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Potty training - how to cross the finishing line

  1. #1
    lisa88 is offline Registered User
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    Potty training - how to cross the finishing line

    Since December I have been exposing my (now) 28-month old to the idea of potty training. Got her a potty, a kids' toilet seat, read potty books to her, Elmo potty training DVD, Gina Ford method, the works. As I work full-time, my helper has to do most of the training.

    It took a full 6 months before my girl would pee in the potty. Prior to this she would sit on the potty/toilet but would NOT pee/poo in it. The past 6 weeks, she will pee in the toilet/potty with lots of reminders and persuasion. I'd say about 80% of the time, she needs prompting. About 20% of the time, she will go willingly.

    However she dislikes poo-ing in the potty/toilet. She prefers running to a corner, hiding behind the curtains and soiling her nappy. No amount of persuasion will get her to use the toilet, even when we catch her about to do the deed. We think she is accustomed to poo-ing standing up, not sitting down.

    She goes to playgroup 3X a week so she has seen the older kids using the kids' loos there.

    I have asked my helper to bribe my toddler with fruit gums, but my helper has some weird idea about not bribing my toddler - apparently she just gives the sweets BEFORE the deed which is useless. I am out working full time so I just have not pushed very hard on this.

    My toddler is very strong-willed and independent. She is very clear when she wants her toys, books, snacks, TV, videos, etc so it is a matter of willpower whether she asks to use the potty/toilet like everything else she wants.

    How to crack this? I don't think success is far off but also I don't want to push my toddler too hard as it could be counter-productive.

  2. #2
    Janeym is offline Registered User
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    I'm interested in how you got her to pee in the potty at all - I can't get beyond "NO!" (Headstrong boy) Advice welcome..

  3. #3
    TNT
    TNT is offline Banned
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    This is very, very common; from what i understand it is not so much the standing up vs sitting down that's the issue but the fact that the poo is 'falling away' in the toilet as opposed to being in the nappy, so a completely different sensation and can be very unsettling. A lot of toddlers are just not comfortable with that feeling.My daughter and practically every todller i know had this issue, some for only a few weeks or a month (my daughter lucky for me), others for a year or more.
    Also, she is at the prime age for testing the limits and the poo is a great way to do that - you can't make her poo on the potty/toilet and she knows that. If she is strong willed and independent, that makes sense. It sounds from what you have said (and I may be wrong but just from what you have written) that there has been a fair bit of focus on toilet training for a long time (over 6 months) which means she knows it is something that will get your attention.

    It will happen eventually but I honestly think the more pressure you put on her, the longer it will take. Also you don't want to get in the situation my friend did where her son got so het up about pooing in the toilet that he wouldn't poo at all (he was totally out of nappies during the day) and so if he needed to go and couldn't wait for the night nappy he would hold onto the poo. He got really upset and agitated, it was horrible to see and also terribly constipated which then became a vicious circle as it hurt when he did poo. So although i know it is very frustrating please bear that in mind. My son is currently the age my daughter started weeing on the toilet (25 months) but is very firm that he won't do this and wants to wear a nappy. I mention it regularly but am not going to make it into a battle as I know it is only one I can lose...and when he is ready he will be happy to do it (hopefully it doesn't take too long!!) Good luck

  4. #4
    lisa88 is offline Registered User
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    Janeym, amazingly one morning in early June she pee-d in the toilet. She has just woken up, and was put on the toilet (note, she did not go herself). Maybe she had a full bladder. But it wasn't a fluke because the same day, she pee-d in the toilet 3 times!! Helper and I were overjoyed, I even said I would rush out and buy the Mark 6!!!

    TNT, thank you for your comments, you pretty much confirmed what I have suspected. This is really just a power struggle and I have tried not to make a big deal out of her using the potty/toilet. Some days she would flatly refuse to sit on the potty/toilet, other days she would sit but refuse to pee/poo in it. Other times my toddler has surprised me by fetching all her potty books and asking me to read them to her!! It is the same with her going to playgroup, ie her teachers exerting authority over her. Some days she is an angel and other days she is a little monster - disobedient and disruptive in class. Just depends on what she feels like on that day. So we keep patiently trying, not too much pressure and some gentle persuasion, with success not too far off, we hope!

  5. #5
    AudreysMom is offline Registered User
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    My daughter is almost 20 months and nearly potty trained except for the occasional poo in her nappy if I did not catch her in time. I actually started the process when she was 10 months old. I bought her a mini sized toilet that will play music after you pee or poo in it. This sounds gross but what helped is that she always saw me going in the toilet and when she had her own little version next to mine she was very excited. Every time I had to go, I put her on the toilet regardless of whether she had to go or not just so she would associate it with going poo/pee. Just sitting on it for a minute was good enough.

    Then, after she got used to sitting on it, for fun, which was about a month or so, I would time 10 minutes after she drank her milk or ate, and put her on it. Most of the time she didn't go. If by rare chance she did go I would get excited like mad! I would start squealing with delight so she associated going in the toilet as a good thing. It took a lot of patience but by about 12 months she could keep a dry diaper during the day so long as I kept taking her to the toilet every time I went to the toilet and 10 minutes after her milk/food. I also took her to the toilet right after she woke up. I also took her to the toilet right before bath time as the bath water is running. I followed these rules religiously and it seemed to work. My girl is also very strong willed and fiercely independent but she has always done better on routine so this may be why it worked for us.

    Key thing is to watch her facial expression. When she looks like she's about to go, I run to the toilet and put her on it immediately and usually she will finish her poo there. You can also sort of predict the time she will go poo if she eats on a time schedule. At 18 months, she signaled she needs to go by pointing to her diaper.

    Potty training is very hands on and requires a LOT of patience! I wouldn't expect a helper to be as "hands on" and as consistent at putting her on the toilet at those set times as I was. I did not have a helper- still don't- so I was literally with my daughter 24/7 - and i was DETERMINED to get her trained by 18 months... FYI I am very much in the "attachment parenting" / dr. Harvey karp school of thought. I cant imagine someone else who loves my child as much as me who will put in the effort and dedication to potty training her properly and diligently.

  6. #6
    AudreysMom is offline Registered User
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    Oh yea and at 12 months, I switched from the mini toilet (getting gross to clean) to a little mini toilet seat you put on a regular toilet so she doesn't fall in the toilet. This way, she goes in the regular toilet and there is less clean up. I got one for every toilet in the house. It works better than having to hold her in place so she doesnt fall in.

  7. #7
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Your story about your helper trying to bribe her by giving the candy BEFORE the deed -- that cracked me up. Thanks for the laugh of the night. And good luck! :)

  8. #8
    lisa88 is offline Registered User
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    Hi Audreysmom, you techniques will not work with my daughter unfortunately: countless times when we know she has a full bladder or is about to poo, and we put her on the potty/toilet, she would scream NO and HOLD IT ALL IN. This was how things were for a full 6 months up til early June. Only after 15-20 mins (if she agreed to sit that long) we give up and put on her nappy, then she lets it all out. There was one time when she refused to pee for 18 hours: her nappy was dry overnight right up til lunchtime the next day. We literally had to put her in the shower and hose her down in the shower to force her to pee. As I said, my objective is for her to want to go VOLUNTARILY because she is very good at asking for other fun things that she wants. I don't want this exercise to become a huge power struggle because her urine/bowel habits could be come seriously messed up, as some instances have already shown.

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