Backtracking on Potty Training
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Backtracking on Potty Training
Our nearly 3 1/2 year old son has a new fascination! Peeing (and even
one time pooping) in a variety of places. He has been quite
successfully potty trained before he was 2 yrs. We practiced
elimination communication which worked very well for him. He never had
any shyness, shame or anxiety around using the potty and more recently
the big toilet. He seems to find it interesting and amusing to pee in
his pants, in the closet, in the car, in the middle of the
playground. This started about a month ago and we're not quite sure
what's going on with him. He does not yet go to school and is with us
the majority of the time. I speak with him after each incident,
telling him why he shouldn't do this....he will be uncomfortable in
his wet clothes, we may not always have a spare pair of pants, the pee
will stink and perhaps irritate his crotch and legs, wherever he pees
will stink, he will ruin items by peeing on them, we have to take the
time to clean it up, which means less play time. And of course, we
speak of the unsanitary reasons. His potty or a toilet has been very
close at hand with each of these incidents. He is very communicative
but won't tell us why he is doing this. A few times he will say
''don't look'' and then proceed to do his business. Any advice on how
best to handle this? After such success, we don't want to bring on
shame around this, but we are so ready for it to stop! Any advice
would be very much appreciated! Thanks!
once again, diaper bag carrying parents
You might want to put him into pull-ups, and tell him that he can
have underwear when his pull-ups stay dry and clean for 7 days in
This is what I did with my son (he started wetting his bed at
night). He's also 3 1/2. I didn't want to fight about this, and
I didn't want to clean wet sheets. He clearly doesn't like it,
and is now dry again at night.
Hello~ I am a fellow EC mom and wanted to ask if there is any
chance of an infection or irritation that might be making
urination uncomfortable. The three year would easily avoid using
the toilet until he couldn't control it if something might be
going on. Your doctor would know what signs to look for. like
wise a food allergy could cause a reaction. Are there any new
foods in his diet?
i am of a Waldorf mind about these things and feel that our three
year old are still so young. sometimes my little girl becomes so
overwhelmed or distracted that she just forgets and holds it
until we are at dinner without a change of clothes!
He may be showing you that he needs help remembering to empty his
bladder in appropriate places as well. In this society we all are
pressured to expect our little ones to be so grown up and
accomplished! We can forget how they are still so little and need
to feel we will still baby them a little if they ask :).
Tell him he has a choice: pee in the potty or toilet, or wear a diaper.
And the next time
he does it, when a toilet or potty is convenient, put him in a diaper.
Don't make a big
deal or get angry, just say pee goes in the toilet or a diaper, not on
your clothes, car,
wouldn't stand for it
My oldest was fully potty trained at age 2. But at his current
age of 4 1/2, I STILL ask that he pee before we leave the house,
pee before we leave a restaurant, park, wherever, and to pee when
we get to a destination if we have been in the car/train/bus for
a long time. He doesn't like it but I ask him to always try -
it's our ''rule''. And 9 times out of 10, he'll say, ''hey mama! i
tried and I was able to pee!'' And more often than not, when he
says he doesn't have to, the minute he gets to a toilet he pees
like an elephant. Kids are still kids, and whether he was potty
trained at 1 or 2 or 5, they should still be reminded because
they are easily distracted. When he started peeing in his pants
more often even after having reminded him, I then told then that
perhaps we needed to have him use diapers instead of underwear.
This pretty much did the trick. He will still on occasion have
an accident, but now it's really an accident and not just because
he was distracted or because he didn't care. Good luck.
hates pee in pants
Hello, I would love any advice out there about my daughter and
her pee accidents. She is 3.5 years old and has been potty
trained since 2.5. At first she would have some accidents here
and there, but mostly seemed to have it down. Then, at 2 years
eight months, her little sister was born and that's when the
trouble began. I know that regression in potty training is very
common after the birth of a sibling, but her sister is now almost
ten months old and we're still dealing with this! I looked in
the archives and found the term ''power peeing'' and I think that
is probably what is going on here--my girl definitely loves to be
in control and is stubborn, like her mama. She has 1-5 accidents
a day and nothing I've tried seems to work or when it does, it
doesn't last long. Star charts (with a prize for a few dry days)
worked for a while, but seemed to have stopped working. We talk
about it, she says she's sorry, that she'll stop and then does it
again. I try to stay calm and not get angry but it's really
hard, especially when she pees at home, near to a potty and after
I've just asked her if she needed to go. She often seems to
strains to hold it in and angrily insists she doesn't need to go
and then has an accident 5 minutes later. It's completely
exasperating! I've suggested putting her back in diapers, and
this idea makes her very upset--she especially doesn't want to
wear diapers to her preschool and says that she will not go to
school if I put her in diapers. I'm not prepared to try to force
a sobbing, kicking kid in diapers to go to school. It clearly
embarrasses her. I don't want to be punitive about this, but
this has to stop! I think another issues is that small bladders
run in the family--I myself have to pee quite often and yes, it's
annoying sometimes--but how do I get her to understand this is
just the way it is? Help would be much appreciated!
Tired of laundry
I can totally understand your frustration. We've been having a similar experience
with our daughter. She was potty trained when she turned three, but would always
have pee accidents. Now she is ~4.5 and is doing a lot better, so for us the process
has taken awhile. Part of the problem is that when she is busy playing she cannot
be bothered to get up and go. Also power issues too, I'm sure. Basically we've
learned that she has to decide for herself that it is time to go. I'll remind her, and
when she stubbornly says ''no'' then I'll say ''ok, how about in 5 minutes.''
Sometimes that works. If she is about to start something, like watch a movie or go
outside to play, I'll insist that she goes first or else the activity cannot begin.
also resorted to bribing. We'll say she can have a treat after dinner if she stays dry
all day. This is obvious, but I make an effort to praise her when she goes or if I
notice that she has stayed dry for awhile. I try to not get mad at her when she does
have an accident (this is hard!) and to act as matter of fact about it as possible and
not dwell on it to much. It has taken a lot longer than I thought for her to learn
this, but I can see that over time she has improved. So hang in there. I'll be
interested to see what other folks have to say.
Also tired of laundry
I don't have a ''trick'' for you to try but I will say you are
not alone. I have a 4 yo daughter who was fully potty trained
until my son was born when she was 3 yrs. and 3 mos. That
started a terrible downward spiral into almost daily accidents,
calls to my office from the school requesting I pick her up
because they were out of spare clothes, accidents at friends'
houses, etc. We almost had to have a parent/teacher conference
about the issue as my daughter was apparently the only kid in
the class with potty issues. Luckily the winter break happened
right before we had to go in. We thought they were going to
ask us to leave the (Montessori) school because the policy
required they children be potty trained. Anyway, I was at my
wits end in December. My daughter repeatedly assured me that
when she sat on the potty the ''pee pee didn't want to come
out''. It took everything I had not to yell and chastise.
Sometimes I did yell and didn't handle things well. Then when
I was home from work over the holidays, she had only 1 accident
the whole 10 days. During that time it seemed that she wanted
me to stop reminding her to go pee, so I did. Since she's been
back in school she has had just one accident. We're still not
perfect (she had an accident about 2 weeks ago as well) but
it's much better. She was very stubborn and wanted to be in
charge of her pottying, even if that meant an occasional
accident or even a lot of accidents. Once, we did put her into
a diaper and she stood there crying and feeling quite
humiliated, so I took it off immediately. That wasn't the
answer. There are still days when I notice her in her room
changing her underpants because she waited too long to pee and
her underpants got a bit wet. I don't consider that an
accident. I don't even comment on it. Anyway, it's an uphill
battle that I never expected from my very easy-going daughter.
Just goes to show how much the birth of a sibling can impact
the older kids. Keep the faith that ''this too shall pass'' and
consider stopping reminding her about going. She may respond
favorably. Good luck.
We had a similar thing happening with our daughter, who is a middle child, when
our youngest was born. She was potty trained before her 2nd birthday...fully, nights
as well...on her own terms and at her own insistence. When her little brother was
born, she was about to turn 3. She began having weird episodes of wetting, mostly
in the daytime but not every day. At preschool particularly, she would go through
3-5 pants changes in one day. For her, this was accompanied by pain with wiping.
We think that this is all due to the new baby and the pain is due to chafing/diaper
rash like situation due to wet pants. Fast-forward to just past her 4th birthday...she
discloses that she is being abused. Probably NOT what is going on with your
daughter, but I felt a need to put it out there. Really not trying to freak you out.
really doubt she is doing it ''on purpose''. Just keep giving her your love and
patience. Good luck.
Are carseats punitive? How about holding mom's hand when we
cross the street? If they are not good at cutting veggies, are
we penalizing them by not letting them use the knives? No,
these are just facts of life we all must deal with. We do
things in a certain way until we are able to do them better.
You are the mom. I understand you don't want it to be punitive.
You don't have to have that spin on it. It is simple fact. If
you can't pee in the potty, you wear pull ups until you've had
a week with no accidents. End of story. No negotiating. No
feeling sorry about it either. She's not a bad kid because she
makes messes. She just isn't ready yet, and that's okay (this
is the stance you hold).
And yes, you DO have to go to school with pullups. If you
cannot make it to the potty in time, that's quite alright. We
wear pullups until that gets figured out.
You need to be firm, mama, and not let your daughter have all
the power, and you none. Sometimes kids kick, scream and sob.
Hey, especially if the method works! But, noone else is going
to put up with this in the real world. Be the person who loves
her most and show her, througb your actions, that she can kick
and sob, but the results are the same: XYZ is still going to
happen. This is how you help teach her to have solid
I guarantee if you change YOU, being factual and firm, your
daughter will quickly be motivated to leave behind her
accidents, of her own volition. If you decide to continue being
wishy washy, this is just the beginning. There will be many
more issues down the road. You need to decide what kind of
person you'd like to guide her to be. You CAN take back your
If you've tried everything else, you could take a very draconian
approach to laundry: ''Oh, you wet your pants? Take off your
pants. Take off your underwear. Put on clean underwear. Put
on clean pants. Take your dirty underwear and pants to the
laundry room/basket.'' And repeat this every single time. For
some kids, all this extra work, with no help from mom, is enough
to get them to stop. Of course, if your kid loves doing
laundry, that's a different story. And if it doesn't work after
a week, it's just frustrating for you and your kid.
We handled our ''Power Peeing'' situation a little different than the
Our daughter was toilet trained for a year, then started having
suspected right away it was for attention. She had a new sibling and a
preschool--I can understand it, but disagreed with her method of trying
to get it.
So I became quite strict and 1) made her clean up the pee spot on the
vinegar solution and a towel (I finished cleaning it later myself), 2)
wash her panties
and pants in the sink and 3) when we were at home, I took her into the
every 4-6 hours with me, the baby, a magazine (the laundry to fold, what
needed), locked the door and made her stay until she peed. I wasn't mad
about it. I didn't force her to sit on the toilet, but I wouldn't let
her out of the room
until she took care of her body. It took two times and she decided to
positive ways to seek attention. I called her bluff and told her how I
would be happy
to give her attention if she asked for it appropriately. I gave her
examples and we
play-acted them out. It's a common behavior for this age group, and I'm
find a good way to handle it.
Here is the thing. Our daughter (middle of a family of 3
children) is now 3 1/2. She is (or rather was) potty-trained
since she was a little younger than three. She was potty-trained
very gently by letting her be naked and slowly moving to
underwear. I never pushed her and did not mind changing diapers
at all, since I was already changing her younger brother.
Anyway, she started having accidents a month ago but lately it
has increased to one accident a day and sometimes two. She even
poops in her underwear every other day. At first I would change
her and mention that if she wanted she could get her diaper back
which she did not want. Yesterday, after another poop accident I
decided to let her go naked again and not let her have underwear
because I am tired of rinsing and washing dirty underwear.
Today, after being naked all day, she peed on the floor. She
does not show any sort of caring about the situation. So my
question is, has this happened to anyone else? How long did it
last? I know, in the big scheme of things, she will be potty-
trained before she turns 16 and she will become a healthy grown-
up but in the meantime, I'd like to get some input from people
who have experienced this situation.
I don't have any concrete advice for you, but we're in a similar situation
and we're seeing Meg Zweiback (510/836-1450). At 2.5 years old, my
daughter ''pee-trained'' in a day and a half of wearing cotton training
pants (and after almost a year of gentle suggestions to use the potty
chair). She never has pee accidents, not even at night. However, 8
months later, she's still pooping in her pants while at daycare (M-F, 7-5).
Most of the accidents are little poop smudges, not full-blown BMs. The
first few months after she was pee-trained, I had her in underwear all the
time, and she was always pooping her pants. Then I had the inspiration
to let her be naked at home (weekends and evenings), and for whatever
reason she always pooped in the potty. (If she's wearing underpants at
home, she will have accidents sometimes.) Being naked at school was
not an option, so I put her in pull-ups. I, too, HATED washing out 3-4
pairs of smudged underwear everyday, and I was getting cranky and
resentful. My child seems okay with the pull-ups (I explained how I felt
and she knows this is not a punishment). She knows that when her body
big deal to wear pull-ups.
Before seeing Meg, I went through several reward/training techniques
(some picked up from the UC Parents Network!): drinking warm water (to
relax), reading stories while she sat, and offering stickers, big girl
underpants, toys, and finally candy (2 gummi bears) for each poop
success. What I noticed is that my child was motivated on her own, and
the treat was a bonus. The treat DID NOT promote success. She would
tell me, ''I'm going to poop on the potty Mommy,'' and sit and sit and
nothing would happen. Then 10 minutes later she would have an
accident in her underwear. I could tell she felt bad, and that she was
really trying. What finally sent me to Meg was an incident with my
mother. She told my daughter that if she pooped in her pants instead of
using the potty at the park, they would have to leave. It happened, so
they left. This seemed like a punishment for something that I felt my
daughter couldn't control.
When I first talked to Meg (without my daughter), I realized the message
I'd been telling my child was confusing to her, ''Try not to poop in your
underpants, okay?'' My daughter was trying to please me, so she was
holding in her poop. She would ignore her body's poop signals and her
colon would keep filling up. This is stretching her colon and little bits
slide out without her being aware of it (thus the little smudge
''accidents''). I also noticed that when she did poop at home, the poops
were HUGE and long. More evidence that she was not voiding when
she should. Meg was worried that my daughter would develop a
constipation problem, so it was important to encourage her to poop
when she felt the urge (whether in the potty or her pants). (Eventually we
hope she'll connect the urge to getting on the toilet.)
We're in the middle of ''treatment'' so I don't have an end to this story yet.
A week after my visit, I took my daughter in to see Meg. We talked while
she played (and listened). The gist of the messages were, ''It's not good
for people to keep their poop in their bodies,'' ''It's okay to poop in your
pants,'' ''Some kid's bodies arenot ready to poop in the potty at school
and that's okay,'' and ''Sometimes it's harder to do certain things at
school than at home.'' My daughter has ''homework,'' which consists of
blowing soap bubbles while sitting naked on the potty (only once a day
for 5 minutes or until she wants to stop). The blowing is supposed to be
a fun way to help relax her muscles (she is not expected to poop, and
we don't even talk about pooping). My homework is to ease up, and to
talk with her teachers at school about what's going on.
Our pediatrician and the school teachers were not very helpful (Meg
says this issue happens in one in a thousand kids so it's not that
common). I feel good that I'm seeking professional help (even though it's
expensive) from someone who really knows what's going on. It also
helps me to know that my daughter has a physical problem (vs attitude
issue). I'm not ''encouraging/pushing'' my child to use the potty any
more, and I think this is taking some stress off of her. I still give her a
high-five and 2 gummi bears when she's successful. I admit I still worry
about it, but I'm hoping Meg will get us through this.
Signed, ''Mom is learning to ease up!''
We are in the same situation. Basically, I have gone to watching
the clock and taking my daughter (often picking her up and
carrying her) to the potty if she haven't gone in the last 3
hours. And if she has an ''accident'', we don't go to anyone
else's house to play for the rest of the week (tho I allow
friends to come here). I don't like that I have to make the
potty a discipline issue, but this approach seems to work.
Thought I was thru ...
Help! My perfectly potty trained almost 4 year old has suddenly
started having accidents, both at preschool and at home. Over
the past two weeks, he's had nearly one every day, often making
it to the bathroom and then going in his pants while standing
next to the toilet. He's become somewhat more tempermental and
cranky in the past few weeks, as well. I'm totally baffled, and
haven't been able to get him to articulate what's going on -
does anyone out there have experience with this, or have any
advice about how to work throught it? I'm thinking of
intitiating an incentive program for him (i.e., a sticker for
every day with no accident) but am really hungry for some
insight about what he might be going through. My husband's and
my work schedules have changed somewhat recently (though he's
always been very flexible), and I am 5 months pregnant, but as
far as I can tell, his day to day life hasn't really been
impacted by that (yet!) - I don't get the sense that either of
those things lies at the root of the problem. I'll be grateful
for any advice!
Boy does this sound familiar! I could have written the same question a
few months ago. In our situation, the regression was temporary--it only
lasted a few weeks. But it made me realize that I had to make some
regular potty times for my son--before leaving the house on an errand or
adventure or before getting in the car to go home after the adventure
was over; after two or three hours or doing anything, before bed. Those
regular times helped support what he knew how to do. I think that even if
he didn't feel like he had to pee, he was surprised to see he could. He
sort of got the feel for preventing an accident, not just responding to the
pressure of a completely full bladder. He still will sometimes just miss--
relax and have an accident while still pulling his pants down, but it's
really rare. My advice: don't worry too much. Hopefully, by the time you
read this things will be much better on their own
Boy, I almost feel like I could write a book on this. My 4 year old has essentially
known how to go potty since she was about 2 and a half. Then her brother was born
when she was 2 and 7 months. She has had some sort of potty regression during every
stage of advancement that he has. She'll go months without accidents and then all
of the sudden because he is going through a stage that demands more attention, she
starts wetting again. The lastest time was a couple of weeks ago when our son
started speaking more in sentences coming out with these really cute one liners.
Suddenly she ''forgot'' to go potty again. If it's just once or twice I ignore it.
If it goes beyond and seems that it's an attention/stress reaction then I take a
favorite toy away and it is earned back by staying dry and not having accidents and
we keep a calendar for it. Once it was her beloved comforter on her bed but she
earned it back in 7 days which we marked off on the calendar so she could see !
the progress she made. Then this last time it was her Leapster. She would have an
accident playing with the Leapster because she didn't want to stop and go pee. The
toy has a pause button so I didn't think it was a good excuse. So leapster went
away for a week and she earned it back. I was so pleased yesterday when she
announced she was pausing the leapster to go potty because she didn't want to get
it taken away. Now, I'd have rather seen her just go potty because she had to and
not because she didn't want a toy taken away but at least she went potty rather
than peeing on the couch!
been there, still there!
Not only does my (almost) 4 yr old not sit to eat, he also has
been backsliding on the potty training. He consistently wets his
pants while we're at the park or wherever. I try to get him to
take a pee, but he almost always says he doesn't have to, even
though I can clearly see he does. When I gently, but firmly say
you need to take a break to pee, he insists he doesn't and
sometimes even gets upset with me. With regards to #2, ever since
he got strep in his bottom and got constipated, he has insisted
on a diaper. Once in a while he'll go in the bathroom, but lately
has become even more stubborn about the diaper. I try not to make
a big fuss because I heard confronting him about it will make him
hold it in. I do encourage him heartily when he does go on the
toilet. We haven't even considered getting rid of the night-time
diaper yet, since day time behavior is still so inconsistent.
He's usually fine at pre-school, although he has mentioned to me
he doesn't feel comfortable pooping there. I have an 8 month old
son too, and I wonder if the potty training backsliding could be
related to younger sibling jealousy or something. Any advice out
This probably won't solve your problem, but it may help a little.
When our baby was born our older son was 3 and had some
backsliding too. It was difficult not to get upset, as we were
under so much stress with the new baby anyway. What helped was
to reassuringly tell our older son a few times ''sometimes when a
new baby comes older brothers forget how to use the toilet like
they did before. But it's ok, pretty soon they get used to the
baby and then they are fine again''. He seemed to be very
reassured to hear his condition 1- was temporary and 2- wasn't
directly his fault. We're repeating the same lines now that
we're moving to a new house and have had an accident or two... I
know your baby is older, but if baby is part of the problem, an
explanation like this might help your son.
Been there. Had that. Now (fingers crossed) my four-year-old
is doing much better. He did his backslidding when we moved a
few months ago and boy was it frustrating. I used to say we
lived in Urinetown. But a couple of things helped: one was to
offer some type of reward, a toy he wants or whatever and make
a star chart. If he stays dry all day, he gets a star. When he
gets 10 stars, he gets the toy. Tape the chart to the frig or
put it somewhere where he can see it. It gave our son an
incentive, and although it took awhile he began to see that
there are benefits to staying dry. Now we've got a routine
where if he stays dry all day he'll get desert (after he eats
his dinner), if not no desert. It has amazed me how well that
Another thing we did: we made it into a sort of game by
throwing some Cherrios into the toilet so he would try to hit
as many as he could. Instead of saying ''let's go to the potty''
we'd say ''Let's squirt some Cherrios! How many can you get?''
and he would be more enthusiastic about the whole thing.
My four year old boy who was potty trained at 3 began having
pooping and peeing "accidents" soon after our second child. She
is now 9 months old and he is still having the accidents. I try
and be understanding but it seems that it's been going on for too
He doesn't have a medical problem and I suspect he may be doing
it to get attention, however, our family and his extended family
does give him a lot of one-on-one attention.
I would appreciate any advice on this matter.
The best advice I got was to remind my son to use the bathroom, regularly;
ie either take him or remind him to try and go throughout the day. If they hold the pee or poop too much, they tend to loose the feeling of the need to go. The other advice that we were able to use in a limited way was to make him responsible for any mess. This was not overly successful, but did help us to focus on solutions and not on our own fears and frustrations- more of 'OK, let's clean up', than, 'Not again'. Hang in there. I know it's tough.
Our son was a late potty trainer to begin with. Didn't train
until 3.8 years or so.
We had about a 6 month period where we only had a few mishaps
which is to be expected. Then around November(at age 4.5),
every evening around 6 or 7 pm I noticed he was peeing in his
pants. Not just a drip, but peeing.
Then he started doing it during the day, and we've had some
days where I'm changing his pants 3 or 4x per day. We've tried
incentives, bribes, charts, punishment, yelling and doing
nothing and not one thing has worked for any length of time.
He has recently gotten to the age where he will open the fridge
and help himself to water, so I have less of a gauge of what he
is drinking, and, therefore, may not be as in tune to reminding
him to pee, but I feel like he is old enough that I shouldn't
have to remind him every time.
A few of his school friends have similar issues and their moms
are eagerly awaiting your reply as well, although they tend to
think theirs is a control issue, whereas I think my son really
just doesn't care that much about going. He doesn't mind being
wet, doesn't mind changing himself, and I think just doesn't
want to be bothered with the whole mundane task.
Took him to his dr. today, and she checked him for diabetes and
infection both of which were negative. She said it will just
happen, but I'm wondering if anyone else has gone through this.
I should mention that we don't live in the bay area anymore, we
live in the desert, and his dr. does not recommend limiting
liquids in any way.
tired of doing wash
I have been through this and looking back, here is what I wish
I had done. I wish I had completely ignored it. In my
opinion, all that attention / talking/ discussion/ bribes/
threats / punishments/ shame/ encouragement etc. only did ONE
thing: DELAY his ability to be dry. The only thing it
accomplished was make him feel bad, make me angry, etc. I am
not convinced that you or a young boy, especially a 4.5 year
old, have much control over it anyway. When my son was 6 I
decided that I wasn't going to say another word about it, good
or bad. I wasn't going to comment on wet days or dry days or
smelly laundry or any of it. If he came home wet I very
quietly pointed upstairs so he knew he had to change. But I
didn't frown or scowl or look disappointed. The same kind of
expression you would use to say go brush your teeth. It
completley cleared up on its own when he was ready. I heartily
believe all that attention makes things worse. Just relax,
mama, and it will all turn out. When he does stay dry for a
while, resist the temptation to celebrate; if he brings it up
you can quietly say, yes, I noticed, you must be so proud of
yourself. And leave it alone. Love your son, see that
abnormal stress is removed from his environment, make him feel
great about himself, and all will be well.
Anon mama with dry boy
I'm hoping for some sage advice from you experienced parents out
there. My 4 year old is wetting his pants several times a day
and I am not sure what to do anymore. It seemed to start about
6 months after his sister was born and after he was fully
trained for a year. It seems to happen whether he has just gone
to the bathroom or not. I have asked him what I can do to help
him (he said ''remind him'', didn't help). I have done the sticker
chart/positive reinforcement thing. I have (shamefully) done
the ''I'm very disappointed in you'' thing. I've put him back in
diapers (he just goes in them). I've left the park/playdates,
etc. when his pants are wet, with neutral tone. I've done the
not so neutral tone. It's been about 6 months with some times
better than others.
Help! My gut instinct is that it is a regression thing about his
little sister, but has turned into a power struggle. Should I
just ignore it? Any other suggestions?
Sign me Frustrated with mounting laundry
I'd put him back in diapers...but make him change them himself.
And then I'd stop talking about it, positive or negative. Just
make it his responsibility, refuse to do the extra laundry or
give him any extra attention over the issue, and he'll
eventually return to his former potty-trained habits.
This happened to my pre-schooler when her brother was an infant.
It was soooo frustrating! I used to call it ''power-peeing''! I
finally beat the dynamic when I made my older child hang up her
own wet clothes whenever we got back home. She hated that chore,
and began to get control over wetting very quickly once I
insisted on that consequence of her behavior. The other thing we
would do is leave any fun activity we were attending when we ran
out of dry clothes, just like you describe in leaving the park,
but that consequence didn't change things nearly as much as
having her hang up cold, smelly clothes from the plastic bags in
which they were stored in my diaper bag. I hope this works as
well for a boy as it did for my daughter.
Because I do not like public toilets, I have not pushed my boys
away from diapers. I am always amazed by people who are willing
to deal with the huge mess of accidents but not diapers.
I let the older one wear diapers when he was putting them on
himself....he stopped when he started play school at 5 years
old. He still wears one at night at 6! Puts it on & takes it
off himself....the younger boy (3)loves to be naked so much
that he is pretty much potty trained at home but wears one out
I have had numerous experiences with my son's friends sitting
in a pool of pee on my carpet. They get all wound up in the
play and forget.
I just don't understand taking pride in having your kid out of
diapers at 2-3 years old. Why? It is not that big a deal and
another aspect of intimacy......
It just isn't that unpleasant.
Our 4 1/2 boy is reverting back to pooping and peeing in his bed and pants.
Its seems that at his daycare, a large number of the 'graduating' 4 1/2 year
olds are going to the same school for Kindergarten. My son is not. The
wonderfully perceptive daycare provider thinks that he is reacting to the
situation of not going with the others in the group. Has anyone else
Thanks ahead of time,
The Diapering Mom
I have been where you are, and it is not pretty, first of all. My son,
who will be 6 at the end of this month, is just now (I don't want to
jinx it, though!) back to being potty trained after a very long
regression after the birth of his brother. My one piece of advice is
this -- don't push it! We had him in preschool programs that would not
allow him to attend in pull-ups or diapers, so he spent 2 years (!!!)
in underwear and used them just like a diaper most of the time. We
tried everything -- incentives, bringing him to the potty, talking
about it, ignoring it. It got us nowhere. at 5 1/2 we gave up, took
him out of preschool and put him in pull-ups, saying "when you're
ready to use the potty, you will wear underwear again." He changed his
own pull-up (made for some messes, but at least we didn't have the
frustration and headache of changing messy pull-ups), was responsible
for his own choices, and mostly didn't use the potty for about 5
months. We took him to the doctor at that point, expecting a referral
to a specialist, but instead got an incentive program (every dry day
is a star, 4 stars is an ice cream sundae or a toy or....). We were
skeptical, having tried incentives many times in the past, but it
worked! I can only conclude that have a few months of no pressure, no
attention paid to accidents, and total control over his choices caused
him to be ready to move on, with the right incentives, of
course... The doctor said we did the right thing by trying as much to
lay off him and make it "his issue." As a result, we didn't end up
with constipation and the other problems that often happen with late
potty-resistance. Anyway, I only wish we could have kept him in
pull-ups at age 3 -- maybe this would have been done with a lot
sooner. The best thing to keep in mind is that no matter what the
cause of your son's regression, he will get over it when he is ready,
and there's probably not too much you can do about it except deep
breathing and patience.
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