3.5 year old and the potty - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-26-2014, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello Everyone!

I know that lots has been posted on potty training here before, so I'm sure that I'm not alone with my problem.

My 3.5 year old son has always been slow to learn the potty.  It was only a few months ago that I finally got him to do #2 on the potty, and since then he's been pretty consistent.  At least he has never had to return to diapers for #2, but lately he seems to be regressing with #1.  He often has accidents, and I've had to change his pants several times a day.  I've been thinking about finding ways to get him to use the big toilet, but now I've had to put that idea on hold until I can get him back to using the potty consistently.  As for night-time training, well it's not happening at all.  Except for one fluke occurrence, I haven't been able to get him to use the potty at night, and have had no success with keeping him dry until morning. 

Maybe I'm over-stressing myself on this issue.  I know I shouldn't take things personally, but I'm wondering what I could be doing better to keep him on track.  Is it normal for a child of this age to backtrack occasionally?  How to keep up the positive encouragement while letting him know that it's not proper to just go in his pants?


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#2 of 6 Old 03-31-2014, 09:56 PM
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Honestly, I think it is all normal. Einstein didn't speak until he was three!
Check out this forum http://www.mothering.com/community/f/17518/potty-learning
You may find advice and support
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#3 of 6 Old 03-31-2014, 10:50 PM
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I think it's normal.


Perhaps try some toilet targets in the big potty, might get him excited about it?

We used these ones: http://www.pottytrainingconcepts.com/Toilet-Targets-Boys.html


I wouldn't worry about nighttime for now.

Paula, mama to DS M (7/2010) sleepytime.gif and Watson (1998) dog2.gif and welcoming baby Penny (8/1/2013) babyf.gif

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#4 of 6 Old 04-01-2014, 10:56 AM
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My DD definitely had some regressions in her third year.  I know at 4 we've been working on the concept of the bladder being like a cup that fills up slowly over time, so even if it's not ready to overflow, it still has some water in it.  She believes that "having to pee" means the feeling of being barely able to hold it and resists the idea of "trying" when she doesn't feel that urgency.  Of course waiting until it's urgent can lead to some accidents :) Anyway, I would say just wait and see.  He may just have a lot going on in his little head right now and forget.  As for nighttime, I agree, you can probably just let that go entirely for the moment.  That'll take care of some of the stress, anyway!

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#5 of 6 Old 04-01-2014, 09:19 PM
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Regressions are normal! Don't sweat the night time thing-- that's a whole different ball game.
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#6 of 6 Old 04-02-2014, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the supportive words!  It's true, he does have a lot going on in his head right now, and a lot going on in the family, including a new sibling.   I just worry that perhaps I haven't been "there" enough for him to learn.  I'm always with him physically, but not always mentally... that is, I get caught up with some task, and don't remind him to go at the right moment.  If he wets himself, I feel guilty about not paying him enough attention.  If he's doing the pee-pee dance, it's obvious that he needs to go and I can remind him.  If he's sitting quietly and playing, I may not notice until it's too late.   I also wonder how we are going to manage when we start to go out more often.  I don't want to rely on pull-ups for outings, as this won't help him to learn. 

Maybe it's just an illusion, but it seems to me that a lot of mothers have finished potty training their kids by this age, which leads me to worry that I'm just not doing a good job.  That feeling will pass, I'm sure, when he gets back on track. 

I'll check out the potty learning forum, and look for additional tips.  I was in a hurry when I started this thread, and didn't take the time to find the right forum... I figured that in here I could find some moms who have been through this before!

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