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Oh the dreaded potty training question
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Oh the dreaded potty training question

My DD is going to be four in twelve days.  She is not the slightest bit potty trained and, to be honest, it is driving me crazy.  I am about to have a new baby and dread the thought of changing two children all day, plus trying to get DD#1 to potty train.   I starting really pushing it this summer, hoping to have her trained by the time baby comes, and met with major resistance. Then I backed off a little because it was accomplishing nothing and I thought maybe I was making her more resistant to it - thought I had at least planted the seed and she would come around... nope (she even lies and says there is nothing in her diaper when there is, one time even blamed the dog for pooping in her diaper lol).  Then, since she seemed to be ashamed of "going" in her pull-up (would run off, yell "no!" or get really upset) and I thought we were making her feel bad about herself, I decided to just only mention it casually, in a positive way but not judgmentally, based on the ol' "she'll do it when she is ready" method.  I also keep thinking that as soon as the baby arrives she might regress, as so many stories I've read indicate, and it would all be undone anyway.  But now her dad is bringing it up and it seems like it is time to take some action.  

I might also mention an odd thing is she will go small amounts of poop throughout the day.  Not that she never has a large BM, just that it just seems to come out in small amounts at least three times a day.  I wonder how a child that does that could even learn to BM in the potty since it is so frequent.  (Is this a medical concern?)

Here is some of her history and what I have tried:

First let me mention that I have always had an "open door" policy while I use the potty so she can see that it is ok and nothing to worry about.  I bought her two little training potties, one to keep in the living room so she could just "drop-em and go" lol and another for the bathroom, and a "potty doll" that celebrates her accomplishments, before she was even 2.  She even has one of those seats that fit on the "grown-up" potties to make it her size.   At that time she was in daycare and after she turned two they started bringing the kids to the potty during the day and they would all sit on it in turns.  Then my DD lost any interest in trying to potty (I don't know if she ever "went" at the daycare, but she certainly has never gone when I have had her on the potty.)  I started to wonder if the daycare was making things worse by making them sit there and sit on the floor waiting while all the other kids had to go.  
Also, her Dad and I got divorced before she was even born and she is on a visitation schedule which I feel like causes her a lot of stress.  So I backed off for a bit.  That summer we moved to another state and I was out of work so she has been home with me since then.  In this time I have tried so many different things (too many? IDK, but they have been spaced out, when one fails after a period of time I try something else.)

She has picked-out, and we have purchased, her "big girl" Dora undies that I displayed for a while hoping she would want to wear them and try to train.  Nada.  We had a potty star chart at one point.  Zippo.  I have tried waiting for her to tell me that her pull-up is wet or poopy, but she is content to just sit there in it and sometimes won't even tell me if the thing is leaking.  Putting her on the potty at intervals during the day, she cries and yells "I TRIED, it won't come out!!" until I take her off.  She will proceed to go in her pull-up shortly after so I know she had to go, she just won't do it on the potty.  I have even put her on first thing in the morning when she has stayed dry all night and I KNOW she has to go, but still nothing.  I tried the plastic pants... pee all over the place, and she still doesn't tell me she needs changing.  I have approached it aggressively... passively... and everything in between.  I have offered her immediate rewards for going pee-pee & poo-poo each time (like I said I have NEVER heard a drop!) and a BIG reward for when she gets out of diapers.  

Like I said, she will sometimes act terrified about sitting on the potty.  Crying, screaming, resisting.  So I get scared that she is terrified of the potty and I am going to psychologically damage her by making her try.  Then will be the odd occasion when she asks to sit on it (usually when we are out somewhere) and sits on it willingly, not scared at all.  At which point I feel like she is playing me like a violin (she is very smart, so I can't help but wonder if all the "drama" is fabricated to get her way).  But again she does not go and once on it says she tried and wants to get off.  I have tried talking or singing with her while she is on it to get her to sit there longer and show her it isn't scary.  Nothing.  

I know ultimately she will have to decide to do this on her own, and since she is very strong-willed I dread what that means.  I also second-guess myself because I know she has had to deal with the visitation issues and varying schedules and parenting methods (even that isn't consistent since sometimes it is her dad, or his girlfriend, or his parents, or her aunts or uncles that are taking her) and I don't want to be too hard on her since she already has all of that stress.  But I also don't want to coddle her and let her think it is ok to not work on this.  I am hoping she can start preschool next fall... which will not happen if she is in diapers.  There are so many methods out there and they can be quite contradicting.  I know which one works will depend on the child, but it seems like choose the "wrong" one and you could do more harm than good.  I REFUSE to do anything abusive.  (I read about someone putting their child only in sweatpants and barricading them in the kitchen and letting him "go" on himself all day until he "learned"... to me that is abuse and I won't do anything like that!)  If anyone has any tips or advice that seems like it will work for my DD, PLEASE let me know.  Her dad (finally) starting expressing interest in working with me on her potty training by asking what we could do to be consistent about the methods at both homes and I would like to get some good suggestions that we can both use.
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17 Comments Post a Comment
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470885_tn?1326332637
First of all, I chuckled at the part where you mentioned your DD blamed her soiled diaper on the dog - that was kind of cute ;)

Seriously, though, I can see how frustrating this is for you, particularly since you're about to have a newborn in the house, and it's completely understandable.  You sound like a great mom: patient, compassionate, sensitive to your child's feelings.  It sounds as if you've employed a lot of great methods, and really tried to tailor the training to your daughter's personality.

She does indeed sound very strong willed! My son is now 4 and has been trained since last summer - we watched for signs of readiness and capitalized on that...and he trained very quickly.  Had we tried any earlier, I'm willing to bet that we would have struggled a lot more.  

I don't believe in punishment or behaviour that borders on the abusive such as what you described (the child forced to sit in soiled sweatpants all day until he "got it" - but have you tried simply putting her in the Dora underwear (or even some cotton training underwear - it's thicker than regular underwear, we used it with our son when we was learning.  I'm not suggesting that you let her sit in a wet or dirty pair of underwear, but maybe just the sensation of feeling it in underwear as opposed to a diaper or pull up will be enough to make it "click" for her?  

If you do make some progress in the next little while, she may regress when the baby's born - but then again, she may not.  I was worried about that with my son (we had another baby last January) and he was totally, completely fine.  He didn't start having accidents or wanting to go back to wearning diapers or anything.  

All the best....I know how trying potty training can be (even though our son trained quickly, we had a very trying few days while he figured it all out).
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470885_tn?1326332637
Sorry, to clarify...I meant that I wasn't suggesting you let her sit in a wet or dirty diaper for any PROLONGED period of time....but having an accident or two in the underwear, feeling the unpleasant sensation of that, may help her overcome her aversion to using the potty.
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1035252_tn?1371343440
I agree with Limonada completely. I also wanted to suggest...have you ever heard of the Tee Tee Timer method? it's what has our daughter going in the potty 9 times out of 10 now and she just turned 2....basically you pay attention very closely (or even take off all pants/undies and just WATCH.....as soon as she pees/poops, run her to the potty, sit her there and say "this is where you go potty!" and make it sound like fun...then you set a timer for however long you think she can hold her bladder/BM...it will take a few days to get an idea of the timing you will need, but then when the timer goes off....your daughter goes on the potty. It helps establish a routine, and if you can learn to catch her as she's needing to potty and help her associate being on the potty with going naturally instead of trying to force the timing it will be easier for her to grasp.

My daughter was actually fully potty trained at about 16 months, but we had to go out of town for nearly a month and spend time with a dying family member..and I'm not joking when I say that EVERY time she had to go potty, there was some old person in the bathroom. so we let her regress without making a big deal of it because it wasn't her fault or choice....and then of course our son was born a few months later so we didn't push it until about a month ago...and now she's doing pretty good. the timer method worked really well but like I said it took a few days to get an idea of how long she could hold her bladder and pay attention to what time of day she usually needed to make a BM.

Good luck..it's frustrating, but she's had a lot of shake-ups from what you've said and it's not surprising that she's taking so long to learn it.
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13167_tn?1327197724
I agree with the others,  but I also want to add that she may have an impacted bowel that is causing some fecal material to leak out randomly around the impaction.  

If what she is passing is VERY loose stool,  look into Encopresis.  It makes predicting a bowel movement impossible for her -

Best wishes.
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1240706_tn?1331605711
Thank you ladies for your response!  Well, I haven't done the Dora undies (I was trying to make those a reward for at least showing some effort or progress), but I did try the training undies that are cotton but a little thicker than regular panties.  And that is exactly what I thought, she would find the sensation uncomfortable and not want to do that anymore.  But, just like she did with the plastic training pants she would just go.  No warning before, after, or during.  Pee would be running down her leg and still she acted like nothing had happened!  I just got so frustrated that there was urine on the carpet (one more thing to clean up, right?!? lol) that I gave that method up pretty quickly.  Maybe that really is the only way, though.  I have actually been thinking about telling her that as soon as she is four there will be no more diapers (except pull-ups for the car, we drive one-and-a-half hours to meet for her visits every other weekend, and then they have another 1.5 hours after that if she goes to her Dad's, so she'll have to wear them then).  My husband is REALLY against me doing that, though, especially with the new baby coming who will be crawling in a few months on the floor.  I mean, of course I would clean it, but still, pretty nasty :o).  Oh, how I wish I had tile or laminate flooring throughout the house and not all this carpet!!  I know she will soil more than the carpets (like our new couches, yay! ;o), but if that is the only thing I can do I guess I will try it :o(  I am just afraid that her dad will NOT be on board for that method at ALL.  And if she isn't doing the same when she is there, too, it won't work.  She will be going there for a whole week prior to Christmas :o/
Oh, and if you enjoyed the story about the dog you will love that apparently she told her dad that we don't have any potties in mommy's house, and my husband and I both wear diapers... but not her 9 year old brother, he gets to be potty trained, gee, thanks lol.  See, she is smart as a whip, so that is why I KNOW she could do this if she wanted to... just stubborn as all get out haha.
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1486435_tn?1316474499
my daughter is 3 1/2 we started potty training her at 1 1/2, i was told if i let her in the bath room with me, so she could see what i was doing that it would help...And it Did!!!! she has been potty trained for a little over a year and a half...At first I was like eww gross but eventually i got over that...and From my experience Children learn best by watching others do things and it makes them want to do those things too.
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1035252_tn?1371343440
I'm telling you...try the timer :)
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470885_tn?1326332637
I have actually heard of someone telling their child that, by the time they were _ age, they would need to be potty trained.  Once they celebrated that birthday, the child figured it out and just started going potty - because they figured they "had to".  Sounds too good to be true....but anything is worth a try :))
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1512722_tn?1313701479
I wish I had advice for you! But I'm in the same boat! Our daughter turns 3 in January! And she just will not go! She went for daycare and her Nana. But not at home! We've tried everything too! But she just won't for us!

I've thought bout telling her the same thing when u turn 3 theirs no more diapers. Ull have to be a big girl like your sister!

If u find the trick let me know! :(
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1240706_tn?1331605711
Oh, gosh, I hope that works.  The trick will be if her dad and other family members follow through over Christmas week... I tell you, I was literally shocked when he even asked (I guess he is getting tired of it, too ;o) because they always usually ignore any advice or requests I make of them and act like they don't need any help (hmm... wonder where DD gets her stubborness from?? lol)  They don't see it isn't about them, or me, but it is about her and working together for her benefit.  Very frustrating, but maybe we are turning a corner here .  

Well, I am going to try it, can't hurt, right?  And TY Ashelen, I did order the potty timer... maybe that will help especially after the baby comes because she is big enough and independent enough to pull the undies up and down herself. Then if I am breastfeeding and the timer goes off, hopefully she will do the deed :oD

Thanks SO much for all the response and answers!
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1512722_tn?1313701479
Lol. That's our issue too. I'm home with her all day and usually she gotes butt naked or I try try try. But dadda just doesn't seem to wanna. He thinks she's still to young too! I'm like WHAT! He's a pain. But he's starting to get annoyed too bc u can only clean so much poo b4 u wanna get her on the toilet!
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1240706_tn?1331605711
I am starting to feel like I am going to regret buying new couches recently... lol  Thank goodness we got the Scotch Guard protection package :oD
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1512722_tn?1313701479
Yea we just got our in like Aug! But what choice do we have? Not potty train?
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1240706_tn?1331605711
Exactly.  I mean I used to be one to say "Oh, she'll get it when she is ready." And "how many adults do you see walking around in diapers because they never eventually 'got it'?"  But four years old is getting ridiculous lol.  And I want her to be in pre-K next year (my son did a pre-K program and it really helped prepare him for Kindergarten).  

Well, I responded to her dad's email letting him know this is what I'd like to do but that I need him to help out... no response yet lol, we'll see what he says :o)
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1512722_tn?1313701479
Yea. Lol. Our girl just started "poopy bite" and taking off her diaper EVERY time she goes. I'm run outta options now. Someone suggested putting her baby on the toilet bc she'll say "baby peed" when she pees.

Lol ik I want ours to go as well. I hope he agrees!
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Avatar_f_tn
hi on the potty training I too had a hard time with it but started reading Dr Christopher Greens book taming toddlers and realised I wasnt taking enough time to help her potty train. May i suggest the two things i have done with my 4 yr old.When i use the toilet put him/ her on the potty at the same time and read a book till he/she goes potty  or sit and talk to the littlen so they go without really noticing and dont make a big thing of it, and at night when they are in bed asleep pick them up out of bed and quietly sit him or her on the toilet with in the dark so not to wake them and turn on the sink tap just enough and the running water helps them to wee it worked really well for my daughter we havent had a wet bed in close to three years and she was out of nappies at 14 months.
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1240706_tn?1331605711
Well, I thought I'd update since it has been well over a year since I posted this. Hope this helps anyone out there that has the same problems I did. My dd finally potty trained at 4 years, 4 months.
After posting this, we first tried the potty timer. That did not work for our lo even thoughshe seemed very interested in it at first. It quickly got old to her lol. I had her checked out by her pediatrician who (after actually asking her to pee in a cup...really? If she could do that, we wouldn't have to be there lol. The problem was she wouldn't go, so no way I was going to get her to "magically" go in a cup ;)... he prescribed her a laxative (with the same thought as the poster above that maybe she was constipated). He also said he would check with his sife on what book they used with their kids (they had some problems, too). But he never called me back :/ No help there. Thanks doc. The laxative did seem to help her be more regular and comfortable, but still no potty... #1 or #2.
A word about the last post. (That I didn't read until just now as it was written after dd was potty trained and I just saw it.) That is the method her daycare used. Sitting on the potty reading a book. But that, too, did not work for my little girl. We also would let her sit there and sing with her or talk with her. But she just wanted to get off. It was like she had a fear of it. That and her attention span just did not work well with that method (she is full of energy even now. It is diffucult to even get her to stay seated while eating dinner. We have to constantly remind her to not get up with her food and walk around at dinner time).
So, after  years of trying it all, and taking all of the above advice into consideration, we took the words read in an online article about "potty training resistance" very much to heart. Indeed, that sounded EXACTLY like our girl. It recommended to tell the child that: We know she can go potty on the toilet when she is ready. We are sorry if we pressured her and won't do it anymore. In fact, we won't even mention pottying unless she does. She seemed so relieved.
Then, a day or two later an unexpected turn came. We were at a scout meeting for my son and two other girl siblings were there. I guess they told my daughter she couldn't play with them because she was "too little." Of course I didn't know this until the next week and I pieced a few things together. I just remember my lo coming up to me and saying "I'm a big girl, right, Mommy?" And  told her she sure was, getting bigger all the time.
All of a sudden when we were at home the next day she said she wanted to use the potty! (Praise the Lord!) She sat on her little plastic one but nothing happened. But I told her I was very proud of her for trying. Then I looked up "potty songs" on yotube lol. There are some pretty fun and silly ones out there. She liked a few of them a lot (one of them is STILL stuck in me head over a year later haha). So anytime she asked to go potty she would bring her seat into the computer room and watch them while she "tried." It took a few tries, but within the next week she was going like a champ! (#1 only so far). She was ready for panties right away! The next scout meeting was when I realized what was probably said the week before. My dd again came up to me and this time said "Mommy, those girls say I am not a big girl! I showed them my panties but they still said I'm little!!" lol I was like Ah-ha! A little peer pressure may have been in play here. Desire to be like the "big girls."
Well, long story short she staretd going #2 on the potty soon after. She wore her "big girl" undies and didn't have ANY fall-backs! Showing she was ready all the tme but it did just have to be on HER terms. That little strong-willed girl! :) Yes, I can laugh at it all now, but a little over a year ago it was NO laughing matter ;)
So, was it the "talk" about no-more potty reminders and letting her be in control? Was it the fun potty songs? Was it the "big" girls' peer pressure? (Not that I enjoy that thought. I know for some kids that kind of thing is hurtful. In this case, with my very "thick-skinned" dd it didn't seem to really upset her as much as motivate her). Personally, I think it was a combination of all three. She knew she had to be a "big girl" with no pull-ups to do many things she very much wanted to do, so I don't think it was that alone. But for a headstrong child like mine, putting the power and decision entirely in her hands was just what it took to make this a success story! YAY!!!
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