Potty Training Advice - Fairfax,VA

Updated on April 28, 2008
J.S. asks from Fairfax, VA
11 answers

My just turned 3, son decided on Apr. 1 that he was ready to start using the potty. My husband and I were very excited and got out the pullups and started having him use his Big Boy Potty. He can be successful, but it is always only if we prompt him to go. There has only been 1 time that he told us he needed to go. We pretty much just thought it was something that would take time. We've been VERY careful to be sure that we praise him for all of his successes. We always stress that it is OK, if he wets his pullups and that we are never upset and are proud of him.

I thought things were going along pretty well like that, but today he has decided that he absolutely wants to wear diapers only and doesn't want to use his potty. He even told me he wants me to take the potty back to the store. I want this to be his choice because a battle isn't going to help so we've let him wear diapers.

Any suggestions on what might be the cause and what might be the best move at this point would be greatly appreciated.


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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for sharing your tips and stories. We'd been using stickers, but you all have given me some other great ideas to try. I appreciate the potty training stories because I was really thrown for a loop with his sudden decision to want diapers again. I now see that others have experienced the same and it is reassuring to hear. Maybe with a little break and then some of the great tips you've shared there will be a renewed interest.

Thanks so much!


Featured Answers



answers from Washington DC on

Dear J. S, I found letting my son see his father "in action" a few times helped., A child safe step stool at the large potty helps. Float a piece of tissue on the water and make a game of his "hitting" it. That worked for my son and my Grandson

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answers from Dover on

Hi J.! I read your request and felt compelled to share my stories with you. I am a SAHM to my 3 kids (girl - 11, girl - 8, and boy - 3 1/2). We tried to "force" our oldest to potty train and that backfired. She had more accidents than I cared to deal with. We backed off and one day, she came home, I went to change her diaper, and she said "But I don't want to wear a daiper. I want my big girl underwear." Ok, great. Done. Child #2: Was in daycare, time to move to older class....must be potty trained. We told her all your friends are moving and you won't be able to. She fought it. I gave up. About 2 weeks later...I don't want to wear a diaper anymore. Done. Then along came child #3....the BOY. I thought...ok. I am home. This should be easier. At 1 1/2 he wanted to use the potty like his sisters. Bought him one. It became a step stool. I tried to force him. Nothing. I let him run around naked. Nothing. I gave up. Nothing. I was so frustrated! I thought...here I have a 3 year old...who has no interest in potty training. Then we had a couple days where I just sat him on the potty and he actually went a few times. Then he got sick and wanted nothing to do with it again. I forgot to mention that we offered him his favorite candy as well each time he went in the potty. A couple weeks ago...after he was feeling better...we were on the last diaper getting ready for bed. I looked at him and told him that he was a big boy. He was not a baby anymore. He would always be MY baby but he was not A baby. I told him that the next morning, he would be using the potty all day and in big boy underwear all day. He looked at me and said "Ok, mommy". I thought "You have got to be kidding. Tell me it won't be that easy!". Well, the next day, we had about half & half accidents & potty all day. The next day, he had 2 accidents. For the next 4 days, 2 accidents...always #2. Then, I caught him going #2 and put him on the potty. He was successful. No more accidents. At the same time, he started telling me he had to go. We are going on 5 days of no accidents. 2 more days and he gets his coveted Diego underwear from the store. Needless to say, I am just about at the point of taking out stock in Kit Kat! I am running out.

So, the point of all of this is that each child is different and you will need to experiment to figure out what works with your child. And boys & girls are different with what works for them as well. I read somewhere that children aren't born knowing when they need to go. They learn the ability to know as they are training. So in the beginning, you do have to tell them to go. Their little bodies don't automatically know.

My only advice is to be patient and it will come. Maybe not as soon as you want, but it will happen. You won't have an 18 year old in diapers!! :-)

Best of Luck!!!



answers from Norfolk on

My friends and I learned the hard way that when they are ready to train they will. I would maybe try leaving the potty out somewhere, but not push the issue. Is he at all interested in the big toilet? If he is you could try just letting him use that instead or just follow his lead. My son has some issues and it took him till he was over 4 to train, I discovered that summer that If I took off his diaper and just let him run around the house he would go to the bathroom no problem, the minute I put diaper or underwear on him he'd go to the bathroom. I was desperate by the end of the summer because he was going back to school and I didn't know what to do as he obviously couldn't run around naked there. I talked to his teacher and she was like send him with lots of extra clothes and a pull up for the bus ride and we'll deal with it, he had two accidents that week and was in underwear by that weekend. My daughter on the other hand had been imitating her brother and going on the potty since she was 1 1/2 but was still in diapers at 2 1/2 but having learned my lesson that it will happen when they are ready with my son I just let her go I bought her some underwear but she had some accidents so I just kept her in diapers (I used cloth) and I would just ask her every once in a while if she was tired of wearing them. One day she walked up to me right before we were supposed to go somewhere and said she wanted to wear her underwear, I went with it and that was basically that. It just really goes to what most things you read say when they are ready it just happens and not before. Also my friends and I had done a lot of research on the subject and pull-ups did not always seem to help, the famous "they" seemed to think because they are so like diapers it can actually take longer to train. Because I used cloth and only have ever used pull-ups at night I'm not sure if this is true. Some great video are out there too one by Bear in the Big Blue house called Potty time is really great my kids still like to watch it.
Good luck -
R. A



answers from Washington DC on

Well i have the same issue with my 2 year old daughter she was doing ok with the potty until her brother decided to make his appearance in the world. Now she has regressed back to her baby phase. But she is still interested i will just let her decide. We also use a sticker system.. Anytime she is successful she gets a sticker, same way with momma if she doesn't go no sticker but i go i get a sticker. She wants the sticker so she goes. Hope this helps a little



answers from Washington DC on

Hi J.,

You know my sin told me the same thing, so I let him try to potty on the regular toilet and he loved it. So we put the kiddie potty up and he has not looked back. We sing the potty song also, he now sings it when he has to use the potty and when he doesn't but he is getting better at just telling us he has to potty or go to the bathroom on his own and call us.

Good luck!!




answers from Washington DC on

Maybe you could try some elimination communication with your 7 month old and introduce your younger son to smallest baby size of baby bjorn potty. This might help your older son feel more comfortable in understanding how this is a very natural and fun process. The two could sit on the potty at the same time. I have the book Diaper Free Baby... and I love the process... as does my 16 month old son. A great site to check out: www.diaperfreebaby.org

Also, due to travel, my son took a break for awhile... when we got home, he was not interested in the small potty... only the toliet with insert



answers from Johnson City on

Hello! I have a 2 1/2 yr old son and we are also potty training. He didn't want to go until i introduced BUBBLES. Everytime he goes and actually uses the toliet he gets to blow bubbles. He loves it and has been doing really good.



answers from Norfolk on

I think you need to stress to him that the pull ups are for big boys and diapers are for the baby.



answers from Houston on

Hi J.,

My daughter, 4 now, did the same thing. She would go through phases where she would be fine on the potty, then want nothing to do with it. She potty trained fine in the long run. Just keep focusing on the potty for your son, and he will decide to use it again. Good luck & God Bless!



answers from Roanoke on

I see that you are a stay at home mom. I was also, and like you, did not want to make a big deal of it. So when my son got up in the mornings, I would take his wet diaper off and let him walk around for a while bottomless. He would go right to his potty when he had to go. He wouldn't even tell me he was going - so it just kind of became a normal thing for him. This was a process that went on for a couple of weeks. When I did dress him, I let him wear 'big boy pants' during the day and used a diaper at night, and he had very few 'accidents', and I made light of those. Soon, even in the mornings he would be dry, and immediately head for his potty. I always tried to let him move naturally into changes at his own pace instead of making a battle out of it. It worked for me!

Good luck and God Bless!

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