FKB: Lack of Progress

We're about two months into the great potty training adventure and . . . there are about 10 stickers total on our progress chart. The first weekend, as expected, had one success and many accidents. The second weekend had several more successes, and we thought he would be ready to take it to school and keep working at it. Instead, he had an absolute meltdown that Monday at school, so we backed off a little bit. Then we went to Germany and his grandmother, who promised to keep at it, ... did not keep at it. Since then, we've had a few successes at school and a stray one at home. He's willing to patiently sit on the training potty and read books for extended periods of time, but nothing happens.

So we bribe successes with stickers, M&Ms, and the ultimate reward of ice cream if he ever fills up his chart. We also make a really big deal any time there is a success to support him. Any other ideas?

29 thoughts on “FKB: Lack of Progress”

  1. The only advice is to keep at it.

    We had a similar back-tracking involving vacation travel, way back when. Both kids eventually got there, in their own time with (more or less) appropriate encouragement/bribery. And both seem to be pretty well-adjusted young adults.

  2. We're on roughly month four or five with the oldest. We're hoping he'll be ready by time school begins in September. He can do it all fine, it's a matter of doing it at the right time. Bribery is largely ineffective on him, so he's unfit for political office or convincing of when to go to the potty.

    He's willing to patiently sit on the training potty and read books for extended periods of time, but nothing happens.

    Let me preface this by emphasizing that you know best and I will only silently judge you, but it sounds like he might not be ready. My niece is being potty trained, sort of, (she's a bit over two), and has similar responses. She has no issue being on the potty and really enjoys the stories, but hasn't connected the bodily function with why she's sitting. Not that you should necessarily stop, but you may be in an awkward state where you can't really go back but he hasn't made the mental leaps for this.

  3. We're on...month twelve? We had one success in the potty, which was completely self-initiated, and then ever since then he's been terrified of trying. Then we went really backwards where there was terror of pooping at all and required several suppositories. Finally things are going okay, now. He likes to talk about it. One thing we do is if he poops in a pull-up, we jointly place it in the potty so he can flush it. He's becoming pretty comfortable again with the whole concept. Now it's just the patience.

  4. Caveat - every child has their own schedule.

    'For my frame of reference' SelectShow

    Be okay w/ accidents and no backtracking - once you've started, be consistent and don't go back.

    At first, try with them every 20-30 minutes (daycare or caregivers are key for this). Don't let them hang out: if they go, great, if not, get up and try again 10-15 minutes later.

    Huge praise when successful.

    Diapers only for sleeping, and once he gets the hang of it, only overnight. Pull-ups just confuse the issue.

  5. We just let both kids do it at their own pace with the caveat that it had to be done before they were four, otherwise they wouldn't be able to start 4k. They were both a few months last 3 when it all finally clicked. The only thing that's happened since then is the occasional accident because they didn't stop whatever they were doing and go (dammit Daniel Tiger, it isn't as easy as you make it sound), but neither one has ever wet the bed, which is nice.

  6. TLO has her two month appointment Monday. Our anniversary is tomorrow. It really puts a light on just how completely sure we were that it would take a while to conceive. Not that we didn't want her and weren't trying, but if we knew it would be first cycle after the wedding that actually took, we might have waited to start trying. But infertility runs in the PR's family, so we were sure we'd have a buffer.

    1. My father-in-law's cousin (who is younger than me) either conceived on the wedding night or honeymoon.
      Also, the number of months that I could have gotten EAR pregnant = number of kids we have. (More or less, NFP with a few other instances of rounding up or down.)

    2. Yup. My wife got pregnant very soon after our wedding. Second child was conceived shorty after pulling the goalie. Let's just say we have been super careful ever since, as one boy, one girl is all we want.

  7. HPR got some really bad constipation when we first started him, so we backtracked completely until we got him regular again, which took months and months.

  8. There was a FKB discussion a while back on this topic, if you're interested. I remember reading in a book to think of accidents as learning opportunities. To connect the sensation of needing to go with what happens next, kids need a certain amount of experience. If a kid is having accidents constantly, that's one thing, but otherwise accidents may just be a necessary part of the process.

    Regarding the sticker chart, is the Valet into it? I recall someone here a while back saying you need to figure out what your kid's currency is. Apparently my mom trained me by giving marshmallows as rewards. For my kids, letting them watch videos on the potty is a big incentive--I find it kind of annoying but it's soooo effective. (The jalapeño outgrew it ages ago, and I know the peperoncino will get there eventually. I suppose it's less annoying than continuing to buy diapers, anyway!)

    1. sure i said it, but toy cars were ours. they're a buck a piece, so it's not breaking the bank (especially if you consider long term diaper costs). we stuck a pin above the bathroom door and hung a car on it. constant reminder. if he did it (which we backed way off on after prolonged lack of success), he got a car, then we hung a new one up.

    2. One of the greatest feelings in my life was the day I realized we never had to buy another diaper again. It was s doubly sweet because, since we cloth diapered, we can make some money by selling those as well.

            1. Five is no great shakes either. The biggest issue is their ability to talk. I think, for me, that additional communication means I should be able to now effectively very my points across or explain things easier. It's very frustrating that this is not actually the case.

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