Daughter refuses to potty train! HELP!

Diana - posted on 08/21/2009 ( 30 moms have responded )

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I am beyond frustrated with potty training my daughter! I've done EVERY single thing you can possibly imagine! We decorated her potty together, got the big girl undies, went with no undies, etc. I've not pushed her and she will tell me after the fact that she's peed or pooped. I've even talked to her pediatrician, whom I trust very much and knows my daughter VERY well, and he feels it's my daughters way of holding onto her last form of control (her bowels)! She can't start preschool until she's completely potty trained and I'm at my wits end because she does it only when sheSHE wants to. I'm at a loss. Any good advice will help. Thank you.

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Steph - posted on 10/05/2012

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I am in the same boat, my almost 3 year old has been a roller coaster of potty training for the last 4 months and i am at my wits end! i have tried sticker charts, treats, little potties, potty seats, time outs, practices, reminders, days of letting her decide and more. she is fine at night, she only takes the initiative to go in the morning on her own or after nap. it becomes a power struggle even when i simply remind her to go when she is clearly holding it. now she holds her poop and the only way to get her to go is to sit on the potty in front of the tv. she holds her pee till she can no longer and wets her panties. it is the worst, hardest thing i have done. she knows what to do she just refuses. i think for me the only way to get her to have success is to completely back off and just ignore everything to do with potty training while she is in panties. let her have all the control which gets so frustrating after 4 months of the roller coaster ride. if you have a stubborn strong willed child like mine give them all the control and just ignore potty training, try to be as non emotional about it as you can (SO HARD) i feel like i start over with potty training every week. she does well when she wants to. when she doesnt the battle begins again.

Nicole - posted on 08/28/2009

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My daughter told me that she wanted to use a potty, which she only uses every few times. In order to help her (not push her) I bought her a white board and some markers to use only when she is on the potty (which gets her to sit there for more than 2 seconds) I also have a bucket that I put "potty toys" (toys that are like bath time toys but are not used for bath time) which I fill with water and she can only play with her "potty toys" while she is on the potty it seems to be helping.

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Kathi - posted on 08/28/2009

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Chance refused to potty train until I tried him on the big potty (with a potty seat). It worked perfectly. After 6-7 months of struggling, he was trained in a week!!! I know part of it was he was ready. But I think he liked using the same toilet we use. Don't pressure her and just relax. Take a break and then start fresh. It'll happen :-) Good luck!!

ERIC - posted on 08/28/2009

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Hi there, we are a children's health charity that specialise in childhood continence. We can provide lots of information and support on potty training trouble. Visit our website www.eric.org.uk for information and if you would like to speak to someone we have a Helpline which is based 0845 370 8008. You can also access our online message boards for information and support - you can get to these through our website.

We understand how troubling these issues can be so please do contact us for help and support.

Melissa - posted on 08/27/2009

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Well unfortunatly I tryed 3 times about 3 months apart and the third time about 3 days in I called my friend crying. She said stick with it. Go every 1 and a half and make her sit on the potty for 5 mins. Going on the big potty helped my little one b/c she wanted to be like mommy. After a million poopy loads of laundry it stuck. She still has accidents but you have to stick with it for several days. We used a sticker chart (which didn't mean a whole lot to her but it was fun) and m&ms when she went. We still do the m&m thing at night if she is dry in the morning. I think it has to be there decision but if you keep making them go every hour I think they know that you will make htem and they might as well give in. Its sucks but it worked for me. You have to be comitted to staying home for like a week. Good Luck!

Pamela - posted on 08/27/2009

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Well it sounds like you have tried quite a few good things, i have a few suggestions: buy a paper horn she gets to toot anytime she goes, but only when she goes, make a chart and let her put stars on it each time she pottys in the chair, get a potty video/book to reinforce that babies wear diapers and big girls potty, relax, they all do it in their own time :) all at once, it will click with her. Make a "pushing" song or game to help her learn to use those muscles, get her a stool to put her feet on when she sits on the potty, get some "big girl" project that she can do with you anytime she goes potty (a scrapbook works well). by the time she is 4, she will be potty trained :)

Kimberly - posted on 08/27/2009

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I am in the same boat with my son... he is peeing on the potty, but he wont poop on it. I guess All i can say is keep with it, maybe put her on the toilet every hour to see if she will go. Do you have another baby in the house? I think that is the reason my son does not want to give up the pooping in his pants

Jeanine - posted on 08/27/2009

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all i can say is that I finally founf another post that sounds like me and another person I met and made friends with now on facebook because we are all in the same boat. I guess we aren't as lucky as some of these other people who say their kids get it in a week. Oh and when they get it they get it is a bunch of bull because my daughter had it about 2 weeks before her 3rd bday and has now regressed about 6 weeks after that to the present we are still going through it. I think it's attention seeking because of our now 6 month old but I am hoping her having to start pre school Sept. 8th will help a lot. also I am hoping that starting dance school will help too! I will hopefully have more leverage! I have too tried everything under the sun! I hear you!

Bettina - posted on 08/27/2009

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I think the best way to Potty train is when they are readdy they let you know just relax They got to phoo in the loo for rest of live

Stephanie - posted on 08/27/2009

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TRY TO REWARD HER WITH M&M'S THAT'S WHAT WORKED FOR MY DAUGHTER. NOW SHE WANTS TO GO ALL THE TIME. HOPE THIS HELPS!!

Amber - posted on 08/27/2009

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With mine I got some poster board and made a chart. For tee tee she would get 1 sticker and for poo she would get 2 stickers (if she done it in the potty) and at the end of the day if she had at least 8 stickers she would get a prize. The Dollar Tree or Dollar General is a great place to get cheap prizes that they will enjoy getting. After a week of doing this we switched to weekly prizes if she done good she would get a little bit better prize (barbie or something like that). After about a month she was trained.

Wendy - posted on 08/27/2009

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I have 4 kids and the 3 old enough all trained differently. What worked for my son was putting fruit loop cereal in the big potty and he used his urine stream to push them around LOL! That not only made him WANT to go potty, but it also helped alot with aim (which gets messy with boys). One daughter trained within a week! She loves stickers, so I put up a small posterboard in the bathroom, and every time she went potty, she got to put a sticker on the board. She hated the training seats, so we bought on a Dora one that fits on the big potty and a step stool so she could reach. As for my 3 yr old...we're still working with her. She's my step-daughter, so she isnt here full time. When she first gets here, she's has sccidents, but by the time she goes home she has been staying dry and letting us know when she has to go. But every time she comes back, she's got a diaper on again and we start all over. I feel like Im fighting a losing battle against her mom on that one.

Lindsay - posted on 08/26/2009

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Have you tried a rewards program? Something like stickers (of her favorite things)everytime she goes. And then a certain number of stickers she gets a special prize. Can be whatever you want, something small perferably. That worked for my friend. I think she just did the stickers, but if your daughter is being a stickler, the prize might help.

[deleted account]

Luckily, my daughter took to potty training like a duck to water. What she really loved about going potty was getting to put the sticker on the piece of paper herself and the big round of applause as she sat on her potty doing her thing. She loved how excited my husband and I got when she'd sit down and go.



We also did 'The Potty Dance' when she was done. You shake your hips, put your hands in the air and sing 'Pee pee on the potty!', etc. She just turned 2 in June and now she's fully potty trained for daytime, diapers only at night.



Also, and I'm not sure if this helped, whenever I had to go to the bathroom, she would HAVE to follow me in there. She still does and likes to point out that I'm going potty. As I said, I don't know if that helped, but it showed her how big girls use the potty. I would also ask every now and then if she had to potty and if her answer was no, my answer was "Okay." I knew that if I pushed her to use the potty, she'd pee on the floor because she wouldn't want to use it.



Best of luck!

Rochelle - posted on 08/26/2009

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I think she will potty when she's ready. I always noticed that when I really try hard to get my daughter to do something, she seems less inclined to do so. This is what worked for me as we also got stuck in the phase where she would tell me right after she pottied:



I used the big girl potty from the get-go. Madeline had no interest in a little potty. I used one that snapped onto the big potty. I liked it way better too.



I had a cup of M&M's in plain site in the bathroom. She would get one everytime she sat on the potty,whether she used it or not...just to make it a positive place to hang out.



I tried to anticipate when she would go...like first thing in the morning, after meals, naps, etc. Sometimes she would just happen to be sitting on the potty when she went...and I acted like it was the greatest thing on earth...we even had a potty victory dance. And she got another M&M.



I put her in big girl panties "just like mommy's". One morning I just decided to stick her in them and told myself she was done with diapers. Needless to say, I went through almost every pair of panties that day...she didnt make it once onto the potty. But she did not like the sensation of warm pee running down her leg...or helping mommy clean the carpet after. Even after she had just peed everywhere, I would take her to the potty and we would sit there and calmly talk about that is where tee-tee is supposed to go. I never punished her. She would get an M&M and a fresh, dry pair of panties. On day two, we did a little better...about 50% getting to the potty in time...but sometimes I had to grab and run to get there in time!



On the third day we DIDN'T HAVE A SINGLE ACCIDENT in her big girl panties...we went out for icecream to celebrate the "Big Potty Girl". Not to say we didn't have an accident every once in a while...but for the most part we were done with diapers except at night (that took a while longer).



Mostly, I think Madeline was ready. I tried to anticipate her needs and took her to the potty every one to two hours at the very beginning and gave her an M&M every time regardless of the outcome. I didnt get frustrated when she peed in her pants, just acted sad for her panties (she did too). When she did make it I acted like she was the coolest little girl ever. I never asked her if she wanted to go...we just went. I would say, "okay, lets go potty" or "potty break" or I would bring her with me when I went.



Good luck! Sorry about the long post!



Rochelle, mom to Madeline, 3 years

Erin - posted on 08/26/2009

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I am going through the same frustrations with my 3 year old son. His doctor (who used to be my doctor when I was little) told me that they will do it when they are ready. Does she like a certain character? For example, my son LOVES Thomas the Tank Engine. So, I told him if he went potty we could call Thomas and tell him all about it. So far it is working. Good luck!!!

Christine - posted on 08/26/2009

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I have a friend who used to give rewards eg stickers to her sons for going to the toilet. Perhaps you could try with something that your daughter really likes ...something worth giving up nappies for!

[deleted account]

www.pottytraining.com.au is a website that helped me out they have some good ideas and plenty of books to help you out. My son is 20mths and halfway through his training thanks to this site. Although what it comes down to is encouragement, understanding & patience and a lot of it they can be very stubborn sometimes but just keep in mind that you have had way more years of practice.

Sarah - posted on 08/26/2009

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We make it fun. I got her tons of stickers and m&m's and suckers from the dollar store for rewards. Get something that she loves and doesn't get very often. We bought an ELmo potty time DVD and we watch it everyday together. I got her a book about the potty and a stuffed Elmo that came with a potty and a sippy cup (he sings and talks about the potty). We just talk about the potty a lot to get her interested. I did not push her I just waited until she was ready. She is excited about getting rewards and we make a huge deal whenever she goes in the potty.

Maria - posted on 08/25/2009

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I have four kids so I have a little bit of experience...lol...I've always had an easy time potty training my children. My advice is don't push so hard, my youngest daughter is going to be 3 next month and she is fully potty trained (even at night). All of my children started at 2 and where fully trained within 8 months, but you can't give up and you have to stay consistant. Make it fun, dont' ever get mad at her, if she has an accident just point it out to her, bring her to the toilet, sit with her and make it enjoyable so she wants to be there. Good Luck!

Cc - posted on 08/25/2009

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We are in the middle of potty training our daughter. She did not like using the potty chair, so we went to the one you put over the big toilet. She seems to like that better. I always thought she would be scared of the big potty, but it was the opposite. Once we discovered that we then started rewarding her for just sitting on the potty. We gave her one M&M for sitting on the potty with or without her panties on and then two M&Ms for peeing in the potty. Right now it seems to be working. I know some doctors do not recommend rewarding children for using the bathroom, but it seems to reinforce it for us that she is doing a good job and becoming a big girl. Good Luck.

Kelly - posted on 08/24/2009

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I had the hardest time with my daughter too. She was 3 and a half before she was fully potty trained. I stopped buying the pull up with the princesses on them for starters. Anything with princesses is something a little girl might not want to get rid of.

April - posted on 08/24/2009

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She has to be potty trained for preschool to start? here for preschool they dont need to be fully potty trained and thats what helped my daughter so much getting potty trained, seeing the other children going, make her wanted to but also I had her wear big girl undies, and after awhile of peeing them, she hated it and got the hint more and more. But when shes ready, she'll naturally go. don't force her because it'll make it harder for you and her.

Kelly - posted on 08/24/2009

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NOTHING WORKED FOR US EITHER. The boy was stubborn and the girl was WORSE.
Pretty underpants and showing her THE PULL-UP DRAWER IS EMPTY AND MOMMY HAS NO MONEY kinda' helped but by then, she was 3.5 years old! I think we also said that Santa Claus can't come to a Little Girl's House who is too naughty to listen to her Mommy and use her potty...I remember my own childhood. I thought the potty-chair was GROSS. So, maybe try a stool and little seat for the BIG pot!

Desiree - posted on 08/22/2009

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I made my daughter a potty box, lol i put all of her fave books in it and her fave teddy next to her potty and everytime she dad to use the potty i tell her to hold her teddy it seeemed to help good luck

Janice - posted on 08/22/2009

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Welcome to our world! LOL You can drive yourself crazy and by the time she is 3 to 3 1/2 she will decide that it is time. Or let nature take its course and by 3 or 3 1/2 she will decide it's time. Children develop differently, My girl's decided about 2 -3 months after they turned 3 that they did not want pull ups on. Be patient, it will happen. Good luck!

Claire - posted on 08/21/2009

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Hi Diana,
My son was in the middle of potty training when he started nursery and they were really good at helping me to reinforce this. I know it's ideal but are they really black and white with this? As you know children do things at different stages and some definitely can't be pushed! However, adults that work with young children should be able to be a little more accomodating. How long have you been trying to potty train her? Sometimes taking a break and coming back to it works. Sounds like you'e tried lots of good things...here are some other things that seemed to work for me..
Older children as role models, as well as reinforcing the good behaviour, really worked as Kristi said. I tried a potty in different rooms and got him to sit on the potty when he was likely to do one. I chatted to him and got a toy to talk to him to make it more fun. I let him go around just in his pants for ease but of course there were always set backs, but wetting his pants definitely helped him to realise and reinforce the potty training and I said nevermind shall we try to st on the potty if we need a wee wee etc etc. Weeing infront of your child and having a conversation such as 'are you big?' or 'do you need a wee wee like mummy?' and putting him on the potty everytime I went to the loo and everytime we went out. Saying 'Big boys go for a wee wee on the potty..etc' seemed to work well and spurred him on as he didn't want to be seen as a baby. Being around other children may be the best one though if you have not tried this. I also got everyone around us to help reinforce it and my mum was really good with this. He seemed to want to please her more than me by going on the toilet etc and bribery at times also worked to help get to the end result such as you can have lolly if you sit on he potty! Not an ideal one but bribery sometimes works! I hope some of this heps and good luck. My friend is in a similar situation and wet himself throughout the day.. she must have changed him 4 times and brought a potty with her as well. He was just havingtoo much fun to remember!It can seem never-ending... :)

Kristi - posted on 08/21/2009

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Diana, Does your daughter admire anyone around her age that could model the behavior you want for her? My daughter thinks it neat to act just like her cousin, who is a year older than her, when it comes to "no more diapers!" Best Wishes.

Tracy - posted on 08/21/2009

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I'm in the same boat, with my almost 3 yr old boy. We were going to start him in preschool in Sept, but he will NOT potty-train either. We've tried all the same stuff as you, he says he doesn't have to go while he's sitting on the potty & then 5 mins later he pees or poops in his pants (or on the floor). I've just decided, partially due to my being pregnant & not wanting to push him too hard, to let him decide when he's ready. Some kids never fully potty train until they are much older, some train by 1 1/2...they are all so different. And your daughter sounds as willfull as my son, so no amount of force / training will work, unless they want it to. Good luck!

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