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Album to be firmer with DS about potty training?

26 replies

Civilsoot · 18/06/2017 12:22

My ds has just turned 3. We started potty training when he was 2.5 in January. He was doing well, having more dry days than accidents.

However, since DS2 was born 9 weeks ago he has regressed, in fact potty training has come to a complete end! He regularly poos himself and doesn't even say he needs potty or even tells me he's had an accident, I often only find out by the smell! Weeing all over the place, even in public which he never did before.

He's gone from the occasional accident to one every day, occasionally sitting on the toilet to not going in the bathroom at all and has seemingly just given up.

I'm mindful that DS2's arrival has obviously affected him and this is how he's showing it.

We've been nothing but enthusiastic, calm and patient with him. We've always had a positive approach to accidents, saying "next time we'll get to the potty in time" or "it's OK but please will you tell mummy if you need to wee" etc. He gets loads of praise for going and he will go on the potty on demand for some chocolate. We've even had his best friend over to show him how he goes on the really big boy toilet and he'll watch him but 5 minutes later will have crapped himself.

To be honest I'm losing the will and my patience is getting thin. Being nothing but positive is not getting through to him , I'm wondering if being firmer with him will make any difference?


OP posts:

Civilsoot · 18/06/2017 12:24

*AIBU not album, damn autocorrect

OP posts:

Witchend · 18/06/2017 12:28

Dh used a phrase when dd2 was potty training "you can take a toddler to the toilet, but can't make them wee" Grin

Give him the option of going back to nappies perhaps. He may say yes please, or he may not want to. Try and find him things he can do (dd1's job was getting the wipes during nappy changed) and I'd say things like "I'm so glad I have a big girl who can help, I don't know how I'd do this without her"

Do check he hasn't got worms first though. Some children it does set them back in potty training.


hellobonjour · 18/06/2017 12:28

Eeeek that's a difficult one.

It absolutely not my normal way of operating but I would probably start to be sterner with him about it. Not massively so but enough that he starts to get the picture. The softly softly approach only works so fat


hellobonjour · 18/06/2017 12:28



CaveMum · 18/06/2017 12:29

Honestly, I'd put him back in nappies and try again in a few weeks. It took 3 aborted attempts to potty train DD, she just wasn't ready.

I've also got a newborn (almost 9 weeks) and if I had to deal with training/regular accidents on top of the regular newborn stuff I'd be rocking in a corner in the foetal position! Be kind to yourself and do whatever it takes to make your life easier.


MidnightVelvetthe7th · 18/06/2017 12:32

Whoa there sweetie, he's only 3 he's still very small & he's dealing with the loss of your full attention & feeling superceded now there's a new baby. There's a very obvious cause :)

Is it possible he's doing it for your attention? If so, then make the effort to give the baby to someone else for half an hour & do a DS1 led activity with him, let him know he's important too.

If you're sleep deprived & knackered, then consider putting him back in nappies again until DS2 is a little older.


chitofftheshovel · 18/06/2017 12:33

My son did exactly the same when DD came along.

Eventually, after being endlessly patient I decided he needed a consequence (I could tell it was purposeful, I remember him looking me in the eye once and pissing all over the sofa).

So every time he had an wee accident he had to sort himself out completely and "hand wash" his wet clothes in the bath. I kept it light but factual and relatively quickly he realised it was much easier to use the loo.

It sounds harsh but it's what worked for us.


Mabelface · 18/06/2017 12:39

I'd be inclined to just stick him back in nappies and train him again when things have settled a bit. He's still tiny.


CorbynsBumFlannel · 18/06/2017 12:54

Hmm it's a hard one. I'd be disinclined to go back to nappies after him doing so well for so long. But the regression is likely down to the new baby. I would certainly be having him sort the accidents out as much as he is able. For eg cleaning himself up and getting a new outfit/dressing himself. I'd draw the line at having him handwash the clothes though.
It is natural to become frustrated but in my experience showing that frustration only leads to more anxiety/accidents. I'd keep going with encouraging him to sit regularly and rewarding potty/toilet use.


BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted · 18/06/2017 13:12

Put him back in nappies or pull-ups. He's not ready yet. Possibly because he doesn't want to be but the actual reason isn't that important.

Being "sterner" with him would only add one punishment (accidents) to another (new baby taking all your attention), and that would be unkind. Three is still quite young to expect full and successful toilet-training. Remember very few children start Reception doubly incontinent. There's plenty of time


Iwasjustabouttosaythat · 18/06/2017 13:13

My DS did this when the DTs arrived too. The more pressure you put on him the worse it will get. Straight back to nappies until he feels better. There is nothing wrong with this! Toilet training can only happen when kids are ready.

He needs to know you love him and if you try to force him into something he's worried about he won't feel loved and will act out even more.

Expect other areas of regression too. My (very big) 3yo wanted to be swaddles and dresses and carried around. I indulged him for a day and he got over it.

Even if he's not making it clear in other ways, this change is so so hard for your son. He needs gentle nurturing. It's just the toilet. It can wait a little longer.


humblesims · 18/06/2017 13:32

Yep I agree with others. Put him back in nappies or pull ups and back off until things settle. Which they will. Pressure and stress will only back fire and with a new baby to deal with it can wait.


Civilsoot · 18/06/2017 14:05

OK, thanks a lot for your input.

Will it confuse him to go back to nappies? We've been doing so well since January to put him back in now? Or shall I put them back on for a day a week and start again?

I'm getting slightly desperate as he starts school reception class in September and I want to get him up and running before then.

OP posts:

Civilsoot · 18/06/2017 14:07

Bloody phone. *put nappies back on for one week and try again?

OP posts:

Tippitoesandbuttonnose · 18/06/2017 14:11

I wouldn't go back to nappies


NuffSaidSam · 18/06/2017 14:14

Don't put him back in nappies.

The issue isn't that he isn't physically ready. You know he is because he was ok until 9 weeks ago.

It's a behavioural issue. Definitely be firmer with him. As pp said you need to show him that not going to the toilet results in less attention than using the toilet would. So when he has a wee accident, you can say 'oh dear, now you need to get changed'. Then leave him to clean himself up. With a poo accident you'll obviously need to do some of the clean up, but you do it silence and send him to get clean clothes and dress himself.

At the same time, ask him if he'd like to try a wee/poo and go with him to the toilet. Chat with him. Read to him. Lots and lots of attention for going on the loo. None whatsoever when he has an accident.


Iwasjustabouttosaythat · 18/06/2017 14:35

It wouldn't be confusing to put him back in nappies. Explain to him that he needs to wear them until he can tell you when he needs to go. Give him a bit of space then maybe a sticker chart or something.

People who are telling you to be harsh have obviously never had a kid in this situation. Ignore them. Above PPs suggestion that you just walk off and leave him to change himself is abhorrent. He would feel totally unloved and abandoned.

You know he can do it and is just having a regression. You know he will be fine for reception. This is just about emotional needs. When a kid tells you they need extra love you listen and give it to them. So he acts like a baby for a few weeks, then he learns that his mum will meet his needs and he moves on.


CorbynsBumFlannel · 18/06/2017 14:40

I would only suggest going back to nappies if a child literally wasn't ready when you start training ie literally nothing going in potty. Blips like this due to changes need to be worked through imo. There are often a few periods with lots of accidents like this for various reasons imo when you toilet train kids and if you go back to nappies at every hurdle I think it would be confusing.


vdbfamily · 18/06/2017 14:48

my daughter regressed when her brother was born and after a few weeks of struggling I put her back in nappuies. She was furious and took the nappies off but did start using toilet again so worth a try, if not just for your own sanity!


Pickerel · 18/06/2017 14:54

Personally I'd say carry on as you are. I wouldn't put him back in nappies and I wouldn't get stricter either. I'd just keep reminding myself that this is a normal thing and he'll get through it.


NuffSaidSam · 18/06/2017 15:05

OP don't worry about your DS feeling unloved and abandoned if told to change himself!! That is nonsense. He won't. As long he is otherwise securely attached, loved and supported he will understand changing himself as a natural consequence of wetting himself, which it is. Combined with a flood of attention around positive toileting behaviour, it will be the quickest and most effective way to change this behaviour. No-one will be harmed in the process!


Civilsoot · 18/06/2017 17:09

Ha, this is so confusing!

I'm not sure about putting him back in nappies, I don't think it'll benefit him and I'm now so used to cleaning up 'accidents' that the ease of having it contained in a nappy isn't that much of a factor for me.

I'm really hoping that a few more weeks and he'll finally get used to the new baby that he accepts this is what it's like and settles back down. Hopefully, hopefully!

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CorbynsBumFlannel · 18/06/2017 17:18

I would just take from this that people use different methods and whatever you decide it's highly likely that in a couple of years toilet training will be a distant memory. Just in time to start it all over again with your youngest!


thethoughtfox · 18/06/2017 17:53

Ask him if he wants to wear nappies again or pee in the potty or big toilet. He may want to be the baby again for a bit.


FloatyCat · 18/06/2017 17:55

Don't go back on nappies, it's been too long.
I would go along the lines of 'oh no you've had an accident, what a shame you need to stop playing and get cleaned up, how boring and it takes a long time' in a cheerful / factual way.
Maybe if it inconveniences him he will start to act on the cues again, as it sounds like he had nearly cracked it.

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