best way to potty train a three year old?

Sarah-Jane - posted on 07/04/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

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trying to get my three year old to use the potty is just not happening any helpful hints .... is she too young for a sticker system reward chart or is that more like bribibg her?

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Cristine - posted on 07/27/2009

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I've heard potty training is easier when your child starts acting interested in the "big potty." My daughter was about 28 months old in February when she started saying she wanted to potty on the big potty. I went out and got her a little potty of her own and she would sit there FOREVER before she actually did something. She would still wet diapers and it seems like she would only poop in her potty.





I got a sticker chart for her and started rewarding her when she went potty or poop. I also got her a book about a little girl who got her very own potty seat. She was doing so well at telling me she needed to go. By the beginning of April, she wanted to sit on the big potty, so I got a little potty seat cover and step stool for her. She was waking up from naps with a dry diaper, so I started putting training undies on her (almost like cloth diapers, but they look like underwear) all day long, then I'd put a diaper on her at night.





We had a baby April 22nd and I was fully prepared for setbacks with our oldest in potty training, but she continued doing really well. By the middle of May, she would wake up in the middle of the night to say that she needed to go potty and was waking up with dry diapers. I still put them on her for another month because I wasn't ready to committ to changing wet sheets in the middle of the night. Although thinking back, I changed more sheets due to leaky, overly full diapers than I have from potty training!





Now it's the end of July and she's only wearing undies. She maybe has one accident every few weeks, so she's doing really well. I'd just try what seems to be working for your daughter. If she has no interest in sitting on the potty, it might be a lot harder to convince her to try. Be patient with her. My daughter would sit on the potty for 45 minutes before she did anything, but she just sat there and read a book or sang to herself. It was more annoying for me, mostly because I was 7-9 months pregnant and didn't want to sit on the bathroom floor waiting for something to happen!





Good luck!

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Jacki - posted on 08/12/2009

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what worked with my 3 year old was puttin dish soap in the toliet and telling he can make bubbles when he pees, that worked awesome, he loves going potty, and make a hige deal out of it when he pees, like dance around and tell him he is such a big boy and take him to buy underwear he LOVES, like if he has a favorite character let him get that kind of underwear, rockets and thomas the train was my son's choice, and don't ask him if he needs to pee tell him it's time to go pee pee. and if you want try rewarding him with little fun size packs of candy, like m&ms or something :)

Dixie - posted on 07/14/2009

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No, she is not to young for a sticker system or any other kind of reward you want to use in order to make it work.

I started off by putting a pull up on them during the day and bringing them to the potty every 10 or 15 minutes while constantly asking them if they had to go. This way, even though they might not like the potty, it becomes more of a routine for them. I would give them drink all day long, but nothing after 6pm. After making sure they went to the potty before bedtime, I would still get them up once or twice in the night to potty. [just for a week or two afterwards] I found this system works by helping build their conscience of wetting the bed. After they get the hang of going on their own, I would then switch to underware during the day, while still putting a pull up on them at night. [this saves you from having to wash sheets everyday] Take the pull up off first thing in the morning. Do not let them walk around with it on because it will confuse them and you will have to start over. Every time they wake with no mess in their pull up......MAKE A BIG DEAL OF IT!!! They love the applause. :) Persistance and Patients is your key. If you have that, then you will have no problems. I hope this information can help. Just remember, every child is different. I had four children and they all trained differently. Keep us posted and let us know how she's doing. Good Luck!!!

Nicola - posted on 07/13/2009

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Set aside 3 or 4 days a week max, stay in the house if possible and let her run about without a nappy on and EVERY 20 MINS ask if she needs a pee pee or and take her to the potty whether she says she does or not, this will allow her to learn that she has to go to the potty if she needs. Always ask her first so she associates pees and poos with the toilet and remember every 20mins. I potty trained my 2yr old son in 2 days using this method.

Cyn - posted on 07/12/2009

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Yikes! when I hit reply I didn't realize you have a girl. lol. I use to put fruitloops in the bowl and have my lil guy shoot them or sink them like targets. Don't think that would work for a girl...lol

Anita - posted on 07/11/2009

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Hey Sarah-Jane,
i did it also with a treat, every time he went on his potty and did something in it than he recieved a treat, after a few weeks he was clean....( he went every hour on his potty, but i leave the nappie on)...And every time he did pee or poo, i said: well done big boy of me, now your becomming a real big boy
good luck ...and a little bit of patience...
i hope you can read it, my english writing is bad... i'm from Belgium (dutch)

Holly - posted on 07/10/2009

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Hi! Mine love the sticker and m&m system. I even have a chart that they can see their successes and they get a sticker beside their name for that attempt and then they get a sticker for their shirt too. Now that doesn't mean they actually go in the potty. They at least attempt to go and then they get the sticker. We are not potty trained at all. I have triplet daughters and they will be 3 in August. Working on it - not working on it overly hard, but we are working on it little by little.

Judy - posted on 07/10/2009

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I have a 3 year old boy and he has just been potty trained. I agree that you need to take away the diapers and pull ups and just use regular underwear but my problem was my son didn't care and would go in his pants anyhow. It wasn't until he decided that he wanted to use the potty that we had any success. My best advise is to don't worry about the age of your child, or how long it took anyone else, as long as they know how to use the potty, then they will when the time is right for them. Until then, if you force the issue, all you will end up with is frustration and accidents.

Laura - posted on 07/10/2009

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I have found the best way to potty train is to stop the diapers and use the underwear exclusively, no pullups, no rubber pants. Let them have accidents. They are vry smart and know they don't like the feel of being in wet underwear. I also took my daughter with me to the washroom every time I had to go and explainded to her what I was doing. She wanted to try it and once she did it we made a big deal. She is only two and is fully trained.

Virginia - posted on 07/04/2009

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If she is holding her pee for longer periods she is ready. I finally went cold turkey with my 3 yr old. Stay home for a few days with alot of changes of clothes. The key for my daughter was letting her stay wet for a few minutes instead of changing her right away, she really needed that horrible feeling for it to hit home. Day 3 she got it. Not our funnest week but it worked! Also since its summer- dresses are a much easier option. I've had friends do the candy/sticker route with mixed results, mostly worked for pooping on the potty not pee.

Good luck.

Sharon - posted on 07/04/2009

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What worked for My son was Taking away all his diapers and pull ups, and sticking him in normal underwear with vynal pants over top. I told him he is a big boy and big boys don't wear diapers. Big boys also clean up after they make a mess. So from now on if you pee or poop your pants you have to clean your self up. The first day he peed his pants 5 times and all 5 times I told him in a sort of surprised but never angery way, Buddy you peed your pants. Pee goes in the potty not your pants! I then stuck him in the bathroom and made him take off his own pants and undies with no help from me. He quickly learned it takes more time to change wet undies and wash his hands as well as his legs afterwards then to just use the potty and wash his hands. He was never punished for accidents. He only had a time out once for refusing to change his undies. When he did go potty I would clap and tell him what a big boy he is. he then got a sticker to wear on his shirt. This method took about a week or two till he got to the point of no accidents durring the day. He has been out of diapers durring the day since the middle of March and out of "nigh night diapers" since the end of April. He will be 3 in November

Amanda - posted on 07/04/2009

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Quoting Sarah-Jane :

best way to potty train a three year old?

trying to get my three year old to use the potty is just not happening any helpful hints .... is she too young for a sticker system reward chart or is that more like bribibg her?



I am having the same problem!! My son who will be three  in mid-July just isnt taking to my potty training methods. He knows when he goes pee and poop, and he'll tell me once he goes in his diapers. So I understand your frustrations. If you find something that works lemme know! lol

Amanda - posted on 07/04/2009

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Quoting Sarah-Jane :

best way to potty train a three year old?

trying to get my three year old to use the potty is just not happening any helpful hints .... is she too young for a sticker system reward chart or is that more like bribibg her?



I am having the same problem!! My son who will be three  in mid-July just isnt taking to my potty training methods. He knows when he goes pee and poop, and he'll tell me once he goes in his diapers. So I understand your frustrations. If you find something that works lemme know! lol

Krystle - posted on 07/04/2009

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hey with my girl whos nearly three, to toilet traind her i got her to sit on the potty every 15mins or so and reed her a story.When she went i give her a lolly and make a big dfeal bowt it(praise),sum people dnt agree with dis mehod but it helped me!Shes now outa nappies full time now.It does take time and patience.Good luck!

Krystle - posted on 07/04/2009

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hey with my girl whos nearly three, to toilet traind her i got her to sit on the potty every 15mins or so and reed her a story.When she went i give her a lolly and make a big dfeal bowt it(praise),sum people dnt agree with dis mehod but it helped me!Shes now outa nappies full time now.It does take time and patience.Good luck!

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