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Old 07-18-2010, 09:51 PM   #1
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Help me pick my toddler's brain...

I have a situation that is perplexing me and I need some outside input before I do the wrong thing and screw up the situation even further.

My daughter is 2.5yo, and is a very smart kid. She's very in tune with her emotions, she understands actions and consequences, and it is extremely rare that we have to use the "cool down" mat (it's just a mat we put on the floor for when she's acting up and needs a breather).

That being said, I am completely at a loss for what to do with her when it comes to going potty. She loves reading books about it, her favorite program is a cheapo DVD someone gave us called "Potty Power!", she will sit on the potty for an hour and play, and she LOVES wearing undies. But when it comes down to it and she ACTUALLY has to pee, she flips out. Sobs. Screams. All-out fit. In fact, we could be sitting there for a half hour happily and out of the blue, she'll melt down and that's how I know that she really does, in fact, have to pee. It's like the act of peeing out in the "open" terrifies her.

Yesterday and today, she has been in undies all day except for naps/bedtime. Yesterday early afternoon she accidently started to pee while sitting in the dining room so we hurried over and she finished in the little potty. I praised like crazy, gave her a little treat and a sticker, she seemed ok. I thought we were heading somewhere.

Except she didn't pee at all the rest of the day. And today, same thing - not even during naptime in her diaper. She is deliberately holding it in, I am sure, because she usually has at least 5-6 wet diapers a day. She still seems happy to sit on the potty, she just refuses to go.

I don't know how to proceed. Do I drop it and try again later? Is there some way to alleviate her fear and keep going? I don't want to push her but she seems so totally ready in every other aspect that I just don't know where to go from here.

Sorry for the novel, but HELP!

UPDATE: So, we've been at it still for the last week and we are STILL struggling with this! Three times she has been successful in peeing in the potty, but all three times she cried and screamed while she did it. She seemed so happy once it was over and was all sorts of excited to get her sticker and treat, but it still hasn't alleviated this mind-boggling fear she has of actually peeing. She watches me go to the bathroom, even gets all excited and says "Yay mommy!" and puts a sticker on my hand, so I know she understands. I don't want to force her to sit there, but when she has to go she starts asking for her diaper. Do I put her back in diapers so that she will at least pee SOMEWHERE and not hold it in? Do I stay consistent with the panties and clean up pee spots around my house until she's 18? Is there a third option that might save my sanity?

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Old 07-18-2010, 10:02 PM   #2
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Re: Help me pick my toddler's brain...

Is it possible that she has a UTI or bladder infection and it hurts her to go? Just a thought??? Otherwise, if it's just a scary thing that's upsetting her now (and everything else is going great, it seems) and there's no immediate need for her to be PL'd now...I would just let it go a bit and let her let you know when she's ready It's definitely not a good thing if she's deliberately holding it in as she may end up with an infection, if she doesn't have one now. Good luck, mama!
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:14 PM   #3
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Re: Help me pick my toddler's brain...

my first thought was UTI too.
If it is just a protest, I wish you luck mama!
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:30 PM   #4
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Re: Help me pick my toddler's brain...

I should have clarified - she only cries when she is naked and peeing on the potty. Once she peed while wearing undies (and sitting on the couch ) and didn't even acknowledge it until I saw the wet spot. My concern is that this is the exact same reason why we stopped with the PL'ing when I attempted it four months ago! I can't understand what is making her so upset so I feel like I'm overcompensating by making her sit there more in order to "feel comfortable". And, in doing so, I'm making it worse? I don't know! Ah!
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:33 PM   #5
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Re: Help me pick my toddler's brain...

If she has no problem sitting on the potty bu freaks out when she as to go I would take her to the doc just to rule out a uti. Or even ask her if it hurts her to go potty when she is playing on the potty not going. I would ask her questions about going potty when she is sitting on the potty playing. like does it hurt, does it scare you the sound it makes ect.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:15 AM   #6
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Re: Help me pick my toddler's brain...

She won't really answer me when I ask, she just cries. And now, today, she's holding it in again. I hate to go back to using diapers once I put her in undies but I DON'T want her causing herself a problem by refusing to go...
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:35 AM   #7
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Re: Help me pick my toddler's brain...

But she sits on the potty with clothing on? HUM have you thought about trying ec pants? Ot taking a pair of tights or leggins and separating the seem in the crotch (for now) Both dd and ds will only sit on padded toilet seats and don't like it if the seat is cold (makes them tense up). Could it be the comfort of clothing? or the comfort of the clothing on the seat? I had to buy DS the mommys helper cushie step up potty seat http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mommys-Hel...i_sku=10088172

It has handles and is cushie (actually my DD likes it 2)
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:41 AM   #8
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Re: Help me pick my toddler's brain...

I'm not there yet with my own dd, but I read somewhere when I was working in a 2's room of a daycare that some kids can be afraid about the concept of something leaving their body. Like, they view it as a part of them and it's scary for it to be away from them... I'm not explaining well and I don't remember where I saw it.
Anyway, it sounds like you have a lovely kid and I'm sure she'll figure it out sooner or later. It's really not all that uncommon for kids not to pt until 3.
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:49 AM   #9
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Re: Help me pick my toddler's brain...

I wish I had an answer for you. DD does something very similar. She loves her potty. She will sit on it all the time, but she doesn't want to pee on it. If I even mention "do you need to go use the potty?" she will freak out and start crying. If she is in diapers, she is content. When she has to go and she isn't wearing a diaper, she will walk to the potty, sit on it, get right back up, walk away, and do that over and over again, but she won't go on the potty. If we don't put a diaper on her, she will go anywhere other than the potty. She knows that she has to go, and tries to make that clear to us by walking to the potty, putting her hand to her crotch, or telling us verbally, but she just wants to go in her diaper. The potty chair is fine when she doesn't have to go, but she seems scared of it when she does. I know it isn't a UTI, because she will gladly go in her diapers. I'm just as confused as you.
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:52 PM   #10
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Re: Help me pick my toddler's brain...

Has your DD seen you or a young, but older than DD, female pee on the potty? The reason I ask is that my 3.5 yr old nephew refused to poop on the potty until he he saw his 8 yr old 1/2 brother do it. Now he poops on the potty without any problems. Until that day, SIL would have to put him in a pull-up just to poop or else he would hold it for days and then be in lots of pain.

I wish I had other advice for you, but I don't. Our DD has been peeing & pooping on the potty at home quite a bit these past 2 weeks, but even she has moments when she won't poop on the potty and starts to cry. She says she forgot how to push it out or that she's scared, but can't say what she's scared of. At that point, we just take her off of the potty. Then that same day or the next day, she'll poop on it just fine.

Not sure how you feel about this, but we recently started giving DD M&M's as a reward for sitting on the potty & for going. She gets 1 for just sitting on it and she gets 2-4 for peeing & pooping. She's really excited to try & even more excited when she actually goes. She hasn't had a crying episode since we started with them.
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