My son is 3 years old and doesn't tell me when he needs to use the bathroom. It has been 5 months now that I took his diaper off him. I just do not know what I should do. Should I put a diaper on him again? I mean, is this normal? Please help. I get frustrated sometimes. He doesn't want to potty at all! I did train him before but now that he understands, he doesn't want to go to potty.

2 Answers 2


I'd like to begin by welcoming you to the community and reassuring you that, yes, this is normal.

Many people are under the assumption that potty-training is something you do once and then it is done, but with most kids it doesn't really work that way. They have to learn the basics about how to use the potty. Then they have to learn their body signals, along with a certain amount of "planning ahead." At some point, they go through it all again when it is time to be night-time potty trained. Then just when you think they've got it all down, they revert and need reminders because they are constantly distracted with play and other things.

If your boy was doing well before, but has suddenly reverted, chances are pretty good, he still knows what he is doing but is so distracted with a different new skill (like imaginary play, for example) that he forgets to pay attention to his body's signals when it is time to go. Mike de Klerk makes a wonderful suggestion when he says to "make it routine." If you make stopping to attempt going potty every hour or so as well as anytime you transition from one activity to another, there will be few accidents and your son will start having success again - this is important for his confidence and security.

Make it fun, you can sing songs or tell stories while he is on the potty, have a few toys specifically for use while washing his hands afterward and make it special so it isn't such a drag to interupt his play for the potty. Little boys have fun "aiming" at cheerios floating in the toilet - it makes it a bit of a game and helps them aim properly too.

When he does have accidents (because they will happen occasionally) I know it is hard not to be frustrated (so be frustrated, take a deep breath, count to ten - whatever you need to do for yourself), but again Mke de Klerk is right that if you let your son know how frustrated you are, your son might develop negative feelings with going potty.

Do your best to help your son clean up but do ask that he be a part of the process with you. You can be cheerful, "oh darn, an accident - well, they do happen." Make sure he stands in front of the toilet (or sits on it) so he has the opportunity to finish peeing. Then say, "Okay lets get you cleaned up." Asking him to help with cleaning up is not about punishing him, it is just part of life and when we make a mess, the mess needs cleaning up, He can help use a towel to mop up any puddles, rinse the towel and his pants and then wash his hands thoroughly.

IF your son's accident happened because he refused to stop and go potty when you asked him to, I would suggest taking your sweet time about getting him cleaned up. Make it a LOOOOOOONG and BORRRRRRING process and point out that he could be back to playing again if he had taken a potty stop when you asked. Enough times of this and he will make the connection.

Barring some physical disability, kids don't head off to highschool or college unable to use the potty, so remind yourself that this too, will pass. Appreciate the journey you and your son are on together, and try to have some fun with it instead of allowing frustrations to build. Make the bathroom a fun place to be (as best you can anyway) and use lots of reminders in order to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Good Luck!


The most important thing is that you let go of frustration. Let go of your expectations. It puts performance anxiety on your boy, and that will lessen the likelihood that he will notify you when its time to go to the bathroom/potty.

When you take his diaper of, put him every now and then on the potty. Make it a routine, before going to bed, after he woke up, after he ate, before you will shower him, and a lot of other moments. And when he wets his pants, make sure you do not feel any frustration, and just put him on potty, though he might not have to pee/poo anymore. Just do that to make the anchor/link that those things are done at the potty. You do not have to particularly tell him.

For example. When I show you a blue card, and the moment you look at it I pinch you. The next time I will show you the blue card, its very likely you will expect me to pinch you. The more often I do that, the more integrated it becomes in your mind that that is just the chain of events. It works the same with potty training. He is learning to notice when he needs to go, and the next thing is that his mind reminds him of will become the potty, as that always comes next.

When he does come at you, and has already wet his pants, make sure you feel natural or even pleased that he comes at you. If he would notice that you are frustrated or so, it becomes a barrier for him to come at you when he has already wet his pants.

It is easier than you might think. Be patient and have confidence.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .