potty training

Potty Training 101

Parents anticipate potty training as the milestone that will take us from diaper duty to a modicum of freedom. We know we will still have clean up little spills, wipe bums and do laundry twice a day until the little gaffer gets the hang of things; yet we clamor towards that small light at the end of the diaper genie that seems to signify a tiny morsel of freedom.

How Can I Interest My 3-year-old Son in Potty Training

Laura Markham's picture


My son just turned three. I know that the average for boys to be potty trained is 38 months and we aren't there yet, but how do I get him to want to use the potty? He can use it, he's done it before. He's not at all scared of it.

We've tried rewards -- candy, sticker chart, lots of enthusiasm, calling grandma. He's no longer interested or excited by any of that. He gets extremely upset if you don't put a diaper on him. "Let's wear big boy underwear today," "let's try pull ups today" is always met by NO!

Should I Punish My Child for Potty Accidents?

Laura Markham's picture


Dear Dr. Laura,
My daughter is about to turn three. She has been potty trained for several months, but lately she has started going through phases of having "accidents" fairly regularly. She will pee or poop wherever she feels like it a few times a day. We are very frustrated by this, because we know she knows how to recognize her need and use the potty.

Stop the Diaper Changing Battles

The position of parent and baby during a diaper change is perfect for creating a bonding experience between you. You are leaning over your baby, and your face is at the perfect arms-length distance for engaging eye contact and communication. What's more, this golden opportunity presents itself many times during each day; no matter how busy you both get, you have a few moments of quiet connection. It's too valuable a ritual to treat it as simply maintenance.