Help! What are some tips for potty training a 3 year old girl?

Jenny - posted on 01/21/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My daughter will be 3 in a short couple weeks. We have been working on this training since she was probably 2! We go off and on. Take breaks. She was doing good at first when she was 2. Then not so good the past 6 months. She will say "when I go pee on the potty I get to wear underwear. But we don't poop or pee in the underwear, go in the potty." A few weeks ago a daycare friend told her I have underwear and you have a diaper. When we came home she wanted to wear underwear. So we put it on, leaving her pants off and she went pee. 10 minutes later she said mom change me, put a diaper on me. I knew she had to poop. So I told her do you have to poop. She said no. I put her on the toilet then to see if she would go. She was on there for 15 minutes and wouldn't go. She wanted to get off. So finally I let her get off and put her underwear back on. I walked downstairs for a moment and I heard her whining. I ran up there and sure enough she pooped in her underwear. She KNOWS not to do that! I just don't understand. When I know she has to go when she has a diaper on I ask her do you have to poop and she will say no, as she is pushing! Then she says change me! There are times I would like her to sit in it but her butt gets too red. I don't understand why she is so afraid of poop! I want to buy the book "Everybody poops" :) Doubt it will work. I ve tried everything to candy, toy, ice cream. She don't care. My next step is maybe saying the zoo? Now she is always in diapers, her diaper is pretty full when she wakes up in the am, too. Thanks!

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Gigi - posted on 01/29/2013

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Did you try asking her why doesn't she want to poop in the toilet? If her language skills are as high as to say "when I go pee on the potty I get to wear underwear. But we don't poop or pee in the underwear, go in the potty.", she is very likely going to explain to you whats the problem. It could be something silly, that can be fixed easily. When my daughter started with doing her stuff out of diaper, she generally felt more comfortable on the potty. We also got toilet seat for her, but she would only want to pee on the toilet at the beginning. It could be that she just felt more comfortable with sitting with her feet on the floor while "pushing". Soon she got over that and wanted to go on the toilet. Nowdays, Its her choice for peeing - potty or toilet, while pooping is done on teh toilet (i explained that its a bit yucky for me to clean her poop out of potty and she accepted that).

What I did about a week before we started with potty training was to take pooped diaper and walk my daughter to the toilet and put the poop in there. That way she could see where it should go and she got to flush (oh joy!) the toilet.

Something else you could do is when you think she has to poop, ask her and if she tells you no, jut reply "oh well, lets try anyways" and put her on the toilet/potty for few minutes. If she doesn't go let her off and tell her "let try again a bit later". That would work if you can actually recognize when she needs to go. At one point she will poop on the toilet and then you can make a big deal out of it.

I never gave my daughter any candy or toys when we did potty training. I would give her lots of praise and cheer her and she was happy with that. I guess it depends a bit on a child what work best. I wouldn't introduce the zoo as a reward, because you might be seeting yourself up to very high standards.

And the last thing - take it easy and don't stress too much, she will get it eventually. We all did. Every kid is different and the "rules" for potty training should be adjusted to your own situation.

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