J. asks from Saint Louis, MO on May 13, 2009
Potty Training Boys - Saint Louis, MO
I have a 14 week old and 3 year old boy. For the past several months we have been working on potty-training our 3 year old. We've done the timer set to 30 or 45 minutes, tried underwear only, pull-ups only and are now trying underwear with pull-ups over them (to make fewer accident clean-ups for our baby-sitter.) When we use the timer, he has pretty good success, but I know that we need to move away from it. Lately, he'll poop in his underwear or pull-up and never say anything to us. I want to send him to preschool in the fall, but he has to be potty-trained. We've tried small prizes, m and m's, verbal praise, etc. and it's still not sticking. He's also not waking up dry after naps or bedtime. Help!
V.M. answers from Kansas City on May 14, 2009
My son turned 3 in January and was fully potty trained within a month or 2. I read on a tip from Dr. Phil about taking your child to the potty chair every 10 minutes until they go. I know itsounds like a lot of work, but it gets them used to using their muscle down there. Eventually they will be able to control themselves better and not pee at random. Now the pooping in my experience took a little longer. My son would hold it in and run around like a crazy man rather than sit on the potty. He had poop accidents in his underwear often and finally realized it was better to poop in the potty rather than on himself. From the beginning of training I used underwear and only started using pullups because he started wetting the bed. I called the pullups his naptime underwear and nighttime underwear...I used the pullups for about a month, and he stopped peeing in bed. Now we are back to underwear 24/7 and he's been doing great ever since. Just be patient and it will happend for your son and also stay consistent with the training..be sure to praise him often!! My son would say "good job" to himself even before I would. Good luck!
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S.L. answers from Kansas City on May 14, 2009
If this boy is not waking up dry after naps and bedtime, you are going to have to scrap the plans of sending him to a regular preschool. No amount of bribing, or coaching of any kind will make him more ready than he is right now. I have been providing care and training children for 22 years. I know that the harder I push, the more frustrated the child gets. There is a time to push. But it has to be once they have had great success and they are reverting. There's a time when some children regress because they've thoroughly enjoyed being a baby and they are just trying to hold onto that last vestige of being a baby. In that case, it's worth giving them an extra nudge by taking away all big boy privileges and telling them again and again they can't do this or that until they are totally trained. Of course, you have to set him up for that by letting him try new things and go new places so that you can take them away at the right time. But this will not work and may even cause more stress for him if he is not ready.
There are a great many good caregivers that will provide your son with all the preschool academics that he needs. The social skills and learning how to be in a larger group can come later when he's 4. There's just no good reason to push him to go to preschool sooner unless this is really about getting him into a free all day program. I know that some parents are all about getting them into the free head start so they can save money on childcare.
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M.T. answers from St. Louis on May 14, 2009
Its too soon with the new baby, you'll have to give it a bit of time. Secondly, you HAVE to cut off his drinks by like 7:00 or a certain hour depending on his bedtime. He shouldn't be having accidents still, probably his drink intake amount and what kind of drink. Thirdly, pull-ups have the same feel as diapers, I always refused to use them. I don't think they are any different to them. Then I used stickers, not on a chart, but on their shirt or hand and then reminded them many times through the day I am so proud of them, look at that cool sticker! My last one (almost 4 now, I have 4) was a little harder to train and he wouldn't even start to get the sticker, so I let him pick them out at the store and reminded him I have them. When I still couldn't get him to start, when I saw his older siblings come out of the bathroom, I gave them one of his stickers. That was really effective! He hated that! And I told him what they were getting rewarded for and he needs to try. Also reminded several times during the day when he saw them wearing his sticker that they did what they were supposed to. Once he started potty training and was doing good and tried to go back to accidents, I refused to go back to diapers or pull-ups, I just had to keep cleaning his underwear til he got it and acting disgusted when he messed his underwear. It took quite a while, but I knew he could do it and going back wouldn't help.
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C.F. answers from St. Louis on May 14, 2009
my son was hard to potty train but he was excited about pre school i let him know he could not go to school as long as he pooped in his pants it took a few but he got it find what works and stick with it if you keep changing the routine it will confuse him my son stopped having accident when he decided he wanted school more
K.O. answers from Wichita on May 14, 2009
Children are not all the same. I agree with Beth and some of the others who say that he is not ready yet. I have four boys and every one of them trained at different ages. My eldest was three and a half, one of my twins trained at 23 months, the other at almost three and a half and my "baby" at four years and two weeks! I did not push my twins or the youngest and they trained when they were ready with the fewest accidents. My youngest literally had two accidents once he decided to be potty trained! I know it is inconvenient to deal with diapers, pullups, daycare providers that are ready for your child to be trained, etc.; however, if you wait until he is truly ready (dry after naps and bedtime, tells you he wants or needs to go potty, etc.)the success will be much faster and with a lot less stress. Hang in there!
M.W. answers from Kansas City on May 14, 2009
J.- I have three kiddos and basically did them all the same way~NAKED. For some reason with no clothes on they seemed to listen to their bodies more and go in the potty when they had to. I also took the potty chair everywhere with us. By everywhere I mean-in the car on trips, and all around the house wherever my child was playing. That way when playing they never felt like they had to stop what they were doing to go potty. Of course for my girls being naked was easier--they could wear dresses with nothing underneath and no one really knew. With my son it was harder, but he was my first and loved being naked. All of mine were trained by 27 months and never really had continuous accidents, just an occassional now and then. Good luck!
C.B. answers from Kansas City on May 14, 2009
i agree with suzi and beth - #1, right after the birth of a new baby isn't the best time to expect him to learn something so huge - kids tend to regress at this time. #2, if he is not staying dry during naps or overnight there's no way he can control it yet. he's just not ready. you have to wait for him to be, otherwise, as you have found, no amount of "tactics" will coerce him to go on the potty.
i will say that maybe in a couple/few months when things have settled down a bit more (i know 14 weeks seems like a long time but to him he may still be stressed out about the new sibling), then maybe he'll be ready. it just really sounds like he's not right now. i would definitely wait at least until he's staying dry through the night. good luck, i know it's frustrating. just keep in mind, this is the GOOD stuff. soon he'll be going off to college and you'll wish your big worry was whether or not he would poop in the big boy potty!
K.C. answers from Kansas City on May 14, 2009
With my kids instead of giving a prize for pottying, I had something fun to do on the potty, something that they can only use on the potty. Your attention might be as good or better right now... Anyway, I figured the more they sat on the potty in the early days the more likely they were to poop on it. I potty trained girls and younger, so I don't know if that will help you, but it's an idea... We had a couple of days of a LOT of time on the potty and then less and less..