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my 3 and a half son will not potty train

Forum: Potty Training


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July 30th, 2010, 04:52 AM
sharlers's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 416
so the story is i have been trying to potty train my son for the last year and a half and i have tried everything i can think of it has been along struggle and he still doesnt even like sitting on it i have given him weeks of not even mentioning it he sits on it with his clothes on but you take them off and world war 3 breaks out every1 keeps telling me to forget it for now but he goes to school next september i know its another year away but i have been trying for a year and a half now ive tried reading storys to him giving him pencils and a book singing nursery rhymes and loads of other things he has wee in toilet but he totally freaked out holding his stomach please ladies anyone had the same problem or if you have anything i can try id be sooooooooooo grateful
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July 30th, 2010, 06:16 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 4
Have you tried a potty chart? When your child uses the potty they get to put a sticker on a chart and collect them as the days and weeks go by? You can find free printable ones on the internet as well.

I also did the treat method which worked well with the stickers and after a while she only got the sticker for going pee while still getting both for going poo

She is now just over 3 and an accident is extremly rare.
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August 1st, 2010, 03:32 PM
sharlers's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 416
Thanks ive tried sticker charts they didnt work he lost interest might try thre treat thing though got him to sit on the potty this morning after half an hour of chucking a tantrum he sat on for about 15 mins he got a star sticker to stick on his potty gonna keep trying with that he was asking for his nappy and i told him unless he sat on his potty he couldnt have it so thats how i got him to sit on it
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August 1st, 2010, 06:44 PM
MamaInLove's Avatar Blessed mom of 2
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 344
All the traditional methods wouldn't work on my son either. I thought he'd never get the hang of it. Now he does both all day long on the toilet and has been sleeping dry at night in underwear for five months. The bribes aren't going to work and neither will making him sit there until he goes. In all honesty he won't do it until HE is ready. I gave up and told him so flat out...then he wanted to do it and has been ever since

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August 2nd, 2010, 08:18 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 11
I've been where you're at. I was trying so hard to get him to go pee on the potty, did the stickers / rewards / charts / new toy / new underwear / etc....etc.....everything out there. I had a few people telling me when he's ready he'll go, you'll see. I couldn't believe that, not the way things were working out. I was frustrated as you are. So I just left the potty hanging out, kept reminding him once in a while but not so much pushing him anymore. Then get this, one day he wakes up and says, "Mommy I want to pee on the potty". I was shocked, couldn't believe it, so I put him on the potty and sure enough he went. From that day on he would tell us when he has to go, he still has some accidents now and then (more so at the beginning) but he's learning, just as your son will. Just lots of patience (I know how frustrating it can get) but just try to stay positive. And when he does go, make it the biggest thing in the world, clap, cheer, praise, high-5's whatever it takes to make him see how happy and proud you are of him, and keep him encouraged to go.

Now for the pooping part well that's another story. He's only been poop trained for about approx. 1 month now (he just turned 4 a week after he first went). Every time he had to go he would ask for a diaper, he wouldn't poop his pants. If we didn't get him a diaper he was holding it, so much that he would get cramps, hard stomach, crying, waking up crying, didn't want to eat. To make a long story short, we just kept after him about what a big boy he would be if he went poop now too, it would go quickly, just go on the potty and then wipe clean, instead of a messy diaper, laying on the couch, wipes, taking so long to clean up...we didn't get it, he could pee but not poop...the night he did go, it was about the size of a penny but my goodness we made the biggest celebration ever for him. He loved it. The next day he went again, then he said he needed a diaper, I told him I got rid of them all and he did it the night before he could do it again. Sure enough he tried and did it again, I got him a goody bag so every time he went he could pick out a surprise. He was getting smart with that, he would poop a bit, get a surprise, poop a bit more, get another, finally let it all out and get another . Now he goes all in one shot, still gets a surprise now and then but he's so proud of himself when he goes, tells us to come and see it, we keep him encouraged and he's doing great.

I know that's a pretty long read, but just don't give up. I know it can get very frustrating but it's true what people said, when he is ready to go, he will go.

Good luck!
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August 5th, 2010, 08:27 AM
sharlers's Avatar Veteran
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Posts: 416
thankyou for your replies you have been sooooooo helpful hes just not interested so im gonna leave him and hopefully one daylike you say he ll ask to go im just so sick of been stressed about it your right im so frustrated so im going to leave him and see what happens ive had every book possible on potty training but none of it works i thought him watching my 2 other boys would help but as he likes to watch us as we go he sits on the potty fully clothed but ask him to go without thats when the problems start anyway thanks girls im gonna chill out about it
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August 12th, 2010, 08:00 AM
Meticulosity's Avatar Veteran
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
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The reason kids want to keep going in their diaper is that we have taught them for the past 2 (or 3 or 4) years that is the correct place to go. They are simply doing what we taught them. The diapers are made so 'well' that the child barely has an awareness they have gone. They can't 'feel' it.

I would try this:

Try to pick a week where you can keep him at home.
Put him into underwear and cotton pants. Yes, this could get messy. However, he will quickly learn the association between going and feeling it.
Put him on the potty immediately from waking, immediately after feeding, and every half hour while awake. Give him lots of opportunities to go.
Leave him in underwear and cotton pants 100% so he learns the association clearly.
He will probably cry when he wets himself. That is a good thing.

Take the sheets and comforter off his bed so you just have the plastic mattress.
Be prepared to be woken up through the night. A spray bottle of vinegar and some paper towels will come in handy.

When he does go on the potty, you can give him a small reward and say "good job" (not 'good boy'). Lots of praise. I'm sure you already do that.

Keep him in underwear + cotton pants until you can see he is 'getting it'. Once he is going pretty consistently on the potty, you could put the diaper back on so it is less stressful to go out and less stressful to continually watch for accidents etc. You will be so excited when you put him on the potty and the diaper is dry! I still smile every time it happens! But if he regresses, I would just go back to underwear + pants. The diaper on can make you less vigilent with giving him potty opportunities, so be sure that doesn't happen.

A lot of people say 'they will do it when they are ready'. This is a myth perpetuated by the diaper companies (the paid pediatricians of the diaper companies). Going to the bathroom on the potty is a skill, just like sleeping is and eating solids is. We do not wait until THEY say they are ready before we teach them this, do we? The parent decides, not the child.

Feel free to let me know if you need any support or have any questions.

PS. For future children, we need to start potty training before age 1. I know this is hard to imagine, but that is only because the diaper industry has been so successful at teaching us otherwise, which is obviously completely profit motivated.

*The average child across the world is potty trained by 1 year old.
*90% of the children in 1950 in the US were toilet trained by the age of 18 months.

This article summarizes this brilliantly:

Matt Metzgar: The Great Diaper Scam

Last edited by Meticulosity; August 12th, 2010 at 08:21 AM.
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August 13th, 2010, 05:34 AM
sharlers's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 416
thanks for your reply what you say sounds brilliant but if i brought his pants down he totally freaks out he has wet in them many times he justscreams the place down he wont even sit on his potty anymore i have 2 older boys and they trained no problem but my little 1 just doesnt want to know at all ive bought pants he chose ive done everything i can think of he just doesnt want to know i think at this point i will leave him alittle while but i am grateful fo r your advice i might try about xmas time again thanks again
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August 13th, 2010, 11:11 AM
Meticulosity's Avatar Veteran
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
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Yes, my sister had one of the two that was really hard to train. Her stories are what motivated me to start early. I was scared!

What about just leaving him naked?

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August 16th, 2010, 09:28 AM
sharlers's Avatar Veteran
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hes never been 1 for being naked and he knows if hes naked theres a chance he ll wee on the floor not a problem for me and never made him aware it is he just doesnt like weeing unless its in his nappy i just hope 1 day it clicks but im very grateful for your advice if theres any developments i ll let you know
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September 14th, 2010, 03:09 PM
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My daughter was fully potty trained, day and night by 16 or 18 months. She regressed when her dad and I broke up over a year ago. In the time we were broken up she regressed badly. I had to give up. I didnt' write that in my other post. I was typing to fast. There was a point where she just absolutely refused to go. So, I gave him for several months, and one day she woke up and just started going on the potty. She woke up dry and peed as soon as she got up and was in underwear the entire day, no accidents. She was night trained for about a week, she went to her dads and all of a sudden she wasn't night trained anymore. So, I'm back to working on that. The only time we really have accidents anymore is if she sleep for a long time in her car seat she'll wake up and pee. But we are working on it. She's doing great.

Thank you, Jaidynsmum for my beautiful signature.

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September 16th, 2010, 09:52 AM
sharlers's Avatar Veteran
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thanks hope everything goes well with your daughter bless her my son seems behind for his age hes still very babyfied the way he talks so maybe thats why im having so much difficulty with him
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