What to do when you’re running out of time – your little boy isn’t potty trained and has no interest at all in potty training. There really is no right or wrong answer linked with many trials and errors. Nothing is working! the pressure is on! You tried everything… What do you do? Here are some potty training tips that will help you ditch the diapers and turn your child into a pro-underwear champ!
1. You’ve Tried Everything. What’s Next?
So you’ve reached your breaking point and have tried everything. Rewards, taking away privileges and if your pro-spanking you may have even resorted to an occasional spanking.
The next thing you need to do is talk.
Explain to your child again in the calmest voice you can find what it means to potty and how to potty. Show him the process of pottying, cleaning himself and MOST IMPORTANTLY FLUSHING AND WASHING HIS HANDS. Boys do have a tendency of leaving their creativity behind and scurrying out. You might have already figured that one out.
Make sure you let him know what your plans are to ensure a successful potty training instead of having him wonder what is going on and not getting the main idea behind it all.
2. Hide the Pull-ups.
You know it’s a problem when your child starts changing his own diapers to avoid mommy and daddy seeing that he had an accident in his pull-up. At this point you’re not even sure if it is an accident or a carefully thought out plan coming from a 3-year-old. You need to get rid of the diapers. Hide them or dispose of them just make sure your child cannot find them. Trust me, if in plain sight his little hands and feet will find a way to reaching them.
Once you banished the pull-ups have him go pantless for a week or two whenever he is at home. This should make him uncomfortable because he just has a shirt on with nothing else and will also force him to take those steps to the potty and actually use it. If he is as lazy as my little one, him going to the potty by himself and not crying to be carried is a major accomplishment.
Now that you’ve got the laziness out of the way, show him his new underwear that just so happens to be in his favorite colors and cartoon characters. YAY!!! Make it sound fun and exciting and make a big deal out of the fact that he is using the potty by himself. The underwear and excitement you offer every time he uses the potty will drive motivation to keep using the potty. If you think your toddler needs an extra push and encouragement, you could always try reusable absorbent underwear which is a great way to replace the pull-ups in a more underwear-like manner. Your toddler will feel like he is wearing underwear and it has cotton material that allows your toddler to feel wetness, which again, results being the uncomfortable feeling. It is also absorbent which helps instead of your toddler’s legs wet from the top all the way to his/her ankles – and don’t forget about the floor!!! Been there, done that.
3. Time and Remind.
These two aspects go hand-in-hand. It is important to remind your child that he does not have a diaper on and that he needs to use the potty, even if he does not need to he should at least try. It would be ridiculous to have your child sitting on the potty every 5 minutes – this will definitely create resistance to potty because you’re constantly disrupting his play time – or every 2 hours – this is sure to create big messes that you will get tired of cleaning up – so pick a time between 15 and 30 minutes, the timing should help enforce the potty process in the form of repetitive learning.
4. Constructive Punishment
Once or twice is okay but, pottying in your underwear all the time is not okay! Every time your child does not use the potty but instead goes out in his underwear, show him how to clean up the first time and have him do it. From the time he needs to get his pants and underwear off all the way to giving you his messy clothes so you can have them cleaned (obviously a 3-year-old should not be operating a washer and dryer, although it might sound cute.)
Be prepared to put up a fight – he will not like doing this.
While he is cleaning himself up and the mess he might have made anywhere else let him know that he can avoid a bigger mess by using the potty and having the easy way out.
5. Reward, Reward, Reward.
Even though your child might not be able to read time, set a time in the evening for yourself as a “finish line” and to help him understand the concept of your time, you can explain that when it gets dark or at bed time.
This is your chance to throw a mini party for him and reward him for going through a day without any messes and actively using the potty. He will feel appreciated for his efforts and look forward to another prize the next day, keep in mind he is going to get bored if he is getting the same thing over and over, two cookies before bed for example, start small and take it up a notch every time he gets rewarded. This will keep him on his toes and guessing what his next prize will be which again will drive motivation.
As the week progresses, space out your rewards to every two days and then every week. An idea for his weekly reward could be his favorite park on a Saturday or letting him choose something fun that you could do with him.
6. Stay Consistent.
You may not want to have him go through all this after he starts to cry or fuss. It may even be challenging and exhausting on you, fighting him every time he needs to use the potty or having messes every few hours every day but, the most important tip is to stay consistent. No matter what how much he kicks and screams or tells you mean stuff as long as you stay consistent in the rules you set up for him and the rewards he may or may not get you are bound to have success.
These potty training tips have gone a long way for me and it should help you get the job done. Your child will be running into school diaper-free in no time. Potty training is not easy, but it is possible.