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January 25, 2010



Allison, I have a son and daughter (both grown now) and back then I received more than my share of criticism because of how I potty trained) BUT I never pushed potty training to be done at a given age. There used to be a pediatrician on TV - Dr. T. Berry Brazleton and he seemed to not like pushing the potty issue so I felt I had someone "backing me up" I just felt and also read that when a child is ready - then they are ready. I did read on the subject and 3 yrs old seemed to be a good time for being really ready. My son was going on 3 yrs old before he was ready in all aspects and had a desire to use the potty or toilet with his potty seat. And I have to tell you with my son and daughter (who put up more resistance) all went well and neither one ever once wet their beds. Except for the time it takes to actually get the training down 100% - there wasn't any stress on either part too. It's funny - every Mom wants her child potty trained 'cause they're tired of the diapers or pull ups but when you eliminate them - now you have to know the whereabouts of every restroom in your area because they always "have to go" :-) James is smart and he has a Mom who loves and supports him - things will be fine. You're more in tune with James than anyone else - you'll both make it work just fine!

Oh - with my daughter - who was a bit stubborn - the way I got her really interested was to make a big deal of when I had to go. I would get excited and act like it was the most fun, wonderful and exciting thing to go to the bathroom - then she changed her tune and the rest is bathroom history - she wanted to be like Mom.

PS - don't listen to the critics. I had a relative on my husband's side who claimed she had her son trained at 6 MONTHS OLD!

Sue J.

Just relax about the whole issue. My son trained on his 3rd birthday. We had been using a chair on the potty for awhile when he felt like it. However, on this 3rd birthday he just announced that he was ready to stop wearing his diaper. One or two accidents was all he had after that. It's a control thing. If you push, he'll push back.


Wow, reading the last comment sounds like me! My son was resistant, then we were moving out of state when he turned 2.5. I waited until we moved and once we did that, he was ready and was trained in no time. One thing for boys that does make it fun...draw a target on a little piece of toilet paper or a paper towel, drop it in his potty and see if he can hit the target. :o)

My MIL swears she had my husband potty trained at 6 months old. I think she had herself trained to hold him over the potty every hour so she could say that!


Don't force it. Just leave the potty out and he will eventually start using it in his own sweet time. It's not like there is a deadline. Well, maybe by the time he starts kindergarten, but that is a way off. ;-)

kelly-ann (on ravelry)

There's no rush since he is still only 2 and a half. Maybe try again in a couple of months. Actually, we kept putting it off and then found out we had a weekend to potty train DS ... he was moving up to the next class at preschool - no diapers. They decided to move him up a couple months early - yikes!

He was almost 3 and we kept him naked the whole weekend from the waist down. You just keep asking every 10-15 minutes if they have to go. By Monday, he was in the car seat headed to school with no diaper - I was so stressed about that ride. However, he was absolutely fine. Accidents will happen, but they were not as many as I had predicted.

We did the same method for my daughter and she took about 4 days of this method (very stubborn gal). You can wait until the weather warms up a little since their booty may get a little cold ;)

Good luck!


I'm in the don't stress about it camp. (And the not giving in camp.) My son was 3 1/2 when he decided he was ready. I remember it as no big deal once he was a willing participant. I can't say it was easy to wait that long. His older sister was out of diapers just after 2 years. He hated diaper changes, but seemed to hate the potty more. My one recommendation is to ditch the little potty and have him use a real toilet. Less clean up and eases any fears of using a full size toilet when not at home. Also, Cheerio target practice is fun for boys.


Thought you might enjoy another potty training anecdote...

-My Husband is 17 years older than is youngest brother, so he was an adult when his brother was learning to use the potty
- After learning the basics of how to "do" what you're supposed to do... the little guy found it difficult to Wipe when it came to #2s
- He would, on occasion tiptoe from the toilet to the bathroom door and "ask" for help from whomever was handy...

Kiddo: anybody out there? need "wipe bum"...
Big Brother: Hmmmm, how bout KICK bum, yeah, I'll be right there...
Kiddo: noooo. need wipe bum... please?
Big Brother: nahhh. How bout Kick bum? I'll go put on my farm boots... since they already have dirt on them... hold on... I'm coming!
Kiddo: NOOOOOO! Not Kick Bum! Not Kick BUM... nevermind, I do MYSELF!

and then he'd go do it himself!

lol... Apparently little brothers are made for friendly loving torturing. Or So I am told.

They still torture him now (he's almost 15) that any time he asks for help with anything... one of his big brothers will say: "sure you don't need a KICK-Butt instead?" and he turns bright red ;)

Mom of 2 boys

I learned the hard way not to push the issue if the child isn't ready. I thought he was doing his #2's at the sitter, and she though he was doing them at home, and it turned out that he wasn't doing them at all. I have since learned that kids use potty training as a means of keeping what little control they have. The end result was that my little guy became severely constipated which meant a trip to the urgent care (several hours) followed by 2 weeks of alternating between enemas, suppositories, and trying to force cod liver oil into him. Giving a 2 year old an enema is not an experience anyone should have to go through. Give him time and spare yourself some grief.


Give it a rest...... I used to have conversations about the need for toilets with my precociously verbal daughter. Her stubborn response was always 'I like my diaper,' all the while complaining long and loud that 'my diaper is too tight!' I got tired of her complaints, and one day just put her in panties, which she proceeded to pee in all day long. The next day she used the toilet, no accidents or issues, and dry all night.
My son also resisted. His conversion came when he wanted to sleep over at a neighbors, who was adamant that she would not change his diaper. And so he was 'trained.'
Moral of the story — save yourself the grief and wait 'til the time is right. Both mine were closer to 3 than 2 at the time.

Lisa P.


I'm thrilled to see positive feedback for you and I'll add mine.

I bought the "Once upon a potty" book and video for my son when he was two (he's 18 now). HE LOVED the book and video and would request them frequently. However, a full year of this went on with me trying to offer the real potty and he was not interested at all.

When he was three he asked to use it, and that was it. He had almost NO accidents either.

Relax, all kids "get it" they just have their own time table.

Take Care.


You've gotten some great advice. Potty training was the SCARIEST thing for me. I had no idea what to do so I took cues from my son. When he showed interest, i encouraged it. When he pulled back, so did I. My son was pt'd by the time he was 2.75 y/o, but had a bit of a fallback when my daughter was born (but that was more because I didn't ask if he needed to go). By the time he was a little over 3 we were done.

T Martin

My kids , 3 of them, were all almost 3 when they were trained. If the child buys into it, it goes alot quicker and smoother. Relax, it'll happen. The youngest is now 11 and all that seems so long ago!


I agree with so many of the comments. Using the toilet is a control issue - children have so little control of things in their lives. My experience has been the same. Her sister was a newborn and I was ready for her to use the toilet. It made no sense (to me). But when she finally decided to use the toilet, she had no accidents during the day or night. Diapers are messy and inconvenient - but let's face it, sometimes kids have an entirely different timeline than ours!

I couldn't agree more with the suggestion to lose the little "potty." Neither of my kids wanted theirs and most places don't have a small potty. Half the excitement of potty training is that kids get to use the 'big' potty!

Hang in there! He'll be ready when he's ready.


Please rethink your"Mom's in charge" position. Because really, when you get right down to it, the only one really in charge of James is James. You can't make him use the potty - he will do it when he's ready & making an issue out of it might make him want to NOT use it & actually delay pottying. Potty training is so much easier if you wait until the child is ready & often that isn't until 3 or so. My #1 piece of advice to all moms is pick your battles. Think about when he's a teenager (when there will be bases for battling just about every day): are you going to get upset about ear piercing? body piercing? long hair? purple hair? I can guarantee that, if you are going to get upset about cosmetic stuff like that, you will be worn out by the constant battles. I always felt that it was up to my kids how they looked (as long as they followed safe hygiene rules, but I was very firm about curfews & always letting me know where they would be & (generally) with whom. And I expected them to follow the law (no smoking, drinking or drugs), treat people politely & be responsible for their homework (I never checked if they did it once they got into junior high - of course they were good students - if they hadn't been, I would've found out during parent teacher conferences & there wouldv'e been consequences.) It may seem silly to talk about when he's a teenager when he's only 2 but he will be one before you know it & now is the time to establish how you will interact with James, the person. Also my kids did use the little potty for a time, but none of my grands has (& the 3 year old is very tiny - not much bigger than an average 1 year old - it is a pain) - they want to use the big potty like the adults (it can be a problem with little boys - my daughter was just complaining about the mess to me the other day.)


I have two boys who both weren't interested in using the potty until they were 3 1/2 to 4 years old. They acted stubborn and threw tantrums too. Just wait awhile and try again when he's a little older. I know it's hard, but he will be ready in his own time. In the meantime, talk about the potty a lot, let him know when you go to the bathroom, read stories about going to the potty (from the library). That's just my 2 cents :D

Oh, another thing, when he expresses some interest in the potty, make a potty chart that you can tape on the bathroom wall. He can put a sticker on a square on the chart each time he goes pee or poo. Both my sons loved "being in charge" of their chart and putting stickers on it. When they filled up a week or two of squares they would get a little treat (candy, small toy, etc..)


I have 1 daughter and 3 sons, all grown now. Daughter was almost completely potty trained before age 2. She told me she was ready to wear big girl panties. I told her if she did, she could not potty in them. She said ok. Easy peasy. Then came the 3 boys, none of which were trained before age 3. And when they were ready, they let me know, and did it. Pick your battles. With 2 year olds, there seems to be so many already. It'll all work out in the end. Good luck.


Hello!! I loved reading all these experiences with potty training. I also am the mom of a 2.5 yr old. He has just recently started being interested in using the potty. He's not yet complaining about a damp diaper, and boy do they get wet. He drinks probably well over a gallon each day. He has however recently started grabbing at his diaper when he goes. I ask him if he needs to go potty and we race to the potty laughing. I know that he had already wet, however I am trying to make it fun for him. He is very demanding in one thing however, if he is on the potty, I must be on the potty. So I do. We haven't progressed further than that, and I don't want to push it. I am also a 'mom's in charge' mom, what I say goes. Though, sometimes, little guys need to win too, and if it's not a pushing point, I just let it be. I can't tell you how many times in the last 4 days I have seen 'Bolt.'
Your kid is great, don't let other people make you feel less than because he's not potty trained. I bet you are a really cool mom. Who else has a ginormous chalkboard in the garage??

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