Posted by: Wendy | 2007/08/16


Potty Training Troubles

My son is 37 months and not potty trained at all. I have been trying for a year and was making some progress in that he would use the potty if I suggested it. He has never told me when he feels the urge to go or asked for the potty himself. I have been trying not to make a fuss, but would quietly put the potty on the floor when he was undressed, he would sit down and when he had finished I would say thank you or well done. But it wasn't always successful as he wasn't telling me if he had the urge to go, so often I put him on the potty too late. I have sometimes tried taking the nappy off altogether and putting him into pants, but then he just wets everything repeatedly and doesn't even seem to notice that he is wet.

But now for the last six weeks or so, he has started refusing altogether to use the potty. A typical response is like this morning when I suggested it and he said "No sit on the potty, Mommy. I need a clean nappy." If I don't respond, he goes to the cupboard and takes out a nappy and says "put it on Mommy". I used to read him a little potty training storybook, but if I try to read it now, he grabs the book and throws it across the room. This change seems to coincide with him starting playschool two mornings a week, but I can't be sure because he wasn't getting on too well with the potty before that. In fact, one of the reasons why I sent him to playschool was so that he could see the other kids using the potty and feel a bit of peer pressure.

I tried a star chart long ago, but it seemed to be too much pressure for him, because he also started refusing the potty at that time.

Expert's Reply



It seems as if he has had enough of the potty training for a while. Give him a complete break for 10 to 14 days days or so then re-start your programme. You must use a reward system of some kind, I will leave it to you to decide, but the star system does not seem to be of any use. How about a small gift of something that he likes when he uses the potty or toilet successfully? He should be using training pants now and not nappies which make him feel that he is still a baby.

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user comments


Posted by: Dom | 2008/01/20

I have been doing potty training with my daughter for 3 weeks now. She is doing the wee's in the toilet beautifully but when it comes to the poo,s she crys for her nappy to be put on so she can poo. What can I do?

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Posted by: Mary dbn | 2007/08/16

Hi Wendy i know potty training is every moms nightmare-my son is 2 1/2 & full potty trained. It was difficult but i guess moms tend to put to much stress on the kids, i bought a toilet seat that fits onto the toilet about R35. Tell your son that you are throwing all the nappies away & that he should wee & poo in the toilet. Children don't wee as often as we think so don't force him unto the toilet. Remind him that he is a big boy & that biycicles & big cars are given to big boys. mail me: claudellem at law dot co dot za - we can talk

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Posted by: Another mom | 2007/08/16

I did the same as Anita. i must say it took over a year to make a poo in the toilet. It took some patience and frustration but he will do it once he is ready. Just tell him often to go to the loo or use the potty. just tell him that every now and then. My boy is turning 4 in jan and only now for 2 weeks does he use the loo. I threatened bribed and made games but nothing! He would go to school and hold it in and come home and fetch a nappy. I descided to let it go and everytime he brought me a nappy i asked him if he is sure he wants a nappy or doesn't he want to try the toilet. It was always no he wants a nappy and the other day out of his own he went to the loo and did it! I made such a fuss about it even pretended to phone all his grannies to tell them the good news and from there he felt so big and in charge that he doesn't want nappies anymore.
The less pressure you give him the better it will be. Try teaching him to use the loo for a wee i think the standing helps or ask hubby to take him whenever he goes to see it is rather easy and very grown up.
Good luck i know what you are going through

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Posted by: Anita | 2007/08/16

Hi Wendy

What I did was, and this might sound stupid, but I told my LO that if he wanted to wee, he should tell me then I'll take him outside and we can go and wet the flowers or wee patterns in the sand. I KNOW..... but it worked. This teached him to come and tell me when he wants to wee... I even caught him on his own outside, wetting the flowers or peeing patterns in the sand or grass.

This however did bring up the worry that he might be "wetting flowers" or "peeing patterns in the sand" at nursery school, but this luckily never happened. He saw the other kiddies going to the loo if they wanted to wee, so he did the same.

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