DS is 2.25 and obviously giftedness is not known but he is rather sensitive and intense.
Recently I've begun putting cloth dipes aside as snaps and such are ripping from the pathetically abused fabric. I've made repairs many times and it's just not worth it any longer. I'm down enough dipes that I'm now washing dipes every day rather than every other or third day. I've even found myself using too many sposies.
DS has had several potty successes initiated by him but nothing consistent. We've tried cold turkey underwear and pants (esp while dipes are washing) but he just gets such a defeated look on his face and sometimes cries when he pees in his pants. I don't want to push too hard on this matter and cause ds harm but I also refuse to spend another $200 on new dipe items that may not be needed in what could be a short amount of time.
I am considering going the route of the underwear and pants as I already have a jump on that. I would have to buy more underwear and pants to get through the day and would still be laundering everyday although this laundry wouldn't require the rinsing that dipes do. I still come back to the emotionally sensitive and intense part of this and wonder what's best.
I'm hoping for some WWYD responses as I think this thing out.
I'd wait a few months until it's summer. Then I'd let him go bottomless completely for a few days (it helps if you're outside a lot during this time). During this time, you can figure out if it's still a complete mystery to him when he has the urge to pee or whether he's getting an urge and just not holding it. The first time we tried this with ds (early June of the summer he was 3), he was just stunned when he peed. It was pretty clear he wasn't able to anticipate it. We went back to diapers and tried again in mid August. At that time, he got it much faster. We still had accidents but they were more of the "uh oh, I'm gonna pee NOW!" kind and it was pretty easy for him to learn to recognize that feeling and learn to get over to the potty.
My son learned better when there was no cloth of any kind than he did with underwear on. Once he went a few days successfully naked, then we put undies on and he had to learn to not pee with something up against his body. That took a couple more days. By day 6 or so, he was pretty good for peeing. (Bowel movements took a lot longer and we just put him in diapers for those for a few months. He'd tell us, we'd put him in a diaper and then we'd change him.)
It's far from a mystery. DS initiated the potty successes, he said he had to pee and we suggested he do so on the potty. He's had several pee successes and a couple poops as well. If he weren't so stressed by his potty failures I'd nudge him a bit harder, I'm concerned a nudge could set us back rather than move us forward.
My eldest was late to learn to use the toilet and then one day it suddenly clicked. I was amazed, because she had been so late (yet was clearly so bright). She explained "Oh, I figured out that you can say 'no pee, don't come out yet!' and then go to the bathroom and it will wait until you get there." She had been missing this piece of information. I think until then she had thought that you needed to somehow magically already be sitting on the toilet when the first urge struck. No wonder she hadn't been able to figure it out!
Kids who have peed in diapers their whole lives have never had to develop the ability to resist voiding when the first urge strikes. Like my dd they may not even realize it is possible to do so. The brightest ones may be able to understand explicit directions to this effect. When my middle two kids got close to age 2 I explained that as soon as their pee tells them it wants to come out, they need to say "No pee, don't come out yet!" and run to the bathroom. Then I left the ball in their court and they both toilet-trained early; not immediately, but early and of their own accord.
Since your ds is stressed by his failures, this "talking to your pee" approach might allow him to deflect some of the blame for accidents onto his pee. "Stupid pee! I told you not to come out! You didn't listen!" Perhaps he could be persuaded into laughing off his failures by getting mad at the pee itself, as if it's a person that is misbehaving.
(My youngest was EC'd and so she never had to deal with un-learning the 'let 'er rip in the diapers when the first urge strikes' thing.)
Mountain mama to two great kids and two great grown-ups
Thanks for that lovely response. LOL I'm loving the visual I'm getting of "No pee, don't come out yet". This is a phenomenal idea, by the way, and I will be trying this asap!
My now 17yo dd potty learned out of necessity. She is just 17mo older than 15.5yo ds and while changing dd's dipes in the days following ds birth I was near hemorrhaging. I told dd "Mama needs you to go pee on the potty now. I can't change diapers for two babies anymore." She looked at me and said, "okay Mama" and used the potty from that day on. There were accidents but she was using the potty most of the time. It was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen!
I was hopeful it'd be that easy with this one as well. ;-)
That is the best idea, Miranda!!! I would like to thank your DD for articulating that so well because really, who would've thought??
DS has been ECed full-time (with some diaper back-up when out or at night) since the day he turned 9 months. He has been known to hold it for quite a while (despite offering) when out somewhere new or in the middle of playing, so I know he "gets it" - that said, I will still be using this as a reminder, as he starts to take over his own pottying.
Like your kiddo, OP, mine is very sensitive and intense. The first misses we ever had (which were about a couple months in - really - he took to it like a fish to water!) he got VERY upset! I find taking the EC approach (referring to them as "misses" instead of "accidents" and generally downplaying/shrugging off the whole thing) helps alot. When DS would get upset, I would just try to comfort him, tell him that it was ok, that I knew he knew it went in the potty, and apologize if it was my fault for not reading his cues (or tell him to let me know next time, if he hadn't). I would smile, quickly snuggle him and say, "No worries - we'll try again next time!" Then just clean it up quickly and matter-of-factedly and move on with our day.
This seemed to help him feel better - I think because a.) it wasn't a big deal, b.) I confirmed that I knew he could do it, and knew what to do, c.) we had a game plan (clean-up and try again later) and moved on.
Personally, I took him being upset as a good sign that he knew where it should go, and was "getting it" (and you could even point that out to your LO, if you think that might help him). Nowadays, we can often stop misses in the act if they do occur (usually right after I've offered and he's refused because he wants to keep playing!) - the first dribble of pee or "poop face" and we rush him over to the potty to finish, reminding him where it goes.
~ Lucky wife of DH and loving mama to DS (04/11) ~
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It's too soon to know if it will actually work, but DS is now running around saying "I'm the boss of the pee!" The power struggle seems to have turned from him against me to him against the pee (for the moment anyway). I love it! He feels in charge now :) Thanks, Miranda and thanks to your DD!
Life is strange and wonderful. Me , DP , DS (3/09) , 3 and 4
Last night, ds grabbed himself and said, "No pee, stay in!" DH thought that was hysterical.
DS had a few mistakes yesterday, no big deal. Then later in the evening, after dinner, while running the tub water, I couldn't find ds. I was calling his name, telling him to come down for bath but he didn't answer. I'm sure you can all guess where I found him. Yep, sitting on the potty I'd put in the hallway outside his room while he and his sister were upstairs playing. He successfully peed in the potty on his own and without my suggesting it.
THANK YOU MIRANDA!
Another dipe gave out this morning :(