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My Three Year Old Doesn't Want to Potty Train What Do I Do?

My three year old son has no interest in going potty in the toilet small or big.I really need advice I've potty trained three other children and he refuses all that I've tried,any advice would be GREAT!

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So glad to know I am not the only one with this issue! I swear my nearly 3-yo son does not want to stop to eat, let alone go to the potty. He loves to mimic every "grown-up" thing we do except going potty. It is driving me potty as well. We have tried everything, but I hear there are potty-training boot camps which I am trying to locate. LOL


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Wait. He is probablly assreting his independence, seeking control, all the usual suspects. He won't graduate highschool in pull-ups. ;)

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So glad to know I am not the only one with this issue! I swear my nearly 3-yo son does not want to stop to eat, let alone go to the potty. He loves to mimic every "grown-up" thing we do except going potty. It is driving me potty as well. We have tried everything, but I hear there are potty-training boot camps which I am trying to locate. LOL


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Just when you give up on him ever going where you want him to go........ he'll do it! In fact he may just be waiting for you to focus elsewhere. In a few years these few extra months won't make ANY difference at all.
Don't be discouraged! Good luck! P.

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There are many reasons we want our children potty trained. Convenience, getting in to pre-school, cost, etc.

I wanted my daughter potty trained. I knew she could use the potty and needed her to do so. Pull-up day and night were too expensive and I couldn't send her to daycare still wetting her pants. I took her out to the yard and had her run around naked. I put the potty chair out there and gave her lots to sweet things to drink. I knew she guzzle them down and then have to pee. She didn't like the pee running down her leg. Sand from the sandbox stuck to her leg and it didn't feel nice.
Yep, she peed in the potty and received a ton of praise for being a big girl, growing up, using the potty, etc. We did this for a few days. We made small trips inside to play and I told her that if she had to go potty to go to the bathroom and use her potty.

Nakes days outside (with lots of sun screen) and a potty chair worked for us...for the daytime.

She's nearly 8 and just in the last few wks does she go with out a pull up at night...her decision. I knew she could make it all night and might have an accident or two, but she didn't want to have one. She went 7 nights in a row dry for the umpteenth time, but this time she felt confident. She made it.


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I'm in the same boat. My almost 3 year old knows where to go and what to do and he knows there is a standing reward for doing so - and yet he'd rather wear diapers. Sometimes out of the blue he decides to go use the toilet - and does - so I know he could if he wanted to. However, after going through some battles of epic proportion while trying to sleep train him, I have decided to let him decide when he is ready to use the potty. I think some kids can be lead into meeting milestones and some can't so don't feel discouraged.

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Wait. He is probablly assreting his independence, seeking control, all the usual suspects. He won't graduate highschool in pull-ups. ;)

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I don't think you have much choice. He'll potty train when he's ready. Pushing kids before they're ready has so many detrimental effects - and doesn't work in any case.

Three is actually pretty young for a boy to potty train. Just be patient, mama. As you know, when he's ready, it will happen suddenly and easily, and you'll have avoided all those awful battles and frustrations that just hurt your relationship with your precious child.

hang in there. He will likely train soon. My third daughter didn't train until right at age 3 and the fourth is almost 3 (I've been trying for over 1 1/2 years to train her). She has resisted all attempts & we have tried every method.


what everyone is saying is pretty much true...wait, he's not ready. however, i personally think you can help him get ready by talking about it in a non-threatening, non-nagging way, everyday. and if you feel comfortable, use your husband and/or older sons (if you have them) to show him how it works.

a friend gave me a potty training dvd (had elmo on it) but my boy wasn't interested so one day, i turned up my heater so he could be naked from waist down, rolled up my rug, put his potty in front of the tv with lots of books, games and toys and we spent the entire day in my living room. we did this when he was 2.5. we had the nice cushy kind of potty from first year so it made sitting a lot easier (http://www.smarter.com/the-first-years-soft-trainer-seat/.... after couple of accidents, he kind of got it so we switched to pull-ups. personally, the 'cool wet feeling you're supposed to get if you have an accident in the pull-up' dont work. my boy didn't care, as most boys don't.

i would ask him every 15-30 minutes, "do you have to go potty? do you have to pee? do you want to try? let's try...you'll tell mommy, right?" i know it was annoying but so what? after about 6 months of mostly successes, we had him pee standing up. for a boy, it's huge! my sister had gotten me a peter potty urinal (best thing ever!) and i painted a bulls eye where he could point and he loved it! my husband was the one to train him on that (i have no idea where or how to hold it!). now that he's a little over 4, he is potty trained and poopy trained but he still has accidents because he doesn't want to stop playing or watching tv to go pee so my husband will have races with him to see who can pee first and/or we love checking out new bathrooms.

it's hard but hang in there! good luck.

Greetings L.: I thought that I would give you agiggle.
When our 3rd child was 3 and not potty trained his sister and brother declared war because they had had enough of diapers. I was willing to wait him out they were not. So one day they locked the three of them in the bathroom- he was there for 8 hours! They kept him on the toilet and his potty seat, had rewards and my daughter came out and made lunch and took it back in there. At the end of the time our son caved in and was using the toilet! To this day I hear about how they took matters into their own hands when we get together. They are all adults now and doing great with no horrible repercussions.
So if rewards have not worked, if bribes don't work then see if someone else can get it done. By the way we had 2 more children after this and did just fine but I was informed at age 21/2 they were all3 ready to train the next ones. Good Luck, Nana G. P.S. I want you to know this was a horrible day for me because I could hear him calling me but I wanted to give the kids a try at it.

Maturity is key. Just wait 3-6 months and try again.

It is a wonder how just leaving him in underwear and feeling his mistakes work. Just like training a cat, every time he has an accident you take him to the toilet and insist he sit there while you clean up his mess, or have him help you clean the mess first. You will find he tends to have bowel movements around the same time each day, and that is time to practice sitting on the potty and hearing a book or two....or three... This doesn't work in days like you would expect or it may have with your older kids. This child is content with how things are now, so you need to play hardball and cancel the use of pull ups or diapers.

If you haven't had success in a week, you may want to bring it to the attention of your doctor as it is a developmental marker! And yes, most of it may be just that you have a boy. I have two, and my friends with girls had it MUCH easier!

It is a lot more work to get a child who likes his diapers and being the baby in the house. Good luck! If I had a quicker fix I'd send it to you!

I potty trained my boys at 3.5ish... We went out and bought "special" underwear.

We spent a 3day weekend pretty much at home.
In the morning, night times off, and underpants on. Then I tried to get them to the potty every 30-45 minutes.

I told them that Lightening McQueen would be upset if they peed or pooped on them. One of mine just walked up to me and said, "Mommy, queen is sad." It was kind of cute.

Whenever there was an accident. We took our underpants to the bathroom and put the potty where it goes. In the toilet. So all undies got a swirl. Then rinsed out and put in little plastic box that went to the laundry EVERY NIGHT for a sterilization wash... (we went through 24 pairs of underwear the first day.) While we rinsed undies, and cleaned bottoms, we just nicely talked about where poop and pee goes... "uh oh... we had an accident. That's ok, it can be hard to figure this out... don't worry, you will."

Pretty soon, it just happened. I think they were fully trained without accidents within a few weeks. (although, now one of them goes outside whenever he can... that's a whole other issue. I also think they will be in night times pushing kindergarden...

Good Luck!

I don't have any potty advice for you as I'm just entering that phase with my 20 mo. She wants to sit on the potty, yay, but won't do a thing until after she gets off of course. I just wanted to let you know you are not alone as far as starting over and feeling discouraged. I too have a 21yo, 17yo, and now the 20mo. Trying to figure out how I did it all back then and now am so exhausted before I even get out of bed...course I was alot younger back then too! ;) Hang in there and enjoy every moment. I know I will because she will be the last baby for me. :)

Let him take it at his own pace. Boys tend to take longer. At this age kids can not control very much except going potty and eating. Let it go for now, he will come around when HE is ready!

Keep up the good work and try not to be hard on yourself.

J. W

I used to have this problem with one of my twin boys. Basically, I kept telling him that diapers were for babies. (I'd show him a baby and say "look at th baby wearing diapers") This worked for my older son but not for one of the twins. I wa freaking out because their birthday was June and preschool started the end of sept. The preschool said they had to be potty trained. So, I decided not to ask him when it was time to go but rather said, "Ok time to go potty" every hour for 2 days. Needless to say after a lot of liquids and going every hour, it worked. Just in time..school started the next day.

Don't despair!! We have twin grandkids (boy/girl) --- girl decided several months ago that she was ready for big girl underwear. We talked about it and I decided to use the Three Day Method. It truly works but you have to follow it to the letter. She was fine for a week or so (although still wants pull-ups at night), then she started pooping in her underwear. She still refuses to poop in the potty, except for a few times at daycare) but now poops in her pullups in the morning just before she wakes up. (She solved THAT problem!) She never has pee accidents during the day and is delighted to use any and every bathroom wherever we happen to be. We thought her success would spur her brother, but he could care less! He will ask to have his diaper changed and is a little bothered that she is ready to go back outside sooner than he is (due to the diaper changing) and actually sits on his potty quite often, but still isn't bothered/affected enough to make the effort. However, having grown children already I can tell you that this, too, shall pass. One of these days he'll decide it's worth it!

I asked our Pediatrician this question at my son's 3 year appt. She told me to give it a try for a week or two and if he is not interested then take a break for a month or two and try again. By 3 1/2 he had to be potty trained for preschool, so I put him in underwear and hoped for the best. He has had many, many, many accidents (probably because he wasn't ready.) He turned 5 in March and I've been reminding him every 2 hours and things are OK. When I forget to remind him, he wets his pants. When I have busy days; he wets his pants. But he will sometimes go to the bathroom without a reminder. After almost two years of this I have come to the conclusion that he is too busy to go to the bathroom, and more important, he doesn't mind having wet underwear.
Best of luck to you, I know it can be a long frustrating battle!

First of all, all children are different. My parents were kind of hard on my sister when my son potty-trained at 20 months (his choice!) and my sister's twins (2.5 years older) still weren't potty trained (over 4).

With summer here, simply have him outside as much as possible in just his underwear - let him pick it out at the store if possible (nude if you have a fenced in back yard). Designate a "potty tree" and make it a game. Give him "points" for peeing on it. See how far away he can stand and still hit it. Boys love competition. My husband even taught my son how to dig a hole and poop in it! (unbeknownst to me at the time - I found that out later!)

Don't despair, he will potty train, just in his own time.

he'll do it when he's ready... if you push him, then it won't happen as easily. my son didn't finally start going in the toilet 100% until about 5.. maybe a little sooner.. When we tried to encourage it too much, he stopped , but once we went with the flow (so to speak) :) .. then he started to want to go on his own.
it will happen.. try not to be discouraged and except this experience as something new and fun without comparing it to how you raised your older children. Each child is different, try to enjoy your little one the way he is right now.. things will fall into place.. :)


Don't be discouraged! You are not doing anything wrong! I love the responses. I did not have boys (5 girls) however, my 1st potty trained at a little over age 2! Wow! What a mom I must be! Then, my second was 3 1/2, the third was 3 1/2, okay, so maybe it isn't me! LOL! They'll get it in their own time. While we stress on it, they don't. Every child is different. We told on of my daughters that she had to be out of diapers/pull-ups to stay with grandma overnight and that was encouragement for her. The other one just didn't care, but in HER time, she eventually would put on pretty panties and would poop in the potty, but not pee. I learned to just relax and eventually, she did it. Still has occasional accidents, but I'm fine with that. I'm not even going there with the 18 month old twins, I know they'll get it in their time.

Take care & he will get it, rest assured!


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