29 answers

Potty Training 30 Month Old Son

Okay, I'm working to get my 30 month old son potty trained. For 14 months he's shown an interest in using the potty. During this time, we've not pushed anything. However, to meet his interest we did buy him a potty chair (last May) and a potty seat (January). Although most recently there are times he does go, and days I push him frequently to be reminded - it is getting frustrating. He just simply doesn't want to be interrupted from his play. We've done a sticker chart. He was very pumped about that but that has somewhat faded - for him & for me! We have great fun print underwear. However, most frequently he asks instead for a pull-up or diaper (I usually do not meet this request).
~~ I'm open to any magic suggestions out there!!

2 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

Thanks for sharing your advice & experiences!! Just to hear from so many whom have been in the same boat (or at least trying to get in the same boat!) is encouraging.

We have had a full day of success!!! Actually over 24 hours. When I returned from the store last night my son inquired "What you got for me?" I showed him a package of gummy bears and he watched me transfer them into a plastic bowl. He was extremely excited, as he has tasted them but we do not keep them in our home. I retreated to the bathroom, with him on my heels, and I begin explaining the new system to him. I told him he could not have a gummy bear until he got on the potty like a big boy. I explained that he'd receive 1 bear for "tee teeing" and 2 for "poe poeing." Whaula!!! That did the trick. He immediately became much more challenged and intrigued with this whole underwear, big boy, potty training process. He did a WONDERFUL job all day today. We were away from the house for two hours this morning and - no accidents. I did put him on the potty at the library but he did not go. This evening we were away from home for nearly 3 hours and no trouble. He did use the potty at the restaurant but I think it was more out of interest and being intrigued than truly needing to go ~~~ whatever works!! As we left home this evening and I was making a big deal to his Daddy about his "Dry Success" for the day I came up with a new idea. My son LOVES candles/birthday cakes. I explained to him that if he'd stay dry the remainder of the day we'd have a "Happy Dry-All Day Party!!" He immediately chimed in with "cakes & candle?!" We made it through the evening with success. When we arrived at home I changed his underwear, took a picture of him holding his "Dry All Day Underwear" in front of a brownie topped ice cream adorning a candle - as my husband and I sang "Happy Dry-All Day to You...." (you know the tune!!) I also told him he could call someone and tell them what a special Dry All Day day he'd had today. He chose his 10 year old cousin McCall. He then shared his success with her - and I took all the pictures to document his success for years!!! ~ Whew, looks like we've made it over that hump.
Thanks again for so much insight, encouragement and advice!!!

Featured Answers

A lot of boys would rather play than loose time going to the bathroom. The only thing that helped me was a routine time of having "no fun" and putting all the toys up. Hint I would after saying time to put things away and because it was no fun ask if he would like to go potty. If out doors it was time to come in for sunblock or I had to go and then so did he.

I guess I was lucky. My son at 8 months decided he didn't like the poop in the diaper and trained himself to go on the potty. Peeing was a bit longer but by the time he was 3 he was completely done. He had one accident at night while I was at hospital with baby sister. Otherwise he has been dry ever since and he is now 34. So you see there is hope. As others have said, boys are jut wired different that girls. Hang in there it will happen. The other S.

I just got my 3 1/3 yr old to go poo in the potty...after leaving him alone. We have been potty training for almost a year. Learning to go pee pee was easy. The reward of M&M's worked great. The other, was a nightmare. We bribed, pleaded punished and nothing worked. He would wait until nap time or nighttime when he was in a pull up to go. When he would have an accident, I made him helped clean up the mess and do the laundry. That worked a few times until he thought laundry was fun! So, I finally quit giving into the request to wear pull ups. The pediatrician said it was toilet resistance...loads of info on the internet. Basically, it's a power struggle that we have to not give in to. Once I told my child he was a big boy and I knew he would make the right choice when he was ready and that he was now in control, we stopped talking about it all together. A few days later, he started telling me when he had to go. We are a week accident free...its a frustrating process,but hang in there-they do get it!

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We had similar struggles with our son. I think we started too early and the process just went on for what felt like forever. Once he turned 3 years old we stopped being so relaxed about it and started giving major incentives like candy for success (candy is a big deal in our home). This seemed to help. The biggest frustration was with poop. He would hide and poop in his underware. This would happen at dayschool each afternoon on the playground and was a huge mess and big issue at his dayschool. So when that started we actually started taking away a privilege each day that it happened (his favorite remote control red car), as we knew he understood what he was doing and was choosing to poop in his underware. This might be a controversial approach but one that WORKED for our 3 year old son. Good luck...potty training a boy can be quite the challenge. We never went back to diapers (except a pull up for nighttime sleeping) once we started underware. It's a mess but think it avoids a mixed message.

1 mom found this helpful

Time to just do it 100%
The trick is just to do it.. Tell him that he is a big boy and needs to get out of diapers and then dont let him wear them.
You might have a lot of messes. We took our youngest every 15mins. He was stubborn but we finally did it after about 3 days.

1 mom found this helpful

A lot of boys would rather play than loose time going to the bathroom. The only thing that helped me was a routine time of having "no fun" and putting all the toys up. Hint I would after saying time to put things away and because it was no fun ask if he would like to go potty. If out doors it was time to come in for sunblock or I had to go and then so did he.

My son is now 11 years old and still waits until the last second to go. With boys I don't think that will ever change. I couldn't understand why he wasn't potty trained as early as my daughter. I read up on it and found out that boys do not fully develop the sensation, when they need to go, until around 3 years old. He may be interested in the potty, but he cannot always feel when he needs to go. Give him some time and it will come!

Here's one idea that I used that really worked for my daughter: I had a bag of "special treats" with things in it like: A new cartoon video, nail polish, stickers, temporary tattoos, a few little candies, a disposable camera, new play-doh, etc. Every time she successfully did the potty, she would get a treat from the treat bag. At the end of the day, all the games, nail polish, etc. went back in the bag and we started over again the next day. You could switch items in the bag for variety. This was so motivating for her because it was new stuff for her that she could ONLY get if she went potty. Hope that helps. Good Luck!

Hi
I have run my in-home daycare for 21 years so I have had to potty train a ton of children......put him in underware and never go backwards. tell him once an hour that it's time to go potty - don't ask him if he needs to go - he doesn't know what that means yet.....just take him once an hour - period. when he wets himself tell him that's not the proper place to go and put him on the potty ------he should be done in one week at his age if you do this. good luck !

Hi D.,
My son had this same issue while I allowed him to wear pull ups, but once I put him in "big boy underwear" it was like magic! He allowed himself to have an accident in them only once, and once he realized it wasnt the same as a diaper it was icky he started using the potty each time. This worked like magic for us! One minute he was going in his pull-up every time, and the next he would only go in the potty.

T.

My son was about 30 months old when we started. He, too, showed interest. However he just wouldn't follow through with going on the potty. I finally just gave up. About 6 months later, he showed interest again. I worked on him for a day and that was all it took. I believe they will let you know when they are completely ready and not rush it. It was so easy the 2nd time around! With my 2nd child (he is 7 months), I will wait until later rather than sooner to try. Good luck!

buy pullups but put underwear under his pullups. this way it wont mess up his clothes but he can feel the wetness.

Hi D.,
I know this may sound frustrating, but I have heard as I am sure you have, boys are harder. Take your time. I thought my cousin was crazy for letting her daughter go so long in pull ups, but she just refused to go on the potty. Nothing worked for her. So her pedi, told her to back off. She did. When she was 3 1/2 she began again. She was potty trained in a week!! It will come in time. If he loves elmo there is a potty time dvd. I would try something like that. My nephew is 2, and is going on his own, but my son screams if we even try to put him on it. So now when my newphew goes, my son wants to sit on it. That is a huge step for him. It will come in time, he must be very strong willed, which will be a very good trait as he gets older and can use it to his future. He will be your son who never gives up!!

Hi D.!
I have two sons-one about to be four and another 19 months.
Both very different-potty training and in personalities.
My oldest son was not fully potty trained until right before he turned three. He was very stubborn and I was afraid he wouldn't get to go to preschool.My 19m old is potty training himself! Staying dry and telling me when HE has to go. I'm not pushing and letting him decide. (I had already decided to save myself some grief and wait until he was almost three...)
Anyway, here are some things we tried:
*Jellybelly Jellybeans from Target-let child pickout own flavors,one for each successful attempt or whatever
*Pee outside-I know sound trashy, but whatever works..
*Pee standing up (my little one will only pee standing up,so I put him in the tub and aim for the drain..sounds gross but it works
*Dry all day awards! Make a big deal..handful of jelly beans,a special movie,dollar store trip
Now, poo poo was the last thing my son was trained on.. So, I have no advice there except that kids tend to have bowel movement patterns. Hope that helps!
Good luck!

Get the book Potty training in less than a day--it works and it is fun! A.

I don't want to re-type my whole message - but see my response in the message about the 5 year old that still isn't dry.

Peter Potty worked for us! It is a small urinal for boys who are learning. It was a great novelty for my son to stand up like his dad and it worked for us in one week.

That said, it won't happen until your son is mature enough. My son showed all kind of interest and would try on the poty and nothing would happen. As soon as he walked away he would wet his pants. Our doctor told us that the message would get to his brain that he had to go, but the message wasn't yet getting back to where it needed in order for him to actually go. He was 37 months old when it finally clicked in his brain and Peter Potty really helped!

Good Luck!

"Toilet Training in Less than a Day" by Nathan Azrin and Richard M. Foxx. They described how they taught retarded people how to toilet themselves, and it is a great lesson in how to teach.

But first, try to get an older boy who is toilet trained (make sure of that first!) and who will inspire him to act like an older child, i.e., "you still wear diapers?" or "you still wet your pants?" The main thing the older kid has to do is make it clear that he is expected to act like the big kids. A good sign is whether he stays dry all night, and if he does not, ask your pediatrician.If your son knows how, he just needs to be persuaded.

If he's not ready in his head, it will continue to be a struggle. My oldest son (who is now 18) was not potty trained til a little after his 3rd birthday... I had tried before that with major frustration and my trusted friend told me to just give it up til he was totally ready... at that point, we literally had him completely trained in a weekend!!!! I would say take a step back... and wait til he is totally ready...I promise you, he won't be in middle school in diapers!! lol

Try setting a timer to go off ever 45-60 minutes and tell him that when the timer goes off he needs to use the potty. That makes it so you aren't the enforcer, the timer is. It's important especially with boys not to turn it into a battle of the wills and the timer should help with that.

My son was the exact same way. He was about the same age when I decided he would be in first grade still in diapers! I just gave up on everything except everytime I changed his diaper I would say something like "pretty soon you will be a big boy with big boy underwear on and I can not wait". He would get a little upset because he IS a big boy. I would just keep saying "yeah you will be as soon as you wear underwear all day". Within a day he told me he wanted to be a big boy and I said well I don't know maybe just one more diaper and he said no he wanted to be a big boy so I put underwear on him and just let him go. I didn't ask him I just said the first time I put the underwear on him to let me know if he needs to go potty. With in an hour he told me and we ran to the potty. He has not had an accident since. He had one #2 accident but that was fixed the same way. It worked with no diaper or pull up at night too. The first night after pottying all day I told him just one more diaper at night then he could be a big boy. He ran to the potty in the morning and the diaper was dry!!! It was sooo easy but I think it was HIS time. He made the decision and I just took his lead. At least that is what he thought!!!

I have 3 boys and they all trained at different ages. It's what's right for them that is important. My cousin's son who is a month younger than my oldest son trained under 2. I freaked out-thought we were "behind"-had a horrible time. The pedi told me to wait till he was ready. He trained around 3-took a few days. Second son decided on his own around 2 1/2-no more diapers-he wouldn't wear them day or night and never had an accident. Since that worked so well I made it such a non-issue with my 3rd that I don't remember how old he was when he trained! lol Trying so hard just wears you out and if it works its you that's trained not him!

Sorry, D., darling, but the magic is called MOTHERING!!!

This boy will be starting to pre-school before you know it. He will not start if he can't potty--both kinds--by himself, fasten his shoes, put on his coat and hat, know his address, phone #, and parents names and probably a host of other things. Most Pre-K kids are already counting and reciting the alphabet.

I'm glad you are enjoying your children, but remember they will not be children forever and some day they will have to leave mommy and go to work.

My sister has used a good saying with her boys that yours are a bit young for yet---but keep it in mindand adopt the idea. She says, "You will learn this, so my daughters-in-law won't hate me!!!!

Do you have a mother or mother-in-law you can lean on for advice and support?

God bless.

P.S. Looked at some of the other responses and let me tell you mothers something that I wish someone had told me sooner. BOYS DO NOT DO ANYTHING UNTIL THEY HAVE TO----FORK IN THE ROAD---DEPRAVATION, WHATEVER.. (Oh sure there is a rare self- starter out there but don't count on him being yours. He always belongs to someone else!!

Luv to all
great grandma

D.,

Different kids are different. Different caretakers have different approaches. Some are pretty "Gestapo" about it all. I was not. Use your instincts on what is right for your child. My daughter showed interest, but didn't want to be fully responsible. It became a struggle with us. I finally let it go. She trained shortly thereafter. She was 3 years and 2 months old.

Good luck.

I guess I was lucky. My son at 8 months decided he didn't like the poop in the diaper and trained himself to go on the potty. Peeing was a bit longer but by the time he was 3 he was completely done. He had one accident at night while I was at hospital with baby sister. Otherwise he has been dry ever since and he is now 34. So you see there is hope. As others have said, boys are jut wired different that girls. Hang in there it will happen. The other S.

Our 3, almost 4 year old son sounds like yours!!
He is potty trained but *phew* it worried me too!!

Two things I did that worked are to not put on pull ups...he would ask for those to knowing he could potty in them. ALWAYS Leave real underwear on him, even though you may get some messes.
And had 3 days that I focussed on that only...did not leave the house for more than an hour at a time and would take him to the potty and try every hour!!!!

He will get it!! Be patient and don't worry!
once he does he will so proud of his big boy self!!!

Hang in there~ Kim

Let him go bottomless and tell him to get to the toliet when he needs to relieve himself. I had a friend that's son was insistent on not being potty trained till he had surgery. The incision was being irritated by the diaper and the child pulled off the diaper and decided to be bottomless... which in turned made him utilize the toliet instead of the diaper. Good luck. Also, get cheerios and toss in the toliet and have the child aim for them.

To help my son turn potty time into a game we sprinkled Cheerios in the toilet and he would try to "sink" the "Cheerio boats". It worked very well for us as my son would want to go try all the time.

I have a son who will be 3 on June 6th. He started showing an interest before he was two. Looking back, I think he just liked the novelty of the potty. I remember my pediatrician saying that he probably wouldn't be ready until 2 1/2 but most likely 3. Since his interest was not consistent, I stopped trying to train him for about 8 months. I would ask him occassionally, etc, but I did not push it. Then, one day, he was just ready. And, he's been 90% potty trained for about a month now. So, I say, don't push it. If you are frustrated, then I'd stop trying for a bit. Good luck!

I just got my 3 1/3 yr old to go poo in the potty...after leaving him alone. We have been potty training for almost a year. Learning to go pee pee was easy. The reward of M&M's worked great. The other, was a nightmare. We bribed, pleaded punished and nothing worked. He would wait until nap time or nighttime when he was in a pull up to go. When he would have an accident, I made him helped clean up the mess and do the laundry. That worked a few times until he thought laundry was fun! So, I finally quit giving into the request to wear pull ups. The pediatrician said it was toilet resistance...loads of info on the internet. Basically, it's a power struggle that we have to not give in to. Once I told my child he was a big boy and I knew he would make the right choice when he was ready and that he was now in control, we stopped talking about it all together. A few days later, he started telling me when he had to go. We are a week accident free...its a frustrating process,but hang in there-they do get it!

Boys are different and we had the exact same thing. He did the same thing - acted interested, did the stickers for a while. But boys brains are wired differently. What worked was about 3 months before he turned 3, we would talk about how exciting it will be that he won't wear pullups anymore starting on his birthday. When his birthday came, his big announcement that day was "I won't be wearing pullups anymore!". He never had an accident after that either. I will tell you that for a few months, when he had to poo, he asked for a pullup. Some sort of letting a body part go into the great abyss didn't sit well with him for a while. He also wears one at night and probably will for a long time as it runs in my family. Good luck but don't stress out. Boys seem to be slower about it. J.

Well, what I am about to tell you may seem like a really crazy idea. But it worked with both my sons very well and very quickly. When you are having days that you plan on just staying home (with NO visitors!). Let your son go without anything on for a few hours at a time. I am sure your son (like most toddlers) likes to run around with nothing on. How this works is that it makes both of you EXTREMELY aware of what is going on in that area. Now this is just a suggestion, I think maybe you should just try it and see how it works out. I do not remember my boys ever having more than one accident each, and not any bowel movements occurred. Good luck! ;)

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