Potty Training

Heather - posted on 06/26/2011 ( 48 moms have responded )

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I am tired of hearing from family and friends that their child was potty trained before 2 years old. I have made numerous attempts to get my 2 1/2 year old to get started on this. He flat out refuses, screaming and going and shutting himself in his room. I don't want him to hate it, so I back down. I honestly don't think he is ready, but I get the sense that other's I know feel that I am a "bad Mom" cause he isn't trained yet. HELP!!

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Shelisha - posted on 06/28/2011

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Girl, then tell them to come do a better job...My son is about to turn four and still has accidents and he was about your childs age when he finally took to it...I tried everything, then one day i sat him on the pot with a coloring book, a few car and a bowl of snacks and he just sat there. That lasted for about 2mos, then we were comin thru the house one day and he said potty, i went to get his seat but instead of following, he went into the restroom, pulled down his pants and stood there and peed with perfect aim (i might add) and he never sat on that potty chair again..so my suggestion is have a male figure that you trust take him in the bathroom and show him how, so kids have the "big kid syndrome" and are more mature than we give them credit for! I never realized he wanted to use the bathroom like his big brother (12yrs older) does!!! Let me know how that works out for u!!

Sarah - posted on 06/27/2011

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It can be difficult to look at what other kids can do and worry that you are a 'bad mom' because your kid can't. I went through the exact same thing with my son. Tried training; disaster. He and I were both sobbing by the end of two days. I asked my health visitor and she said not to make a big deal of it. If he was not ready then leave it. Just tell him you were practising. He'll be ready when he's ready. On a side note the reward thing didn't work for my son. What worked was everytime he wet himself I insisted he get washed by the shower which he didn't like. Two days later, bingo. By the way he was nearly 3 when he was fully trained. Good luck

[deleted account]

I know how that feels because i have twin girls who were not potty trained until they were 4yo. But with my youngest, he was quite early. he was potty trained when he was 2yo. He LOVES cars. We bought probably like 50pcs small toy cars, the matchbox type, then we put it on a shelf in the toilet, where he can't reach them but still see them while he sits on the potty. It's great motivation for him. It started with peeing. Everytime he peed in the toilet, he gets one not so fancy toy car. We reserved the good looking ones when he pooped. Until one day he just ran to the toilet to poop and yelled to us that he successfully pooped in the toilet! He got a fancy toy car from us and he looked so proud of himself. It also helps to praise him for what he did. Once he got the hang of going to the loo every time, we gave him his last fancy toy car and told him that he had been such a good, big boy now going to the potty by himself. Then the rest is history. It always helps to talk to them at eye level, give them motivation and praise them for every good deed and explain to them every bad deed.



your child must have something that he loves. use it as a reward every time he does go to the potty but take it away every time he does otherwise. I hope this helps. Good luck!

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Christel - posted on 08/19/2012

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He'll potty train when he's ready, trying to make him train before then will just cause stress for you and him. Ignore people who brag about their kids, they obviously have self esteem issues if they feel the need to push their kids development in other peoples faces. Try not to worry about it, the more stressed you are, the more stressed he'll be, and if he's anxious it'll be harder for him. Let him learn in his own time, and don't be fooled by what people tell you; in my experience a lot of it is exaggerated anyway. Good luck, and keep smiling :-) x

Fran - posted on 08/04/2011

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I wnet through this too. My son showed absolutely no interest until he was about 3. I got advice/criticism from heaps of people. He just wasn't ready and there was nothing I could do to change that. When he was ready he picked it up really quickly. He is now 3 1/2 and doesn't wear a nappy at all (not even night times). He also took it upon himself to pee standing up as soon as he was tall enough and does so with very little mess. You know your son best so work with what works for him, for us stickers as a reward was the thing that finally got him to start. Goodluck!

Poornima - posted on 08/02/2011

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First things first- STOP paying so much importance to what other mothers think about your skills as a parent. You know your son better than anyone else in this world and so trust your instincts and have faith in yourself.
Secondly- you are so right in thinking that you don't want your son to hate this training! Please stick by your conviction. I personally feel that any new thing that we want our kids to learn, cannot be forced on them. And the more we force the less learning that happens.
My son is 22 months old and I had people telling me to take him off diapers when he turned 6 months old!! I waited till he showed some interest (which was 2 months ago) and voila! he is off nappies throughout the day! That does not mean we didn't have our share of false starts and retracing. All in the game! Every child is different and I always think "Mom knows best!"
In the meantime, I'd suggest you stop training per se, and try reading a book on potty training, with your son. There are so many cute ones out there which kids really love! That's the way I went, and I think my son was so much more ready to be trained because of it. Good luck!

Kimmy - posted on 07/27/2011

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All kids are different. My son is also 2 1/2 and he has no interest in the potty even though his best friend uses the potty. He sees others use the potty but he just isn't ready give him time.

Angie - posted on 07/27/2011

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SO!!! I don't even remember how it came about, but Sunday we put our 3 yr old in big girl panties. She wet herself once after nap time and the next day she pooped in her panties but has not had a single accident after that! I don't have to remind her to use the potty or anything, she just does it! = )

She is still in diapers when she goes to bed at night - our choice not hers. I figure once she starts waking up dry consistently, then we'll do away with diapers completely!

Amie - posted on 07/16/2011

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My son is 4 and pees like a pro, but refuses to poop in the potty. He has done it, but now refuses. Atleast, he only poops at home and its in his chonies. We got him to be ok with the potty (atleast to pee) by bribing him with chocolate and taking him driving. He got a charge out of that. No matter what time it was, if he used the potty to pee, we would load up to go somewhere where we could have him sit on our lap and steer the car safely. He loves cars so this was great incentive. Seems like the same reward doesnt work to get him to poop, tho. We are hoping he will eventually grow out of pooping in his undies. He will be in preschool in the fall, so maybe that will help boost him into poop in the toilet. Good luck to you. He wasnt comfortable with the potty to pee til after turning four so I know what you are going thru. It will happen. Just try not to turn it into a punishment. Success will happen.

Julie - posted on 07/16/2011

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my child showed me when he wanted to go he started to be dry in his nappy longer than usual and then it progress to being dry up to every 4-5 hours so i bough a potty dont make the same mistake of buying pull ups it confuses them buy boys under wear just look out for signs and maybe leave the potty out in an accesible place and let him decide it took me ages you take steps bk before going foward and i gave plenty of encouragement and sweets on the side if he used the potty also let him play with it when its cleans it got mine familiarized with it if you want more advice plz email juliepacker@hotmail.co.uk im only speaking on my own experience as i have started potty training and it took me nearly a year but every child is different ps you are not a bad mom

Ilianna - posted on 07/11/2011

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I had the very same issue, and by "forcing" my daughter to potty train, she got a urinary tract infection (from holding her pee for too long (8 hours at a time)). Now, I think the most important part of potty training is for the child themselves to be ready. You should only worry about being a "good mom" to your kid - not to the other parents that are around you!!

Yolande - posted on 07/06/2011

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Hi Heather, I think that means that your child is not ready for potty training yet. one must never force the child or getting angry if they do not get it right. I personally believe that they are not ready before 2yrs old. Just be patient and it will take its natural course. Good luck!

Leanne - posted on 07/06/2011

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if this helps, on independence day here in the states, my four and a half year old decided he wanted to start using the toilet. it just sort of happened...no prodding or cajoling...suddenly he ran from the living room and when he came back, very proudly announced that he's 'pooped' on the toilet. he went to school in underwear yesterday and didn't have any accidents. he was ready, and i couldn't be prouder for him. when yours is ready, he'll show you. ignore the naysayers!

Lori - posted on 07/05/2011

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Heather my son is three and hes still in dippers and people say the same thing to me but my child is not ready eather u can allways try to make a game out of it and try new things to see if it works but every child is differnt u will now when hes ready

Yarkeya - posted on 07/05/2011

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im just wonderig with all the parents who say im waiting til my child is ready what else will u wait for...oh i know he is 5 but he isnt ready for school, oh i know he is in second grade but he isnt ready for harder math....i can possibly see maybe almost 3 to be potty trained even tho i think that is way late but four, thats a preschooler who can hold a full convo but cant go to the bathroom. thats crazy!!!!

Keri - posted on 07/05/2011

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My son wasn't trained until after he was 3. And he still has a fair few nighttime accidents. My daughter is trained day and night, and she's been accident free since 22months. It's different for every child. Don't stress. Tell them to mind their own, and your child will train when he's ready.

Katie - posted on 07/04/2011

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My son was almost 3 when he was trained. We waited until he was ready to train. If you push them they fight more. When he decided we were done with diapers we were completly trained in a week and even all night. So just wait until he shows an intereste in it cuz it will be easier for the both of you if you wait.

Nancy - posted on 07/04/2011

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My daughter will be 3 in Oct and she refuses to use the potty unless she wants something. I told her that if she wanted to watch TV than I needed her to poop in the potty. Sounds like a plan right.....BAD IDEA!!!! She got up from her nap, pooped in her diaper then proceeded to take the diaper off and tried to empty her diaper into the potty. By the time I heard her, she had a pile of poop on the potty seat, the diaper crammed into the potty and a pile of dirty wipes next to the potty!!!!! I applaud her creative problem solving skills but was livid at the mess she left me. The worst part is I have several of these stories so don't feel like a bad mommy, the reality is, toddlers can control only ONE thing in their world and until THEY DECIDE to use the potty, there is nothing you can do about it. This was from the mouth of my daughter's urologist after her 2nd bladder infection.

Janessa - posted on 07/04/2011

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Ignore the others. It doesn't matter what they think. I have always let my children call the shots on that one, and when they decide they don't go back and there is no fight. My daughter was almost 3, my son did it at 2 1/2 over night both night and day, but he was the one that chose it. My now 2 year old likes to sit on the potty but hasn't quite made the connection, and honestly I only let him sit on it when he asks to I don't ask him. You are not a bad Mom, you are his Mom and you know what is best for him. Good-luck

Sandy - posted on 07/04/2011

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My cousin did the same thing with the poop, (he would literally put a diaper on himself (he had a little bro) and then poop). right before his 4th birthday, my aunt took out a calendar, showed him is birthday (it was about a month before), told him to pick a day before his birthday and that was the last day he could poop in a diaper. he picked the day before his birthday. Anyway, by the end of the week he decided he wan going to poop in the potty. Try it, it might work.

Sandy - posted on 07/04/2011

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I just ignored people when they tell me things like that. My MIL used to always tell me, Doug was completely potty trained before he was 2 1/2. I honestly waited until my son was ready. He turned 3 in March. In the second week of January he told me I needed to go buy him underpants, that night I showed him he already had underpants, and that if he started going in the potty he could wear them. the next morning he told me he didn't want his diaper on, so I packed up extra underpants and clothes and off he went to daycare. he had 1 accident per day for 2 days, then no more accidents. After 10 days of waking up dry we stopped putting him in diapers for bed. it took us less than two weeks, and he hasn't had a diaper on since, and it was completely his idea, not mine or anyone else. I would much rather have it that way then have him in pull ups, constantly cleaning up accidents. I say wait until he is ready (I think seeing others at day care helped him along)! I also had a very old teacher I work with one time tell me she did the same with her three boys. I always thought diapers were much more convenient than having to worry about the potty every time you want to take your kid somewhere. Our pediatrician even told us that she didn't potty train her son until after he was three. (I really would have started at three if he hadn't done that on his own, but not before). My daughter is 14 months, and we are taking the same approach with her. My cousin has a baby 3 days older than my daughter and they are trying to potty train her, and I just laugh at all the effort. I've also come to realize people who say their kids are potty trained before 2 tend to have kids that where pull-ups for a long time, or don't stop wearing a diaper at night for a long time. I say don't sweat it, it is much easier when it is their idea.

Leanne - posted on 07/04/2011

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don't feel like a bad mom!! he'll start when he's ready-clearly he is NOT ready. my son is four and a half and we're still working on it. he'll do it, in his own time. if you push, it'll just be harder on everyone. relax. and if people try to give you a hard time.or compare their experience, just remember that this is YOUR child. they don't know him.

Amy - posted on 07/03/2011

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My 3 1/2 year old isn't potty trained yet, and her cousin, who is four months older, was potty trained by the time she was two. I totally understand your frustration. But what I've learned in this year plus long battle, is that I don't have control in this situation and I have to acknowledge that I'm powerless to change it until my daughter decides she is ready. So lots of encouragement to you as I keep my fingers crossed that my daughter decides she is ready soon!

Susan - posted on 07/01/2011

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Ignore them. You are right. If he is not showing interest in it or telling you when he has to go he is not ready. Every child develops at their own rate. And generally speaking boys tend to potty train later than girls. Having spent many years teaching at the preschool level I can assure you no child has ever gone to kindergarten not potty trained. Boys usually don't start to show interest until they are 2 1/2- 3 yrs old. If you have concerns though, I'd ask your doctor and your parent educator if you participate in Parents As Teachers. Otherwise, trust your instincts and know that he will let you know when he is ready.

Illana - posted on 07/01/2011

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Hello heather. I actually don't jave an answer for you as i am in almost exactly the same predicament as you are. I honestly don't know how to continue as a few unsuccessful attempts have already been made but to no avail. Hopefully someone will bring a solution/s that will suit us both.Hang in there...

[deleted account]

Try hard not to compare yourself to other moms and try not to compare your child to other kids. You are absolutely right that your child is not ready and I congratulate you on that. If you push your child at this age, you could harm him. You're doing the right thing to back off and I for one, think you should shout if from the roof top that this makes you an AWESOME MOM because you're doing what is right for your family instead of succumbing to the irrational expectations of society! You go girl!

Stacey - posted on 06/30/2011

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I didn't potty train my oldest until she was 3. you can't help when your child is ready. Do I think your a bad mom for waiting No, the child will let the parent know when he or she is ready. Don't worry about what others think about your parenting skills, all that matters is your doing the best you can and taking care of your child that's what makes a good parent. and showing your child the love and care he or she needs. My daughter started following me to the bathroom saying mommy I go potty when she didn't but it was the fact that she was taking interest in it. so I put big girl panties on her and she had 1 accident in them and didn't like it now shes fully potty and was at 1 week. I still put pull ups on her at night she likes to come in the bed with me in the middle of the night so.. I don't to wake up to a wet bed so until she can stay in her bed at night she will wear pull ups.

Karen - posted on 06/30/2011

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Do not let anyone make you feel like you are a "bad mom". Every child is different and will train when they are ready. I think 2 1/2 is early to potty train, unless they really want to. My daughter just turned 4 and she didn't fully potty train until 2 or 3 months ago. She still has "accidents" once in a while and I don't make a big deal about it, especially if she is on her way to the bathroom and she doesn't quite make it. I don't know about boys and tricks other parents might use but they really do need to be ready. Remember, no child goes to Kindergarten without being potty trained so give yourself a break.

Maryann - posted on 06/30/2011

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My child is 4 he pees in the potty but i cant get him to poop in the potty..ugh! this is very frustrating he refuses to go any ideas would be greatly appreciated and we have tried EVERYTHING!!

Cristina - posted on 06/29/2011

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My son is 3 now ant he goes #2 on the potty, but god forbid he went pee on the potty, he wears under wears fighting all the way but still pees on them thus peeing on the floor shoes and anything else that might be close by. I too am sick and tired of my fam telling me that this one was potty trained at 1 or that this kid is just lazy on the subject, well I'll tell you what, he will be ready on his own dang time, so don't listen to anyone, just allow your baby to go at his own time when it's right for him, what's the hurry anyway, it's not like they will still wear diapers at the age of 15.

Katrina - posted on 06/29/2011

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Every kid is different, and if hey aren't ready then you shouldn't force them. Boys potty train latter than girls as well. When he is ready you will see he is and he should be easy to potty train (for the most part). If you keep forcing him it will be even harder and longer to train him. Let him decide when he is ready (unless he is getting way to old to be in diapers). 2 1/2 is normal to still be in diapers especially for a boy.

Brittanie - posted on 06/28/2011

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Both of my boys were different - oldest didn't fully daytime train until he was 4; other one by 3. My oldest could do it - just lazy with the security of his pullups. What finally worked was taking short trips to the grocery store, etc. in underwear and no extra ones "just in case". He figured out that he would get to stay longer wherever we were because he was staying dry. You are definitely NOT a bad mom - every child is different. The more you stress, the more he will challenge you. Borrow some " I can go potty" dvds from the library (or Netflix?) - we used these in conjunction with him sitting on his potty chair while he watched. This also helped.

Kassandra - posted on 06/28/2011

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my son is 5 now he was toilet trained at 2 in 2 days but my daughter is 3 and she will go to the toilet to wee, she still does have accidents but she will not poo in the toilet at all. As you see all kids are different don't get down. If anyone has any ideas on how to get my daughter to poo on the toilet that would be great

Tiffany - posted on 06/28/2011

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My son was not potty training peeing wise until 1 week ago and he will be 4 next month. I finally said enough is enough and stopped putting him in pull up and then he stopped having accidents! when you child is ready he will do it.

Amanda - posted on 06/28/2011

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oh my boys were about 2 1/2 but dont push it.my daughter was ready at 23 months but i think it was watching her brothers go to the toilet.Boys will do it in the own time!Id say he will let you know.and forget what everyone else says.

Cj - posted on 06/28/2011

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I'm with the "you can lead a kid to the potty, but you can't make him pee!" theory:-) My first didn't show any signs of being able to stay dry or communicate desire for the pottty until she was about 2yrs 9 months months, and it took me 3 months to totally potty train her day and night. My twins are 3 years 4 months, I have been working on potty training since they were about 2 yrs 9 months as well, and just got 1 potty trained, and still working on the other. My grandmother used to say, "by the time they go to kindergarten they are all walking, talking, and pottytrained!" so you can't force them to be potty trained if they can't or dont want to. I had to back off when one twin started throwing a fit about sitting on the potty, and a couple weeks later she was ready again. So everyone is different, 2 1/2 in my opinion is just on the leading edge of being ready, and boys tend to take longer than girls. I think some of the kids that are potty trained early, aren't really potty trained because either the parent has to take them every hour and the child will go, but they are not really taking control of going, or the parent says "they still have alot of accidents", which to me isn't potty trained!
Good Luck!

Rie - posted on 06/28/2011

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My first daughter was potty trained at 3yrs and my second at 22 months. Each child is different...it seems like the more you pressure, the harder it is. The second one pretty much potty trained herself, more likely due to watching her older sister. Now that it's summer time, perhaps you can have your child go without any diapers and have the potty chair out so he sees it and can try sitting on it. Couple that with a potty book and any type of rewards like stickers, that might peak his interest? Good luck!

Feyella - posted on 06/28/2011

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@ Angie... I recommend the same book I gave Heather. The book is called "Mommy I have to go Potty" A parent's guide to toilet training by Jan Faull M.Ed. It gives parents a lot of helpful hints and tips on how to motivate our children when they disengage from potty training.

Angie - posted on 06/28/2011

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Wish I could help, my daughter just turned 3 and isn't trained yet. She showed interest a year ago but after a few accidents had a melt down and wouldn't have anything to do with it. I'm waiting for her to show interest again. My 21 month old seems to be more aware than my 3 year old.

[deleted account]

He will do it when he is ready. sme kids do things quicker, some slower. it also depends on what is going on in life. some kids will potty train early and revert back, especially when something stressful happens in life. He will let you know and quit worryig about what other people tell you. You know your child and you will know when he is ready.

Yarkeya - posted on 06/27/2011

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IF YOUR CHID CAN TALK THEY SHOULD BE POTTY TRAINED MINE WAS FULLY TRAINED AT 20 MONTHS...2 YEAR OLDS ARE SMART HE KNOW IF HE CRY AND ACT OUT YOU ARE GONNA GIVE IN SO JUST KEEP AT IT, MAYBE PUT HIM IN UNDERWEAR HE MAY NOT LIKE BEING WET AND THEN GO POTTY

Feyella - posted on 06/27/2011

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Heather, the book is called "Mommy I have to go Potty" A parent's guide to toilet training by Jan Faull M.Ed

Amy - posted on 06/27/2011

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Try not to let it get to you when you feel like you are getting that look from other parents. I got that look alot from my in laws. Drove me crazy, but I knew my DD wasn't ready to potty train. She never showed any interest in the potty or bodily functions, she was never curious about why Mommy or Daddy use the potty, and she never let us know when she was wet or soiled. I was perfectly willing to let it be and wait until I saw the signs that she was ready. However her daycare took that choice away from me. When the kids get moved to a certain age group, they get manditory potty training every 2 hours. I really feel like they set her back. If you start before they are really ready it can take forever. If you do it right when they are ready, you can have your child mostly fully trained in as little as two weeks. The week I took my daughter out of that daycare she was mainly trained two weeks later. We still have accidents and she's not quite got the timing down yet but she's doing pretty good. She also liked to read potty books while sitting on the potty. One that we like is called "Tinkle, Tinkle on the Potty" Or Tinkle, Tinkle when I go Potty. Anyway its a good book with pics of real kids going potty or wearing diapers or having accidents. I feel like some things are missing from it though so I add in stuff while reading and I like to point out the kids faces if they are happy or sad with what they did. DD really seemed to like it.

Just a note, I'm sure they work for some people, but I don't use pull-ups. To me they are just diapers and a marketing ploy to make more money. Even kids think they are diapers.
Good Luck!

Heather - posted on 06/27/2011

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Thanks for the suggestions. I think we are going to take a break this week and try again next week. Feyella, what was the name of that book?

Feyella - posted on 06/27/2011

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@Sarah Rennie ... You and I have the same playbook. The shower worked for my son too.

Feyella - posted on 06/27/2011

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You are definitely not a bad mom. You just can't compare children, they are all different. They have their own personalities and respond to different motivations. Our job as parents is to support and encourage. At this point it seems like you and your son have come to an impass and you do need to take a break from the potty training process, regroup, and re-evaluate your approach. My hubby and I read a book on potty training for parents and it dealt with a lot of the different ways children may react and how us as parents shoudl respond. If you want I can give you the name of the book, just let me know. We also incorporated potty training childrens books in our nightly routine. Role playing with his toys is also a good way to engage him. At any rate, don't beat yourself up. As parents we do the best we can. Kids are the X factor, they have their own game plan unbeknownst to us.

[deleted account]

And don't worry, you are not a bad mom. It's just different with every kid. Some start early some don't. You can always think that it's not the same for every child. Just don't listen to other people when they could not help you in any way.

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