Any potty training tips for a 3 1/2 yr old boy?

Brandy - posted on 04/10/2010 ( 34 moms have responded )

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My son goes through stages where one week he'll go on the potty the 3 days that he's at school, but won't go at grandmas the other 2 days. Then a couple weeks later, he won't go at school, but he'll go at grandmas. He hasn't gone at home in weeks. What can I do?!

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Jess - posted on 04/13/2010

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the best advice came from my pediatrician..don't worry about it! they can pick up on your frustration and it just backfires. I sent my oldest to head start wearing pullups and i begged his teacher to help me with it (i was pregnant with my second son at the time and didn't want two in diapers). somehow, it worked. he got potty trained. this time, i'm not stressing..#2 is 3 and has a moderate interest in it. i figure it'll happen sooner or later. just try to relax and everything will be ok..i swear.

Monique - posted on 04/14/2010

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My son turned 3 January 23 and he doesn't even say he has to go, which frustrates me because he can count to ten, knows his colors, shapes, alphabet, and recites whole scenes from his favorite cartoons! Won't say he has to go potty for anything. I have tried crackers and stickers. Losing my patience and mind! HELP!

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AlishaSweet - posted on 04/26/2010

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Hi, my son will be 3 in september and i know too well the frustrations of potty training. Here are a few tips... number one in my opinion you should not use food as a reward it encourages a bad food relationship, but rewards are good. number two, the main thing you should consider is how exactly the potty training is done at school, because children do best when they have a constant routine, also find out what the routine is at his grandmothers house. number 3, as for the back-tracking all children do it, you just have to be patient and understanding. This is a totally new thing for them and sometimes it is easy for a child to revert back to the thing that makes him most comfortable. Plus he may be going so easily at school because he has other children around doing it too.

Julie - posted on 04/26/2010

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Our son just turned 4, but I'd say he was potty trained about 3 1/2 years -- we just kept consistent with the big boy underwear and he wore them all the time. If he had an accident, then no big deal it just got cleaned up (he even helped). And when he's ready, it will click for him. Good Luck!

Alyson - posted on 04/23/2010

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I am having a nightmare of a time potty training my 3.5 year old daughter. I tried bribery, M&Ms sticker charts nothing worked. Finally we do the 5 block system. For every successful potty she gets a block after earning 5 blocks she gets a big prize. Big chocolate special outing toy, whatever she wants. When she has accidents she loses blocks. Its working for us. Good luck, it will happen.

Jen - posted on 04/23/2010

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I am currently potty training my son who will be 4 in September, and he has no interest in stickers, candy, prizes nothing. He wears undies all day long except for sleeping. He had started to tell me when he has to go potty and it just happened on his own. He didn't want to potty train in the beginning because I was getting so upset with him for not going, so now I have just relaxed and let him do it. Unfortunately he will not go poop on the potty which is now our struggle. I hope this helps good luck I feel your pain and frustration but just know, it will happen when there ready because all we are doing is training ourselves!!!! Keep your chin up it will happen!!!

[deleted account]

The advice that I'e heard is put them in their big boy under pants, take 4 or 5 days and just stay home and he'll get it. It'll obviously be messy at times but this way he'll know when he's peed and you might be able to tell when he starts 1 or 2 too to get him to the potty before he's done. Good luck!

Amanda - posted on 04/22/2010

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Ok Everyone the KEY is consistency..... if they do well for a while then give up if you give in it's saying that they win and that they can walk all over you. Now if they don't have any interest or anything like that in it then they aren't ready which means don't push it. The age range that kids potty train is 18 months to 5 or 6 years old..... For the mom with the 3 year old that knows to count to 10 and all of that. Once he's in a setting with other kids he'll probably start.... just keep your chin up and don't get frustrated.

COURTNEY - posted on 04/22/2010

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My son is 3, is a very smart little boy about everything, except has no desire to go on the potty..I try not to get frustrated, but it makes me feel like a bad parent.. I know he will eventually go, but am 6 months pregnant and would like him out of diapers before the baby gets here.... i know i am not alone on this...

Jessica - posted on 04/20/2010

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My son is 3 1/2, smart as can be, and was determined to have Mom and Dad change his diaper forever. He goes to preschool and sees all the other kids going potty, but still didn't care to go himself. I finally realized that if I took the pullup or diaper off of him, he would go in the potty. He understood the concept long before I realized he did. When I asked him why he would go on the potty all of a sudden, he said it was because he couldn't pee on Spiderman. (Character on his underwear) My best advice is be patient. When he is really ready, he will know, and then you will too.

Joyce - posted on 04/20/2010

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we put a toy my daughter really wanted up way high and every time she went potty she got a flower and they go in a line up to the toy and when it reached the toy she got it and every time she went in her pants we took a flower away

Faye - posted on 04/20/2010

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For the longest time I kept pull-ups on my daughter for fear of her making a mess. I really didn't want to have to clean up pee all day. She was doing the same as your little one and she would go a few days on the potty then a few in her pull-ups. She only went potty when it suited her and that is when I realised I had to take the option away and not put pull-ups on her. She has the odd accident but goes potty all the time now. Hope this helps

Lynette - posted on 04/20/2010

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Well my 3 yr 4 mo old daughter is still not potty trained. She is getting better, and what really helped is letting her sit on the big toilet with out the little potty seat, she felt like a big girl doing that. We give her the wash off tattoos when she goes on the potty and everytime she goes in her pullup a tattoo comes off. She doesn't like that. I also bought her a special toy that she picked out waiting for her when she has no accidents for a day. My friend bought a watch that has a timer on it and set the timer for 20 minutes so everytime that it goes off he had to go and at least tried. She said that it worked for him. My daughter however gets irritated and frustrated.

Dana - posted on 04/20/2010

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My son started going pee pee on the potty a month before he turned 4. . He would not go at school. Going poopie was not even an option. Then I started to promise him a lolly pop. It was a surprise 3 days before he turned 4 he did eveything on the potty. And has ever since. Find something they like(an extra treat), promise them it every time.

Lauren - posted on 04/20/2010

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Mine will be four in August, and he's been accident free for a whole two weeks at this point. Before then, he would not poop in the potty, and was hit or miss with peeing in the potty for months. I think his selling point was the idea of being able to get on the bus and go to school with other older kids he knows. Hope yours comes around soon!

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I have twins that will be four in August, one is basically potty trained the other isn't. We've decided not to push it. He's had a lot of setbacks in his life and he'll get it shortly. Boys are just lazy and it takes them longer.

Karrie - posted on 04/19/2010

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Well good for you that it worked out so well and so quickly. Every kid is different, therefore every kid will train in their own way. Once again Brandy, be patient and remember kids have minds of their own. I believe they have to get to a point of fully understanding the concept and wanting to try it, before they can be defiantly forced to sit on a toilet. My son is very strong-minded. For him, using different coercion efforts and reward methods in order to get him to comply is probably what's going to work. Good luck to you and all other potty-training mothers out there!

Leslie - posted on 04/19/2010

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I also would like to add that my son now 3 was 2 1/2 when he was potty trained. We didn't use special chairs, books, and/or candy. We just put him in underwear one day, told him "No more diapers", and cleaned up messes for 2 days. That was it. There are too many choices for kids these days and they can't handle all the choices.

Leslie - posted on 04/19/2010

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Just put him in underwear, tell him that there are no more diapers/pull-ups, and be faithful about it. Ask him every 10 mins or so if he needs to potty. It might be messy for a couple of days, but he'll get the it down esp if there is no other choice.

Karrie - posted on 04/19/2010

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I agree with those that say it will all come in time. At least I'm hoping so, as my son turned 3 in March and has absolutely no interest in the potty training. I've tried 2 different potty chairs, 2 toilet seats, DVD videos, books, stickers, M&Ms, praise, pull-ups, even little boy underwear thinking he'd like to wear those. At about 2.5 he actually used the potty several times (M&Ms worked), i thought we were well on our way, then he relapsed. I've talked to mothers whose sons didn't show interest until closer to 4, and that they will only start going on the potty when they are good and ready. I feel like our pressuring him is making it worse, so I'm resorting to patiently waiting until that certain something "clicks" in his little head. Just know you're not alone, hang in there.

Erin - posted on 04/19/2010

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My older son had a lot of set-backs with my younger son being born as he first showed interest at around 22 months. He has been consistently using the potty for almost a year now, and he will be 4 in May. We tried all sorts of things... Incentive-wise, we started off with the stickers, which worked great for a while. He wasn't into the animal cracker or candy idea... We posted a sheet of paper that had little squares for the stickers behind his potty chair and he got to add the stickers and he loved showing everyone that came over. We counted them together, and focused more on the stickers than the actual act of pottying at times, because that's what he seemed to want. We even called Grammy and his aunts to tell them all about how great he was doing as an indirect form of praise and to keep him excited... when they came over they would gush excitedly about how many stickers he had earned. When the stickers got boring I got him a special piggy bank for the bathroom and he got a penny for each time he teeteed or 2 for a poo. That really worked for him because to him pennies were really special. I think the key is to find what makes your kiddo tick and use that as an incentive. My next step was going to be to get a clear bowl, like a fish bowl or something and let him earn different colored "diamonds" (pretty aquarium glass drops- to him they are all diamonds.) because he was so fascinated by them. I even thought of giving him a goal, like if he got enough glass drops he could get a fish to go in the bowl or something... Luckily it didn't come to that... after a while with the pennies it kinda just became a habit and he would only occasionally request a penny or sticker. Lots of praise and excitement worked, but every once in a while I could tell he wanted me to just act like it was a normal thing, and not make a big deal about it. LOL I had to stifle my excitement to not embarrass him! Anyway, I hope you find that thing that works for your kiddo! Good luck!

Kelly - posted on 04/18/2010

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i herd on dr phil to buy a doll that wets and has a potty chair my son is 3 n 1/2 also he can say the words but wont tell me im at guessing games so i went and bought the doll today walmart had 1 for 15 dollars now when i take him we take the baby and he still not saying he has to go but he is not giving me a hard time taking him only day 1 though candy n stickers never worked w/him either

Paula - posted on 04/18/2010

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I know how frustrating this can be. I've been through all this and tried everything suggested above. The thing is, each child is different and when they are ready, it will happen - it just seems to click all of a sudden. My grandson clicked at 3 years, 8 months and 24 days! He just figured it out on his own. Good luck to everyone and just be patient.

Katie - posted on 04/18/2010

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You have probably tried everything already but what helped us was offering a reward and praise everytime he went on the potty. After about a week we dropped the reward but continued with the praise and then a few weeks later it was just a part of the routine. I hope this helps.

Ashley - posted on 04/15/2010

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Well my son will be 3 in may adn how i potty trained him was i stuck cheerios in the toliet and told him to aim for them and for each one he got he would get a dollar now he uses the toliet on his own and locks me out lol yu should try something like that

[deleted account]

My son is 3.5 and he refuses to even sit on the potty!! I know he knows when hes pooping cause he will go to one of the rooms and shut the door and then when hes done he will come out and ask for a butt change!! He never really says anything about having a wet diaper though just the dirty ones!!! I have tried everything you can think of and nothing has worked!! The new thing that im trying is telling him that if he wants to go to school he has to use the potty but he just keeps whinning about it!! I have even tried to get my youngest who is almost 2 to sit on the potty and then praise him and give him special treatment and a snack for it...thinking that that would want the oldest to do the same so he can get a snack and stuff...and all he does is laugh!!! He is just to stubborn to do anything!!! I have came to the point of just waiting it out and figure he will do it when hes ready!!!!!

Jodie - posted on 04/15/2010

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i got a toilet seat smaller than a regular one and attached it to the toilet (u can get them from reece) it made my son feel like a big boy going to the toilet. i showed him the big boy seat and told him what to do all the time but he went on his own accord. now he goes on any toilet and he hasnt wet his nappy at night time he just turned 3 two days ago he started when he wanted to but knowing that he was doing what the big people did he was happy. hope it hellpe if you want any info plz let me know

Nancy - posted on 04/14/2010

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My son is three and a few months. He refuses most of the time to even try to go on the potty. I have tried bribery... not working. I have tried having him go commando... he pees on the floor and laughs. I've tried pull-ups and undies and training pants. He will still pee and keep on trucking and say "Mommy I pee" and go play with his toys. If he Poops he just deals and doesn't let anyone know. Could care less. Any suggestions??? I'm at my wits end with ideas.

Emily - posted on 04/14/2010

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my daughter is 3.5 and still having accidents, she is strong willed and very independent..we have currently regressed - she did it well at first but now is not doing so hot - they choose - they will do anything to exercise their will.

Crystal - posted on 04/13/2010

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let him go comando it worked for my 3 year old and now he is pretty much trained excluding night hes working on that but im telling you that the feel of undies is like a diaper and they will have accidents i let my lil man go comando for three days and he didnt want to go back into diapers after that give it a try

Wendy - posted on 04/13/2010

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I find it harder with my boy than my daughter my daughter was potty trained at 2 years 7 mounths , but my boy is nearly 3 and he at this stage doesnt even tell me when is has done anything in his nappy, I guess it will happen, he is starting kindy around 3.

Kristin - posted on 04/13/2010

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Someone once told me, "He won't wear a diaper to kindergarten..." Keep positive! He'll come around.

Brandy - posted on 04/11/2010

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We have a potty chart with stickers and he gets 1 sticker for each time he goes potty. I also told him that he would get 1 prize from the dollar store for each time he went potty. It worked for 2 days and then I guess he decided the prizes weren't worth the trouble. Lol. I just don't know what else to do.

Kristin - posted on 04/11/2010

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Bribery worked well for me. I gave one sticker for pee and two for poop. He was allowed to put them on the bathroom wall so he could show everyone. Or you can offer an M&M for a potty moment...

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