Potty Training a Stubborn Toddler: The One Thing that Finally Worked For Us

Do you have a child who seems impossible to potty train? If you’re in the trenches of potty training a stubborn toddler, don’t give up yet!

Maybe you have a child that either has no interest or desire to use the potty consistently —

— especially when it comes to #2?

If you believe your toddler won’t potty train EVER – just know, you’re NOT alone!

(And, they certainly will.)

It can be hard to know when your child is ready to use the potty.

And even when you know they are, it’s definitely a commitment on the part of the parent to help your child ditch the diapers once and for all.

You probably already know there’s not a truly “simple” solution for the entire potty learning process from start to finish.

However, I do think a little creativity and understanding what motivates your child can really be beneficial.

Graphic with photo of toddler acting wild at the bottom of the graphic with text above the photo "Potty training crazy-stubborn toddlers and the one trick that finally worked for us"

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Potty Training a Stubborn Toddler Times Three

Potty training (or potty learning, whichever you prefer) was simply an uphill battle with my son.

He didn’t fully say goodbye to diapers until he was 4-1/2, in fact.

I’ve thought a lot about why this experience was so different than it was with his two older sisters.

There are a few things I can pinpoint – as well as some lessons I learned along the way.

If you’re at a loss as to how to potty train a stubborn toddler boy (or girl) once and for all –

– just know, there’s hope!

Read on to see the approach we finally took that made a difference with our most stubborn potty training case study!

(That would be child #3, by the way.)

Read next:

Calming Toddler Tantrums with Humor

How to Prepare your Child for a New Sibling

The Best Busy Bag Ideas

Potty Training Stubborn Girls

With each of our two girls, I started training tactics at age two and we did the cold turkey potty training method.

I used cloth training pants (we liked these simple training pants – without covers).

We took them to the potty consistently and surprisingly, they caught on very quickly.

At that time, I decided that learning how to potty train a stubborn girl (we have a houseful of headstrong kiddos!) was a lot easier than I expected it to be.

The usual potty training advice

Granted, I had been doing all the things I had been told by mom and grandma just prior.

Namely, taking them to the potty:

  • first thing in the morning
  • right before bath time
  • any time they showed an interest

I let them watch me (not that we really have a choice, right, moms?), since modeling is important.

2 year old girl potty training in living room on a toddler potty training seat, beside a stuffed animal.

Potty Training Advice

I did what seemed natural and made potty learning a part of their daily routine.

So after the warm-up routine, we went straight into big-girl pants.

And after about two weeks, our girls were pretty much fully trained.

(Not at the same time- just for clarification.  They are three years apart.)

Night time did take a little longer, but both were wearing underwear with only occasional accidents by age 2.5.

The typical struggles

There were a few setbacks, of course.

When our second daughter was born, our oldest had some regression.

I understood this is normal when there’s a big change in a toddler’s world.

It took us about a month or so to get back on track.

But shortly after we settled into a routine again, she appeared to accept her role as the “big girl” in the house.

After that, accidents were few and far between.

If you had asked me about how to potty train a stubborn child at that time –

– I would’ve had all kinds of cheeky advice!

But of course, God has ways of keeping us humble…

Read next:

Calm Toddler Tantrums with Humor (here’s how)

The Best Busy Bag Ideas (for church and quiet places)

Potty Training a Stubborn Boy

Enter baby #3, our one and only boy.

Several friends warned me that boys were harder to potty train

– and the process took longer than it did with their girls.

I didn’t think much of this, honestly.

I knew it was messy business.

But we’d done it fairly easily twice before, so how hard could it be?

As it turns out, it was practically a nightmare!

Toddler boy running through a field: concept of why potty training boys is HARD

Potty Training Stubborn Boys

Early potty training (too early?)

We started at age 2 again.

I quickly realized from the very beginning that potty training boys was a different experience.

My son had fears about sitting on the potty.

A LOT of fear in fact.

We first tried the potty seat that sits on top of the regular potty.

I guess the height was too much for him.

He flat-out refused to sit on it.

I simply hate the little child-sized potty chairs because of the cleanup involved and the space they take up in the bathroom.

I never used one with our girls.

But, we bought one this time around.

We started as slowly as I had with the girls, just getting him used to the idea.

Potty training a stubborn toddler - potty seat sitting on a bathroom floor with parents in the background.

Early Potty Training Fail?

Eventual progress; then came #2 training

And he did warm up to peeing on the potty, eventually.

It took much longer than a week or two, and it was still hit-or-miss (literally!) even after the first few months.

We even transitioned to the potty seat on the big toilet after several weeks of using the potty chair at bath and bedtime.

And of course, whenever he expressed interest in going.

It makes sense to me that kids need to be able to verbalize their need to use the potty before they can be successful in training.

Otherwise, if you’re just setting timers and watching for signs…

you’re not doing much more than training the parent.

(Side note, they actually make timers for this purpose now!  Who knew?)

Fortunately, all of our kids were early talkers so that wasn’t a problem with our stubborn trainee.

Even so, every time I asked our son if he needed to poop?

He would always say NO and refused to sit on the potty to even try.

This went on for months.

Toddler boy grimacing at the camera while laying in bed: example of stubborn toddler refuses to potty train

Potty Training Refusal

The poop sagas

My son would tell me when he needed to pee, or would even just go by himself.

But he would never attempt to poop on the potty and wouldn’t be coaxed into trying either.

Since my girls were trained so much earlier –

– I NEVER thought I would be in the position of figuring out how to poop train a 4 year old.

Yet, here we were.

Other Potty Training Hacks we Tried

At first, I would watch for cues (back to that parent-training thing).

We tried to get him used to just “sitting and seeing what happens”.

Then we tried adding in books and toys as a distraction while waiting.

Alas, he had no interest in playing on the potty when he could be playing in his room instead.

Crying, screaming fits would ensue.

So I gave up on that for periods of time and would try again every week or so.

Then I introduced rewards.

Of course, we had already been praising every attempt at pooping on the potty, or even sitting on it for any reason.

Little boy laying on the floor with a thumbs-up sign and a trophy: concept of potty training rewards- ineffective eventually

Rewarding the Effort

What we found, though, was that his interest waned after a few days or we ran out of incentives.

And as soon as the M&M’s were gone, so was his motivation.

Strike two.

If there were simple tricks to potty train a stubborn toddler that could be Googled – I probably tried them all at least once!

Out of tricks, and back to pullups

After about 8 months from the start of our potty training adventure, I was discouraged with cleaning cloth training pants every.single.day.

So, we went back to a mix of diapers and disposable pullups.

Here’s another interesting tidbit:

My son was the only child that I used cloth diapers with – from birth to this point.

From all the information I had read about cloth diapering, it was supposed to be a sure-fire way to help your child with early toilet learning.

The theory is that, unlike disposable diapers, cloth diapers allow them to feel the wetness.

This is supposedly an important factor in desiring to use the potty.

This theory might be true for learning to pee on the potty earlier, perhaps?

But it did nothing for us in regards to poop-training.


Related Post:  Cloth Diapers vs Disposables:  7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Decide

Potty training a stubborn toddler meme.

Potty Training with a Newborn in the House

Enter baby #4 into the mix.

I said before that baby #2 was a “setback” for our oldest daughter, right?

Well, if that was a setback, this new development in my son’s life (the birth of his sister) was a grinding halt in the potty learning saga.

So what do you do when you have a brand new baby, no sleep in your near future…

…and your 4 year old won’t potty train?

I fully gave up on all of it for a few months.

Also read: Preparing your child for the new baby on the block

Toddler boy crouched laying on a bed beside a newborn baby: example of potty training setbacks with new baby

Potty Training Setbacks

Desperate times call for… a break

We spent a fortune in disposable pull-ups as I struggled to keep up with work, tending to baby and adjusting to four kids.

It was pretty much survival mode for a period of time in those postpartum months.

Honestly? Potty training was the least of my worries.

Did I make things worse by this approach?  Maybe.

But I’m really unsure if it taking a break made a difference.

Being de-throned as the “baby” in the family is an immensely rude awakening for a three-year-old which can’t be underestimated!

Potty training a preschooler

After we got our bearings, we started back into the poop-learning process.

By this time my son was approaching age 4.

I quickly began to realize why there are so many articles out there about “how to potty train a stubborn 4 year old boy”.

Mom sitting on a couch reading articles on potty training preschooler

Online Potty Training Help

(Because if you haven’t figured out how to potty train a stubborn 3 year old, this is the next logical step.  Ha!)

I’ll be honest, I think there’s a current climate that says that it doesn’t matter what age your child potty trains.

Just let them take the lead and it’ll happen eventually, they say.

I completely understood that this process was going to take time.

I wasn’t upset about that nearly as much as the fact that I knew he was ready to be fully potty trained.


  • He was deliberate and consistent with peeing on the potty.
  • He generally only pooped at home or at grandma’s (where he was comfortable) and would hold it in everywhere else.
  • He would hide in his room when he knew he needed to poop.
  • He would flat-out tell me he pooped in his pants and then “direct” me to clean him up.
potty training stubborn toddler boy who won't stop playing!

All the Distractions.

The breaking point

Enough evidence?  I think so.

I knew my son.  I knew his abilities.

I also knew his awesomely stubborn personality.

And I knew that there was a way to unlock this mystery of the poop-avoidance.

By this time, I was determined to figure it out.

My hunch was, at this point 2 years into “learning” — it came down to control.

It was a matter of having control over one big thing in his life at a time when he felt he needed it.

(Ahem, baby #4.)

It also became a matter of laziness, to be quite frank.

When questioned, he would tell me that he was playing and didn’t want to stop.

Desperate times call for persistence

This was enough to motivate me to help him finish this process.

It was time to learn independence in this area of his life.

It wasn’t just about the fact that we were spending a fortune in pullups (which we were!).

It was that in a way, I knew I was holding him back from that independence which he needed to achieve –

– and the feeling of confidence that goes along with it.

I also needed to help him connect the dots between using the potty and the freedom of going places –

– and not having to worry about constipation and accidents.

Success With Potty Training Stubborn Boy (finally!)

You’re probably hoping I’ll get to the point about now, right? 😉

What we did that finally worked was pretty close to the “naked potty training” method…

…except we let him wear clothes.

But we simply let him go commando underneath them.

Interestingly, our struggle with potty training a stubborn child took a new turn after this.

Preschool boy sitting on the potty -- concept of potty training strong willed boy-success

Potty Training Success (finally)

He really resisted the idea at first and I had to hide his underwear.

For whatever reason, my son could care less about pooping in underwear or pullups.

(He treated them the same).

But if there was NOTHING between him and his pants, he knew he had to use the potty.

As stubborn as he was/is, he did not want poop on his pants (and everywhere else).

This was the cue that finally helped to “remind” him that it was time to stop whatever he was doing – and use the potty.

And when he did- he got to wear underwear the rest of that day.

When he “forgot”, it was back to commando mode.

Finding your “light bulb moment”

Will this work for every child?  Probably not.

Would it have worked if I had done it sooner?  I have no idea.

What I do know is – moms have instincts for a reason, so use them!

Don’t worry about all the theories out there.

You know your child.

Try different things and don’t be afraid to ditch conventional wisdom now and then.

If you’re in the trenches of teaching your child a critical skill, remember to give yourself (and your child) some grace.

Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.

They will get it eventually, with your encouragement – and sometimes a bit of creativity.

You might also like:

Why Discipline is So Important for Children – and Why Parents Hesitate

How to Diffuse Toddler Tempers with Humor

Preparing your Child for the New Baby

The Reality of Having Four Kids

Busy Bags for Toddler and Preschoolers

Graphic of little girl with oversized glasses sitting on a training toilet with text overlay: "Potty training tips for stubborn toddlers...and what finally worked when nothing else did"

Post last updated 5/11/23

42 thoughts on “Potty Training a Stubborn Toddler: The One Thing that Finally Worked For Us”

  1. Deb @ DebTakesHerLifeBack.com

    Oh my gosh, I’m glad I’m not the only one! Our daughter didn’t take as long to train, but everyone told me, “Give her a weekend and she’ll be good.” Imagine my disappointment when it took months, with several regressions mixed in! Still working on the nighttime/naptime training (when she usually saves her #2s). Oh, the joys of parenting! Great read!!

      1. My granddaughter turned 3 in Sep and still won’t go on the potty. I think the problem is she spends time with 3 people through the week. She is with Mom for 3 days and with me 2 days and with her Daddy ( my son ) on the weekends. no one is using the same or similar methods. A couple months ago she did number 2 twice while with me, she was so proud when she came and told me what she did. That’s where it ended, my son says she has went pee a couple times, she’s just so stubborn.Can you help me please?

        1. That’s hard! Consistency is really important, you’re right. Is there a special book or toy you could make the “potty toy/book” that she could take to each place and she gets it whenever she needs to use the potty? Just a thought! That might provide a cue that she can take with her. But it’s true that each caregiver has to be really committed AND she just has to be ready.

  2. Oh wow, I might need to try this! I think it’s probably the only thing I haven’t tried. My son is OVER 4 and still not potty-trained. My oldest son was 3; my daughter was barely 2. He is my youngest, and honestly, I haven’t worried about it much. I know he’ll go eventually, but I am soo tired of pull-ups! He will use the potty but he is inconsistent, so I might see if commando-under-clothes works.

    I also cloth diapered all of my kids to some extent, and I can tell you, it makes no difference! I am a huge proponent of cloth diapering, but it didn’t seem to make one bit of difference when it came to potty training.

    1. I hope it works for you Amy! My son has lost “underwear privileges” until further notice 🙂 🙂 Every time I give them back, he has an accident within a day or two. So far no accidents commando. It’s the weirdest thing ever!

      1. I did this with my little boy and it did work however, after not having any accidents we started putting underwear back on him and now if we don’t make him go constantly he will hold it till either he don’t quite make it or just go hide and poop in his underwear. We have put him in a K4 program in a private school and if he has 2 accidents they will make me withdrawal him. I am still at a loss with this whole potty training thing😭

  3. Sarah @ SuperSavvySarah

    Thanks for writing this. We are currently in the trenches of potty training my 3 year old son and it can be super frustrating! Everything you described about knowing your son was ready (hiding when he poops, “directing” me to change him) hit home with me!

    I am frustrated, spending money on Pull-ups, we are going through diapers like crazy because he hates to be wet (he will use the potty to pee at school but is hit or miss at home).

    I am going to give your method a try! I will let you know if it works!

    1. I appreciate you writing this article. My two older girls potty trained at 2.5 and 2 years…easy peasy lemon squeezy!
      I thought I was the only person in the world going through the struggles of potty training a just turned 3 year old boy who absolutely refuses to go pee pee or poop in the toilet. He says, “I don’t want it!” and has a temper tantrum. I am doing the underwear only method and it worked has been good so far for the past 2 days. No accidents 🥰.
      My 2 older girls thinks he’s gross if he walks around with no underwear. Good news, he did both pee and poop on the toilet at church yesterday. No training toilet seat…gonna try that at home. We’ll see…thanks again

      1. My 6 yr old son is being stubborn about pooping on toilet and we have tried everything. I’m at my wits end.

  4. I am having a hard time getting my son to use the potty. At first he seemed like he was ready to use the big boy potty. He would see daddy go potty then he would say i have to go potty. so we got him a potty chair that sat on the bathroom floor that way if he had to go he could go he tried to go but he couldn’t go. We realize that he like the big potty because he like to flush the potty so we got him a potty that looks like the big potty. He would try but still couldn’t go. One day he did go potty on the big boy potty. Then it was like he lost interest in using the potty. He started preschool last fall and his teacher said he was all for trying to use the potty. SO we got my son a urinal because he wanted to stand up like daddy we tried that. Now it’t like he has lost all interest in using the potty. We have tried everything and now it’s like he doesn’t even want to try and use the potty anymore. Are there any tips you could give me.

    1. Hi Katie, I think those regressions are common. Are you really consistent about when you take him to the potty? I found it helpful to make sure that our routines were consistent: take him first thing in the morning, before each meal (you have to wash hands anyhow), before bathtime, before bedtime? Even if he only sits on it for a minute, it would help to get into the routine. If he’s frustrated and not willing to sit at all then maybe drop it entirely for a week or so and come back to it. Kids are all so different, but I know that they struggle more under pressure! Best of luck!

  5. When I taught my sons, I would place them backwards on the toilet. This way they were faced like “Daddy” but because of their position they had better aim and weren’t falling in. This also worked for others when I owned a pre-school.

  6. Omg it is soooo good to know we’re not the only ones! My son is 4 1/2 and goes school soon so we NEED to finally get out of nappies! He’s been using knickers for the last 2 weeks, hit or miss, most of the wee goes in the toilet or potty with some wet knickers but the poo lands in the knickers every time. We are at this point feeling quite hopeless. Any advice? Will try the commando method tomorrow.

    1. I definitely have felt your pain Paulina! Looking back, it was so frustrating at the time, but once he GOT it, he got it, you know? Let us know how commando mode goes! I would make sure to not make it feel like a punishment when you take away the undies, but explain it’s just something to try to help him remember when he needs to go. I cautioned my son, don’t be scared if you have an accident but just know you won’t be able to keep playing because you’ll have a mess we’ll need to clean up if that happens. I know every child is different, but for busy little boys especially, they just don’t want to take the time to use the potty. For us, commando mode worked because HE knew what would happen if he chose not to use the potty at a time when he was well-capable of doing so. I hope that makes sense! 🙂

  7. It’s like I was writing this article. We have struggled with potty training for 15 months!!! He would do just enough to stay in undies but not consistent. We actually have the opposite problem. He goes poop every time in the potty but he struggles with peeing because he doesn’t want to stop playing and he’s stubborn and sometimes lazy. He’s gone for 7 days dry before. He reverts back when we offer rewards after a couple of days. Everything you said was us!!! Thank you for writing this article. I was actually about to try this method this next week. So, now I’m so excited. I pray it works. It’s been awful!!!!

  8. I used to work in early childhood special education and we had many boys who were 3 and 4 and not potty trained. Some just weren’t aware of their bodies needs to realize they had to go to the bathroom but others were just stubborn. The teacher I worked with had 5 kids of her own and had been teaching for 30 years and what she would do was take them to the bathroom and have them change themselves out of their soiled pull-up or underwear and clean themselves. She was very nice about it but insisted that they had to do it. It worked. Our most stubborn (but able) boys and girls did not like cleaning themselves and realized it was easier to go in the potty.

    It might not be the right method for everyone but for some of our kids it was the only thing that helped them see the value of going on the toilet.

    I think that some kids find it to be very anxiety inducing and the more pressure put on them can make them resistant. But unless they have a special need that makes it hard for them to realize their body’s cues they eventually catch on.

  9. First off, thank you for this post. I swear every blog I read starts with the headline, “How I potty trained my boy in 2 days” and that’s not realistic. My son is about to turn 3 in a couple months and we just started potty training in January. To be honest, I was fine with waiting, but he started going consistently at daycare so I decided to keep it up at home. He’s doing great…. when he’s with me or with daycare, but he won’t go with anyone else, not even dad or grandma (who he’s with twice a week). Any advice for getting him comfortable in other places or with other people? I’m feeling rather discouraged and my husband especially is feeling pretty down on himself. He would rather hold it in for an entire day at grandma’s house and wait to come home with me to go. I’m scared he’s going to make himself sick.

    1. Hi Christa- I think that’s really common for kids to only want to “go” in certain situations. My kids did similar things. They thrive on routines and what’s familiar and the unknown can be kind of scary. If your husband and grandma isn’t already, I’d just make sure they’re not putting any pressure on him to go – let your son tell them when he needs to. If he has accidents with them it’s ok – it may be the best way he learns. Also maybe see if he’d rather have privacy and have the door shut, or have dad and grandma step outside the door while he goes? If you can kind of replicate the process at grandma’s- same type of potty seat, no pressure, positivity/encouragement that you and the daycare give him- he will get it eventually! I really can’t comment on the holding in urine- I know it can lead to bladder problems so you might want to ask his doctor those questions. I can tell you though, that none of my kids will poop at school/babysitter’s house to this day, and somehow their bodies seem to adjust to going only at times when they’re at home! Good luck! It’s a process, for sure.

  10. Sigh. Another dead end. Don’t get me wrong, this was great and I am glad you found a solution. It just wasn’t one that could help me with my girl. She just turned 3 and every attempt has ended with no progress. She has a speech delay, but is very intelligent. She has mastered all the steps to potty, sitting, wiping, flushing, washing, clothes off and on. But she can’t seem to understand the point. She seems to think that the point is to play with toilet paper. As soon as she gets off the toilet, she pees. I know her, and strongly feel that if I can just get this one concept across, she would pick it up very quickly. But I cannot figure out how to get her to make the connection. Of course she has been in the bathroom with me her whole life, but hearing me must not be enough. I don’t think it is the speech delay as she has no problem communicating her wants and needs and even knows some sign language. I have yet to find any ideas. Sorry for ranting to you, potty training is hard! Congrats on your boy and good luck with the new baby.

    1. I remember being in that spot, where nothing seemed to work for months on end. And it’s so hard 🙁 Hoping you have a breakthrough soon. It sounds like you’ve had a very frustrating go of it – when I got to that place I went back to pull-ups for a while and took a break from training (or attempting to) because my frustration was apparent to my son and it was making things worse, I believe. Hang in there! It will happen.

  11. Hi Brandi, so excited when I read your artical I immediately called my son and daughter in law to tell them of the commando trick. My grandson is 4 in August and is dry day and night but pooping is a worry. Has had to have Lactalose since he was born and has Movacol in his water every day, but to no avail.
    He has a new baby brother which we know might have made him regress but hasn’t really been clean to regress.
    My son and D.I.L have tried the commando theory and again with no results. In the u.k teachers are not so keen on children starting school that are not poop trained and we are also very worried that he could be bullied for smelling etc. He starts school proper in September let’s pray for a mirical and he conquers this problem before then. Thank you from a very concerned Nanna.

    1. So sorry it didn’t work out! I think it just takes time for some kids- and I wouldn’t underestimate the potty training regression with a new baby in the house- that’s a big thing! It took us several months after a new baby for the older child to get “back on board” with potty training. Lots of positive encouragement may be the best thing – and maybe “going” outside this summer with less clothes to deal with, if that’s possible! That does sound like a lot of pressure with the school situation!

  12. Thank you for your blog. My daughter turned 4 last month and I’ve been potty training since she was 20 months! Of course, add in some inconsistencies, diapers, daycare, stress, and regressions and here we are – years later. With my daughter I noticed that early on she would stay dry with underwear on but as soon as she wore pull ups she was totally comfortable to just go in them. She had to wear diapers because she was in daycare. Something happened when she turned 3… she started to reason a little more. Then being in underwear while pooping didn’t bother her. Now she’s in pteschool and I’m nervous that they will kick her out because she keeps having accidents. I think for her it’s an issue of control too. I think I might consider using your tip, leaving her naked bottom down but I’m afraid that my daughter might be too stubborn that she’ll still poop! Some days she poops in the toilet all by herself and other days she just poops on her underwear without a care.

    1. It sounds like with my son- that maybe we both missed that perfect window of opportunity (it’s forever hard to know WHEN that is, of course). I think it got harder for us after age 3, but we finally made it and I know you will too 😉

  13. Thank you for this! I too feel I may be hindering my son (now almost 3 1/2) with our lack of consistency (including having busy schedules and poor time management) and we are nowhere near even close to potty training (exactly 3 pees on the potty and that’s it). Also, he WON’T tell me (or his father OR his daycare caregivers) that he has pooped. I think because he’s too busy playing, but otherwise, I don’t get it. ALSO, like someone else commented, I may have missed a perfect window when he was 2-ish – I was unprepared (mentally and without supplies, like pull-ups that I thought I needed). And he asked to go potty but I froze and gently discouraged (“next time” etc.) <— MISTAKE! Anyway, I digress severely. Thank you again for making me feel like I'm not alone.

    1. I feel for you! Training my son on #2 was flat-out one of the hardest seasons of my life so far! There’s so much to think about and you start to feel like your toddler’s potty schedule is running your life. He will get there!

  14. Hi Brandi,
    Thank you for such an honest post. This is exactly what I am going through with my son right now. My daughter was so easy to train and was potty trained by 22 months. My son is a complete different story. He is almost 3. We tried for a few weeks but after no luck I figured he wasn’t ready yet. He is now telling me right after he goes that he went and tells me to change him. So I am thinking he is ready to start trying again. I will have to try the commando tip with him. He hates not having a diaper or underwear on so it’s good to know that it may take some getting used to for him before it clicks. Thank you so much!

    1. Girls and boys are so different! Grace and creativity- both required. It was so rough when we were going through it, but looking back I realized I could have relaxed about the whole process and it probably would have been a lot less stressful! Best of luck with your son, Heather. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  15. This feel so familiar. My third will be 4 next month and is still struggling with being too lazy to go potty. He knows what to do but just doesn’t want to stop what he’s doing. We’ve found the opposite of commando being helpful. He once complained about being “floppy” in his underwear so I bought him some boxer briefs and that seemed to help a lot.

  16. Son is soon to be 4. In underwear all day and doing good with letting you know when he has to pee but pooping is another story.

    Will let you know when he needs a pull-up on to go at least but it’s a battle to get him to go on the potty. The Last month or so he’s been going poop on the potty but it’s been a battle. Hour or so each day to get him to go. Lately over last 3 days we’ve been spending hours in the bathroom each day with no luck. Only going pee . Really didn’t want to go back to pull-ups but this is rough

    1. I know how frustrating that is! Here’s hoping it “clicks” with him very soon! I promise this will all be a distant (funny-not-funny) memory someday 🙂

  17. My daughter is about 4 years and knows what to do-we started around 2 and she was almost potty trained completely then decided she didn’t want to do it. Like complete reverse. Nothing major changed at all and still just pees and poops sometimes on herself and won’t tell us. She even lies about it sometimes when I ask if she is dry. She tells me she just didn’t want to stop what she was doing to potty. Beyond frustrated and don’t know what else to do. Have tried rewards, punished if she does it even tho we keep asking and then lies-mainly for lying, and also just not making a big deal of it. I even make her clean it up which she says she doesn’t like. I say if she chooses to potty in her panties, she chooses to clean them up. No desire to do it-I know its a control thing but just am at a loss.

    1. I’m sorry, Casey- it’s so frustrating, I know. I really think you’ll have a breakthrough moment, but it’s hard to say what it will take and when. Is there a trusted relative who could work with her for a few days? I wonder if she could “re-learn” at someone else’s house where she hasn’t played the game (so to speak) yet, and maybe would decide life is better without the hassle of constant cleanups. The other option I suppose would be to strip her room of all her toys and things that make her too busy to want to potty, and maybe after a few days she’d be bored enough that she might be more cooperative?

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