A few hours into our frist 'Potty' day and I'm feeling discouraged - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 06-25-2012, 07:10 AM - Thread Starter
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My almost 3 year old started the potty today. She has been sitting on it occasionally (before bathtime, after I go sometimes) for a few months. We decided to get some big kid undies and move a little potty downstairs today and spend the whole day naked or in undies near the potty. She peed in her undies almost right away, no big deal. I reminded her that pee goes in the potty and changed her into some clean undies. Then she pooped into her undies. This is more worrying because she KNOWS when she is pooping. I could see that she was about to go and asked her if she wanted to go on the potty. She said, 'No, I don't want to'. Then pooped into her undies and told me about it.

   The thing is she is very willful. I'm afraid the more I encourage her to sit the more she will say no but I don't know how to get her to go on the potty without prompting her to sit when I think she needs to go. She's very verbal so I asked if she wants to use her diaper and she says no. She clearly wants to be a big kid and wear big kid undies but she doesn't want to sit when she is going to pee/poop.

  When I read books or ask for advice other Mamas (including my mother) just tell me to explain to her how the potty works and encourage her to use it. She understands, I can tell and she can tell me, she just doesn't want to do it. Any advice?

Newly Single-Mama. Raising homebirth baby, Josephine, July '09.


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#2 of 7 Old 06-25-2012, 08:45 AM
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I'd say ditch the undies for now, and then go read this: http://ohcrappottytraining.com/blog/drama-of-the-poop-part-2/

We're following her system with DS right now, and it seems to be working.  The e-book will be re-released July 1 at a normal e-book price, and the personalized advice will be extra.

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#3 of 7 Old 06-25-2012, 08:59 AM
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3-year-olds love power struggles, and they know there are three things they have complete power over: input (food), output (potty), and sleep. You can't force another person to eat, use the bathroom, or fall asleep when you want. This is not a battle you will win so IMO if it's turned into a battle, you should back off for a short while and then re-introduce it after a few days in a different way. My second child was resistant to using the potty, so I backed off for about a week, and then asked her to come with me and choose her favorite underpants, and she chose some (princesses - I'm not a fan but I was desperate and would have bought underpants with anything on them at that point), and she chose to use the potty at that point because of those underpants, and has never had an accident even. She was ready but wouldn't do it if I was trying to get her to do it. She had to want to do it on her own.
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#4 of 7 Old 06-25-2012, 09:15 AM
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great blog link threetwofive. Sometimes it's nice to hear someone give a toddler's perspective...helps to understand how they're thinking about it.

I have a 2 year old son. We partially did elimination communication with him from 4 months on and for a whole year, he would consistently poop in his potty. He stopped at 17 months and they are so sporadic since then. we are not using an approach like this blogger suggests - he spends some time bare bum when we can (not daily as DH and I both work, but when we can, or his caregivers will, he is bare bum). He does great when he is bare bum - few accidents and no need to remind him - he knows when he needs to go to the potty and does so on his own. Put a diaper or underwear on him and he pees in them automatically. Interesting to read the blog - my DH is a teacher and so will be home more over the summer - we may have to give this a try and see how it goes...

All that to say our situation is a bit different, but what I have discovered is that regardless of their age, them seem to need a few days grace to remember this new expectation. Expect accidents at first. Once they remember to react to the urge to go, they will get better. We also noticed our DS would look for a private place when he needed to poop. In our house, his favourite place was behind the lazyboy chair in the living room. So his potty has moved from his very public place where he used to have it to behind the lazyboy - he knows that it's there and goes when he needs to if he's bare bum. I think he has been doing better since he was given this more private option. We also give him different options - a little seat on the toilet or the potty, or when its nice he likes to pee outside on the grass. My DS is strong willed too and I think it has helped him have options to choose from - do I want the toilet, or the potty, or do it myself outside? better than - do I want to pee in my potty or my underwear? Some kids will make choices up if they don't seem to have them.

Hope something is helpful to you. It is amazing how much time we spend thinking about this and how logical is seems to us, but not necessarily to them.

Good luck!


married to DH, mother to two amazing little boys born May 18/2010 and May 20/2013!

Infertility has been part of this journey - no more littles for us, but so grateful we have two happy healthy boys and we can now begin to heal from that experience

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#5 of 7 Old 06-25-2012, 10:40 AM
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Our first couple of days were really frustrating too.  There were a lot of clothing changes and floor cleaning, and I was seriously questioning if I was doing the right thing.  But by day three, things were going way better in terms of peeing in the potty (DD still asks for a diaper to poop in).  My daughter is very "spirited" and strong willed, and I found it worked a lot better to say "tell me if you have to use the potty", and leave it to her.  Even if she is hopping around doing the pee dance, if I say "it's time to sit on the potty", she will say no and it will turn into an incident.  I really had to just leave it to her to make the decision - she knows where the pee and poop are supposed to go.  

Regarding pooping in the potty, we're having a more difficult time.  At bedtime one night a couple of weeks ago, DD seemed really quiet and thoughtful, and she told me that she is still too little to poop in the potty.  She said she'll learn to do it when she's bigger:) 

Good luck and try not to get too frustrated - it will happen eventually.  Summer is great too - my daughter thinks it is really fun to pee outside!

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#6 of 7 Old 06-26-2012, 11:53 AM
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Agree with the above -- our first couple of days (we went naked at home for a week before doing undies) were a disaster. I was thinking it just wasn't going to happen at that time, but after two days it clicked. We also have the problem of her not wanting to sit on the potty at times when she needs to try -- before we leave the house, before nap, before bed -- but I try to encourage her by telling her we'll read a book or something that makes her feel it's her choice to sit (if I just say "you need to try," she'll automatically say no and dig in her heels). It can be a challenge to "encourage" rather than "bribe." I'm sure I've blurred that line plenty of times, but in my mind getting her totally used to using the potty for all her elimination, and always going before & after nap, etc., is the bigger goal.

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#7 of 7 Old 06-28-2012, 07:51 AM
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I'll share something extremely silly that's working for us right now.  I draw a picture of a little animal on a tiny slip of paper and put it in the potty.  Then I talk for the animal, and the tiny animal pleads with DD not to pee on its head.  She giggles maniacally, pees or poos on her little animal friends, then says she's very very sorry (with a huge grin on her face).  I don't know how long it will last but it's a lot of fun and we only had 1 accident yesterday.  :)

grateful mama to DD1, born before the robins came, 2010.  excited to welcome a little man into the world in early February 2012! kid.gif

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