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Going back to nappies - please reassure me
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fatsatsuma · 25/01/2011 18:02

We started potty training DD (2.8) 8 weeks ago. Today, after 3 poos and 3 wees in her pants (a typical day) I have decided SHE IS NOT READY Grin

My other 2 DCs were both potty trained much earlier and with little effort on my part, so DD2 is a bit of a shock.

I feel we've tried everything and given her a long time to get the hang of it, and we really aren't seeing much progress. She is able to stay dry during a morning at pre-school (because she goes when everyone else does?) but has done several poos in her pants at the childminder's recently. She will sometimes take herself to the potty or loo, but most of the time she just seems too busy with whatever she's doing, and doesn't care about being wet/dirty.

It's got to the stage where, however relaxed we try to be, I don't think it's good for her morale to be constantly having wet/dirty pants. She's either not yet able to control when she goes, or if she can she's not yet willing to exercise that control when she would rather do something else.

The plan is to leave it for a few months and wait for her to be really keen. Please reassure me with your experiences of going back into nappies and getting there in the end!

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earwicga · 25/01/2011 18:03

You're right, she's not ready.

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fatsatsuma · 25/01/2011 19:16

How can I tell when she really is ready, since she seemed to be ready 8 weeks ago? She is very independent and able to dress herself etc, talks fluently, and was keen to try.

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Maria2007loveshersleep · 26/01/2011 08:43

In my opinion- going perhaps against the MN consensus :)- I would continue & wouldn't put her back in nappies as I think that's quite a bit step back at 2.8 and not needed. I would have a good think about what can make things change a bit, I would even get some advice about it (eg do a consultation with a child psychologist etc who are very good at helping with this sort of thing as it's such a common & ordinary problem!).

At 2.8 she's certainly 'ready' and anyway the word 'ready' is very relative. Ready physically? Of course she is. Ready emotionally (showing the will that you mention or not showing will): she might not be, but since she's developmentally ready, then I think it's up to the parents to help her manage her emotional difficulty in letting go of nappies. Putting her back in nappies doesn't achieve that, in fact it does the opposite, gives her the message that this difficult phase can't be managed.

More generally, I disagree with the widespread notion of 'readiness' and the idea that potty training happens somehow without struggle or difficulty. For some children, yes it's easy & it just 'clicks'. For others it's a prolonged, emotional, difficult process, but at your DD's age she will be able to gradually manage with your help & support.

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LadyBiscuit · 26/01/2011 09:00

Personally I don't see the point of struggling - it makes everyone miserable. Also, being a full time WOHM I didn't have the time or the inclination to spend my nights cleaning up shitty pants and chairs and washing loads of laundry. Why anyone would put themselves through that unnecessarily is beyond me.

I put my DS back in nappies at a similar age (against my experienced CM's advice) and 4 months later we cracked it within a couple of days. As far as I can tell my DS doesn't appear to have suffered any lasting damage and he certainly didn't need a child psychologist! Hmm

Potty training is a normal part of growing up, not a battle of wills

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seeker · 26/01/2011 09:08

Say "Look, you seem to be finding this a bit tricky. Do you think it would be a good idea to wear pull ups again for a while until you get the hang of it? Still try and use the loo and the potty, of course"

And see what she says.

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seeker · 26/01/2011 09:10

Oh, and it's it's such a common and ordianry problem maybe it's not a problem at all, but a development stage. Just a thought!

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fatsatsuma · 26/01/2011 09:28

Thanks, this is an interesting range of advice!

Maria, a few weeks ago I would have held a similiar opinion to yours. The rest of her physical and mental development suggests that she is certainly ready to be successful at potty training. But if that's the case, why is she still not getting the hang of it? She's our third DC and I feel we've acquired a reasonable amount of parenting wisdom along the way, but none of the many strategies we've tried have helped her. This makes me think that maybe she just hasn't got the muscle control yet.

LadyBiscuit - your experience encourages me!

Seeker - we've had that conversation a few times, and she usually says she wants to to back to nappies - apart from this morning when she was adamant that she WAS going to wear her pants Angry Grin

Can you explain what you mean about this simply being a developmental stage?

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seeker · 26/01/2011 09:33

I just think that being ready for using the loo doesn't necessarily follow other development. For example, my ds was very advanced (of course he was, he's the child of a mumsnetter, none of them are average!) in loads of ways, but just couldn't get the hang of pooing in a potty or a loo. He just couldn't, even though he was fine with pee. So we agreed that he would ask for a nappy when he needed to poo, which he did for another few months. The one day he said he needed a poo and could he go and do it on the loo. And he was fine from then on. I think it's all about "switches" in their brains - they don;t all get switched on at the same time! ANd if your dd's potty training switch hasn't been turned on yet, it's best to wait a while.

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fatsatsuma · 26/01/2011 09:41

Thanks seeker. I do get what you're saying. I just don't know what to think today! Off out now but will mull things over and post later.

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belgo · 26/01/2011 09:49

I largely agree with Maria2007. But for your own sanity, if you are cleaning up threes poos and threes wees a day, I think you should put her back in nappies.

My ds has been trained since the summer, but at my parents' house at Christmas, he was unreliable and because my parent's have carpets, I put ds temporarily back into pull ups.

He is now reliable again, but has more accidents then his older sisters ever did, it just shows every child is different.

I actually find pull ups quite good, again, that is against what every says on mumsnet.

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Maria2007loveshersleep · 26/01/2011 11:26

Of course it's a developmental stage, and an ordinary one. My only point was that developmental stages are not necessarily easy for all children, sometimes they need help & encouragement that may last for a while.

Also, my suggestion of seeing a child psychologist for a one-off consultation, was just to get support/ideas, not because it's abnormal to have this sort of problem, it's totally ordinary. But child psychologists can really help- even just by listening carefully- for ordinary problems that feel insurmountable at the time.

In any case, going back to nappies is certainly not the end of the world. But my point was that I don't think this is an issue that has to do with muscle control or 'readiness', it has to do with some sort of difficulty in understanding what's required & willingess to do it, with which she may need some help. I'm not talking about a battle of wills at all. But then again I'm also saying potty training is not necessarily as easy as some people suggest it is when there's that 'magical time that they're ready'. For some children that's simply not the case, it'll be hard at any stage they attempt it.

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Maria2007loveshersleep · 26/01/2011 11:28

I also think, if your DD wants her pants sometimes, and at other times wants nappies, that suggests she's ambivalent & undecided about the whole thing (totally normal too). So my hunch is that you as parents should go with the pro-development part of her ambivalence (ie pants), not the anti-development part of it (ie nappies).If that makes sense?

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fatsatsuma · 26/01/2011 19:45

Thanks Belgo and Maria. You both make sense.

Today was a typical example of how things are. She really did want to wear pants today, and was trying hard to keep them dry. We were at a group, and she took herself to the loo twice but didn't really do anything on it. A little bit later I noticed that she was sopping wet - a huge wee in her pants. She seemed oblivious.

To me this suggests that even when the will is there, the physical ability is not yet.

So when we got home I put a pull-up on her. I've always been a bit Hmm about pull-ups, but I think in this situation, they might be the best option: it will give her the option of keeping on going to the loo and 'going through the motions' like her friends (forgive the pun) whilst not needing to get stressed at all when she has an accident.

I plan to wait a good 2-3 months before trying with pants again. I'll come back and tell you how we get on. Smile

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Maria2007loveshersleep · 27/01/2011 15:38

Good luck with the pull-ups. I hope they work out. You can always encourage her to 'go through the motions' (as you say) despite the pull-ups. Hopefully they'll be a step in the right direction.

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fatsatsuma · 27/01/2011 18:10

Thanks.

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