18 answers

Need advice...My Almost 3 Year Old Refuses to Use the Potty!!!

My son will be 3 in December, and has yet to use the potty. We have tried pull-ups that get "cool," potty books and toys, and offering rewards. We even tried underwear for a day, and he piddled in every pair. He will sit on the potty and read or play, but only tolerates about 5 minutes and he wants to get off. I think if he just goes once, he'll get the hang of it. He's a bright little guy in all other areas, and picks things up very quickly, but is really lagging in this area!!! Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks!!!

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

Thanks, everyone, for the advice! Keep it coming, I feel much relief knowing this happens to others. My other son, who turns 10 today, was a MUCH easier potty-trainer, so this difficulty is not something I've gone through before. I definitely will relax about it, and let him go a couple of weeks without mentioning the potty. What's funny is, sometimes, he does ask to sit on the potty. But, when he does, he still doesn't do anything! Cute, but frustrating!! Again, thanks to all!!

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I have 3 boys and 1 girl, Each child is different. My last boy was not potty trained until 4. Most boys are later. Girls pick it up faster. I would not push him if he is not ready. When he is ready you will know it and it won't be so difficult. The other side of it if you push him it may backfire on you and he will have problems down the road.

Get or make a stool for him to stand at the toilet, throw in a few fruit loops and have daddy show him what fun it is to aim at them. Hope this helps.

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J.,

I'm going to agree that you hold off for a bit, but go a different route here for what to do if it doesn't progress "naturally". My son was 3 1/2 and still had no interest. The cool alert he didn't like for about a day, then he could care less. The pull ups really keep them too dry. They have no motivation to potty train. Daycare would take him consistently every hour to try the potty, but he wasn't interested. Every motivation they tried, stickers, snacks, peer pressure, etc. didn't have an impact.
We did cold turkey into underwear. We took him into the bathroom every 30 minutes to try. Every time he peed for the first 3 days it was on the floor somewhere. We were careful not to scold and just took him in and had him sit on the potty. Then it started to click. He had not developed the muscles to control, so it took a few weeks till accidents were infrequent. Also, he did better in the daycare situation than at home. In about a month he was pretty well trained, but still had accidents occasionally in situations where he was distracted. We're 5 months post "cold turkey" now, and it's been about a month since the last accident.

There is hope, hang in there, but figure out where your line in the sand is. At that point, try the cold turkey. If you aren't seeing any progress in a week (and yes, it is the longest week of your life - hope you have a lot of tile floors :) - we don't ), go back to pull ups, wait a month, then try again.

1 mom found this helpful

Okay so I already get quite a bit of scolding for what I'm about to tell you so it doesn't bother me to get some more. Anyway, he's (your son) probably just not ready. My daughter is OVER 3 years old and is not potty trained. She does not care at all about very, very wet pants. She too will sit on the pot for only about 5 min. I really don't always have the time to get to her right away because of the 5 month old. This is what I think. If you can't take them to the toilet every half hour to hour to help encourage them and they don't care about the wet feeling, then you're fighting a battle you can't win right now. And I also don't believe in punishing them over it. It's something new for them and as much as it should seem easy, they could be nervous, scared, etc. (who knows!). One of my nieces was 2 when she trained. Another one was like slightly over 4! I know it's frustrating (for me it's probably just the rude comments) but don't stress too much about it. Like I said, mine is over 3.

Get or make a stool for him to stand at the toilet, throw in a few fruit loops and have daddy show him what fun it is to aim at them. Hope this helps.

It sounds like he is not ready. Wait a couple of months - no pressure or talk about it during that time - and then try again.

Hey! I agree that you could try a timer, but you might also try a urinal. Places like One Step Ahead sell a potty-training urinals, and I know that sometimes (at least in public restrooms), boys feel more excited about going in a urinal like Daddy does. You might give it a try.

I agree with the other moms....sounds like you're doing fine and your son isn't laggin behind at all! I'm no expert really but I'd just continue to make the potty a positive experience for him. Continue to praise him or give him some kind of reward every time he tries. Don't force it too much b/c he's still little and needs time! Too much pressure or nagging can make it a negative experience. Potty books and fun potty videos are good (ELMO's Potty Time!). My son needed to make it his own accomplishment. One day he just decided to do all his BM's on the potty! It was like a switch went off in his head and he just got it! Same thing with peeing on the potty. He wants to do it all by himself and doesn't even want me in the bathroom with him (until it's time for clapping and high fives!). He's a couple months past his 3rd birthday now and we still need to use a couple pull-ups per day but I'm not pressuring him too much b/c I know he's working on it.

I have a daughter who will be 3 next month. We've had no luck with her either. Same situation as ours.

She's very bright, smart, but doesn't yet "take direction" well.

We learned that with our "soon to be 6 year old" (in 2 weeks) that it was way to early for her to do that at 3, and it's way too early for our now almost 3 year old too. The only thing trying so hard now is going to accomplish is to frustrate everybody. Wait till he's just a little older, take a weekend and set the timer every 20 minutes, then have him go potty. When that starts to take, use the "potty first" rule. He can do whatever he wants, as long as he "potty's first".

For what it's worth, and good luck!

I have 3 boys and 1 girl, Each child is different. My last boy was not potty trained until 4. Most boys are later. Girls pick it up faster. I would not push him if he is not ready. When he is ready you will know it and it won't be so difficult. The other side of it if you push him it may backfire on you and he will have problems down the road.

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