Crunch Time with Potty Training

  • My 3 year old will be starting a preschool type program soon where he has to be potty trained. He, however, shows NO interest in getting rid of his diapers. I’ve tried all the usual rewards, encouragement, etc. with no success. Everyone says kids will potty train when they are ready and not before. So, should I consider skipping this program on the basis of potty training alone? Not sure how far to push this issue with my boy. -- Julie, StrongMoms Facilitator

  • Hi Nurse Julie, In my family, what we do for potty training is that we make it fun. We schedule it the first thing they do after they wake in the morning(sit on the potty for 5 mins) while they watch me brush my teeth, hair etc. (Kids are number one imitators and they are very observant as to what you do), before going to bed and once in between even though they wear a diaper or a pull up we keep it as a routine and it we wake them up once to take them to the potty. We have 3 toddlers and they stay with me on weekends. They were never potty trained and once they are with me, they remember what to do. They will ask questions why they have to do it but just tell them the reasons.

  • Pick a day...and just jump in! No diapers during the day and give him lots of juice and milk so he will have lots of chances to try to potty. Encourage him and do not go back to diapers except for naptime and bedtime. Also show him a few "potty videos" and read "potty books"...those seem to help!

  • Thanks guys! I will be taking your advice and giving lots of potty time and jumping into it and giving it a go. I've read a few potty books but I'll hunt for some videos too! 

  • My 3 year old is not interested either. It's almost as if he doesn't understand why he should even have to take off his diapers Smile what's the point right? But we take his diaper off as soon as he wakes from naps or bed, and have him go to the bathroom every hour or so. If your son is interested in Elmo at all, there is a "potty time" video with him and his dad that my son looks forward to watching as he sits on the toilet. 

  • I have two thoughts about a three year old that is not interested in potty training, and they kind of contradict one another.

    1-The bigger deal you make out of this and the more emotionally invested that you become in your child being potty trained, it may be that this triggers your child to not want to do it even more.  This is not out of spite, but perhaps has become a bit of a game.  So in light of this having some sort of reward system to which you stay emotionally unattached to may work.

    2-thought number two has to do with a program of intensive positive reinforcement.  At three years of age children understand reward systems.  So, put together a sticker chart with a strong reward system.


    So I guess I'd think about those two things and if they are helpful in anyway,  Let us know how things go,


  • SMOlson - My little one is totally the same! He declares to me that "LOVES" his diapers and actually gets upset when I suggest wearing underwear. I think, however, I'm going to take your approach and just make it part of his routine and get him used to feeling what it is like to pee, etc. I think he is completely unaware of when he goes because the diapers wick the moisture away so well.

    Jess- I made a sticker chart where he gets a Spider Man mask (he is dying to buy it) if he pees just 3 times in the potty. So far we havn't even got one pee...he has no idea how to do it. I think once he is able to pee once or twice he'll figure it out pretty quickly. That's what I'm hoping anyway!

    Thanks for the advice everyone! 

  • Has your husband tried taking him potty with him so that he can learn from example.. maybe in this situation it would encourage him seeing his dad lead by example. just a thought.