Toilet training a 3.5 year old - no idea what to do!?
My 3.5 year old is a very bright girl who I can not get to use the toilet reliably. I apologise for long story!
At just over 2 years old she started using the toilet in the house (she wouldn't use it out and about which was fine and we never pushed it). Then I got pregnant and had baby and she stopped using toilet at all. Totally normal regression we were told so we started using nappies again.
Then at just over 3 she wanted to use toilet in house again so that's fine nappies were off again (she still didn't want to use toilet out and about so again we didn't force her). She used the toilet reliably in the house for about a month before the accidents started again, pretty much everytime she needed the toilet she would do it in her pants jnstead so we went back to nappies.
A couple of months ago she started using the toilet in the the house again but still not out and about (but now refusing to use nappies when out and about). We got her some pull ups for out and about but now she was using the toilet occasionally when out and about so we ditched the pull ups as she was just using them as a nappy rather than asking to go to toilet. We switched to toddler training pants - just like normal pants it soak up some pee so no puddles! We had no issues and she used the toilet out and about or held it in until we were home.
Now the last couple of weeks she has went back to just peeing herself again in the house and also when out and about. Today I took her to the library and she started dancing about. I asked her if she needed the toilet and she said no. I said that we would all go to the toilet together and I would go first. When we got up the toilet she was blatantly needing and I told her once she used the toilet we would go downstairs but we weren't going back down until she went. We were up there half an hour and she refused to use it. I ended up putting her on it whilst she screamed but she didn't go. As soon as we went back downstairs she peed all over the floor. I was so angry that I just took her to the toilet and put a nappy on without even speaking to her and head on straight back home.
I am just at the end of my tether with this and have no idea what to do. Would you go back to nappies now or just take a change of clothes? The accidents have been constantly the last few weeks whether I remind her to go or not.
She will be 4 in July and I just feel it's getting to the stage where she shouldn't be using nappies ESPECIALLY when she Is capable of using the toilet. I have actually just sat in tears over this today but I feel in almost 2 years we have make no progress
Personally I'd get rid of all nappies and not go back to them at all or pull up. I know it's frustrating, I want to scream when my daughter has accidents in public after me asking time and time again if she needs a pee, but going back to nappies all the time just sends her the wrong message. She now knows that she can just wet herself and you will give up and put her in a nappy. If it was me, and it may be cruel, I would let her be uncomfortable for a tiny while in wet pants. Not long enough to give her sore skin - not talking 20 minutes and child abuse but enough to let her know that it's horrible. Let her see that you won't pander to her and put her in a nappy. Ensure she sits on the toilet before you leave the house and if she doesn't actually pee then fine, don't stress. The more you stress and get worked up the more control she has over the situation. It's hard I know, but you are the adult. If she wets in public then so what, you aren't the only parent wirh a child who has done it. think even single one of us on here have a toddler who has. anyone who judges you either lives in a fantasy world with their perfect child or doesn't actually have children. Chill out and it will all fall in to place! Best advice I got was pull ups, it always makes toilet training harder! xxx
Same as above really, ditch the pull ups/nappies. Don't make a huge fuss when she wets but I would maybe give her a change of clothes or make her go get some more and ask her to change herself. Maybe not so easy out the house but deff at home I would ignore/make minimum fuss just saying something like "oh dear didn't make it to the toilet in time, go and get yourself changed and pop the wet clothes in the washing machine, mummy is just going to make a cup tea/prepare tea/sort washing etc. And leave her to it. Will quickly work out it's no fun to have to change wet clothes, that coupled with no reaction from you may hopefully work. Good luck!
I'm sure you've probably tried it all already, but we had a real issue getting DD to poo in the toilet. She would always hold it in until we put her nappy on at night. She actually made herself constipated. What worked.....a sticker chart with the promise of a paw patrol character if she did ten poos in the toilet or potty. We actually bought the paw patrol character and kept it high on the shelf where she could see it. She so desperately wanted it, she overcame her pooing in the toilet fear. She did regress a bit, so we did another sticker chart, this time for twenty poos and a different character. Maybe there is something your DD would desperately want too in exchange for stickers and staying dry success.
See if you can get your hands on a Potty Watch. You can program it to go off every 30, 60 or 90 minutes, so you could just set yourself a timer. The Potty Watch just increases independence and lets your child say, "Ooh, my watch is singing! I have to go potty!" (Kids love it... I don't know... even my 5-year-old would use it if I let him. lol
My kids (2 and 3 at the time) were stubborn. They do everything together, so potty training was no different. After we did the 3-day potty training boot camp so I KNEW they knew how to use the potty and when, we switched to a 30-minute potty timer. Let me take a break to say that although I don't do junk food, I DO give my kids small candy treats for short periods of potty training, but I give a piece of candy for staying DRY for certain periods of time, NOT for using the potty, because they will QUICKLY start peeing every 2 seconds for another piece of candy. I figured this one out after all three of my kids were constantly in the bathroom for candy. Hahaha. Of course you could use small toy treats or a game or a quick video or stickers or whatever you want. I stick with the candy because it's tried and true for me.
So, after the 3-day potty training boot camp (which you could google, but your child IS capable of using the potty, so I don't think you need it), they would use the bathroom every 30 minutes, when their timer went off. If they were dry when the timer went off, they'd get the treat for being dry. If poops are a problem, I'll give a bigger candy treat for every time they poop because you can't exactly force yourself to poop 50 times in a day. haha. If you can prove me wrong on this one, I'd love to hear that story.
After they'd been dry for the 30 minute increments for a full day, I moved them up to 60 minutes. After they'd been dry for the 60 minute increments for a full day, I moved them up to 90 minutes. After they'd been dry for the full 90 minute increments for a full day, I moved them up to half-days with no timer. If they were dry until lunch, they'd get a treat. If they were dry until dinner, they'd get another treat. I then changed their treats (in parenthesis) and moved them up to full days (small toy) and then a full week (extra hour at the park) and then two full weeks (their choice of dinner - we had mac & cheese and ice cream that night lol) and then a full month was our last goal, and they were treated to a trip to the aquarium and got to bring a friend to celebrate with us!
They do have an occasional accident, and we will start over with goals (only stickers as treats at this point) when that happens. But, we have a lot of changes and stress (new babies, sick or dying family members, etc), so I do expect regression sometimes.
We have just come back from holiday and seem to have had a real breakthrough with her fear of public toilets! She only had one accident the entire time we were away! The accident she had was at the park and she was upset to go to get changed so thinks she realised it's a bit of a pain to leave somewhere fun to get changed!
I've realised that if she needs the toilet and I say 'do you need the toilet?' or something similar the stubborn little thing will refuse to go. I've now been saying 'is your body telling you anything' and she will say 'it needs the toilet' and then she will go
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