Potty Training

Namhla - posted on 10/22/2009 ( 46 moms have responded )

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Hi, my son is strugling with potty training, i have tried being calm and being harsh, the thing he is 3 and half years old.

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Pushi - posted on 11/11/2009

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It is easy to say to be calm but it is frustrating. To master this it took me one week of being at home and constantly applying the same approach. Every hour I put my son on the toilet (he hated the potty and the training seat), before every meal time and before bed. Treats work, my husband found reading small 'toilet' book helped as did singing. My son was 2 when he was out of day nappies and just over 2 and a half when we took out of nappies all together.....we still get some accidents but no more nappies!

Tina - posted on 11/03/2009

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just get rid of the diapers in the day. my son is 3.5 too we just finished day time diapers, but we did go through the but mom its an accident its okay. about a week of wet pants and now he will use the toilet anywhere we go. be persistant.

Jaclyn - posted on 10/27/2009

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Well, there's some great advice there.

Adding to my previous post - I have read books, had toys, sang songs, played clapping games, cuddled and offered freddo frogs as treats and toys. He did reliably poo and wee in the toilet with a fancy, padded toilet seat, and on the potty in the lounge.

But then it all stopped and when I would ask if he needed to go - he would say, "In a minute", then wee in his pants.

I stopped using nappies or pull-ups a loooong-looong time. But I had to give it a break and put him back in pull-ups.

Just started toilet training again after a 3 week break and it's still not working.

I haven't tried having him stand up to wee or a sticker chart. I bought lots of fancy things to make a sticker chart, but haven't had the time.

Well... Tomorrow - back to cleaning floors

I'm sure it will happen, but I don't want to be cleaning up weed carpet for the next year waiting for it.



Thanks for all the advice, it has been helpful.

I too thought I was a rare one having a 3 1/2 year old not toilet training well.

I feel much better now and the support has been fantastic.

Hiba - posted on 10/25/2009

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i put special books and toys in the rest room that are not allowed out of there so that my girls like to go in to play with it. you have to be patiant and sit within the talking and hearing distance of your child, some children hate going in because they are afraid or simply bored. keep talking to him. my youngest used to be afraid of falling in!!!! we worked that out by me sitting infront of her and holding her hands for a while so that she would know that its safe to sit there.

Linda - posted on 10/25/2009

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Don't push it. Speaking as a mom and pediatric nurse, if your try to force it, it will backfire on you. He'll get it when he is ready and most importantly, he'll get it when he feels like he has made the decision for himself. Potty training cannot and should not be forced. Toddlers can control two things...what they put into their mouths and when they eliminate. If you battle with your child, you cannot win. Relax, let up on the potty training. Tell him you are sorry for all of the times you became angry. Then let go. Tell him it in now completely his decision. He'll be more open to potty training once he knows the pressure is gone. If not, be patient. All kids potty train before kindergarten :)

Candace - posted on 10/24/2009

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My son spent the last year telling me that he just wants to wear diapers not underwear, and would thorw a kicking a screaming fit if I tried to get him to sit on the potty. He just turned four a few weeks ago. For the last few months we've been talking about the fact that 4-year-olds don't wear diapers and some of the fun things four year olds get to do. On his fourth birthday we took away the diapers for good (he wears a pull-up at night) It's been about 3 weeks with a lot of accidents (he won't go unless someone tells him to) but he is at least using the potty regularly and usually can empty his bladder in a visit. I KNOW how frustrating this is to hear but the only thing you can really do is be patient he'll get it when he gets it.

Frances - posted on 10/24/2009

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wow! I thought I was the only one with a 3 1/2 year old boy who is having difficulty potty training. It's so nice to know im not the only one! He's getting better about telling me he has to go #2 but he only gives one warning and than if I dont hear him he goes and hides in a corner and kinda sobs. But, as soon as I catch him I say, "lets go to the potty" he runs and than says "thank you mommy"! As far as going pee. He never tells me. I have friends who say pull ups confuse them and to just take it off and put underwear on him. I have tried it and he just pees. I dont want pee all over my carpet if everyone knows what im saying!!! Every kid if different and I guess it's not like they will be in high school going #2 in their pants!! (one can hope. LOL)

Anne - posted on 10/24/2009

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you have to stay calm otherwise you lose it. make it fun to sit on a potty. look for a nice looking potty. let your baby sit on it many times. encourage him and reward him when he does it. stop the pampers during the day. let him soil himself on a panty. he will feel uncomfortable. wish you the best.

PAT - posted on 10/23/2009

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Hon', I understand your frustrations but I have learned that when they are ready they will adapt. My son was easier to potty train than my daughter and what I observed is that they don't adapt well to the potty. Think about it, does anyone else use that potty? I vouch for the child seat that u place over the toilet seat. Kids wanna mimic the adults in their lives. I had my hubby take our son to the bathroom with him to show him how the big boys go potty. Also, about 30-45 minutes after drinking fluids remind the child with questions about whether or not they have to go to the bathroom. This has helped/worked with our children and our grandchildren. All were potty trained by 2 years old with trial and lots of praise. Don't get angry when he has accidents, reassure him that he will do it the next time. I also like the cheerios in the toilet trick. Good Luck to ya.

Jamaine - posted on 10/23/2009

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hi its okey for children to have accidents while being potty trained the only thing there is to have the kid be potty trained is for the parents to be consistent i have a daughter and she's 3 yrs old i get so frustrated but it is only for a day or so as long as you are consistent in the routine then everything will turn okey... just be patient lots of luck!!!!

Sherri - posted on 10/23/2009

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I know it is frustrating and you think it will never happen. We were beginning to think so as well, but it did. First the pee and then the poop. We just kept him in pull-ups until he figured out the poop thing as well. It's definitely not easy, but, as crazy as it sounds, it will happen and literally it will seem like it takes place overnight. I couldn't imagine this being true when people told me this, but it's exactly what happend. So, continue to encourage, but don't push and they will get it when they are ready! Good luck!!!!

Renee - posted on 10/23/2009

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im struggling too...my little guy just turned four...it is frustrating...I know he know how to go pee pee...but it doesnt always end up going into the potty...and no way will he go poo poo in the potty......

Julie - posted on 10/23/2009

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I bought my son a cute little potty that looked like a saddle. He cried when he saw it because he knew he couldn't resist it. I always had a lenient approach.

Carrie - posted on 10/23/2009

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I am in the same boat! My son was pee trained in about 2 weeks day and night - that was 9 months ago. Now my son is 3 1/2 and he still won't poop in the toilet. I don't know what else to do with him - I have tried also to be calm and harsh, and nothing works - I have been told to just let it go and he will figure it out - a lot easier said than done! I get really tired of cleaning out poopy underwear several times a day, so if you find something that works, please fill me in :-) Good luck - I know I need it with my son!



Carrie LeDoux

Sherri - posted on 10/23/2009

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Take a deep breath and don't sweat it. My son just got potty trained and he will be 4 Dec 31st. Nothing worked for him, and I mean NOTHING!!! He was even excited about his potty and would sit on it for hours at the time, but would not do anything until a diaper was put back on him. Then, one evening he suddenly went and we haven't looked back since. Even at night he's diaper free. This has all taken place within the last month. So, don't worry. Let your son do it in his own time. He will get it, I promise.

Patricia - posted on 10/23/2009

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Quoting Jaclyn:

I forgot to add that with mine - rewards don't work. They did to start with, and if he does go, he wants a treat, but it's not enough to motivate him to go or ask to go.

Putting him on frequently, or for excessive amounts of time doesn't work either - he'll hold it. I've tried talking to him, explaining that it's quicker and less messy and no need for wipes if you use the toilet of potty.
That doesn't work either.

I'd love daddy home for 2 full weeks so that we could make a joint effot - but someone has to pay the bills.

Maybe my trouble is that I'm SITTING him on the toilet and potty, maybe I need to try getting him to stand. Don't know how I'll manage that.


nothing works with my son either. and i've been 'potty training' for over a year. at first the treats worked, he'd go when we put him on. we were making real progress until got pregnant with our 2nd baby june/ july (of 2008), then i was so sick with that pregnancy that i wasnt as... diligent... with making him go potty. and now i cant get him to go unless he wants to or there is a potty treat he REALLY wants. not even telling him that his bum wont hurt anymore if he goes #2 on the potty works. he just requests baby powder on his bum all the time. (LOL) we've even tried having daddy show him how to go standing up.. yeah.. thats just a big huge mess... lol... the little man doesnt know how to aim very well.... lol....

Cindy - posted on 10/23/2009

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My baby is fully potty trained at 2yrs 5 months ,What helped is each morning i knew that he has a pass between seven thirty and eight so I would put him on his potty and with another potty I would put a doll on it to make him think the doll was using the potty as well so he was excited to go with company.Each time he did go I would praise him by saying smart boy and clap my hands . Another thing i never used pull ups I introduced him to underwear and he felt great being in them.

the potty don't have to be in the bath room start of by having it in the bed room and the play room then slowly move it to the bath room.Be patient all children develop at their own paste.

Cindy - posted on 10/23/2009

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Don't worry. I went through the same thing with my sons. It was a lot of reminding and scheduling of sitting on the potty - they eventually get it.

[deleted account]

My son was over 3.5 by the time we even noticed that yes, he can use the potty on his own. I believe watching other children his age go to the potty and getting encouragement from his teachers helped.

My suggestion would to cool it down at home for a while, then pick it up as it were a new project, or if he's in daycare then to get the teachers/daycare providers on the same ball and help you encourage your son to use the potty/toilet.

Andi - posted on 10/23/2009

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Don't stress it too much. He just might not be ready. My little girl is turning 4 tomorrow and we had to leave a bday party last night cuz she peed in her pants. So we're still struggling with it, but he will get it when he is ready. Don't stress :o)

Lynne - posted on 10/23/2009

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I didn't even start potty training my son until a few months after he turned 3. We had to completely lose the pull ups and put him in underwear or he would just go in the pull up. Rewards worked for him (a few m&ms or skittles - I know, lots of parents don't like rewarding wtih food, but it worked for him and he only got about 2 - 3) He did great at first with going potty, but never wanted to poop on the toilet. Frustrating to say the least. About 3 months later, I was very frustrated, I told him he was going to have to start wearing pull ups again until he remembered to poop in the potty. (He was about to start pre-school and I didn't want him to have accidents for them.) I told him once he could go three days without an accident in his pull up that he could have his underwear back. This was VERY upsetting to him. 3 days later, he was accident free and earned his underwear back and we haven't had a problem again other than the occassional, I'm too busy to go accident. I think the key is to figure out what motivates your child and go with that. The other thing is, I think they recognize that they are pushing your buttons sometimes and continue with that behavior to garner the attention. So whatever is going on, the key is to remain calm and positive (easier said than done, I know!) and shower the attention only on the behavior you want! Make a big deal when he goes on the potty. We even would call daddy at work to tell him if my son went on the potty so for him that was cool. Good luck!

Tina - posted on 10/22/2009

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To add to my earlier post, I also sang to her while she sat there and clapped her hands, singing ":a potty over here , a potty over there!" And we had a potty party for her when she went the first time #2.( the only time ,so far) My mama and daddy brought her a cake and party cups and plates and of course, candles(she loves to blow them out)!



Earlier, I posted but don't see it. So, I said I have a 3 and a half year old daughter that I just did train mostly. My husband and I made her not wear diapers anymore, told her she couldn't go to school if she wears diapers-She's really looking forward to starting next year. And I just started one day bringing her on my own and put pullups on her at first but she treats them like a diaper, so , we make her wear panties. She will go tee tee on the potty but not poo.

I look at books with her or a magazine while she sits there and I sit on the edge of the tub while she sits on her potty seat on the toilet.

Try bringing or keeping some books or magazines by the potty!!

Of course, if he does finally go, go crazy clapping and saying "yaah!!!" and have a party or give him some rewards!

Anna - posted on 10/22/2009

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my first son was barely 2 yrs. old when i potty trained him. he was able to go on his own after a couple weeks, he didn't even wet on the bed after that. the thing is, baby should recognize the feeling and able to communicate what he feels. now my second son is already 3 and half yrs. old and he doesn't talk much, so i am now really having difficulty to even start potty training him. your suggestions will greatly help me.

Kandice - posted on 10/22/2009

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Hello. I am a Mom of two girls 3 and 9. I remember how stressed I was that my daughter just didn't seem to get potty training. After several months I used to think this is ridiculous why doesn't she just use the potty she knows better now. What did work is a lot of patience and believing that she would eventually understand. It just seemed to click one day. With child number two I was able to be much more positive because I saw wow they do get it. Telling your child that you believe they CAN be a big girl or boy and use the potty does work over time. Hang in there! The clean up can be so frustrating. Just remember your child is not messing their pants on purpose. It is a learning process for them. They want to be a bigger kid and grow up. Keep encouraging them. It is far more effective in the longer run. I tried being harsh too and it didn't work at all either, because kids don't understand that they are doing something wrong. Don't stress about his age he will get it soon.

Beth - posted on 10/22/2009

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Most professionals agree that being harsh isn't the way to go. It can even make your child afraid. There are issues that can make training harder, including Aspergers or even certain levels of giftedness. But also, 3 1/2 is not as bad as you think. Some children potty train early, some later. My son who is a highly gifted child with an IQ that makes people's jaws drop finally got trained at 3 1/2. I did it with a sticker chart and lots of positive reinforcement. I also had to bite the bullet and use underwear rather than pull-ups.

One more thing you should know: my son recently turned six and has only now started having dry nights. It's all right. Be calm and supportive. Your son will get there.

Ei - posted on 10/22/2009

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Hi- My son turned 3 in Sept. Daddy was training him before he deployed, after that it was hopeless or so i thought because he refused to go. he knew where to go and how to but just REFUSED to do so. I did what you tried being calm, harsh, I tried rewards but that didnt encourage him to go. One day he told me that he was waiting for Dad, I didnt want to wait for Dad to come home, I mean pull ups are expensive(ive got a 11 mos old daughter too). One week in the beginning of Oct, I decided to give it one more try,I woke up put him on the toilet in the morning then I told him that he was going to wear underwear he didnt want to but after i pulled out Thomas tha train underwear he was all for it , I was going to keep asking him if he needed to go, i kept getting the No not yet mom response. He had an accident once and didnt like the feeling so I explained to him that if he doesnt use the toilet he was going to continue peeing on his leg and that yucky feeling is going to keep happening.I kept on it... to my surprise I was just about to ask him right after lunch time and I couldnt find him anywhere. I went looking for him and he was on the toilet!!! I was so happy I was cheering him on and he was happy that I was happy. From that point on he's been pull up and accident...r should i say in my son's words no more pee on my legs... What's your son into, perhaps buying him underwear in his fave character would make him want to be a big boy and start going... my son likes everything his dad likes so i try to get him things like daddy. good luck.

Kiki - posted on 10/22/2009

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Don't think you're alone. My daughter is 3 also and still not potty trained either and I've tried EVERYTHING.

Jaclyn - posted on 10/22/2009

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I forgot to add that with mine - rewards don't work. They did to start with, and if he does go, he wants a treat, but it's not enough to motivate him to go or ask to go.



Putting him on frequently, or for excessive amounts of time doesn't work either - he'll hold it. I've tried talking to him, explaining that it's quicker and less messy and no need for wipes if you use the toilet of potty.

That doesn't work either.



I'd love daddy home for 2 full weeks so that we could make a joint effot - but someone has to pay the bills.



Maybe my trouble is that I'm SITTING him on the toilet and potty, maybe I need to try getting him to stand. Don't know how I'll manage that.

Carey - posted on 10/22/2009

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Hey I know how you feel. My son is also 3 1/2 and I just picked a day and when he got up I put him big boy undies and asked him if he was wet or dry every 5 -10 mins. We also made a "Candyland" like board on a poster board and for every time he peed or pooped he got a star. After so many stars he would get a prize, like a matchbox car or a special trip. He had a few accidents the first 2 days but that is it. We have been potty trained for a month:) Hope that this helps. Hang in there, he won't go to school in diapers!!

Jaclyn - posted on 10/22/2009

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Quoting Julie:

I can also vouch for the 3daypottytraining download. I have boy/girl twins - and it was the boy who I had the most trouble with. He would not be bribed! He was well over 3 before he cracked it and it was most definitely the program and it's consistency that did it for us. (I must say that it took 5 days not 3 but that was only because he used to 'hold-on' for up to 7 hours!)

It's a trying time - good luck!



OMG, that sounds like where we are right now. My 3 1/2 year old was completely toilet trained day and night after a couple of weeks of using the potty and only wearing jocks through the day and a pull-up through the night. He would even wake me through the night if he needed to go.



Then accident, by accident, it got worse, until he was never going to the potty, and could hold it as long as he was on the potty.



Then... He even stopped telling me when he was wet, he would just lay and play in his own puddle - it was disgusting and disturbing and extremely stressful.



After 6 months of struggling and getting no-where - lots of washing and smelly floors, Our childcare carer suggested giving him a break and putting him back in nappies for a couple of weeks, then trying again.



He's just started toilet training again, but refuses to go to the toilet or sit on the potty. I'm worried, because next year is Kindy/Kindergarten ( I don't know what that equates to is the US - 4 yo ) I don't want him to be laughed at or stressed at Kindy.



I might check out that website. Thanks for your advice.

Katherine - posted on 10/22/2009

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My son is also 3 1/2 well he will be 4 in January. I have treid everything as well except just putting in underwear and having messes. I believe when he is ready he will go.

Gail - posted on 10/22/2009

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One way is to take him regularly such as when he gets up, before breakfast, mid morning, before lunch, mid afternoon, before dinner and before bed. IT does not matter at first if he goes or not . Just establish a routine. If he goes, reward him. If he does not go, assure him that he is making you happy just by sitting and waiting and trying.

Lisa - posted on 10/22/2009

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Dont worry it will happen...be consistant.....set a timer for yourself if you need....every 15 min...every 30 min and slowly go up....give rewards...some people do an mm for pee and 2 for poo! i would put him in big boy underware all the time..I believe it is confusing to stay in diapers or go back to pull ups...mine thought they were diapers and if they had on diapers they used them.

Naomi - posted on 10/22/2009

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my son,was 2&half when he was potty trained.the thing is this,stop putting him on diaper,esp at day time.buy him some underwear.and let him mess in his underwear,or even in the house.its a big job,to clean after his mess,but remember be,patient with him.and after you clean up,his mess talk to him&tell him ,see,everytime you,do this mummy,will always have to clean it up,pliz help mummy,why dont you use the toilet.good luck.

Daphina - posted on 10/22/2009

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Try shoot the Cherrio. When my son was 2 1/2, I had a hard time too. Some of the things that worked for me was the Cheerio game. Take a Cheerio, place it in the toilet, they tend to float for a long time. Tell him its a game and you want to see how well he can shoot the Cheerios. Also you have to take him off diapers immediately, yes its messy and yes you will need to keep a change of clothes handy all the time for a while but he will not like the wetness he feels and eventually start to ask to go. It takes time but if you stick to your guns, it will happen. Also, praise him profusely, when he uses the bathroom, praise works well also. Good luck!

Kasey - posted on 10/22/2009

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Try putting potty chair in living room and that will make it easier for him to go, instead of runnng to bathroom, and m&m's work for the reward if you get potty. my son was 2 in a half and this worked for us. he is now 3 and has no accidents! good luck

[deleted account]

I was struggling with my son too. Then I tried Naked Potty training. Google it. Works, but you have to really stick with it.

Louise - posted on 10/22/2009

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Hi, You are not alone. I struggled with my oldest as well and now my middle one two. Up to the ae of 4 he still wore night nappies and had acidents duringthe day. I tried every trick in the book from sticker charts t rewards to yelling to sympathising. I even went to the doctor when he was almos 5 and about a week after that without doing anything he stopped wetting the bed and stopped having acidents during the day.
I think the best advse was given to me by a friend - They will porry train eventually when they are ready you do not see 6 year olds wearig nappies! Just hang in there and always have an extra set of pnts with you for those unforseen acidents. You'll getthrough this.

Julie - posted on 10/22/2009

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I can also vouch for the 3daypottytraining download. I have boy/girl twins - and it was the boy who I had the most trouble with. He would not be bribed! He was well over 3 before he cracked it and it was most definitely the program and it's consistency that did it for us. (I must say that it took 5 days not 3 but that was only because he used to 'hold-on' for up to 7 hours!)



It's a trying time - good luck!

Brandy - posted on 10/22/2009

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my daughter was 3 and a half before she finally started going consistently, and the thing that helped the most was being in preschool around all of the other kids that were going to the potty.

Laura - posted on 10/22/2009

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Is he still wearing diapers or is he in big boy underwear? My daughter continued to wet her pullups until I just got frustrated and but her in panties. Now she has gone months only wearing pull ups at nights and has only had a handful of accidents.

Angelina - posted on 10/22/2009

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being calm is one of the best things you can do. my now 9 year old was about 3 when he finally trained. we tried everything. sometimes they just aren't ready. if you can, and this worked for us..use a step stool and daddy...they used to 'race'. potty times were first thing in the morning and 30 minutes after drinking anything. and of course at night before bed. the best thing though...we got the whole family involved. it was a very big deal for him to tell his brothers and call grandma and grandpa every time he went. and once he could do it on his own we had a party. cake and all.

Jennifer - posted on 10/22/2009

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I had a really rough time with my second daughter. She turned 3 in August and is just finally "getting it," I realized that what I lacked was consistency. She would use the potty all morning and then in the afternoon she would have accident after accident and then I would give up and put her back in a diaper. Needless to say once I stopped putting her back in a diaper it came together. It took a good week before there weren't any accidents. She is now going on her own without any help from me. Keep your chin up and your paper towel close by, he'll get it!

Patty - posted on 10/22/2009

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Boys can be much tougher to potty train than girls! I would recommend seeing if he is able to respond to a small instant reward when he goes (like a tic-tac or an M&M), or some boys like having a target in the potty, like a Cheerio, no reward necessary. You could make the reward longer-term when he gets the idea, by buying some cool printed underwear when he can make it through a couple of days or a week. Give him lots of water to drink and talk about the feeling of his bladder being full. One of my sons would "dance" when he needed to go, but he didn't realize that's what that feeling was! If he is great during the day, but still wets at night, I would suggest an alarm to help him learn, because some kids are just sound sleepers!

Luci - posted on 10/22/2009

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I downloaded an e-book when our son was about 2 1/2. It was great! You need to follow it step by step and be willing to put in the time, but it really works! And is totally worth the $ because you get the book and the ability to e-mail the author with questions. Go to www.3daypottytraining.com for more info. Good luck!

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