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How do I get our three-year-old to potty train?

Hi all! We are having an awful time potty training our son who just turned three in late February. We've tried the reward system (which worked for about a week), but he lost interest. I've tried the take him to the potty every hour, and he doesn't go. Just yesterday, I told him repeatedly that "big boys go potty on the potty and not in their pants," and he said, "ok." I kept asking him if he had to go, and he said, "no." Next thing I know, I said, "Did you go in your pants?" to which he replied, "yes." ARGH! I've been told by my girlfriends, who also have children, that kids don't like the feeling of wetness. Our son will sit in doesn't seem to bother him (so that doesn't work). I've tried the reward charts...don't seem to work. I should mention that our son has been delayed in other areas and has other medical issues. Not sure if this is a factor. Please help! Suggestions more than welcome! :)

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Asked by Lovinmykids at 9:11 AM on Jun. 4, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (4)
  • Its not uncommon at all for boys to be over 3 before showing any interest in the potty, much less actually doing it. My son was 3 in April and he also has no interest. Doesnt care if hes wet or dirty either. THeres no trick, theres no system that works other than encouraging and keep trying. This is in his own control. All of my 3 older children did it when they were ready and at various times. My third child, who was also my first boy was 3 and maybe 3 mos. I had left him alone until he turned 3 for this very reason. Now my younger son who is also somewhat delayed in maturity and speech has no interest at all. He even looks like a 2 1/2 yr old so I know hes just biding his time. We've done the rewards and that works a few times but its not long term at all. I suggest that you leave him alone and wait until hes ready. Meaning that you stop pushing. Dont ever stop encouraging and asking, but dont make him. He will do this.

    Answer by momofsaee at 9:25 AM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • Take it slow. My oldest didn't get the concept until right after his 4th b'day. My 3 yr old knows what he has to do, might try it every once in a while, but has no interest really. We are trying to get him going,but not going to push him. I would like him to be out of pull-ups before Sept when his baby brother is due. here's hoping. Good Luck.

    Answer by tabbykat6802 at 9:35 AM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • Have you tried taking him to the store and having him pick out his own big boy underwear? That's what we did with our boys. I have a 3 1/2 yr old who's been potty trained for coming up on a little over a year now (he does have 2 older brothers so that really helped). When we took them to the store we told them that they could pick out whatever underwear they wanted. They were so excited that when they got home they couldn't wait to put them on and we have had very few accidents. The way we look at it is if they pick them out then you know they'll like them and they're less likely to mess them up. Good luck.

    Answer by Juggalette0327 at 10:02 AM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • I was having the same problem with my son when I first started potty training him. And just like your son, it never bothered my son to be wet. I was hoping he would hate it lol. Anyhow, I waited until I had about 8 diapers left. I told him and explained that I cannot buy anymore diapers. I actually told him that stores stopped making them lol. I let him know that as soon as we were out of diapers he is going to have to wear big boy undies and learn to go on the potty. Each time I changed his diaper I let him know how many we had left. Once we ran out of diapers, that was it. I put him in undies and never looked back. It may sound easy but trust me it wasnt. The first couple of days will be the worst. He had many accidents the first couple of days, but then he started to realize that I was not lying to him about no more diapers. He was competely potty trained in a week. My sister did this with her child and it worked

    Answer by Ethansmyson1 at 9:45 AM on Jun. 5, 2009

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