Potty Training: HELP!! My son is very nearly 3, starting... - NCT


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Potty Training

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HELP!! My son is very nearly 3, starting school nursery in September and he WILL NOT even sit on the potty/toilet, let alone use it.

We started potty training at around 22 months as he was showing all the signs he was ready, things went really well. Every time we say him on the potty, he tried and often managed to use it.

Then it got to around 25 months and he just started refusing to sit on it, wouldn’t go near it and demanded his nappies back on.

We didn’t push, we just went back to nappies and tried again a few weeks later, yet again he was doing well, then suddenly he just stopped again.

We’ve repeated the cycle what feels like endless times now and lately, he won’t even go near the toilet. To the point of it ends in a paddy if you ask more than a couple of times. We’ve tried treats as bribes, letting him pick his own “big boy pants,” not putting a nappy on and leaving him bottom half naked (he hates it, my strange child despises being naked!) we bought a new potty, a kids toilet and even a seat for the adult toilet with no success.

He’s 3 in a couple of weeks and I’m at my wits end! He’s such a clever child, speech is very well developed and motor skills are all good. I just don’t know what else to try!

10 Replies

I have ready it myself, but I know lots of people who have said that the oh crap! Potty training book is really good.

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Barrow_lj1089 in reply to Seb9

Thanks I’ll get a copy and give it a try 😊

One of my children also turns 3 very soon and like yourself I have been unsuccessful in potty training him thus far🤦‍♀️ I can relate totally to your post. It pretty much sums up my own son. I tell myself that all children reach milestones at different stages. Your son will master potty training. You have a bit of time yet before nursery. Try not to panic or feel too overwhelmed. It will all happen and be OK. You have been doing all the right things and your son by sounds of things has really tried. He just maybe wasn't and isn't ready but when he is, it will all click and he will get it. (at least I tell myself these things about my own son and yes, I am worried and do get anxious about why he isn't potty trained at 2 years and 11 months but he's not ready) Have you tried any story books about potty training/short video clips about potty training like Hey Duggee Potty Training song or Pirate Pete Potty Training story? Try not to stress. You could maybe ask your health visitor about some advice? You aren't alone in this. Thinking about you. X

Thank you so much for your response 🥰 feels so nice to know that I’m not alone! My mum told me not to stress about it and not to push too hard as he’ll do it when he’s ready, but I still worry! He’s been so early with all his other milestones, his speech is amazing and he’s so clever, but I think just sometimes too clever for his own good! He’s so independent and will speak his own mind if he doesn’t want to do something. That’s how I feel it’s got with the potty training, there’s no negotiation, it’s just a point blank no (well he always says no thank you every time you ask him if he wants to try) and there’s no convincing him. We’ve tried the videos, some of them he even sings the songs from 🤦🏻‍♀️ He has numerous books about the potty and loves reading them end often comes in the bathroom to watch mummy or daddy when they go to the toilet. He goes through all the motions except getting on the potty! I’m going to take your advice and speak to my health visitor, annoyingly she’s changed over lockdown so I’ve never actually met her but hoping if I give the new one a call, she’ll offer some guidance. Once again, thank you for replying, sometimes it just takes someone to emphasis and let you know you’re not alone to give you that boost you need 🙂x

My son we managed to get him dry in the day at about 2 3/4. But he absolutely refused to do a poo anywhere but a nappy, he wouldn’t even try. I decided to go with it and just wait. My mum decided to play hard ball with him when she had him and told him she had no nappies. When I arrived to collect him at the end of the day you could see he really needed to go. I pretended to go get a nappy from my car and he went straight away. He just in the last few weeks suddenly started doing it on the toilet. He is now 3.5. I honestly don’t think pressuring him would have made it happen it just created stress. He still in nappies overnight and they are definitely wet so who knows how long that’ll take!

Thank you for replying. I think I’m just going to try and not stress about it and hope that he just decides when he’s ready. We have some nights when he’s dry and other nights where he’s soaked through, so I think night time might take even longer yet. I just don’t want to push him too hard and he be terrified of doing it!

This is exactly where I was coming from! I didn’t want to create a psychological barrier for him. He literally flipped a switch and started doing it! Everyone always bangs on that boys are harder to train so I just told myself that 😂

Hey there, I totally empathise with you!! We left potty training with my son until he was 3.5yrs. He wore pull ups to preschool the entire time. They were great with him.As it happens my son is a late August baby so by leaving it until he was 3.5 we really had no choice but to crack on as we simply couldn’t send him to school at 4 in a nappy.

He took to doing wees fairly quickly although it was a battle.

As you suggested with your son my boy is very smart and equally stubborn.

He absolutely would not poo anywhere but in his pants. This continued well into September when he had started school. We had to agree a toileting plan with his teachers which was less than ideal.

We tried everything- bribery, books/tablet on the toilet, star charts. Nothing worked.

Eventually I spoke to someone at the ERIC charity who were amazing snd they gave us loads of ideas. None of which worked or at least not right away.

Finally at half term we agreed we needed to do something. We bought a huge playmobil set that we knew he was desperate for - made a chart and got a huge tub of small sweets.

He got a treat every time he sat up to practice. This went on for days with no joy.

Then one day he said he was going for a wee and promptly announced he had done a poo and could he have a star for his chart and a treat! Ultimately the bribery worked but we did have to go big on the prize and way over the top on the praise.

The other thing we are certain helped is making a really big deal out of every time a family member went for a poo - we high fived, he came to the toilet with us, he looked in the toilet at the poo. We also told him that once the poo is in the toilet and you flush it the poo goes to see his friends at the poo party!!! He loved this idea.

We haven’t looked back and he’s finally there.

I hope if nothing else this helps you to know it’s def not just your son. Hang in there and be patient, it so incredibly frustrating but he will get there. We found teachers and preschool staff to be incredibly supportive but you do have to open up and share with them what’s going on.

Good luck!!xx

Thank you so much! I’m so glad I put this post up, the support level has been amazing, it’s so comforting to know that I’m not alone.

Thank you for the tips, I definitely feel apprehensive about him starting pre-school in September and not being trained. I’ve contacted my health visitor and have a phone appointment next week to talk through things with her, I’ll see how that goes and if we’re still not making progress, I’ll definitely contact ERIC. It was reading through their page that brought me to this site.

It’s his birthday on Saturday, and I’m hoping that after the excitement of opening presents and getting treats he might want more when it’s all over. Hopefully then the star chart and “treat bag” that we’ve had for a while might be more successful. Fingers crossed anyway!

Thank you once again for the advice, I’m definitely picking up some good ideas to try 😊

Sounds like you have a good plan. I think what I found the most frustrating was trying to understand if he actually knew what he needed to do or if just point blank wouldn’t do it.Some kids are def frightened about the change.

My son is quite a tall, solid chap so we skipped the potty altogether and went straight to toilet training. We had a seat and a step. We did have a larger potty but it was just too small and too low to the ground.

Feel free to get in touch in future if it’s helpful x

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