Toddler stopped using Potty. How do I coax him back?

Mazy - posted on 03/19/2012 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I have a 2.5, almost 3 year old boy who's been toilet trained for WELL over a year, but recently has stopped using it except for bowel movements. We have a bunch of changes going on (I'm pregnant, a recent move, & just starting to train his younger brother), but he stopped peeing in the potty before the changes started. We didn't want to address it until after the move so we wouldn't stress him out...but nothing gets him on the potty anymore. If I try to remind him, he just says he doesn't have to go, then pees on himself. I need ideas to get him back to it, without it being another big change.

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Mazy - posted on 03/22/2012

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He uses the regular toilet & is tall enough where he doesn't need a stool any more. The younger one uses the step stool to get onto the toilet & uses a ring & only uses the "potty" in the play room simply because it's too far away from the bathroom (we live in a one bath house, sadly). Both boys are what I call "self" trained. I take their pants off & let them go bare bummed & they use the potties (and now toilets) on their own. If they have an accident, I just remind them that pee goes in the potty & they help me clean up. There no pushing or "training" of any kind. I know it's weird & they are young, but it's what works for us since they are both so prone to diaper rashes. The older one hasn't been in a diaper since he was 13 months old & the younger one just recently started going without (only when home & during the day) because it's been warm enough to let him. I do think that part of it is because they actually get to play free outside (was not an option where we used to live) AND there are neighbor kids for him to play with....so he's too distracted to go potty & refuses when I tell him too, even though he pees RIGHT after I tell him. What has seemed to work, oddly, are some hand-me-down pants that the neighbor boy gave to us. He won't pee in them because they are "the big kid" pants. *sigh* I know it's all a distration with moving, etc, but it's still a little frusterating. He did ask for a sticker today when he went (he hasn't gotten stickers for the potty in almost a year), so I know what he's thinking. Tomorrow we are going to start a sticker poster again & hopefully that willl help :) Thanks for all the input ladies!

Pamela - posted on 03/21/2012

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Begin to watch his habit patterns.....how long after drinking or eating does he wet his pants? Then try to catch him before it happens. Get a step stool and teach him how to use the regular toilet....that may be the problem....he's older than the next child so why would he be expected to still use the potty?



Tell him that now that he's a 'big boy' it's time to learn to use the big toilet. You never know....the problem may be as simple as that!

Ruth - posted on 03/21/2012

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Ssometimes when I hear of a child being "trained" that early I think to myself, "he's not the one who's trained. his Mommy is." All the baby books said (when I was having kids) just buy diapers and wait until they're three years old. Don't push him into it. Not with the stress of moving, presenting him with a new sibling ( which I meant to ask you, "are you making a big to do out of it and causing your toddler to revert to baby behavior out of jealousy?" Plus, don't stress him or yourself out. You might try him out on big boy pull ups and just keep quiet about his accidents. He gets your attention that way. A person dying from thirst will drink dirty water, meaning if he has to compete with your unborn baby he will do whatever it takes to get your attention. Praise his accomplishments and ignore his accidents.

Becky - posted on 03/21/2012

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That is very normal behavior for what is happening in his life. Kids can only control 2 things in life...what goes in and what comes out!! He needs time to adjust to all the new things in his life.put him back in pull ups and just let it be for a while. He will change his mine and want to be a big boy again.

Lita - posted on 03/21/2012

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when you say 'potty', is that toilet or potty? Offer him the real toilet with potty seat on it, say that he is now a big boy, he could use the big people potty. Other than that, you don't have to remind him. Just put him on the potty every 2 hours. I know that's a lot, but that's the trick we used on my girl and make a big deal everytime he goes.

Christy - posted on 03/20/2012

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My daughter did the same thing. It baffeled me too. Take him to the doctor, if he has taken antibiotics or had a stomach bug, anything that might have thrown off his ph levels. It is possible for him to have a yeast infection. It's not something you think of children having but they can and do, thrush in infants, yeast infection in the mouth. Yeast infection messes up little ones urge to go censor, due to the constant "kinda itchy" feeling. If you prefer home remmedies or just want a jump start on getting him better, start feeding him yogurt. Yogurt will help balance the ph levels.

Brittney - posted on 03/20/2012

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I don't think it will hurt anything to try anything. My daughter loved picking out her own undies.

Mazy - posted on 03/20/2012

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I do try to do separate one on one time with the two boys, but of course it's hard to orchestrate it all the time, and I'm sure it will really get interesting with #3!! I'm thinking about starting over with potty training, as in bringing out the charts, timer, sticker, etc again. Would that be helpfu, or confusing?

Brittney - posted on 03/19/2012

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It sounds like he may just be jealous of the attention your giving to the younger brother and tat your having another baby. Just gently remind him that he is a big boy and give him lots of attention.

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