Tips for Potty Training a Three Year Old Boy

Updated on August 11, 2010
S.L. asks from Lafayette Hill, PA
6 answers

I am planning on potty training my son in two weeks after he is finished with camp. I thought I would ask all of you experts out there for any words of advice before we begin this adventure. He turned 3 in May and has been peeing on the potty before his bath for the past few months. I am open to any suggestions on how to potty train, what to do when we are in a public bathroom, and what to do during the night (pull ups, underwear, etc). Thanks for taking the time to help me out!!

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answers from Indianapolis on

If you haven't already, join Then find the group "Potty Training Boys". They are the most help I ever had!!



answers from Harrisburg on

I'd recommend either naked training or putting him straight to underwear - they both worked with me with my boys. Set a date and let him know that's when diapers are going and don't look back. At this age he should have it down pretty quickly but keep in mind you'll have A LOT of accidents so keep your head up! With public bathrooms you can take a potty ring along (I use potette and love it) or if he's good standing up (and tall enough) he can do this. I also always have kept a potty in the car in case there's a problem with getting to or they don't want to use a public bathroom. As for night time, if he wakes up dry sometimes then he'll probably be good at night. With all my boys I make sure they drink a big drink at dinner and then nothing after. I actually don't have to do this with my 4 year old (I also have 3 year old twins) but I think I'll do it with them all until everyone consistently gets up in the night to pee if they have to. Good luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

I used pull-ups with my son but did not have much success...he refused to use the potty--especially for number 2. His daycare teacher told me that he would do it when he was ready and that I could not force him. She was right. I just put him on the potty consistantly every morning when I got him out of bed and every night before bed--sometimes he peed sometimes not. I would have put him on the potty more but as a working mom I had to take what I could get. Also I would try to catch him in the act of number two and take him to the potty--which he did not like at all. But when he was finally ready to use the potty he let me know. A few months after he turned three I was putting him on the potty before bed and he refused to put his pull-up back on so I asked him if he wanted underware instead and he said yes--I had already bought him some. He put them on and never used a pull-up again. He had very few accidents--not even at night. I guess when they are developmentally ready they will do it. But it may not be when you want them to--I wanted my son to be potty-trained at two and that's when I started trying but I just had to be patient and consistant. Good Luck!!



answers from Philadelphia on

congrats on taking that next big step with your son. We just went through this with my 2 1/2 yr old boy. We didn't do pull-ups. I think he thought of these as diapers. But he had been dry for about a week during his nap & at bedtime. I took 3 days & on the first one just let him run around bare bottom& every 10 min we sat on the potty. He did wear a diaper at bed on this day only. 2nd day samething but I extended the time. 3rd day we put underwear on & ventured out on a quick trip to Target. He's been fine ever since. A few accidents here and there but nothing at bedtime. We did a sticker chart for everytime that he went on the potty. He loves stickers! Also we bought the potty seat that fits right on the toilet, that way I don't have to re-train him to go on the "big boy potty". Good luck!



answers from Austin on

First of all, I would not do pull ups. They are diapers and boys will not see them as anything else. Have him pick out his own undies and then make a plan "with" him. Have daily prizes and some sort of chart to mark his progress. I am assuming that he wants to train and you have been talking to him about it. When he goes a week without accidents, give him something that you both have decided on beforehand.
As far as out in public, you really should be taking him to the potty every hour or sooner. Make sure that if it is one of the auto toilets, you put your hand over the sensor. It scared my boys. I would continue with the diaper at night until you are sure that he is fully trained, then don't look back.



answers from Erie on

We have twin boys who we trained in different ways. One was pretty much cold turkey when he turned three: We went bare bottom all day for two days, and he did wonderfully. I was pretty sure that was the way it would work, since he had dry diapers every morning, pooped one major time each day, and seemed to wet a large amount at several intervals throughout the day. We taught him to sit to pee until he got to the point where he could tell if peeing was all he had to do ;) After I felt confident that he got it, we went straight to underwear. We did keep using pull-ups at night until he knew he was comfortable with sleeping through the night (although we probably could have skipped this step, he liked doing it and was absolutely mortified by any accidents). Our other son has some anatomical issues which require surgery, so he was a bit different. He didn't respond well to bare bottom and didn't seem as regular as his brother. Instead, we resorted to a timer method. We let him go through all the ring tones on my cell phone to choose a song he liked (which I now hate, sigh). I would set the alarm on my phone to ring every forty-five minutes and had him sit on the potty, regardless of where we were, anytime it rang. Hope these tips help, but feel free to ask questions if you have any... Oh, I almost forgot the most important tip: make sure you have a way to maintain your own patience and positive attitude, as this makes a big difference :)

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