioning whether this is the right time! @Mylittlepony374 that’s really reassuring to know it can work by stopping and trying again - I have been so tempted to do this

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nappyfree Wed 06-May-20 12:31:48


I haven't read SOS's Gentle potty training book, but from your message I do know what's causing your son's resistance with a fair degree of confidence. It's over-prompting. As you said, your son is verbal and very able to communicate - he's "screaming" to take more control of the process and by prompting every hour, you're taking that away from him. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but forget about prompting every hour. The best thing to do is to learn his cues and his timings. If you see he definitely needs to pee, casually suggest he uses the potty. Give him free reign and privacy to do so.
Also, get rid of pants and have him naked. I can give more advice if needed.

Minster2012 Sat 16-May-20 14:14:54

Mine is like this, v stubborn DS 21 months but after last week grabbing the potty himself & using it, then the dog bowl & his kitchen sink I’ve gone for it, we’ve had tantrums & fights but I have to back off & he goes himself when bare bummed but since trying trousers has managed to go himself with my help twice yesterday but mostly just weed in trousers.
I’m not sure how to get over this bit if he doesn’t like to let me help him & DH (despite admitting he clearly knows what the potty is for & when) he still thinks he’s too young because he’s having accidents.

@nappyfree how do you go from bare bum to trousers in this scenario?

nappyfree Sat 16-May-20 20:03:11

Hi @Minster2012 , well done for starting. Again, it sounds like the trick here is what you said - back off. This is his body, his process, his control. We help them by initiating them and telling them what's socially acceptable (the potty yes, the dog bowl no) but should then hand control back to them.
Keep him naked at home for a bit. Throughout the day, and when he doesn't need to go, practice pulling trousers up and down. No pants. No buttons, no dungarees - stretchy loose trousers. It may take him a couple of weeks or a couple of months to be able to do that. In the meantime, ask him to tell you "pee pee" when he needs to go and you can help him. Potty trained is knowing where pee/poo goes and how to get it in there, potty independence is doing it all yourself. You can achieve the first then slowly build skills for the second.

Minster2012 Sun 17-May-20 21:42:52

Thank you @nappyfree We have practises the trousers up and down as directed in oh crap & he can do that, it’s just the “oh I need to pee” & getting to the potty in time.

We have had 2 days of amazing with bare bum, going himself to the potty for wees and poo each day in the potty...but not specifically asking or telling us. Just doing it himself long as we tell him where the potty is...2 days of trousers now (no pants/boxers) & it’s been 2 days of accidents with mostly no attempt to get to the potty. But then if we get on the potty after saying “hold it” he’s done a bit in there. He’s seemingly going between wees today about 2 hours today I noted it down, theres definitely more in his trousers than potty currently which seems a bit step back. But he had the bare bum thing (indeed he now likes to try & take off his t shirt first as well) so not sure how more bare bum days is going to help?

Is this good? Shall I go back to bare bum or continue to see if it clicks? We have tried to tell him to tell us but he seems mainly oblivious when trousers on. He is so stubborn if we say “do you feel the need to wee wee” he just says no immediately

nappyfree Mon 18-May-20 20:07:26

I'd say maybe do one more day of bare bum, but no more. Make sure trousers are loose-fitting and easy to pull up/down. I think he's doing great if he can get it in the potty when naked - that's a sign he's recognising his body signals. It sounds like he just wants to be independent - how great! - and maybe just working on how to do the trousers himself too.

I would strongly recommend you don't prompt any more and definitely do not ask "do you need to wee?". For 2 reasons: ALL toddlers are stubborn, is part of who they are and they will say NO even if it's YES. Secondly, he's just learning his body signals and what to do, so he may not be sure what the question means every time. Just let him do his thing and it should improve.

regalmama Mon 08-Jun-20 15:05:23

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