Potty Training Nightmare!

Jenny - posted on 03/01/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My 3 1/2 yr old son - started potty training last July. He totally regressed when new baby brother came in Nov. He wants to wear diapers! I truly feel like we have tried everything! Help, anyone?!

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Barb - posted on 03/01/2010

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Does he want to wear a diaper all of the time, or just occasionally? I'm sure you've brought him shopping to pick out his own "big boy" underwear, bought him his own potty, etc., and are feeling at wit's end. When our middle son was training, the movie Jurassic Park had just been released, and so he had dinosaur underpants. He was doing fine with the potty part of the training, but didn't want to poop on the toilet, so I told him the dinosaur on his underwear would bite his bottom if he pooped in those underwear - not my finest parenting moment, but it worked! Anyway, rest assured that he will not graduate from high school wearing a diaper. He's feeling displaced by his new sibling, so try to spend time alone with just him...give him some caretaking duties with his new brother/sister - teach him how to change the baby's diapers, and really reinforce how he is the "big boy" and doesn't need diapers anymore! Another tip that really worked for my 2 boys was to let them be naked in the house - no diaper or undepants - and I had them help clean up any potty mess they made. It didn't take long for them to get to the toilet, and soon they were able to locate every toilet in our town when we were out and about. Good luck!

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AnnMarie - posted on 03/01/2010

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Consistency is most important.I too had dfficulties with my youngest son. It was still attention seeking but not because of a baby,but the opposite side of the spectrum with older siblings requiring homework help,etc.I found that setting specific times in his normal routine was helpful,such as right after mealtime,right after school,right before bed.I used simple reminders,such as"What do you do now when you're done with your lunch?" "Oh yeah, I go potty" he would answer and run off up the stairs to the bathroom.Also limiting drinks to mealtime only is helpful until he gains the appropriate contol and routine.
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Kate - posted on 03/01/2010

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It's normal when a baby arrives that the older child feels a little jealous - he wants to regress because he sees that the baby is getting all the attention he used to get. My way to deal with weird phases with my kids is "what you resist,persists" - so let him have the nappies, he'll get bored with it after a bit. Just keep finding ways to make him feel proud of being the big brother - tell him all the reasons it's cool! Works with mine anyway :-)

Leslie - posted on 03/01/2010

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A sticker calender is a great way to encourage going to the potty. When he fills a week or a couple days with no accidents then he gets a nice reward. Is he waking up dry? I knew my daughter was ready after she had been waking up dry for 3 or 4 weeks. Good luck!!

Jessica - posted on 03/01/2010

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He's 31/2, so he gets what's going on and understands stuff. Give him the diaper and if he wants the diaper like a baby make him be a baby, use a playpen or crib no tv bottles baby oatmeal/rice/mush for food. I would give him the royal treatment of babyhood the whole nineyards, everythibng baby. When he asks for something oh no babys dont talk and babies cant have that here a bottle of course I wouldnt go buy formula use milk but if you use formula for baby give it to him. I bet he doesn't last 2 days, haha . And when he says he doesnt want to be a baby just talk about the potty/ diaper issue and big boys use the potty. And offer up something he really likes if you use the potty all day, mommy will cuddle with you tonight in your bed at bedtime or I will read you 3 stories...

Carolyn - posted on 03/01/2010

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Consistency with his routine to the potty. Most parents find a visit to the potty every two hours is fine to start. You need to time his wet diapers, find out when his routine of going is. Everyone is different, by the same tone they all have the same needs to go. Time the changing of or when he would normally go. Set up a time 20min before that to visit the rest room. A frequent routine of washing his hands with warm water will help with his urge to go. Some have said to play a game with boys and put cheerios in the toilet and let him aim for that. This helps with control, not the actual going part. So work on making his time to go important, encouraging & that all big boys like daddy or whom ever he may idolize go in the potty not in a diaper. This time needs to be special due to the new baby gets a lot of special time as well. He may start picking the most unpopular times to go in the beginning. He may compete with the new baby for attention & time in his favor that is normal. Not to let that get out of control is another story. By any means he needs this time for his new role as a big brother. He still wants to feel like he is not invisible. So he is doing these attention things to feel noticed. Spending a few extra minutes timed right, like not at baby feeding time, not I need to rock or change baby time. This is why you should set the time for him to attend the potty. Let him take care of his special need for attention before the baby is due for his/her needs as well. It's all about schedule. If this is done consistently he will improve his behavior & be more co-operative. Having him do things like hand you blanket, bottle, pacifier, pick up baby's things or his own toys while you feed or tend to baby may help. Inclusion is a big part of him not feeling threatened by the new baby. He really just wants to be a part of the activities involved. So having him may be telling you a story from his favorite book while you feed or change the baby will help him feel like he is not being put aside. May be even letting him do one of his favorite activities like coloring or building soft blocks, lego's were always a hit with kids. It lets them make new expressions of themselves every time they start over with making something new. Best of luck, I hope some of these suggestions help you with handling this situation.

Shameeka - posted on 03/01/2010

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Try to make potty training fun. My nephew went through and his mom found some potty games that did the trick. She used to put cereal (cheerios) in the toilet then make let him try to shoot at it with his pee. He like it and started using the bathroom with ease.

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