Monday, June 4, 2012

Guest Blogger: Potty Training for Children Who "Take Their Sweet Time"

We're so excited to welcome Laurie Bowen from Kids on the Move as our guest blogger today! 
Kids on the Move offers all kinds of programs for parents and children, from preschool to parenting classes; and today Laurie is sharing some secrets that their Bridges program uses to assist parents in potty training their children.



Most kids are ready to start potty training somewhere between the ages of two to shortly after their third birthday. Boys usually fall somewhere near the end of this range. Usually when kids start to let you know their diapers are messy they are about ready.

Some of the main signs that a child is developmentally ready to begin potty training are:
  1. A bowel and bladder that are mature (i.e., can hold larger amounts at one time and can “sense” the need to void/eliminate staying dry for at least 2 hours at a time (including nap times)
  2. The child can recognize that she is voiding/eliminating (you can also recognize they are by their facial expression, posture, place they go to do it, what they say, etc.)
  3. Your child notices and/or becomes distressed by having a wet/soiled diaper
  4. A “willingness” to sit on the potty (without fear, with or without diaper/clothes still on)
  5. The child is able to walk to/from the bathroom, get on the toilet, sit, balance, and get off the toilet or potty chair with little assistance
  6. The child is able to pull his pants down by himself
  7. The child can follow simple instructions/directions/commands
  8. The child is asking to have his wet/dirty diaper changed or to use the potty
  9. Your child is having regular bowel movements

You can capitalize on this natural readiness by:
  • Prep work! Start a couple months in advance after you are noticing signs that they are psychologically, physically, and mentally ready. Let them go pick out special big boy/big girl underwear, let them pick out a potty seat. Decorating the potty seat with stickers they like may be helpful.
  • Reading aloud together as a family one of the many good books that describe potty use as a part of growing up. Illustrations of fire fighters, doctors, baby sitters, and parents all going to the bathroom will interest and educate your kids.
  • Watching the same-sex parent or older sibling in the bathroom reinforces this process. 
  • Buying him fun new underwear can further encourage him. 
  • Allowing him to pick out a potty seat and using non-food rewards for potty use can also make the process fun. 
  • However, there are other forces that can make potty training difficult even for typical kids. Fear often plays a major role. Potty training tends to come at an age when children's fears are most intense. It is important to de-pressurize the situation. If your child seems to be afraid of the toilet itself, then gradually acclimatize him to the potty. 
    • Have him sit on one of the little potties fully clothed for a few minutes each day while you read to him or tell him a story. 
    • When that becomes old, take his diaper off so he can sit on it just like Dad and Mom. 
    • Begin putting the contents of his dirty diapers in the potty so he can see what happens. 
    • Then, give him the opportunity to run around bare-bottomed so he can try to go on the potty if he wants. The desire for approval is another strong motivating force that impacts potty training.
  • Although some people would recommend pull ups, I personally would recommend just starting with underwear, unless the child is very aware of their bowel movements/wet diapers already and is uncomfortable. 
It is important that you have set aside a lot of time, especially in the beginning, to dedicate to the process. Also, do not start the potty training process at a time that is already stressful for the child. Do not do this at the same time another child is being born, doing a move, or at the same time as starting preschool. Kids need some time to adjust to all the new stressors in their lives.  If these methods are still not working, here are some intensive methods that parents have found successful. *These methods also work well for children with autism/PDD-NOS*

The Naked Method

Many people have used the naked method where they allow the child to run around naked (while at home) in order to have the kid really feel and realize when they have gone to the bathroom. This is a messy one but can be successful.

The intensive method refers to taking a whole week (such as a spring break from school) to intensely concentrate on toilet training. This can include letting the child be naked, or without pullups in clothes and working very hard on getting a success in the toilet that you can reinforce heavily. For some kids this may take just a couple days, for others more. 

Spend at least one week charting the times of day your child eats, drinks, wets, soils, gets changed (with results), and sleeps. Use a day planner, chart or simply write down each item and the time it occurs in a log. At the end of the week, look at the data (or log) and see if you see can pick out some general patterns of toileting.

Intensive Toilet Training

This is a highly structured schedule which starts the child sitting on the potty every 30 minutes.
A reinforcer is anything that will motivate and be an incentive for the child. It is important to find several things that may work, which can be put into a special potty basket that can be placed within sight, but out of reach in the bathroom.

The potty reinforcer must be only for going potty in the potty. Do not offer it at other times or it will lose it novelty, and we want it to be really tied to potty successes.

A sticker chart for going potty can also be a great reinforcing tool, especially for visual learners. A sticker for each time they go potty can then add up to a special reinforcer, like a trip to their favorite restaurant or park.
It is important to tie the reinforcer with social praise at all times. 

To start out:
  1. Set a thirty minute toileting schedule, and set a timer so the child has a visual and auditory cue indicating when it is time to go sit on the toilet.
  2. Take the child as consistently as possible every thirty minutes to sit for a couple minutes on the potty. Even if the child does not have success, make sure to reinforce the child for sitting and trying.
This is a great time to cement the toileting routine and encourage independence in self help skills. Have the child pull pants up and down and wash hands with the least amount of prompting necessary.


Praise and Reinforcement

If there is not a success praise the child for trying and for sitting nicely and tell them we will “try again later”
During this time it is important to stay positive and reinforcing. We don’t want the whole process to become traumatizing for the child. It is important to stay consistent and that the child understands the expectations of the bathroom routine.

When there is a success, make sure to be excited and praise the child immediately. 

Make the social praise very obvious and immediate,  it is important that the connection is made between the praise and the fact that the child has had a success in the toilet . Let them stand and look at the toilet and point out so that they can see visually that they have had a success.
Make sure that your verbal reinforcement is very specific.


Accidents Happen...

Accidents will happen frequently in the first couple weeks. If the child has wet or made a mess in their pants, say very matter-of-factly, without anger or emotion, "You are wet (or soiled, or had a boo-boo, or had a BM). Big boys (or girls) do that on the potty (or toilet).” Take the child to the bathroom and have them start the routine and sit on the potty so you can model the correct toileting behavior and so you can reinforce them for sitting on the toilet appropriately.

Then have them change themselves as independently as possible. This may be difficult but it is important to remain neutral and consistent. This is not mean to be a punishment, but rather a natural consequence of not using the toilet. If you don’t use the toilet then you will have to change yourself into new clean dry clothes, and put their soiled clothes in the hamper.This is to help tie the idea that going to the bathroom in your clothes and not the potty is comfortable.

We've had so many comments on this blog that we've created a "Part 2" for all those out there that may have a more difficult situation. Good luck!




Children's Books for Potty Training




72 comments:

  1. Very informative! I'll be archiving this for when it's my turn to teach children.

    I remember having "Once Upon a Potty." I liked it so much, I'd read it along with Clifford and Little Critter. :)

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    1. I loved those books too! Especially Little Critter. Good luck with future potty training!

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  2. Thanks so much! I have 3 1/2 year who has peed on the potty for over a year but refuses to poop. I hope I can get some success with the 30 minute method!

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    1. Same here with not pooping...I think its a control thing but I really can't tell...its killing me...any suggestions? Mine just turned 3

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    2. Children's brains are all developing at different rates. It takes a while for the brain to have complete control over bodily functions. He/she may know what it feels like when they have to pee, but not poop. Sometimes it also takes them a while to develop the uncomfortable sensation of dirty diaper. Some parents have had success with making them stay in their dirty diaper/underwear for a while. Some children realize that they don't like the feeling and would rather poop in the toilet. Also, instead of throwing a diaper away, toss the poop in the toilet and let the child flush it. It may help them realize that poop belongs in the toilet. Good luck!

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    3. I can get my 2 1/2 yo to go all day without any potty accidents but i cant get him to poop on the toilet, he used to around 2 yrs old, he would even go in and poop all on his own but now i dont know what to try next, ive tried rewards, self cleanup, ect... now his little 1 1/2 yo bro is pottying to and has pooped in the toilet once ( hes been pottying for about 2 wks) but my oldest could care less anout being passed up in the poopin deptment. Any thoughts?

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    4. How frustrating! Because every child is different and has a different process for potty training, keep trying different methods to see what will work for you!It's also a great idea to talk to your pediatrician because he may have some more insight and ideas for you. Keep working with him! He'll get it in time, just try and make it as comfortable a process as you can for him.

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    5. My grandson will poo at daycare but never at home. So, he CAN, he just WON'T. Suggestions?

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  3. Thanks for the tips. My daughter is almost 3 and can go potty on the toilet but often refuses to do so. She is just being lazy because she will go without accidents for 3 days straight and then have two days of nothing but accidents. Praise doesn't seem to be working. Maybe I just need to step back and check my frustration at the door. I had a lot of trouble with my son who is now 4 1/2 and wasn't fully potty trained until 3 1/2. Anyways, I liked your post so much I featured it on my blog for Friday. I am a new follower.

    acoupleofcraftaddicts.blogspot.com

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    1. It's interesting how every child is different! It seems that kids need to get in the habit of using the toilet. For the past couple years they have developed the habit of just going whenever and wherever they want! It may take a while before she doesn't have to use a lot of energy on remembering to use the toilet, it will just become habit to run to the bathroom when she feels like she has to go potty. I'm not sure if you have tried this, but try making bathroom visits a habit; after every meal have her sit on the toilet for 1-2 minutes. This may help her create bathroom habits.

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  4. I'm having a problem with my kids not potty training at night. My 4 year old son doesnt have any problems during the day but sleeps so deep that he can't wake up during the night. Any suggestions?

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    1. Try to limit drinks before bedtime and make sure he uses the bathroom before bed. This may take some time because his body may not be ready to recognize when he has to go potty at night. Be patient because it may take some accidents before he has nighttime control!

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    2. My daughter had the same issue--she would be accident free during the day, but would wet the bed every night. I started waking her up once every night to make her at least try to potty. Most nights she had to go, but then it gradually stopped. She would try and nothing would happen. After a week straight with her trying, but not being able to go, and still being dry when she woke up, I stopped waking her up and she hasn't had one single accident since.
      I know it wasn't the eaiset thing to wake up every night for a few months, but it paid off. She would always go back to sleep and I now have a potty trained toddler! A little self sacrifice for a great reward! ;-)
      Just a little something that may work. Good luck!

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  5. Night time wetting is often based in physical development, there are 10 year olds still wetting the bed. I personally believe in very early potty training and for us it has worked. Both my girls were day trained by 18 months ( both were going on the potty since age one, my youngest even earlier). That said my oldest was not night trained until 2 months shy of age 3 and that was her doing. She announced one day that she was done with diapers. I argued with her and then realized that there was no way she was keeping that diaper on. So we went with it. I started putting her on the potty right before I went to bed and she really only had a few accidents. I set up her bed for night time accidents, sheet then protective layer of pul fabric, then another sheet, and protective layer so that if she did pee I could just do a quick change of the top. I put her on the potty prior to my going to bed likely for 4 months and then I stopped, she no longer needed it. So it could be a physical issue and nothing he can control. You could try waking him to put him on the potty. Also limit liquids prior to bed.

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  6. If the child is scared that they are going to fall in when sitting on the regular toilet seat, just turn them around facing the back of the toilet. The straddle the toilet seat and can hang on to the toilet seat cover. They also can see into the toilet bowl and see what is happening when they go to the bathroom.

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  7. If you have an older child who is wet at night, please save them years of embarrassment (and you having to change sheets!), make the investment and purchase an alarm at http://bedwettingstore.com/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=(roi)+bedwetting&utm_content=bedwettingstore&utm_term=bedwetting%20store We did it for our oldest son just before he turned six and it cured him of the problem. A lot of people said he'd grow out of it but we knew that probably wouldn't happen on its own until he would be almost a teenager, because his daddy had the same issue as a child, and it runs in families. Our middle child however doesn't have the problem and at 3yrs. old was wet at night less often than his older brother, before we bought the alarm. My husband said he wished his parents would have done this for him when he was young!

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  8. We have been doing the naked method and it's been successful for the most part. Going to check out some books at the library to enforce the training. Thank you for the book list.

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  9. My daughter turned 2 this past June and that's when I bought her a small potty seat. It's really colorful and cute and she loves to sit in it throughout the day, but not for actually using it. I can say I offically started potty training this week and I started with just her underwear. But yesterday I did the "naked" method and it worked for a peepee and a poopoo! The probalem I'm facing is that she goes to daycare and she wears her diaper when going there. So the only time I have to "train" her is from the time she comes home until bedtime, and of course the weekends. Do you think this is confusing her? Wearing diapers half the day and the other half going naked? Please advise. Thanks for your post. I will be linking you :)

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    1. Talk to your daycare provider! You can come up with a plan that you can keep consistent both at home and when she's away during the day. Obviously they won't be able to concentrate as much as you'll be able to but it'll help to be on the same page. Be prepared for accidents, it'll take some time. It's also a good idea to do some intensive potty training when you have more time together at home- like a vacation or holiday. Good luck!

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  10. We used a book with our first one and a musical app (yes an iPad app) with the second one. We sang the music from the app for a little bit then played the app a little, then she said I want to use the potty like "big kid on the iPad" so that was that!
    Smarty Potty Training with music cd from Cris and Lou Project

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  11. We did the naked method with our 3 yr old and he has no accidents and pees and poops in the potty but when we put undies on or just pants he has accidents. He sees his potty time at private time and when naked he does everything on his own without any help. Is there anything I can do to help him go while he has undies on? We've tried everything but nothing is working.

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    1. Here are a few suggestions: let him pick out his own underwear so he's excited to use them properly, help him repeatedly so he knows how to use the potty when wearing underwear, and try to find underwear that is a little bit lighter material so they're easier to use. Gerber Training Pants are great to use! Hopefully this helps!

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  12. My son is 4 years old and has been pooping in the potty for more than a year now with no problem or accidents! The problem is that he refuses to pee in the potty! He still wakes up wet in the morning and we have tried every method to get him to pee! Timers, books, rewards, praise, naked method ect ect ect! He had absolutely no issue with peeing in his pull up or underwear! I'm starting to get concerned! Any advice for me??

    Thanks :)

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    1. Perhaps take your concerns to your doctor, he may have some helpful insight as to what's going on. Keep experimenting with different methods and do your best to be consistent with underwear or pull ups. Maybe try some cool underwear that he wouldn't want to have an accident in! It's also a good idea to talk to him about why he won't pee in the potty, that way you can have a better idea of what's going on. Good luck!

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    2. Have you tried putting a cheerio in the toilet and letting him aim at it as a game?

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    3. Let him pee outside then transfer the fun to peeing in the toilet

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  13. When doing the 30minute method how long should they sit on the toilet each time?

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    1. Just a couple minutes, you just want to make your child familiar with the toilet and the process of how to use it! Try not to force them to go because they really may not have to!

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  14. My stepson is 6 years old. When his father and I began dating a year ago (when he was 5) he would wet and poop himself throughout the day and even in kindergarten. His father had to send an extra outfit in his backpack. Some days he would do it multiple times at school and at home. He would be playing or just sitting there and say, hey dad I peed/pooped my pants. I was able to stop this behavior within a couple of months to where he was just bed wetting. Finally after a few more months it stopped. After a visit to his mother's house for a month in June, it began all over again. Finally got the day time wetting to stop and the night time for a month at a time, then he will wet himself for 3 days to a week at a time and go for a month completely dry again. Since he CAN stay dry I believe it is more of a behavior issue than anything else. His father wants to put him on medicine for it, but I really feel that he does not need medicine since he was dry for months and can be. Any suggestions? It is very frustrating. My daughter was fully trained at 2 day and night and my son at 2 1/2.

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    1. First, your instincts are right on the money. It’s always a good idea to try behavior modification methods first. If those don’t work, a check-up by a child health care provider will rule out other causes of regressing after potty training.

      Three questions to ask yourself when a child starts exhibiting any distressing behavior are 1) Has there been a recent change in his life? 2) Has he experienced any trauma recently? 3) Does he have a physical illness? It’s a good idea to have a good relationship with his pediatrician and can talk to him about testing for a bowel or bladder infection, signs of abuse, along with a general physical exam. His physician can also do a behavioral or social-emotional screening for added information. Once you know the cause of the regression you have a much better chance of success.

      Please call us to talk more if you want more information!

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  15. My son will be 3 in March. Around the time he turned 2, he was going pee and poo in the toilet-- big toilet, training toilet, even out at public places like the mall and Disneyland. In May, his little sister was born, and he regressed, which I expected. I gave him a few months to kind of recover and get used to having his sister around. He kind of always was able to go pee on the toilet no problem, but with the regression, he lost his ability to poop on the toilet. We've done the naked method, I praise him every single time he goes potty, I let him pick out awesome underwear, but he will literally hold it all day til I put a diaper on him for bed time or w/e. He tells me he went poop, he tells me while he's going poop, but always tells me WHEN or AFTER it has already happened, so I can't tell him to go sit on the toilet. He pooped one day (a couple weeks ago) and he freaked out... thought he made a mess, was sobbing saying sorry, he didn't mean to make a mess, he didn't want to poop on the toilet (no one has ever made him feel bad about pooping EVER, no idea where that came from)... I told him it was so great he pooped on the toilet, I was all smiles and high fives, told him he's a rock star super hero and I was so incredibly proud of him! I showed him how I wiped his butt, and we watched his poop flush down the toilet, he even waved bye to it! We went and got a big boy potty toy, we called daddy and the grandparents and a good friend to tell them the news and they all cheered him on, it was fantastic and he got so excited! And now nothing. During naked method, he'll ask for a diaper, and I tell him if he needs a diaper, he should go sit on the potty, because he's a big boy, the toilet is a big diaper, he's big and strong like daddy, daddy goes potty on the toilet, his cousin and uncles go potty, everyone he looks up to goes potty... I'm kind of at a loss. I *KNOW* he can do it, he just won't. I would just really love to NOT have two kids in diapers!

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    1. Do you think that he heard you making some comments about his sister's poop while you changed her? Something about how messy it is, or stinky, or something? You know, not that you siad directly to hi that it was nasty, but he may have overheard something. I just wonder about where he got that idea. You're a good storyteller...my heart really goes out to your little guy. I felt so bad for him when you said that he was sobbing. I hope you guys work this out.

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  16. I have done all those suggestions to no avail. My daughter just turned 3 in december and she's been getting used to the potty since she turned 1. She will use the potty sometimes willingly, others not. She will sometimes willingly put on undies others not. Today when I asked "pull up or underwear today?" she said underwear. Pee'd several times in the potty without accidents but had an accident while eating lunch during the half hour we wait each time to take her to pee. She refuses to poo in the potty also. I just feel like I'm at a loss of what to do. Her sister is 5 months... I pray that she's not finally potty trained when her sister is learning to potty train in 7 months...But I suppose if that's what it takes so be it. I'm just so frustrated with potty training all together.

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  17. I'm frustrated with potty training too... my son is 4 yrs old and still not fully potty training, he has good day and bad days...

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  18. Help Me Grow knows how important this topic is for parents and we are currently working on gathering more information to help answer your concerns! Thank you!

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  19. Mine just turned 3, he knows when he is wet and comes to me and says mommy I went poop. But when it came to potty training it was him sitting on yhe toilet and says mama it to hard, he would grunt and say see to hard.. I know he is being stuborn and just lazy. But I have tried candy reward (worked with my first he was potty trained aftet one..lol even at night, amazing I know.) I have tried matchbox car rewards stickers, fast food, playdate trips.. im so outta ideas.. uggghh. ? Idk what to do next. We did the naked thing and him picking out his own under ware, and potty.. he isso ddependant on diapers. ? Just last week we used the last one and had told him they stopped making them so we have to be a big boy and go on the potty.. put it this way my child is one of those that says the darnedest things all the time..lol

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  20. Potty training! Such a difficult time of development, but also a great one!! Think of all the celebration your family will have once time, effort, patience has all paid off and you hear that little tinkle or toot in that potty. To respond to the previous comments, our Child Development Specialist wrote a post to encourage you. It also has a great book you can use as a resource. Good luck!

    http://helpmegrowutah.blogspot.com/2013/01/potty-training-part-2-after-training.html

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  21. My son just turned 3 last weekend. We have been having a very difficult time potty training him. We've been trying off and on the last couple of months but he is ready and it needs to happen. His dad and I are no longer together so I don't know if that's an issue to why this has been so difficult. When he is with me and I try to get him to go on the potty after he eats or just when I think it looks like he needs to go he gets very angry with me and screams and straigtens his legs so he can't sit down. He doesn't willingly go sit on the potty for me ever. His dad on the other hand has said that he's gone for him but I don't know why he then acts out with me. I've tried the letting him run aroudn naked, I've tried the rewards, but he just doesn't want to do it. I'm getting very frustrated and I know I can't let that happen.

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  22. My little guy is 2 1/2 and HATES to be naked and refuses to sit bare butt on the potty. (The naked method worked great with my daughter). He sometimes wants to wear his undies but then he will pee through them into the potty!! Help!!

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    1. This is random, and maybe you've figured out a solution already, but you could try to line the toilet seat with toilet paper so that it's not cold, and/or see if you can find a cushy toddler toilet seat insert that makes it more comfortable.

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  23. Hello,
    I am having trouble with my little girl she will be 3 in a few weeks. she will pee on the potty just fine and has been for over a year but when it comes to going poo on the potty she refuses starts crying and throughs a fit. she is very smart and she knows when she has to go poo she will ask for a diaper. I keep telling her she is a big girl and big girls don't poo in a diaper but she doesn't care she will tell me she is a baby so i will give her a diaper then when she puts her panties back on she is a big girl. I've tried the candy trick, I've told her i will take her to buy her a new toy or she can have ice cream I've even told her she can go to school like her brother when she starts going poo in the potty because she always wants to go to school with him. do you have an ideas that i might be able to try?

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    1. According to the book, Mommy! I have to go potty!, many children who are urine trained still request a diaper for bowel movements. This can sometimes lead to a power struggle between the parent and the child. Remember, it's important to provide the diaper to your child. If you don't, they may start having constipation issues moving forward. Try gradually guiding them toward pooping in the toilet. One family shared what they tried and it helped them: They would give their son a diaper but told him that he had to go into the bathroom and poop in his diaper. Gradually, she then worked her way to telling him that he had to sit on the potty with the diaper on to pooped. She then would make him sit on the potty twice a day and reinforce that he didn't have to go, he just needed to sit there. Two weeks later it led to him telling her he was ready to go without his diaper. Hope this helps!

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  24. My D turned 2 in January and has success with her poos on the potty, but always pees on the floor! I know she is on the young side of toilet training but she is my #3 child and i'm over diapers!! Any suggestions on how I can encourage her to do wees on the potty? I always make such a fuss over her successful trips to the potty but its just not clicking with her!

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    1. This age is on the younger side for toilet training, especially for girls. There is no way to force toileting training on children without damaging their self esteem. The best thing you could do for her at this age is to use training pants. Another thing you could do is part-time potty training. Once your child has acquired the habit of practicing without diapers, put on underpants for several hours per day.

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  25. Thanks for the info...gearing up to start with my 2yo boy!

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  26. My son is turning 3 in less then a week. He will go pee and poo in the potty by himself or ask us to take him as long as he had on underwear but if he had on pullups he will still go poo in them. He has gone all weekend for several weekends with no accidents but his daycare teacher still requires him to wear pullups at daycare bc he still goes poo in the pull up. This past weekend he had his first accident (poo) at home in his underwear and i believe it's because his teacher is sending him backwards in his training bc she makes him wear the pullups and let's him go poo in them all week when he is at daycare. How can i get him fully trained when his teacher wont cooperate with me in his training? I told her he hasnt had accidents at home but she still makes him wear the pullups. What can i do?

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    1. That's a tough situation and we see that occur sometimes. Maybe consider finding a different daycare teacher if you feel as though it's making your son retrogress. In the meantime, continue with having him wear underwear as much as possible.

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  27. You all have great advice, but what do I do with my five year old getting ready for kindergarten who still poops in his undies?? Pee no problem except at night, which I'm told is normal for now. Just the poop...? I've tried most of the ideals shared here. I ask him why, and he says he likes it because it keeps his butt warm! Any advice??

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    1. I would recommend trying other ways to keep his bum warm. A good idea for that could be a pillow filled with rice or beans that you could heat up in the microwave. At this age, he should not be pooping in his undies especially because he is in school or about to start. Maybe tell him that if he continues to do that, he can't go out to certain places or in public unless he acts like a big kid. That should be a good start to stopping this behavior! If you have any other questions let us know.

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  28. I am having the same problem my youngest will be 4 in August and flat out refuses to poop in the potty! He has his good days where he will poop maybe once in the potty but it doesn't happen often he is pretty good about peeing usually just one accident throughout the day. I have tried giving him gummy bears as a reward a potty chart where he gets stickers even bought a potty book! My other 3 didn't give me this much trouble! Any advice would be greatly appreciated it!

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  29. HELP!! My 3 and 2 yr old boys are SCARED of the potty. They refuse to even sit on it. My oldest (8 yr old) was fully trained night and day at 18 months. I have tried the naked method...they don't like being naked. Tried underwear only and they treat it like a diaper. When they went in the underwear, I took my Mom's advice and "let them wear it for 5 minutes". Didn't help!! They will sit on a little toilet like a chair but refuse to "use" it. I bought a little seat that fits on a regular toilet but they SCREAM and shake til you take them off. My 3 yr old will be 4 in Nov and he refuses to learn!! HELP!!

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    1. Those are great ideas that you have tried! At this age, you kind of have to let them go at their own pace but with guiding them like you have done towards going to the potty. Since this can be typical at this age, try dropping it for now and when you resume, maybe these ideas will help make the transition from diapers to underwear easier. At the beginning of the day, give your sons the option of wearing a diaper or underpants for awhile or half a day. This helps the children feel more in control of the process. Another idea could be that the children wear a diaper and after they pee or have a bowel movement in the diaper, put underpants on them for a half hour so they can get used to them and they usually won't have to pee since they just went. Lastly, you could try giving your sons a diaper but tell them that they had to go into the bathroom and pee or poop in their diaper. Gradually, work your way to telling them that they have to sit on the potty with the diaper on to pee or poop. Then make them sit on the potty twice a day and reinforce that they don't have to go, they just need to sit there. They might be ready after awhile to go without the diaper! Hope this helps!

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  30. My 3 year old son will go potty all day at home without asking for help, he will just go and stays dry all night. But when we go out I can't get him to use the potty. I'm not sure how to get him to use the potty when we go places. Its the only thing we need to work on. Any suggestions.

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    1. Sometimes children love to go to the potty at other places instead of their home and vice versa. Since he isn't around 5 years old, you don't have to be too concerned with this yet since he isn't in school. You could gradually continue to expose him to the public restrooms by maybe wearing a diaper when you are out and having him still go to potty in the diaper but in the restroom. This could help him become more comfortable with different bathrooms. You could also try and appropriately reward him if he does go potty in the public restrooms as well.

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  31. this helped me for potty training in 3 days flat http://tiny.cc/kwg75w

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  32. Try the towel potty training method.

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  33. Great advice you have given us . I will have to keep my eyes out for those books. I know you can get musical pottys now for children who find it difficult it . But didnt know about the books . Thank you.

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  36. Great tips! Every child is so different it's frustrating toilet training, isn't it? No 1 was done and dusted by 18 mths and No 2 could be bothered and was nearly 3 lol Carly :)

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  37. It's been good to see your blog when I always look for such type of blogs. It’s great to discover the post here.
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    1. We are so glad that you find our blog helpful!!

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  39. My son is now almost 6 months old and we use them every day (we use something else at night.) The two rows of snaps make the diaper fit well around the waist and around his legs (and he has some chunky thighs!)

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  40. My son is almost 4. I have tried many methods with him. I finally got rid of all diapers except bedtime pull ups. We started this about a week ago. We have about 1 success a day and the rest accidents. Sometimes he will tell me he has to pee. Other times I will notice its time. He sits on the potty for 20-30 minutes before he is able to go. We have a potty chair in the living room and the seats on the toilets that have the smaller seats that come down for little children. He doesn't like o voluntarily get on the potty, we'll sometimes. Some of the time I have to make him sit there. He doesn't object much and once there, he doesn't mind, it just takes him a bit to get the pee to come out, is this normal? I have tried waiting until he wants to do it but that day doesn't seem to want to come. He is very head strong and once he decides not to do something, he will do everything g in his power not to. He decided about a year ago that he was not interested in this. We have a reward system and i have him change his own clothes when he wets. I also have a 1 and half year old girl who doesn't seem too interested yet. I still have her in pull ups. I may have pressured my son too much too soon and I don't want to make the same mistake. Am I on the right track? Or way off base?

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    1. Potty training can be a frustrating experience. You have such great insight and it sounds like you've really thought through what you've been doing. One of my favorite bits of advice comes from Dr. T. Berry Brazelton. In his book "Toilet Training: The Brazelton Way", he says that potty training should be the child's accomplishment and not the parent's. “The pressure that children put on each other to be dry and clean is an important factor by the age of 4. We, as parents and professionals, had better not add to it, so we can support a child who is not ready yet. I hope this book can help parents be patient and understanding — and ready to admire a child as he works hard to make toilet training his own success, step by step.” It can be problematic if the child is looking for independence but the parent isn't providing that. You can check out his book if you are interested in reading more about that theory.

      Your daughter is still quite young to start potty training, so if she doesn't seem interested yet then that is okay. When she shows all signs of readiness then go ahead and try some of the methods from the above blog post. These are the 7 signs of readiness from the book Toilet Training: The Brazelton Way: 1. She likes to sit sometimes instead of walking all the time 2. She understands your wishes. 3. She has the ability to make her own decisions. 4. She starts putting things where they belong. 5. She imitates you and wants to do the things you do. 6. She pees and poops at more predictable times. 7. She is aware of her body parts.

      Please call our office if you have more questions: 801-691-5322

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  41. Thanx for Sharing, This is Nice article written on Kids Care and Potty Training

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  42. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    Potty Seats

    Keep Posting:)

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  43. Glad you found this article helpful!

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