R.W. asks from Williamsburg, VA on September 10, 2008
Potty Training with Strings Attached
I have 3 year old twin boys. One of them was born with a defect (no anal opening). This was repaired when he was 5 months old. I have been told by his surgeon that he is mechanically able to control his bowels and to begin potty training as normal. My other son is potty trained and was in about 3 days. I attempted to train my other son the same way but was unsuccessful. After a couple of months, I decided to put him back in pull ups and try again later. I tried books and games on the potty, rewards, and praise and nothing seems to help. We went thru some rocky periods during the attempt and I am sure I did not the most positive spin on the experience. I have tried to add Fiber tablets to his daily diet to get him to "pattern" out before I try again. I am doing this because he tends to have small (one or two doodie balls) all through out the day. I think he got tired of running to the potty every 20 minutes to drop a doodie ball. One other thing about him, he is VERY different from his brother so I did not expect them to train at the same pace. He always has done things after his brother. Not because his brother 'gets' things before him but because he does not want to do anything until it is his idea (riding tri-cycle, riding big boy bike, stopping paci, swimming, walking, etc). I am very eager to get him trained only because I want to be sure he is "normal". I have no proble with pull ups for now but I know it is only a matter of time before he starts to get teased and I do not want this.
E.D. answers from Richmond on September 11, 2008
I have the opposite problem, my daughter won't train and my son is doing well. My daughter is 4 years and autistic and my son will be 2 next month. Not sure if it helps, but has your husband or a male figure gotten involved with the potty training? That's what it is taking for my daughter. My son does it more readily. Also, I agree with the other posts, some kids just are ready mentally so they'll take a little longer that their siblings. Something I'm doing with my daughter is I'm telling her that because she doesn't go potty, she can't go places and do things with her friends. Also, try praying about it. Hope this helps. God Bless.
J.S. answers from Washington DC on September 10, 2008
I agree with Megan...just give him some more time. My son will be four in December, and he still has some wet accidents, and poop is still very difficult. We can tell when he needs to do it, but he just doesn't want to sit on the toilet! So many times it takes a day or two for it to finally come out.
My point is, be patient. I think it's pretty normal...it's not laziness, it is just a lot of control issues and other pieces coming together in their little minds. My daughter was much easier than my son to be trained, but it will come. When he gets closer to age four I'd be more concerned, but don't worry yet! And good luck!
M.H. answers from Washington DC on September 12, 2008
I have four kids - 3 girls and one boy - 2 sets of twins. One thing I learned with my first set is that each child is completely different and will learn things in thier own way in thier own time. That includes using the toilet.
My first set, both girls, were potty trained by 3 but about 6 months apart. The first to learn actually helped train the second.
My second set are turning 4 this month. My daughter has been using the toilet going on a yr now. My son has been using it off and on for the last 6 months. He seems to see potty time as a power struggle. I'm quite sure why since I've never pressured him. He will hold it until it becomes an emergency, sometimes he makes it, sometimes no. It upsets him very much when he doesn't make it. But he still insists on waiting. If I "see the signs" and ask if he needs to go, he gets mad at me for suggesting such a thing. If I just hang close until he suggests it, things go much smoother.
Maybe your son senses your anxiety over it. Maybe HE wants to be in control of the situation, not you. Give him more time. Let him know how proud you are of him when he tries, but otherwise try to take a step back with the rewards and the pressure. And definitely put him in some fancy superhero undies. As long as he's in a pull-up, he doesn't HAVE to use the potty.
M.C. answers from Washington DC on September 10, 2008
Congrats on getting one twin trained before 3. Especially a boy! For your other son, I believe that he is perfectly normal. It is very typical for boys to not really 'get it' until around 3 1/2.
My brother was 3 1/2 and would do basically the same thing. He knew what to do he was just lazy and didn't want to. Finally there was a really cool toy. My mom said that if he went a whole week without an accident, she'd come buy the toy. That was all the motivation he needed.
My son didn't start training until 3 and it took him quite some time for him to get the poop part solved.
My advice, go buy (alot of) some awesome, cool new underwear and change him back to underwear. He may just need a really good motivation.
K.M. answers from Washington DC on September 11, 2008
i think you may just need to give him more time. children are just all different. i have a 3 year old who has no physical issues and we have been trying to potty train him for over a year. he has a 18 month old brother, which was the source of set backs. and now we're pregnant again (24 weeks), which seemed to cause another set back when he realized that there was another baby coming (he wanted to be a baby). there are a million reasons and you just have to be patient. if the doctor has examined him and eliminated any physical reasons for his training "delay," i would just suggest trying every method out there. one at a time of course :). have you tried just putting him in underwear and letting him get dirty? that can be a bit of a wake-up i hear. my son has been in underwear for several months now and hates getting dirty but still won't come to me to go potty, i have to ask him. i have heard many success stories w/ that method, though. also putting some kind of reward in the bathroom that he can see (we use dinosaur stickers). also, not getting upset or mad or frustrated at him because they will only get upset, which does not help progress (this has been the hardest for me). well, i hope you find your answer! if you find your miracle tactic, please share w/ those of us in the same boat. good luck!