My 3-year-old refuses to potty train: Advice?

I have tried EVERYTHING! I have read article after article I have watched video after video. I have consulted with other mothers looking for advice. Nothing works. I have tried dropping the subject all together and giving them time to “be ready” I have tried of freeing rewards and not offering rewards. They have two potty chairs and and little potty thing and step stool for my toilet. My ability to be patient it growing thin and I just don’t know what to do. I’ve asked them why they won’t use the potty and the current reply is “I’m scared of monsters” I think they are just saying they because they have also expressed that they just like diapers. My child is extremely smart and there is absolutely no reason for me to believe there is any developmental issues. I’ve tried days of putting my foot down and that got us nowhere. I’m not proud of where we are right now. Every other milestone they met early but with this we are struggling. I really really need tips and advice more than I need judgement because I promise you I am judging myself enough I feel like I have failed my child some how.


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. My 3-year-old refuses to potty train: Advice?

3 is still young. Some children go into the 4’s. Relax. It’ll happen.


Some are just stubborn. All’s you can do is keep trying. They will do it when they are ready.

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Mine is the same. If they judge I say “when will you be over to help potty train her?”

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I put the potty seat in front of the TV. Let me girls go naked for 1st day. Anyways both were potty trained at 1.5 yrs old I also removed all diapers and bought a lot of panties. Accidents happened but took 1 week of hard work


Mine is 3.5. He will go, and sometimes he won’t. I don’t play the power struggle. Just not ready.

Stop buying diapers. Make the decision that it’s time to potty train and stick with it. Regular underwear and pull ups at night.
Going back and forth can be confusing. Take them with you when you go and hype it up. No monsters.
Some kids are stubborn but many daycare will not take a child into pre school and they can’t do kindergarten if they’re in diapers.

If they are expressing they just like the diapers. Have you tried just removing the diapers all together and just using undies? I hope all works out momma

Go the no more diaper method. Take them away and do not give them one. It seems harsh but the only way I could get mine to was to take the ease of just going whenever away. They were fully trained within three days and within three days of each other my older child being 4 and the other being 3 at the time and it was done


My child was 4 before she would potty train. And we are still working on pooping currently, it’s been a real struggle but it’s really nothing that can be forced. So we literally waited until she finally started to at least pee. She’s a very stubborn child so that’s what worked for us. I just had to keep telling myself it’s not forever. They will eventually figure it out

Mine didn’t even want to until two weeks after school started, she saw other kids using the bathroom and then that’s when she decided she wanted to wear panties and use the potty.

My son will be 4 in November and JUST got the hang of potty training! It was like a switch went off and now he’s doing amazing! Hang in there mama!


My oldest didn’t potty train until 6 he was so so stubborn but one day he just decided to start using the potty…my youngest didn’t potty train until 4 years old…they will do it when they are ready

They will not do it until they are ready. Just stop and wait for them to show you signs of readiness.

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Try not to stress over it too much. Some kids potty train early, some late…some really late…I have eight children. The earliest potty pro was under two. The latest so far was almost to his fourth birthday. Your little one will get there. Encourage,. encourage, encourage. And remind yourself that this little person has only been breathing the air for three years! You’re not a failure as a parent. Sounds to me like you’re very invested in your babe and want to see them excell. Just try to be patient. :slight_smile:

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Our daycare provider just said watch them closely and you will know when THEY are ready, can’t rush it.

My daughter was the same way. One day she woke up a little over 4 years old and said she just didn’t want to wear pull ups anymore

Best advice is to wait till their ready :slightly_smiling_face: pushing them to do it will only cause them to regress more.


My twelve year old son didn’t potty train until he was 4 and the only way I got him to do it was by telling him he can be naked if he uses the potty. It worked lol​:woman_facepalming:t3:. Too well because for awhile whenever we went to anyones house he’d immediately strip :joy::joy::joy:

My grandmother taught me to start young 12 months is when we start . Done in one month . I know its too late now but just friendly advice for next time maybe it might work .:heart::heart: just be patient

My son didn’t potty train until he was almost 4 my dad bribed him and said that if he never went potty in his pants and used his potty chair he would take my son golfing with him. Needless to say 2 weeks later with no accidents he went golfing

I had a potty chair for my grandson that made music…and he LOVED going tinkle in it. He LOVED creating the music. It took ONE day to potty train him. Why are mothers having problems today–to kids that are way too old to still wear diapers???

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Take a breath and calm down for starters lol they are 3. Don’t demand or push them so hard and try taking a break for couple weeks. Then just read and watch potty stuff or make a treasure box with little dollar store stuff as a push for them to try once they show interest. My daughter was about 3 and 3 months once she finally started and it only took 3 days for her to be good during the day and night.

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I agree with other posts … get rid of the diapers … panties during the day… pull ups at night


Both my boys were trained 15 and 18 months. I would put them in underwear, throw away the diapers and plan on following them around for a few days. Once they have the wetness next to them they will want to use the toilet (worked for my kids, I hope it works for yours) 
Also some kids don’t have the sensation that they have to go until later. My son wanted the underwear on and I really did nothing after that, I know I was very lucky.

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If they pee or :poop: don’t jump right away to change them…let them feel the wet/dirty for a minute (of course never long enough to cause skin irritation) and point out how uncomfortable it is so if they want to stay dry and comfortable they have to use the potty…also don’t use pull-ups only underwear especially during the day! I have 4 girls and even had a friend do it I swear by this


No, some kids especially boys can take a long time. Place them on the potty for 3 minutes every morning and 13 minutes after meals. Consistency is key it’s okay if they don’t like it it has to become a new habit. If they have an accident allow them to assist you in the cleanup. Don’t yell or belittle them they just aren’t ready yet. And even when they are ready there could be set backs.


Kids potty train when they are ready

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As much as you’d want them to start they just are not ready.
Happened to me. She was 3 already going #1 but never #2 and we had so many accidents.
I was fed up and tried everything. She loved diapers too and would tell me lol
It wasn’t until she got the stomach bug and had the runs that she was able to make the connection. We’ve been accident free since.

They putting them right in underwear. Some don’t like the feeling of when they have a accident and may try the potty.


Wait until they are ready

We gave my grandson a York is everytime he went

They’ll do it un their own time. It’s like flicking a switch

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When my brother was little and with my now 4 year old, we used Mean Green and ripped the top label off s it just showed the angry eyes, or made “monster repellant.” That was for monsters under the bed though :woman_shrugging:

My oldest was potty trained by a year and a half. My youngest, close to 4, my third child, about 2 and a half. Each kid will potty train at their own pace. My middle son was the one that took the longest …but it was like a light switch went off. One day he just decided he would go to the potty from now on.

I had to bribe my 3 year-old with dumdum suckers and it worked!!
First I tried giving her water every 15 minutes and every 30 minutes I’d take her to the potty to start letting her know it’s time to go or try to go. It worked for the most part until I started using the suckered and that made her want to remember to go potty and slowly I took the suckered away. (Went through 2 bags)

I had this problem as well with my son. I was talking to my mother about it asking for advice when my son walks out on the porch turns to the bush with his back to us and whips it out to “water” it. Turns around and smiles at us and starts to walk back in the house. I ask him why he did this and not in the house. He said the potty scared him and he was more comfortable outside. He was three and as you can see with the conversation he is very intelligent as well. I told him I was throwing out his pull ups and he would from now on wear undies like Dad. He said great and I told him if he wanted to go outside that’s fine just tell me when he does. We live in Texas and it’s warm or hot just about year round. He was fine once I was firm and acknowledged his fear and helped with overcoming it.

My son was 3.5 before he just decided one day he didn’t want to be messy and wear diapers. I wasn’t going to stress over it at that point and drive myself crazy.


Trying to push can make the process longer. Have you tried the naked approach? Where they don’t wear anything at all? Something could try. It can be frustrating but like I said, try your best not to push it either.

Following as my 3 1/2 yr old is the same absolutely refuses can not even get him to wear underwear and I’ve tried everything at this point idk if he’ll be potty trained before school next year

My daughter will be 3 in like 2 weeks and yes she’ll go on the potty, but it’s rare. I feel like a failure also. I’ll sit on the floor for like 45 minutes in the morning and she won’t pee, then I’ll put a diaper on her and she’ll pee less than a minute later. It’s frustrating. I know they say use underwear, but i don’t wanna have to toss a whole pack when she poops everyday in them 

Don’t put them in diapers. That’s what they want. Put them in regular pants and regular underwear and they will learn if they mess in them it is uncomfortable and the only solution is to stop.


Oh Crap Potty Training book. For my first it worked in just three days, for my second it was more like 10 before we were at a place where the number of accidents was reasonable.

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My kid was like that
And 4 did it on her own over a weekend.

Sorry stop babying and take the diaper off and put her in underwear. You say this is what we do at 3. And let natural consequences happen and clean them up.

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Give him time. And let him be. Don’t traumatize him. And don’t make him suffer wet clothes etc. Just keep up the pull ups and encourage him. One day…it will happen

I set a timer every hour and made my son go. It worked after 3 days of doing this. Good luck!

I have twins and one was ready and willing to potty train but the other one was dead set against it. They were nearly 3 so I just took the diapers all together. There was a few accidents of both types but he started going to the toilet pretty quick because he didn’t like being messy.

My 3 year old is the same and I’m at lost :disappointed: he is not interested at all

He will use the potty when he is resdy. Leave potties available and don’t say anything. My kids saw us potty and the skill is learnrf

He will go when he’s ready…don’t rush it…
Most kids are between 3 and 4 when they are potty trained…

U r not failing…some take longer. My son was 4 & I told him I just can’t clean his poppy diaper anymore. I Gave him bar soap & wash cloth & put him in tub to wash up.I felt badly…but it worked.

I went to the store and daughter pick their panties and they like them so much they didn’t want to pee im them

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Give it time my kids 1 didn’t potty train till just after his 4th birthday and my youngest was 31/2 fully potty trained. Every kiddo is different.

Take them to the potty every 30 min. Make them sit there until they use the bathroom. It was hard with my son until I let him pee on trees and my car tires!!

My son will be 2 in a couple weeks he has a pee bucket. I don’t put a diaper on him. That’s how we showed him. He is now potty trained.


I worked in a daycare for over 5 years and I’ve worked with every age group from birth to 5 years old and I can tell you this isn’t out of the norm… between 18 months old until 5 is the norm for potty training. I know if you push too hard before they are ready it may take them longer. Please be patient and realize u are not a failure… follow their cues and try not to stress over it . (My son is 20 months and has the hardest time with eating solids because he was micropreemie 1lb14oz at birth only 25 weeks… he was intubated for 63 days out of his 90 days at the NICU. IT HAS BEEN A CHALLENGE. he is stubborn and got a little sick and regressed quick and where he was relying on puree food 24oz a day he’s now gone backwards 3 months later still only consuming 12oz a day and relying on milk… I cry and get so frustrated but he isn’t losing weight and he isn’t sick and he isn’t malnourished and gets his vitamins…) My point is baby girl not all babies fit the spectrum and the worrying could be for absolutely nothing. Release the pressure and take a break for him and yourself for at least a few day… regroup and rethink. One thing that I know that was outside of the box that really helps one of my parents with her four-year-old who was still not potty trained and still wanted pull-ups did not want underwear at all was not allowing big kid things to be done unless she went to the potty like a big girl. She would not punish for wearing a diaper but if the little girl wanted to say walk outside the cart at the grocery store instead of being put in the cart she would say no big girls get to walk outside the cart we are in a big girl until we can go potty. She didn’t say it in a negative way or reinforce that she was a baby she was just letting her know that to achieve big girl status there were certain things she had to do… within two weeks of doing this she was going to the potty all by herself… you just have to find what works for you and him you’ve read everything and you’ve done everything everyone else has said sit back relax pray and think on it for a couple days you’ll figure out what’s going to work for you guys. I know it because you were chosen to be his mommy for a reason you got this :heart:


You doing a good job momma just keep working with him, both my boys were between 2.5 to 3 years old.

Everyone’s different my son wanted nothing to do with it and would scream and then he turned 4 and just did it lol he just ran in there and just from that day started using it ,he decided he was ready and that was it. My daughter is 2 and she is now potty trained as well but her twin brother is the most least interested person with it so I mean just don’t stress about it . Encourage it and get super excited if it happens but it will happen just sometimes it’s on their time.

I had a child like this. I just took the diaper off and let them be naked. Then brought them 5o the potty every 30 min or hour. After a week she was interested in underwear and going to the potty by herself.

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My oldest didnt fully potty train until almost 4 and a half.

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In my experience, boys learn later; I think they just don’t care. Stickers as a reward worked well with my granddaughter.

My son just turned 3 on the 2nd, only recently (less than a month ago) was diagnosed as autistic. We started trying to potty train two months ago… number 2 has never happened but we have been somewhat successful with peeing. We set an alarm for 30-45 minutes every day. He gets 2-3 m&ms everytime he even just dribbles. He gets upset and doesn’t want to stop playing sometimes so we got to force him to go but once he’s sat down he normally calms down and goes. We have one of those seats that go over the toilet and a stool for his little legs.

Having the same problem with our 5 year old son he potty for a while then just stopped it’s getting exhausting and we tried everything too just waiting it out

Let her do it when she is ready!!! I have told plenty women this and it works… if you force it the will take longer…. Put a pull up and keep asking every few hours, let her see you go and make a big deal abt it or sing when you go…be patient….trust

Don’t buy any more diapers. Tell him when those are gone that is it. Watch him figure out how to ration those. But stick to your guns momma, there will be accidents. Either naked or let them feel the wetness/nastiness that comes with going in their pants.
Naked butt was easy in the summer for me and once she slipped and fell from a slippery pee puddle as she had the oops and that made an impact too

I let my son run around the house naked for a few days and that’s how I potty trained him. He didn’t like peeing in the floor and it splashing on him or anything

Well, it took my youngest up until she turned 4 back in June to fully go potty on the toilet not just #1 but #2 as well. She’s a smart little one, surprises me sometimes lol but it took forever we feel.
She kinda wasn’t into pooping into the toilet yet lol but she’s been doing great since. :laughing:
Started her potty training before she turned 1, she kinda had the hang of it at age 1 going on 2 then at 2 she was going more and more on her own potty chair and at age 3 she just became a bit lazy and was back and forth but now she’s doing great!
She has watched all kinds of videos, read her some books and we have had talks with her, got her excited about big girl underwear, pretty much all things you can do to get your child to learn and go potty on their own, including learning how to wipe vs knowing how to wipe herself.
Also kept her in pull ups since she was 1, no diapers… Cheaper way to me. Lol unless your kids can’t use them of course… I used Parent Choice with all my kids. My oldest son is almost 14.

It just takes time, probably any patience you have, trying to be consistent and/or ready on their own is what it takes I think.

Have you tried just putting them in under wear during the day and just diapers/pull ups at night time? I’ve been having the same issues with my 3 year old she will even hold it the hole time i set her on the potty! I’m about to just put her in underwear all day! And frequently set her on the potty all day.

Both of mines was almost 5 when I finally left them alone and stopped stressing them and myself out over it. Let it go and let them do it when they are ready they won’t go to college in diapers.

Leave your kid alone because your kid is clearly not ready. Bladder control is developmental and unique on each kids. They don’t need to do anything until they are ready, don’t compare other kids to yours. When they are ready, they will tell you.

My kids all potty trained at different ages. One at 2, one at 5, one at 3½. It will happen when they’re ready. I think the most effective way I found was a hand made potty journey chart. I went to dollar tree and got a piece of poster board, some markets and some stickers, and we made a little map with lots of fun decorations and every time they went potty, they got a sticker. Every 10 or so potty times, they had a small prize listed, and later in the “journey” the prizes got bigger. No negative repercussions if they had accidents or didn’t go that day. At first, it’s spotty. Later, as they see more stickers and get more excited, they’re encouraged on their own to want ro go. It really helped my kiddos.

They just are not ready. I know it’s frustrating but give it time, I promise he isn’t going to go to kindergarten wearing diapers. In the meantime talk to his pediatrician and see if they have any insight and tips.

I had to potty train mine in the signs. It’s been a while but if I remember correctly if you start when the signs are in the knees they should be trained when it’s in the feet. I am raising my granddaughter and I was having trouble potty training her and I started giving her a few M&Ms when she peed and a mini Reece cup if she pooped. 3 days and she was done. A friend tried that with his grandson. 2 days and he was trained.

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:raising_hand_woman: in the same boat!
My 3.5yo is incredibly smart and this is literally the ONLY thing we’ve struggled with. Also tells me he’s ‘scared’. He’ll pee in the potty or on trees no problem now, after a while of encouragement (and a little frustration on my part, I’ll admit) but refuses to poop on the potty.
I’ve told him that the stores wont let us buy diapers anymore now that hes getting bigger - only pullups. And once he gets even bigger, they won’t let us buy pullups and he’ll have to wear big boy underwear. Once we get closer to 4, i plan on eliminating the pullups altogether and taking the poop messes in his underwear day-by-day until he realizes he’s ruining all his cool Paw-Patrol undies and it’s much easier to just poop in the potty. :woman_shrugging:
I’m pretty okay in my knowing that it’ll come with time. He’ll learn.

Let him be naked and give him a private potty area. Best things that worked for my son.


No nappy and no underwear was the only way my son got the picture. He was too clever and knew that he could mess on his nappies, and with underwear it felt like he had a nappy on. Something that work for u, if you at home with them let them go naked for a while it will be easier for you to identify if they need to use the toilet. They will touch their privates… Or you can set a timer on your phone so you can take them to the toilet often. Have a talk with him/her tell them all the nappies are finish and they need to use the toilet from now on… All the best!


I created monster spray! Water and lavender spray lol!

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Take the diaper away for good. Put them in a long tee shirt for a week. Commit to it.

Take off the diaper for one… let them be naked, leave the potty chair out… they’ll get it… no one goes to kindergarten in a diaper right? Dont stress, there will be way bigger problems in the future lol

They will do it when they’re ready!

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So put underwear on and when they pee or poop let them sit in it for like 5 to 10 minutes. They will not like th wet feeling at all. I know it sounds mean but it was the only way for my daughter. I put a cover over the underwear too like the for the cloth diapers. She didn’t like the wet feeling andi told her if you don’t want to be wet then you need to use the potty like a big girl.

My grandson didn’t potty train until four years of age. Your son will do it when he’s ready. Some children just need a little more time. :heart:

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Honestly, it sounds like your child wants to control that part. Put underwear on and leave your kid be. If they potty in them, they clean them. If your child is old enough to say, “I won’t go potty, I like diapers.”, they need to be potty trained.


My 3 yr old currently will “pee” in the potty but refuses to “poop” in the potty :woman_shrugging:
I have tried everything. Including telling him he could poo outside like the dog, :woman_facepalming: which only worked once. So, I feel ya mommy.

Milestones are not meant to be met early. It’s not a point of pride, it is strictly a measurement. Get a counselor.

I know it’s frustrating hun but they will definitely go when they’re ready. My daughter is 3 1/2 and just started using the potty a month ago. I tried everything just like you and one day she said no more diapers mommy. She rarely has an accident and is doing great. It will happen mama :heart:

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my 7 year old grandson liked his diapers way too much so he was trained by the time he was 4 but to be fair his mother( my daughter ) was the same

Let him use the big toilet. When he is ready.

If they aren’t ready THEN THEY ARENT READY. Just because you are over the diaper stage doesn’t mean they are ready for this huge stepping stone.
Patience and consistency is helpful. Shaming never helps anyone.


Not a popular opinion but when I was at my wits end I used bribery my daughter wanted a tricycle and I promised if she went on the potty I’d get her one two days later we were buying her one. We don’t bribe her now or for anything else but I too was at a loss and this happened to work


Get a can of air freshener, cover the label, write monster spray on it and let them spray the bathroom before they go


Back off!!! Your making too big of a deal out of it and maybe causing some anxiety over it!!! I have 7 kids and 6 grandkids and my 3 oldest daughter’s we’re potty trained at 18 months older for my boys butt my youngest daughter was 3

Mine saw other kids their age without diapers and made the decision.
The last one got bribed, but still had accidents at almost 7 because he’s not mature enough to keep track of his body yet…

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My foster son was inquisitive and watched my husband go for standing up going. He wanted be a big boy like Poppa. He stopped sitting to pee at 3. For number 2, he wanted the big boy toilet so adjustments were made so he wouldn’t fall in. I think his active and nebby outlook helped get him trained by 3 to go in potty for #2. Not mention following my husband around.:+1: I normally placed him on toilet about 45 minutes after his meals.

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A big thing that helped mine was using the terms about “being a big girl.” Using her best friends names and letting her know like hey your friend insert name here uses the big girl potty.

Other than that it was 4 days of sitting in the living room butt naked and using the potty every 45 minutes.

We also had to pause everything we were doing so it wasn’t a “rush to get back”.

My son was almost 4 when he finally gave in. I tried all of it. He just wasn’t ready. You have certainly not failed your child. Each one if different and there is no set of rules.

Mine is 4 and was just interested about 2 mo.ths ago. I took every piece of advice and he’s using the potty, some accidents though not much. I took diapers and pull ups away, out of the house. He went around with nothing on so had no other choice but to use the potty. We did this for a month. He is now potty trained

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