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Anyone not yet potty training at almost 3?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

When I first had DS I wasn't worried about this at all. I thought most kids started potty training around 3. We were also using cloth and I heard that kids in cloth train earlier. Now DS will be 3 in February and I fully believe he is still not ready. He has just started using sentences and articulating himself with language (he didn't talk at all until 2 1/2--we had him tested and everything was fine), but he never talks about his diaper or bodily functions. Shortly after he turned 2 we bought a potty and a special toilet seat and he is not interested in either one. I will take off his diapers and put him on the potty throughout the day, but he has never once gone in the toilet. I can't really figure out how to use rewards if he never goes in the toilet. He doesn't refuse, I just think he doesn't "get it."


None of this would be a problem, it's just that every single toddler I know who is older than 2 is potty trained, and I'm starting to feel like I've done something wrong. On play dates I'm a little embarrassed every time I have to change his diaper, even though he doesn't care. I know I shouldn't feel this way.


Anyway, just looking for others who are in the same boat, or support and ideas, etc.

post #2 of 26

My DS will also be 3 in February and we aren't really anywhere near potty trained. He was doing pretty well for awhile with peeing but has never expressed an interest in pooping on the potty, and since our daughter was just born 2 weeks ago I figured he'd regress, so we're not even really trying right now. Interestingly, we also had him evaluated for speech issues and as soon as we did so he started talking up a storm! He has always been on the late side with each milestone, so I figure the potty training will be the same, though I'm not loving having two in diapers!

post #3 of 26

My DS wasn't the least bit interested in potty training and refused to even sit on a potty until 3.5!  He didn't walk until he was 2 though (gross motor delays from being premature), so until he was a good walker, it wasn't even something I was interested in!  We moved and my dad died when DS just turned 3, and then I got pregnant and had severe morning sickness...so it just wasn't a priority for a kid who wouldn't do it.


He was finally out of diapers at 4.  It wouldn't have been my choice to have such a late potty trainer, but life got in the way and he was a stubborn kid anyway (still is!).  


My DD is 2.5 and will go in the potty but isn't anywhere near potty trained.  After the holidays, I'm going to try getting more serious about it and see how she does, but honestly, most of her peers in her playgroup are still in diapers too.  It just varies so much from child to child, family to family.  


The first time DS ever peed in the potty was for the babysitter, naturally, and she had him do it standing up, which I hadn't even considered!

post #4 of 26

DS1 was 2 months shy of 4 years old when he potty trained.  He started when he was 15 months old - yay! Early!  Not so fast...  He loved running around bare butt, and he never had an accident on the floor.  However, he didn't initiate going to the potty and refused to poop on it.  Suddenly within a week he started initiating all potty activity during the day, and has been fully "trained" without any effort on our parts.


He was very early for all mobility milestones.  I know what you mean about feeling conspicuous.


DS2 is 2.5 years old now, and he's just starting to be aware of when he's wet/poopy.  He's never gone on the toilet.  He tells me that "boys" use the toilet but that he's a "baby" - he'll use the toilet when he's a boy.  Babies use diapers!  He thinks it's funny when I tell him he's a growing big and is now a boy.


I've found with both boys that when they are ready for a milestone they do it - there doesn't seem to be much "training" going on here.

post #5 of 26

My daughter also has a February birthday and she PLed the November right before she turned 3, and didn't get #2 down until close to her birthday. I waited until she clearly showed signs of wanting to be PLed -- she asked to wear underwear and was willing to sit on the potty. Otherwise, I figured it'd just be unnecessarily stressful and probably set us back. Boys, IME, train later than girls, so I think your kiddo is right on track. Nothing weird or unusual about it.

post #6 of 26

My DD wasn't trained until she was 3.5. DS1 turned 3 in September, but still isn't fully trained. Occasionally he will ask to sit on the potty but he will not poop on it at all. To me it isn't worth stressing over. I'm planning on being more assertive about offering the potty mid-January and see how he feels about it then. I usually spend about a week offering him the potty regularly and really encouraging him, and see how he responds. If he still doesn't want to poop on the potty I back off and try again in a few months.

post #7 of 26
Piggybacking on an older thread here. My DS1 is over 4 years old and not interested in being potty trained. We've tried all manner of methods since he was about 2. He has used the potty on occasion, but nothing consistent. He's also gone through periods where he hated being wet or poopy, but he is back to not caring. I've tried not to push it b/c I figured he would get it when he was ready, but he's almost 4.5. When do you finally "push it"? He doesn't have constipation issues or anything like that.
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks to everyone for responding! I'm really happy to see that I'm not alone.


Lavatea, I don't have an answer, because we are just starting this process. My DS will be 3 in Feb. The big thing I'm dealing with is that he just doesn't "get" that he is supposed to poop or pee on the toilet. I will ask him if he has to go and wants to sit on the potty, and he says yes, but absolutely nothing happens. I've tried bribing, singing, reading him stories, everything. Nothing comes out! He will sit there happily for as long as half an hour. He doesn't refuse to go, he just doesn't go. He also doesn't care if he is wet and poopy, and will rarely let me know. We've tried underwear and letting him be naked. Nothing works. I'm just assuming he's not ready yet.


My nephew just potty trained last summer, at age five, right before starting school in August. He knew that he had to be fully potty trained to start school, and that no other kids there would be wearing pull-ups, so he just did it. This was such a HUGE controversy in my family that it has given me massive anxiety about my DS.

post #9 of 26

I think I'll be here rather then with the early PLers! My DS1 turns 3 in April and like the OP's boy, will sit on a potty but has no clue what to after that. My girls were so much easier to PL, they either did it themselves or it took 3 days and then that was it. And they were both Pled shortly after turning 2. I bride, we sit, we read books, he runs around nakid and then comes and finds me to put a diaper on him so he can pee in it. Sigh. He HATES it when he pees on himself but doesn't care about sitting in a soggy or poopy diaper. I do have en end goal of really hoping he will PLed by August so he can go to preschool. He has to use the toilet, no pull ups allowed, too many accidents and he doesn't go. If he doesn't go in at August then we have to wait a whole year. With my other kids I wouldn't care but he has speech delays as well and currently does speech therapy 4 days a week, if he goes to preschool, the therapist will go there and see him and when he goes his speech group day, being around the other kids really helps him pick up words. No clue why since he is the 3rd child in our house out of 4, it isn't like he doesn't hear other children all the time! That and I have to carry him kicking and screaming out of the preschool room every day when we pick up my older kids (pk-8th grade at the same school), he loves it there and would gladly stay now if I let him. I'm got 3 in some type of diapers right now, my 5y at night time, the 2.5y old, and then the baby, and I'm starting to get seriously annoyed by the mounds of diapers that are just everywhere. I know better then to force it, I know he will not be Pled by the time he turns 3 but just please, please by early summer? praying.gif

post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hi Peony! Just offering hugs and support! hug2.gif


I have the same goal as you. We are on the list for preschool to start in August, and DS needs to be fully PL by then or he has to wait another year to go. I'm also expecting in April, so my original goal was to have him PL by then, but I'm not very optimistic at this point. I thought for sure since I had a month off this month we could do it, but there hasn't been any progress, despite working on it daily.


I think it's wonderful that we can have a supportive thread for this!



post #11 of 26
I sure wish some BTDT mamas would chime in. Glad to know I'm not alone, though.
post #12 of 26
My DS is almost 3.5 and he enjoys peeing in the potty but refuses to poop in it. He uses sitting on the potty to poop as an excuse to not go to bed. He's out of diapers/pull ups except for bed. He still doesn't stay 100% dry. He will ask for a pull up to poop in. We tried talking to him about how much better it'd be to use the potty but no. Although he likes to help clean his butt.
post #13 of 26

DS1 had absolutely no interest in being potty trained, sitting in a poopy diaper did not bother him in the least and he would hide when he pooped (like if he did it in another room, we wouldn't be able to smell it when he came out!).


At 3, he moved to the pre-school room at daycare and he was now with 4 & some 5 year olds who hadn't started kinder yet. I hoped that would be enough to interest him but nope. Finally, he started being taken to the bathroom with the other kids to watch and some of the older boys stood to pee. This really excited him and then he realized he was tall enough to pee standing up. From that moment, he was pee trained. Poop took a little longer because he was scared of the potty but he really wanted to wear his spider-man undies and he knew he couldn't until he went poop in the potty. At around 3 yr 5 months, he was finally 100% trained. The crazy thing was that my super-soaker (who often soaked through his overnight Huggies) ended up being fully night-time trained by 3 yr 8 months. I figured that would take forever.


In many ways, I'm not surprised that my perfectionist, everything must be his way little guy would do it on his terms only.

post #14 of 26

My little guy is 3.5 and we are still working on potty training. He knows how to go but at school he won't tell the teacher; she will have to tell him to just go. At home is a different story. And pooping - sheesh, forget about it. He still doesn't have that down. He will start preschool this fall and he HAS to be fully potty trained. I'm a little worried but I'm going to stick with it. 

post #15 of 26

So good to see this thread.  I'm pg with #2 and DS is 2.5 yrs old.  I was hoping he would at least daytime PL by the time #2 comes in June but I give up a little more hope each day.  He understands that poop and pee goes in the potty but doesn't seem that interested in making his poop and pee go in the potty.  Like an OP, he reminds me that he's "not big boy", he's "little boy", so he doesn't have to use the potty yet.  And we can sit him on the potty every 5 minutes in the morning and leave him diaperless and he will hold his poop until he has a diaper on.  For hours.  Unfortunately, DH and I both WOH so days and days of diaper-free won't work.  So no suggestions here, sorry.  But I am very happy to have found this thread. 

post #16 of 26

My toddler is 2 and 5 months and were not actively training and Im so not worried. i dont feel it's time, sure we can try and I do a few times a week but I dont feel he'd get it and automatically start. I rather wait until I know for sure that when we start, he'll never wear diapers again.


He's starting daycare and I know they do a great job of encouraging the potty so I think that might give him a good boost seeing others his age on the potty. I want it to be a if ya want to thing, not stressing each time about him going, then it becomes a nasty control issue. 


I really don't know the right time, I think by 4 is the ideal, so we got time. Even potty training into 3's i think is normal, 2's is fantastic but i wouldnt say it has to be done by 3.


I EC'ed a bit when he was under and around a year, now he's a private pooper, shutting a door and doing it there, I let him, offer the potty if he wishes and saying "look mummy's peepee'ing on the potty!" when I go with him


post #17 of 26

The main problem we have is DS get constipated so I can't let him hold it until whenever or there's a mess. Right now I'm of the mind that as long as he goes #2 even if it's in a pull up, yay for him! He pees like a champ and has no problems just wanting to pop those pants down and pee wherever so now we're teaching him about privacy......yea. lol And he'll happily announce as loud as he can in the middle of any store "Mommy! I gotta PEE!".

post #18 of 26
DD turned 3 last month. I am completely fed up with the whole potty training issue. She knows what the potty is for. She knows we want her to pee and poop in it. She can and has done so... a lot. But... she won't do it consistently! Today was a good (bad) example of this. She won't use the potty if she has any clothes on, so she runs around naked all day. She peed in the potty twice this morning, but this afternoon she refused. I asked her to sit on her potty and that made her mad. I coaxed her (gently) into sitting on it while she drew for a while. When she was done drawing she got up and went in her bedroom... and peed on the floor!! I really had to fight to keep my cool. If I thought she didn't understand, I wouldn't get so irritated, but I know that she knows.. ya know?

What really frustrates me is that she was doing great 6 months ago. She never peed on the floor. She still had to be bare butt all day, but it was working. Then I had a baby and all bets were off. She stopped using the potty at all. If she was naked, she just peed on the floor or, if especially fed up with the baby getting attention, she'd pee on her bed. I backed off the potty training and put her back in diapers full time. I figured it was a simply regression and she'd get over it. And I'm sure she will... it's just taking a lot longer than I expected.

I'm not sure if I should just give up and put her back in diapers or let her pee on the floor. There is no in between. She doesn't care if she's wet or poopy. She would sit in poop until her butt was raw if we let her. We use cloth diapers during the day when she's diapered, so it's not that she can't feel it. I've tried bribery. I've even tried anger (not intentionally) but it didn't have any effect. She just doesn't want to use the potty unless she's in the mood to use it.

She is a bright, articulate little girl. She's in the 90th percentile for weight and height.. which doesn't help the embarrassment factor, since she looks older than she is. She counts and says her abc's (but only when she thinks no one is listening, lol) I think she may just be avoiding the potty because she knows it irritates me. I tried to hide it, but she knows.

Soooo frustrated!!
post #19 of 26

Just chiming in BTDT. We did everything we could think of starting when DS was a little over 2. He only officially "trained" (as in no more training pants) about 2 months ago, at 3 years, 3 months. 



Looking back, here were some things...


1) Late talker. He didn't say much of anything at all until he was a little over 2.5 y/o. 


2) I was pregnant when he turned 2, DD arrived on scene when he was 2.5 y/o.


3) We moved when he was 2 years 8 months.


4) Constipation issues. Not severe, but enough that it made controlling pee very difficult. GF diet very successful here.


I mean I know it was so frustrating and I was so annoyed and just couldn't understand why he wasn't getting there, but now I get it. Like he didn't have enough on his plate? If any of your LO's are stressed about something else, give them time for it to die down no matter HOW old they are.



What worked:


To get him to start (shortly after he turned 3) - Preschool incentive. His friends go, and they love it, and he wants to go desperately. The preschools around here do not accept any non-potty trained children. Finding out he had to be in underwear, and dry, to go to school made him literally walk to his room, find his underwear, and ask to wear them.


To keep him going - M&M's. One for pee. Three for poop. A pretty big deal considering he never had candy before that! And perhaps that sugar is bad, bad, bad for him, but one month of M&M's = potty trained child.


(After I "permanently ran out" of M&M's, he lost some motivation and had a couple of purposeful "accidents". I.e., no more M&M's babe, & he'd pee right then.)


To keep him dry - After he started going on the potty, I started taking him every 20 minutes. Absolutely no questions, just "potty time" and off to the bathroom. After a week, I made it a half hour and then 45 minutes.  I did that for a long time, a really long time, until a few weeks ago he started yelling at me "It's not potty time! I don't have to go yet. I will go to bathroom, go in potty, when it's time." That's how I knew he was done.


Possible upside of late potty training? He also night trained. I tried to keep him in pull ups for sleeping, but I went to put one on him one night and he said, "Mom, that is for babies. I wear underwear. When I have to go potty, I will get out of bed."



hug2.gif to all you mamas! It was so frustrating for me! All of the other toddlers I knew potty trained literally by age 2 and their parents thought we were a bit nutso.

post #20 of 26
My ds had a bit of trouble. He was so so so close at 2y8mo, but his dad never kept up with it when ds was visiting him. Then we had another custody fight, I moved states with ds, we were living with family, new daycare, I had a new job etc. so many transitions all at once and we had total regression.

Then we moved into our own place again, ds turned 3 (we moved on Jan 7, birthday was Jan 10), and then on Jan 11 ds decided he was trained!! I couldn't believe it.
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