11 answers

My 3 Year Old Stopped Potty Training!!

We had been potty training for about a month and my 3 year old finally got the concept of going pee in his potty chair. He stayed dry all day and would tell us when he had to go potty. He even went potty when we were at the mall when I took him into the ladies room. He's never gone #2 in the potty. I was hoping to start working on that next, but all of a sudden he doesn't tell us when he needs to go anymore. He's completely lost interest! So now we are back to square 1. What should I do now? Help!

What can I do next?

More Answers

You must be using pullups or diapers while you are training, I can't think of any other reason him "losing interest" would be an option for him. Put him in underwear full time during the day. That should get him interested again.

And on the #2 issue: my kids each only had a couple poop accidents in underwear before figuring out how to make it to the toilet on time. They can get a little too comfortable with the diaper, I really think using underwear while training is best.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter did the same. As soon as I gave in, stopped worrying about it, and let her go back into diapers, she was potty trained again. I think these things have a way of working out. He knows how to do it, it's just a big scary step in his little life.

First of all, your son is not a late bloomer, most boys take longer to potty train than girls, it's a know fact so your son is quite normal. I agree with most of the responses, children at this age will do the opposite of what you want as I'm sure you well know, so putting so much pressure on them really doesn't work, incentives may but really they will do it on there own, some children are just head strong. My son is three and he was going #2 in the potty and for some reason has stopped, he will however go pee, so I really don't have an answer but I do have empathy for your situation. It will all work out. Take Care

It's very normal, especially for a boy. you need to make sure you are making it his decision to use the potty. If he doesn't feel in control he may fight it more. I'm not saying to not encourage him, but don't push too hard. You didn't mention if he is in pull ups or underwear. If you really want to encourage him put him in underwear full time. It gets messy, but they learn faster and it is more uncomfortable for them when they go in their pants. You can also try a reward chart of some sort to let him earn a reward if he uses the potty for a week straight or a certain amount of times. Don't learn faith. It will happen eventually.

I can totally relate. My son did this too when he was potty trained. He did great for almost 2 weeeks and then started going in his pants. I realized that it was a control issue, so I let it go. I put him back in diapers/pull ups and then waited while longer. Gradually, he wanted to be potty trained again and no longer wanted the diapers. Plus, going to preschool was a huge incentive ( I was able to get him a tour and told him that he can only go to school if he wears big boy underwear). It worked! Good luck!

We are in a similar boat. My son goes pee, but not poop in the toilet. 2 months and seems like we are at a stand still. We are doing the sticker chart and it seems to keep him motivated. But he is really having issues of #2. It is frustrating. One thing that a friend told me is that we as parents can control everything about our child except their bodily functions. They are in control of when they will go potty. All we can do is be patient and keep encouraging them to go in the toilet or potty chair and not in their pants.......Good luck. Oh and by the way - my son is 3 as well.

Stop pushing it. There are three things you can not make a toddler do-- eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom. Sigh...

Leave it alone for a couple of weeks and see if he comes to it on his own. Leave the potty chair out and clean it if he uses it. If he was still in diapers, let him stay there. Just continue as you were.

Don't get excited if he starts potty training again, and don't get discouraged if he doesn't. Stay neutral... that way it is his choice and he can't pull you into a power struggle.

My son wasn't trained until four. His new preschool teacher told me in ear shot of him that she would not take him if he wasn't potty trained. He was trained in a day. Day and night. No struggle.

Parents should save the power struggle for things that matter--teenage years.

My daughter has also stopped potty training...I'm at a loss what to do.I've tried everything I can possibly think of that we did before to get her going or that I've used with my nieces that I've helped potty train over the years.

Just wanted to say good luck!

I had this same thing happen to me when my son was 2, he did it for a month straight and I was so excited, then one day he just stopped. It took him almost a year to get back into the groove and want to do it again. You just have to wait until he is ready and just encourage him all the time but don't push it, he will probably resist.

We also have a 3 yr old boy who is potty training. I don't think it is "way too old" not to be trained. Many of our friends are 3.5 or older and still not fully trained. The technique that worked for us was to stop using diapers during the day. My son is in underpants if he's awake and a pull up at night. The first few days were messy, but he got the idea really fast. It was probably a month after we started that he started having big accidents - because he was too busy or too stubborn to stop and use the potty. Those types of accidents were really disturbing to him, so he makes sure he gets himself to the potty now. My son also has issues with refusal to poop on the potty. If he needs to poop, has has to go pee in the potty first, then get a pull up to put on. We have a process of cleaning him up afterwards and putting the poop where it belongs, in the toilet. We haven't had an accident of either sort in months. Good luck!

Three is pretty old to not be potty trained during the day, #1 or #2. He might have a bladder infection. Got so busy that he forgot to go to the bathroom.
Suggestions: 1) a reward chart with stickers. Every time he goes potty 1 or 2, give him a sticker. After a week of doing this, every time he forgets to use the potty and uses his pull-ups/diaper/etc. take a sticker away. So many stickers gets him a favorite activity or a new book, etc.

2) No more pull-up/diapers during the day. This will mean more work for you with wet/soiled pants, but the awareness level will increase as well as the discomfort for him... prompting him to change his behaviors. Cause and effect. Cotton training pants and pull up sweat pants, so he can run to the potty and take care of business when he's at home. Again, stickers for every success!!! Praise for near-misses, he's trying.

Night time training works about the same way. Limit the amount of fluid intake about 2 hours prior to bedtime. Make sure he goes to the bathroom before he goes to bed and that he truly voids out. You may want to get him up in the middle of the night to help him be successful. Rubber sheet (flannel covered) on his bed to minimize the laundry issues. It's work, but it works a lot quicker than pull-ups because they get the reality of the situation, where a pull-up just postpones the inevitible, no real consequences for the behavior.

Wish you all well.

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