Parenting--Toddlers/Infants/Pre-Schoolers/potty training


I have a four year old son who has been using his potty to pee for almost a year with almost no accidents. He doesn't need a diaper at bed time. He even wakes up to pee in his potty. The problem is he wont pee in anything but his potty. If we are out and don't have his potty he insists I put him in a diaper. He has only pooped in his potty once and will only poop in a diaper. I stopped putting a diaper on him to poop and he stopped pooping. I'm afraid he will stop peeing if I take away his potty, or don't let him pee in a diaper while we are out. I don't want him to get a UTI or get constipated. What do i do? Should I just take away the potty and diapers?

Hello Jackie,
Since he is trained to go in the potty and since he doesn't have accidents, and since he has responded well when you have taken away the diaper, you may have to do the same with the potty.
If you took him out and he says he has to pee, you could say that you "forgot" his diapers and he will have to use the toilet that is available. My feeling is that your son will conform to what he has to do when he really doesn't have an alternative. Obviously, he is not going to have a choice in a year #or less# when he is going to school. Therefore, he has to make the transition in the next few months.
It might be well to start phasing out the potty at home. You can do this by having the potty right next to the toilet in your bathroom. Then, at some point, the potty has to disappear and he must use the toilet. I think once he uses a toilet a couple of times, he will be fine.
Any questions?
James Windell


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James Windell


I can answer questions related to normal child development, disturbed behavior and how to provide appropriate guidance and discipline.


I've been a clinical psychologist in a juvenile court, worked in school settings, been a child psychotherapist in a private psychiatric clinic and consulted with schools, courts, hospitals and daycare centers.

American Psychological Association
Michigan Psychological Association

I have been a columnist with the Oakland Press (Oakland County, MI) for 21 years writing a weekly column called Coping With Kids, which is also published weekly in the Staten Island Advance. I have been a mental health columnist with the Detroit Free Press and a columnist for Working Mother Magazine. In addition, I have published articles in professional journals. I have published 16 books, among them are "8 Weeks to a Well-Behaved Child" (IDG Books), "Discipline: A Sourcebook of 50 Failsafe Techniques for Parents" (IDG Books); "Children Who Say No When You Want Them to Say Yes" (IDG Books), "What You Need to Know About Ritalin" (Bantam Books) "6 Steps to an Emotionally Intelligent Teenagers" (John Wiley & Sons), "The Fatherstyle Advantage" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) and "Defusing High Conflict Divorce" (Impact Publishers). My latest parenting book (2012) is "The Everything Child Psychology and Development Book." Articles about my work with parents has appeared in the New York Times, the Chicago Sun Times, the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. My website at includes more information about me, my books and includes many columns I've written.

B.A. in Psychology from Wayne State University
M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Oakland University

Awards and Honors
Best Educational Program by Juvenile and Family Court Judges Association (National award for the development of a parent training program for parents of delinquent teenagers. Beth Clark Service Award from the Michigan Psychological Association.

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