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4yo poop trained, but not pee trained
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4yo poop trained, but not pee trained

I seem to have the opposite problem of many of the postings regarding potty training since my son will poop in the potty, but not pee.  He will be 4 years old at the end of January and has been completely poop trained since 2.5 yo, I think we’ve only had 3 accidents since then.  He’s just never gotten the hang of constantly using the potty for each pee episode.  I bought all of the enticing underwear, promised toys, rewarded with candy, used sticker charts, gave high praise, had guy friends over to “show” him that other kids get it, even made up a celebratory pee pee dance.  We were using Pull-Ups for a while but since he wasn’t using them like “underwear” and the Pull-Ups don’t really absorb well we were getting leaks all the time.  So on the suggestion of a girlfriend whom I agreed with, we put him back into diapers.  This wasn’t meant to shame him, in fact he liked being back in the diapers and we did too since they don’t leak as much.  Like my girlfriend said, I believe that he should either be in diapers or underwear, no Pull-Ups, they just confuse things.  

Daily he will announce “I’ve got to go poop” and like a champ he’ll go to the bathroom by himself, get his pants off, take his diaper off and get on the toilet, poop and pee (together pee is not an issue), ask for help being wiped and then will wash his hands unassisted.  However, getting him to do the more frequent peeing has been awful.  He’s so resistant.  I had a daughter in June so we tried to ramp the potty training up before her arrival.  I got so frustrated that one day (this isn’t a proud parent moment) I actually forced him to wear underwear, gave him a lot of liquids, set the kitchen timer to go off every 30 mins so that he could be reminded by something other than mommy saying “do you want to try to go pee pee”?  And in 1.5 hours he had used the potty four times, but also had 3 major pee accidents.  We both ended up really frustrated and traumatized.  Since then I have tried not to say much about peeing in the potty.  I just tell him that he will need to let me know when he is ready.  I’ve heard there are kids out there that just announce they are ready and don’t turn back, I can only hope that day will come quickly.  Now my daughter is 5 months old and I cannot believe that I’m changing newborn AND an almost 4 year old’s diapers!

He is never dry at night, in fact his overnight diaper is usually really full.  I’ll be asking the pediatrician about this at his 4 year old check up to see if there is anything developmental or physical that we should be checking into.  He was slow to walk (16.5 months) and slightly delayed in speech development but has since completely caught up.

We just started pushing the topic again to see if we can jumpstart him and again he is super resistant.  He says that he’s scared to have a pee accident in his underwear while trying to make it to the potty.  We tell him that it is okay to have accidents, that it is all a part of learning and that we still love him accidents or not.  We try to have him understand that he can practice while we are at home until he can feel confident.  And that he won’t wear underwear until HE tells us he is ready, but that he at least needs to start practicing putting all his pee pee in the toilet while wearing his diaper.

So at this point I feel that we have two options:  1) We give him his space and that he’ll eventually come around (oh, when will that be?!?!) or 2) We go the renegade route and devote the time to just potty training with a lot of home time, time in underwear/naked, lots of accidents and possibly more trauma.  This decision is so difficult for me since I have a very smart, scared, resistant and observant almost 4 year old that I feel is almost too smart for his own good when it comes to potty training.  We could be waiting for a long time.  We could also be creating a huge power struggle by pushing the issue.  I’ll admit that I’m embarrassed that he is still in diapers at his age, and I know that is just MY issue since he seems to be fine with it.  And I know that it really is HIS decision, not mine for deciding when he’ll be ready.  

Any advice from those that may have battle similar situations with no peeing while doing poop fine would be greatly appreciated!
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Avatar_n_tn
Well first thing,  by putting him back in diapers during the day unfortunately that is a completely mixed message and probably is delaying the process.  Never turn back no matter how rocky it gets.  

He is ready, he is trained to poop it's not about that right now.  You are right, the peeing on the potty is probably stalled because it's been much more traumatic than the pooping part.  I would talk to your pediatriction but definately get him back in big boy undies and nix the diapers and pull ups during the day.  

The overnight thing I wouldn't worry about too much yet, he's 4 and often children cannot hold it through the night and don't quite know how to wake up to go.  A pull up may be necessary at night but don't put him in a diaper.  Limit how much he has to drink at least 2 hours before bedtime and that should help with how much he goes at night.

I like the timer thing, I would keep that going, when he's in his undies set it for 20 mins and when it dings he goes pee on the potty, or at least tries.  It takes 20 mins for liquid that ADULTS drink to filter through there system and into their bladder, so it will probably take less for kids as their bladders are smaller.

At the same time you have to not stress - he will get it, it often takes time for them to associate the feeling of having to pee with going - kids get so distracted and don't want to leave what they are doing to stop and go pee and the feeling of having to pee is very different from the poop.

Keep at it and the rewards - try a chart with stickers or something that he can interact with as well sometimes that helps as children can be very visual.  I know you are frustrated but you can't let that come through in his training that will only make things worse.  Stay calm and keep going FORWARD.   He'll get it :)  Have you tried putting cheerios or something in the toilet he can aim at hitting?  He may like that and it would make it more a game than "the thing to do".  As well some boys have difficultly learning how to stand and pee, so he may take longer with that than you would think he should - even having men show him it can still be a daunting task for a 4 year old.  

Good luck!
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332370_tn?1205702317
Wow I think your son and my son sound exactly alike.  My son is just over 4 years old and completely trained when it comes to pooping in the toilet but not peeing.  We have him in underwear but we have accidents almost daily.  Some days we don't have any accidents but most days we have at least one.  I would put your son back in underwear and just keep taking him potty all the time.  I know it is really frustrating but it does get better.  My son has good days and bad and sometimes we can even go a week or more now without an accident.  We also have weeks still though where we have more accidents.  My son also is not dry at night and I don't think he will be there for a while to come yet.  I feel for you because I am still going through some similar things with my son.   Good luck to you and I hope this helps you not feel so alone and know that there are other parents dealing with the same thing.
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This is just the encouragement that I needed to get back on track!!  It just felt like no one else had this same poop only issue, so Kaylee thanks for sharing.  

Becks715, I needed to read that putting him back in diapers was a step backward.  And I want to get him into underwear as soon as possible.  He has never worn underwear more than a few hours, we leaned on the Pull-Ups way too much, at his urging too since he seemed so anxiety ridden about getting his underwear wet.  

After reading your post, I said I was going to let the issue rest at least for another month so that my son and I aren't in such a power struggle mode.  However I saw the opportunity today after he went poop on the potty and was bare bottomed, to bring up trying the underwear again.  Wouldn't you know that just talking about the cool underwear (he's going through a construction/tools phase and luckily I have construction underwear at the ready!) he excitedly put the underwear on 20 mins before naptime.  He announced that he had to go pee pee and did just that 4 times in that 20 mins.  Hurray for small successes.  But now with him napping we have agreed to put a Pull-Up on which will immediately come off once he wakes up and the construction undies will be back on!

Thanks again for the advice.  I now know that no matter how crazy this gets, we need to stick with the underwear and keep up the positive and supportive part of the training.  
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Avatar_n_tn
That isn't a small victory it's a HUGE victory 4 times on the potty!!!!!  I hope you made a big happy deal about it

"pee pee on the pot-ty, pee pee on the pot-ty!"  

When pull ups first came out although they are helpful - ie overnight, at the beach etc.  They often are a crutch that parents can't get over.  You say he was upset in underwear because he didn't want to get them wet?  A tell tale sign he is most definately ready.  He'll have an accident in them - and he won't like it - when that happens just reassure him that it's ok and remind him that when he feels that tingle he has to run to the potty!

Way to go!!!!!!! :D
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Avatar_n_tn
Update - Since originally posting my message on a Wednesday night, as I mentioned I got up the courage to get my son into underwear on Friday afternoon.  I'm happy to report that he has been in underwear since then ... it's Tuesday morning now!  With the exception of pull-ups at nap and bedtime, he is in underwear.  He's had a few accidents and learned from them.  I cannot believe that I actually sent him to preschool on Monday with underwear on and that when I picked him up he was wearing the same pants that I sent him to school in!  He proudly told both his teachers that he was wearing underwear and that he used the potty while there by himself.  

Just having this forum to vent on and to get real life advice has been so helpful.  I know it is a basic premise but just hearing that once I get him into underwear he needs to STAY in underwear, no matter how rocky it gets ... that is my constant reminder.  I'm hoping to keep up this progress but realistic that there will be accidents, frustrations, regression and the like.  Just as long as we continue to move *forward* on potty learning.  Thanks for the encouragement!!
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Avatar_n_tn
That's fantastic!!!  See he was probably so proud to tell his teachers that too!  What a confidence builder! :)  Keep at it girl it's sounding like it's going great!
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338830_tn?1230003078
What really worked with my nephew that I raised was putting cheerios or fruit loops in the toolet and having him stand up and aim at them. It makes peeing on the toilet fun, and not a chore. Also, my step son is not allowed to have anything to drink after dinner time (which is 5-6, bed time is 8). He also pees the bed every night. This seems to be working. Has there been a recent addition to the family? LIke a baby? When my sister had her baby and was bringing him around, my nephew began to have accidents. I took him to the doc and she said it was a childs way of getting back the attention he used to have before the new addition. I thought it was a UTI or something. THe doc said that when he has accidents, not to make a big deal about it because it will satisfy the child. He will eventually notice that this is not getting the attention he wants and move on to something else. I hope verythig works out. Good luck.
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