My daughter is 2 years and 9 months and has been toilet training for about 3 months. She was going really well until nearly 2 weeks ago and she is now petrified of the toilet or potty. No amount of bribery (including chocolates, toys) will encourage her to try. She just holds as long as she can and then wees in her undies or waits for a pullup to be put on her for sleeptime. My Mum wants me to start putting her in pullups again but I feel that is a major backwards step and I had so much trouble training my son due to being inconsistent that it caused me a lot of stress.
It is completely normal for kids to regress in their toilet training. Often this is due to a change in the family of some sort, but it can also be for no reason at all. If she is scared of the toilet or the potty, you need to give her a period of time where you just forget about the whole toilet training process for a couple of weeks and then start afresh. If you push forward it will just reinforce her fear and you are unlikely to get far at all. You mum is right-in terms of going back to pull-ups and them being a more practical way of handling all of this. We don’t usually advise going back to nappies/pull-ups once they’ve been stopped but given the fact that it is winter and her age-this is a sensible thing to do. In the warmer months when they’re running around with less layers on and into the backyard and the grass and so on, it’s simply easier for them to get their pants down in time. There’s also less washing and changing for the parents to have to manage.
Try not to invest too much concern or energy into this issue. She will pick up on your tension and the whole process will be more streamlined if you just play it cool, pack away the potty and then in a few weeks time, start gently reintroducing her to the toilet and/or the potty. Fear can breed on itself and long after the original reason for it has been forgotten, the child has learnt to associate a situation with becoming frightened and the fear response has become entrenched.
Pull back and stay calm,
She will eventually be fully toilet trained but perhaps not this month. In the big scheme of things it doesn’t really matter.