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tell me your late (3.5+) potty learning stories

993 Views 11 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  luckylady
I just need reassurance that it will happen someday...

I have an almost 3.5 year old very intense, very spirited, very sensitive boy. He does not use the potty at all, nada. He peed in it a couple of times right after he turned two, then lost interest. I didn't push. He peed again a couple of times after he turned 3 and then told me it was "too hard" and said he'd try later.

He is very verbal, totally understands the potty, what it's for, knows when he has to go. He just won't. If I put him on first thing in the morning he will sit there for 20 minutes and not go. Then he'll flood the diaper as soon as I put it on. If I leave him naked he'll wait for hours until he is so uncomfortable he throws a fit. And won't go on the floor. Finally I cave and put a diaper on.

Now I haven't done a lot of this, just when he seems to show interest I try to encourage. I don't want to push as he's very, very sensitive to touch and clothing (he has sensory integration dysfunction). But...he is starting to freak when he poops in the diaper as he doesn't like how it feels, and he freaks when I try to change him and smears poop everywhere. I am sick of changing his poopy diapers (he goes 2-3 times a day, always has)

I also have issues about this because my brother (who has asperger's) also had encopresis and pooped his pants until he was about 10-11. It was horribly, horribly embarassing for me as a kid. I don't want this to be a long drawn out mess and I know that he will do it when he is ready.

I'm just concerned that because of his sensory issues that he'll never be ready...tell me this is not true, please!!
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Well, my ds has been using a toilet for pee since 2 1/2 but still uses a diaper for poop. He just tells me when he wants a diaper and I put one on. About a year ago (just over 3.5), he really needed to go and I was in the middle of something and put him off saying "in a couple of minutes". I would have dropped what I was doing if he seemed distressed, but he just seemed to think that I had a legitimate excuse and he ran over to the bathroom and used the toilet. So I know he could and would use one if he had to, but I think our relationship is more important than making him use a toilet. My ds can hold pee for 24 hours. Drives me nuts if he doesn't want to use the toilet before bed and I'm sure he hasn't gone since morning. But I try not to let it show. He never has accidents but he gets so squirmy and cranky when he is holding it.

Do you think your ds would ask for a diaper if he wasn't wearing one but knew you would put one on him as soon as he asked? It seems to me that SID would eventually work in your favor since he doesn't like that messy feeling when he uses a diaper. I wonder how it would work to use progressively bigger diapers so the poop had a place to drop and maybe would feel closer to being bare bottomed? I don't know how you would find big enough diapers. Maybe adult xxsmall depends. Something must exist for big kids, though.
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Originally Posted by 4evermom
Maybe adult xxsmall depends. Something must exist for big kids, though.
I heard once that huggies had a diaper for 4 year olds but not quite sure. there are good nights tho.

Dear sleepymama,
it seems that hes usually just afraid to go poop, and with his sensory issues its a big thing for him. especially the feeling. Also if he doesnt like how it feels try telling him that in order for him to not have to feel that anymore he should go to the bathroom right when he feels that the poop is coming. Can he usually figure out when he needs to go before he goes in his diaper? and does he tell you i gotta go potty when he does?

hope that helps let us know h ow it goes, as i have certain parents who come up to me and ask me the same concerns as to late potty training.
my ds starting peeing in the potty around 2, but just in the last couple of months stopped pooping in a diaper. He will be 4 in July. He also is very sensitive and very intense. He just didn't want to poop in the potty for whatever reason. I didn't push it. When he was ready he started doing it. He still sleeps in a diaper.
Isn't potty learning the best?

My DS is 3.5 and has been peeing in the potty for about 6 mos. He wears undies all day, including naps and very infrequently has accidents (he does still wear diapers at night). However, he refuses to poop in the potty and, like your son, will ask for a diaper or just poop in his underwear. He too hates the feeling and I think there's something (sorry to be gross) about the poop coming out over the toilet that freaks him out. Like a pp said, if your son has SID I imagine this will eventually work in your favor as he will get less comfortable with the feeling of going in his diapers.

I am so with you on hating cleaning up the poop, and my DS only does it once every 1-2 days.

I used to really stress about the whole potty issue, but realized that it will happen in its own time. The more tense I b/c about it, the less DS wanted to use the potty.

Hang in there, Mama!!
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My two older sons were both over three before they used the toilet, and my middle son was 3y 9mos before he was able to wear underpants during the day w/out frequent accidents. Now at 4yo he still has problems making it to the bathroom on time 1-2x a week and he still wears diapers at night. Our 2y 8mo son has shown no interest in using the bathroom yet, so I suppose all my kids are "late" in potty learning.

We never pushed the issue with any of them even though I would have enjoyed having them learn earlier.

FWIW-I belong to a spirited kids playgroup (all boys) and there is a 3.5 yo and an almost 4yo that are both still in diapers most of the day. The almost 4yo wears underpants when at home, but always wears a diaper when out. My youngest is spirited and he has shown less interest than my older sons at his age.

Good Luck, I know it can be frustrating
My son started using the potty when he was about 3.5. Up until that point he got hysterical if I even suggested sitting on a potty or even going naked (!). Once in a while I would suggest, hey do you want to go naked for a while, or, hey, do you want to try going in the potty? He'd get super upset and insist on a diaper immediately. I'd say, okay, tell me when you're ready. One day at diaper change time he said, I'm ready to use the potty. Bam, that was it. So, sometimes it just happens overnight.

Originally Posted by Truvie
My son started using the potty when he was about 3.5. Up until that point he got hysterical if I even suggested sitting on a potty or even going naked (!). Once in a while I would suggest, hey do you want to go naked for a while, or, hey, do you want to try going in the potty? He'd get super upset and insist on a diaper immediately. I'd say, okay, tell me when you're ready. One day at diaper change time he said, I'm ready to use the potty. Bam, that was it. So, sometimes it just happens overnight.
This is what I'm hoping will happen. He will only ask for a diaper after he's sat on the potty for a long time and not gone, and I've put it on because I don't want to force it, you know? I don't want to make a big deal out of it because he is so sensitive.

He doesn't quite get the difference between pee and poop yet though, which is weird. He'll tell me he's "poopy" when his diaper is wet. And if I ask him if he has to poop he says no (when he clearly does). Then two minutes later he gets quiet and I hear grunting and I ask "are you going poop." He says no. I say, did you already go poop? "Yeeeeeeessssss."

I've tried to tell him that the poop won't touch his butt if he goes on the potty and he won't have to wipe so much and he says he'll go on the potty. He seems to like that idea. He even grunts and says he's going, but he isn't really. Then he'll say "it's too hard for me to poop on the potty" which just makes me sad! He seems to want to do it, usually, but he just can't.

He's also really really sensitive to clothing and won't wear any of the underwear I have tried because it's "too soft" We've tried going "commando" a few times and he gets really upset when he wets his pants. I don't think he quite knows when he has to pee yet. I'm hoping this summer he can be naked outside in the backyard and that might help him recognize it better.

If he were starting to potty train I wouldn't be as worried, because I know it can take a long time for them to be totally dry during the day and even longer for nights. But he is really in the early, early stages of it and next fall he's probably going to need to go to preschool a few mornings when I go back to work, unless I can work something else out.
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We're going through this with our ds. He turned 4 in Feb. and still insists on wearing pull-ups all the time!
I've tried to be patient, but it's really getting old (and expensive). I just don't know what to do.
He has a speech delay (although he is really coming along) and possibly a few sensory issues, but nothing major. Most of the time he doesn't mind being wet or dirty, and won't even usually tell me (unless he pees a lot all at once and it gets his pants wet, then he'll go "Oh no!").
I can usually get him to sit on the potty with a bit of coaxing (ok, bribing
) but he never DOES anything! A few days ago he peed a little bit in the potty (purely coincidental, I think) and I made a big deal out of it, saying how proud I was and what a big boy he was.. but it hasn't happened again.
I've been waiting to follow his lead, but that is just not working.. now what?!
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My ds was 3 years 3 months when he finally used the toilet. One thing that helped us was pullups instead of diapers. He would freak out and insist on being changed the minute his diaper was the slightest big wet, and it drove me crazy as it happend several times a day. He also hated to be washed with wipes and have poop cleaned off him. So I showed him how to take off the pullup, put on a clean one, put his pants back on. With poop I helped, otherwise it was a huge mess. I always told him his other option was to use the toilet/potty, that way he won't feel wet or poopy in his pants, and most importantly, mommy won't have to clean you anymore. He quickly became proficient with changing himself (easier in the summer). I think that really started things going, him being "in charge" of himself. He started peeing in the toilet, like the other posters said, disliking being wet finally convinced him to try. It was another few months before he'd poop in the toilet though, he just was too scared. He would hold it in when he peed. I kept him in pullups to keep the pressure off but he only pooped in them. One day he has diarrhea and it came out in the toilet when he peed. He was so shocked, but smiled and seemed proud of himself. Within 2 weeks he was going in the toilet.
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Depending on if you think he would get this analogy - it worked for my DD and then for my niece, who still wore a diaper to poop at 4 -

I explained that poop is like the trash can in the kitchen. What happens when it gets full? mommy has to throw it out. When we eat, our bodies get full and make body trash. The toilet is the body's trash can. What happens if I don't take out the kitchen trash? It gets stinky and messy and it feels yucky to touch and clean up. If we throw out our body trash in the toilet it keeps our bodies clean, and it's easier to clean up - just like the kitchen! And then we made up a body trash song.

This really worked for both of the girls to not be afraid to poop on the potty - for some reason it seemed to *click* with them.

My DD still says she has to go throw out her body trash.
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