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Potty Training

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Is killing me. EVERYTHING with this child has been SO HARD. NOTHING, not one damn thing, has ever been easy with her.

My daughter is 3.5 and so not even a little bit potty trained. I don't know anyone IRL (or even online, really) who has a child as old as my daughter who isn't potty trained. In truth, most people I know had their kids trained between 2 and 2.5. She's so big and tall, diapers don't really fit well. We are about to have to start SPECIAL ORDERING diapers. She wants to take dance, swim, gymnastics, and try preschool and guess what? Yeah, you have to be potty trained for all of those. We're not around other kids that often but they have started to notice that she's still in a diaper.

Meanwhile, she won't even try. EVERY transition has been hard for her. NOTHING has ever been easy with this child. I'm so tired. She still doesn't get herself to sleep or sleep through the night (other things I don't know anyone in real life still struggling with and in truth, complaints I only see nere at mdc). Getting her to eat was always a battle, and now she is OVERweight. Getting her to take meds (reflux) was a nightmare. She resisted the sippy cup, she resisted learning to use a spoon and fork. I'm just so TIRED of fighting everything.

I have no idea what to do. She just flat won't use the toilet. ONE time she has peed because I got her up before she was really even awake and put her on the toilet. She stops what she's doing to pee and hides to poop. She can tell me when she's gone. She wakes up dry in the mornings. She has been showing these signs for 1.5 years and STILL she won't use the toilet. This morning ended with me just giving up and putting a diaper on her because we were both just cried out. She just will. not. go. She will pee and THEN tell me. She will poop and wait for me to figure it out. I will put her on the toilet and literally less than a minute later, she'll pee wherever she's sitting or standing.

I won't lie - it makes me ANGRY. I am just so effing tired of having to MAKE her do everything. If one more person tells me their story of "oh just, the day she turned two I told her big girls wear panties and that was it" or "when she was ready, she ASKED to go and there's never been an accident" I'm going to stab myself in the eye with the nearest pencil. I truly think she's just lazy.

She was the first to roll over, sit up, talk, crawl, walk, etc but anything external like using a sippy cup, eating at regular intervals, sleeping, using a spoon, etc - huge resistance. I'm just so over it.

Everyone around us thinks we're weirdos for the way we do things and frankly, my daughter isn't helping our case. I swear if I ever have another one, we are not doing this child-led business. I would never CIO or hardcore schedule feedings or anything (ever!) but I'm just so envious of my friends and family who just integrated their kids into their lives. They can put their kids in classes, they go to movies, they go out to eat, their marriages aren't in constant chaos because they're exhausted from lack of sleep or fighting over whatever currently isn't working. We have totally gone about this all wrong but I can't figure out where or what or how to get back on track. I am just so sad and so ANGRY at the people around me who somehow managed to get it right with their easy kids and their lives that really haven't changed at all. It's just not fair. And I know somewhere there's someone with a child who is sick or has acutal problems and they probably wouldn't mind giving me a good hard kick for being so whiney but everything is just so hard.

And my daughter just peed on the floor. Again. I am now out of clean panties for her.
post #2 of 19
We had a tough tiime with PT too! She was just about 3.5 when something connected and it was over, and now she's great with it. I'm not sure if it was bribery that did it, but we did get her a "big girl bike" and tell her that she couldn't ride it til she was out of pull-ups. It didn't do it right away, but that seemed like a catalyst for her "getting in the game" of using the toilet.

I yelled a lot. It was probably my biggest failure as a parent yet. I hated it.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
My daughter can smell a bribe a mile away - she can be in the act of doing something like putting her shoes on and if you say, "Ok, when you get your shoes on we'll go outside" she'll stop and check things out just in case there's something she's missing. She will NOT be bribed. It's crazy. I'm a grown woman and the only way I get through the day is by bribing myself (finish up this yucky housework and you can have some time to read, if I get on the treadmill I can listen to MY music and not something heavily featuring farm animals or the alphabet) so I can not relate.

I have not yelled but I have muttered quite a lot and I've just lost it and cried. She is totaly unmoved. She is very sorry...AFTER she pees on the sofa. Tears, sadness, boo hoo hoo and yet there she is an hour later, 30 seconds after refusing to go on the toilet, and peeing on the floor. So sorry...but not THAT sorry.

We are fairly isolated and in a very small town. She really REALLY wants friends and to take classes and there's just no way till she's potty trained.

I am also having a big problem because this desperation, this WHY WON'T YOU JUST FREAKIN DO IT feeling is sooooo exactly like the way I felt when she wouldn't sleep. It's just so miserable and out of control and it's not getting better. I keep reading around and hoping for answers, just like when she wouldn't sleep, and I'm getting nowhere, it's all just lies and gimmicks that don't work. It's all this intensive, time consuming crap and no results.
post #4 of 19
When my eldest was 2.5 and not trained I listened to all the advice about stickers, cute underwear, bribes, do this, don't do this etc etc. I went out, bought underwear, potties, potty seats, you name it we had it. My daughter was physically and mentally able but she just was not ready. A year passed...one day she told me she would train when she turned 4. Sure enough w/in a couple of days after turning 4 she trained....just like that! My son...I didn't push him because he has severe anxieties about EVERYTHING...he trained in 1 day at the age of 4.5. My youngest....I've tried her out of dipes but she thinks it's a game and I can't afford to replace the carpets in my house...I'm renting. I look at her now and think how young she really is. My eldest seemed so OLD at 3.5 but after having had 2 kids my third looks so little...she can take her time too. I know there are kids that have trained earlier than mine and I know some parents have to rush the process because they want their kids to start school or what have you...just wanted to let you know that there are plenty of kids out there that are not trained at 3.5. If I were you I'd put my child back in diapers until she REALLY wants to train...she's not lazy...the day will come sooner than you expect. HUGS!!! I cloth diaper and I'm getting a little tired of poopy dipes too so I do empathize...hang in there!!
post #5 of 19
I know this might sound weird, but could you get someone else to do it? Thats what worked for us for whatever reason. My mom came down for a week long visit and the first day she was here, she had my 3.5 year old daughter using the potty. When I had suggested it, she refused and said she liked her diapers .

Anyway, they actually had a great time with the whole process, and I think my daughter wanted to impress my mom. Plus my mom could focus completely on the whole thing and wasn't distracted like I was with taking care another child.

My daughter wasn't thrilled about pooping in the potty, so I offered her a couple of M&Ms (contraband brought in by my mother ) which is something I swore I would never do, but such is life. It worked beautifully.

Anyway, I'm right there with you on questioning the whole child-led thing in general. Not to say I would swing all the way to to the other side either, but I think there is some middle ground to explore. For example, I had been doing the whole baby led solids thing with my 8 month old which meant he was eating nothing. My mom fed him some purees and he love them and seemed happier for it. Go figure. We now jokingly refer to the week she was here as "baby boot camp."
post #6 of 19
mama. I totally know where you are, I have been there myself.

One thing that may be small comfort, you may actually know other people IRL who have struggled like this, but have not said. When I went through it with my eldest (who sounds A LOT like your DD) I didn't talk to anyone outside family about it, because I felt like I had failed, as a mom. My DD didn't go to 3 yo preschool, since she didn't PL til she was 4. She didn't start swim lessons until late, didn't do gymnastics, etc - because she couldn't til she PL. We actually wound up using the night-time pullups meant for older kids, because my DD was always off the chart for height/weight - not a fat child, just big. She was only 7 lbs at birth, but 20 lbs by 6 months, and always just much bigger than everyone else. So by age two, she looked like she was 3, and I got weird looks at the park because she still needed help climbing, etc - because she was only two!! Anyway.....

She is now 11, and a bright, witty, beautiful girl who is very independent. (She just won our school spelling bee, and also the Presidential Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence.) In hindsight, a few years ago, I realized that she is who she is. And she does things cautiously, and in her own time. So yes, she PL'd at age 4 - but never had an accident. Just like she walked late, but never fell, and talked late, but began talking clearly - nearly in complete sentences. She only did what she wanted, when she was ready, and could not be bribed, enticed, or pushed into anything. I comfort myself that at least I don't have to worry about peer pressure with this girl!

I was very hesitant to even sign her up for 4 yo preschool, because I wasn't sure a) that she would be PL'd, or b) that she would listen to the teacher, since she was not exactly a co-operative child! But she changed, dramatically, between 3.5 and 4, just really grew and changed, and with no change in what I was doing, she suddenly decided she was ready, and began using the potty, and never had an accident. It is cold comfort, but I bet your DD does the same thing, when she is ready.

So I guess I wrote a book, and have no advice, other than the fact that some children just are who they are, very different than the "average" child that one usually hears about. My second daughter was soooo different from my first, much easier, the sort of "average" child - even though she is also very bright and beautiful as well. I have always felt grateful that I had my first DD first, when I was ignorant, really, of what to expect from childrearing, so that I just did what she seemed to need, and I learned later that it is called AP! (I think I carried her until she was 2, with only the help of the generic sling that Target sold way back then, endorsed by Dr Sears - if only I had known about wraps, mei tais and Becos back then!! Oh, my back....)

Anyway, another book, but I will leave it because maybe it will offer you some comfort and encouragement that you can get through this, that with MDC mamas you can ignore those who make you feel bad about your parenting. Tune them out, listen to that voice inside you, because you know your daughter best, and you will provide the parenting that she needs. You can do it, we will be here to help you through the rough patches, and you will raise a confident, loving child who meets challenges with her chin up, because her mama taught her to.

Feel free to pm me for more, since Lord knows I have written enough here!
post #7 of 19
My daughter was nearly four when she was.

I believe in waiting until a child is 10000% ready. This is my opinion, it differs a LOT from some people here.

I can't grasp spending months trying to teach a child how to do something that they can learn in a few minutes. One, I'm lazy; and two, they have the ability to learn it that fast. Think about all the things your toddler can do after one try - stacking blocks, saying words, whatever.

If my toddler's body is 100% ready, and their mind is 100% ready, they will learn in a weekend. I've done it.

I read somewhere once: "You can start in June to teach a child to use the potty, and have them done by December; or you can start in December and have them done by December". I love that quote, because it's right.

You can't force an issue she's not mentally or physically ready for.

Good luck!
post #8 of 19
I'm in the same boat, except my kid is 4.5! I did find a preschool program for him that accepts children who are in diapers. He has basically no motivation to do it. I don't have any advice for you, just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone.

Oh, and I keep him in diapers for my own sanity. I tried underpants and naked time with no success. He'll just go on the carpet, sofa, my lap or where ever he is. I was going crazy cleaning up pee! We have used pull ups too, no luck yet!

In the past few months he has peed on the potty a handful of times, but only when it was his idea. It takes a long time of him sitting there with me reading stories to go, at least 15 minutes. And no poop, but I'd be thrilled if he was just peeing in the potty with some regularity.

I feel like maybe we are locked into some kind of power struggle on this issue so I have been trying to step back, and not really push. I just change his diapers without a fuss, and occasionally mention that someday when he is ready he'll use the potty all the time.
post #9 of 19
I feel for you too. My son is 3 years 9 months and still in diapers. Last week he peed and pooped on the potty at school so he knows how he is just has huge issues with power struggles. He is very difficult and has been his whole life. It is so frustrating and I feel your pain. We have tried every suggestion under the sun and nothing has motivated him. We've been backing off to avoid the power struggle but it's annoying because I know he has control over his bowels. He's as big as his 5 y/o brother so we have the same ill-fitting diaper problem. I've been saying for weeks that when school is out, all of the diapers are going to Baby Ben (my cousin's son that we give our outgrown clothes to) so we're going to try again tomorrow. Maybe this time... It stinks but don't worry, you're not alone!
post #10 of 19
My son is 3 yrs and 2 months and we've been training since mid-Feb. I gave up for a few weeks because he slide backwards. It seems like we've been PT forever. The last 3 weeks we've been making a stronger effort and we've been progressing as long as he's naked or in underpants. No success with pants or shorts on...maybe I"ll try that again next week. He is also scare of non-home bathrooms -- REALLY SCARED... this could take a long long time. I'm just not sure I believe that if I wait that he'll pick it up in a weekend or a day. Really...does this happen?
post #11 of 19
Okay, so this is way out there, but could your mom or MIL take her and PT her (without spanking)?
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleveggiemom View Post
I'm just not sure I believe that if I wait that he'll pick it up in a weekend or a day. Really...does this happen?
Absolutely, I've done it twice and know others that have done it. Someone told me there's a book out there called "Potty Training in Two Days" or something like that (I don't read parenting books), and I even saw a Dr. Phil segment on it a few years ago. I did my boys long before I'd heard about those, because my own mother taught her two sons in a weekend. When they're ready, they're ready. Good luck!
post #13 of 19
Very quickly because my kids are melting - my oldest, PT'd just before 3 no problem. My youngest, forget it. I've tried it all. He'll go on the potty, and then pee on the floor 10 min later. I've read the books, shown the videos, etc.

He's now 3, and we're planning on spending much of the summer at the beach. He doesn't pee when he's wearing a bathing suit (though he will naked), so I'm hoping this will help him get over it. I actually have to give him glycolax because he holds his poop (even with the pullup) and then gets massively constipated. (DS1 did that as well). Gosh, what I would pay someone to PT my son!

PS - I CD'd too, didn't help. Now I've given up and we're in pull-ups.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
. I don't know anyone IRL (or even online, really) who has a child as old as my daughter who isn't potty trained.

Haven't read past this but my DD a fully cloth diapered and even partially (we tried at least) EC child didn't come out of diapers till shes was 5. As a daughter to a preschool teacher who didn't make PT a requirment for her classes I can assure you many kids don't learn till after 3.5 years.

Deanna
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandraS View Post
Absolutely, I've done it twice and know others that have done it. Someone told me there's a book out there called "Potty Training in Two Days" or something like that (I don't read parenting books), and I even saw a Dr. Phil segment on it a few years ago. I did my boys long before I'd heard about those, because my own mother taught her two sons in a weekend. When they're ready, they're ready. Good luck!

Yes, it works! I have a son with Asperger's and it even worked with him. He is the only one of my kids that I thought was NEVER going to use the toilet, but literally within a couple of days we were out of diapers and not even having accidents. He was a 3 yrs. 2 m. at that time. Even if you don't decide to do the whole thing, check it out.
post #16 of 19

I read the first post to this thread and now I am officially terrified. I came online so exhausted, looking for someone to help me figure out what I'm doing wrong with my 2 1/2 year old extremely intelligent daughter....who REFUSES to use the potty or the toilet. And now that I've read NiteNicole's post Iam really really scared. My daughter is so smart...this is what frustrates me. She knows all the reasons why she should not be in diapers, yet she bawls and screams like I'm killing her when I put her on the potty. Anytime I try a diaper free/underwear day she constipates herself. Unlike other kids who would go in the undies or oon the floor etc...she chooses to hold everything in. One day she was actually crying and squishing her tummy against a chair, just to prevent herself from whizzing, and the THREE potties were right next to her. I have bought fisherprice, babybjorn, safetyfirst....none have enticed her. I have tried the stupid stickers reward thing...ya right. She knows the elmo potty dvd word for word...all the potty books....aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh my mind is about numb from all things potty. I have had the world of patience with everything but I really feel like this one is a brick wall. And like NiteNicole....if I hear one more story....the pencil is going into the OTHER person's eye!!! I am fed up because it pains me to keep dumping these diapers into the trash....then the same thing, she wants the swimming classes etc and all these are no nos UNTIL SHE IS POTTY TRAINED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH. I even bought those step and toilet reducer things...one for each toilet....no luck. I hate to hear the judgmental relatives.....'Oh she is still in diapers'

 

Has anyone tried that Potty Patty program? I'm considering buying that too. I am also thinking to put her in undersized diapers/pullups so that it will be a bit uncomfortable...what do you think? She has tonnes of kids underwear because I had a kids clothing store...so she can pick any colour/design....I just don't know what to do.

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sameeha View Post

I read the first post to this thread and now I am officially terrified. I came online so exhausted, looking for someone to help me figure out what I'm doing wrong with my 2 1/2 year old extremely intelligent daughter....who REFUSES to use the potty or the toilet. And now that I've read NiteNicole's post Iam really really scared. My daughter is so smart...this is what frustrates me. She knows all the reasons why she should not be in diapers, yet she bawls and screams like I'm killing her when I put her on the potty. Anytime I try a diaper free/underwear day she constipates herself. Unlike other kids who would go in the undies or oon the floor etc...she chooses to hold everything in. One day she was actually crying and squishing her tummy against a chair, just to prevent herself from whizzing, and the THREE potties were right next to her. I have bought fisherprice, babybjorn, safetyfirst....none have enticed her. I have tried the stupid stickers reward thing...ya right. She knows the elmo potty dvd word for word...all the potty books....aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh my mind is about numb from all things potty. I have had the world of patience with everything but I really feel like this one is a brick wall. And like NiteNicole....if I hear one more story....the pencil is going into the OTHER person's eye!!! I am fed up because it pains me to keep dumping these diapers into the trash....then the same thing, she wants the swimming classes etc and all these are no nos UNTIL SHE IS POTTY TRAINED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH. I even bought those step and toilet reducer things...one for each toilet....no luck. I hate to hear the judgmental relatives.....'Oh she is still in diapers'

 

Has anyone tried that Potty Patty program? I'm considering buying that too. I am also thinking to put her in undersized diapers/pullups so that it will be a bit uncomfortable...what do you think? She has tonnes of kids underwear because I had a kids clothing store...so she can pick any colour/design....I just don't know what to do.


Oh boy, 2.5 is a tough age to potty train at.  You are right in power struggle age.  I think not pushing the potty is the thing to do.  It sounds like you are right in the thick of it right now, and you've been trying all kinds of tactics (different potties, stickers, rewards, videos, etc, etc).  I really think that at this point you guys are locked in a power struggle.  She does. not. want. to. sit. on. the. potty.  The more you push the less she'll want to.  I'd put her in dipes full time right now and not even mention the potty for at least a couple/few weeks.  Let the strength of the power struggle dissipate and disappear.  When you re-introduce the potty I'd do it in small degrees.  What worked with my dd was to have her in dipes during the day, but right before the bath every night (as the pee-inducing bath water was running) was have her sit on the potty to take a pee.  Once she was reliably peeing on the potty before bath time we started introducing it during the day, first at "scheduled" times of the day (I just mean times that fell in with her routine like before naps or whatever).  Eventually we worked up to having her in panties, and us encouraging lots of potty breaks throughout the day.

 

It's funny my ds is younger but I don't remember potty training as clearly with him.  I think with my first it was such a big deal and felt like she would never use the potty, etc.  By the time my 2nd came around I had already gone through it with my first and I realized that it would all happen in due time.  We didn't do much at all to potty train ds (besides getting excited about big boy underwear and reminding him to use the potty throughout the day).

 

post #18 of 19

Have you asked her why she doesn't want to go on the potty?  What does she say when you tell her she can't take swim lessons until she's potty trained?  At 3 1/2, she certainly has quite a bit to say about this I'm sure.  Can you ask her what would help her go on the toilet instead of diapers?  

 

 

post #19 of 19

((((hugs)))) We had a difficult time with PT too.  It finally happened at 3 yrs and 8 months.  I gave her a date that I was tossing diapers.  the date came, and I told her NO MATTER WHAT they were not coming back.  In my daughters case she was a holder and had already had 2 UTI's.  I told her even if she got sick from holding, we couldn't have diapers.  I told her we were going down the road and we were staying on the road, period.  I yelled a lot, and didn't handle things good a lot of the time building up to this.  My daughter would not talk to me about why she refused to use the potty.  ONce the date of no diapers came, I worked hard to stay completely neutral and unemotional.  Stayed very matter of fact.  Luckily, even though I had to make her sit several times a day at first, she didn't get a UTI.  I also had a reward chart where she put a sticker everytime she peed and got a small prize out of a prize box.  I swore I'd never use charts and stuff, but I was DESPERATE.  In your case, since your daughter wants to take classes, those could be danglers, she just can't until she uses the potty.

 

((((hugs)))) again.  IT is so hard when you see other people do things and it seems easier for them and it does make you question how you raised them.  I'm going through this a bit with my daughters shyness wondering if I should have not done so much attachment parenting.

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