Potty-training-How do I get my 2 and a half year old to be able to understand when he has to pee, and to tell me before he does it?


Karen - posted on 03/08/2009




I have helped potty train probably over 100 little boys... along with my own 2, and my nephew... all are different. But, a few "tips" remain the same, no matter what.

1. Consistency... once you start... don't turn back. If he is not making ANY progress at all in two weeks, then he may not be ready, and you can try again later.

2. No diapers or pull-ups except for sleeping! Never have I potty-trained a child in pull-ups. If he is at home, letting him run around naked is wonderful to help him "get it." He becomes aware when something is happening. If you do not want a mess, then underwear with a plastic lining is the way to go... he MUST feel wet to understand that it is not good to pee in his pants.

3. Let him pick out some big boy underwear. Tell him it is his responsibility to keep them dry.

4. When he has an accident, it should be his responsibility to change himself. He will not like it... but that is the point. He is a big boy now... responsible for going to the potty... responsible for his big boy underwear. Do not make it a big deal, just simply comment that he had an accident, and now he needs to change.

5. We used to have little pee pee or poo poo songs that we sang when we went to the potty successfully... they looked forward to the victory dances!

6. Sit him on the potty every half hour. Do not wait for him to tell you. He will not tell you in the beginning. They never do. After a few weeks of consistency, he will begin to go on his own... but just routinely take him. Set a timer if you have to. Reward him each time he does something - sticker chart, treat, whatever you want. Praise him each time he tries.

Cheerios or Fruit Loops are good for "target practice" for some boys, but some are not interested.

Some boys "get it" in one day, some take two weeks. Some go back and forth.... just stay consistent and keep a positive attitude. If he goes to daycare or a sitter, make sure you pack lots of extra clothes and communicate with everyone involved. Keep trips out to a minimum.

And, if you can find the video "It's Potty Time".... it is hysterical, and kids love it. It has great potty songs, and it is worth the purchase!

hope this helps!

Carol - posted on 05/26/2012




With my son we started him out about 18 months. Potty introduction. Around 2, i head about elminiation communication so he didnt wear underwear or pants around the house, just shirts and i'd put him on the potty every 30 - 1 hr. Eventually he got the idea hey i can go pee in this! He'd still poo in his diapers. Eventually i just took him off diapers and let him go around like that. I would show him the potty and tell him he needs to poop in there, we had some issues, but i'd rather pick baby poop off the floor than dog poop, and the pooping part in the toilet took longer than the peeing. He actually taught himself to stand and pee. With my daughter i did the same thing, except she tries to stand and pee because of her brother. I have to tell her some times she cant to it.

Sharee - posted on 03/12/2009




Consistency is the main focus when it comes to potty training. offer the potty several times, and don't give up!

[deleted account]

You need to set aside 2-3 full days at home.  You need to ask him every 5-10 mins if he needs to pee and sit him on the potty or toilet every 15 mins.  And you'd be very surprised.  They get it really quickly.  Just make sure you have a clear schedule and don't need to leave the house for any reason.  My daughter was pretty much done in the 3 days.  She never had an accident after that weekend.  A friend also gave me a good tip - don't use rewards for them using the potty, use praise instead.  And not to use the word "good" when they use the potty as they may think they're naughty if they have an accident.  I used the word "clever" and she really responded well.


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Bridie - posted on 03/12/2009




Dad's train boys and mom's train girls...if you don't have a 'dad' in the house...find a brother or uncle to help...and if he is not ready then just let it go for another couple months....he will let you know when he is ready...you could try a rewards sticker chart you can buy at the store for potty training....

Jacqueline - posted on 03/11/2009




All of these responses really helped!  I've been doing most of what everyone suggested, and he is defnitely cooperating, and he goes pee-pee everytime I take him to the potty (we haven only gotten one poo-poo so far).  I've been doing some reading too, and I've come across several things that say if he cannot stay dry for at least two hours, he may not be ready for potty training at all!  This discourages me because he has been doing so well, however, he almost ALWAYS pees in his underwear just the tiniest bit between every potty break!  Should I be concerned that he is peeing this often?  Does it mean that he's not ready, or just that he hasn't quite gotten the whole bladder control thing yet?

Cathleen - posted on 03/08/2009




i swear by the potty monkey! my son is 19 months and we just started training. it's a stuff monkey that has a timer you can set for either 30 minutes or 60 minutes. then the stuff monkey says i have to potty take me to the potty, etc. (it comes with it's own toilet) when it sits on the toilet it praisesthem for staying dry and sings songs. we have used it one week and he tells us he has to go sometimes. plus he enjoys it so non stressful

Beth - posted on 03/08/2009




He's young yet.  Don't fret about it.  He'll let you know when he's ready.  Both of my kids were 4 years old.

Danette - posted on 03/08/2009




Make it a game and put cheerios or fruit loops in the toilet. Tell him to shoot the rings and then to let you know when he's ready to shoot the rings.

Kristin - posted on 03/08/2009




I have 2 boys, both potty-trained in a day or two at around 2.5 or3. I think Karen has some GREAT tips and Catherine as well (everyone else too but those 2 were closest to my experience). I set aside a full day and my son and I spent the whole morning in the kitchen (no carpet and a bathroom right next door). We did use a child's potty to start. We set aside the day, got everyone else out of the house so there were no distractions. I started the morning by pumping him with TONS of liquid. Water, juice, milk, anything and everything and kept giving him more to drink for the whole morning. He had to go A LOT and I would say he was basically potty trained by lunch time. Karen's idea of no pull-ups is a must - cold turkey to dry, big boy underwear. He will NOT like them wet so he will do his best to keep them dry! We did give little rewards the first few times - I think we used Cheerios or something simple. Very few though and only the first couple of times he went. AFter that, just tons of praise. We even called relatives to tell them how great he had done....

We kept our eyes on him for 3 days with no accidents after that first 3 hour morning. We just consistenly put him on the potty every so often and kept our eyes out for the warning signs. He didn't tell us he had to go for quite some time but he gradually was able to go longer and longer without us having to put him on the potty.

We started with a portable training potty with the seat that can be put on the real potty. Can't remember how long we did the kids potty before moving the seat onto the real potty but it was a while because getting up on the big potty seemed difficult for those short little legs!!

Poopy took a few more days. I think he was holding it in for a few days and finally couldn't hold it. He did what he was supposed to and life was good!! Again, we just kept telling him how excited we would be if he were to do that in the potty too. We would call so and so, and so and so, and how proud they will be!

Have fun!

Hilary - posted on 03/08/2009




My opinion is that you can't "get" your child to understand a feeling, he will understand it when he's ready.  Letting him pick out big-boy underwear, run around naked, and try on the potty at regular intervals are all good ways to see if he's ready, but the only way to "make" him be ready is to wait and pay attention to what cues he gives you.

Diane - posted on 03/08/2009




Wait until he is 3. Why work so hard. He will get it when he is a bit older. Don't rush it.

Jamie - posted on 03/08/2009




I also have a son...the way i did it was with Fruit Loops. Lil Boys love to play... so i put some Fruit loops in the toilet, and thee object was, "winky" is your gun and your pee-pee is the amo...sink the Fruit loops ....But you have to remember to put new fruti loops in the toilet, LOL!! It sounds gross but it actually worked...you have to explain to Company why Fruit Loops  are always floating in your toilet though

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