How on earth do you potty train a boy? He's 3 and 1/2 and he just won't do it.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Leah - posted on 03/16/2009

1

24

0

I wouldn't worry about it. My son is 4 1/2 yrs old and was trained at 3yrs & 2 mths which by some peoples' standards is old. I waited until he was ready and it took less than 2 days. If they don't want to and aren't ready it takes a long time and frustrates both of you. I say wait til their ready and once they are it's so easy and no fights. I don't care about what age kids reach these milestones by. They will eventually. I've never met an adult who doesn't know how to use the toilet. Maybe that's not the tips you're looking for but it worked well in my house. Good luck!

Monica - posted on 03/21/2009

4

23

0

Do not force a child to potty train. Have him go into to the bathroom with his Daddy, when his daddy goes. (seat up, aim the firehose...... go potty, zip up, seat down, wash hands......He will learn by watching and then doing.....he will get the hang of it eventually. Another way to try is to...give him a book to take in there....picture book to look at. If he says he has to go....pull pants down and sit on the potty, run the sink water and have him relax and look at picture book, he can go sitting on the potty but has to point the firehose down...there are toilet seat inserts that shield the urine from spraying everywhere......you can also get a little wooden potty chair and put it in the bathroom near the big person toilet....it all depends on your pref. Each child is diff and don't let friends and relatives pressure u or brag that their kid did it at 1. Kids pick up on our r eactions and nerves....remember that! Just like Breastfeeding, if you are stressed then the child will be stressed. :) Let me know if these work for you. :)

Monica - posted on 03/21/2009

4

23

0

Do not force a child to potty train. Have him go into to the bathroom with his Daddy, when his daddy goes. (seat up, aim the firehose...... go potty, zip up, seat down, wash hands......He will learn by watching and then doing.....he will get the hang of it eventually. Another way to try is to...give him a book to take in there....picture book to look at. If he says he has to go....pull pants down and sit on the potty, run the sink water and have him relax and look at picture book, he can go sitting on the potty but has to point the firehose down...there are toilet seat inserts that shield the urine from spraying everywhere......you can also get a little wooden potty chair and put it in the bathroom near the big person toilet....it all depends on your pref. Each child is diff and don't let friends and relatives pressure u or brag that their kid did it at 1. Kids pick up on our r eactions and nerves....remember that! Just like Breastfeeding, if you are stressed then the child will be stressed. :) Let me know if these work for you. :)

Niki - posted on 03/16/2009

1

7

0

Put him in cloth underpants all day and pull-ups only at night.  Don't make any exceptions!!  He will learn that being cold and wet is uncomfortable, and being dry feels good.  Set a timer, and make him sit on the potty for a minute or two every 20 minutes.  Reward him with an M&M or some other small snack when he goes.  Don't nag or keep him there very long.  Read him a book or sing a song to pass the time.  He'll eventually go, and then praise him GALORE!! Huge hugs, kisses, praise, a new (small) toy, even...Gradually increase the time between potty breaks once he is going fairly regularly.  I even put a potty on a bathmat in my living room so he didn't have to climb the stairs!!

Joanne - posted on 03/16/2009

1

15

0

Just wait - he will do it in his own time as some of the posters explained below. I believe 3 years is young for a boy. 3 out of 4 of mine didn't get completely trained until they were closer to 4 years. Don't pressure them. Boys will do it in the own time. Just my opinion!

This conversation has been closed to further comments

171 Comments

View replies by

Shova - posted on 06/19/2013

18

0

0

I am training my boy for 3days! i am just starting, so i put a potty chair available for him, and started playing games witht the potty, and also started reading him stories about the potty...by the way, i found a great app called potty training learing with the animals... where the kids play with the animals and the toilet!...it works very well!...

Monica - posted on 03/21/2009

4

23

0

Do not force a child to potty train. Have him go into to the bathroom with his Daddy, when his daddy goes. (seat up, aim the firehose...... go potty, zip up, seat down, wash hands......He will learn by watching and then doing.....he will get the hang of it eventually. Another way to try is to...give him a book to take in there....picture book to look at. If he says he has to go....pull pants down and sit on the potty, run the sink water and have him relax and look at picture book, he can go sitting on the potty but has to point the firehose down...there are toilet seat inserts that shield the urine from spraying everywhere......you can also get a little wooden potty chair and put it in the bathroom near the big person toilet....it all depends on your pref. Each child is diff and don't let friends and relatives pressure u or brag that their kid did it at 1. Kids pick up on our r eactions and nerves....remember that! Just like Breastfeeding, if you are stressed then the child will be stressed. :) Let me know if these work for you. :)

Emma - posted on 03/21/2009

4

24

0

hi my son is 3 this year and im finding it difficult to get him potty trained but my intentions are to wait a little longer untill the warmer weather is here and then let him run round with out a nappie on! try taking him with you when you go to the toilet and explain to him what you are doing my little boy finds it intresting (i think it would be easy if the dad took the boys, but my son hasnot got his dad around) and encourage him to flush the chain my little boy waves bye bye when he flushes the chain! wishing you the best of luck x

Emma - posted on 03/21/2009

4

24

0

hi my son is 3 this year and im finding it difficult to get him potty trained but my intentions are to wait a little longer untill the warmer weather is here and then let him run round with out a nappie on! try taking him with you when you go to the toilet and explain to him what you are doing my little boy finds it intresting (i think it would be easy if the dad took the boys, but my son hasnot got his dad around) and encourage him to flush the chain my little boy waves bye bye when he flushes the chain! wishing you the best of luck x

Amy - posted on 03/20/2009

1

23

0

My son was difficult to potty train too, but my mom told me to put fruit loops in the potty as they are colorful and float, so my son would use them for target practice...I know sounds too strange but it worked....  :) :)

Jessica - posted on 03/20/2009

3

24

0

Oh also I have learned that you can't make a child do it if they are not ready.My son who is now 2 1/2 just one day told me "I go potty" so I took him and he has been going good. We do pull ups at night. Just dont let him go outside I did one time and now I have a fight of why you cant pull you pants down and potty outside all the time. lol

Lisa - posted on 03/20/2009

1

13

0

My lad wouldnt use a potty at all. We got him a small step and he felt more grown up doing it like daddy! he was dry withing a couple of days after getting the step!

Helen - posted on 03/20/2009

9

10

0

I used bribery after everything else! I bought a bag of Haribo sweets and bribed! 1 sweetie for a wee wee and 2 for a poo, with my first two it was easy but with my twins very hard and in the end I gave in to shear bribery

Lynn - posted on 03/20/2009

1

8

0

I had the same issues with my 3 year old. He was almost trained and then went back to peeing in his pull ups. Finally we let him run around in just pants(comando), and once he went to a class or daycare with other boys his age going in the pottie all the time, he decided it was time for him as well. It was frustrating but the going comando thing helped alot! Good Luck hun!!

Stacey - posted on 03/20/2009

10

29

0

What I did with my twins was make it fun. I would put something in the toilet or the potty and tell them to hit it ( if you know what i mean). I just took away the pampers and never used pull up or anything you will clean up pee here and there but that is just potty training anyways. try and make it fun..

Jennifer - posted on 03/20/2009

1

16

0

what i did with my son was pure bribary i took him to the store let him pick any underwear he wanted he picked spongebob and a pair of batman pjs with a cape he didnt want to make a mess on spongebob........he did however use the bathroom under my living room table not number 1 either..but none of ot was on spongebob!gross but it was a sign he was on the right track cause if he knows to pull his underware down and poop under a table he can go to the bathroom    1

[deleted account]

Don't force it, they will go when they are ready.  All you can do is ask them if they have to go and try to help and suddenly one day he will decide that it's time.  Both my boys were the same.  I definitely would not recommend using Pull-Ups!!  They are just like diapers, so what's the point?

Loretta - posted on 03/20/2009

1

24

0

My son was very difficult to potty train.  He just turned 4 in Feb and we really started working on it last August because no preschool would take him if he wasn't potty trained.  None of the usual tricks were working for us so one day my Mom took him in the bathroom and sat there (not on the potty the whole time) reading books and playing with toys.  Finally she put him in the tub and ran warm water over his feet and he immediately went.  For the next week we'd set the timer every 90 minutes and would head to the bathroom and put him in the tub with the warm water on his feet and every time he'd go.  After a week of doing this he finally said he didn't want to go in the tub he wanted to go in the potty.  He's still not comfortable with pooping and we haven't even attempted night time but at least he can go to school and spen the day in big boy underwear!

Sharon - posted on 03/20/2009

1

0

0

my husband was a big help with potty training my son. every time he we to the bathroom her took my son with and told this how big boys go and just kept encouraging him and then if my son went potty he would praise him and then eventually my son did it on his own.

Renee' - posted on 03/20/2009

2

26

0

Cheerios, fruit loops, ANYTHING that floats and is safe to flush! it is a great aiming game. Both of my boys loved it.

Yolandi - posted on 03/20/2009

4

5

0

My son is 2 years and 8 months and he refuses to go and sit on the potty, does not want the small toilet, but at school he goes on his own and never wet himself.  At home he just wet himself and walks around with the wet pants



 



I need help

Rosemarie - posted on 03/19/2009

2

18

0

my youngest son also did not potty train until he was 4, although my oldest was potty trained at 22 mo.  someone had told me about this little game you can play with boys and that is to use cheerios .  you throw some cheerios in the toilet and have them try and pee through them.  they love it and its funny to watch.  it sounds kinda weird ,but it worked with mine son.   good luck !

[deleted account]

I have a son that is 5-years-old. My son has a learning disability and sencery issues so its extreamly hard to potty train with him, however I found rewards chart and tons and tons of praise is the best. If you try to push it he will resist more and more and I have had allot of people tell me this and I found it to be true. My son goes pee on the potty but down right refuses to poop on the potty. His doctor says he will go when ready. But I have found pull-ups are the worst thing you can use!!!!!!!!!!!!

Laura - posted on 03/19/2009

3

30

1

I did videos, books, stickers, clothes training pants at home and pull ups when we went out, rewards when they did go on the potty and a celebration dance with it.Took a few weeks for my two oldest to get the hang of it but you have to be on top of it and have patience.

Michelle - posted on 03/19/2009

7

5

1

I would put cheeiros in his potty with alittle geen food color on them so when he went they would change and he loved it !! That made it so he wantedto poop in the potty to see if it would change too lol so you can try that It worked for us

Melody - posted on 03/19/2009

114

22

13

Hi Barbara, I understand how frustrating it might be I have a almost 2 year old who doesn't always let mom and dad know when to potty, the best thing we do with him is offer him some reward for doing it we personally use money and each time he goes potty just have him sit on his seat and dad or u sit on the toilet and tell him go pee, like this and make the peeing sound it works wonders. after he is done we praise him for doing such a good job, and then take him to put some money in his piggie bank he loves it and then we take him to the store to either pick out a treat or to get a toy so he knows when he earns enough he can get a date with mom and dad. Its a blast! well there you go hun, let me know how it goes for you hun.

Rosemary - posted on 03/19/2009

3

0

0

Hi



Maybe you recieved this answer, but, have your husband show him.Everytime your husband uses the bathroom , perhaps they can stand beside each other  and go pee.It helped with my sons

Shannon - posted on 03/19/2009

1

13

0

I'm a preschool teacher and I have parents that have used the reward system ( like giving them one or two m&m's when they use the potty) or using cheerios in the potty as a "target". Maybe you could try it if you haven't already. Just don't reward your child if he doesn't use the potty.

[deleted account]

Hi Barbara, when my son was just a few months shy of 3 I started putting froot loops in the toilet. I would tell him to aim and try and sink them. It became a game and it worked. He looked forward to it and before long he was trained. Good Luck

Bernadette - posted on 03/19/2009

4

52

0

Children love stickers and rewards.  Make a chart and put it on the back of the bathroom door or close to where ever the pottie is.  Everytime he tries, give him a small sticker.  When he is successful, give him a larger sticker.  When he has a bowel movement, give him a few.  Praise, praise, praise.  My son was trained by two...for the daytime...21/2 for the nights.  Won't cost you too much if you go to the dollar store and buy a piece of bristol board and a package of stickers.....  My friend used tatoos and had success as well.   Good luck.

Bernadette - posted on 03/19/2009

4

52

0

Children love stickers and rewards.  Make a chart and put it on the back of the bathroom door or close to where ever the pottie is.  Everytime he tries, give him a small sticker.  When he is successful, give him a larger sticker.  When he has a bowel movement, give him a few.  Praise, praise, praise.  My son was trained by two...for the daytime...21/2 for the nights.  Won't cost you too much if you go to the dollar store and buy a piece of bristol board and a package of stickers.....  My friend used tatoos and had success as well.   Good luck.

Bernadette - posted on 03/19/2009

4

52

0

Children love stickers and rewards.  Make a chart and put it on the back of the bathroom door or close to where ever the pottie is.  Everytime he tries, give him a small sticker.  When he is successful, give him a larger sticker.  When he has a bowel movement, give him a few.  Praise, praise, praise.  My son was trained by two...for the daytime...21/2 for the nights.  Won't cost you too much if you go to the dollar store and buy a piece of bristol board and a package of stickers.....  My friend used tatoos and had success as well.   Good luck.

Sheena - posted on 03/19/2009

6

27

0

my son is 3 in july i tried last october to potting train him and failed after trying everything from reward charts to blackmail! after xmas gave it another go within 1 week he was dry day and night, dont know what happened something just clicked with him and HE wanted to do it cant believe how hard it was last october and how easy it has been this time.  I just put his pants on told him the facts, yeah we had a few wet pairs but at 3 years old they more than understand whats going on eventually they get sick of wet pants! i took the "no big deal approach" cause i dont know if your little fella is like mine but if he feels i am stressed or wound up about him not doing something he will be all the more arkward! hang in there! 

Sheena - posted on 03/19/2009

6

27

0

Quoting Barbara:

How on earth do you potty train a boy? He's 3 and 1/2 and he just won't do it.



 

Colleen - posted on 03/19/2009

8

11

0

From a Mom who raised three boys...when they're ready, they'll do it! No amount of stickers or other tricks will make the journey go quicker. Just be patient...stay the course...talk about being a big boy...but in the end, it'll click in his little head and he'll be potty trained.

Jenn - posted on 03/19/2009

7

35

0

My oldest who is now 7. he was not potty trained till he was 3 1/2 yrs old. it was hard. I put him in pulls up.. but what really got him was I had signed him up for tot school. Which when I told him about he was really happy cuz he really wanted to go to school. But I hadda tell him that the only way he can go to school is if he started wearin bigg boyy pants n goin on the bigg boyy potty like his daddy. so 1 day he woke up n said he wanted to wear his big boyy pants so i put em on him n told him make sure he goes on the bigg boy potty. but i also told him if he has an accident he will sit in it for alil since he is the 1 who wanted the big boy pants but I didnt have a problem.. Try an incentive with him. but dont force he will do it when he is ready.. its hard n frustrating but in the end it's worth it.

Jenn - posted on 03/19/2009

7

35

0

Quoting Laura:



Okay, do not laugh!!!  Buy a box of foot loops, put some in the toilet and tell him to go look.  Have a couple of little water guns already filled.  When he goes in, tell him to aim at the foot loops with a gun....give him a penny to put in his piggy bank or stickers on a chart.....etc., evertime he can hit one.  Then, have him try peeing on one.  They are colorful and it may be 'fun' to pee then.....Good Luck!!!






my aunt told me the same thing just wit cheerios tho but fruit loops can work too.. she said thatz how she trained my cousin

Jenn - posted on 03/19/2009

7

35

0

My oldest who is now 7. he was not potty trained till he was 3 1/2 yrs old. it was hard. I put him in pulls up.. but what really got him was I had signed him up for tot school. Which when I told him about he was really happy cuz he really wanted to go to school. But I hadda tell him that the only way he can go to school is if he started wearin bigg boyy pants n goin on the bigg boyy potty like his daddy. so 1 day he woke up n said he wanted to wear his big boyy pants so i put em on him n told him make sure he goes on the bigg boy potty. but i also told him if he has an accident he will sit in it for alil since he is the 1 who wanted the big boy pants but I didnt have a problem.. Try an incentive with him. but dont force he will do it when he is ready.. its hard n frustrating but in the end it's worth it.

Heather - posted on 03/19/2009

42

18

8

I have 2 boys and with the first one it was hard ... but aventually about 3 1/2 not quite 4 he got it and took off with it. IT will happen i promise he wont be in diapers all the time.

Tell him going to the potty is a big boy.

With my 2nd boy he was little (short) so i had him sit on the potty backwards it worked great no messes - lol

[deleted account]

Okay, do not laugh!!!  Buy a box of foot loops, put some in the toilet and tell him to go look.  Have a couple of little water guns already filled.  When he goes in, tell him to aim at the foot loops with a gun....give him a penny to put in his piggy bank or stickers on a chart.....etc., evertime he can hit one.  Then, have him try peeing on one.  They are colorful and it may be 'fun' to pee then.....Good Luck!!!

Teresa - posted on 03/19/2009

14

19

0

Okay, I meant ignore the negative things that ppl say lol... not everything. Good advice is wonderful, I didn't mean don't listen at all :) :)

Teresa - posted on 03/19/2009

14

19

0

My son was 3 1/2 when he potty trained.... but not a moment before he was ready. Ignore what ppl have to say and keep trying at it if you want... I like to wait for them to come around though because I think it's ultimately up to them :) My son just decided one day to potty train and it was smooth sailing... no accidents at night, nothing. He just potty trained over night. Anyway - Good luck!

Jessica - posted on 03/19/2009

3

24

0

Well this worked with my boys. We have a potty jar you put something he like(jellybeans,smarties) in it and everytime he goes he gets one. Take him to buy "big boy" pants that he picks out and wants. Hope this helps

Angie - posted on 03/19/2009

1

16

0

We tried, unsuccessfully, for a few months... I tried M&Ms as a reward, took him potty every 5 min, I was so frustrated. Then we took a trip as a family, it was the first time daddy would be with us every day, all day for a week. He had the idea to buy some tattoos in all different Disney characters. Every time our son went potty, specifically poop, he got a tattoo. It turned into this fun thing with Daddy and within two days our son was asking to go potty and the whole family was tattooed from head to toe. I don't know why but the combo of Daddy and tattoos worked! He hasn't stopped yet! Yah

Margie - posted on 03/19/2009

1

0

0

Quoting Barbara:

How on earth do you potty train a boy? He's 3 and 1/2 and he just won't do it.




stay calm it  will be fine.one thing that worked for us both times was to take a couple of days off of work/activities etc. and stay home.i would only allow them to wear a shirt and socks shoes were optional..lol.about 30min. after they drank they would start to wiggle and i knew they had to go to the potty and after several times of this it was a routine and they got it!i never used pullups unless we were out.good luck...

Hannah - posted on 03/19/2009

2

3

0

Okay, I don't know if anyone has posted this or not (don't feel like reading all 100 posts), but we lived out in the country when my son was at potty training age.  He had to go potty and Papaw being a Papaw told him to go potty on a tree behind the barn.  He thought that was real cool.  So, the whole summer he just go outside when he had too.  As the months started cooling off we taught him the toilet.  Never had a problem.

Hannah - posted on 03/19/2009

2

3

0

Okay, I don't know if anyone has posted this or not (don't feel like reading all 100 posts), but we lived out in the country when my son was at potty training age.  He had to go potty and Papaw being a Papaw told him to go potty on a tree behind the barn.  He thought that was real cool.  So, the whole summer he just go outside when he had too.  As the months started cooling off we taught him the toilet.  Never had a problem.

Tabitha - posted on 03/19/2009

1

9

0

My friend showed my and it worked. At least for peeing. She put cheerios in the toilet and told him to sink them. He did great and it made it fun for him. Once we crossed that bridge it was easy to cross the other half. Hope this helps.

Teagan - posted on 03/19/2009

2

17

0

hey i have a son and i was told when i want to start poty training him to put a ping-pong ball in the toilet it wont get flushed down and tell him to aim for it and see if he can hit it if he does give him a treat and make a game out of it draw a funny face on it or a target circle i wish u luck.

Kelly - posted on 03/18/2009

1

0

0

okay I have potty trained two boys one of mine was much more work than the other. I know this sounds weird but boys are weird so it works. Toss some cheerios in the toilet and tell him to aim and hit those little targets it makes potty training so much fun!!!! Of course trying to be like Dad is pretty cool so maybe he can help with the training. He will get it eventually I promise!

Mandy - posted on 03/18/2009

14

7

0

You should buy a regular kitchen timer.  Set it for every 20 minutes.  When the timer goes off it's Potty Time!!!  This eliminates you as the one making him do it.  You may have a hard time the first couple of days but by the end of the first week you should see major improvement.  It is just very important that you stick with it and you keep him out of pull-ups/diapers (except sleep time if he still is wetting during sleep).  I have used this method for 3 boys now and it works wonders!!  I call it Potty Training Bootcamp... :-)

Andrea - posted on 03/18/2009

1

0

0

When the rewards stopped working, I began giving my son (2 1/2) a quarter every time he went pee in the potty and $ .50 every time he went #2.  When he went in his pants, he had to give me a quarter or $ .50 back. This worked for me because he was always wanting to buy things from vending machines and I told him he had to use his money. He got excited every time we went to the store. He made sure he never left home without his money and he was so proud to show off what he had bought. After he got the hang of going, I quit making a big deal out of getting the money and he stopped asking for it so the rewards just tapered off by itself.

Kylie - posted on 03/18/2009

3

0

0

you can also use a ping pong ball because when you flush the toilet  the ping pong ball will stay in the toilet  with out being flushed away so you dont need to keep putting the fruit loops in the toilet

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms