Son Refuses to Use Toilet or Wear Diapers.

Updated on July 06, 2011
M.K. asks from Lansing, MI
8 answers

My 2 1/2 year old son is now refusing to wear diapers, we have transitioned to cloth training pants with a cover. He is very proud of this, wearing his big-boy underwear. The problem is he is also refusing to use the toilet! We have 3 potty chairs and the cover for the regular toilet, but he absolutely refuses to go near any of them! He will sit on his potty, fully - clothed, when we use the toilet, but any other time he just screams NO, NO, NO, when we (gently) try to get him to use it. I have even caught him peeing in the shower, then quickly brought him over to the potty, he still refuses. He will, however, tell me immediately after he wets or soils his undies that he needs "a change,"

I am all for waiting until he is ready, but since he wants to wear underwear and not diapers, what do I do? Any thoughts?

It might be helpful to know that he has the "if I can't do it right I will not do it at all" personality. We think this is part of the problem, but don't know what to do with that information.

Thanks for any advice. M.

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answers from Gainesville on

I would give him the choice to wear diapers or the use potty. If he says he still want to wear the big boy pants then he needs to use the potty. if he consistently refuses the potty take the big boy pants away out of his sight. tell him that they are only for people who use the potty! which is totally true! Tell him he won't get the big boy pants back until he uses the potty. Give him pull ups. Once he uses potty consistently THEN the big boy pants come out again. good luck! don't make it a power struggle just state the facts- underwear is for people who use potty diapers are for people who don't. you don't use the potty therfore you wear diaper. Now he will fight you don't give in!

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answers from Lake Charles on

I'd stick him back in diapers and tell him that if he doesn't want to use the toilet then he gets to wear diapers. This is not a question of him being ready vs not because he so obviously is. You said he doesn't want to wear diapers? Too bad, you're not going to keep cleaning up his messes. If he refuses the diapers and he wets himself don't change him right off. Don't drop everything you're doing to make him comfortable. Let him feel his mistake for a while it's not going to hurt him. If you can hide the training pants and tell him that he has to wear diapers then don't let him sit on the potty at all. If you can't get the diapers on him try making him clean his own mess (maybe not with poop).. show him that he needs to take the underwear off, rinse them off wipe himself off and put on new underwear. Bring the soiled underwear to you so you can wash them and change his clothes. Our daughter is ready for training but she refuses as well so we keep her potty in the bathroom but we don't let her sit on it. She'll ask to go potty and I tell her "No, it's not a toy and you won't go potty" every once in a while when she's insistent we'll try again and sure enough she won't. I figure letting her sit on her potty fully clothed isn't exactly sending any right messages to her so we just forbid it.

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answers from St. Louis on

there's no issue here....he either wears the diapers or he uses the potty. Do not let him buffalo you into dealing with the mess! If he refuses the diapers, then he has to keep the undies clean. If he chooses to soil the undies, then the diaper goes back on....... Don't let him rule your world! If he's making the choice to pee in the tub, then he's ready for training! Peace..

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answers from Detroit on

Just tell him that if he won't use the potty, then he must wear diapers, because you are not going to just let him mess around the house and in his pants and keep cleaning up after him. His choices are wear diapers, or go on the potty - only big boys that use the potty get to wear cool big-boy underwear. There have been plenty of times that my daughter is not happy about either choice I am giving her, but oh well, too darn bad - I am the adult and the parent, not her. One the best pieces of advice I ever heard was, "Don't let kids be in the driver's seat, they make lousy drivers."

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answers from Detroit on

Explain which underclothes go with which level of using the potty. I.e., take away his favorite underwear until he conforms. "Big boy underwear is for big boys who always use the potty"

Then again he IS only 2.5. How is it possible to master something like that at that age. Get him in age appropriate unders, and when he wants to go to the john like everyone else then graduate him.



answers from Detroit on

The main keys to potty training are readiness and willingness. Back in the day....mine are grown now...readiess meant consistently dry at night and willingness meant, well at least trying LOL! Also, you can't be afraid to go COLD TURKEY.He is only 2 1/2 and some would say for boys that is a little young. For whatever reason typically boys train later than girls. I have 3 girls. The first two trained at 2 1/2, in the summer. I trained both of them with NO panties. That way they saw and felt the result of NOT getting to the potty ontime. The next step was "fun" panties w/ me saying "don't pee on tinkerbell" or something to that effect. It took less than a week. #3 was a different sort. Ready but not willing. She didn't care if she was wet OR poopy. She was 3 1/2 and I was really ready. I went cold turkey (pull-ups had not been invented yet either) and told her I was out of diapers. Suddenly she just said begrudginly,ok I will use the potty. Come to find out she was AFRAID of the toilet. She was afraid of falling in and the noise the toilet made when flushing.In the end she was traied in about 3 days. is really the two things: physical... the readiness of being dry at night means he CAN hold it for a period of time and knowing when he has to go and the mental...understanding what happens if he doesn't get there ontime and isn't afraid. You may want to stop everything for a bit and try again in about 3 or 4 months. Since he is refusing diapers, sounds like it will be messy for awhile. I am not a fan of pull-ups but since he won't wear a diaper or be willing to try, seems like the only choice for now. Use the pullups for your own sanity and don't talk about it anymore. When he is really ready, go COLD TURKEY. Big boys that actually use the potty get to wear big boy undies. Boys that do not use the potty have to wear diapers. End of is not negotiable! You don't want it to turn into a power struggle or unpleasant experience. If he is not ready and willing, you will end up actually trying to train him for a longer time than necessary. I hope this helps...good luck!



answers from Detroit on

You're at a critical point in potty training and I'd say ride that momentum forward. Don't go back to diapers at all at this point, even if he starts to ask for them. He's said he's done, be sure to back that up.

My advise is to try this potty training method. Its intensive and the best I've found. Its totally worth the $25 for the ebook! You also get a code for her web help if you have problems.

Best wishes. He's at the perfect age to do this, and with his interest its the right time to train him correctly!



answers from Pittsburgh on

Seriously, he's little. And he's the kid and you're the parent.
I know some boys train earlier than others but he sounds confused and not ready to me.

I'd get him back to diapers or pull ups. Would he think Pull ups are "cool"?

Why beat your head against that wall. When kids are 'ready' PT happens pretty easily.

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