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Successful potty training at home, but disaster at nursery

(13 Posts)
PhDMum Mon 25-Jan-10 20:55:10

Over the Christmas holidays we took the plunge and made a start on potty training my DD. She was just 22 months at the time, so perhaps a bit young by a lot of people's judgement - but all went very well. After two days of her being a bit confused, and with lots of positive encouragement and praise she got the idea and hasn't looked back since. We have had no accidents of any sort at home after those first two days. If she needs to go she asks for her potty and she does everything she needs to in it.

All well and good. After the Christmas break she returned to nursery (where she goes for 4 full days a week). I explained that we had been potty training, and how well she had done. I explained how she asks for the potty and the set up at home, and I explained what the tell-tale signs usually are that a trip to the potty is due shortly (for some reason she goes a bit hyper just before a number two arrives, plus a couple of other pointers).

I was a bit disappointed, but not unduly concerned when I went to pick her up the first day and they said that she had managed to get all her wees in the potty, but that she had poo'd twice and both times in her knickers. Apparently she hadn't asked for the potty at all for these and they had not noticed her doing them. I put this down to it being a new situation and the staff and my DD getting used to the whole procedure with each other.

She has now been back a nursery for 3 weeks. We have had no accidents of any sort at home, but she has not done a single poo in a potty at nursery, and today when I picked her up I was told that she had also had one wee accident in her knickers. I'm really worried that if this continues then things may begin to deteriorate at home as well. The nursery staff don't seem at all worried, and keep reassuring me that 'she is doing really well for her age'. Maybe so, but her record at nursery is dismal compared with home and I'm starting to wonder if it is the nursery rather than my daughter that is the problem. (I'm also getting a bit fed up with picking caked on faeces out of her clothes every evening - at least if the accidents happened at home I could flick the worst out into the toilet and give them a quick rinse before the stuff set like concrete).

Does anyone have a similar experience/words of wisdom they could share?

Very sorry for the long post!

OP’s posts: |
cookielove Mon 25-Jan-10 21:08:50

you can take really cheap pants to nursery, that you don't mind being thrown away if she poo's in, and let the staff know.

Nursery is very different from home, children are very easily distracted and so more accidents happen.

I work in a potty training room, we constantly do potty rounds, are they asking her if she wants to go, or telling her to go?

I would still be telling her to go to the toliet three weeks into it. Even if it is just to try.

BertieBotts Mon 25-Jan-10 21:13:14

You could always just keep it up at home, and put her in nappies for nursery - maybe pull ups, so that if she does ask to go (or they do take her to the toilet) it will be more like pants. It shouldn't be confusing as children make the distinction between home and nursery well and once she starts asking to go etc she will probably start asking more at nursery as well.

PhDMum Tue 26-Jan-10 09:31:59

Thanks for your suggestions.

Cookielove - they seem to be doing a mixture of asking and telling her to go. Though if she needs a wee she is confident asking them herself. Old pants is a very good suggestion. I'll ask around and see if any of my friends has any hand-me-downs I could take. I think a part of the problem is that the potty at the nursery is in a seperate room, through two doors and a gate. None of the other children her age are potty training in the room, and I get the feeling that the trend for starting this much later means that the staff in her room aren't really used to dealing with it. One girl told me that they don't usually start the kids there until they are 2 1/2 or 3 (ie in the pre-school group in a seperate room with different staff). I've been giving it some thought, and I think her timing might also be a bit unfortunate. She seems to be fairly consistently having poo accidents at 12:00 and 16:45 - lunchtime and the end of the day when parents begin arriving to collect the children. I think it may be the case that these happen to be times when it is harder for the staff to pay attention to what she is up to.

Bertiebotts - I'm a bit reluctant to put her in pull-ups, as she has done so well at home and is fine asking every time she needs to go. The only prompting I have to do is if we are going out. I will generally encourage her to 'try' before we go to the shops or the park, as sorting out the potty on-the-move is a bit of a pain (though perfectly do-able. We even had a wee in the potty in the car while parked in a lay-by the other day!) Pull ups seem too much like nappies to me, and that is what she recognises them as - though perhaps I should try and track down some of the more old fashioned type that are more like knickers with terry towelling inside...

I'm going to see how things go today. Her key worker has a day off, and the girl taking care of her today was really positive about it all and claimed to really enjoy potty training hmm which can only be a good thing grin

OP’s posts: |
cookielove Tue 26-Jan-10 19:05:59

Potty training is a challenge, maybe that is what she enjoys, i wouldn't say it is the highlight of my day.

I also agree not to go back to pull up they are to much like nappies and will confuse her. From what you say it seems that she def has it down, she clearly knows what it feels like and what to do when she gets that feeling, so i would just perserve.

If she is having at accidents at these specific times, i would ask the staff just to keep an extra eye out, we take all the children to the toliet before and after lunch, and if they ask to go during we let them. Maybe the room could implement a routine like this?

As you say she wee's in a potty i would ask the room if they could keep a potty in the room for her to use, they must have a nappy changing area in the room they could keep it in, can they not empty it every time she uses it?

How did things go today?

PhDMum Wed 27-Jan-10 11:20:39

Things did not go so well, despite a positive beginning.

I didn't really get the full picture last night, as the girl who took her for most of the day was not there when I arrived to collect her. The member of staff who was there told me that she had done some wees in the potty, but that she had had a poo accident in the morning, and then another in the afternoon 'but that was in her nappy so that was OK' hmm. I assumed from this that she must have poo'd just after her nap, before they got a chance to change her out of her nappy. It wasn't until I got home and checked her daily record book that I saw that this 2nd poo accident had happened at 15:40. This means that her nappy wasn't taken off after her nap until she filled it, which frankly makes me quite angry. angry.

I really think I need to have a word with her key worker, and to make sure that they are more consistent. If they randomly leave her in a nappy, despite the fact she can and does use the potty, how can they expect her to understand? I feel really sorry for her, sad and am more convinced than ever that the problem lies with the nursery not my DD.

I will definitely pass on your suggestions, Cookielove, as they all make good sense to me. Thanks for all your help!

OP’s posts: |
cookielove Wed 27-Jan-10 17:37:19

From what you are saying i really think that it must be the nursery, we take nappies of as soon as they wake up and the children are asked to 'try' to go to the toliet, they are then dressed and go off to play, (obviously they are given time to wake themselves up so they don't end walking into walls e.t.c

I really hope you get this sorted!!

PhDMum Wed 17-Feb-10 10:41:40

After a terrible weekend, where my DD regressed and did all her wees and poos in her knickers at home, we have finally had a break through with the nursery! smile

I went in on Monday morning and explained the problems at home, and asked when my DD would be moving rooms (the room for the older kids has easy access to much more suitable toilet facilities). The answer was not very soon, as they have no spaces. I made it clear that the accidents at nursery were now causing us problems at home and that if something couldn't be done then we would need to take another look at the whole arrangement. I also asked that they didn't put her on the potty unless she specifically asked, as I think the whole 'putting her there frequently to try' thing was confusing her. (She knows exactly when when she needs to go at home, afterall).

We have now had 2 full days at nursery when she has done everything on the potty, with no hint of an accident at home or at nursery.

I'm not sure if she was just ready to move on, or whether my strop on Monday morning scared the staff at the nursery into trying a good deal harder (the latter is where my money is). Anyhow, I am now a very happy mum, with a happy toilet trained DD grin, and though I know I can expect set-backs along the way, at least I now know that this can work, and I am not evil for trying to train her too early!

Thanks for all your help.

OP’s posts: |
anonMum2 Tue 02-Mar-10 21:56:28

Glad to hear a positive outcome in the end!

I'm going through the exact same problem at the moment and feel like giving up. We started potty training 3 weeks ago because my 20 month old son showed nearly all the signs of being ready. He only failed 2 in the checklist, i.e. he doesn't feel uncomfortable if his nappy is soiled/wet and he only tells us during, not before he goes. DS has always been a quick learner and very eager to please, so we thought - easy-peasy!

DS goes to nursery 4 full days. Having no leave left to take, we had to start during the weekend. He did brilliantly and was performing just as we expected, with more success than accidents on the chart. From the third day forward, however, back at nursery, things started to go downhill, to the point of having no success on the potty at all. This is with the nursery staff sitting him on the potty every 30 minutes. However, during that weekend, he did really well again and we thought this is it, we've done it.

Second week, I casually asked the nursery staff not to put him on the potty so often, but to let him tell them. That was not followed and they were still putting him on the potty every 30 minutes. With all the accidents getting worse, I also started to remind him (too often) to go to the potty. Towards the end of the 2nd week, it was a complete disaster. If he even thought we were talking about the potty, he would throw a tantrum and start shouting NO! (this is a happy helpful boy who never ever used to say no to us) I then wrote a note to nursery saying not to put him on the potty so often, which was taken very seriously. (That's one thing really good about his nursery, they are very attentive and do try very hard with parent's requests) During that weekend, we had to start from scratch, rewarding him to encourage him to get back on the potty. Towards the second half of Saturday, big improvement. Sunday - 5 success (2 of which he went without even telling us, and only 1 poo accident (can't blame him as he had diarrhoea from bad teething).

This week... Back at nursery again. Monday, he came back with 6 pairs of wet/dirty trousers, Tuesday, another 6 pairs of wet/dirty trousers and no success on the potty at all.

Not quite sure what to do as I really want to give up but hubby and nursery are all encouraging me to keep going. All I hear from my son now is "Poo poo"(he keeps saying this because he is a little stressed out with potty training) and "No! Nooooo!". All I see now is a moody little monster when I look at him. I really miss my sweet/kind/helpful and good-natured little boy.

bumpy06 Thu 11-Mar-10 14:57:55

Sort of a similar story. My boy 3.5 has been fully dry at night and all day for over a year now. we have had no problems when he is at home and or at day nursery. Even when we are out and about in a new environment, even on an airplane at Christmas he happily told everyone that he needed a poo. Although he does have one habit that he must go in alone and close the door. He then calls when he wants me or his dad to wipe his bottom.

He started school based nursery in January - much busier environment - and it is a nightmare. He won't tell them when he needs a poo and although most days he can hold on until he gets home on other days he goes in his pants. He has He happily goes out for a wee. I have asked him and them repeatedly what is happening. They are very nice but they just keep promising to remind him to go. I have asked him and he variously says the toilets are dirty (which they aren't) , that he can't lock the toilet door (but he can - I have checked and shown him how to do it).

I am planning to ask the school to maybe try incorporate how to ask to go out to the toilet into a lesson or something but I am stucj for other ideas. I have already tried role-playing me being the teacher and him asking to go to the toilet and him being the teacher and me asking to go. He just looks at me like I am mad.

I am trying to avoid bribes, threats ...Please I am getting desperate. It is okay at the moment. The school and happy and his school friends don't say anythign but I am afraid that if this goes on they will tease him.

PhDMum Tue 16-Mar-10 12:17:13

I hadn't looked at this thread for a while - and I'm sorry to hear that others are struggling. I don't have anything massively constructive to add, I'm afraid.

From general info it seems that boys can generally take longer than girls to 'get' the potty training thing - so it may be wirth hanging in there a while longer even if you feel like giving up. I'll see for myself in a year or three, as I have a DS on the way!grin

Having said that, the experience that you describe is very sad anonMum2 sad.

Although I would never have threatened my LO, I will admit that at home we did briefly resort to bribery during our initial training (chocolate coins for poos). It took about three goes for her to work it out, and I very quickly switched back to lots of praise and no treats. At nursery my LO now responds very well to stickers. The idea of a reward-chart is beyond her (she is only small, afterall) but a shiny sticky thing to put in her daily record/ on her cardi seems to have quite a good motivating effect.

I'm afraid I really don't buy the 'busy environment' theory. It can be distracting, but I suspect more for those caring for the children than for the children themselves. Every child is different, but IME it was only when the nursery staff really started paying attention to my DD's signals that things improved. It is up to those taking care of the child to adapt to their individual needs - especially when they are so little and so impressionable.

Your suggestion that the school incorporate something into the lesson sounds like an excellent idea, BTW bumpy06. smile

OP’s posts: |
rupichahal01 Fri 18-Nov-16 21:20:54


Came across this thread at the very first day when i started potty train my kid. From this thread i became aware that it will be easier at home then at nursery to starts potty train.
which is what happened.
I have watched few videos with my kid from you tube which helped a lot while training him.Here are the links:

Among these tips in video number 1 are really useful.My kid(aged 2 years and 9 months old) performed really well at home he learned within few hours on day one to pee into the toilet he had one or two pee accidents hardly at home. and he is doing his poos as well into the toilet seat from day 2 at home (sometimes he asks to go to toilet, sometimes i notice his cues and rush him to toilet first week and from 2nd week he always asked to go to toilet, its like an adventure for him at home.)
But nursery experience , i will not say totally disaster, but he is doing his poops in his nickers only from last three days at nursery(before that i was sending him in pull ups.
According to nursery staff he asks to go only when he wants to pee, and don't say anything for poop.
I am trying to explain them his cues so that they can assist him.
Don't know how long it will take to train him at nursery as well.
If anyone can share about how long it does take normally at nursery, will be really helpful.

camiech1 Wed 23-Nov-16 19:32:22

those are excellent videos that really help!

here i would ad 2 other ones which i think are great:

potty training song:
potty training story:
princess potty training:

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