How to potty train a 3 year old who won't use the potty?

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Sandy - posted on 04/15/2009

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My boy who is now 31 had the same problem, I put soda crackers in the toilet and told him they were boats that he had to sink. In no time flat it was more fun to sink the boats that to have wet pants. My gramdson I put him in "big boy" undies. No pull ups no cloth diapers, that way when he wet him self he wet him self. it is also easier in potty train in the warmer weather.

Amy - posted on 04/15/2009

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first is the child a boy or girl? lol i have a little boy who will be 4 this june and wow i have never had such a hard time with potty training. i bought countless potties, i did the pull ups and bought the cloth diapers. the pull ups cool alert did jack squat. did not bother him one bit. the cloth diapers a friend said that most children do not like the feel of wetness in the cloth but that didnt work either. i tried and got upset and thought it was me. until i just let him go pee outside one time and then he did it a couple more times telling me he had to pee so i would walk him to the side of the house ( we lived in Maine on 3 acres with no neighbors ) and he just went. after that i tried in the bathroom and told him it was too cold outside and he kept it going from there. figures with all the money spent and time and frustration lol. it takes alot of time and just be calm. ive learned when im calm and cool hes cool too. good luck!

Betsy - posted on 04/15/2009

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I was a preschool teacher (ages 3-5) and I found that plenty of children have struggles potty training well after turning 3. A lot of it has to do with their ability to recognize the sensation of needing to use the restroom. They also may not recognize what it feels like (discomfort) after going to the bathroom in a diaper. I would suggest, although it adds a lot of laundry and cleaning on you, to put them into 'big kid' underpants, no diapers, and remain consistant with the use. Also, allow them to 'play' at the toilet, you can let them sit backwards by strattling the back of the toilet, sometimes just something different helps.



It will come in time, as i'm sure you know, and don't let anyone pressure you into thinking its not normal, because this is very typical! You are doing a great job as a mom to be concerned though! Keep up the good work!

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Jesica - posted on 04/15/2009

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I suggest having someone else do it I went through this with both of my boys with my oldest my ex boyfriend did it and with my secong my mother trained him. I tried with both boys forever and it didnt work as soon as they tried within a few days they accomplished what I couldnt with my girl I was blessed she did it on her own. I hope this helps I run a daycare and we are the ones who always potty train the lil ones. 

Jessica - posted on 04/15/2009

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I am not at the potty training stage yet, but I did work at a day care where we would potty train. Every 10-20 minutes we would take the child and sit him or her on the potty and gave them a book. Also my sister let her son go outside (no neighbors) and he potty trained that way.

Sarah - posted on 04/15/2009

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I agree with April Galbraith. When they are ready they will do it until then just hang in there.

[deleted account]

I have potty trained children with disabilities and had a lot of success.  I always teach them about going to the potty first.  I make sure the kids understand the vocabulary first.  I have to check their understanding before going on to the next step. I read books, we watch movies etc.  I have parents take their children into the bathroom with them so they have role models.  Then, I start teaching the steps to going to the potty.  What do we do first, next etc.  When they have all this understood then we start the actual training.



I take several days where I can focus on the kid.  We talk about dry.....clean....happy pants.  I give the child lots of liquid to ensure frequent trips to the bathroom throughout the day.  I do underwear checks to make sure they are still dry.  I praise and praise when they are dry and give more reminders.  "If you have to pee go to potty"  I have stickers I give for dry underwear.



I always have one major reward that the child picked out.  I put it up on a shelf in the bathroom as a reminder.  When you pee in the potty.......then you will get the toy etc.  



Expect several accidents....it is bound to happen.  Keep your cool and say "Oh, Im sorry there will be no stickers.  Wet pants make me very sad.  No sticker .......no prize.    Give them a few minutes to think about how nasty it feels to be wet before changing their clothes.



Usually by day 2 they get the message.  Hope this helps!



 

Derith - posted on 04/15/2009

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We tried and tried and only got frustrated w/ our 3 yr old. She got pink eye, and had to stay home a few days. She just looked at my husband and said she wanted big girl pants. So, he did it, ad she used the potty ever since. 5 weeks down,and 2 accidents, both at nap time. Let it happen...

Susan - posted on 04/15/2009

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Let them pee in their pants and take them out back and have them take off their dirty clothes and hose them down, takes 3 days it worked for my son.

Kim - posted on 04/15/2009

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There is a woman I know who has a 2 year old, who is completely potty trained. She started training early (around 12 months). She knew she could do it. She was waking up with dry diapers, was able to hold it when she had to, but sometimes she found she would wet her pants anyway. The last thing that worked for her is having her daughter run around the house completely naked for 3 days in a row. She is one of those kids who hates being dirty, you know, like having something stick to her hands or something. Well, this also applied to pee. She didn't want to get any urine on her, so she held it until she went on the potty. I know she is very young to be potty trained, but if it worked for her, maybe you'll have some luck as well.

[deleted account]

Don't worry is what most say...but as a mum you do worry and it can be frustrating...my son is 3 and he would not use the potty either, he liked the big loo...we had a stool by the loo and he used that...you will suss it out with what he wants to do...just a bit of advice on the peeing outdoors thing if you let him do that make sure you let him know it won't be accepted up town or at kindy...my son used to just wee outdoors and then of course thought it ok to do it anywhere lol was embarassing to say the least...my daughter and my son were both toilet trained at 2 but every child is different and when they are ready they will do it...there is no right or wrong age all kids are different... :)

Vanessa - posted on 04/15/2009

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I went to a potty training class and it helped a great deal. You need several days in a row to focus on the child alone. Have steps of potty training through pictures. When the child wets themself, have them take off their clothes and clean themselves up. Then take them back and forth to the bathroom 8 times to reinforce that the potty is where they need to go when they have the urge. For bowel movements, have them sit on the potty and set a timer. Let them know they have however many minutes to go to the bathroom. Keep reinforcing this so they know what they have to do. Always have a reward box with their favorite things after success. It worked for my son. after a week he was trained. They state never to use pull ups or diapers at night. They will eventually get used to the idea of cotton underwear. Take them out to pick their favorite character underwear. Good luck to you.

Stephanie - posted on 04/15/2009

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My mom always said, "have you ever seen a 26 year old wearing diapers?" which made me feel better b/c I didn't feel so frustrated after that. But still, being very repeatitive and encouraging with (Dove chocolate squares) and brand new cool underwear will get them to want to try. I did a chart, where my daughter got a stamp everytimeshe went potty and then when she did it for a full day, I told her when she gets to the end of the week, she gets to choose any princess toy she wants, which worked for me. They know what to do, it's just a matter of them "getting it".

Kimberley - posted on 04/15/2009

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put flowers or cheerios in the toilet and tell them to pee on it or blue food coloring and tell them if they pee on it it will turn a different color it worked for me

Adrienne - posted on 04/15/2009

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Put a treat box in the bathroom with what ever they like e.g. toys, candy.  Everytime time they uses the potty let them get into it.

[deleted account]

We had the same frustrating problem with our son.  No matter what we tried nothing worked...not bribery, sinking Cherrios, or any of the other million suggestions we got.  Then one day on when he was 3 and a half he just came and said "I have to go potty."  Took down his pants and went and he has never had a problem since.  So basically keep encouraging and offering but they will do it when they are ready.  Good luck. 

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