Many people have asked me how potty training is going, so here is the update. It is pretty much the same as it was two months ago when I wrote the first Poop Goes in the Potty post — we are good with pee and not with poop. However Will will now poop on the potty without me sitting next to him, and he is waking up in the middle of the night to ask to go pee in the potty.
Will does great with pee; infrequently having an accident and he will go on his own, even away from the house. Our problem is with pooping. He doesn’t care about having poop in his underwear, so he will go a little bit then stop it and avoid going on the potty. This will happen several times a day, and up to five some days. When we notice the poop we have him get on the potty and try to push some poop out; sometimes he will and sometimes he won’t. At the end of the day, he just doesn’t care and nothing we do makes him care. Rewards and consequences haven’t worked.
Not that I like cleaning up poop filled underwear, but I am at the point where I think that nothing I do will make him care so we should just do nothing and let him do what he wants. This process has confirmed that he will do things on his own terms when he is ready. It would mean that he doesn’t have a consequence for pooping in his underwear, but he also doesn’t get a reward when he goes poop in the potty after not pooping in his underwear. I just don’t know how to make him care and think that eventually he will care on his own. He will care, right?
I am so beaten down with this that I am ready to just do nothing. It is hard not to get mad, but I really don’t know what else to do.
The biggest issue with doing nothing (besides the cleaning of the underwear) is that it delays teaching him to pee standing up. With Jack I waited to let him stand until pooping was good and established and that was my plan with Will. However, Will starts preschool in two weeks and he is starting to wake up in the night and ask to go potty. Both of these are accomplished much easier when he stands — they take less time and less hassle with clothing (because he still sits backward on the potty which means he has to take everything off or needs help sitting frontwards with clothes on his legs).
Believe me, I am worried about him pooping in his underwear at preschool and me having to come clean him up or him having to do it by himself, but maybe that will be a motivator for him. The standing to go pee is a much bigger issue in my mind. I just want to make sure that he will sit to go poop. I have heard horror stories of parents who started boys standing early and then they refused to sit and would only poop in their pants.
What do you think we should do? Should we give up for a while and let him do what he is going to do or continue with some other plan? Should we teach him to stand and gamble that he will still sit to poop when needed?