Monday, October 4, 2010

When our 3 year old Stopped Using the Potty

I haven't been as active a blogger recently,and not just due being busy with the little ones, trying to work in our preschool lessons at home and keep the now crawling baby from getting into everything that he's not supposed to....our 3 year old stopped using the potty.  To put an end to the potty resistance, it's been very time consuming and exhausting...but WORKING!  My approach to potty training was always, "she'll do it when she's ready" and I was never overly concerned with forcing her to be completely potty trained by any specific age...hopefully before kindergarten! But I just assumed that if I just waited and let her do it when she was ready, then everything would go perfectly smooth with no set backs.  Until my 3 year old started holding it in all day to avoid using the potty.  Before the potty avoidance, she would disappear and go potty all by herself, on the toilet, with no fuss, commotion or anything...and I'd panic and run into my room to see if she was trying to wake up the baby only to come out and find her walking out of the bathroom.  She was however, different when it came to going poop in the potty.  She would always hold it in and wait till she had a diaper on at nap time or bed time and then go.  She was always very private about it and would lock her door when she was going number 2.  It wasn't a big deal to me though....until she started holding in her urine as well.  She would hold her urine all day until bedtime when she got a diaper on and then would pause the second she got it on and immediately go.  Now it was time for intervention...holding the poop in was making her constipated all the time and now holding in urine, that could cause infections and enough was enough.  We basically had to RE-TRAIN her to use the potty, even pulling out the training potty she used to use.  It was hard, but the only way we could do it was to quit diapers cold-turkey.  I remembered how parents use the "binky fairy" to get rid of pacifiers, so I decided to hire the "diaper fairy".  We told her that the Diaper fairy was coming and was going to take all her diapers away and give them to babies who don't know how to listen to their bodies like she does, and that the diaper fairy would leave her a big kid surprise in exchange.  So one night we rounded up all her diapers and pull-ups...she put them in a basket and by the front door.  Then the diaper fairy came!
The Diaper Fairy Came!
 Our 3 year old was excited to find her basket of 'big kid" stuff from the diaper fairy!  A colorful preschool workbook, more underwear (we were going to need it!!!) nail polishes and a night light for her bathroom.

The first couple of nights, she wet the bed 4-5 times.  
The first day with no diapers, I had given her a lot of fluids so she couldn't hold her urine all day, and we had been giving her miralax (as directed by our pediatrician) to help make it easier for her to poop and be more regular without having any constipation pain that would make things worse for her. 
She started asking for a diaper, but when we had none, she started to freak out.  She started sobbing, holding onto me, screaming that she needed a diaper.  It was SO hard to not give in after 20+ minutes of her acting traumatized about having to go to the bathroom and not having any diapers to go in.  Her legs were so stiff because she was holding it in trying not to go.  Finally, she had no choice, it was coming out no matter what...I thought it was going to be a huge turd or something....but she just peed.  And her face lit up, she was so excited and proud of herself.  I was glad too, but couldn't help but think all that over having to go potty???  She used to do it all the time without a thought!  Anyways, it's slowly gotten better, and we had some similar instances when she finally had to go poop, but now, 2 weeks later, she is staying dry through the night (the past 5 nights have been dry anyways), and she goes potty without any drama.  She's doing great, but she still cries when she knows it's time to poop.  She says "I don't want to!"  "I can't!" "I need a diaper!".  But after 30-40 minutes of pep talking and getting her to sit on the potty, it'll come out and she'll be excited about it. 

Oh, and how this all started????  We were at the mall and went into the Macy's restroom and it was really loud and echo-y, she started sobbing when we were in the bathroom stall and ever since that day, it was like back to square one. 

Anyways, to all the other parents out there with strong willed children who do not enjoy using the potty....GOOD LUCK!

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