21 answers

Reluctant Potty Trainer

wow i can't believe all the "early potty trainers" on here. i actually just read someone saying that if a child isn't potty trained by two, they have lazy parents. i can't believe someone actually said that. my son was walking by age 9 months and has a better vocabulary and manners than many of the adults i meet (yes, even in mighty johnson county, kansas *gasp!*), saying please, thank you, and yes ma'am at 22 months. (most of the people in this county can't even seem to grasp that there are other people on the road, much less be courteous and use manners!) he can count to ten, knows about ten colors, his basic shapes, and is WAY too smart for his own good at this point. yes a lot of that was god's doing not ours, but you know what, a lot of that is due to some GOOD PARENTING. i really am just flabergasted at some of the judgements people make on here sometimes. i am a hard working woman, wife, and mother, and it is incredibly offensive to me that someone would label me as "lazy", because my son will not be potty trained by 2 years.

and i'm sorry ladies, but, while he does occasionally tell me he's "poopie" (and usually only if i ask - and only half the time is he right because it seems he always says "NO"), and while he did go potty on the toilet twice in one weekend several weeks ago (seems like an eternity ago, *sigh*!) i know for a fact that he is NOT ready, and i know this because i am NOT a lazy mother but one who does her best, and has tried to encourage my son to go on the potty regularly. we had those two great "go" 's, but then my son started resisting, and now will start whining and fussing if i mention trying to go on the potty. i have never pressured him, i have never tried to force him, he was okay with it at first, no big traumatic issues, and just eventually started becoming less and less "okay" with it. (i think the novelty wore off and he realized he was expected to "do" something) and YES he'll be two in 2 mnths. so i highly doubt he will be trained by then - not for lack of effort or laziness on my part i assure you. he simply is NOT ready.

and quite frankly, i'm not pushing it. i don't have any desire to "force" my child to be potty trained simply because he's about to be two. i can't begin to list the things i see wrong with that. but that's not my point.

my question is, now that i've read (i think it was like 34) people talking about how great and easy it is to potty train, where are all the moms who are struggling with it? i can't be the only one who has a stubborn little boy. (-who also lights up my life, don't get me wrong). anyone have any suggestions, as far as that goes? we have tried snacks, drinks, books, songs, "the happy potty dance", etc...he's not really into stickers but i think next time he acts like he might be open to training again, i'm going to get some and see if that encourages him. ideas???

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

you guys are AWESOME! in this area it's sometimes hard to find the "imperfect" parents...hehe. i am one and proud! i really appreciate everyone sharing their stories. this is a great group! and someone mentioned i still sound like i'm a bit conflicted - not any more! i think waiting is the right thing to do - i have plenty of time for him to be potty trained, on HIS schedule, and i'm going to enjoy it. it really is much easier just grabbing some diapers and wipes and knowing we can go out and not have to worry about public restrooms, rushing to the potty, etc. thanks so much for all your encouragement! (and no i didn't grow up here - south only by about an hour! but my husband is from the south, hence the "ma'ams" that seem to be popping up around our house lately) THANK YOU again!

More Answers

I guess I'm another "lazy" parent in not potty training my two year old son...despite numerous comments and suggestions from well meaning friends and family members. My son at this time is just not ready...call it a mother's instinct...so just follow yours...and in good time your toddler will succeed and so will you!!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi C.,
I just wanted to let you know that I am in the same boat you are. My 2 1/2 yr. old little girl is not potty trained. She is somewhat interested, somewhat not. She really likes watching some "potty videos" from the public library. (Though, I must say, I don't see the "coolness" in them!) I have three younger brothers. When they were learning, they thought it was really neat to try to "aim" at Cheerios floating in the toilet.

Recently, my 2 yr. old has been asking to go to Chuck E. Cheese (she's never been). We told her if she goes #2 in the potty then she could go. Hooray, we went last night! We've already had a set back this morning. (Which my husband and I fully expected.)

You will see my family out and about in JoCo for the next several months/years with our backpack full of diapers or my purse stuffed full of diapers, but that's ok. She's a toddler. Her little body needs time to grow. C., stick with it and treasure your days with your toddler. All to soon he will be potty trained and this will be a blimp on the radar of many great things in your lives together!

1 mom found this helpful

C., I would definitely not try to push him. I am with the gal that said its a control issue. My DD just turned 31 months (2.5) and she has only been trained for a couple of weeks. She started being interested in going on the potty at 18 months, I was so excited, but then she started resisting, so I put her back in diapers until she started acting interested again. Even now we have struggles because I can tell when she needs to go, but she will not go unless she wants to, on her terms. So we have had some days where she goes through many pairs of panties before the day is over. One thing I kept doing was just putting the bug in her ear about big girl panties and how she could pick out her own special pair when she started going all the time on the potty. It also helped that her friend, who I watch during the day got potty trained, she wanted to be just like her. Just some pointers that helped us out. Mainly just listen to your son, he will let you know when the time is right. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Sounds like you're still conflicted about what you're hearing, and what you know about your son. You know he's not ready, so don't push the issue yet. He's not being stubborn - he's just not ready. You know this! Don't put that pressure on yourself, or on him. Make it fun, give him choices about sitting on the potty or not, ready potty books, have teddy bears to potty on the potty... make its something he's interested in exploring and wait for the signs that he's ready. You shouldn't necessarily already be seeing those signs, so don't rush it. Sounds like you're very in tune with him and will know it when he's ready! Don't second guess yourself (yes, I know its impossible not to do, but that's my advice) :-)

1 mom found this helpful

I really don't have any great suggestions, because I am one of those struggling moms. My son is is not quite 2 1/2 and isn't potty trained. We have been trying for quite a while now, but he still hasn't gotten it yet. I just want to wish you luck. Keep up the good work with your toddler!

1 mom found this helpful

haha. Funny post. I'm often surprised how often people are rude on here as well, the vast majority of moms on here are so helpful and so wonderful, but boy it ticks me off, too when someone is judgmental and nasty!!
My son is 26 months and the EXACT same thing - he's smart, I'm not lazy, he totally "gets it," used it once before and then - just like you said, he gets less and less okay with it each day, and now, almost seems scared of it. Same thing, no traumatizing issue or anything, I've never forced anything. When he was first interested (right around his first birthday) he was SO into it, learned all about it, talked about it constantly, loved the books, seemed to want to potty train himself! Then one day, he just sat down and went and it was awesome and now, he just backs more and more away from it.
My plan is to do one of those three-day training weekends and try my best to make it very fun and positive (cake and balloons??) and see how that goes. Somehow we just need to turn the negative into a positive again!!

So, no real advice for you, but I'm a mom who is out there with the same issue and I'm also glad to know I'm not alone!!

1 mom found this helpful

Yahoo! I'm born and raised in JoCo, KS, but I try to refrain from the constant "advice" (which is really poorly masked criticism) which seem so abundant in our fairly well-to-do suburb! My oldest is almost 3 and still not potty-trained...in fact, doing about where your almost 2 year old is! I can't say I waste more than an hour's thought a week on it! I'll be happy to give you some free "advice"...don't sweat it; it's not likely he'll be in diapers in kindergarten! And by the way, it doesn't sound like he's quite "ready". Kids mature in different ways at different times, and some are more stubborn than others (it often means they are strong-willed and like to think things through for themselves!) That trait will serve him well later in life, I'm sure! I don't just spout opinions, I am a physician with plenty of training in developmental milestones. Your child sounds advanced for his age, and you sound like a wonderful mother--possibly from the South? I only say this because it also sounds as if your child has wonderful manners, which seems to be instilled in children more in the southern states! Keep your chin up and don't sweat the small stuff!

1 mom found this helpful

I completely understand what you are going through! My daughter is 2 1/2 and has absolutely no interest in using the potty. She is the most stubborn child I have ever met, and I suspect that she won't use the potty simply because she knows I want her to. :-) I agree with you that not potty training your child by the age of 2 has nothing to do with being a lazy parent; it is simply a matter of a child being ready or not. I need some ideas too!

1 mom found this helpful

I waited until my son was almost 3 to potty-train....I tried earlier but he did not want anything to do with it (basicly throw a tantrum)....or he would ask to go just so he could get M & M s, but nothing would happen. Early on I tried just putting him in underwear and do the put him on the potty every hour......well he peed, but in his underwear :) When he was finally ready, he was excited about doing it and would get so excited when he would go on the potty. He is still far from being completely potty-trained....pooping is an issue (he doesn't like to poop...he gets very upset). And his excitement about going pee has changed to how long can I hold it and then walk around "holding it" until Mommy notices (he is too busy playing to stop) Or I discovered he gets really grumpy when he is trying to hold in the pee...the joys of having a toddler :) And then do you teach boys to sit or stand? We've tried both and he prefers to sit right now. He did like standing and trying to aim for floating cherrios..it was pretty funny!!

My advice is do what works for you!!!

Mom to just turning 3 year old boy and 11 month old girl

1 mom found this helpful

C., I am soooo on your side of this issue! We have a wonderful, polite little two year old too. He will be three this fall. We have not pushed potty training yet and probably won't for a few more months. Our pediatrian suggests waiting until boys are three or until they do it themselves. I have several friends with three year old boys and they didn't potty train until then either. He is starting to tell us he needs a diaper change and sits on his potty before a bath every night. I think he knows what is expected but just is too busy to be bothered with it. I don't consider myself lazy either. My husband and I just don't see the point in forcing something that will come naturally or training ourselves to rush him to the bathroom on a schedule (which is really traing ourselves not the child). Just keep enjoying your little boy and when he says, "Mom, I would like to use the potty please." Just praise him for his good manners and take him. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

C., It sounds like you have got some great support here! I was just going to chime in on the same vein. Our pedi. advised not even thinking about potty training until 3 with my now 4 year old. And I was only all to thrilled as I was pregnant at the time. To my horror at about 2-1/2, me 5 months pregnant, she decided she wanted to wear big girl panites. I actually tried to discourage her for a week! :-) How often will you hear that! I was convinced, by listening to others, that she would revert to diapers once I had the baby. To my utter amazement, I gave in and bought the panites. And she trained herself in three days! I know there is a huge difference between boys and girls, as the now 15 month old, is a handsome little boy, and I quickly learned that there is a nature, not nurture difference!
Don't sweat it, and stick with your heart. You know that little angel better than anyone!
Best wishes, J.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.! I couldn't agree with you more about some people in Johnson County (not everyone). My husband and I moved here 8 years ago from Seattle and I am continually disapointed in the attitudes, driving behaviors and manners in people here. I have simply tried to only be around and make friends with people that are similar in thought. As for the potty training, I have three children and my two oldest are girls. Neither one of them potty-trained until three years and my four year old still has accidents. And, it is not without trying on our part. We did everything we could think of also to get her potty trained (our 8 year old potty trained with no effort at all at three years). We finally just decided that she was not ready and would do it in her own time. She is very stubborn anyway and does not do anything she doesn't want to. The more we pushed the more she would regress and be defiant. We also are definitly not "lazy" and in fact, I would say we are more in tune and better parents then many here in Johnson County. My youngest is only a year so I have not experienced potty training with a boy, but we will definitely not push him. You are doing a great job so don't let those "other moms" make you feel like you have to defend your choices. Raising a child is not a "competition" as some parents in Johnson County like to act. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Relax C. ~ Don't let those "other" mom's ruffle your feathers! My last three boys were 3+ when they were potty trained or even interested. Each child, especially boys are unique and they will train when they are ready. Enjoy your gifted little guy... I've never met a kindergartner that wasn't potty trained.

1 mom found this helpful

I personally think training before two is way too early. My daughter trained three months before she was three in four days. She was easy and expected my son to be. He wasn't.

He didn't completely train until he was four. He just didn't care and never knew what all the fuss was about. We also moved across country when he was three and I think it really set him back. It was frustrating and I believe all the fuss fellow parents make made it worse for me. Looking back, it shouldn't have mattered. He is developing mentally, socially, and physically as a four year old should. As my dr. said "He won't be wearing diapers when he graduates from high school."

I think you should not worry about it for awhile. Enjoy the other stuff, he sounds like a great little boy, and it will come in time. You are doing a great job!

1 mom found this helpful

My guy is 19mo and he is also very smart (not as smart as your guy, that is just wild!) and VERY Stubborn. He also used the potty on his own for about two weeks (at 17mos) and he has not been willing to use it since. I am not pushing, he is a smart kid and he will use it on his own. Ezra is a little mule about when he is willing to try something new; he gets it from mom and dad! We use cloth diapers and he gets that wet, clammy feeling and signs (again, he CAN talk, but he WANTS to sign, my little mule) for a change. I think within the year, he will decide he is done with that icky feeling and start potty training. I did go to the Pull-ups website for a free potty training DVD, but I haven't watched it yet, so I can't say if it is useful or not.

Sorry not ideas, but you are NOT a lazy mom and it sounds like you have a great kid!

1 mom found this helpful

my son's PCP told me especially boys could take til age four and the guy is in his 60s so he was around in the era when moms tried to PT asap due to cloth diapers.

I think he is overly cautious but many children are not PHYSICALLY ready at age two. my son is prime example. because day care was anxious we spent THREE harrowing weekends trying to potty train (potty training in a day techniques) and the fourth weekend which was three months before his third bday ...was the charm. he was probably..physically ready! right! the day care pushed earlier and had behavior issues with him hitting (gee I would be angry too if someone was forcing me on a toilet before i was ready).

you are not lazy. children vary widely. it makes me sad when us women, who should stick together working or not, criticize each other instead.

good luck. it WILL happen. I think you are wise not to force this. my opinion.

1 mom found this helpful

You are absolutely right. Anyone who keeps up on current parenting info (babycenter, pediatrician info, magazines, etc.) knows that you aren't supposed to push children to potty train. You're supposed to wait for the signs that they are ready and the average age is around 3. Everyone I've talked to either says it is a struggle or they waited until their kid was closer to 3. Good luck with your training!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is two and a half and is perfectly happy with her diapers. She knows how to go potty on the big girl potty, LOVES her pricess panties but when it comes down to it she doesn't think she has time in her day to stop playing and go potty. She knows that when she starts wearing panties all the time that she'll get REAL make-up but she could care less at this point. There are a lot of other battles to fight at this point than ditching the diapers. I figure that when she is ready, I'll support her 110% but until she is ready, she won't do it. She did start showing interest in the potty around 20ish months but I think that was more b/c her best friend at daycare was potty training so she thought it was "cool" (gasp, yes, also a hard working mom that abandons my child to be raised by others everyday and am completely happy with my choice b/c I am a much better mom b/c of it and she, like your son, is super advanced for her age b/c of the amazing daycare she goes to.). Once she figured out how much work it entailed, she gave it up very quickly.

Don't put anymore thought into your son not being potty trained yet. I'm hearing more and more people admit that thier kids were't FULLY potty trained until they were between three and four. Enjoy going out in public w/o searching out bathrooms or dragging along multiple changes of clothes "just in case" and finishing a game of tag knowing the diaper can wait 2 extra min. unlike the toilet!

1 mom found this helpful

My son (now 4) REFUSED to sit on the toilet until he was over 3. It took us a while to figure out the right reward (read: bribe) and for him it was chewing gum for peeing on the toilet, and gummy circles/gummy whatever for pooping.

You are not lazy! For ours, it was a control issue...what else did he have full control over? Nothing! And he wasn't going to give it up easily!

We didn't push it too hard, either, because I've met some people who were probably potty-trained at gunpoint, judging by how uptight they are in general!

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I too am a hard working mother of actually two children. The first a beautiful little girl who is now 8 1/2 years old and sweet little boy who is almost 7. My little girl began being interested in the potty at the age of 18 months... however it took forever to fully potty train her because quite frankly i do not think her little body was ready. My son never acted interested... had very little words till he was three (turns out he has very high functioning autism) and I waited till he was three and about 3 months, when he proceeded to practically potty train himself in about 2 weeks. Every child is different which is very evident with my two children. When your child is potty trained does not and should not be ANY REFLECTION OF WHAT KIND OF A PARENT YOU ARE. Parents play may different roles through out a childs life and I'm kinda of guessing the loving and caring environment you are providing is more important than when you child gets potty trained.. believe he will not still be messing his pants by the time he starts kindergarten. He will get it on his own accord. Another example.. My son did not know his phone number last year.. the kindergarten teachers kept saying.. he needs to know this. I thought to myself he will not be an adult someday and not know his phone#...eventually it clicked and he learned it and my husbands cell number as well. Of course we just moved and now he will have to relearn a new number (LOL).. the point is every child is different. Your little guy sounds like a real dream. He is very individual and unlike any other two year because he is himself! You are doing a great job!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.,

Glad to hear that others opinions have not convinced you that you are a LAZY parent!!! I'm a mother of 8-4 boys and 4 girls. My friends and family have heard me say that the two most difficult times in a parent's life are: 1. POTTY TRAINING and 2. Parenting an ADULT child!!

I struggled with potty training my first 3 kids...used the age old, "if they are dry through the night, they are ready" philosophy and ended up spending HOURS in the bathroom with them waiting for that magical moment when they would "tinkle" in the pot!

I'm proud to say that at 28, 26, and 24 years old, they ARE potty trained!!!

With child #4, a friend told me she waited until her kids were 3 to even start training. She chose to use cloth training pants and NO plastic pants and allow them to run around outside. (Obviously, this means she had to work around the winter months!) Because there was an instant and lasting feeling of wetness, the children caught on much faster.

I tried the method with my then 3 year old son, and he was trained in about 3 weeks. I used it for the next 4 children and it worked much better than any methods I tried with the older 3! My 7th child, a boy, was almost 4 before he managed BM's on the potty and for several years afterward still had occasional struggles with slightly messing in his pants. At 13 he is totally trained. HA

Unfortunately, the culture we live in provides us with special diapers that minimize the feeling of wetness, therefore effectively minimizing the child's desire to "get those diapers off!" In addition, many families have both parents working, so the children are cared for by day care center staff. Many day cares require potty training before moving a child into a higher level classroom. This is unfortunate and is simply a housekeeping issue. A child's need for stimulation is there whether or not he or she is potty trained.

C., relax and let your precious little man be a child. He will learn. Best to you.

1 mom found this helpful

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