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I have been potty training my daughter on and off for almost a year now and to be honest I am starting to get a bit frustrated...I need some suggestions.
She started off doing really, really well. She would tell me when she had to pee and we'd go to the potty and she's pee. She would pee each and every time we sat on the potty...she would squeeze something out even if she didnt really have to go.
On a few occassions she would decide she didnt want to sit on the potty anymore so Id back off for a month or so and try again.
The last time this happened it was 2 months before I could get her to sit on the potty again. Now she will sit on it but refuses to go to the bathroom. I tried ditching the diapers and putting her in pants and undies but we had 4 accidents in the first hour! I did it for 2 days but in all honesty she doesnt have enough clothes to be wetting herself 4 times per hour! When in a diaper she will stay dry for 2-3 hours but something about being in underwear makes her pee non stop. Plus, I know the idea is it's supposed to make them uncomfortable but she doesnt care! She just goes on playing like she isnt even wet.
Trying to let her go naked isnt an option since 1/2 of our house is carpet and I dont want to ruin our floors nor do I want the carpet soaked in pee!
Honestly, and this is going to sound so harsh and I do apologize, but I think it's the lack of consistency that did it. Just becuase she didn't feel like going a few times a month, doesn't mean that potty training needed to stop. I think that was the first mistake. She was doing very well for a few months, so you know she's ready to train, especially since she was able to tell you.
Here is what I suggest. I did this with my son and he did very well with it. It's tedious, and it's time consuming, but it does work:
1) Pick a date and do it. No wavering. You are in control, not her.
2) Put her in underwear even if there are accidents.
3) Take her to the potty every half hour and let her sit there for 5 minutes. If she does something, GREAT. If not, that's ok and try again in another half hour. If she does go, put her on the pot again every half hour until she goes again. This will help you gauge how long she can hold it (it will vary from time to time because she's just learning. Once she gets the hang of it, it will become more and more consistent)
4) I totally recommend this watch. It will end up being more for you then her because you'll start to forget the time after awhile. But, she'll like it because it plays music, she'll know it's time to go potty, and it gives her something to look forward to.
5) Reward system. I personally use food as the motivator. M&Ms to be exact. Caleb got the hang of it REAL quick. The moment she does something on the potty, give her that treat right then and there, praise her to no end and let her know that she did a GREAT thing. You'll be surprised at how quick she'll learn when you give her that treat. It doesn't have to be M&Ms obviously, but give her something that she hardly gets at all. It will mean more to her, she'll learn quick, and it will be something VERY rewarding for her.
6) Once she gets the hang of going to the potty consistently for a half hour (about a week), then increase the time to 45 minutes and let her sit on the pot for about 10 minutes. This will start to teach her to hold it. If she has an accident, note the time that she did it and the last time that she pee on the pot. If she can hold it for 40 minutes, for example, then you know to take her every 40 minutes. Get her used to doing that for a week, then increase the time to an hour and so forth. I think the watch does 30, 60 and 90 minute increments.
7) Don't worry about catching poops right now. Get her pee trained first, then you can work on the poop later.
8) Don't get frustrated. This is a hard one for sure. It's hard not to get angry or frustrated with them. We parents think that they should be doing what we are doing, but you have to remember, they do not have the muscle tone to hold their urine. That is a learned thing and until she's able to do that, there WILL be accidents and lots of them. Be reassuring when she does have accidents, don't get angry and tell her that we'll try again. She needs to see the positive side of potty training and not see the negative.
9) Along the lines of accidents, she's not going to want to give up control. This is going to be a control issue and once you break her control on this, then potty training will go smoothly. Stick with it, be diligent and don't coddle her when she throws a fit. It's hard to see and go through for sure, but if you break down she knows that you are not serious - which goes back to number one - Pick a date and stick with it.
This is just a tentative guideline that I did for my son. Of course you can amend times and so forth for you and your child, but it should work the same. You can do it. Just stick with it and you'll find things will go much better.
Welcome to the board and hoping to see more of you and helping you!!
The thing about stopping the potty...I didnt have much choice. She would literally scream and cry and act terrified to be on it..I didnt want to create a bad experience surrounding the potty so I would try every few days but it took a while before she wasnt scared of it anymore.
Anyhow, thats in the past..onto the future! My problem is she will not go on it. I just dont know how to use food as a motivator if she refuses to go to the bathroom. We will sit on the potty for 5-10 mins , nothing...then get off and within minuted she pees in her pants.
I probably should have asked this in my first post, but how old is she? Typical potty training age is between the ages of 2-3. If you start earlier, there's a higher chance of regression. Not always, of course. How old was she when you started?
My son did the same thing, but in protest. He screamed because he didn't want to be on it, but I made him sit there, especially since I knew he could do it. But that's just me. It is a phase, and at this age, they don't want to totally give up control. They're seeing how far they can take it.
However, you need to make sure that there isn't anything wrong with her. Did she have a bad experience on the potty to make her stop going to begin with (daycare, or at home). Does she have burning/pain when she goes (rule out UTI).
If she's ok in that department, then chances are, she's protesting.
As for the food motivator, I used peanut M&Ms with my son and held it out to him and said, "you go pee pee on the potty, you get this M&M". (My son does not get sweets hardly at all, so this was a good motivator for me to use. Use something for your daughter that she hardly gets and it will mean alot to her).
Caleb didn't do it right at first, but he eventually got the point the first time that he did it, and he realized that, "Oh, pee pee on the potty, means M&M", and we never looked back. I was consistent with it and it started the moment he woke up in the morning until it was time for his nighttime diaper at night. Sometimes he would go like 5 minutes later, but it didn't matter, he got one because that was what he did.
You can wean the "treats" when she is consistently going, without accidents, and without going through phases where she doesn't want to go. then you can change it to only going poo poo (a whole other training altogether LOL)
SOrry for all the questions..but I have another. What do you do if they have an accident between the 30 mins from potty time to potty time. Do you leave them in their soiled undies? I was changing her right away but DH asked whats the difference between that and her feeling dry in a diaper? (and much less messy)
ETA- OH MY GOODNESS! As I was finishing typing this DD came up to me with her pants pulled off and said pee pee and ran to the bathroom door! I took her to the potty read a book and after about 3 mins she peed!!!! Im so excited!!
Oh and to anwser your question, we started around 18 months and she is now 2.5 yrs old.
She may have had a slight regression since she was 18 months, but she's the perfect age right now. Get her started and you should see better results.
If she has an accident betwen the 30 minutes in which she had peed earlier, note the time, and take her the next time at that time. So, let's say she peed. She has an accident 15 minutes later. Then you know she can't hold it more than 15 minutes. The object is to get her on the potty so that she does it on the potty. It's a timing thing really.
As for soiling, I never let Caleb wear his pants after he had an accident. I did take them off, but I did let him know what he did wrong (positively), and told him that we'll try again. It's all about positive reinforcement. Negative reinforcement only delays the process and hurts their self-esteem because they do want to please you.
I totally recommend that watch in my previous post. She'll wear that, and get her to hold it until it goes off. It really did help my son when we were trying to get him to hold it. She'll think it's fun too, and you get to makle a big deal because she did hold it.
And yay for her to tell you and go!!! That is awesome!!