19 answers

Potty Training Almost 3 Year Old, Need Help!!!

i am looking for a program for potty training my almost 3 year old little girl. i have conceded i really don't know what i'm doing. She gets really excited with me when she does use the potty, at which time i offer a ton of praise, a happy dance, and a reward ;) i'm starting to wonder though if i can't employ discipline when she simply opts out??? she is very smart, and aware enough what the expectations are.
timer? sticker chart? fruit snack? fine, but i told her this morning that i would start taking away the little toys that she cares about when she peepees on the princess (her pull up's have disney princesses on them) and isn't following my instructions to use the potty... is this ok?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

wow thank you all for the responses! just knowing i'm not alone in motherhood is really great!!! so i recentered myself, took the advice not to consequence, and upped the ante in terms of reward. i've hung a long cinderella canopy from the ceiling that makes a circle of gauzy curtain around the potty chair area. fun! i stripped off the pull-up and set her on the potty. when she went, i rewarded her with ice cream (those bite sized Dibs) along with the happy dance and praise. she went the whole day like this. first i would remind her to sit, then at on point she asked me for a pull up(!) and i took her to the potty, then she started to head to the potty on her own and inform me afterward to recieve her praise and reward. she slept the night without a pull-up and had NO accident! woke up in the morning and went to the potty, then let me know! I was so thrilled :) i know this will have ups and downs ...but down with pull-ups lol

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My daughter is almost 3, so I know where you are coming from. Pull-ups don't work. Strip her down and let her run around naked. She may have a few messes on the floor, but she can help clean those up. Once she starts using the potty, give her real panties. I was leary of trying this myself, but after 10 months of pull-ups and the occasional use of the potty, I was getting desperate. It took 3 days of wearing nothing on bottom and she was done.

I wouldn't punish or discipline her, or take things away because that will add a negative vibe to what you're trying to accomplish. Kids this age get too busy with toys and games and they need to be reminded. Don't think of it as opting out- she's just wrapped up in the wonder and amazement of being 3!!! Just keep doing what you're doing. Remind her A LOT about going potty. I'm potty training my 3rd daughter right now and they're all different. I've never used stickers or anything else. Just constant reminding and LOTS of praise! One child will get it within a month- others will take what seems like forever. Just be patient and let her come to it on her own.

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I have boys, not girls......but....... don't push her at all... she will fully do it when she is ready.....my youngest caught on a month after he turned 3 and his brother did a couple months before his 3rd birthday......some fully do it before they turn two, others can be close to four

with my now 4 year old he was naked from the waist down around the house for a couple days and caught on soo quick...... my 3 yo couldn't stand having his clothes off, but he just started using the potty on his own

1 mom found this helpful

I realize that I'm late responding to this question... but what I did, worked within about two days.

I started out with the pull-ups, but those feel so much like diapers that they're USED to "messing up" in them.

I went to the store and had her pick out the theme panties that she liked the most. Then, I made a big deal about her wearing them, reminding her how comfortable they were in comparison to diapers. I then begin first thing in the morning, sitting her on her potty and waiting until she did her business... then, every hour, on the hour, I sat her down again. She went every single time, and each time I reminded her about how cozy panties feel.

I also set up a little chart, just to make it fun... each time she used her potty, she got a sticker to place in the square. The little chart was hung on a wall so that she could track her achievements. This seriously worked for me immediately. She had a couple accidents where she let a couple of drops come out once I wasn't doing the "every hour" thing, but all in all she did great fast.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there! I recently went ot a potty training seminar, and they said to ditch the pullups--just go cold turkey in underware--they will be uncomfortable when they go in their underwear and they will learn. It took my daughter a couple weeks, and we had a lot of accidents, but she is now trauined--don;t think she ever would have been in the pullups...also said it was okay to remind them/make them go in the beginning. I don't know if it is right or not, but when my daughter refuses to go potty, she has to be in her room until she decides to go. When she has an accident, she has to sit on the potty after anyways, and if she refuses, same thing--she has to spend time in ehr room until she decides to go. She has never had to hang out in her room for more than a minute or so before she runs in and sits on the potty. May not be right, but works!

Good luck--it is a fristrating process, but once you get her in underwear, don't go back, except for nighttime and nap!


Try using real underware. It is a bit more messy for you, but the kids don't like the feeling, and can actually feel when they do have and accident, unlike the pull ups which are more like a diaper. We use pull ups only for night, or to church when we can't afford an accident. We are potty training our son now. Good luck to you!!

As soon as you employ discipline you make this a power struggle and you do NOT want that. Avoid it at all costs. Keep up with the positives, though.

And get her out of pull ups. They offer no discomfort. There are plenty of reusable training pants that she can use to feel wet. Pull ups are just like disposable diapers and do not offer real world consequences for "accidents." Get her in cloth. Or in panties and be OK with cleaning up messes. They are normal and go along with parenting in general!

This is one situation you should not punish for. Any negatives will prolong and change her will to potty train. There is a lot of information on the internet and in books about this. It sounds like she is definately ready since she is willing to do it - maybe she wants to copy her big sister. Praise the times she wants to and if she goes in her pull up, let her know that is O.K. Stickers work well for some kids - it did for my kids. Everytime she drinks some liquid, time for 20 minutes afterwards and take her to the potty to use it. There is a potty DVD that I used for my daughter and she liked that also. Parents cannot force this milestone or you can change the course. Relax and let her decide. Good luck.

Hi K.. I haven't looked at the other responses, so sorry if this is a repeat of any of them. My advice to you is do not turn potty training into a power struggle. It's one you're not going to win. So I wouldn't recommend punishment for not using the potty. A good method that worked like a charm with my son is using regular underpants instead of pullups. Pullups feel too much like a diaper. It's a little less convenient, and you have to resign yourself to being home-bound for a few days, but it can be worth it! Going potty in regular underpants makes them uncomfortable and most kids don't like they way that wet pants feel. My son was just over 2 when I potty trained him, and he was pretty much done in about 3 days. Ultimately, she has to decide she wants to do it. Maybe take her to Target and let her pick out some pretty panties and stress that they are big girl panties, and we don't pee pee in big girl panties. She'll get there. good luck!

I second what Dawn said. I had my daughter potty trained at 22 months. I simply told her she's a big girl now and to let me know when she needed to go and I put the cotton undies on her. She had a couple of accidents but she got the point right away. The pull ups don't really work because they're like a diaper and absorb the wetness. I just say keep it simple and praise her when she goes. Also, we used the little potty that goes right on top of your toilet. Good luck!

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