Creative Potty Training Ideas

I have a son who just turned three. I am having a really hard time potty training him. I have tried all I can think of. He does not like having a dirty diaper on, but still will not tell me when or if he needs to go potty. Any new and creative ideas are welcome!


Sharlateague from Ashland, Ohio


Creative Potty Training Ideas

A friend shared this idea with us, try putting a few cheerios in the toilet. He could aim at them, making a game of it. Grandma lived in the country and she let him pee off the back porch! Ha Ha. (06/19/2006)

By Sharri

Creative Potty Training Ideas

If your family isn't shy why not let him be naked for a few days, during the day. You may have a few more messes to clean but he'll be more aware of what's going on. My mother-in-law did this with my nephew when he was almost 4 and it worked wonderfully!

My daughter figured it out in 2 days and while we have good days and not so good now that she's in "big kid undies" its been pretty easy. It just takes time. Also, try giving him the option of what to wear (diaper, training pants, underwear) so he feels some control over the whole thing. Our pediatrician also suggested moving all diapers into the bathroom and changing in there so there's a link between pee/poop and bathroom. Or, just let him be and he'll get it on his own eventually! Good Luck! Rebekah (06/19/2006)


By Rebekah

Creative Potty Training Ideas

You didn't say how far past three he is. I have four year old twin girls. Twin A trained right at three years old, but Twin B just didn't care. I finally decided that on their fourth birthday I would go cold turkey on the diapers with Twin B. That's exactly what I did. No diapers day or night. I expected to have to change the sheets every morning/after naptime for weeks, but in reality, in a month and a half, I've changed them only about four or five times. Daytime is going a tiny bit slower, but still amazingly well.

We built up to the birthday diaper-free day for weeks. We told her she had to keep wearing her diaper because she wasn't four years old yet. We told her how great it would be when she had her birthday and could start wearing big girl pants, and so forth.


Going cold turkey with a four year old was THE way to go. (06/20/2006)

By Katie

Creative Potty Training Ideas

It seems to take some boys longer to be "ready" than others, and unfortunately, most children must be ready or it will turn into a nightmare for both of you.

Here's what worked for me: First, I did not make a big deal of it. I went to the store and bought all kinds of small toys (a pack of large crayons, washable markers, matchbox cars and trucks, super balls, sidewalk chalk, etc). I opened all the packs up and separated the crayons, markers and stuff. Then I wrapped most of the items, but left some open so he could see them. I added a few pieces of candy, and some change, too.

I put everything in a big glass fishbowl, but any clear container would do. I put the container on the top shelf of a high entertainment center in our living room, and said nothing. (Make sure the child cannot/will not climb to get the stuff.) My son noticed it on his own, brought me into the room and asked what it was for. I told him that every time he went to the bathroom like a big boy, he got to pick something out of the container. But he couldn't start until a couple of days later, on the weekend.


Make sure you rotate the container so he can see all the stuff in it. I swear, he drooled over it. He could not wait until the weekend to start using the toilet and begged me to start then and there. I didn't give in immediately, and took the time to talk, not preach, but talk about what he had to do, and did not make a big deal out of any of it. By the end of the day, the container was half empty and in a couple of days, he was fully trained, no fuss, no fighting, and no stress.

Yes, the cheerios made it lots more fun. I did take advantage of every aspect I could think of. I didn't let him go around naked during this time though, since I wanted him to get used to training pants. Good luck. I hope you find something that works for you. (06/20/2006)

By susan

Creative Potty Training Ideas

Here's what worked for my son. He was potty trained for wetting on his own at 18 months. He had some potty trained friends that were 2 years old and so he just copied them. However, we couldn't get him to tell us when he needed to have a BM. He would hide in his closet, behind the recliner, or under the dining room table and come to us after to be changed.


After much trial and error we finally figured out he was embarrassed he might fall in balancing on the toilet (he didn't like "baby" potty chairs). He also wanted to turn the light on by himself. We cut a hole in a yardstick and mounted it over the light switch so he could turn it on himself and bought a potty chair that fit over the adult stool. It made the seat smaller so he wouldn't fall in and had steps so he could get up on the seat by himself. I guess it was a privacy issue with him, too. With all these things in place he was completely potty trained very quickly.

Hope this helps. (06/20/2006)

By Cheryl from Missouri

Creative Potty Training Ideas

I tried training my son when he was two and a half and again when he first turned three, but I had a rough pregnancy and then a new baby, so I didn't have enough time or energy to really train him and clean up after any accidents.


My son knew how to use the potty and copied us a few times, but he said "mommy, it's just easier" when I asked why he choose to use diapers. So I decided to make it less easy for him by making him help with his diaper changes. He had to go get the clean diaper, the changing pad, etc. and bring them to me and then he had to put it all away. He didn't like having to do this, but he hated having a dirty diaper more.

Finally one day he just said "I'll be back in a minute" and he ran upstairs and used the potty. He was so proud of himself! I gave him lots of praise for doing it, so he kept it up. I also took him to the store and let him choose some new underwear (Spiderman!) and he wore them proudly and told everyone he saw (his grandparents, the grocery clerk, the postman) about his new underwear.

To make sure he kept it up I threw away his diapers and just kept some pull-ups for nighttime. Overall it was so much easier to just teach him and leave him to do it on his own when he was ready. By the time he started using the potty on his own he was old enough to control his bladder so we only had a couple accidents (when he first tried going all night without a pull-up) and we never had any kind of power struggle. I did ask him "Do you want to use the potty today?" often, but made no big deal about it when he said "no".

I hope you find some way to make it work for you and don't worry - the diapers won't last forever! (06/21/2006)

By Trix

Creative Potty Training Ideas

My mother-in-law was keeping my grandson when it was time for him to potty train. She said sometimes kids are afraid of falling in, and that little boys, (I only had a girl) have a problem with the urine not going into the commode, but out in space. She sat my grandson on the commode backwards. Not only was he not afraid of falling in but had more control of things. (06/22/2006)

By Elaine

Creative Potty Training Ideas

We visited family on the farm at the time my son had to be potty trained. I just let him run around naked for a few days (wearing only a vest and T-shirt) and he knew what to do after the first day. My husband also gave him "practical training". It was quite safe, no-one saw him except for the family, the trees and the goats! (06/27/2006)

By Willem

Creative Potty Training Ideas

My brother used big boy underwear as part of the incentive. As long as he didn't have an accident he could wear them, when he had an accident they were taken away until the next time he used the potty. He also used M and Ms as an incentive, he gave the boys 10 pieces for each BM in the potty. The other thing he did was put books next to the potty that they could only look at when they were using the potty. My one nephew would go in a sit forever, just because he wanted the books, sometimes he didn't go but he got the idea. (07/02/2006)

By Amy

Creative Potty Training Ideas

My mother told me the trick she used. She had five children and she successfully trained them all at 18 months. She said it took her 2 months to be completely off diapers even at night.

Her method is this:

When you bring home the potty make a tremendously big deal about it. Talk about how awesome it is all day, then the next day get the regular underwear (not training pants) and put them on him/her. In a few seconds they will pee and get it all over themselves, in that case the little boy/girl will come to you in complete discomfort. Take them to the potty and then show them what to do. Make them sit for 5 minutes.

Then every 10 to 20 minutes depending on the frequency of accidents (and of course if they do have an accident immediately take them to the potty), take them to the potty with tremendous enthusiasm, and have them sit for 5 minutes, even if they fuss they need to stay on the potty.

Make sure to keep calm, happy, but firm. Then after the five minutes give them a treat, M and Ms work very well, and you can keep the jar in plain sight next to the sink. And if they go pee in the potty you give them a sticker of their favorite thing. Keep at it! Consistency is key! No diapers unless its nap time, bedtime, or you go for a trip out side. Have them in pull ups, but don't worry too much about the accidents, just make sure to do it all again once you get home.

Of course, my mother was a full time homemaker and I'm aware that many mothers now a days don't have that luxury. So let it be noted, that this is for mothers that have the time and the patience to do this. But, it is successful and my siblings and I were out of diapers before the age of two. Right now I'm in the process with my little one. We started two weeks ago. Going great! (04/23/2009)

By Jenny

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