Feeling like a failure RE: potty training — The Bump

Feeling like a failure RE: potty training

My DS just turned 3, and we have been working on potty training since June. He will pee in the potty with no problem, but he does not tell us when he has to go. Poop is another story altogether. I can't even get him near the potty while he's pooping...he wants to be left alone. I am trying to be as consistent as possible with him and watch for cues, but I still don't always catch him before it's too late. When we make progress, something happens and he'll regress. Any advice on this? I'm really starting to feel like a failure, especially when my MIL suggests that the only way to get him potty trained is to put him in school (I am currently a SAHM). Thanks!
Happily Married since 7/2006
DC #1 10/2008 TTC #2 since 1/2010
Natural miscarriage @ 5w3d 1/2011 Chemical pregnancy 4/2011
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Re: Feeling like a failure RE: potty training

  • Some kids are just stubborn about PT, and that's not our fault as moms! I tried PTing DS when he was 2 1/2, and it didn't take. I felt like crap because I worked my a$$ off and it didn't work. DS didn't train for another 6+ months after that. He has been pee trained for months now, but poop is still a huge no. I can tell when he needs to go and always encourage the potty, but he will hold it if I try to force him so I've backed off. It sucks, but it's clearly a control issue.

  • I'm in the same boat.  My son turned 3 in June.  He is delayed though but I really don't play into that as an excuse because I really think he gets it.  When he has to go poop he tells me "mommy walk" as he wants me away so he can do his thing.  If I put him on the potty which I try to do a lot if he does cooperate then he will pee but usually won't tell me he has to go until after the fact.  It's so frustrating, espeically when my almost 6yo was soooo easy and potty trained at 2.5   good luck!
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  • My ds was the opposite. He pooped in the potty long before he turned three but wouldn't pee on the potty unless I forced him to go. Honestly, he just wasn't ready. I was ok with not forcing it but our school really forced the issue. He wasn't ready until about 3 years, 4 months and at that time acted like it was so natural, you'd thought he'd been doing it forever. Age three isn't a magic potty training cut off. He has to be ready or it's going to be frustrating and turn into a power struggle. Your MIL needs to back off. 
  • You, and your DS, are doing fine.  My 4.5 year old still poops in his pants every once in a while.  He just gets too busy and doesn't want to stop what he's doing.

    As for peeing, both boys didn't really get it until they were about 3.5.  I tried at three and my boys just weren't ready.  You cannot force anyone to potty, sleep or eat.  It just won't happen that way.  You have to wait until your LO is ready. 

    Hang in there! 


    My twins are 5! My baby is 3!

    DS#2 - Allergic to Cashew, Pistachio, Kiwi

    DS#3 - Allergic to Milk, Egg, Peanut, Tree Nuts and Sesame

  • Why do you feel like a failure?  Potty training has nothing to do with you - it has everything to do with your child.  Tell your MIL to go stuff it first off (OK, not really but seriously she is out of line).  Yes, kids that see other kids use the potty are going to sometimes learn faster since everyone else is doing it but honestly, until your child cares about - is uncomfy in wet and dirty diapers, he is just not going to care and not going to train.  The more you push him, the longer this is going to take.  Trust me, I had one child who decided at 2 years 9 months she was ready and that was all it took - she was done and has had basically no accidents since about 3 weeks later.  DD #2 - totally different story.  at the very young age of 16 months, she started peeing on the potty - totally not ready to be trained but when the mood struck, she did it.  Never pooped on the potty.  At around 2 1/2, she decided she was ready for undies so we gave it a try and had a horrible 2 months with a ton of accidents and zero poops in the potty.  We finally told her that she was going to wear pull-ups until she started pooping in the potty (she would pee in the potty most of the time).  Being in pull-ups allowed her to go pee in the potty on her own but also saved us having to clean up poop filled undies every day.  A few weeks before she was 3 she finally started pooping in the potty and we went back to undies and she has been in them every since (7 months now).  I can tell you though that these 7 months have not been easy.  She will often go back into the I don't care if I'm wet and dirty phase and have accidents.  She had one 6 week period with no daytime accidents and then had 2 weeks with almost daily accidents.  For the last month, she has been bribed with a Skittle a day when I pick her up if she is dry and it works amazing well - she doesn't have accidents at home - at school it is more related to stopping what she is doing to go and not worrying about losing her toy to another kid.  Bottom line - potty training is all about the kid and forcing them to do it won't work
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • Ask him to ask you for a diaper or pull up when he wants to poop and that you have no problem with that.  That way he is noticing when he has to do it and you don't have the mess.  Next ask him to poop in the pull up in the bathroom so at least he is going in the right room.  If he has a pattern like always going before nap or dinner then ask him to sit on the potty for a few minutes and then put a pull up on him if he doesn't go.  Close the door while he is in there.  Give him the privacy.  We put the big thomas roundhouse on top of the fridge and told he got that when he pooped on the potty.  It took awhile, but he got it.  DS was pee trained for about 6 months and poop trained after he turned 3. 
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  • This may be frowned upon...but when we were sure DS1 knew when the poop was coming but wasn't going to the potty (he clearly knew that poop was supposed go in the potty but was choosing to not use it), we had him clean up his own mess. he'd have to dump the contents of his underwear into the toilet, rinse the underwear and put it in the laundry. Sounds gross but he had  to do this 3 times and that was the end of pooping in his pants.
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  • I had serious poop issues with my second and thought he'd never poop in the toilet. About 2 weeks ago I caught him sitting on the floor about to poop and scooped him up and put him on the toilet.  He pooped in the toilet, I made a big deal and talked up how easy it was and that was the turning point.  It took my 3 days of watching him like a hawk, I'd ask him if he had to poop and then he'd run to the bathroom and by day 4 he finally took off on his own to go.  He's not had one single accident.  I swear only two weeks ago this kid would crap in his pants and not even tell us.
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