Potty Training my 3 year old at night

Melanie - posted on 08/16/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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my daughter is potty trained except for at night. She reserves that time for her BM almost every night. We have tried limiting liquids, fiber pills (recommended by the dr), and wearing regular underwear in hopes that it would bother her when she does it. It doesnt, in fact she wakes up and "parties" in her room with the BM in her underwear or diaper. We have since gone back to diapers because we are tired of cleaning up the disgusting mess every morning. We have also tried bribing her with things she really wants and taking her favorite stuffed animals away. I am at my wits end and need some help. Please help!!!

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Melanie - posted on 08/16/2011

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i should have mentioned that she has gone during the day without an issue. I dont think shes afraid of going on the big potty because shes done it before. My thing is how do i keep her doing it more. most of the time she goes during the night, who knows when. Ive tried waking her up in the middle of the night, but all she does is pee.

Carlie - posted on 08/16/2011

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She will probably laugh when you make the noise. EXCELLENT. she is calm enough to laugh!! pat yourself on the back, it's almost over. Laugh with her. She may say, "No no she's scared, she still doesn't want to." But don't give in. Try ONE more time. Say, "I know, it IS scary huh?" But I'm gonna be RIGHT HERE for you, and I won't let anything happen to you. I know you can do this, honey!! I know you are a big kid now, but if you try to sit on it, you will feel like a MUCH BIGGER KID." Then slowly tap the toilet seat, and say something like, " wanna give it just a little try, see what happens?" If she says yes, go kiss a stranger. :) Because it's progress. If she hesitates, shakes her head, then says no....go kiss another stranger. Because she HESITATED. Meaning, she AT LEAST thought about what you said, but still is afraid. Clap a little, hug her, and say to her: "Good try!!" Even though you didn't sit THIS time, I am still proud of you for thinking about it!" "Maybe next time we can try to sit?" Then IMMEDIATELY leave the bathroom and tell anyone you see. That will make her feel validated as a big kid or that she's almost a big kid. YOUR actions will make her feel as if she has accomplished something important-and she has.

Finally, I would suggest putting your daughter in big girl panties. Ask her. I betcha she says yes. maybe yes and a smile. Tell her, " Since you have been doing big kid things for awhile (even if she hasn't), I thought you might like to start wearing your big kid panties now." You have to motivate her into thinking she is ready. Put that idea into her brain. Reinforce it by saying it to her-and to others. Explain to her that if she is going to wear the big kid panties now, then WE have to work on using the toilet like a big kid." ALSO explain to her that you will be waking her up after she goes to bed, so that she can start using the big kid toilet, if she has to go at night and can't hold it." Reassure her you will be with her at first. Good luck potty training!! The best reward is the PURE JOY on your child's face when you praise her. One last thing: I took my daughter shopping one evening when she was almost 3 years old. Once we got inside the department store, she had to use the bathroom (of course :P). When we got to the women's bathroom, there were 11 women in front of us. I had to use the bathroom like nobody's business (sorry!!). When my daughter was potty trained for a BM, I would clap and say, "YAY, way to go babe!" "Awesome try." So when our turn FINALLY came in the bathroom, I handled my business, stood up, and at that moment in ALL OF A SUDDEN TOTAL SILENCE in the bathroom, my 3 year old daughter says LOUDLY, " YAY MAMA!!! Way to go, so proud of you....for that NUMBER 3!!" ah geez.....LOL.....
So. They always seem to be a little bit happier if we aren't afraid to get down on their level. The greatest reward FOR YOUR DAUGHTER: is the smile on YOUR FACE when you praise her.....!

Carlie - posted on 08/16/2011

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Okay, first of all, your child doesn't have a BM at night on purpose. If she is having one at night, then I would consider it's just nature's course. You mention that you both have tried limiting liquids. Well that's a good start. One thing I would NEVER do for a child learning to potty in the big kid toilet-is force that child to potty on it. I mean, does she do that to you? Ahh, I am big on respect. EVERY child, regardless of age, deserves to be respected. Some parents think their children are too young to understand about certain things. Maybe so. But how would they know if they don't try to break it down in their child's language? Mama, I recommend that the next time YOU go to the bathroom for a number 3, you take your daughter with you, and let her see what goes on. Yeah really. Who cares about being embarrassed. Take her with you for a week or so in the morning or the afternoon. Bring a magazine for you and a book for her or whatever. Explain why you have one. I mean, BM's are a big deal on the big kid toilet, but you don't want her to feel pressured. Also, why do most ppl take a magazine into the bathroom with them? To distract them, gives them something else to focus on. She deserves that too. After a week or maybe less-or longer-wake her up at whatever time she normally has a BM. If she is experiencing BM's after you put her to bed, well then, who's fault is that? Not hers. She has had an accident that's all, and if someone else is making it her fault, then shame on them. She learns from YOU, the adults in her life, the people that teach her. I mean, so you have a few cleanups. So what? No one is perfect. Go with her the first 3 or 4 nights for her BM's. She will be sleepy and maybe a little scared. Be there for her. She needs you. She needs to know you will be there for something like that-it ensures she feels safe with you. Don't bribe her. And for the love of man, I would give that poor child her favorite stuffed animals back. Imagine this: It's dark in your daughter's bedroom. Even if there's a nightlight in her room, and it's semi-dark, to her it's still dark. She's alone. And I mean alone. She's scared. Most kids are. That's why we give them "comforting aids" to help them sleep. They want their parents to sleep next to them, but we can't. So, what's the next best thing? A doll, a special pillow, a stuffed animal. My daughter is 4 years old. If she wants to sleep with her Barbie doll, then I allow that-as long as she doesn't talk out loud (my daughter, not Barbie). :)
Most parents have each other to hold every night. But your daughter doesn't have you to hold at night-and you are the best thing to her! What's the next best thing? So, yes she deserves her favorite stuffed animals. You shouldn't be taking anything away from her. She is learning how to use the big kid's toilet, in the way she has been taught. This isn't instinct. She has to be taught. Praise her EVERY SINGLE TIME she even TRIES to potty. Even if nothing happ[ens, PRAISE HER FOR IT. REWARD HER with praise, a smile, a hug. Take her to the bathroom one day and say this: "Hey look I want to show you something." "This is the big kid toilet." She may say "she knows that already." So then tell her, " Yeah I know-you have a great memory. I wish I could remember things the way you can!" Then say, "Well did you know that the big kid toilet is our friend?" It sounds nuts, I know. But your daughter needs to feel safe enough on it and around it, to even THINK about using it. YOU have to help alleviate that fear. She may look at you like you have horns. :) Say: "Yeah, ALL big kid toilets are our friends." You need to explain the word "friend" here. Tell her, "This toilet is here, because it wants us to sit on it and use it." It is waiting for us to do that." "That's why they make these things, so we can use them." "But this is the BIG KID toilet, and since I know YOU are a BIG KID honey, let's try it and see if something happens, ok?" Then let her try. She may not know how to push on the big kid toilet. ASK HER if yall can TRY to sit. Tell her "she doesn't have to do anything yet if she's not ready, but suggest that she at least sits on it, to see what it feels like first." If she still appears afraid, ask her why? Usually it's the water at the bottom of the toilet-the hole. Reassure her that "yeah you thought it was a little scary too at first, but that the ppl that make the toilets wouldn't put something down there that could hurt her." Then tell her, "you will be RIGHT HERE though, if she needs you." And ask her if she wants you to stay. And then do. As close to her as you can. Put both her hands on the side of the toilet. If she wobbles, help her hold her hands down, by putting yours on hers-she will feel even safer too. Instruct her to "push, real hard." Then show her. Really make the noise and everything.

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