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  1. #1

    Default Difficult Toilet Trainer

    My oldest son gave me the hope that potty training his little brother would be a breeze. When my oldest was 1.5yo he started taking off his diaper and asking to use the toilet. I put him on a timer so that every 20 minutes or so, I would put him on the toilet and within 6 months he was day-trained. My youngest(2yo) takes his diapers off, pees on the floor or his bed, but when I try to get him to sit on the potty, he screams bloody murder! I'm not sure how to progress. He makes me watch Elmo's Potty Time almost daily, he wants to watch everybody else use the bathroom, but he won't go himself! Any advice from parents who've also had trouble training?


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  3. #2


    Wait until he’s older? Let him watch, because he’s interested, but dont push him to do it himself. Hes thinking about the process, learning in his own way.
    You dont pee on a toilet that starts playing music when you wee (I assume), maybe he would feel better if he had the smaller size pull down lid to sit on. Home Depot sells them, its like an extra lid that is smaller, for smaller butts.

    Can you get his brother playing a fun game of target the (cheerio) in the bowl? maybe younger brother will want to join in.

    Some kids may want you to throw a parade, some might just want to get their business over with. Neither of my boys were interested in singing, creepy toy-lets.

    If hes pulling down his pants, he might need help with enough advance notice. Set a timer for every half hour, ask him to try going potty. Once hes over his horror with peeing on elmo. or you have some other sort of seat for him.

    But mostly, if he doesnt go in the toilet now, set the concept aside for at least a few months until he is interested in trying again.

    Your kids will all be different, so any experience you think you gain with one will be offset by your younger’s totally different personality.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3


    My oldest didn't potty train until he was 4.5yo. It wasn't from lack of trying, I tried everything under the sun to get him toilet trained. His 2 years younger brother was almost trained before my oldest trained. He just up and decided one day that he was done wearing diapers, took it off and never wore one again. I was pretty sure he was going to college in diapers at that point but he just needed the autonomy to decide for himself when he was ready. No amount of pushing from me was going to make him go any faster. In fact, it seemed like the more I pushed, the more he resisted.

    My second oldest, also a boy, trained right around his third birthday which is actually pretty typical for boys. He was pretty textbook as far as day training went but he was a bed wetter until he was 11yo.

    My girls both trained around the age of 1.5 to 2 which is pretty typical for girls. The older one was a bed wetter until she was 13.

    My youngest two boys both trained around 2.5yo, just a little bit on the young side for boys. But they had all their older siblings to watch and keep up with, they didn't want to be the only "babies" wearing diapers.

    My youngest developed encopresis at age 5.5yo. He doesn't like using other people's toilets for #2 and we had to live in with dh's grandma after she had double knee surgery this past summer. That's where it started and it has taken almost 6 months to get him retrained to not withhold his bowel movements so he won't soil himself. He will be 6 in January and we still have to keep on him about his bathroom habits so he doesn't backslide.

    All that to say, some kids train young, some take their time learning to toilet train. In my experience, you can encourage it but you can't force it. If your son screams bloody murder when you sit him on the toilet, don't force him. That will only make it take longer to train him.

    I taught my kids to sit on the toilet backwards at first (facing the tank) for some reason that made them feel safer when they were first learning to use the toilet. And they could use any toilet that way and feel safe, even public toilets. Oh and I always taught my boys to sit to pee. They will learn to stand up eventually but there is less mess to begin with when the learn to sit and pee.

  5. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by MapleHillAcademy View Post
    My youngest developed encopresis at age 5.5yo. He doesn't like using other people's toilets for #2 and we had to live in with dh's grandma after she had double knee surgery this past summer. That's where it started and it has taken almost 6 months to get him retrained to not withhold his bowel movements so he won't soil himself. He will be 6 in January and we still have to keep on him about his bathroom habits so he doesn't backslide.
    Sorry nothing to add for original poster. But good luck with this MapleHill. It is really tough for all involved. My oldest developed encopresis at about 7 years old and had it until we took her out of school at 8 years old, and then about 6 months after that to correct and get her bowel right again. She also hates other toilets. Always screamed as a toddler/preschooler if I tried to take her to public toilets (she would prefer to pee her pants). Then at school, she just refused to go because of multiple reasons (lack of privacy, noise, smell, worried about germs, sometimes dirty/wet/not enough paper). This was combined with restricted water intake at school. They were not allowed water bottles in the class and were only able to drink on breaks, when she would forget and run off and play. So she became chronically constipated and then had encopresis. We had a lot of rounds of laxatives just to get her going again. Then it came back after a while. But she is all good now.
    NZ homeschoolers (school year runs start Feb to mid Dec).
    DD 12 (year 7) and DD 7 (year 2).
    Fourth year homeschooling.
    Part-time freelance science copyeditor.

  6. #5


    We had to stay in a hotel for 4 days while dh's grandmother was in the hospital which was the longest ds had ever stayed in a hotel away from home. Then we basically moved in with her while she was receiving physical therapy at home because she didn't want to go to an in patient rehab center to learn how to walk again with her new knees. We kept trying to get him to go to the bathroom but he just wouldn't. He stays the night at grandma's all the time so we didn't think the bathroom at her house would be a problem for him, he goes at her house all the time but having his world basically upended for 4 weeks proved too much and he started withholding and once he started, he didn't know how to stop. We've had to give him Miralax and senna to get him in the habit again and then basically re-potty train him. I can't imagine if he had been in school for all this, I don't know if peer pressure would have helped stay on top of things on his own or caused him to backtrack even more. He is the first of six kids to have this problem so like Alexmom said, each kid is different and presents their own challenges.

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Difficult Toilet Trainer