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Monday, April 05, 2010

Toilet Training Troubles

Warning: The following post contains information about children's toilet habits, and mentions the word "poo" a number of times. (Just sayin'!)

I am currently toilet training the 3yr old. Some of you may think it a little late to be starting this process; others will have done, or plan to do it around the same time as me. Each to their own, I say!

Both the 8yr old and 6yr old were toilet training around the same time, even when my MIL was steering me towards potty seats when the 8yr old was not even 2! (I think that's because there was some sort of pressure for kids to be toilet trained a little younger many years ago. And although I'm not saying that my MIL thinks this way, some people (not many and mostly grandparents) think it "clever" when their kids are trained early. Not me.)

No siree, I was always of the idea that I would only do it when my sons were ready.

Oh, and it was a liiiitle bit about when I was ready too.

You see, in my mind, toilet training is quite a laborious task. Some have it easy. The day they whip off their child's nappy and send them to a potty to sit on it, that's the day they say goodbye to nappy changes (during the day at least anyway - night time usually takes longer). But I never found that.

My first son took to weeing in the toilet quite quickly. No. 2s (as we call it around here - or "poo poos") took a little longer. He was good though. He would ask me to put the nappy on first, and away he'd go.

My second son did pretty much the same thing, but went to doing his No.2s in the toilet quite a bit earlier. He had more "accidents" though than the 8yr old did. But nothing major.

When the 3yr old first started weeing in the toilet, it went very well. He had a couple of "accidents", but for a newcomer to the underwear scene, he took to the whole concept quite well. He even skipped the potty altogether, and sat down on the toilet for only the first week or so. With big brothers around, standing up seemed the natural thing for him to do, and so he does. But, as for doing No.2s? Well, whilst he didn't require a nappy, nor did he think he required a toilet either. He just started doing it in his underwear.

Now, I have a problem with this. Firstly, pulling down underwear with poo in it is, ah, quite the challenge. The first time I did it, there was...well, there's no way to put this lightly...a "spillage" on the floor. Then the 3yr old promptly put his foot down on it.


And so, I admit, I've taken to him wearing pull-ups around the house. I just want to avoid, at all costs, the surprise-package-in-the-underwear thing. I just don't have the desire or patience to tend to that.

And, you know, that was going well until suddenly the 3yr old went back to not telling me when he needed to do a wee. Admittedly, the pull-ups didn't work on the first two. I think they kind of knew they could do a wee in them, with little consequence, so they just did. Call it clever, or laziness..whatever. It just didn't work. So with that in mind, I stopped the pull-ups with the 3yr old. 

Bad move. 

It seems it wasn't the pull-ups at all. I've washed the car seat twice since then, as well as mopped up a mess on the hallway floor runner and the 3yr old's floor rug.

Pull-ups back on.

Currently, a week or so on since the failed conversion back to the underwear, the pull-ups seem to be working ok. For the most part, the 3yr old still uses the toilet, except for No. 2s of course. I can't quite seem to get him to tell me when that's coming....

I know it will all fall in to place soon (so long as it's not on the floor - ahem). But I have to admit, after 8 years of constant nappy changing, I'm OVER it. 

Bring on full time time underwear, I say!!!



Very Bored in Catalunya said...

No advice really, my 3 1/2 year old has only just started pooing on the loo in the last couple of weeks and still isn't dry at night. I think all you can do is relax about it and know that it will happen, but only when they are good and ready and not a second before.

Good luck. xx

MegsyJ said...

I bet you're looking forward to the end of nappies and pull-ups after toilet training three times!

We are yet to go down this path. At 18 mths, my daughter has started telling us as she does a wee ("Dee, Deeeeee" she'll say urgently as she points) and she loves sitting on the potty, but she just sits there for two seconds and then stands up looking proud of herself. It's a first step but I'm just going along with her cues, I'm not pushing the matter.

I've seen how it can all vary, timing-wise, through watching my nephews and nieces - one was fully toilet trained at 18 mths (at his own insistence to use the toilet), one was still having accidents at 3 1/2. I've also seen friends who put their babies on potties from 4 mths old. Each to their own!

Good luck with your 3 year old; I hope it all falls into the *toilet* soon!

lifeinapinkfibro said...

I've always found the reward sticker chart to be helpful. Other than that, I've got nothing. I think my kids toilet-trained themselves while I was in denial because the whole thing is a complete blur. If I'm this bad now, I can see that I'll be one of those MIL's telling my DILs how my darling sons were fully PT by the time they were one, with no accidents and no regression. Yeah, right.

miss carly said...

When I am working, I am forever asking the children: Do you need to go to the toilet?

And you roughly learn when they need to go.

I wouldnt worry about the age your child is learning. My little sister was at least 4! So dont worry.

Realistically your children should be ready to toilet train when {and only when} they recognise what their bodies are doing. Can they recognise when they are doing a wee? or a poo? Can they tell you with a bit more time, i.e. tell you they are about to do a wee/poo?

Generally, if memory serves correct poos are harder for the children to get used to {note: NOT ALL children}. Its all the body movements getting in place etc. But I read somewhere a while ago, that in order to toilet train effectively especially with poos, it is very important that your child has regular bowl movements {going to the toilet at the same time or roughly}. So what I would be telling you to look at is: what time roughly does he need to go to the toilet? That way you can be prepared and have him sitting on or be asking him every 5-15 minutes if he needs to go within that time period.

Sorry if its not my place having children, but I am used to the accidents, the pulling the undies down carefully so no spillage happens or cleaning up said spillage when the children pulls them down quickly without realising.

Ohh! One more little tip: Go out with 3yr old and buy some books to read whilst on the toilet/potty when doing poos :) Its a fun way to get them in there! Also for better targetting {if he is standing} put some blue or red food colouring in the water - if he aims correctly it will change colour :)


Miss Carly

MegsyJ said...

Oh, Carly's tips reminded me of something - my sister used to have a ping pong ball in the toilet! They don't flush, and her son LOVED aiming for it!

Some great tips from Carly though - I'll store those away for future use.

Michelle said...

my 2nd used to ask for the nappy after bath at night - do poos then go all night in her knickers! my boy was 3+ it took him a while. then the 2 girls trained themselves at around 2. This one ... miss 2.5 still has no clue - I'm lov'n the nappies. I think I will have disposable knickers when we start - if its smudged too bad... they'll get chucked! ahhhh joy joy :)

Thea Smith said...

Oh the joy!
My Miss is 2 1/2 so I probably should be thinking about it...but I'm not! Like you I like to wait until they know what's going on and are asking to do it themselves.
And I've only had 5 1/2 years of nappies but like you, I cannot wait to be a nappy free household! :)

Anj said...

I sooo feel for you, as I am just nearing the end of it all with my 3yo. His 5yo brother is another story, but we've been in this potty training process for near a year as he's loved doing his wee on the toilet, but was not consistent enough. What I think it comes down to is a brief period (hopefully) of regression, hence the need for pull ups. We tried to do the 4-days-of-accidents-and-then-it-should-all-be-worked-out scenario, but that didn't work for him...just more mess for me. All I can say is, hold tight...it WILL end soon (and hopefully without too many more messy days for you)!!

Guest said...

Fruit loops are good for aim too!

Elizabeth Pantley's toilet training book (I borrowed it from the library when a friend was having toilet training difficulties with her three year old) has some good ideas too.

Ally Paolino said...

Oh Jodie, I was beside myself and in tears due to this yesterday. My almost 3yo is in the same boat, brilliant at doing wees on the toilet (or by the lemon tree) and he stands like dad does. He then got sick and totally regressed. Another two weeks and we eventually got back to the wee bit sorted. Poos he doesn't know what to do, for some reason, no matter how hard we tell him, he refuses to use the loo. He will often take his jocks (or when sleeping, pull up) off and do a poo on the floor. He knows this is bad, so will often try "clean" it up by smearing it on the floor. I walked into his room yesterday. He had pooed in his jocks, then rubbed it in the mat, on the mirror and there were six poo pellets stuck on the back of his door. I chucked him in the shower and completely lost it while cleaning up before dressing him (pull up this time) and putting him back to bed. I just spoke with him firmly, left him to get back to his nap (which he was refusing to have) and he did another poo and this time it came out of his pull up and was all over the bed sheets (I don't think he did this though, more the pull up couldn't contain it) - I just had no idea how to react or deal with this situation. I just want to strap a nappy back on him and forget that I ever need to go there again. Sooooo frustrating! Good Luck!

Bernadette Morley said...

We were so lucky with J (3 last December). Kindy did it for me. Seriously and I know this sounds like a cop out, but when he was in the nursery, (pre 2), the wonderful teachers used to take him and two other kids his age to the toilet and he got it really quickly. They did say though, every 30 minutes, like clockwork, they took them, whether they wanted to or not. Nighttimes were a bit harder, but after probably 5 in total, bed wetting nights and a little bit of bribery (if you don't wet the bed tonight, I will give you a lollipop), he got it. I can't work out why I can't remember my first two experiences, but definately remember the girl got it easier than the boy. :) Good luck.

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

Oh, Ally! That sounds a nightmare! I'm so sorry to hear that. It's so frustrating, isn't it?

I had a friend once leave her daughter happily positioned in front of the tv to take a shower. She returned to find her daughter had taken off her undies, done a poo, then smeared it EVERYWHERE! All over the carpet, the doors even herself! She said she just couldn't do anything at first but cry. They were 1 day away from having their house open for inspection for sale!

I know it will all work out in the end, but I guess we'll just have to put up with all this crap (pardon the pun) for a while, won't we?

Thanks for your comment - and good luck to you!!!


Bernadette Morley said...

Oh and I should clarify, Jack did poo in his undies once when he was supposed to be having a day time sleep, rubbed it into the wall and then proceeded to taste some. He's that kind of kid. So it wasn't all happy times. Think I've blocked out all the bad stuff or I'll go mental. :)

Ally Paolino said...

akk - your poor friend, I believe there is nothing worse than cleaning up someone elses excrement from places it just shouldn't be!

I know we will get through it one day, but days like yesterday just seem so soul destroying at the time!

Interestingly, this has been happening with my girlfriend for a few weeks now, at last count her little boy had done similar (but much worse I think) poo smearing at least 5 times. I was chatting about it to a mutual friend and I wonder if Dante overheard us and decided to "try it out"? Who knows - but it had certainly made me aware of how much he overhears us!!

mrskan said...

Mr t is 3 in august so i am pretending that i dont have to do it- i am over it already

Ally Paolino said...

Oh Bern, it makes me so much happier to hear that sort of thing happens to others too. My sister has a boy six months younger than Dante who is already completely toilet trained. I can't help but feel majorally inferior as a parent and so jealous that they have been able to achieve toilet training so easily. Can't wait till my current experiences are blocked out too ;-P

carolinesweetie said...

Funny but all to familiar post. One tip is to sit the 3yr old on the toilet after meals at same time each day and wait a few mins (bring some books) so that eventually a pattern will occur and he will then start to go. Good luck

emlykd said...

Here's what I'm gonna say Jodie..
Don't worry! Your little one is perfectly normal.. And I know that while I don't have any of my own, I guess this is my take... It's more of a "don't worry, yours is not the only one" kind of uplifting comment, I hope!
Kids will get it when they are ready, I do have a close friend only this week updated her fb with "We have poo in the toilet". Cos her little Miss while she was doing well with wees, she seemed to have an issue with poos.... The issue being that she had taken to holding it in for 4-5 days on end rather than go in the toilet.. NOT HEALTHY!
What worked? Bribery! They bought a doll house and put it on the kitchen table. She was not to touch it, play with it or go near it until she had successfully overcome that little habit.
So hoping you can find something that works for your little man.. But don't stress too much... He'll get there.. xxx love..