Potty training tips for a nearly 4 year old who refuses to stop wearing pull-ups.

Stacy - posted on 05/03/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I'm looking for ideas or tips on how to get a nearly 4 year old boy to stop wearing pull-ups. A few months ago he was completely ready to start potty training, we had both a kiddie potty and a potty seat for the big toilet. He was doing a good job at peeing and pooping in the toilet and we had introduced him to pull-ups (which I think was a BIG mistake). He was also excited about getting to wear underwear at first but NOW he refuses to wear underwear or go naked. He wants to wear his pull-ups only and will pee in them all day long. He's actually pretty good at still going to poop in the toilet though... occasionally he may have an accident if he is hard at play. He throws unholy tantrums when we discuss him wearing underwear or nothing at all and he begs and cries to pee in his pull-ups. I am currently 5 1/2 months pregnant and I'm trying to start our son in a preschool program starting in August. I'm not sure if these two big changes is what made him stop. I've tried talking to him but can't get a straight answer (he is 3 1/2 afterall). He actually acts terrified when I bring up wearing underwear and he gets upset if I ask him if he needs to go potty. Oddly enough, he is VERY good at using a PUBLIC restroom if we are out and about. I just don't get it. Are we being too pushy? Should we back off for now? Any other ideas, help!

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Honestly, when I was using pull ups with my son, I thought they were the best thing ever. And really, now that I look back on it, it just made less work and less mess for me and made the process take longer (in my opinion). I think that pull ups have their place, but they can become a substitute for diapers, because they are basically the same thing as a diaper. To a child who is learning such a big thing as how to go on the potty and how NOT to go in the bed (or anywhere else), it can sort of send a mixed message. Like, "Mommy wants me to pee and poop on the potty but then she puts these things on me that feel just like diapers that I used to pee and poop in."
I recommend just not using the pull ups anymore. Find a reason to tell your son that he cannot use them anymore. Maybe they don't make his size anymore. Maybe he's a big boy and doesn't need them (give him a reward....let him pick out some cool new sheets or big boy underwear). Just know this, once you get rid of the pull ups, you WILL still have accidents. My son is 4 and a half and has only been out of pull ups for about 6 months (as in, just underwear) and he still averages about an accident a week in his bed. I suggest that you either buy plastic sheets OR, do what my MIL suggested and go to the dollar store and buy some cheapo plastic table cloths to lay on the bed under the sheets. That's what I did and I've spent a total of $5 rather than spending $20 on plastic sheets. My MIL and I don't get along much, but even I can admit that that was some awesome advice lol Good luck Momma! And congrats on the new one coming :)

Sherri - posted on 05/03/2012

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They only way is to 100% get rid of the pull ups he needs to be in underwear 100% of the time unless he absolutely needs them for bed. Yes he may throw a tantrum but he only does it because you give in. Stop giving in and he will quickly realize he can't win this one. I agree with Michelle make sure you do this when you won't have to leave the house for a few days because I think you are going to be in for quite a battle.

Michelle - posted on 05/03/2012

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stop buying pull ups tell him they don't make them in his size he grew and now they are too small. Then put him back in underwear, plan to be home for a few days when you do this as I do forsee a very upset little boy but, sounds like he is to lazy to quit playing to go pee he clearly doesn't like being dirty or he would go in his pants. In pull ups there is no discomfort when you pee unless you are buying the ones that feel wet when they pee.

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