Everyone is telling me to give up on potty training... — The Bump
Toddlers: 24 Months+

Everyone is telling me to give up on potty training...

DS just turned two in July.  We have been in underwear full time except at night since May 1 so over 3 months now.  He sometimes is resistant but is fully capable of going on command and holding it when necessary.   When he goes in the toilet he says good job and claps for himself, when he goes on the floor he says no no naughty.  We had several weeks early on when he was fully poop trained.  Now he never has a totally dry day and is pooping in his underwear more often than not.  I'm so frustrated because I feel like he knows what to do and how to do it but just lacks the motivation.  Bribery does not seem to work.  Everyone is telling me he is too young and I should go back to diapers.  But we have been 3 months without so it seems crazy to go back now.  However we are no longer making progress and I'm tired of him peeing all over everything.  Any ideas, advice, opinions? 

Started TTC January 2007 4 failed IUIs, 2 failed IVFs
2012 - Adopted Child #1
2014- Adopted Child #2

2015 - Fostering Child #3

Check out my infertility turned adoption blog: Discovering Joy In The Storm


Re: Everyone is telling me to give up on potty training...

  • We had a similar experience. We tried making the move to undies right around Nora's 2nd birthday. She did well at first, but after several weeks of some dry days and some days with only one accident, she started having multiple accidents each day. It became a power struggle. We went back to diapers and haven't tried again. She often asks to sit on the potty, so we let her, but she does not respond well when we ask if she needs to go. She's very stubborn, so we've decided to wait until it's her idea and just follow her lead. I'm anxious to get her out of diapers, but it's not worth the battle for us right now.
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    blu-eyedwife
  • It is completely up to you.  Me personally, no way I would put myself into a situation where I was cleaning up accidents for months on end.  
    I would wait until he was over ready and then just make the transition.  So many other battles to deal with.

    blu-eyedwife[Deleted User]
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  • I have a 6 year old and a 3 year old. My experience was so different for each. My son (6) was not ready when I started. I find it very hard if you work. You really need to devote a full week to getting it to work. As a working mom, I cherish the days off with the kids to spend time with them. I didn't want to spend it in the house! My son keep having accidents, it was as if he didn't care he was sitting in the poop! Finally it work when he was 4! i had tried for a year and half!! i was getting nervous he would be 10 and not potty trained!! My daughter however, took to it right away. I did the same thing I did with my son and she was trained in 2 days. I firmly believe they have to be ready. Even though your son is out of diapers you can still hit reset and start the hard core training again and see if that works. Start from scratch. For us the naked from waste down worked very well for my daughter. Good luck!! hang in there!!! 
  • I think it really depends on how much of a battle you want to make it.  Being physically ready is only half the battle.  They have to be motivated to stay clean on their own.  And no, bribery does not work for this.  They have to want to be clean and use the potty.  What signs of being ready was he showing when you started training in May?

    I think you have two choices.  Go back to diapers and wait for him to be ready on his own.  Or start over with training.  I'm more in the camp of following their lead and seeing where they go.  Have you noticed a specific time when he in more likely to have an accident?  Do you encourage him to go throughout the day?  

    I never did the naked thing and just waited for them to pee or poop themselves.  I put them in underwear and sort of take them at natural times.  I'm not sure what worked for you the first time but I think I'd go back to square 1.  Good luck
    blu-eyedwife
  • I don't have specific advice on this - but my sense of these types of issues with my three year old son is that the more you indulge the unwanted behavior, the more power he realizes he has, the more he does it.  If the accidents aren't acknowledged in a big way, but the toilet successes are, maybe that would help? I also support having the little one clean up the mess.  Just a casual - "You know how to clean that up" and nothing more.  But every child is different!  Good luck!
  • I've read that sometimes you have to reset by putting them back in diapers and just not mentioning potty training for like a month, and then start over from scratch.

    I have to disagree with the assertion that "bribes don't work", too. Bribes don't, but reinforcement does, and I think people frequently get those two things confused. When we started with my daughter it was very hard to get her motivated. We ended up offering 2 pieces of candy for every time she made it to the potty, and that worked very quickly. Also, she needed variety, novelty, and choice in order to stay motivated, so we had different kinds of candy and when she went we would let her pick which candy and what color/shape pieces. Also we rotated options, so there was frequently something new available.

    If your child has the physical ability but lacks motivation, adding an extrinsic reinforcer can make a huge difference. You don't have to use it forever, but to me it's worth it to use it for a while.
    [Deleted User]
  • We had a regression, too.  Completely potty trained, in underwear 100% of the time for about 3-4 months.  And all of a sudden DD started having accidents again.  2-3 a day for about a week.  I think she would become distracted playing and try to hold it, and then she wouldn't get to the bathroom in time.  I'm not sure how you feel about TV at your house, but there is a Daniel Tiger episode about potty training.  They sing a song "Stop!  And go right away!  Flush and wash and be on your way!"  I started singing that with DD when she looked like she had to go.  I found the episode on Hulu and we watched together, and I reminded her how it's okay to stop playing and go potty.  We've still had accidents here and there in the last couple of weeks, and she's still holding it while she's playing sometimes, but she's getting better. 
  • Nicb13 said:
    One other thought - if it is a behavior issue - introducing a consequence for accidents may help (assuming he is aware of what he is doing and it is not just a matter of realizing he had to pee too late).  We try to do "nautral consequences" in our household...so in this case, if he is playing with his crayons and pees himself, then he is done playing with his crayons for a few hours or the rest of the day...if he is playing with something and interrupts it to go to the bathroom, then he gets to go right back to what he was doing.
    I've always heard that you should never "shame" them or punish them for having accidents? Your method makes total sense but I wonder about this part. DS isn't potty trained yet, so I'm no expert but I'm reading a lot about it to get ready.
    I wouldn't punish for accidents, either.  That could make the regression even worse by causing anxiety. 
    ashiscuteshannmblu-eyedwifeaditigirl
  • DawnJM25 said:
    Nicb13 said:
    One other thought - if it is a behavior issue - introducing a consequence for accidents may help (assuming he is aware of what he is doing and it is not just a matter of realizing he had to pee too late).  We try to do "nautral consequences" in our household...so in this case, if he is playing with his crayons and pees himself, then he is done playing with his crayons for a few hours or the rest of the day...if he is playing with something and interrupts it to go to the bathroom, then he gets to go right back to what he was doing.
    I've always heard that you should never "shame" them or punish them for having accidents? Your method makes total sense but I wonder about this part. DS isn't potty trained yet, so I'm no expert but I'm reading a lot about it to get ready.
    I wouldn't punish for accidents, either.  That could make the regression even worse by causing anxiety. 
    I agree.  This is a bad idea.  It's not a big deal to not be ready to potty train.  Having an accident with a negative consequence attached to it would just add way more stress to the situation.  I can't imagine that helping a child learn to use the potty correctly.  
    shannmblu-eyedwifeDawnJM25aditigirl
  • We didn't make progress with potty training until we gave an "m&M" reward. She got one m&m if she went pee and two if she went poop in the potty. That was all the motivation she needed. It has been 2 months now...and she doesn't even ask for the m&ms any more so we have phased those out. The only thing we are still working on is keeping her dry over night. We still put on a diaper at night time...I think we just need to have her take in less liquids those few hours before bed.
    After 2 years of TTC, our daughter was born on Oct 31, 2011!
    7lbs 13oz  20 inches long
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