Question: “My 2yo son will use his potty when he wants to, but not when he’s asked. He also likes to wear his big boy underwear…but doesn’t quite get that when he wears his big boy underwear that he needs to go potty in the potty chair. I think he’s so busy that it’s an interruption to go to the bathroom. I’ve tried setting the timer and taking him..sometimes he’s great about it and sometimes throws a fit. How do I get him to understand the concept? Maybe he’s just not physically ready? I’ve heard about “bottoms off” training and wondering if that’s what we need to try.”
Answer: Sounds like he is “too big” to learn how to go potty, so have him “teach” someone else. Get a doll, put a diaper on it, then teach your son about how the doll can go potty. Once the doll knows how to go potty in a potty chair or toilet, have the doll stop wearing a diaper and where “big boy” underwear. Then have your son reenact the proper potty training behavior on the doll. Do this a few times (doesn’t have to be all in the same day). Make sure you fake an accident on the doll, to show your son what should happen in case of accidents.
By showing him on something else, you are still letting him feel like a big boy, but also teaching him about the potty. Potty Training Concepts has drink and wet dolls that come with water bottles, diaper and training pants.
Setting a timer is a good reminder, but don’t push it. If he doesn’t need to go, he doesn’t. Let him decide.
Another thing to try is toilet targets this makes potty training fun and it will grab his attention. Make it as fun as possible.