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number two

I moustache you to share these cookies with me.

I need your advice.

So here’s the thing. Preston was potty-trained in three days last June. He was #1ing and #2ing like a champ. He had an accident here and there, usually at the church, but otherwise he was good to go. And then he hurt his toe.

Last October Preston didn’t walk for five whole days. He had an infection in his toe and refused to put any weight on his foot. During this time of not moving at all, he completely regressed in his potty skills. After a couple weeks and many, many changes of clothes, he was all good with #1 again. But he’s rarely made it to the potty with #2.

He doesn’t even seem to care. I’ve reminded him 857 times to tell me when he has to go, and yet I keep having to throw out Superman underpants. Nothing we’ve tried has worked to get him back to going on the potty.

If you’ve had this issue with one of your kids, I’d love to hear how you solved it. Give me your tips, please. I’ll be forever grateful.

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  • bethany actually Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 10:01 pm

    I haven’t dealt with this personally (though Elliora’s refusal to defecate in the toilet is what’s holding back her willingness to potty-train at all, I think), but we have friends whose 3-year-old daughter had been potty-trained, and then regressed after her younger sister was born six weeks early and there was a period of time when her parents were gone at the hospital a lot, and M was with her grandparents and other babysitters a lot of the time. She was okay about peeing in the toilet, but she started just pooping in her underwear all the time. They actually had to take her out of preschool because it was happening so often.

    They tried handling it themselves for a few weeks, and finally, frustrated, they went to the pediatrician. His advice was: take the pressure completely off. Put her back in pull-ups, continue to regularly ask her if she needs to go to the bathroom, praise her when she does…but when she goes in her pull-up, don’t reprimand her for it at all. Just matter-of-factly change her and go on about the day. He pointed out that M had started getting a lot of attention–negative attention, but attention nonetheless–for going in her underwear after her sister was born, and the trick was to take that attention away and give her loads of praise and attention for going in the toilet like she was supposed to, and she’d eventually sort it out herself.

    So that’s what they did, and after a month of being frustrated by her regression, within a week she was going in the toilet 95% of the time and in another week she was back in underwear.

    • Jen Wilson Thursday, February 6, 2014, 10:27 am

      Maybe I should try that. I’ll keep him in underwear, as when he’s in pull-ups he pees in them, but I’ll be matter-of-fact about it when he poops, instead of saying “yucky” or something like that. I tried for the last week giving him a time-out when he did it, but obviously that’s not working. Thanks, B. :)

  • Amanda Brown Thursday, February 6, 2014, 9:46 pm

    My advice is basically the polar opposite of Bethany’s but with my eldest daughter, the pooping in the undies had become a willful form of defiance on her part and she dumped a hot load in them every day for two months. I didn’t really make a big deal of it when it would happen, thinking she’d figure it out, but after two months of her coming up to me with a smirk on her face declaring, “I pooped in mah underwear!” I had had enough. I found a blog called Traditional Parenting that a friend’s mom had recommended to me and while I think most of it is very extreme and right-wing, their advice on the pooping in the potty issue was basically to place them in the bathroom and tell them they cannot leave until they have pooped. Their reasoning was that pooping in the potty (when you know they are capable) is reasonable and expected behavior and the rest of their reasonable/expected behavior would be restored once they did the deed. So, basically, I locked my three year-old in the bathroom until she pooped. I didn’t actually lock the door, rather just stood guard and stayed in the doorway until she did it. She cried, but she stayed. Then after two hours, she went. And never had an accident again. I think in her instance she needed some hard and fast boundaries and even though this is not my usual parenting approach, it worked for her. Bethany’s friend’s child seemed to be regressing as a result of emotional issues, whereas my kid was just being a big ol’ brat. :) Good luck, Jen! It’s no fun, but he WILL get it!!