Yet another potty training post - help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 02-11-2013, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
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To be totaly honest, I am losing patience with the potty training process this time. I welcome any ideas here -- even "go back to diapers," which would probably be a relief vs status quo.

Background: this post concerns DS3 and DS4, who are fraternal twins. DS1 (8.5) and DS2 (7) managed to be potty trained by 3 or so with minimal struggle (NO struggle with DS1). DS3 and DS4 are almost 3.5 yo (3y2m if you adjust for prematurity).

We are four weeks from EDD for baby #5, which is a factor for me (I *really* wanted them out of diapers before baby's birth!!!!!!! And I am really, really exhausted with twin stinky toddler diapers 2-3x a day per kid) but I don't THINK it is a factor for them (they don't seem to associate potty training w new baby, at least not yet).

We started PT in earnest in mid-September. Tinkle came along reasonably quickly, maybe 4-6 weeks until 85-90% success on that. The hardest part was the fact that there were TWO of them wanting to go simultaneously -- that was the majority of accidents at that phase.


Poop, however, is totally an epic failure. Like next to zero traction in six months with either kid. We are all about incentives -- they like cholate covered berries, and get FIVE for poop in toilet, but it doesn't seem to be effective in modifying behavior. At all.

DS3 just waits for a diaper or pull up at nap or bedtime. He has occasionally done it in the toilet, but less than ten times ever. He never soils his underwear, period. This is similar to DS2, and I keep hoping he will just "get it" one day, like DS2 did. Any ideas on speeding this along?

DS4 is a piece of work in MANY ways, but especially this way. I think maybe he is resistant to the sensation of pushing poop out of his body. He saves up and ends up w softball-sized torpedoes (that frequently clog the toilet when flipped from diaper to flush) but almost always in a diaper/pull-up overnight. However, I wouldn't call him constipated, as he rarely goes more than 36 hours MAX between poops. More commonly, he poops 2-3x a day.

But the real kicker is that he does a "pre-poop" in his underwear 1-2x a day. More than a skid mark -- actual poop is in there -- but nowhere close to full volume. This is (a) stinky and (b) messy, and highly frustrating to me. He will do this regardless of how recently he has been on the toilet -- sometimes immediately afterward!!! We always immediately put him on he yoilet to "finish," but he rarely produces anything. Then we have a major, gross cleanup prcess that makes his poor booty red fom the dried-on residue...ick.

I think I could more easily go back to diapers full time than constant clothing cahnges, poopy underwear, and baths. Starting to lose it. However, two issues are (a) how to manage one twin in diapers/one in underwear; and (b) how to ever get to potty trained "for real" by August so he can go to preschool??

I know others will say "let it go, he'll do it eventualy," but they will be almost FOUR in August and we are a large, busy family...I need them to come along sooner rather than later, KWIM?

Anyone BTDT?? Ideas? Not sure if this post captures my desperation...

TIA for suggestions. Much appreciated.
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#2 of 3 Old 02-12-2013, 10:21 AM
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Aw mama that is one tough situation. I do have two suggestions you may have already tried so feel free to ignore. I wanted to reach out to you anyways because if nothing else, you need a hug!

1) the naked butt method around the house. Most kids are hesitant to poop on the floor and *may* be more motivated to make it to the potty. I find having lots of cheap little plastic potties around very useful for this so there is no need to leave the room.

2) for DS3, offer that he can ask for a diaper to poop but it has to be in the bathroom. Then ask him to sit to poop while wearing diaper, then slowly phase out diaper. This may help since now he poops in the right place and tells you when he needs to go. DS4 is a tougher nut to crack but I'd try the ask for a diaper approach. It puts the ball in his court and may get him more on board with the process.

I wish you lots of good luck and congrats on your upcoming new addition. Big hugs!
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#3 of 3 Old 02-12-2013, 06:26 PM
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Do you have small potties, or are they using the big toilet?  It can really help to have their feet on the ground.

I would vote ditch the diapers entirely, including for nights.  

Finally, check out  The blog and the radio show are free.  The book is well worth the $15.  

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