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How do we motivate our 34 month old son to use the potty?

He will be 3 in September and we've been trying to train him for almost a year now, with some breaks when it just isn't working. He can hold it for a long time, he is starting to "hide" when he has to go poo. He understands what the potty is for and goes to the potty with us. We've tried stickers, prizes, high fives, calling Nana to tell her about successes, special treats, everything we can think of. We've got a potty that plays music when he goes and an insert for the big potty. He will hold it and beg for a diaper. We've tried letting him go naked, wear underpants, pull ups, even try to have him potty outside in the grass. Nothing works. He doesn't want to stop playing to be changed or to use the potty. He will even sit in a dirty diaper and lie and say he isn't poopy. We even tied bring the potty to the living room and setting him up with a book or a favorite show, snacks and a drink, but he just won't do it! We don't know what else to do!


Asked by elwalters77 at 11:34 AM on Jul. 6, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (5)
  • The best thing to do is get rid of the diapers and pull ups,when they wear those the child isnt forced to feel the wetness and dirty feeling on his skin. Staying dry could be enough of a motivator to get him on the pot! Get him some big boy undies and prepare to scrub pee spots a lot!

    Answer by vbruno at 12:34 PM on Jul. 6, 2008

  • Sounds like he's just not ready! Sometimes if you don't try so hard to get them to go, that's when they show interest. A rebellious thing or something. I'd suggest putting potty training on the shelf for a week or so. If he doesn't warm up to it, slowly ease back into it. He'll go eventually!

    Answer by drowninginboys at 2:45 PM on Jul. 6, 2008

  • Both of my boys trained themselves at 3 years old....He'll do it when he's ready...

    Answer by love_my_boys at 5:10 PM on Jul. 6, 2008

  • We went through all than when my son was the same age. I finally just took a whole week of staying completely at home with him, no leaving the house for anything. Just underwear. He would wet himself, then he would yell "oh no, I wet!" I would run him to the potty. By day 2&3, he would start to wet himself, then yell "I have to go!"I would run him to the potty and he would finish in the potty. This went on for the rest of the week..we cleaned up a LOT of pee!Day 7, he was able to hold it and tell us that he had to go potty.I think that sometimes the problem is that we are busy in our lives,running around that we don't get the chance to focus on things. For us, getting him to use the potty was very important to us by his 3rd birthday, so I had to buckle down, stay home at all costs and make it happen. I also rewarded him with M&M's for every success.He had his 3rd birthday 3 weeks ago and he is so happy that he is a "big boy" now.

    Answer by slw123 at 2:16 PM on Jul. 7, 2008

  • Oh yeah, after that first week, I put the little potty in the back of my car. When he yells he has to go, there isn't a lot of time between him saying and doing it. There have been many times that I have pulled the car off into a parking lot so that he could use the potty. It has been a life saver to have that potty in my car!

    Answer by slw123 at 2:18 PM on Jul. 7, 2008