Help! My 4 yr old twins are STILL having PT issues!!!

Sarah - posted on 02/10/2011 ( 23 moms have responded )

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I have fraternal twin girls that I've been potty training for what seems like forever. They just turned 4 years old and are still having accidents all the time. They go to the toilet, but only on my prompting. They 'forget' to go when they feel the urge...and they end up with soaked clothes. I've tried putting them in panties all day...but they'll have accidents anyway. So, it's back and forth between panties and pull ups. What do you think I should do? Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.

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I used the "How to Potty Train your Child in One Day" method, by Terri Crane. It wasn't a one day method for us, but my son, almost 3, went from zero potty use to going on the potty every time I put him on. It has been 10 days in underwear and we only have about 2 accidents a day. One important thing I think really helps is that I don't rely on him to tell me he has to go. I set a timer for 20 minutes and when it beeps he knows it is potty time. He even yells "Pee-pee time!" I sometimes set it for 25 minutes, and he does ok most of the time with that, but sometimes we miss. He asks to go sometimes, but not 100% by any means. We use the treat method too. He gets a sticker for his wall chart and another for his shirt, plus he gets to choose a treat - small snacks or a small toy like a balloon.

Staci - posted on 02/14/2011

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Sarah! I am so sorry that must be difficult. I did an immersive when my son was 3 (he's now 4.5), and just did my daughter at 2.5. We did straight to undies for 3 days with me following them all the time asking "Do you have to go potty, tell Mommy when you have to go" It's tiring, but it works. We still do pull ups at night for my 4 year old, but we think he might be ready to drop them. My son was harder to catch on so we did semi sweet choc chips in a container on the back of the potty he got one for every successful pee, and poo we made a rewards sticker chart where he got a used thomas train (a batch we bought on ebay) for every 5 poops. My daughter took a day, no rewards, lots of high fives. Children are all different. The important thing I think is to chuck the pull ups, make a big deal about throwing them away with the girls, and stick to one thing a do it over and over. If you like any of these ideas, you are free to contact me. I am happy to help! Good luck!

Catherine - posted on 02/14/2011

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Get rid of the pullups altogether. Make them responsible for their pants. If they wet, they change them. A few days of changing wet pants, they'll want to use the potty more.

Anita - posted on 02/13/2011

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Hi Sarah,

I had massive problems with my daughter to toilet train and she started doing it herself a few weeks before her 2nd birthday. 4 months later I was still wiping up wees and picking up poos because she wouldn't go to the toilet even though she knew she had to. VERY FRUSTRATING!! So I started a present box that she and I decorated and I bought little pressies she'd love (special shampoo, hairclips, jewellery, lip balms, etc) wrapped them up and put them in her special box and when she did a wee or a poo on the toilet she got to pick and unwrap a pressie :) Within a day she was going to the toilet every time and after a week I stopped the special box. We have had a few accidents since then but its been 5mths now and she goes to the toilet 99% of the time now :)

They say girls are supposed to be easier to train but my son was trained in a week and on the toilet for everything (except nighttime, he's still in a pull up for nights and he's 4 in May) but my daughter took about 4mths - I was so frustrated in the end, sick of slipping over in a wee I didn't know was there, sick of her room smelling like wee because she's too lazy, and I couldn't put her in nappies as she'd just rip them off. It was a very hard time and I know exactly what you're going through. Try the present box and see how the girls go :) Start off with little pressies for sitting on the toilet trying to do a wee and then when they actually do it they can have another pressie :) Thats how I started it with my daughter and she picked it up quick :)

Good luck with it all and let us know if it works :)

Anita

Renee - posted on 02/13/2011

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My granddaughter was here for a month.. we tried the treat after potty trick. it worked on her plus we went back to diapers.. n told her that till she went potty like a big girl no more pullups or panties.. after going potty.. we gave her just 2 m & m's her favorite treat.. but when she didnt go there was no treat..in less then 2 weeks id say she was pretty much trained.. my daughter inlaw said ty mom.. she tried at her moms(where they live) and w/o the support there was no success..

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Rachael - posted on 02/17/2011

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Karin, we aren't "ahead of the game" by any means. Years ago children were completely potty trained by age 2. The advent of super absorbent disposable diapers and the "busy" (lazy) lifestyle of most americans has led to babies that are still in diapers at 3 and 4 years old. Every child IS different, but there ARE things that parents can do to help them along. Sarah asked for help and advice which is what I gave. I gave numerous ideas on how to teach little ones to go on the potty consistently. Especially at the age of 4. Good luck sarah!

Karin - posted on 02/16/2011

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I still have to say that every child is different and develops at their own pace. Kudos to you and your 21 month old, Rachael, for being ahead of the game.

Rachael - posted on 02/16/2011

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my son is 21 months old, and people keep telling me he is too young, that he won't know how to tell me he has to go. I beg to differ, not only does my son yell "MOMMY POO POO!" but he signs toilet as well. Sometimes he does it just for fun or because he likes to flush, but most of the time he goes on the potty. I personally don't believe in the food reward system or bribing kids with a toy, Big kids go to the potty in the toilet. BABIES use diapers. it is funny, but if we see an older child while out who is wearing diapers Alexander says mommy look BABY! lol! I think it is important to teach children that sometimes habits need to change. It is hygeine. for a 4 year old who is likely starting or in school I would make a big deal of how gross the accidents are (not to make them feel bad about themselves. PLEASE don't go that far with it) but a "gross these underpants are covered in POO GERMS" It is not uncommon for kids to get lazy and not want to bother going to the potty because it is inconvenient. I would leave them in the gross underwear and tell them to change themselves (by 4 they are old enough to dress themselves) as for a speech delay how do they communicate? Do they sign? gesture? draw? point? teach them the sign for potty, or how to point to a picture book, or another famillair gesture to alert you that they need to go.

Corrie - posted on 02/16/2011

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I used to run a two year old classroom at a preschool and what we had to do was take the children potty every twenty minutes until they were dry or didn't go that often and then we backed the time off a bit. This reduced the number of accidents the children had and reduced the frustration of having to change wet clothes so often. It can seem like a lot of work but they will eventually catch on. I didn't ask them if they had to go, I simply told them "let's go potty" setting a timer also helped in the beginning to get myself used to it as well.

Heather - posted on 02/16/2011

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I just wanted to say thank you. I have the same problem with my son, he will be 4 in a few days and only goes when I push him sometimes he will say no but I still try. He actually goes on the potty only a few times and he doesnt like his little sister in the bathroom with him. She will be 2 in march and is starting to get curious and he will get up and leave the room when she comes in. I have tried on and off since he was 2 and playtime is still more important than potty time. My family tells me to put him in underpants and pick up the spills at home and when out at store dont forget to stop at a bathroom so theyy know they dont have to be at home to go.

Karin - posted on 02/16/2011

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I have to reply because my son is 4. He turned 4 almost 4 months ago and he's still not nighttime potty trained.
It wasn't until he was almost 4 that I could finally take away his daytime pull-ups.
Every child is different. There is NO set age for potty training. I got a lot of crap from my son's bio father and his nana for not having him potty trained sooner.
My son wasn't even ready @ 2, but we started him on the potty then. It took over a year to get him to use the potty regularly, and even then he was still having a LOT of accidents. What finally helped? M&Ms. They're like gold! LOL! If he peed on the potty, he got 3-5 of them, then if he pooped, he got 10! Once he had peeing down, it still took another several months to get the pooping down. During that time, he no longer got M&Ms for peeing, so he was more motivated to poop because that was the only time he got the M&Ms. :) And we never ate M&Ms unless it was for potty training, either. That way he would keep in mind that M&Ms were special for when he used the potty.
Like I said, all kids are different. My boyfriend's 5yo was trained shortly after 3, and his special needs 7yo is still in pull-ups. I have a cousin whose son was trained by 2.5.
So your girls aren't so different. I do agree that maybe you should focus on one at a time though. Even though they're twins, their bodies might not be developing at the same exact rate.
Also, don't let your husband yell at them for their accidents. That is completely unacceptable. It will only create bad associations with the potty and it will make them want to use it even less. Of course, at their age, they should be capable of understanding why they're being reprimanded. I do think they should also understand by now that it is NOT okay to pee/poop in their pants. I think You should definitely be firm and let them know your disappointment, but not yell. One thing you will have to start thinking about it Kindergarten next year or this fall, depending on when their birthday is. Do your girls like school? Are they in daycare or anything? That might be a good motivator for them, if they do. Remind them that they won't be able to go to Kindergarten if they're not potty trained. And remember to always praise them highly when they do use the potty, especially when they start doing it on their own without prompting from you. Go overboard with the praise, too. It's a BIG deal to finally get potty trained. Let them know that! :)
Finally, (sorry if this is long-winded, but it's a touchy subject for me) if nothing seems to be working or improving, you probably need to take them to the pediatrician. They could have some underlying health problem preventing them from achieving potty training success.
Good luck!!! Keep us posted! I'd love to hear how things go. :)

Amelia - posted on 02/15/2011

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GET RID OF THE PULL UPS. They are nothing but glorified diapers. We never used them (except at night) and my daughter was potty trained in a week when she was 26 months old. When they have accidents make them clean it up. Supervise them in the tub, but make sure they are the ones cleaning themselves. And if they like bath time, don't make it fun. Don't fill the tub. Just make them rinse with the shower head. They will get cold and they will hate it. Make them wipe up the pee from the floor and pick up the poo. Make them rinse out their dirty panties. Being 4, they are completely capable of cleaning up their own mess, and I guarantee you they will not like it. Also, every 15-20 make them sit on the potty, regardless of if they do anything or not. When they do make pee or poo in the potty reward them. They are your kids, so you know what will work for them. If they like to read there are a ton of potty books out there. It may put things into perspective for them; let them know exactly what they should be doing.

Good Luck!

Jill - posted on 02/15/2011

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you ladies with the speech delayed children...how speech delayed are yours... my 2 1/2 yr old is also speech delayed

Kelly - posted on 02/15/2011

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My son was 3 in October, and altho I have tried a few times to potty train, it just wasnt working and we ended up back in nappys. Till a week and a half ago, while changing his nappy he asked for weewee on potty. So we let him go naked, and he used the potty. We made a huge song and dance about it, and he was chuffed to. The last 11 days he has been nappy free during the day, and has had 2 accidents in total. He had his 1st accident at nursery today so am really happy.
U almost have to make it into a game, I thought it would never happen.
My son is speech delayed too, but obviously seeing his friends at nursery using the toilet has encouraged him.
Try a sticker chart, and if they get so many stickers they get a treat.
Also I dont think pull ups help, as they think they are back in a nappy. Stick to knickers. I ask my son regular if he needs to go, but he will tell me sometimes he needs to go to.
Good luck

Jill - posted on 02/15/2011

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Sarah ...also have your children go potty right before they go to bed and right when they wake up.... there is always a line for the bathroom with my 3 kids....i also made it a habit while training that they went before and after every meal..before and after we left the house.... this establishes routine which is still used on my 8 and 6 yrolds

Chrissy - posted on 02/15/2011

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I have a 3 year old who trained really fast because of her older brother. He is speech delayed so it took forever. Everyone has told me to put the timer on on the oven for every 30 minutes and have them go. There also is a watch that you can buy that has a timer on it to remind them that its time to go. Its on ebay. Every child learns at a different pace so be patient no everything works when you want it too.

Lil - posted on 02/15/2011

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right now never get cross with a child when Potty training this makes then scared so they will not respond
i used to sit my babies on the potty and stay with them talking to them If they did some i would make out it was the best since sliced bread by praising them up showing them what they have done look at what a goo\d girl you are
Look what you have done then i would give them a sweetie
or Lolly what ever you call it BUT none if they did not do anything but don't worry they will get clean the more that you tell them off the longer it will take
Lil

Sarah - posted on 02/14/2011

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Hi Sarah....I know this sounds horrible, but I truly believe that if you hold strong and don't put on a pull-up at all, they will do it. You'll have some wet clothes for sure, but they will get it; there's only so many times they'll want to be wet. Hang in there!

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I also read that you should concentrate on one twin at a time... that way you aren't driving yourself crazy! You are right about the yelling though... that definitely doesn't help. I know it is a struggle for my husband too. He just doesn't get why it is such a learning process. Men! LOL Well, good luck!

Abby - posted on 02/14/2011

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Take them to a pediatric chiropractor. It helps! Google "chiropractic" + "childhood incontinence" . You can thank me later. :)

Sarah - posted on 02/14/2011

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Thanks guys! All of your advice sounds great! I've tried putting them in panties all day...but I've got 2 older kids too so it's hard to stay on top of them about going to the potty. My oldest twin has almost got it down...but my youngest just doesn't seem to get it. It don't help that my husband gets so frustrated with them that he yells at them....which I never do b/c I know it would only make it worse. I am definitely going to try the 'treat/present' thing. Hopefully that will work. We still have to put them in pull ups at night too...but I think that's a stage all children go thru. My oldest two were easier to potty train....and they went thru having to wear pull ups at night too.
Thanks so much for all the advice. Will update you all soon! ♥

Darby - posted on 02/14/2011

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I have a four year old daughter that potty trained at 3 years old...for the most part. The difficulty right now is getting her out of pullups at night time. She still wakes up wet. I have put a potty seat in her room within the last week and she has been using it at night so she has been waking up less and less wet. So, progress. Also my 2 year old son has started potty training because he sees her go. Good luck, but you are not alone. :-)

Jill - posted on 02/13/2011

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Sarah.i still prompt my 8 and 6 yr old to go especially when we are leaving the house....i would prompt them until i don;t have to anymore.... i am currently training my 2 1/2 yr old and it is a battle but it will come.... just be patient and keep on prompting....

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