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Toilet training a 3.5 year old who 'doesn't want to do it!'(33 Posts)
My son is 3.5. I tried toilet training at 2.5 and he was fine for 10 days then announced that he'd 'done that now' and wanted his nappy back. I held out for a couple of days during which he purposely wee'd everywhere then gave up and let him have a pull up again. Now he's 3.5 and I'm trying again. First day he was really good and really keen to sit on the toilet/potty but gradually he's getting less enthusiastic and we're back at the point now where he's refusing to put his pants on/tell me when he needs to go. The nappy fairy has taken his nappies (except for nighttime pull ups) I've tried sticker charts/sweets as bribery/encouragement/books about the potty etc etc. He goes to nursery where most of his peers are potty trained but he's just not fussed. I know he can do it perfectly well and it's a battle of wills because he just doesn't want to - should I carry on?
Yes. He will be in school next year so you will only have to start again. As soon as he wets, no shouting or being cross but he has to stop whatever activity he is doing and help get himself changed. Fetch clean clothes, clean himself and help clean the mess. Make it inconvenient for him to wet rather thank go to the toilet. And then plenty of praise/stickers/choc button for going on the toilet.
I’d create things he could do if he was in pants but can’t in nappies
What if you give him a choice. Either he goes when he needs to or when you tell him to.
I would send DS to the toilet when he got up, before going out, before lunch etc and after a while
year or two he would take himself off when he needed to.
If you annoyed him with constant insistence that he keeps sitting on the loo every half hour, do you think after a couple of days he'd just do it himself?
We had this. In the end bribery fixed it.
I bought three advent calendars and told him that for the next seventy days at dinner if his pants had been dry all day he got the choc. If they were wet I got the choc (I needed the cheering up!)
After two evenings watching me eat the chocolate he got it.
I tried stopping after the first box was done, but he slid back, three goes cracked it.
Good luck OP. It's soul destroying when they're like this.
Forgot to add, I don't think it was the chocolate that made it work, but the idea of fairness, missing out and losing the game that got him motivated.
I would leave it for a bit. When does he start school?
justwants idea is brilliant, I wished we had done that.
I'd be inclined to carry on just because of his age. Could nursery do it too? If he's there most of the time he might do it for them, if not for you.
We bribed with a visit to Peppa Pig World if he can use the big boy toilets
I tried Paw Patrol pants. Got the reply that "it doesn't matter if I wee on Zuma because he's the water pup and likes getting wet."
Bloody smart arse small version of me.
bloody smart arse
My friends nappy wearing daughter daughter said to her mother very conversationally " when T wants a wee he says so to his mum and then he goes on his potty".
I had wee races with my grandson. He knew what to do but forgot/didn't want to/toys too interesting etc. I would say let's have a wee race, first one to wee gets a chocolate button. (we have a downstairs loo) I'd go to the loo, he'd go on the potty. If he wouldn't sit on the potty or messed about, I'd go for a wee and get a chocolate button. I'd eat it in front of him and he wouldn't get one. Soon got the hang of it!
He's still a baby!!
Leave it another month or two until the summer is properly here. (always easier when they can run around with minimal clothing making it easier to get to a potty.)
Get him some pull ups, call them nappies but keep asking him if he needs to use the potty & make a big fuss if he does, but "meh" OK if he doesn't. He'll get it in the end.
What age were you & his dad when you were reliably dry? If one or both paremts were late developers chances are your child will be. He'll get there ! 😁
Chuck a cheerio in the pan and tell him to try and hit it. Sounds daft but it worked with a toilet refuser I looked after.
A different child I know completely refused to be toilet trained unless he could do.'wild wees' and used to dash to the garden for a piddle up the fence I think she eventually got him to pee inside...I hope so, he's 12 now!
LovingLola barely more than a baby.
I hate the way new mums are pressurised into getting their kids to hit milestones before they are ready.
Some kids do it early, some do it later. Doesn't mean they never will, and there's enough to worry about as a young mum without endlessly hovering over a potty or toilet- He'll get it in the end.
Bribery is the way.
I needed DS dry in order to attend the school nursery place he was offered. We started this time last year.
Every wee/poo got a chocolate button and he caught in pretty quick. And then we lowered the amount of buttons to one at the end of the morning and one end it the afternoon if he had stayed dry and then just one at the end of the day if it was a dry day and eventually removed them completely.
It took a while to be reliably dry in the day, and now at 3.5 he is 99.9% dry in the day (not the nights yet but we’re working on it)
If you’re DS is 3.5, will he be starting school in September? I think you need to just go full steam and try and crack it.
Maybe tell him the other kids will all be in big boy pants and ask him if he wants to be the only one in baby nappies?
Also. As PP said, my DS is all for an outside wee too (as in emergency ‘we’re in the middle of the woods, shit what do we do’ not just in the local high street)
See if you can get him to have practise wees in the garden. Just anything to get his mindset away from nappies!
How is 3.5 a baby? Unless additional needs then he is well old enough to be toilet trained.
Tell him they don't make nappies for big boys his age. Then bribe him - chocolate for every wee and poo and don't go back to nappies except for night- for that use a pull up that's different to his regular nappies.
He will soon get it and then forget about the chocolate. There comes a point when reluctant trainers need a nudge and 3.5 is quite old to be in nappies.
My older DS was like this. He played us for weeks till he realized we wouldn't back down. We did all the above and he still resisted, but we had to persevere!
I disagree with pp who say he's too young. He's obviously not if he physically can. I bet you have taught him to talk, play, walk, even swim, cycle etc. Appropriate toileting is an essential human skill. He needs to learn this to succeed! Don't stop now & try again later- you'll waste the time you've put in already. Just keep going, be kind & consistent.
Or you know, just wait til he’s ready to do it himself. My 3.5 year old isn’t potty trained, but her sister wasn’t trained until 3.5 and her brother wasn’t until 3.5 either. I’d had a couple of miserable unsuccessful attempts with my oldest; tears, tantrums, wee on everything, shouting. So we left it a year and tried again and she was dry day and night in a couple of weeks with a minimum of fuss. So when my son was that age, I just waited until the summer and left him naked below the waist whenever he was at home and encouraged the use of the potty. Dry with very little bother by the time he started nursery in September. My youngest is not interested at all, but I’m sure we’ll get there over the summer.
Mine preferred someone else to do stuff for him. What worked was a sticker chart with a count to 10 then he gets a wrapped 'present'. The present can be small or big. Then with the promise that when he is fully trained he can have big boy lego.
To start, he got a sticker when he sat on the toilet. Then next set of 10 for when he wee'd or poo'd in the loo only. Then next set for pulling his pants up and down, then night time training,etc, etc. It was a very slow process but was fully dry and night trained by 3.7yo.
Ds now 6, has developmental delay, I started potty training him at 3:5 years, it took a whole year and a bit. It was so frustrating. He was 4:5 years before he cracked it, just before school started in September. He just started school nursery and coukd see the big boys doing stand up wees in the toilet and wanted that for himself. I also bought a toilet training watch, with an alarm which went off every 40 mins, he wound get a chocolate button if he sat on tge toilet or potty, even if nothing came out, 2 buttons for wee and 3 for poo. It worked, soon after getting the watch, he cracked it. Night time, he did all on his own a few months later.
And at 5 he learned to ride a bike without stabilisers himself just like that as he wanted to be like his friends😃😃
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