Scared to use the Potty

I have a four year old little boy, he was potty training when we lived at grandma's house, but we had to move out because grandma couldn't take the pressure of having three children around. My son was doing great going potty until we moved out now we live in an apartment and his dad and I have remarried to each other.

My son wants nothing to do with potty training at all. I have tried everything and nothing works. He will only go in the bathroom just to take a bath. He even fusses about being near the toilet. My husband has tried everything and still nothing. He wears pull-ups all the time even to school. My son will be five years old in November and I don't want him going to school in pull-ups.

My girls were easy to potty train, but my son won't even try because he's says to scared. But he won't tell me what he is scared of. If you any suggestions please send them my way. My son is a wonderful little boy and I couldn't ask for a better kid but he needs to be potty trained. Even in the summer time he goes swimming but we have to buy the little swimmers for him to go swimming.

The pull-ups are getting very expensive and we don't make a lot of money. Please send any ideas that you have. I'm willing to do what ever it takes to potty train my son.


Crystal Herrick

Dear Crystal,

I have been thinking about this for quite a while and I wish I could tell you to do XYZ and it you son would be potty trained without any issue, but I don't. All I have can offer are some thoughts and suggestions. Have you talked with your doctor/pediatrician?

You also say that you have tried everything so I am not sure what all that includes. I have an article on the different potty training methods, have you tried all these different approaches?

I did have a couple of thoughts and I am not sure if you have tried them.

  1. Get a potty chair and have him use that instead of the toilet. You can keep the potty chair in another room, preferably in a room where the floor is easy to clean and have him use the potty chair. Once he is used to this, then you can consider transition to the toilet. You will have to get rid of the pull up and go to using potty training pants or regular boys' underwear.

  2. The other thing you could try is a method suggested by Dr John Rosemond - what is called the naked and $75. You can read more about it, but basically you have you child not wear any underwear for 3-5 days and have a potty chair available for him to use. He will eventually go in the potty instead of having accidents on himself. The $75 is for having your carpets cleaned after.

I hope these suggestions are helpful. Let me know what you think.

Take care and have a great day.


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SCARED (3/22/2010) Reviewer: Natasha (Chicago, Il )

My daughter is going to be 3 in May and she is scared too.. the same thing.. she will sit on her potty fine but once it comes out she panics..

LIKE PANICS FOR REAL... but this is just the first day and she used it 2x before a nap... hope it goes well..

This is my third daughter and by far the hardest :(

PTC Comments:
Also see our section on Potty Fear

My son is scared of the potty to (9/22/2009) Reviewer: Valoire Brower I have made it to where it is just my son and I in the restroom, and he is okay until he is about to go. as soon as it starts to come out, number 1 or number 2, he panics. We have toys and books in the bathroom also but I would like some more advice.
Some Advice... (12/16/2008) Reviewer: aplepie Tell him you will stay there with him while he does it. I can give you a thing called potty training in a day. You have to block off your kitchen and stay in there. What you do is get a doll that goes to the washroom. Then you get a little potty and sit the doll on there...then you only put shorts on him the shorts should have no elastic. You shoud have pop and pretzels -salty stuff to be able to give to him. When he has to pee, he should just pull down his shorts and go on the little potty. It is important to be isolated to just you and your child. You should make special arrangements to be able to have just you and him (and maybe his Dad) to yourselves. Email me to let me know how it Also you can get the book from this website called Potty Training in One Day.