Potty Training Help W. My 2.5Yr Son.....

Updated on October 28, 2010
D.S. asks from San Bruno, CA
5 answers

i am 2 weeks into potty training with my son. He goes on the potty when he is put on it...on occassion he puts up a fight but once hes on it hes happy and playing. Don't have a set schedule as his pee cycle varies daily. Try to base it on when he goes in the morning, then generally I try every half hour. If nothing, then I go every hour and so on. I use no reward system just lots of high fives, verbal praise, hugs and kisses. He is proud of himself when he goes and everyone he tells makes sure they praise him highly.

I do not scold him or make him feel bad for not going or wanting to go on the potty. I just tell him we will try in a little bit. GIve him a hug and a kiss for at least making an effort. Before I was having him sit at least 20mins on the potty each time. Now its only for a few minutes. Then we try again in another 5 to 10 mins. If still nothing, then we stretch the time out to maybe 20/30mins.

When do you say "ahhh hes just not ready, we gave it a shot".....when do you realize your efforts are not sinking in and teaching him that he is suppose to go potty on his toliet and not his underware/pull up? He won't tell me he has to go nor does it matter to him that he soiled his big boy underware and clothes (he wasn't even excited that he got big boy underware. Where in the beginning he refused to wear them and asked for his diaper, now he doesn't care that hes wearing big boy undies).

He shows all other signs of being ready when I looked it up on google. Except not wanting a dirty diaper and asking to be changed. Or shows interest to be on the potty when I am on it. However lately, he has mentioned it a few times about him having to go on the potty, and just once he did say he had to go potty. Are these small signs that my efforts are working and I just need to give it more time?

I dont want to quit but at the same time, if he isn't truly ready, why push it? HELP!!!!

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answers from Portland on

It is sometimes possible to train boys this young. But it's usually a case of the parents training themselves to remember frequent potty breaks, learning to recognize their child's "about-to-pee" behavior and "most-likely-to-poop" schedule, and being willing to put up with frequent accidents for months. Many parents don't consider the child trained when it's the mom who's actually trained herself, even if the little guy cooperates cheerfully.

And even when he figures it out, it's not always for keeps. Once the child realized the demand for consistent success stretches on for the rest of his life, he not infrequently regresses. Regression is also extremely common when there's a major change in the child's life, a move, loss of a close relative, a new daycare situation, illness, or a new sibling distracting the parents, and many experts recommend NOT pushing on until the dynamics are stable again.

Every family I've known has had the best results with waiting until the child wants to train. And kids do, just like they want to learn to walk and talk as soon as they're ready. It's excellent to talk about potty training and what the body does, and to experiment with sitting on the potty, it's great to play potty games with toys, puppets, and occasionally the child, it's great to read books and watch videos, to let him watch you use the toilet, to observe how much easier time he'll have when he learns to use the potty and doesn't have to stop for diaper changes. (I thought of this as "pre-training" with my daughter.)

And at some point, he'll start showing more curiosity and indicating that he wants to try, perhaps even voluntarily sitting on the potty himself. He'll probably be thrilled by the whole idea of big-boy underpants. That's when you can let him know you'll help him remember; let him help you work out a plan so he's got some control, and go for it. Kids will often train in a matter of days at that point, with fewer accidents every day.

Children who are ready for this step toward maturity take great pride in the accomplishment. Charts and reward systems aren't even needed. Children who are pushed into it tend to become irritable and resistant, or even worse, begin to feel a sense of failure and frustration.

Here are some helpful readiness checklists: http://www.parentingscience.com/toilet-training-readiness... If you decide to go for it even if your son hasn't yet shown initiative or that he can reliably recognize his urges, be prepared with a timer to schedule regular visits, toys and books for the potty, and a supply of cleanup rags.

Also, be aware that poop training and night training are sometimes separate steps for some children. Children can not help this.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

My son was day trained at 3 1/2 yrs and was finished with pull-ups at night when he was 7 yrs old. If it's driving you nuts, give it a rest. Putting so much effort into something when he's not ready just means you are setting yourself up for frustration. I didn't want to deal with puddles and poopy clothes and I preferred he stay in diapers until we had a reasonable shot at success.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

i tried and stopped several times when my son was around this age. you are right that after two weeks he may just not be ready. my son showed all the same signs (even excluding the ones you mention) and eventually he got it - all without ever having a problem having a dirty diaper lol. i think that might be a boy thing - he just didn't care! i would give it a rest for a month or two, go by his cues. of course if he asks to go, take him, and lavish on the praise. we got to a point where i knew he could, he was just being lazy. i realized he needed to be pushed a bit more and taught this was a job he really had to do, it was his responsibility (he was fine with laying on the floor and letting mom do all the work- changing diapers!). so that was when we implemented the sticker chart. we started with m&m's but he started doing it too often lol. the sticker chart worked for us - he loved getting them. then it was just a matter of getting him in the habit.



answers from Madison on

I also have a 2.5 yr old son, and he is very similar in terms of potty training to what you describe. He never cared if he has soiled diapers as a baby and still he doesn't. He almost always happily sits on the potty (or toilet with a ring, I let him choose) and goes both pee and poop only when I tell him to. He has several times told me he needs to go, but not consistently. I haven't tried big boy underwear though as I don't think at all he will be excited about them (he was not interested when I talked about them or showed pictures, etc).

He has been this way for a few months now. My MIL tried to train him over the summer but had to give up.

I decided to see these as "pre-training" steps and not push it until he is truly ready.



answers from Missoula on

My son will be 3 next week and just potty trained about 6 days ago. Before that he would wake up from naps and overnight dry and he would consistently pee on the potty, but not poop. I tried any number of things to speed the process along, but none of them worked. Finally I had no choice but to back off and wait for him to really be ready. Within 2 weeks he just started using the potty all the time. It was like he woke up one morning and decided "today is the day."
It sounds to me like your son just isn't ready yet. I am not sure about just putting the kiddo on the potty at set intervals. I know that is the recommended method according to a lot of "experts", but it seems to me that a kid who is truly ready to use the potty is a kid who should be able to tell you when he/she needs to "go". I would try to be patient and wait for your son to show you that he really is ready. If he is showing interest, offer to let him use the potty, but don't push it. It will happen eventually, and most boys aren't potty trained until 3 or 3 1/2, just give it more time.

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