17 answers

When Should You Really Start Pushing Potty Training???

My son turned two in April and has no interest in using his big boy potty. He follows my husband and I into the bathroom and knows that the potty is where you're supposed to go. I have had conversations with him about when you eat or drink it goes thru your tummy and out of your body into the potty. Ive caught him starting to "go" and rushed him to his potty three time, all three times he went in the potty, got to watch it go to the big potty and he even told it "bye bye" as we flushed. He was rewarded and got lots of cheers for it. The last time he started crying and told me, in his own way, to put "it" back in his diaper! Anytime he sits on the potty or is even asked if he needs to use the potty he gets upset. We have been working on this for 3 months and still nothing has changed. Should I just let him take his time or are there some sort of tricks I dont know about????

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you everyone for your advice! It was very helpful and makes me feel more comfortable that Im not the only one to have this issue. I think I will wait and let him tell me when he is ready. He is a very smart kid, he was reading by 20 months, however he has always done things when he wants to do them. For example, he was about 3 months behind the "norm" for crawling and walking but thefirst time he attempted to crawl he was all over the house with in hours and his first time to even stand up on his own he took 4 steps without holding on to anything turned around took another step and set down. Sometimes I feel like he has known how to do these things all along he just likes to wait it out. haha! We also have a 6 month old daughter who, obviously, is still in diapers so maybe that could be one of the reasons he isn't ready. It makes me feel more comfortable to know that I can wait another 6 months to a year before starting the potty training. We will of course still keep the potty out and let him see that we use the "big" potty. Im sure after being moved to his own room and a big boy bed and a new little sister he will be happier with no more changes for a little bit. Again, Thank you to everyone for the advice, it was helpful and comforting.

Featured Answers

My son is 32 months old now. I have posted about potty training him before on here. I tried a few things even bribery. Nothing worked. I left it alone. Left the potty out and let him watch a few potty videos. All of a sudden he has decided he wants to use the potty. This has happened in the last 2 weeks. First he would go a few times a day in the potty. Now he is going for just about every pee...very little poop though. We are using pull ups and he likes them-he will pull them up and down (well take them off to use the potty).

After experiencing this and taking advice from others, I believe they will really start to potty train when they are ready. At least that is what my son did.

4 moms found this helpful

My twins were potty trained in 2 days. They were a little over 3yrs old. Much easier to wait till they are ready, then they are trained in a matter of days or weeks instead of months.

3 moms found this helpful

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My son is 32 months old now. I have posted about potty training him before on here. I tried a few things even bribery. Nothing worked. I left it alone. Left the potty out and let him watch a few potty videos. All of a sudden he has decided he wants to use the potty. This has happened in the last 2 weeks. First he would go a few times a day in the potty. Now he is going for just about every pee...very little poop though. We are using pull ups and he likes them-he will pull them up and down (well take them off to use the potty).

After experiencing this and taking advice from others, I believe they will really start to potty train when they are ready. At least that is what my son did.

4 moms found this helpful

My grandmother, who had 7 children in the 1950's, contends that potty training happens when the mommy is ready. She has always said that "wait until the child is ready" was a weird 1970's thing. Apparently prior to the 1970's (i.e. when moms still had to launder diapers) children were potty trained around 18 months, and if kids made it to 2 without being potty trained, everyone thought you were a terrible mother. No joke, this is what she told me! I asked my other grandmother, who confirmed proudly that each of her children was potty trained prior to 18 months.

That being said, if you want potty training to happen, make it happen. Teach your child what he needs to know, and fully expect that he's going to do it. Get rid of all the diapers, pull-ups, etc, and have him run around naked from the waist down. Take him to the potty every 20 minutes whether he wants to or not. If he pees on the floor, calmly clean it up, (don't tell him it's okay, because it's not) and then tell him he will make it to the potty next time (and make sure he does). Will he fight you? Sure, he's 2. They fight you about everything, why would they just roll over on this?! He's going to want to test you to see if you REALLY mean it. Stick to it and he'll get with the program. With my kids it took anywhere from 4 hours to 3 days to potty train them. My cousin only has boys, potty trained all of them at 24 months, and they were all trained in under a week (and one of them was and still is a total hellion, so it's not like she had it easy). Potty training is not easy, but it's so worth it and your son will feel like he has really accomplished something once he figures it out!

3 moms found this helpful

My twins were potty trained in 2 days. They were a little over 3yrs old. Much easier to wait till they are ready, then they are trained in a matter of days or weeks instead of months.

3 moms found this helpful

Both of my boys were three. One turned three in April and was done in November, the other turned three in March and was done in April...both kids were different. The older one dropped diapers 100% overnight...ther other one still wears them to bed and REFUSES to poop in the potty. Don't push it...he won't go to kindergarten in diapers :).

3 moms found this helpful

I know it may be hard to hear all these mommies advice and think wow that was harsh. Well I have two girls and they were both potty trained by 2. My first I started at 18 months just getting her use to a little toilet once she got the hang of that we moved to the big toilet giving her stickers and etc. Then my younger one Crissy we had Madisyn teach her. Madi was 4 and crissy was 2 and madi constantly showed her when she went. Then one day crissy picked it up. Now I know boys are different then girls but my mom had two boys and these are the tricks she used. Boys are all about fun and making a mess and hearing sounds so my mom would set a coffee tin can in the bathroom and let my brothers pee in it. The sound of the pee hitting the tin made them want to go even more. Next for my other brother she put cheerios in the toilet and asked him to see how many cheerios he could hit. Then once they were familiar with the toilet she introduced the number two to them. Hope this helps and you know your children not us mom so do what is in your heart. Every child is different and your child may not be like our. So here is some suggestions. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I've read your "what's happening", so I see you have a plan. A child cannot be *made* to potty. They learn how to do it all on their own, we don't train them. They learn their own body's signals. We have to wait patiently by until they get it. We can encourage the potty all we want, which is what it sounds like you plan on doing. But, they will do it in their own time, not ours. My son was like that. I listened to everyone telling me that at about 2 1/2 he should be potty trained. I tried leaving him naked all the time, taking him to the bathroom every 20-30 minutes, giving juice or water to encourage the process. I could tell that he knew what he was doing, he was holding it. I was frustrated. But, I waited. I did know enough not to punish or shame him & let him take his own time. At about 3 1/2, with his sister on the way, I told him that I wasn't buying any more diapers. All that weekend, I reminded him EVERY time I changed his diaper. We ran out on a Mon. and he was accident free by Wed. Something clicked for him. It only took a couple more weeks for him to be completely out of diapers-at night. Encourage every chance you get, but let him go at his own pace. He'll get there.

2 moms found this helpful

WAIT IT OUT!!! First of all, he is a boy. He is bound to start later than most girls. Second of all, any boy that I have known that started potty training much before the age of 3 took forever and a day to do it. The boys that didn't start until around 3 were fully potty trained in a few short weeks. If he genuinely shows an interest, you can start (I had a friend who had hers completely trained by the time he was 2), but most boys really don't "get it" until closer to 3 (this is not only what I have observed, but what my ped told me too). Just wait it out a little while longer, and I promise that he will train a whole lot faster! :)

2 moms found this helpful

My boys were both four before they were entirely 'trained'. My daughter took off her own diaper, toddled over to the toilet, climbed up and peed, and that was the immediate end of diapers for her, she was 18 months! They will go when they're ready regardless of all the tricks you use...don't worry too much...

2 moms found this helpful

Pushing potty training never did work with my son. He was over 3 before HE decided that he wanted to start going to the potty. He's always been very stubborn and he just seems to know when we are trying to "trick" him into doing anything. He sees right through the whole reverse psychology thing!!! One day I just asked him while changing his diaper when he was going to go in the big boy potty (after months of not saying a word) and he enthusiastically said, "Saturday!" So, all week we built up to Saturday's event (counted down the days, bought big boy underware, etc.) and he just did it. No training necessary. He new what to do, how to do it, he just wanted to do it on his own and on his own time. He's only had one accident and has never had an accident in bed. From what I've heard from my friends, at around 2 1/2 and 3 most boys start to get the idea.

2 moms found this helpful

Stop.
He's not ready.
Go by his cues.
He is stressed and anxious.
You have been trying for 3 months already... its not working.
He's not ready.
He is young... most boys potty later.

Once 'ready', a child will pretty much not battle about it.

Just my thoughts on it. I have 2 kids. They both got toileting at different ages.
The more pressure they get, the harder it is.

On the other hand, I know many do the boot-camp approach and do it. My MIL was like that. I just have a different idea about it.

My son, when he was younger, and when I was trying to teach him, actually got quite upset and told me "IT'S MY BODY!" And then I stopped. He was not ready.

2 moms found this helpful

It almost never works to "push" potty training. Kids will get there faster without pressure, which leads to resentment, resistance, disappointment, and fear of failure – for both child and parents.

Your son will let you know when he's ready. He'll show interest, ask questions, want to try himself. And when that time comes, usually not earlier than 2.5 or later than maybe 4 for boys, he'll get himself trained quickly and without stress. When a child is emotionally and physically mature enough, they take to potty training with the same determination and eagerness that they did to walking and talking.

Be aware, too, that daytime training, poop training, and night training are separate steps for many children. (Some kids continue to need night protection into elementary school, especially boys. They really can't help it – they sleep heavily and just don't get those full-bladder signals during sleep.)

2 moms found this helpful

Let him go at his own pace. If he is telling you he doesn't want his poop out, then he is making it clear that he is not ready! The average BOY does not potty train until 39 months old, so he is really early.

You can always get one of those little potty seats and let him get used to it being in the house, by bringing it in. Leave it around the house, maybe the bathroom or if that makes him uncomfortable, elsewhere. But don't push for him to use it. Instead, play with him, by putting some of his stuffed animals on it. tell him to make them go to the bathroom.

But I wouldn't push him until you see him developing a curiousity in doing it too. Otherwise, he'll push back and youll just have a battle on your hands. This strategy worked well for my now 3 1/2 year old who is for all practical purposes trained but has the occasional accident and still needs a diaper at night.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello! Everyone is different which is what some of the other moms have mentioned below. I have a checklist of readiness signs in a book about toddlers. My son is 25 months old and he has been demonstrating all of the readiness signs so I was gearing up to start training when I turned the page and saw the list of reasons NOT to start. Number one was a new baby, which will arrive in a few weeks for us. So I laughed and started to put the book away. Then I decided while we wouldn't start "training" we could continue to encourage his interest in flushing the toilet. He comes in the bathroom with both my husband and I like you mentioned you are doing. My book also suggested we dump and have him flush his poop diapers.. He loves this, but I can only do it once a day, it is really gross to me. Not sure why since I can change his diapers just fine! I also just read in a parent magazine to wait until 27 months and that starting earlier could prolong the training. Anyway, I wish you less stress when it comes to toilet training. After reading all of this advice, I hope you pick out what resonates with you and feel confidant in how you choose to proceed. You are the expert on your son. Someday you may be sharing with someone about how you kept with it and your son eventually embraced it, or maybe how you decided to slow down and he became trained in his own time. Good luck with whatever you decide!

1 mom found this helpful

Dear L.:

It's been a long time since potty training for me, but my daughter really wasn't interested until 3. We just waited, then did an intensive weekend. Pretty much what I've seen with my daughter and nieces and nephews is when they're ready it happens. If they're not ready, it does NOT happen, no matter how much mom and dad want it to!

I'd suggest putting away all the potty stuff and just waiting until your son is either older and/or has shown more interest.

L. F., mom of a 14-year-old daughter

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.,

Our daycare lady has two sons in junior high now and she watches all boys in her home. Our son is 2.5 years old and has shown no desire at all to potty on the big boy toilet. Even when we know he has to go and ask him to come try he doesn't want to. She has assured me this is normal with boys and says they typically don't show an interest until the age of 3. She said for many it's like a light bulb goes on one day and they start showing interest. I can relate since I never wanted children and literally one day out of the blue I did. So, hang in there. We too are patiently waiting for our son to show interest. We still ask him often if he wants to try pottying on the big boy toilet but we don't pressure him. Best of luck!!

My little girl was 2 years, 9 months when everything just clicked. We had done everything in a similar way to what you have done. She just was not completely interested. She would have days where she used the potty, but then she would use her diaper the next day.
Many of her friends were potty trained before her, but my little one did not care- until one day- she told me- I am ready. She has not had many accidents. This worked for us.
One of my friends wanted to get her daughter trained. She bought a video, and it said to watch your kid for cues- and rush them off to the potty. She spent a week doing this- and it worked. I did not want to do it because it required staying home for a week.
Good luck!

My suggestion would be to drop
it all for a while and try again later. He's nit that old and boys are always a little later. I tried and my little boy wasn't ready but then when I waited and tried again at 2 yr. 8 mo. It was so easy and within 3 days we were having no accidents!

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