MarkB's picture
MarkB

Need Help With Potty Training

OK, I'll try and make this short.  We have a soon to be 3 yr. old boy who started peeing on the potty about 2 months ago.  He has pooped 1 time since starting to use the potty.  The rest of the time when he has to go, he tells us that he has to poop and to put a diaper on him, this is not our main concern at this point.  Our main concern is this, he has recently said he does not want to go pee on the potty anymore and that he will just pee in his pull-up.  Before bath (shower) time at night he always walks over to the potty and pees before we get in the tub.  Last night, he was so dead set against using the potty, he just told us that he wanted to pee in the tub instead of the potty, he says that he is scared to use the potty but does not tell us why.  My wife and I were off for 2 weeks over the holidays and he did great.  I think there may have been 1 day out of 15 that he had 1 accident.  We went to the store several times and he would tell us that he had to go pee and that he wanted to go to the potty in the store, so we would take him and he would go.  I do have to say, that he is a bit lazy and most of the time, if you do not tell him to go use the potty , he will wait until the last second, and when we do tell him to go use the potty, it is sometimes a struggle (not always).  We do not want to take a step backwards and start putting diapers on him again, but the battle that we have with him over the potty is terrible and he just digs his feet in and will not use the potty.  He was also using the potty at the babysitters (just pee) but he now does not want to use it there either.  PLEASE HELP!

 



concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

Both of my boys were late potty trainers. Everything you're experiencing w/ your son is very normal. I don't know if you have any family members that were late potty trainers, but according to our son's dr, this sometimes runs in families. We took many different approaches.
1. Try not to push the issue. Get your son used to the idea by using a smaller potty that may seem less intimidating. Also, the use of a doll and a book or video on potty training may be helpful.
2. Eliminate the pull up. Try "big boy" underwear. When you go out, put the underwear over a pull up, just incase. Only do this if you have to.
3. When you're home, you can try letting your son go w/ no pants, pull-up and underwear on. This was suggested to me by another mom. It didn't work for us, but she swore by it, so it's worth a try.
4. Put your son on the potty every hour. If you work, have your caregiver do this. You can use a timer. When the timer goes off, your child will know it's potty time.
5. Since you have a boy, have him stand up when making pee-pee. This way he can actually see what he's doing. You can put a few cheerios in the potty, and have your son aim for the target. This is fun for him and nice for you, since you're teaching him to aim as well.
6. Make the experience fun. Come up a song/dance to get your son to the potty. In our case, our sons love trains. Therefore, when it was potty time, they "hopped on" the "potty train" to the potty as we sang a potty train song. Our boys loved this. Then, if they actually went pee-pee or poops, we sang and danced another potty song we made up.
7. Reward (in the beginning) for making pee-pee or poops on the potty. Make a huge deal about this, and offer a treat or small
"prize". After a while, though, words of praise shld be enough of a reward. I don't believe that kids shld be given rewards for every little thing, only for those things that are extaordinary.
8. Never yell or punish your child for accidents. This will only backfire on you and prolong the training process. You don't want this to become a control issue or a stressful battle.
9. When kids wait til the last minute to go to the potty, they often get infections or may become constipated. This happened w/ my oldest son when it came to pooping. His dr. suggested an over-the-counter chewable tablet called Fiber Choice. This helped him, and kept him regular. Also, it's good to offer lots of water to encourage your child to use the potty more frequently.
10. If your child's in day care or pre-school, talk to his teacher about his potty training needs. Some schools require kids to be potty trained already, while others (more often day care facilities) will help train your child. Whatever your situation, the caregiver shld be consistent w/ your training at home. Also, if your child's in a school where the caregiver will help him potty train, many times watching the other kids go to the potty, will encourage your son to want to do the same. The incentive of "big boy school" is what helped my younger son to potty train.
So, there you have it. A variety of options you can try w/ your son. Every child is different. See what works best for him and for you. Good luck!