(Closed) I feel like my 3 year old will NEVER be potty trained :(

posted 6 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
10851 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Ugh I’m so sorry. Potty training is the WORST, I totally sympathize. It was a battle with my stepson too. But we got through it! First, I’d say if he’s not interested, give it a break. You don’t want to start an association of potty=mommy stressed and both of us crying. Take a week or two off, and try again.

What worked for us (with the peeing part), was for him to go to the bathroom with Darling Husband or my older nephew that he looks up to. He really wants to be like his dad like every little boy! Also, since the weather is nice, why not encourage him to “water the trees” in the yard. Or you could try throwing a few cheerios into the toilet bowl and tell him to try to sink them 😉

We started a sticker chart and put it up on the mantle where the world could see. When he got X number of stickers, he got a treat.

The pooping on the potty was WAY worse for us. According to some reading I did, the sensation is just WAY different for boys and it freaks them out at first. For women (sorry, I hate to be graphic), all our business happens in one area, and it’s sort of one and the same, but for boys, it’s two entirely different sensations and I guess for a little guy, that takes some getting used to. We tried everything. Eventually we had to bribe him with Hershey’s Kisses/M&M’s and that was how we made forward progress. He didn’t give a toot about the stickers by that point because he had so many for peeing, so we had to up the ante 😉

Good luck! Don’t forget you can always ask your doctor for some tips or tools, I’m sure they have tons of parents who come in with the same question!!

Post # 4
2548 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I’ll just go ahead and tell you what I did. I had my son potty trained at 2 years 2 months old. He showed no signs of being ready, but I knew he was capable. He also didn’t talk much, he still doesn’t, although his vocabulary is getting better. We read him a book about potty training, but figured the best way to teach is just to allow him to do. We stayed indoors, for an entire week. We did not go out, unless it was a quick trip to the gorcery store to pick up some necesseties. I took the pullups away entirely, except for at night time. The first two days were hell, it was cleanup, and laundry non stop. He also was very upset. He would cry constantly, but I knew I couldn’t go back. Everytime he soiled himself or was about to, I brought him to the toilet, and explained to him in short sentences about going poo and pee in the potty. By the third day he went to the potty ( pee) all by himself. By the end of the week, he had it down pat ( going poo). I still put pullups on him if we’re going for a longish drive or grocery shopping, as washrooms aren’t always readily available, but he knows when he has to go, and even does a potty dance in a swimming pool now.

My advice is, once you take the potty training route, do it all the way, and never go back. He’ll get it, he’s probably just being stubborn, and a little anxious!


Post # 5
1628 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Ok so this is weird but just so you don’t feel like a failure or like it’s your fault…

My sister and I are 23 months apart in age, and I’m younger.  I was completely potty-trained before she was.  Apparently, my parents were desperately trying to potty-train her because she was also behind their perceived “average”…they bought her pretty princess underpants as an incentive saying she couldn’t have them until she was potty-trained completely.  Well, apparently I saw that and walked up to my mother and declared that diapers were stupid and I wanted cool underpants too. My mother said I could have them when I used the toilet solely…so apparently I ripped off my diaper right there in the kitchen, marched to the toilet, climbed up the little step-ladder thing intended for my older sister and became potty-trained on the spot.  It took watching me be potty-trained to motivate my sister to do it.

Kids go on different timelines. You can motivate them, encourage them, etc, but some things they are just going to do when they feel like it or see it as fun.  I have no idea why my sister wouldn’t potty-train and I did it myself and at an early age.  I know it had nothing to do with my parents because they treated us the same.  Your son is normal, and you have nothing to feel bad about in his potty-training.  I’m sure there are some strategies out there to help him/you in the process, but please don’t feel like a failure as this is not about your parenting any more than it was about my parents’ parenting with my sister (and I don’t think they parented me somehow better and thus I used a toilet earlier either lol)

Post # 6
46263 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Relax. Give it a break. There are very few kids in kindergarten who are not potty trained. They all get there at some time.

Post # 7
1 posts
  • Wedding: June 2013

My son was a lot like yours 3.5 when we started potty training and not much of a talker. When I finally decided it was time (pre-k reasons) I took away the pull ups completely and put him in underwear. I set a timer to go off every 15-20 minutes and when it went off we went to the restroom just to sit on the potty and try. He would throw tantrums and refuse to sit on the potty and I would close (with me in the bathroom with him) the door and let him cry it out till he was ready to sit on the potty (this happened 2 or 3 times). I also took him to Target and told him that he could pick out a pack of small toys (hotwheels). When we got home he expected me to give him the cars, I told him every time he peed or pooped in the potty he would get a car. In a matter of a week he was potty trained! 🙂

Post # 8
262 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Oh my, we are fighting this battle with m nephew who lives with us right now. He simply told us and his day care teacher that “I dont want to and you cant make me”. He has done it once but refuses to say when he wants to. This litle boy at 38 months can read sentences and be totally feisty but refuses to be potty trained. 

It is frustrating and I have been told to use the brief only method, so I am going to try that one as a last resort…good luck with your son

Post # 9
6826 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

First and foremost, please stop pressuring him to go potty.  You are not a failure however the more you pressure him the more he will resist.  As a few PP said take a few weeks off with no mention of potty training.

Each child has their own timeline and he eventually will get there. 

Post # 10
7349 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I know I have posted this several times on the Bee, but since it applies…  I never thought my daughter would be potty trained.  She was past 3 when she came up to me with a clean diaper in her hand one day and said “I am too old to wear this anymore”.  Swear to God.  I was like- um ok!  Once she made the decision it was a done deal.  But as I have also shared, I really did think she might have to go to prom with a diaper under her dress!

Post # 11
1855 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Ditto PP regarding taking the pull-ups/diapers away.  We were half-heartedly trying to potty train for months before I got fed up with it.  After DS turned 3, about 4-5 months ago, I had him for a week straight (he spends half time at his dad’s house), and I decided to make a concerted effort.  He refused to put on underwear so we compromised by just letting him wear his pants commando.  He had one accident right away, but after that was going like a champ.  He got a shiny rock/marble each time he went potty.  #2 came several weeks later; that took more prompting and he got a special toy the first time he pooped in the potty.  Have you tried to put him in underwear before?  One possibility is the fear of underwear; that was DS’s main hurdle, and once we realized this, it was home free.  He still won’t wear underwear, but has settled into boxer briefs nicely.  DS was also concerned about having accidents; he thought I’d get mad or something.  He kept telling me he wanted a pullup because he was still practicing, but once we had the first accident and it wasn’t a big deal, he became more comfortable with the idea of potty training in general.

Post # 12
1735 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

My now 7 year old potty trained himself I once saw pee in his little potty and got mad at Fiance because he was drinking the night before and I thought he missed the toilet and accidentally peed in Ethan’s potty so I was PO’d.  Later that morning I took a shower and Ethan came into the bathroom and peed in the pottyso it was him all along and I eventually had to apolagize to Fiance.

I never pressured either of my boys to use the potty and they eventually started using it all on their own.  I just made the potty available the more you fight the more they resist.

Post # 13
3141 posts
Sugar bee

I heard that using cloth diapers helps children potty train. Apparently, because disposable diapers are so absorbent, kids don’t feel uncomfortable. However, cloth diapers let the child feel when they are wet and therefore motivates them to remove the discomfort….would you be open to trying that/have you?

Post # 15
305 posts
Helper bee

everyone gets potty trained at some point. back off and give yourself a break. lots of boys, i have 2, don’t ‘get it’ until about age 4.  they’re teens now and do even more annoying things.   try to not worry ! easiser said than done in know. 

Post # 16
1434 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

@MarryMeTiffany:  boys take longer from what ive heard….in fact, I was with a group of moms that complained of the same thing earlier this week. They said their girls were easy and their boys are giving them hell. One lady’s kid was 3yrs old so 3.5 seems reasonable.

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