Ask Rebecca: my boundary-pushing toddler keeps refusing the potty

Parenting can require more patience and empathy than we ever imagined says Rebecca Mottram.  Your daughters potty refusal means she needs your help to be in control and find the solution.

Dear Rebecca,

My daughter is 17mo and normally mastering the potty well. She has become very verbal and often tells me when she has to go or goes to the potty by herself. However, there is a part I’m not proud of. I know she has to wee when 3 hours have passed without one so I gently remind her to go. I tell her we’re going to the potty, she can choose her favorite book to read or game to play with me, we will call daddy after the wee… I let her know that it needs to be done and I give her lots of motivation. This is where procrastination normally starts. She either completely refuses the potty or sits there for 20 min. and does nothing. I then give up and go to another room to give her privacy. She will follow me a moment later and within 2 min. will do a massive pee on the floor while looking straight at me. Nobody can tell me these are accidents. She is doing it on purpose to show me she decides and I have no idea why as she knows perfectly well where pee needs to go.

Tonight I lost it and yelled at her, after many incidents. I was so angry that I had spent 30 min. on the potty with her with no success and then had lots of cleaning to do too. Not my best moment. I want to understand this kind of behaviour. Is this normal toddler stubbornness or how can I make sure she understands that peeing on the floor is totally not acceptable when done on purpose? This happened 3 hours ago and I’m still raging! Continue reading

Is buying a ‘smart nappy’ really such a clever idea?

I read Arwa Mahdawi’s recent Guardian column ‘Is buying a ‘smart nappy’ really such a clever idea?‘ with interest. It is hard to believe that the best efforts to improve disposable nappies have resulted in the direction taken by the Pampers Lumi. Here’s why baby pottying is a better idea.
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Netflix, we need to talk about Orange Is The New Black

Dear Netflix,

We don’t need to tell you how important representation is, as entertainment platforms go, you’re usually pretty awesome at producing content that celebrates diversity and raises consciousness. But we really have to talk about your portrayal of Cal and Neri encouraging their baby to poo in a sink in the last series of Orange Is The New Black.

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5 reasons why making poo-doh can help crack potty training

Research shows that many parents face challenges when it comes to potty training (Matson et al, 2017). Common problems include your child refusing to do what you are asking (McMahon and Forehand, 2003), fear and anxiety (Wager et al., 2017) or inability to adapt to the change from nappies to toilet or potty (Schonwalk et al, 2004). These problems can be extremely worrying and frustrating but In this blog I demonstrate how you can make and use poo-doh to get you through. Continue reading

potty training nappy

Using disposable nappies when your baby goes potty or is potty training

Disposable nappies provide a cheap and convenient solution for many parents and they are the number 1 nappy-option in the UK and North America. Here are my top tips to help ensure successful EC or potty training if disposables are your nappy of choice: Continue reading

potty training problems

Potty training problems? It’s not your fault!

Quietly, parents are telling me their potty training problems. They are worried they potty trained wrong, that they did it too late, too early, that they rushed it, or dragged it out.  They think it’s all their fault. Sound familiar? Why is this happening? What can we do about it?  Continue reading

parent shaming

Parent shaming when your baby goes potty

Imagine this: you’re out on a playdate and your baby signals potty, so you take him/her to the bathroom. When you come back, you get a load of uninvited opinion from your “friend” suggesting that you’re harming your baby somehow. Ever been here? Its called parent shaming and it’s a hot topic right now. Continue reading