Potty Training a 3 Year Old - Beverly Hills,CA

Updated on February 13, 2012
J.H. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
11 answers

Hi, I have a little boy who just turned 3 at the end of December. We started potty training him a couple months before his 3rd birthday, he was in to it at first but now only shows an interest about 60 percent of the time, he will never go number 2 in his underwear, thank god. How can I get him to tell me every time he has to go? I have also tried to give him race cars and toys for going, that was short lived before he really didn't care, probably because he has so many toys. Please help!!!

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answers from Washington DC on

I didn't have much luck til DD was a little past 3 and I put her in panties full time. Lots of laundry at first but that wet feeling and an accessible potty seemed to do the trick. I only "guessed" right some of the time, so I started sitting her on the potty when I thought she might need to go - first thing in the AM, after lunch, before bath, before bed. That sort of thing.

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answers from San Francisco on

Don't wait for him to tell you, just take him into the potty as often as you can. He can "try" and if he doesn't go, come back 30 minutes later.
Also make sure he's wearing underwear, no pullups! He needs to see and feel the pee running down his legs, otherwise he'll just keep playing.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Both my boys were potty trained fairly easy and quickly, but we did have our accidents, they are 3 and 5. I would suggest, not waiting for him to tell you and just making him go every 30 minutes or after he's eaten/drank something. Maybe he doesn't really recognize the feeling of having to go pee yet, so you have to direct him. We did this for a few days with our youngest and then he got tired of having to go all the time and learned to tell us and/or just go to the toilet. Good luck

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answers from Chicago on

My son was the same. I brought him to the potty about every hour (set the timer on my stove so I wouldn't forget). When he pooped in his pants I made him help me clean it up (within reason, of course, for a 3 yo). Basically, I made him dump the poop from his underware into the toilet and we talked about how that was where poop went, in the potty. He didn't much like that and it helped him go on the toilet.

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answers from Los Angeles on

With my son, I quickly learned I have to constantly monitor if he drinks something then 10-15 mins later I ask him if he needs to go pee.
He will only go pee in the toilet not poop yet.
We use the reward system of a potty treat: a tiny piece of candy he gets to pick out of the bucket.
Boys are a little slower in learning this task.
Most boys I know were more closely fully trained at the age of 4 w/a few
accidents here & there.
When he takes a bath, we ask him immediately afterwards if he wants to pee. Which he does in the toilet right after getting out of the bath.
When I take him out to eat, the mall or the store, I ASK HIM if he needs to use the toilet & take him to the restroom anyway to "try". 9 times out of 10 he will pee.

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answers from Reno on

HI. You sound just like how was with my little guy. We did a potty chart. I made columns and let him use a Bingo marker (a marker that makes big dots the size of a quarter). When he finished one row, I would take him to the store and he could pick out ONE item. I picked the dollar store the first time. He wanted to count the dots each time he finished doing his business. He was so excited that one row would take about 22 dots, depending on how far apart he did the dots. His first prize was a Spider Man puzzle, second was a book, the third (dad took him to WalMart) and got a Mr. Potato Head. Now, we don't use the chart at all. He's had one accident in about 4 weeks! He will be 4 in May. Oh, I also let him peel off a "Motivational sticker" that he got to wear! :)
While doing the chart, be sure to remind him about his prize.. ask what he would like to get, etc...

Hope this helps. I know it was a long response. Sorry about that! :)



answers from Los Angeles on

Just to clarify, not all children respond to material/physical rewards, sometimes acquiring the behavior, in this case being potty trained, IS the reward : ) You're right, little race cars or other toys lose their worth when a child has many others...there's no incentive. Possibly he would do better with a sticker chart and earning a trip to Chuck E Cheese or another place he finds fun. or maybe he'll just be content in being trained, period.

Use cloth training underwear, not pull-ups, so your son feels the wetness and starts to associate the feeling he gets right before his pants are wet. If you can have him go bottomless at home and keep his potty handy he may become more comfortable in going on his own. Also, don't wait for him to tell you he needs to go, take him every 30 minutes or so until you find his pattern of needing to go then stick to that and take him at those times. Allow him to see you using the toilet so he learns that everyone does it. You mentioned that he won't poop in his undies, if he's not doing it on the potty or toilet make sure each time you have him dump it in the toilet because "that's where poop goes."

This site proved invaluable when training my little guy:

It takes an average of 3-6 months to potty train a child, so stick with it consistently, have an attitude of expecting him to do it, and he should get there in a short time.



answers from Phoenix on



answers from Los Angeles on

I bribed all 3 of my kids with the lil' Dum-Dum suckers...worked like a charm!

~I know some people are TOTALLY against bribing with candy but it worked for us! All 3 of my kids (2 boys + 1 girl) were completely night and day potty-trained right at or @ 2 years old. And in all reality the bribing only lasted a week at the most BUT I didn't even think about starting training until my kids were ready and my definition of 'ready' is when they consistently woke up in the a.m. with a dry diaper.



answers from Los Angeles on

Just when my son turned 3 we told him no more diapers because he has to be potty trained for school. We made him go without diapers and he started using the potty within 2 days. We gave him regular underwear for daytime and pull ups at night until he learned to wake himself up. Of course there were some accidents which he helped stop by using a Positive reinforcement potty chart but most of the time he was just too busy playing to stop to pee. Hope this helps. Good luck.



answers from San Diego on

My son was wayyyy easier than my daughter. I took his diaper off on day one and he peed his pants every 4 hours. Day 2, I set the timer for every 3and a half hours and we "watered the bushes outside" He LOVED this concept and we found a new bush each time. Day 3 we set the timer for every 3.5 hours and he alternated between watering bushes and trying to hit the gold fish I put in the toilet. Day 4 he told me he had to go and did a poo poo too! He stopped wetting the bed at night on day 2 and hasn't had an accident since. My daughter was a mightmare in comparison. Took to age 4 and nighttime wet to age 6. They are all different.

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