My son just turned 3 and won't use the potty

Alicia - posted on 01/06/2010 ( 32 moms have responded )

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My son just turned 3 on the 29th of december i have been potty training him since he was 2 he knows to go in the potty but refuses he goes in his pullup then tells me he has to go potty any advice or tips will help.His doctor told me when he is that stubbor don't push it he will catch on but i don't know

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Crystal - posted on 01/06/2010

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First off I have to say don't worry about what those other people have to say cause they don't know your kids! I just started potty training for like the 4th time with my 2 year old and this time it is going pretty smooth. What I have done is I refuse to use the pull ups because he treats them like diapers. I use real underwear that have characters on them that he likes! He gets real excited to wear them and I have a little talk with him when we put them on that if he wets them he can't wear them anymore. The next big thing I have done is set up a potty zone in his room. I have what we call the potty basket with stickers, crayons, and coloring books. When he sits on the potty I pull over his play table he has and he is allowed to either color, put stickers on things, or play with toys while on the potty. I have also made a chart that is on the wall so every time he sits on the potty he gets to put a sticker in the correct square. I give him a small sticker for just sitting on the potty and a big sticker if he pees on the potty! The other big success to him being excited to go on the potty is I use a timer. I put it in his potty zone and set it for every 20 mins. Every time it goes off he gets excited and runs to his room to shut it off and in the process of doing this he tells me it is potty time! It can be stressful and be time consuming but you always have to remember to make it a positive experience! Make sure to praise them every time they sit on the potty no matter if they go or not and when they do go jump up and down, clap, tell them you are so proud of them, high five, and hug and kiss them! I think another big process in the potty training is to sit with them and half a calm conversation about how if they do go on the potty they will big boys and not have to wear what I call baby diapers anymore! I wish all of you ladies the best of luck and just remember to not give up!!!

Michele - posted on 01/07/2010

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Im a teacher at a preschool. Something that has worked in our classroom time and time again. Go to the dollar store and buy toys. Wrap them up and put them in a basket. First he has to pee in the potty to earn one prize and day. (Since you will have several, he gets to pick any one) Once he starts pee on a regular basis. Change the rules. He has to stay dry all day for a prize. Change the rules again after many successions. He has to go for three whole days without accident, for example. This is to help you ween him off the prizes and become completely independent. Then if he still has accidents. (Like he's trying to do it on purpose, cause he's mad ) Just be very relaxed about it. Give him his change of clothes, and let him change his self.

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Heidi - posted on 01/17/2010

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Kids go when they are ready. I have 5. Some were trained at 6, some at 2 3/4. Money worked for one, candy for another, reading books for another, and the 2 year old wanted gum but made such a mess that I wouldn't allow it, so I said she could chew gum while she sat on the potty. Soon she was going for gum. Now I always have gum with me, but no diapers.

Sadie - posted on 01/17/2010

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You may have already tried this, but you could try offering him a small reward for using the potty. My son loves stickers so I let him pick out some stickers at the store and I told him every time he peed in the toilet he would get one sticker and every time he pooped in the toilet he would get two stickers. We just have a blank sheet of paper on the bathroom wall that he sticks the stickers on. He still asks to wear a diaper sometimes but I tell him diapers are for babies and we talk about all his friends who don't wear diapers anymore. For the first week we would set a timer to go off every 30 or 45 minutes and told him when it beeped it was time to try to go potty.

Karin - posted on 01/17/2010

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I love seeing these kinds of stories, because it makes me feel less alone and like I'm doing something wrong or not doing enough. My son turned 3 in November. I started training when he turned 2, and it has been a long process. He still doesn't use the potty regularly. He does it when he feels like it. When he was in daycare/preschool, he used it regularly, but when he'd come home, he wasn't interested at all. Very recently, out of the blue, he decided to go and poop on the potty all by himself, 2 days in a row. And now, the last couple days he's not been the least bit interested in the potty. It's so random, it's hard to know what to do. I'm trying to be very patient and let him do it when he's ready, but I have a lot of pressure from several people, to get him trained asap. They want me to feel like I'm doing something wrong. I've been accused of, "just not wanting to be bothered with it." Which is laughable. Who WANTS to keep changing poopy diapers?! I know that the way I'm doing it is what's right for me and my son, so I'm just going to continue that way, no matter what anyone else seems to think.
I just wish he'd hurry up already! hehe

Christina - posted on 01/17/2010

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My doctor suggested using drops of food coloring - drip it behind him when he goes & then show him how cool it is, which will make him want to do it again. I haven't tried it, but maybe I will, because my son is turning 3 in March & he's not into going on the toilet. One thing I do which works for my daughter, is give them a treat after going. 2 mini m&m's... or a special snack or tiny/cheap toy they only get for going on the toilet. I gave each of mine a special toy when they first went, and now the m&m's. My son wants the treats when she gets them (they're twins), but I have to tell him "no, not until you go on the potty."... so, I'm waiting to find out what really matters to him, maybe that food coloring idea. =) Good luck!

Thristin - posted on 01/17/2010

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Our son turned 3 in july and we are now again potty training. My advice would be put them on the potty every half hour. We did that for my son and so far so good. no accidents yet. i know it sounds cruel but it works. wish you the best of luck. for some reason girls are easier to train then boys.

Amy - posted on 01/16/2010

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My son is almost 4 and wont go on the potty. HIs brother did great, but Hunter has no desire to use the toilet. I am getting flustered but i will just hang in there til he is ready i guess. I am sorry I dont have any advice as I am in the same boat.

[deleted account]

My son will be three in February and he has been potty trained for two weeks now. I must say that there are two pieces advise I have read so far that were key for my son who was potty trained in 24 hours. First I waited until he was ready before we even tried. We talked about many times before and I showed him the toy he could have when he was potty trained (a cheap $10 toy), but I didn't try it until he came to me and asked. Second, the day he told me he wanted to go in the potty we went straight from diapers to underwear. He had one accident of each kind and hasn't had an accident since. I did use little treats. Every time he went he got to add a treat to a bowl, but that wore off fast - he didn't need the incentive after the first couple of days. I'm not saying it will be that easy for everyone, but this is what worked for us!

[deleted account]

My son turned 3 in November and he will go all day long in the potty while in daycare but when he gets home he could care less. I've tried going to big boy pants, but when he is home he will poop and pee in them. On occasion he will go for me and I give him a jelly bean, but I guess it depends on his mood! I'm glad I'm not the only one frustrated!

Lora - posted on 01/15/2010

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Hey ,ladies with almost 3 year olds and almost 4 year olds ,my boy is already four 12/02/09 and was doing great for a while and has since regressed ,so as much as you hate hearing it , be patient , reward ,reward ,reward don't sweat the small stuff. this is a new skill for them and practice makes perfect.

Judith - posted on 01/15/2010

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I have the same problem with my 3 1/2 year old. I have tried everything mentioned....including wearing underwear,and he just did not care if he was wet or not.However,now he will change his pullup when its wet and usually uses the potty for bowel movements.Just not often enough to get him out of them completely.I'm glad to know that I'm not the only mom going through this.So many people are quick to judge ....but every child is different.

Janet - posted on 01/14/2010

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I am right there with you,, my son is going to be 3 in march and he is tall 40 inches so he looks like 4-5 and i get crazy looks!

Janet - posted on 01/14/2010

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I have the same problem with my son. He is going to be 3 in March and he knows when to go but he will not go on the potty. He always tells us he has to go but I just can't get him to go on the potty. Same story though,, He'll know when!

Gagan - posted on 01/14/2010

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i have twins who turn 4 in july and still do tell me when they need to go to the bathroom,they r still on diapers when they sleep......how do i get them off completely,please help.

Christa - posted on 01/14/2010

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My son is 3 1/2 and not potty trained either. He has some sensory issues so his teacher and OT said I shouldn't be too concerned. Has anyone else potty trained a child with a sensory issue? I have seen him use the potty before but I don't know if he can't feel it is time to go or his is just being stubborn.

Jennifer - posted on 01/12/2010

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I also wanted to add that the toilet seat that attaches to the big toilet makes them feel like big boys, too. i had to buy one which is very inexpensive ($8.00) because my son totally refussed the potty chair. And yes they do think pull ups are a new kind of diaper. they are ok when used only at night. Thanks for all the great ideas!

Jennifer - posted on 01/12/2010

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Don't feel bad! i'm in the same boat, my son will be 3 on Feb. 17th and won't use the potty or let me change his diaper willingly. He knows when he has to go and lies when asked if he already did. I'm at a loss as to what to do. He has almost out grown diapers as he's a size 4T. Any helpful hints would be appreciated

Laurie - posted on 01/11/2010

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My son will be 4 on June 6th and we are having a lot of problems potty training him. He is incredibly stubborn, the doctor says he will do it when he is ready just keep trying but don't push it.

Heather - posted on 01/10/2010

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my son was the same way- we changed him to big boy underwear and it helped a good bit although he still has accidents.

Chris - posted on 01/09/2010

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My son will be 4 in May. He just pooped on the potty for the first time last weekend. I can't tell you how thrilled I am. He won't go at school/daycare but he again pooped last night at home. I set a timer for him and let him hold it. He still wears pull-ups at school but I usually use underwear or let him run naked at home. People keep telling me he'll go in his own time but not to push it. I recently changed the rules so he now has to try to use the potty before he can watch his 'shows'. It's definitely going better. Stickers sometimes work but my guy loves food so I use fruit snacks or an oreo each time he poops on the potty. He pees regularly so i don't use food for that. Just alot of praise, high fives and extra time with his shows if he's gone alot. I'm hoping by the time he's 4 he'll be able to be completely in underwear and poop at school too. Right now he definitely needs pull-ups at night because he doesn't stay dry and wakes up completely full of urine.

[deleted account]

Not being potty trained by three is NO BIG DEAL.. this thing where kids should be done by 2 is all new... Back when our Mom's were trianing us most people didn't even start till they were kids were 3!! try enrolling him in preschool, when he sees other kids do it, he'll want to do it too.. That's what worked for my daughter.. She's almost 4 and still has accidents regularly... When she's tired or too busy she chooses to wet her pants....

Emily - posted on 01/08/2010

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started my first son, using sticker charts.. when ever he would use the potty, he would get to slap on a big shiny sticker.. you can also throw a few cheerios into the toilet, and ask if he can (pee) on them.. sort of like a game..

Amber - posted on 01/06/2010

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I know that you shouldn't bribe with candy, but my son gets two M&M's every time he goes to the bathroom. If he doesn't remember to ask for them after he finishes I just don't say anything. At first he had them a lot, now it is more like once a day. He goes about every two hours, however he will not poop in the potty. We also take one square of toilet paper and he likes to aim at it-makes it sort of like a game.

Jacqueline - posted on 01/06/2010

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My suggestion to you is to lose the pullups and use regular underwear. The pullups are too much like diapers so they treat them as diapers. Also try to stay away from the padded underwear. With my son we had to let him run around naked for a few days so that we could get him to the potty when he started to go. Once he got that he needed to use the potty then we put underwear on him. As for the potty chairs...my son wouldn't use one because he thought it was a toy. I have since discovered that he thought it was a toy because we (every body else) didn't use. He has to use the regular toilet like mommy and daddy.

Michelle - posted on 01/06/2010

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Your welcome Alicia .Just keep trying. Ryder still has only did it 2 times but its a start. Well I wish you luck. Talk to you soon.

Alicia - posted on 01/06/2010

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My son refuses the portable one and i have tried treats and songs and everything i can think of he just won't use the potty.Every now and then he will so i know he can do it he is just refusing.Michelle that is wonderful that your son did that i wish mine would do something like that.Sheila I know what you mean when people say he is 3 and still not trained yet then they look at you like you are the worst mother.Thank you both for the help and advice

Michelle - posted on 01/06/2010

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My Son turned 3 the 8 th of December and we started again with the potty training yesterday I did not like sitting in the bathroom all day so today got a portable potty put it in his room got elmo potty time put it on his tv and left off the pull up and underwear and he has now went pee in the potty 2 times on his own cant believe it!! He has had 2 accedents too but hey thats what carpet machines are for right! So dont give up try anything! LOL!

Sheila - posted on 01/06/2010

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i cant really offer advice, but my son turned 3 in sept. and he too refuses to go in the potty...no matter what we do. I hate the way people act when they find out my 3 year old isnt potty trained yet! maybe we can both get some good advice here lol

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