61 answers

Potty Training My 2 Year Old

i have a head-strong 30 month old daughter who we are trying to potty train. we've been trying on and off for about 6 months now, but to no avail. she really resists the whole thing. we try to tell her that she's a big girl and that big girls use the potty and she says she's a baby and cries when we try to put her on the potty. i don't force her and many times it turns into a negotiation to even sit on the potty. then, as soon as she's off the potty and her pull-ups are back on, she'll do her business. it's getting a little frustrating and she's almost outgrown diapers, so we have to get this going? any advice?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

we're taking a break from potty training for now. thanks everyone for your advice and words of encouragement.

Featured Answers

My now 17 year old knew how to use the potty at 18 months, which was great. Then she saw us flush her pop down the toilet and wouldn't use it again till she was three, at which time she told us "I don't want a diaper any more." She never wore one again, even to bed (no even one accident). She was very headstrong and stubborn and wanted to potty train on her own terms. This was very hard to deal with when we knew she could do it, she just wouldn't. She's still headstrong but as she grows, I respect her choices and the person she is becoming. She knows what she wants and does what she needs to to get it. I'm so glad we didn't start a war with her over this. Sometimes kids need to be given their own choices in life. Save the big battles for things like dating, parties, friends, school. Kids respect parents who give them boundaries, but also treat them with respect.

My son was actually 3 when he finally got it. He was almost 40 months. We got him a really fun potty(he love trains, so it was a train potty that had train sounds) and just put it out in the living room for him to explore and play with. Therefore, when we actually had him start using it, the transition was great because he was already familiar with it. We initially tried what you are doing until a friend told us to lay back and not emphasize it so much. When he was ready, he let us know by showing interest. Also, he wanted to wear his new train underwear which was an incentive as well. Good luck!

Try the rewards system, my daughter got stickers and a Dance given by none other than me,,, they don't grasp the Big Girl thing until around three and then they want to be 10 --- TeeHee... Seroiusly, rewards do work... and get a book on potty training desinged for toddlers .. read to her and show her,,, rewards ( bribes ) really do work,,, my daughter was potty trained at 1.5 and all because she liked the rewards.... right wrong or indifferent... it works ! Make Her a potty Chart Hang it up where she can see it and have her pick some stickers out at the nearest dollar store, and use it ....... ! :) Happy peeing you will see...

More Answers

Hi N. -

This is probably not going to be what you were hoping for, but I'm writing to gently suggest you wait on the potty training and start buying pull-ups. I know there are lots of techniques, and I'm sure you'll have talked to many people who say their kids were potty trained by x number of early months, and heard about other cultures who potty train amazingly early. It's not that I don't believe them; I just can't fathom how in the world they do it. And I do know several people who thought their toddlers were potty trained, and just had to go through it all over again later.

Personally, I don't believe it's worth the fight at 2 or 2 1/2. Even 3 or 4 year olds have a hard time noticing their bodies cues. There are some cute books and videos out there, but my closest friends and I used those just to get the subject planted in our kids' little heads and then followed their cues. Then we waited, some of us for a quite a while. My daughter's pediatrician advised waiting for the child to be ready. My daughter was well into 4 and I admit I had some thoughts that she'd go to kindergarten in pull-ups, but she didn't. When she was ready, she was ready. I'd listen to other moms at the park discussing their struggles and I'd just smile and be so grateful I'd chosen to relax about it all. When the time came, we were done in a day or so. My daughter had a couple of accidents, not judging how long she could hold it and I privately wished for the days up those pull-ups, but we got through it.

I'm sure you're tired of changing diapers, but if you potty train early, you're in the bathroom wiping your child's little bottom anyway. A 2 or 3 or even 4 year old doesn't have the hand coordination to get themself very clean yet. Really - take the path of least resistance, and everyone will be much more calm and happy.

This may be the only letter you get offering this advice, but I really hope you'll consider it. You won't be the only one with a 3+ year old or even a 4 year old in pull-ups, believe me!

Whatever you choose, I wish you and your lovely little girl all the best,


1 mom found this helpful

N., I was told not to even try until my child was three. Early training could really be damaging. Girls usually start to potty train themselves anyway and boys need a little help. If I were you, I would suspend potty training until she is three. She really doesn't sound ready and she is trying to tell you by telling you she's a baby.


Hi N.,

Get a copy of "Toilet Training in Less than a Day" by Nathan H. Azrin PhD,Richard M. Foxx PhD. This method was first designed for teaching developmentally disabled children who were likely to spend their lives in diapers. We used this method for our son just before his 3rd Bday because we were going to be travelling internationally and didn't want to have to cart diapers along. It really worked! You do end up spending the day in the bathroom, though, so take the book's preparation instructions seriously. The method is based on practice, praise and positive reinforcement.

Some kids just aren't developmentally ready to potty train by 2, no matter what, though. Our daughter was more resistant to the method and we had to try it on several occasions before she was willing to use the potty. One good thing about the method, though. Once they were trained, neither of the kids had more than a few accidents, during either the day or when asleep.

Also, listen to your daughter. Why does she insist in saying that she's a baby (aside from the fact that she IS one!)? Is there a new situation/stress in her life? Are you expecting another child, has she started preschool, is she having problems at preschool, suffered a loss, etc.? These kinds of things can really make a toddler entrenched in a type of behaviour that they associate with being familiar and comforting. You might try assuring your daughter that she will get just as much love and attention from mommy and daddy if she uses the potty than if she doesn't.

All in all, you have to really decide if there's a dire need to push your daughter at this time. I'm surprised that a 2 year old would be so large that she's outgrown diapers, however. Even if she's bigger than the average toddler, you can get diapers up to adult sizes. Ultimately, the thing to remember in this power struggle is that no child with normal intelligence starts kindergarten in diapers! And, if your daughter is in daycare or preschool, eventually peer pressure will win out and do the job for you.

Good luck!


Dear N.,

I potty trained my first son at 36 months with no problems. What I mean is that earlier than this he was a bit resistant but when he was ready, in two days he was out of diapers with no accidents. We never pushed him or tried to negotiate since I had read many articles on the internet that 3 is an acceptable age to start potty training. Every child has their own time of doing things and it sounds like your daughter may not be ready to make the 'jump' to big girl yet. Wait a month and then try again, and if she is still resistant, wait another month and so on.
Gook luck,
C. C.

This may sound (Nuts) but,I was desperate, My son was so stubborn,Kids that age are becoming so independant,and feel they are being bossed around,manipulated! lol Sooo I put a few of his (short) favorite books,plus some new ones, in a container in the bathroom,and when he began dancing or after a meal,or lots of fluids,I'd say...Hey Want to read a story? Yesssssss!! lets go sit on the potty and I;ll read you that one you like about.....It took me a few minutes to read that little book, and it must have relaxed him enough to do what he needed to do.It didn't take long before he was asking to go read.You see,I took it from a demand from me,to A request from him.That took away the threat of my pushing him.It only takes a few minutes as long as you make them short stories,after a while,I'd find him sitting on the potty attempting to read his own story lol.it sure payed off in the long run.Good luck to you N.

Let it go for another six months and then bring it up again gently. Her body will know when it's ready. If you force it, you'll have problems later. That's my experience anyway. She's not at all developmentally slow if she's not ready yet. Check with your pediatrician and don't worry about what the other kids are doing. good luck.


My daughter is 28 months and i decided that i wasn't in any hurry to potty train her. I figured when the success rate was higher maybe then. Also when we would do it the poop was loose instead of contained in a diaper. After a few smears to stand up and look, then sanitizing I figured it was overrated. So then what do you know. She decides to do it on her own. When i took the preasure off, she figured it out. She is 88% there. Good luck.

Good morning N., Take a deep breath mama, this will become history and you'll wonder why is ever frustrated you. Oh..unless you have to be some where on time and you're still packing those darn diapers around. (ha ha) It's a tough one that diaper training into potty training. The next thing will be how long they take in the bathroom and your dinner is on the table chilling to ice cold. Surrender is my words of slightly humored wisdom. Take a step back and let this happen as time will let it. No use getting you and your adorable gift into battles over this one. She'll find her way and the less you push the sooner you'll both get through this one. If you can, try to support her calmly and with the love in your heart that become permanant the day she arrived in your life. Good luck and be the blessing that brought this child to you.

My advice N. is to back off. She's not ready yet or is engaging in a power struggle with you. Take pressure off of her. Provide the setting for her to use the potty, reward her if she does make the potty a pleasant place, but don't waste your time struggling with this because she'll win of course. She won't train well until she's ready. She is only 2 and remember that the range for normal at this age is pretty wide. I totally agree with Colleen M's response. I run a playgroup for working moms and a number of the kids have been letting their folks know lately that they are ready and the 'training' has been easy for all of them. My daughter was almost 4 but she went from diapers/pull-ups to underwear with only 2 accidents during the day and 2 at night in a month's time. We haven't had an accident since December. She just started wearing underwear at night one evening. I don't have the frantic run to the bathroom at the mall or the need to stop along the road for her to go to the bathroom because we can't make it to one in time. Good luck!

The wise words of MY pediatrician (no, not my kids doctor, but actually mine from when I was a child). I got reacquainted with him when his grandson and my daughter ended up in preschool together. My daughter was the LAST one in her class to be pottytrained. The other kids would lift up their shirts and show her their underpants/panties. My daughter would lift up her shirt and say, "look at my diaper!" Ok, here are his wise words to me: "You want to know how long it takes to potty train a child? One day. The day the CHILD decided to be potty trained". It was so true for me. Let your daughter decide. The other thing that really helped, was changing her diaper in the bathroom. No more changing table. Talk to her while you are changing her on the floor in the bathroom, 'this is where we go potty. Our poop and pee go in the toilet - that's why I'm changing you in the bathroom" -then, if she does poop, have her help you put the poop in the potty and have her flush the toilet. "See, that's where poop and pee-pee go - in the potty". This gives her some control over her situation.

We're starting the potty training process too. I like the pp about the reinforcements. Also taking them every hour. I've had a few people I know use videos/dvds since kids are into that. So far we've introduced Elmo Potty time, which we found on the Sesame Street website. Also there is another one that one of my co-workers recommended called "I'm a super dooper pooper." They sell this dvd, but I found it on youtube. It sounds cheesy and as adults we watch it and can't take it seriously, but I guess its appealing to kids. It has really catchy songs.

Good Luck!

Hi N.,

It sounds exactly like my daughter. She is 30 months old and stubborn like a mule! She goes to preschool with her older brother, at her insistence. When I ask her if any of the other kids have diapers at school, she says "no". I ask even the "babies" her words descriping the other 2/3 yr olds, and she says "no" only me. Now this is a child who thinks she is a big girl, and she is just not ready or influenced by others around her. Which is really great in the long run! So just suck it up on the extra large diapers, and when she comes around it will be fast. My son did this at almost three on his own terms, and went stright to underwear at night with no accidents. If you are getting pressure from family or other well-meaning friends, it can be hard, especially with the first child. Just remember, the only person you need to do right by, is her.

Just let her be for now. She will totally do it when she's ready and when that time comes it will be a piece of cake. You will only frustrate the situation if she's not ready and you get frustrated.

Hi N.
one thing kids have full control of is there eating habits and their potty habits, step back and think how your doing this is it working for you " No, its become a power struggle and your daughter knows it. Buy a baby doll that has a potty chair, take the baby doll into the bathroom and pretend she is your baby doll, talk to the doll, sit her on the potty chair, be really proud of the doll for going potty, then reward the baby doll for going. Your daughter is going to ask for the same reward or treat, tell her its only for the baby doll because she went potty. Do not allow your daughter to play with the doll,only you can, at the same time you want your daughter to use the potty chair put the baby doll on it. When she really wants the reward, tell her that if she wants to sit on her chair while the baby doll does, if she goes like the baby doll does she can have the reward to. At first she might throw a fit because she cant have a reward, dont get mad ignore the fit, the third day I did this with my daughter, she was on the potty chair going. She is 16 yrs old today and still has that doll who helped teach her about the potty chair. " Good Luck "

Don't feel bad, my daughter was 4 when she finally learned had to go on the big potty. But, unfortunately I cant' take the credit. She learned in pre-school. It is definitely a power thing, she will do it when she is ready. Good Luck.

My now 17 year old knew how to use the potty at 18 months, which was great. Then she saw us flush her pop down the toilet and wouldn't use it again till she was three, at which time she told us "I don't want a diaper any more." She never wore one again, even to bed (no even one accident). She was very headstrong and stubborn and wanted to potty train on her own terms. This was very hard to deal with when we knew she could do it, she just wouldn't. She's still headstrong but as she grows, I respect her choices and the person she is becoming. She knows what she wants and does what she needs to to get it. I'm so glad we didn't start a war with her over this. Sometimes kids need to be given their own choices in life. Save the big battles for things like dating, parties, friends, school. Kids respect parents who give them boundaries, but also treat them with respect.

Get the book "Potty Training for Dummies" It has great advice!

Take her in ther to watch you. Dont say anything, just let her watch. And dont get discouraged. She will do it on her time schedule not yours. My daughter was potty trained by 2 1/2 because she would follow me in to the bathroom... even when I wanted privacy. She watched me and wanted to be like me. Dont give up.

My son was not fully potty trained until he was almost four. You can find large pull ups. I suggest you relax. All the suffering you are going through is not worth. Give her your empathy... Remind her she is your baby and she always will be your baby even when she is gone away to college... Don't worry she won't be wearing diapers then.

mother of a an eight year old

We had the same problem with my daughter until she was 3. She refused to potty train, until we moved to a daycare that had kids her age. They all potty trained together which helped tremdendously. She then potty trained in just a couple of months just in time for christmas. Sometimes having other kids around is the best thing.
You can also try rewards for going potty, with my son we are using stickers on his potty chair, so far it seems to be working.

First off. Who is in charge you or your 30 motnth old?
secondly , when it comes to potty training you need to devote at least 2 days to that task. The entire day you do nothing but set a timer and give her drinks. Every hour on the hour you put her on the pot. Go and make a big event out of it.
Buy fun new panties, let her pick them out and when she wets her pants she will feel it. No pull -ups for these 2 days.Stay home and take care of this.
Remember you are the Mom. You are in charge and be firm.
Hang in there.

mother of 3
Grandmother of 2

My experience with potty training with my son was letting go of having him potty trained by a certain time. Cloth diapers helped MUCH because he could feel the wetness in the cloth diapers but not in the regular store bought diapers. He trained himself because he didn't like feeling wet. The reality is that your daughter is not quite a big girl yet. She's still pretty young and diaper "training" could go up to 4 years old. My recommendation is to be supportive and let it ride naturally. It may not feel like it, but her toddler period will go fast. One day she really will be a big girl and you'll be romanticizing the days you changed her diapers. Changing diapers is an intimate special bonding ritual between a child and her/his caretaker. Embrace and let go. P

My little one was nearly 3 before she would sit on the potty regularly; I know how stressful this can be for you. All the advice from friends, family, coworkers, and the daycare providers insisted that this is normal and that it's best not to push them. They will do it when they are ready. As difficult as this was to accept (I don't think I ever really did), hindsight is 20/20 and I believe it to be true.

Another little angel I know just magically took to the potty immediately following her 3rd birthday. The light came on and magic, the potty was her friend.

Hang in there, she'll make it happen. In the meantime, she's clearly not frustrated by it, and we're not supposed to be, even though we are.

Give it a rest. Your daugher isn't ready and it will be a traumatic experience for her that she will resist for even longer if pushed too hard. I really believe that parents push potty training too early because they're tired of diapers or they've read some book that suggests a child should be potty trained by age "whatever". Often times, the child isn't ready, so the whole process turns out to be lengthy and frustrating for all. When they're ready, it's almost effortless. In addition, it's turns out to be a GOOD experience. It's not frustrating for the parent and the child feels empowered, proud and independent for doing something new that they are clearly "ready for". Remember, she won't wear diapers forever- really. Keep that in mind and you're not a bad parent if your 30 month old is still in diapers or pull ups. Don't take it personally. It is helpful if the child is around kids who use the toilet and videos are also helpful. I recommend Elmo's Potty Time. My son LOVED this video. He still likes to watch it occasionally even though he's potty trained. It's really cute and it definitely made him more interested in using the potty. Good luck, but don't stress!

Give it a rest. She's not ready. She knows the drill, she does not want to do it. There are three things that you cannot force a child to do: eat, talk or use the potty. Just give her the tools, point out examples of when you and family members use the potty, older friends, etc also. Show her where her panties are and be clear that when she is ready to use them, she can put them on and use the potty for her business. Let her decide. She will be wildly successful when it is her decision, esp. if she is strong willed. When she sees that you are not pushing it, she might want to do it. Also, stop using pull-ups, they are a huge waste of money!!!

Hi N.!
I had a very difficult time potty training my daughter as well. In fact, she didn't potty train until three. The way that I finally got her to go in the toilet was by putting her in big girl panties and just letting her wet herself. When this would happen she would have to stop everything that she was doing to get cleaned up and changed. She was uncomfortable with this. She was also interested in going to school. I told her that in order to do that, she had to use the toilet because all of the kids there were in big kid underwear. When I finally did this, it took her about two days to start using the toilet regularly.
I hope that you are able to get your daughter potty trained soon. It is a big relief to the parent. I don't know if you have tried anything that I did to get my little one trained. If not, it really works. My little one was way to comfortable with the pull ups and I just had to take those away. Good luck!

Try the rewards system, my daughter got stickers and a Dance given by none other than me,,, they don't grasp the Big Girl thing until around three and then they want to be 10 --- TeeHee... Seroiusly, rewards do work... and get a book on potty training desinged for toddlers .. read to her and show her,,, rewards ( bribes ) really do work,,, my daughter was potty trained at 1.5 and all because she liked the rewards.... right wrong or indifferent... it works ! Make Her a potty Chart Hang it up where she can see it and have her pick some stickers out at the nearest dollar store, and use it ....... ! :) Happy peeing you will see...

Hi - I am in the process of training my 29 month old right now. She really resisted at first too. The times we did finally have a sucess here and there, we made such a big deal about it and gave her a treat (1 m&m) that it started to catch on. She took to the potty seat that goes on the toilet, but HATED the little potty. Not sure what you are using, but I hear a lot of kids aren't crazy about the little pottys. Also, when the weather permits, it really works to just let her run around naked. When they slip up, it is much more uncomfortable for them than when they potty in a pull up. You are a working Mom and I am a stay at home Mom, so I realize it must be much harder for you to do this, but maybe on the weekends? If my daughter wasn't going to catch on, I was going to purchase this "potty trainig in one day" kit because I have heard many good things about it:


I have heard many times that when they decide they are ready, it just clicks, so hang in there. Best of luck!

I think the most important thing is to be consistant. If you are trying, then don't stop. Since you have gone on and off, she knows you will give up if she fights long enough. With our kids, we picked a few days when we had nothing going on and let them hang out naked. It only took one time of the pee going down annabel's leg before she figured out that wasn't a nice feeling. With our son, I just put him on the potty about once an hour, set a timer and had him sit there. For a pee he got a little smiley face sticker and for a poop he got a bigger Thomas sticker that he would stick on his little chart. It worked in only a couple days, with one or two accidents. Good Luck!

I haven't read all the responds you got. But this is how I potty trained my 2 1/2 year old daughter in 4 days... We went to the store together and I bought her the underwear she wanted (Dora and Elmo), when we came home I took her diaper off and put her only in her undies and told her not to wet her Dora/Elmo undies or I would have to throw them away and they would be very sad...
About every 5-10 minutes I would smile and ask if she needed to go potty... after a few no's and an accident I started to go with her to the restroom as she sat on her potty and just sing or take a book of hers in there, to keep her mind off going potty.
That's all it took... PULL UPS DON'T WORK! They are the same as diapers... I tried that a few months prior to the underwear and would end up having to change a full diaper.
Best of luck as you see your baby grow into a Big Girl =)

If you're not careful, she can become potty training resistant (which puts you and her in a battle) in all honesty, it is the one thing she has complete control over.
My son was resistant because his dad pushed too hard and as a result, he was almost 4 before he finally potty trained. Once we followed the advice of our pediatrician (tell him once, when he's ready do it and then didn't bring it up again, he did it, on his terms)
This link is similiar to the handout and advice we were given with him 9 years ago...

Hi N.,

I have a boy 4 and 1/2 year old.I know your feeling...It was frustrating....

It sounds like she is not ready... From my experience,
if you starts potty train too early( means not ready), it takes long time though. You may want to wait until 3 year old unless you have a pressure from preschool. (some school requires potty trained to get in.) I waited until when he turned three. It takes only 2 weeks for pee pee and 3 weeks for poo poo. After completed the potty trainning, he had accidents only 3 times. you will see the big differences of her for so many things after turning 3. She will more understand the process and want to become a big girl.

Even it took only for a couple weeks, I was frustrated also. But this is a new experience for them and us. I think that for the potty training, we have to find the right timing. kids have to be ready and parents have to be ready also. She will get it eventually. Good luck!! Tommie

First off, dont stress. You dont see teenagers in diapers so she will eventually learn. Diapers might be too small, but pull ups work nicely for bigger kids. Then you can try a few tricks. If she wants to still be a baby you can treat her like one when she wants to act like a bigger girl, then she will get the idea that you cant do both, you can also try rewards. When my daughter was that age she really liked stickers, I would get a few sheets of stickers and cut them apart and leave them in the bathroom where she couldnt reach them. The deal was if she tried to go to the bathroom then she got one sticker and if she actually went potty then she got two. She was potty trained in two weeks with no screaming or crying. We had tried before with just putting her on and she would scream and arch her back but that all stopped with the stickers. You will have to find what works with your daughter but thats what worked for us.

My son was actually 3 when he finally got it. He was almost 40 months. We got him a really fun potty(he love trains, so it was a train potty that had train sounds) and just put it out in the living room for him to explore and play with. Therefore, when we actually had him start using it, the transition was great because he was already familiar with it. We initially tried what you are doing until a friend told us to lay back and not emphasize it so much. When he was ready, he let us know by showing interest. Also, he wanted to wear his new train underwear which was an incentive as well. Good luck!

It seems like your daughter isn't ready to potty train. I know so many mothers who drive themselves crazy with this. Is having a 2 and a half year old who's potty trained worth the stress? It would be one thing if she were interested in it but she's obviously not. If I were you I would stop all potty training for at least a month. Try again then, if you still meet resistance then stop for another month. Most children don't potty train until they are over 3 years old, and many aren't completely potty trained until they are closer to 4. In the meatime I found cute potty training books like "Do pigs flush?" really helpful in getting the message across in a relaxing, happy way.

Hi N.
My daughter was over 2 years old when we started to potty train her. Many kids are a lot older when they start because some kids just aren't ready that early. I think that the more pressure your daughter will feel the longer it will take and it will turn to something negative. Don't compare to other kids and how early they potty trained because all kids are different.
What I did though was giving my daughter small rewards, stickers when she peed and I had a bag of small toys for when she pooped (since that was the bigger problem). She wasn't allowed to look at any toys or stickers until she had gone to the bathroom - then she could pick one. We turned it into a game and she really really wanted to get a sticker/toy so that really made the change for us. I hope this helps, but please remember, your daughter is still very little. Don't worry about it so much.

Potty training can oft be a power struggle. What I hear your daughter saying is that she doesn't want to give up the attention and care that a baby gets. My gut feeling is that she wants to be reassured that she will always be taken care of - even if she uses a potty. Kids are ready when they are ready, and it does sound as if your daughter is verbal enough and in some ways mature enough intellectually for potty training, but is still clinging to "being the baby" emmotionally. This is the tact I would take:
1. Stop refering to using a diaper vs. potty as big girl/baby girl.
2. Reassure her that she will always be your baby (there is a wonderful book out called "I'll Love You Forever" that would make perfect reading at this stage).
3. Associate using a potty with things she wants like "as soon as you can use the potty instead of a diaper, we can go to ...." or "when you don't have to wear diapers we can buy Dora the Explorer panites". In other words, find out what reward would appeal to HER and offer that as a goal.
4. Set the example, tell her when you are going to the bathroom and let her accompany you if she would like. Make the potty available to her, next to yours. When you go, ask her if she would like to go too.
5. Take the control issue out of the equation. This may have shifted from being a simple "potty training" to a "power struggle". Give HER the power. She senses your frustration and irritation, beleive me! and resists it in kind.
Remember that old line about whatever you resist, persists?
Sending you a e-hug~!

Hi N., what I found worked best when I potty trained my step-son was positive reinforcement. Reward her with a little treat, like a sticker when she goes to the restroom. Every time I got him to sit on the toilet, I praised him, cheered, clapped and did a happy dance, even if he didn't use it. I looked totally silly but he loved it. Whenever he would come ask me for a drink or a snack, I'd "sure, but lets go potty first." I just wanted to sit him down on toilet whenever I could, since he wouldn't tell me when he had to go. Whithin a month he was potty-trained and that's that we only had him 4 times a week. Just remember to reward her for going, (doesn't have to be big gifts).
I did the same thing when potty training my 2 year old girl. I found with her that pull-ups were a waist, because she new she could potty in them. I just put regular underwear on her, except for bed time. Hope this helps.

try a sticker chart or reward system.

at first give her a reward every time she goes. you can wrap little presents from the dollar section at target or books or whatever would motivate her.

then, make a sticker chart so that every 5 stickers she gets a gift. then the sticker chart will take 10 per row.

at the end tell her if she completes the entire chart which would have maybe 50 stickers total, you will take her somewhere special like Disneyland, etc.

good luck! that is what worked for us.


We followed our daughters lead based on advice and books we read; we were told that when you force it, it will become an issue. Most kids are not ready until about 3. Our daughter showed interest in the the potty around 2 for a month or so and then no interest until right before she turned three when out of the blue she said, I want to wear big girl underpants. From that day on she wore underwear 24/7. She had 1 or 2 accidents at night and that's it. (We were told that if you depend on pull-ups at night they it will cause confusion and will be more difficult to train night-train him/her). Children are intuitive-- try not to force the issue. I know diapers are a pain but be patient-- it's a major milestone for your little one!

Stick with it, it will work, diaper detox is what I call it. TAKE THE PULL-UPS AWAY...take her to the bathroom every 15 minutes(use a timer,"potty clock") for the next three days, EVEN if she screams, REWARD GRATFULLY with temporary tattoos they love them, and they can see the reward for days,:)Be Patient and Be Happy.

I completely agree that this is the only thing she has most control of. You can encourage her, and don't give up, but if she resists the slightest bit, say okay, we'll try again a little later. Try giving some type of incentive like a treat if she goes pee in the potty for starters. I did this with my son who is 2.5 and gave him gerber puffs every time he went pee in the potty. Now, i have told him he does a good job going pee, but he will now only get puffs if he goes #2 in the potty! He really does well when he knows he's going to get a reward for going. Good luck, and just be patient, it will happen when she is ready. Keep on encouraging...that's all you can do!

I think she just isn't ready. Neither of my kids potty trained until they were three and since they were mature and ready, they never had an accident. I would just forget about it for six month, stop putting pressure on her, and watch her come around on her own.

I struggled with my daughter too, now 4 years old, and still do sometimes. My daughter however has a developmental delay so we did the potty training thing for a year and a half. I'm sure that isn't an issue with your child, but I wanted to let you know that I have tried everything, and kids will do it with encouragement on their own time.
At any rate, all the books I have read say encourage but don't allow them to be turned off by the potty. She is still very young. Lets say she's still in pull ups at 3, or 3 and a half, as soon as her friends notice and say why are you still in a pull up, that is for babies, she will want to use the potty. Relax, every kid is different, and if she isn't potty trained at 2, your not a bad parent!!!

no pull ups!

a lot of clean up work for you, but until she feels the ick, she'll just keep waiting for the diaper, which is what a pul up is.

also, if you can find it, the video "Potty Power" is pretty amazing, as are 4 pairs of really awesome panties of her favorite animal, or character, or time of year...
happy training,

Hi there:
I am a working mother of a 28 month old... also potty training. Still a bit patchy, but she has pretty much gotten the hang of it and here is what I found worked for my little lady. First we started with just REAL panties (not pull-ups) for the first few weeks... just in the afternoons after her nap. She picked out the panties- with lots of purple stripes and star pattern (purple is her favorite... and we made a big deal about how pretty they were)... "These are SOOOO PRETTY... lets keep them nice and clean... no peepee on them, OK?" We keep her in the area of the house where she could cause the least trouble, if there was "accident"... and there were a few... but if accident we would say "Oh, look... your pretty panties got so wet and dirty... now we'll have to take them off and put you into diaper." She would complain... "No... panties" so I would tell her again about keeping panties clean...etc and would put her into clean pair of panties. Also- I will ask her after she drinks or eats anything (and many more times) if she has to go to pottie..."we can look at the pretty panties while you sit on pottie... and you'll get a nice treat if you go on pottie like a big girl" (my treats range from 1 tiny candy to paining nails- whatever she likes). Once she got the hang of that...I got Dora the Explorer Pull ups (she loves dora) and would say same thing " you don't want to get Dora all wet and dirty do you?". The pull-ups provide a bit of protection so we can go out in public and to peoples houses while she is still learning, but they are easy for me and her to pull on and off to try to go on pottie. That is where we are now... regular diaper at night still. Sorry for so long winded... hope this helps!
S. (____@____.com)

Oh, do I feel your pain! You know what-- this is something that you can't control, unfortunately. Don't stress out about it (if that's possible), because she'll pick that up and become more resistant. Just reward her when she does a good job. Good luck!

I have a 10 year old girl, when we potty trained her. I had her go into the bathroom with me when I went (evertime). We also did the reward system ( stickers, candy, glow in the dark stars the you put on walls or ceilings). We then went to walmart and let her pick out her own panties. Then we just stressed the fact that you don't want to get them wet or dirty. It worked great with her. Now my 2 year old(turned 2 the end of August) isn't doing quite as well with these methods. However she has a friend that comes to play. He ie potty trained, if he goes potty we ask her if she wants to go. If she goes potty they both get a treat. My friend also has recently dealt with this and she got rid of all the diapers in the house( at least that he knew of ) and let him run around in his undies, or naked. Within a few days he had the general idea, and in a few weeks he is potty trained. Only wearing a pullup at night. Some times we have found it easier to give it a break for a few days or weeks then approach it again, eventually they get the idea and decide its time to be a big kid.
Best of luck to you, and hang in there it will happen!

Please let me know if you have any luck. I am in the exact same position. I have a 30 month old son who does exactly the same thing. It was as if i was reading my own question. I have tried the fun potty, we have a tupperware full of toys that he gets to pick one, even if he just sits on the potty at this point, but he wants nothing to do with it. He would rather not get the toy than sit on the potty. We have two of the potty seats that fit over our toilet, doesn't like them. He will scream if we put him on there and i will have to hold him down. He says he wants his diaper on and when I tell him that he won't want to sit in his pee and poop he tells me that i will change him because i am nice. I am just totally at a loss. At this point i just feel like giving up and maybe if i try a little later it will work, but he seems so ready. As soon as he pees he tells me to change him. He will not have anything to do with pull-ups. So if you find something that works please let me know!!!!! Good luck! ____@____.com

A parent is never the one to decide when potty training happens it is the child. trust me i was the same way. Let her go to the potty her own let her sit on it with her clothes on and when she does her thing praise her to no end as time goes on though praise less. With poop what really helps is a reward system. Kandoo has a nice one. Another thing is to have her in panties and use pull ups or diapers as a punishment. It sounds bad but its a way of making the diapers look bad as a terrible thing to wear and panties are the greatest.My son didn't become trained until a week b4 his 3rd bday. Thats not to say it will happen to you. just continue to be patient and let her decide. I hope this helps. i am a 28 year old mom as well To a wonderful little boy age 4 and a 4month old baby girl

i have an equally strong headed almost 3 year old! We are still in the process but she is almost there! She outgrew her diapers so I switched to training diapers! They work great! And I bought her some big girl princess panties and told her when she is ready she can wear the! I put her in them for 1-2 hours a day and have her somewhere that has a lot of towels on the ground! They love the way panties feel but the trick is, when she pee's in them they come off and we have to try tomorrow!
The other thing that totally worked for us is I told her that she can't use the big girl potty anymore! Just by that, she started going all the time! She always goes #2 in it! #1 is a little harder to control! The reverse psychology thing really does work for girls like ours! Give her a sticker or a popsicle and see how she responds! Good luck!

Dear N.,

For one thing, no, you don't have to get this going. It will happen, but not while you are putting so much pressure on her. Just drop it for a while, and see what her reaction is. Then follow her lead. She will cooperate when she is ready. Please. C. N.

I didn't potty train my daughter till she was about 3 1/2. She could have cared less about wearing diapers and probably would have kept wearing them to this day if I let her. We had to be potty trained by school so I was on a deadline. Here's what worked for me: we marked a date on the calendar and the BIG GIRL PANTY DAY and marked down each day until. When the day came we stopped diapers(during the day only--night is a different story) and switched to panties. No turning back. Panties all day accidents and all. I got a bucnh of small( .50 to $1.00) at the store and wrapped them like presents. I then put them in a bowl in the bathroom by the toilet. Everytime we had potty success, she got to pick and unwrap a toy. We did this for about 5 days and then weaned off the gifts to a few M & M's or a piece of candy, then it was nothing. Good luck...its not easy.

Hi N.,
I had the same problem with my son. He kept telling me that the potty was too scary. He knew what he had to do, he just didn't want to do it. Finally when he was 35 months old and about to start preschool we went away on vacation to the mountains and told him that he was done with diapers and had to use the potty. We had the potty with us. That day, we just put pants on him with no underwear. He had a couple of accidents that first day but by the evening he peed in the potty and said "that wasn't scary!" 2 days later he pooped in the potty. And told us that wasn't scary either. After that we just put on pullups for bedtime until we were sure that he would get up in the middle of the night.

We had a few accidents where he was playing and ignored the fact that he had to pee but eventually that stopped and we were able to get rid of the pullups too.

There was one month where he seemed to be peeing in his pants everyday at school, so we used a sticker chart where he got stickers for everyday that he stayed dry and he got a present after 2 weeks of staying dry.

Hope this helps.


My second son was 39 months before he finally was potty trained. Although he had showed interest and starting telling us he had to go potty before he was even 2, he stayed in diapers for next next year and refused all encouragement, bribes, etc. I think the fact that he was in school part time and could see the other children using the potty and get encouragement from them helped a bit in the end, but frankly, just like everyone has said, don't push it until they're ready. Two years old is still young to be concerned about not being potty trained. The one thing that help me with both of my children once we actually started the process and they showed interest, was consistency on my part. I started carrying around a kitchn timer in my pocket. I set it for one hour, and when it went off we took a trip to the potty. Sometimes it was too easy to just forget the potty and let them go in their diapers, but getting me into the routine helped to get them into the routine.

I am a mother of 3 boys all grown now. My niece referred me to this site and I have found it very interesting.
For potty training, many children are not ready until around 36 months and will go on their own, otherwise it's usually the parents who are trained and not the child. It's obvious that your daughter has control over her own potty as whe will go the moment her own diaper/pants are put back on.
I believe patience is the key.
We used to put the potty chair out of the restroom. IE: if you let your child view a little t.v. in front of the t.v. or with the restroom door open and you read to the child or in the bedroom. This is just to let the child get used to sitting on the potty and voila! one day she will go on her own. This happened all 3 times with our boys and we tried everything to train them. By the 3rd child we had an understanding that they will go on the potty when they are ready.
I realize that this may not be what you wanted to read, although that's what has happened to us.
BTW: My mother claimed that I was potty trained at 6 months! She would get me up in the a.m. put me on the potty and I would go, she knew when I had to go later in the day and put me on the potty and I would go! We laugh now and she has stated that actually she was the one who was trained. LOL
Be encouraged

Here's what you do....You import an older child 6-7 years old to play every day for a week. You say nothing about the potty. She will get it from her peers. I think maybe you are putting a little too much emphasis on it, she's not interested in being pressured. If you are working everyday then the time when she is with you, she wants comfort, not newness. It will happen when it's meant to for her. Kids have an unbelievable sense when things are right for them. She'll step up to conquer when she is ready.

I have two head-strong kids . . .4.5 yrs and almost 3. It took my son until just before his 3rd bday to be potty trained. Our daughter was potty trained at 32 mos. First, you have to not be stressed about the whole thing! I learned this the hard way w/ both kids. The more stressed I was about p training, the more they resisted. Both of them p trained in about a week after I said to myself "okay, they won't go to college in diapers. If it's now great. If it's later, that's okay too." Second, get rid of the Pullups and put her in pretty undies! Pullsup are glorified diapers. They can't feel when they wet in them. Yes, I know it makes for a lot of extra laundry for a while, but undies work better (diapers or pullups at night, of course). Pick a few days when you can be home and set the timer for every 20 mins. Every 20 mins, sing excitedly about it's time to go potty and dance to the bathroom. Make a big deal when they go in the potty and maybe a treat. Acknowledge that it might be scary to sit on the potty, but you'll be right there w/ her. Sorry so long, but hope this helps . . . it's what worked w/ both of mine. My daughter I tried at just over 2 yrs, threw in the towel and a more relaxed Mommy tried again a few months later and it was easier!


What's the hurry? It's actually easier to have them in diapers. Once potty trained they will have to "go" when there is no bathroom around...in the car on a longer drive, at a park without a bathroom... I have 3 kids under 6. My boys both potty trained at just over 3 years. I tried a little before 3 years, but they weren't ready so I dropped it. Within 6 weeks, BOTH did it on their own and rarely had accidents. My girl will be 3 in April. We have been asking her if she'd like to give her diapers away and wear big girl underwear which I've already bought for her. We'll see when we get there. For both my boys, I made sure we were going to be home for 2 solid days. (Yes, it may sound like torture, but it's worked for us and many) We put them on the potty every hour whether they need it or not. We make a big fuss of congratualtions when ANYTHING or nothing comes out..just for trying. My friend had a very head-strong daughter too...she tried training her at 27 months and nothing. After all the struggling with her for 6 months my friend finally layed off. Her daughter got up on her own and did it at 36 months and never went back. I would also consider doing it 100% and NOT wearing night diapers. So you have a few nights here and there of accidents, but it's worth it in the end. Otherwise you have to do the process again!

Back off. My daughter didn't decide to potty train until she was over four. A friend of mine is a school psychologist who says that some kids don't use the potty until four or even five. It's the one thing they have control over and if you push them too hard they may develop gastrointestinal problems and self esteem issues later on. thirty months isn't that bad. Believe me, I know. Be patient.

Stick with the incentives and TRY not to let it seem to be a big deal. Be light about it.

Children can really string this one out when they see you want it so badly. It's natural - they want some control!
Stories and other children that illustrate the benefits of using the toilet are a good idea too.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.