Potty Training On Hold


After much thought and pondering, we have decided to stop potty training for now. Things seemed to be going so well! But after some thought, I realized I wasn’t judging success in potty training completely accurately. Here is the summary of what happened:

Day 10
This day went very well. He peed and pooped in the potty. He woke clean and dry from his nap. No accidents. His last time going on the potty for the day was around 11 AM.

Day 11
Imagine my surprise when Brayden woke clean and dry in the morning. He hadn’t peed since 11 the previous morning. Hmmm….strange. This is the day potty training went very south. I expected him to go to the bathroom soon in the day since he had woken dry, but by 11 AM he still hadn’t, making it 24 hours since he last went. I started to worry he had a bladder infection. I sanitized his potty so I could hopefully catch a clean sample. I knew he couldn’t go on demand at the doctor. He finally peed a little and we went to the doctor. It turned out there was no infection. I wondered what was wrong. Brayden had cried and cried, saying it hurt to go and that his poop was too big. An hour into “naptime” he was still trying to go, but couldn’t. He cried because he didn’t want to get his underwear or training pants dirty, but he couldn’t pee or poop on the potty. I finally asked him if he would go to sleep if he wore a diaper, and he said yes. So we did. That night, we had a birthday party for my mom and Brayden had an accident, I assume from all the excitement going on around him he forgot about underwear and toilets. At the end of the day, I was trashed. Potty training had been such a taxing time. Nate and I talked about possibly stopping, but I hated the idea of quitting. He had had so much success! I did some praying and pondering over the situation.

Day 12
My husband decided to stay home from work to help in the efforts of potty training. Brayden woke clean and dry in the morning, and by 10:30 AM was crying that he couldn’t go on the potty. Finally I asked him if he would rather wear diapers or underwear. He thought about it for about 5 minutes, and finally answered diapers. I said okay, put the diaper on him, and he was perfectly content. I felt really good about the decision and like a weight had been lifted.

I have of course done a lot of analyzing the whole situation. I know he wasn’t not going on the potty out of rebellion. Bless his little heart, he gave it honest effort. I thought about it and realized I was looking at success incorrectly. Yes, he was having little to no accidents and staying clean and dry, but he also was only peeing once a day. That can’t be healthy. I decided he must not be ready to let it out sitting down. I had hoped he would get used to it and the hang of it after a couple of days, but it never clicked. After a week and a half, he still didn’t know how to make himself go.

Over the 12 days, he had slowly gone down hill. He had become clingy and whiny–two things he has never been in his life. I hadn’t realized the stress that had been taking him over. He had rings under his eyes. He wouldn’t do solo playtime half the time because he needed to go to the bathroom but couldn’t let it out. Once we put a diaper on him, he played happily. He went back to his old self after he was put back in diapers. He was jumping, running, being crazy, loving solo playtime… I talked to my friend Kelli about it. Kelli is really good and reading people and understanding their personalities. She also does Babywise with her two year old son. She pointed out that Brayden is really dutiful. If I ask him to do something, he does it to the best of his ability. So physically he was able to stay clean and dry, but not able to let it out because he didn’t know how. She was so right and I realized how careful I will have to be when I ask him to do things in the future. I will have to be absolutely sure he is developmentally ready for the things I ask of him. He is a perfectionist, so to not be getting something despite the best of his ability was very hard for him. I am also a perfectionist and hate to “quit,” so it took me too long to recognize that he just wasn’t ready.

Since we have quit, he has asked me for permission to pee and poop in his diaper. He has also suddenly gained a disliking for having a wet or dirty diaper. Before potty training, it didn’t bother him in the least. So he is more ready than he was a couple of weeks ago, but just not quite there.

I told this story to a friend with 6 year old boy who has always reminded me of Brayden. She said that when her son was potty training, he also had a hard time learning how to go on the potty. He eventually started waking in the night throwing up all over. She took him to the doctor and they x-rayed him and found his intestines to be completely full of poop. There was no more room. So she stopped potty training. Several months later, he asked to do it and never had one accident and no problems. Here’s hoping!