23 answers

Potty Training Block

I have a beautiful daughter who is 2 years and 5 months old. She is very bright and always happy and likes to do things herself. She seems ready to be potty trained, she will sit on her "little potty" and loves to wear her pretty panties. Unfortunately she has a total block when it comes to actually letting go to put her pee pee in the potty. She will sit on the potty for a very long time in order to get a "treat" but when she cannot hold her pee pee anymore, she cries to have her diaper put on and refuses to go in the potty. From everything I have ready, she is physically ready but not emotionally ready. I'm OK with that, but I was wondering if anyone had tried any techniques to get them past this type of block. I think once she finally lets go, she will be pretty much potty trained.

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Featured Answers

Have her give all her diapers to a baby she knows - the younger the better and tell her the baby "needs" them and she doesn't now that she has her pretty panties.

It's okay if she pees on the floor the first time - don't panic it will help her get over the fear of letting go...

Hi J.,

I am a first time mom of twins (girl boy) but they are not of age for potty traning yet. My friend also has twins (girls) and one of then was great at potty training I think right around 2 or alittle after. The other one too her time. One technique she used which I thought was great, she told her daughter that Cinderella were leave her a present in the mailbox if she went potty in the toilet. Her daughters love the princess disney stuff. She was so excited so she went potty and there was a present from Cinderella. She did this a coupel of times and it worked. Her daugther wanted to talk to Cinderella so she called her mom and she pretended to be Cinderella and she fell for it. Her duaghter is potty trained now.

I think it was a cute trick.

Good Luck.

More Answers

When I read your post, it brought back wonderful memories of my son's potty training adventure! I had the "potty chair" and it had this cute little teddy bear holding balloons (a sticker) on the back rest. Everytime my son went potty in the chair, I got excited and told him that the little bear was very happy that he went potty! Of course, this got him all excited too and it became a game with him. He always wanted to please that little bear!

Be very thankful that your daughter is not afraid of the potty chair ~ that's a very good start. If your chair doesn't have a little sticker or something on it, go find one (maybe a tinkerbell sticker or whatever she's into). Let her help put the sticker on and whenever she does "release" into the potty chair, make it a game about how pleased the character in the sticker is.

And please know that she will become comfortable in due time, so just have patience and keep trying. Have a fantastic day!

Just wanted to let you know that BANANAS (5232 Claremont Ave. Oakland 94618) is offering FREE Potty Training workshops with the fabulous Meg Zweiback:

TOILET TRAINING YOUR TODDLER-July 1, 7-8:30
This workshop, facilitated by Meg Zweiback, is for parents of 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 year olds. Children in the toddler age group need an approach that emphasizes practice, repetition and lots of opportunities to be successful.

TOILET TRAINING YOUR PRE-SCHOOLER-July 8, 7-8:30
This workshop, facilitated by Meg Zweiback, is for parents of 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 year olds. Children in this age group are more self-directed and need more motivation than younger children to be successful.

TOILET TRAINING YOUR LATEBLOOMER-July 10, 7-8:30pm
This workshop is for parents whose children have not started to use the potty or who have had difficulties. The focus will be on the challenges of this age group, not on the basics. Parents are encouraged to come to the July 8 workshop for “basics” or to read Meg Zweiback’s book, “Keys to Toilet Training” before the workshop.

Hi J.,
My oldest daughter was also an eager to please and independent sprite, but she would not go "let go" on the toilet.

Finally-- inspired by desperation and other experience with her-- I drew a picture, a little 2-d diagram of her body. "This is where your lunch goes. It goes in your mouth, and down your throat and through your stomach and your colons...and water goes into the kidneys.. and water comes out as pee and food comes out.. etc."

She lit up like a little spark-plug. "I understand now!"

It's funny-- she's nine now, and she STILL has to intellectualize everything before she jumps in.

When my second daughter was 2 and we started the potty training business, my older daughter said, "You better draw her a picture, mom."

Of course, the strategy didn't work with the second. She was the chocolate chip motivated kind.

As a mom of twins that are 2 years old and 4 months and completely potty trained...without an accident x 1 month..even during naps and at night.... I can say keep going you will love it when it finally happens. Have you tried putting her on the potty right when she wakes up from a nap and in the morning. I mean right when you hear her first start waking....rush her to the potty and she will go usually right away. Reward the success with something that she loves and when she sees how excited you are and she is it will start happening all of the time. Keep giving her tons of fluid...and no more diapers in sight....have her throw them in the trash...it really does work. I think it was on the today show this about the potty whisperer....try looking it up. Good luck....no more diapers are definitely in the near future and it is a wonderful feeling!!!!

Ok, might sound funny, but I had my daughter's potty sitting right across from mine, and when it was time for her to go, we'd both sit on our respective potties. I told her to "listen for the sound" and we made a game of putting our hands to our ears and clapping when I started. Then I would say, "Now you do it! You make the sound!" She loved it, and it worked!

Good luck!

Potty training in the United States takes place at a much later age than it does in many other countries. In Europe many years ago, we tried to find disposable diapers for a 2-year-old. All we could find were small sizes. Later, we learned that, in many European countries, babies are most often potty trained at 7 or 8 months, when the babies often want to get away from the bulk and the mess of diapers. What a surprise!

When they are not trained then, the diapers become part of their reality and they may not see the value of potty training for themselves. If that sounds "out there," Google "infant potty training" for a wealth of information!

One of the most successful approaches I have seen is the use of the book (and recording, if wanted) "Once Upon a Potty--BOy" and "Once Upon a Potty--Girl". It is written for the child and gradually educates the child to the benefits of using the potty. The author has the goal of making using the potty the reward.

After many years of graduate study in child development, I learned that rewarding children with treats works for the moment but can develop long-term bad habits. For instance, there is some research that obesity may be attributed in part subconsciously seeking a food reward for every little accomplishment.

The potty books are very inexpensive and well thought out.

Have you read her any potty training books or shown her any potty training videos? "Once upon a Potty" is a great book and comes in both a girls' and boys' version. Also, does she come into the bathroom with you when you go? If so, you can show her the pee in the toilet after you go, answer any questions she has, etc., free of her feeling any pressure or fear around her using the potty. Also, imo, she should not get a treat for just sitting on the potty. You can put a treat (maybe a small toy she has wanted) up high in the bathroom but somewhere she can see from her potty. You can let her know in a very supportive way that she will get the treat when she pees in the potty. Sometimes it seems like kids (especially with poop) think they are losing a limb or something when they use the potty. The sensation of something freefalling from their bodies seems to be disconcerting at first. Personally, my advice would be to back off completely for a few weeks, start to read a potty book every day, and then try the potty again in another couple of months. If your daughter feels pressured, you could end up in a power struggle with her (she will figure out that she has control over something that is important to you). I ended up making that mistake with my son, and we took a break and tried again in a few months, which worked well. The sooner you take a break, the less likely you are to get into a power struggle -- trust me! Also, does she get the diaper when she cries for it? If so, from her perspective, why should she stop crying for it? Take a break, read Once upon a Potty, let her pretend to use her potty if she wants, and then try again with no giving in to pleas for a diaper. I second the no pants for a couple of days and follow her around with a potty idea. Yes, you'll be stuck at home, but it is so worth it! You'll get through this.
K.

I would try only giving her treats when she actually goes potty from now on. Once my daughter got the idea of sitting on the potty, I stopped giving her treats unless she went. That seemed to work pretty good.

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