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Stuck training 3yo - help?!
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Mamakath · 11/07/2014 08:55

We've been training our DS (just turned 3) for about 2 months. We are still having 1-3 accidents a day and I'm a bit flummoxed as to what to do to help him avoid these. He has never really been able to say that he needs to go, and if we make it through the day without an accident it's because we happen to have prompted him to go at more or less the right times. I'm not sure whether he has any recognition of the need to go, or whether he does recognise the need but can't be arsed (he often says 'I'm too busy to do a wee Mummy')/ doesn't care.

Is this normal? Everyone I've spoken to just shrugs and helpfully says they've had no problems and their DC just did it on their own really quickly. TBH I think we probably started before he was really ready but now he's been in pants for a couple of months I don't think we can go back to nappies/ pull ups. Any tips for moving things along? Star charts/ bribes? I'm getting a bit down about this (have a demanding 6mo as well and am very very sleep deprived so possibly not seeing the whole thing particularly rationally).

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ninipops · 11/07/2014 12:55

Hi Mamakath

was just logging on to post about this very thing. My DS is 3 at the end of the month and I am 2 days into our second spell of potty training. Like your DS mine seems to have no recognition of when he needs to go and only sometimes tells me if he has had an accident. If he does a poo in his nappy it comes straight off - not when he is wearing pants tho. He has no objection to sitting on the toilet but will happily go and try even if he has just flooded himself so I am really wondering if I should be bothering. Just really not happy dealing with the self removal of poopy nappies! I too am on the receiving end of countless stories of 2 yr olds who did it themselves with no accidents which really doesn't help. Hopefully someone will be along to help soon.

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Mamakath · 12/07/2014 16:12

Thanks ninipops. If we had our time again I think I would leave it as long as possible, but can totally see how a 3 year old removing pooey nappies would make you want to speed things along!! Hoping someone will have some words of wisdom for us...

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eltsihT · 12/07/2014 16:27

My ds is 3 and 4 months we have been potty training since February and I would say only in the last month has he been reliably dry and the last few days he seems to have cracked poos. Touch wood.

It's been a long slog but we are getting there.

I just carried on letting the accidents happen and using bribery rather than go back to nappies.

He wasn't allowed down stairs in the morning before going for a wee. He would sit on the toilet before we left for a group and if he did a wee he would get 2 sweeties or 1 for trying.

We had lots of accidents at meal times so would try to et him to go before food.

And again I would get him to go for a wee before getting into the bath before bed time.

For poos what worked for us was I let him choose a few large plastic dinosaurs (he is dinosaur mad) they sat on a high shelf in the living room and when he did a poo in the toilet (usually cause I noticed he was straining) he would get them down and when he had any accident (wee or poo) they went back on the shelf.

It's been a long slog but we are just about there

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Mamakath · 13/07/2014 16:19

Cheers EltsihT. Nice to know of someone else who has been training for ages and finally got there. I guess it just takes a long time for some kids to 'get' it, but when everyone is telling you that their kids did it very quickly (or foisting next-to-useless 'Potty training in a week' books on you) you end up convincing yourself it's really not normal… I also like your idea of toys as motivation (our chocolate button consumption is already through the roof!).

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Portlypenguin · 13/07/2014 21:38

Ditto here. DS is 3.1 and having 5-6 accidents daily and virtually all poos in pants. I am worn down with the washing. Am using bribery but it isn't that effective :(
Health visitor said he is just stubborn and just don't make a fuss or it may get worse. Things are definitely worse id he is distracted or decides suddenly he wont go on the potty. Toilet too scary at present.
Have you tried the aiming at cheerios in potty/ toilet? That has been good for some of my friends. DS said 'cheerios are food and don't go in the potty' grrrr.

I don't really have any advice - keep going and i am sure these little ones will get there eventually!

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redcaryellowcar · 13/07/2014 21:46

I too am in very similar situation. Ds1 is 3, no problem getting him to go on potty but no self motivation to recognise he needs to go. So many accidents. I too have a baby who i pray will be easier to potty train!

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funkypigeon · 13/07/2014 22:06

Let me make you feel better. My DS was 5.1 when he finally got it. Yes, really. And I nearly went completely grey haired during that time. I promise they will get there. Consistency is the key I think. I tried anger, frustration, kindness, helpfulness etc but in the end a calm, consistent approach was what worked. So telling him that "I'm not happy about those accidents, wee/poo goes into the toilet not on your pants/floor/wherever"

He needed to see that I wasn't bothered (omg I was, and punched a few hard things a lot) and then he then also had a gradual (very gradual Grin change of heart and started to think it might be better to put the wee and poo in the right place.

I also made him clear it up. I know it sounds harsh, but after the millionth accident (ours were more poo than wee) I decided to let him have some more responsibility and he also didn't like doing it very much. Admittedly, I used to finish up afterwards but at least he'd had a go at cleaning his mess up.

One of the most frustrating things that tested my patience was the fact that I thought he was doing it to annoy me. I had to get that out of my head otherwise it was a constant battle and I wanted to eliminate the battle feel.
I reminded myself that he was only 2/3/4 even after a seemingly never ending day of changes (I think the record was 12).

Take time out sometimes, it can really get you down. Thinking about TTC #3 atm and I have to say potty training is etched in my mind as one of the most challenging aspects of my parenting career yet! Not sure I want to go back just yet....

Good luck and stay consistent, I promise it will happen. Flowers

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eltsihT · 14/07/2014 07:14

Yep I think I have been potty training with a baby in tow too ds2 is now 14 months and I am planning on trying to toilet train earlier as I had some success with ds1 at 2 but gave up as it was too crazy with a very little baby and I think ds1's wilfulness definitely added to the struggle, luckily ds1 is already interested in sitting on the loo and has even done a pee there as I put him on the loo before he goes into the bath.

I also second making them clean it up, it really helped ds1 get poos. I did one day leave him in the toilet with a poo sitting on the floor (on a changing mat) and some toilet paper in his hand and waited 15 minutes till he picked it up and put it in the loo. The next day I think was the first day he did a poo in the toilet, I did cry with relief. My HV also suggested making them blow bubbles while sitting on the toilet but ds1 looked at me like I was mad.

I also found running the bathroom tap while ds1 was on the loo helped encourage a pee, but we don't have metered water.

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Mamakath · 15/07/2014 21:28

Well, just to report back… things look like they might be going a bit better! At nursery today DS actually asked to use the potty and did a poo in it, and had NO accidents. (Usually he has even more when he's there as they're not quite as on it as I am.) So he is at least capable of saying when he needs to go, which is encouraging. Thanks for all the tips - will try getting him to help with the post-accident clean up...

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