15 answers

Three Year Old Grandson Wont Go Potty

My grandson is three and refuses to go to the bathroom to urinate or bm. We caught him once and he urinted in the potty. We sang, jumped around and gave him much praise thinking he would go again. No luck. My daughter and son in law say leave him alone he will go when he is ready. This little boy is so smart. He walked and talked at nine months. He now converses in full sentnces. He can navigate the computer to find his favorite shows and games. He loves PBS and Starfall and will sit for hours if you let him. He is not a great eater unless you give him book or something to explore during mealtime. When we talk to him about tolieting and he flat out states I dont want to go to the bathroom. I dont want to touch it, it stinks, you change me please. Lately he hides when he boo-boo. He attends his grandmother daycare and she says the same as my daughter and son in law. He sees other children go to the bathroom and will line up, sit on the toliet, and wash his hands. But there's nothing in there. We continue to talk but to no avail. HELP at this rate we will bw changing him in kindergarten (just kidding).

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

i took a combination approach to all the responses received. when my grandson wakes up he tries to potty. if nothing happen we both say maybe next time. i promised him some spongebob underwear. well see

Featured Answers

3 is a little young, especially, I hear for boys. Please let hime decide for himself. Believe me, when he goges to pre-school he will not want the diaper any more.


PS. I became a mom at 41 so, I knew that all would happen in time.

More Answers

This may be very, very tough for you to do but you really need to back off and listen to the parents of the child.

When your daughter and son in law say to leave him alone and that he will go when he is ready, you need to respect that. They are the parents and you should follow their lead. It's quite possible that he feels a lot of pressure from you and others which will only make it worse, not better.

1 mom found this helpful

If he says he doesn't want to do it - then he doesn't. When he's ready, he will. We all learn at our own pace. My son is so smart in a lot of ways, but he's stubborn as hell. I'll ask him if he wants to go and he'll tell me no - as he's making #2 in his diaper.

Personally, if Mom and Dad aren't worried about it, then I would leave it at that. As parents, we have enough to worry about as it is. Having others express their worry also can be stressful and hurtful. I actually stopped answering the phone whem my MIL was calling (love caller ID) because our older son walked later than average (16 months). I was SO SICK of hearing her ask, "Is he walking yet? Why isn't he walking? Do you practice with him?" It still puts a knot in my stomach when I think about it and it was about 2 years ago.

Your grandson will probably be one of those that - when he's ready- - will be trained in a week without looking back.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is the same way and we responded with such praise when she did go on the potty a hear ago. 3 1/4 years old, super smart, advanced in every area, fully capable to go potty (can do it on command in diaper, can hold it etc). She refused to go potty with extreme crying. Drs and teachers say to just drop the topic completely. She's not ready. She'll do it when she is and probably in 1 day. Pressure will actually make if more difficult and possibly painful if they resist pooping.

My inlaws are coming home for the summer soon, and I'm very stressed worried that they'll push it when my hubby and I aren't there to tell them to stop. I totally agree with your daughter and hope you can not mention the potty to him. I know it's hard. I even have a hard time, but it's for the better of the child.

Good luck and hugs! It will happen!

1 mom found this helpful

M.R. is completely right. Sorry Grandma but you need to back off. The parents are dealing with it in their own way and you are undermining their approach which is pretty unhelpful. You can't control another person's bowel movements anyway, even a child's. I know you mean well but I think your approach is misguided.

1 mom found this helpful

No worries, L.. Your grandson will go potty at his own time. I've been there and as frustrating as it is, it will happen. My son, much to my dismay finally went potty on his own one month before he turned four.

If he's around other children, he will learn by example. Maybe offereing rewards for going potty is something that might be of interest to him.

What worked for us was M & M's after he went. Also, you could try throwing Fruit Loops in the toilet and asking him to aim for them. He'll think it's a game and want to try again and again. The colors of the cereal was enticing to him.

Hope this helps.
Good luck

Don't worry about it. He will start using the potty when he is ready. Our first born is a very bright kid. He also began walking at 9 months and talking at an early age, but he did not potty train until he was almost 4 years old. We worried and fretted and tried different things. One day (when I had almost given up), he went to the bathroom all by himself. I didn't even know he went the bathroom until he was done. He's been potty-trained ever since.

Our second child just turned three and we haven't even started potty-training yet. He has Down Syndrome, which means it will take a little longer for him to use the potty anyway, but I am determined not to stress myself or our son out over potty training. I certainly hope (and plan) for him to learn to use a potty before Kindergarden, but there is still plenty of time. Each child develops at his or her own rate and learning to use a potty is hard enough without worrying that they are dissappointing the people they love :)

L., I am a grandmother too and you need to adapt to the new way of being. My grandson did not train until he was 5-1/2 with his BM.

Back off and let the parents hand it. Once he gets in kindergarten pear pressure will make him be trained. I know what it is like to clean up a kid at that age, but it has to be done.

Hang in there... you only have 2-1/2 years left!


If the parents, doctor and daycare provider aren't worried, you shouldn't be either. There could be many reasons that he doesn't want to go. He could be working on mastering a different skill or just trying to exert some control over his life. Pressure from others may just make him more stubborn about going so I would completely back off. He needs to know that its HIS choice to start using the potty and that he is the one in control over this particular issue. You can offer incentives, etc. but I would just let the incentives be known and then leave it up to him. Good luck!

My guess is that they are using Pull UPs. He is never uncomfortable when he is wet. Put "big boy" undies on, in real fabric, and he really won't like the feeling, nor will be like the embarassment. I give it 3 days, no more than a week.

My Daughter was almost 4 before she was 'fully' potty trained. I finally could not wait any longer. The Preschool would not take her, going out was quickly becoming a pain etc.

I found that my Daughter works best on the 'reward method'. If she does something 'good' she gets a small reward, if she does not do what is expected of her, she loses something.

At this same age she was VERY interested in the computer, so I sat her down and explained that Computers were for 'big' kids, and big kids use the potty. (I also set a time so every 15-30 mins we would stop what we were doing and go to the potty.) If she stayed dry to could play her games, if she did not then she was off the computer for the rest of the day.

Believe it or not it worked in 2 days.

Good luck and hang in there. Sooner or later he will get it. (I don't remember anyone is High School wearing diapers....)

3 is a little young, especially, I hear for boys. Please let hime decide for himself. Believe me, when he goges to pre-school he will not want the diaper any more.


PS. I became a mom at 41 so, I knew that all would happen in time.

I see requests for potty "training" all of the time, but honestly there is nothing you can do except wait until the child is ready. Kids do things at their own pace and pushing something like this on them only hinders the process.

L. - my son did the exact same thing. I kept thinking he's almost 4 and still won't go on the potty. One of my friends told me he will just do it one day and that will be it you can't force him. About a week after she told me that (a week or 2 after he turned 4) he came home went into the bathroom and went #1 in the toilet, washed his hands and that was it - ever since then he goes on the toilet both 1 and 2. He doesn't wear pullups at night either he told us he's a big boy and doesn't wear pullups.

Be patient - it will happen.

You cant force kids, when they are ready, they are ready. My son showed intrest at 2 but did not train till he was 3.5. He would pee from time to time but did not poop till he was 3.5. we tried all the trick in the book. But, he was not going to do it till he wanted too. We did tell him that as soon as he went poop on the potty we would run right out to Chuck E Cheese. He finally went and so did we. I know its hard but just let him be, and when he does go give him lots of praise

If I were at my "ends" over this, I would probably take his favorite 2 toys and book away from him and give him 1 as a priveledge when he goes poo. I remember to this day how my mother tied the three of us to the toilet seat until we went potty, then and only then would the next of us get our turn. Between holding "it" and forcing "it", I think we were exhaused most of the day. I COULD NEVER DO SOMETHING SO CRUEL. I don't understand how anyone could.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.