Need Your Help on Potty Training My Soon to Be 3 Year Old

Updated on December 08, 2006
C.S. asks from Abilene, TX
12 answers

Hi, I'm not a new mom, I have a 8yr old also but Im having a really hard time trying to get my soon to be three year old potty trained. He attends daycare and they get him to go potty there but he wont go for me. Ive tryed candy,toys, watching older brother and he has no interest in it what so ever!! How can I get him to go??

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answers from San Angelo on

With my son, I just forced him basically. He woke up one morning, and had a dry diaper. I told him there are no more diapers, so he had to go on the potty. I held him down on the potty until he went to the bathroom. It sounds mean, but trust me, my son is a happy child and I am absolutely positive that he doesn't remember. Just tell him that he has to because there are no more diapers. He is old enough to understand. Good Luck!

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answers from San Antonio on

I have a 5yr old boy, who was very easy to get to go tee-tee on the potty, but very difficult to go #2 on the potty. He was wearing underwear all day by three, but demanded a diaper when he needed to go #2. He was TERRIFIED of doing #2 on the potty, and to this day I don't understand why. He was always rewarded with a candy when he went potty, in any way, on the potty but that and all the explaining I could do was not enough to get him to do #2. With my son the answer was just TIME. I waited several months and tried again, and he still wasn't ready. I waited a few more months, and he was ready. Every child is different, and I have heard alot about boys being more difficult to potty train than girls. If your son is only barely three, I would just give him more time and then try again along with lots of positive reinforcement. I'm sure you're frustrated, knowing he does it at day care, but he's still young and it will save you and him both alot of stress if you just wait a bit. Good luck!

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answers from Lubbock on

I think it's very common for children to behave differently at daycare than at home. My children are MUCH better behaved at school than at home (not saying potty training is a 'good behavior' type thing, just making a comparison).

I would consider backing off at home. Maybe he has a reason for not wanting to potty train at home. The bathroom may be scary. Or he may want to stay your little baby.

The only other idea I have is to run out of diapers. Tell him you have x amount left and that when they run out you'll be all out and he'll have to use the potty. Give him time, maybe a week to run out.

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answers from Austin on

Hi there C.! I had a similar issue with my soon to be 3 year old. I tried games, candy, toys, etc. Finally I had exhausted everything that I thought a child would want. Then he asked me if he could play with the vacuum. I told him he needed to go potty for me. Each time he did he could play with the vacuum. It WORKED! He is now completely obsessed with vacuums and uses the potty for the privlige to play with them (unplugged of course). My point is that maybe the solution is there, but is not as obvious. There's got to be something that will get him motivated. :) Good luck momma!

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answers from Corpus Christi on

Hello C.. I am the mother of three with two of the three being boys. The youngest is only 18 months so that is not an issue YET but with the oldest who is now 9 it was a difficult task. We would treat him if he did go to the potty in the potty and would put cherios in there so that he could aim at them and it was a fun game. lol Pediatrician recommended it so we tried it. What it came down to was switching to underwear with a protective plastic diaper on the outside. When he would go in his pants he was sooo uncomfortable and I would wait about 15 to 20 minutes after knowing he had gone to change him. After about 3 days he was delighted to go to the potty and aim at cheerios. Of course I was delighted as well. I did the same thing with my daughter and it worked like a charm. Just a little advice from one mom to another. Good luck! C.

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answers from Odessa on

When I was trying to potty train my four year old last year. I was at my wits end because he just did not cooperate very well. Well then I got an idea. I created a potty chart for him and put it up next to the bathroom. I bought some blue poster board, some multi-colored stars and made a chart from Sunday to Saturday for four weeks on the board. Every time he went to the bathroom that day he got to add a star to the board. At the end of the week if he went when asked or on his own he got a treat. (I took him for ice cream, took him to a movie, went to the park to play or he got watch his favorite movie when he wanted to). He was potty trained in three weeks. Just an idea. IT gets him involved and gives him the incentive to go on his own.


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answers from El Paso on


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answers from Lubbock on

C. - Dont feel bad, my son will be 3 in May and he is no where near being potty trained. I learned with my oldest son to just let them do things at their own pace and when they are ready it will be like night and day.

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answers from College Station on

Hi C.,
It is interesting that your son potty at day care but not with you.

When my first son was two, he had potty training down pat, but then little brother came around and he decided to wet all over again.

I would leave him in his undies, not papmers or pullups and when he got wet I would ask him to get another pair of shorts and undies and I would stay in bed with the baby while I gave him instructions.

Then- and this was key cause it worked for me- I told him when he had to go again, he had to tell me before he wet and I would stop whatever I was doing and would sit in the restroom with him.

The next time he had to go he told me, I made sure the baby was safe, he was crying, but he was safe. I went to the rest room and spend the whole time with the older son. It took no more than five-ten minutes and my younger boy was safely in his bassinet.

A few days like that and he was on his own again.

The key was he wanted my undivided attention.
As a recent graduate, I know how hard it is to give our boys enough attention when we are trying to please professors and get decent grades.

It worked for me, good luck.

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answers from Dallas on

Do you have to potty train himnow? I know life is easier with potty trained kids, don't get my wrong, but I don't think all kids are ready at the same time.

I have two boys who are five years apart (9 & 4). My older son potty trained at 3 1/2 years old. My younger son didn't potty train until his fourth birthday. My pediatrician wasn't concerned at this late age and said it can be very common with boys.

So, if you don't have to potty train him right now, then I would hold off until HE shows interest and he is seriously ready. There really isn't a rush and as long as they are in underwear by kindergarden, I don't see the problem. :o)

Good luck with whatever you end up doing!

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answers from San Angelo on

Dr's only worrry about potty training if the kids are 5 and still not able to go on their own and they can be up to 8 before they worry about occasional accidents.

Don't rush your son. Reinforce the behavior when he goes potty and give little attention to accidents. It works at daycare because they have to take him every 2 hrs and sit him down. You can do this too but with my children I found better success with reinforcement and not stressing over potty training.

You can always take him to buy big boy underwear too. Tell him he can wear them when he goes potty in the big toilet. If he doesn't want to use the big toilet then he can wear his pull-ups.

Give him the choice, and seriously overexaggerate your reinforcement of his choice to potty in the toilet. Kids will potty train when they want not always when we want. Good luck C.!

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answers from Abilene on

I have to agree with Kristin...I used that technique find out what it is he likes whether it be banging on pots and pans or something... My son was potty trained by a year and 2 months... He started running around the house naked and I would have to find his diapers because he hated being wet... But he was terrified of the toilet for some reason... I bought a special toy that he was only able to play with after he went potty...From start to finish of potty training was about 1 month... So if you can just find that one thing that will get his attention it will work... Good Luck to ya...

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