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DS is 27 months old, and about 3 months ago started really fighting diaper changes. He was begging for underwear, so I switched him over. The first couple of weeks was hard, and then he seemed to be really starting to "get it". I keep him naked at home most of the time, and at his pre-school, they are pretty good about asking him if he needs to go. He was down to about one or two accidents a day there, and they were extremely rare here at home.

Over the past couple of weeks, the accidents have increased in a huge way. Last night he pooped on the couch and then sat in it and it really got ground in. I was livid. I know that is not the appropriate reaction, but I was at my wits end. I cleaned him up a bit roughly and put a diaper on him, even though he was begging to not have a diaper. He wanted underwear.

At school, the poop and pee accidents are so frequent, and he is fighting checking about a pee or poop so often (although not always), that the teachers there are getting frustrated and I know they just want him in a diaper.

We have been working on this for nearly 3 months now. I am really feeling like I can't deal with it right now, and just want to go back to diapers, but I also feel like it could be damaging to the progress that he has made. Any insights would be welcome!
 

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When he was doing well, did you always have to remind him or take him to the bathroom, or did he identify the need and go himself?

I tried to PL my son at 2.5 and it seemed to go well for about a month and the same sort of thing happened. I was constantly reminding and fighting about it. So we went back to diapers. Now a month before he turns 3 he made the decision on his own. He is in undies full time during the day (dipe at night still) and even when we go out. I can't remind him or he gets mad. He goes all on his own. It was so simple of a transition that I wish I had never tried at 2.5. Now I'll know for the next one!
 

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How much does your son understand?

Can you sit down with him and the school staff (first discuss with staff to get your "story straight") and explain that going in the potty is HIS responsibility. If he wants YOU to take care of it, then he will be in a diaper.

Explain the biological reasons that babies wear diapers: Poop and pee have germs, tiny bugs, which can make our stomachs hurt, which is why it's bad to have poop and pee on the carpet, etc. Babies that cannot control their elimination very well wear diapers, but if he is ready, he can wear pants.

Explain that if he has more than two (or three, whatever) days of more than two (or one, or three, whatever) accidents per day, he will have to wear diapers because it's not fair to you.

That's my suggestion. I'm sure there are other good ideas out there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I actually talked to a friend today who made me feel much better. She too tried to PL her daughter at 2.5 and it just wasn't working. She went back to diapers and at around 3, she just PL'd herself. I have DS in a diaper right now, and figure when I go to the bathroom, I will offer the potty to him, and if he wants to go when he feels the urge, he can go. I plan to still do plenty of naked time with him, especially his early morning naked time in bed. He loves to pee in the potty first thing in the morning and then snuggle back in bed with no diaper or undies for an hour or so.

So far today, he has used the potty three times, and he is currently napping in a diaper. I just can't make it a huge power struggle anymore, which is really what it was turning into.

I like the idea of talking to him about it, but I think I am going to wait until he asks for underwear again. If he asks for them and says that he will pee and poop in the potty, I will let him wear them, but if he has an accident, I think I will just put a diaper back on him. I really think that he needs to show me that he can do it before we go back full time to underwear. As much as I was looking forward to never buying diapers again, I can't deal with poop and pee all over my entire house all the time. I am a single mama and this is just driving me over the edge. *sigh*
 

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I'd just put him back in diapers.
BTDT, the decision to completely back track in my mind was so hard, but it was what needed to be done. DD2 had been PLed for about 6 months when she started having soo many accidents, it wasn't *that* bad at home but I couldn't go anywhere without her peeing all over the place. I was starting to get really frustrated at her and decided that was not what she needed, I'd rather see her in diapers again then battling over accidents.

You know what, I went out and bought a massive box of pull ups because she refused to wear a regular diaper again (she is 2.5y), I figured she would just be in them until she was older and decided to PL again. She often runs around nakid at home, so I continued that, but put pull-ups on every time we left the house. She refused to pee in them.
I did that for two weeks and then now she is back to rarely having an accident and wearing underwear again. You just never know what they are going to do.
 

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Another vote for back to diapers.

Our DS didn't seem ready for potty training/learning to us until he was almost 3.5. We never pushed it - every now and then I would ask if he were interested and he would say no. We got a lot of flack for not even trying for so long. Then one day he was ready and wanted underwear. He had a ton of accidents that first day. Maybe one accident the second day. By day 3, he was fully trained, naps and night time included, with no reminders about having to go. Now, there's no guarantee that every kid is going to get it that quickly by waiting, but later is often faster when it comes to this issue.
 

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Are you relying on him to tell you when he needs to go or are you taking him when you think he needs to go?

My DD is just over 2 and she's been out of diapers for over a month now. She hardly ever has an accident, but she almost never tells me when she needs to go. She will not go to the potty by herself. She always says "no" when we ask her if she has to go (even if she's showing signs of needing to go). So we just take her in to the bathroom every time it looks like she might need to go, even if she is fussing a bit.

I don't mind that she's not ready to tell me that she needs to go yet. Like you, diaper changes were becoming a nightmare - it was like wrestling an alligator! I figure she'll get there soon.

As far as naked time goes, I never let DD sit on furniture naked when we were training (and rarely do now) because I didn't want to deal with a poop or pee on the couch. Perhaps there can be some rules surrounding where he can play during naked time until he has fewer accidents?

As for preschool, I'd suggest that the teachers take him into the restroom frequently and (as much as possible) keep an eye out for signs that he needs to go. Maybe send him in Pull-ups so the messes aren't such a problem? DD wears them whenever we're out just so I don't have to worry about the possibility of a mess if I happen to miss her cues.
 

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Just want to add, I have been PL ds since 5 mo, now 34. We would have success and then loose ground often, because of moves and such. Poop accidents have always been the hardest to handle because ds is largely poop trained. We have only now been having overall success, for about 3 weeks, and still can expect maybe a pee accident everyother day.

JUst go back to diapers if that means sanity and calm for mom. THe anger factor is best controlled that way and you will be less likely to to contribute progress failure emotionally. It is a natural consequence to have to be diapered if you soil the house (especially poop).

I think sons just take longer too and had to stop comparing ds to all his little girlfriends, some of whom finished this up a year ago.
 

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Doesnt sound like he is ready yet. I would go back to diapers.
 

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We full-time EC'd DS since birth. And it was GREAT the first year, and then okay until he was about 18 months, and then it became a struggle. Plus I was pregnant with horrible morning sickness and then bleeding, then my dad was dying with cancer, then we moved. We put him back in diapers, and you know what? I'm much happier. He's much happier. It makes me a better mom. I'm glad not to be fighting him about using the potty, he's happy that I'm happy, and life is much much easier. He's still basically poop trained (every once and awhile he has accidents), and he uses the potty to pee sometimes, but most of the time he useds his diaper. I wouldn't worry about the consequences down the road, just do what you need to do. A happy mama is much better for your son than an unhappy one.
 

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Going back to diapers, pull ups, or cloth/waterproof training pants might be OK. Especially if it makes everyone mellow & happy. For my daughter, though, she saw the diaper as punishment, and as you know, punishment doesn't help potty progress at all. I don't really know what to tell you, except maybe buy a bunch of thrift-store blankets to cover your couch. Maybe keeping your son in underwear & pants, like polyester parachute type fabric, might contain accidents.
Good Luck!
 
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