2 Year Old Not Interested in Potty Training

Updated on January 01, 2012
M.S. asks from Troutdale, OR
24 answers

As a lot of you know I have a 25 month old little girl who is wondeful, but she refuses to potty train. She is not interested in sitting on the potty chair, she will, has, and knows what it is for. She WANTS to wear diapers. We have told her that big girls go potty in the toilet or in the potty chair, but she doesn't want to. She seems to find it easier to poop than pee in both the toilet and potty chair. We have tried candy, but she just wants the candy not to go. Any suggestions? We watched the potty dance video, have tried pullups and while she will stay dry for several hours, in the end, she wants a diaper on. I don't think she's scared, cause its the same at here or at Grandma's, She just plain isn't interested. Thanks in advance! I have even told her that she can play in the playland at Fred Meyer once she's trained, or Ikea, which she really wants to do, but not enough I guess.

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answers from Austin on

At this point, she isn't ready.... until SHE wants to be potty trained, there isn't that much you can do. If you keep trying to force the issue, it may cause more rebellion problems....

Wait a few months and re-visit the idea... you may find that something has changed.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

What's the rush? Both of my boys were extremely easy to potty train, but I waited until they were ready. Neither of them were ready until just after their 3rd birthdays, but we were able to potty train them without any stress - for them or for us.

Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

You can't train a child to do this...you just can't you have to be willing to wait till she is ready. And trust me if you do so you will have an easy smooth transition.

5 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

If you had wanted her to walk, would she have walked earlier? What if you had given her incentives and rewards? Or punished her when she didn't walk? Would that have worked?


You can force the issue before she is ready to own mastery of this skill, which is very complex because she has to be ready physically AND mentally. What that will get you is frustration and battles.

You might be able to potty train YOURSELF if you have a compliant child. Every hour have her sit on the potty and once in while she'll go, which will reduce when she goes in her diaper. That's not being potty trained.

When she can tell you that she wants to go only in the potty, she is ready to give up diapers and she wants to wear only undie pants..... THEN she is ready to potty train. When she is at that point, it will take you a couple days, tops.

So, months and months of frustrations, failures and bad feelings? Or a weekend of transition? Your choice.

Good Luck

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

She's just not ready and no matter how much incentive you give her, she's not all of a sudden going to be interested. Kids usually don't potty train on your time line - they potty train on theirs. There is nothing that says all kids should be trained when they are 2. When she is ready, she'll most likely be more cooperative, but there's no point in forcing it - it will only create more problems. My daughter showed no interest in potty training (was actually highly resistant) until 3.5 years. But then she was trained in less than a week, rather than it being dragged out for months and months. Save yourself the drama, let her stay in diapers, and give it more time. Let it go for a while and relax.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

It honestly never occurred to me that my son should be interested in potty training. When he was 25 months, we put him in underwear, told him pee and poop go in the toilet (didn't use a potty) and that was that. We were happy with him when he went in the toilet but did not use rewards, praise or punishment. We just expected him to go and he did. He never asked for diapers. If he had, I would have been able to honestly tell him there were none since we just got rid of them (gave the rest of the package to daycare). He had lots of accidents for 2-3 days, a few more over the first week and we were done (he had a single poop accident a month or so later and a pee accident about 6 months later).

I never expected my son to show interest in tooth brushing. But I brushed his teeth and when he was old enough, we did it together and now he does it on his own. Given his druthers, he would still have no interest in this. But it is just something he does. Just like potty training.

There are lots of reasons to potty train at this age. It is way better for the planet. It is way more pleasant for you. It will save a lot of money that you can put towards something more valuable. It will not harm her - the average American child was fully trained at 18 months prior to the advent of disposable diapers (the 1950s - no, their physiology has not changed, our expectations have). The average child in the rest of the world is trained at 12 months of age. Late training is completely an American phenomenon and is not dictated by human biology.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Seriously? Why are you pressuring your child who JUST turned 2. You are making her feel bad and stressing yourself out. Where did you read that kids should be potty trained at this age? I reccomend you look at all the moms who pushed their kids too early to potty train and see how many issues they have on this website. Leave her alone and try again in 6 months. When she is ready she will potty train in a week or 2. And I mean REALLY train that means ask and have no accidents. Or, you can draw this whole thing out over months and still have issues.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Our daughter was pretty advanced physically and emotionally with a lot of things. She could walk unassisted at 6 months, speak in full sentences at 1 years old.. But she was not interested in potty training until she was 4.

This was not due to me not trying.. she just could not put it together the feeling of the need to go and going.

She was in day care and seeing all of those little potties lined up and all of the kids going to the potty when they needed, finally clicked with her.

In about 4 days she was totally potty trained. Hardly any accidents and could sleep through the night , no pull ups were needed.

I promise, when she is ready, she is going to let you know.. Until then, you can try, but it is totally dependent on her recognizing the feeling..

Try to put into words what it feels like to need to urinate. Or to have a bowel movement.. Now speak the words to your child.. Do you think you can convey this information? It will take her maturity and body awareness to come together for her to be able to do this.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Just wait, she will not go to college in diapers! When she is ready she will let you know.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Some kids just aren't ready till they're closer to 2.5 or 3. My son was ready closer to 3. Relax and don't push it. NEVER punish.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Just give it a break.

Keep the potty chair front and center in the bathroom. Make it a happy space.

Every time you go potty, tell her to come along, you can go together, read a book, sing her favorite song. Maybe she can get you the toilet paper.

Just have her sit there. Get comfortable sitting there without the pressure of having to perform.

After you get her to sit comfortably on the potty with a book and with you present, take her diaper off and see if she can tinkle.

Only work on peeing. Master that first. Then work on poo.

And I would intentionally take her to Fred Meyer and Ikea and stand in front of the play area and tell her that when she goes potty in the potty chair, she can play in there. Oh well, you hope she goes soon because it looks like a lot of fun..let her process the reward.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

There are a number of different training approaches/ages, any of which may be more appropriate for different mothers and different children. And both physical and emotional readiness is essential for the most common approach used today in this culture.

Read about just about any potty training question in helpful detail at
http://www.parentingscience.com/potty-training-tips.html. It's a really helpful resource!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

There are only two things a child really has control over, what goes into and what come out of his/her body. Both of my children exerted their will over potty training. My son woke up dry starting at 18 months, but didn't want to have anything to do with going on the potty. At 3, he would use the potty at school and in the morning, but once he got home, he changed himself into a pull up. He did learn to go poop in the potty and prefered that (I have no problem changing pee diapers/pull ups). About a week after turning 4, he decided he was ready to get rid of pull ups. He has had a few accidents because he doesn't want to stop playing and then doesn't quite make it on the potty.

Just be patient, offer it once or twice a week, don't push, and let her know she can make the decision when she is ready.

My daughter was the same as my son. It had to be her decision, not mine (we still have this strong willed problem with other things...)



answers from Seattle on

I uesd the "Three Day Potty Training" method for my 26 month old son. It worked in 2 days, even at night! no exaggerating. I was amazed.
You may want to wait a month or so so she has no feeling of pressure from previuos methods you have tried.
This method is in an online book form that you buy and download.



answers from Seattle on

My son was exactly the same. We raise our kids with the hope of independence someday and then find ourselves laughing when it starts right away. We to have a son that had no interest in the potty. He would do fine at home then want a pull up when we left the house. We had to tell him they didn't make diapers for his size anymore and really played up the praise and what a big boy he was. It worked! Good luck!


answers from Cincinnati on

He isn't ready.... try in 6 months.



answers from Springfield on

I also waited until my son was almost 4, and it was super easy. Personally I would wait, but I do have one idea for you. Have you tried just not having diapers as an option? I did have a few diapers left, but I put them in a bag in a closet so that my son wouldn't know and so that I wouldn't be tempted. Before I began I told him, "Tomorrow you get to wear big boy underwear. No more diapers." So the next day, I put him in underwear and never looked back (except nap and bedtime). The first day he peed everywhere except the potty. It was really annoying, but I cheered and made a really big deal about it. My husband thought I was nuts. I told him, "Today we are cheering that he peed. Tomorrow we can focus on where the pee is supposed to go." I did this, because he really didn't honestly understand what he was supposed to be feeling. He probably did pee in the potty that day, but it's hard to remember. Anyway, he was potty trained in 3 or 4 days.

I would probably take a break just so she relaxes and doesn't feel the pressure. When you try again, just put her in underwear and don't look back. She'll adjust.



answers from Seattle on

From a physical development standpoint, the best time to potty train is 28 to 32 months. Give it a rest for a couple of months.

FWIW, we also have a 25 month old, and I'm really, really (really!) anxious to get her out of diapers. But she hasn't shown the signs/interest yet, so I'm not going to start. I'm not sure what I'll do if we're at month 30 and she doesn't seem ready. ack!



answers from Seattle on

I haven't read any of the other responses. I will just tell you my experience. I was told to watch for "potty training readyness" My son didn't seem to show much at all so the summer before his third birthday (Oct. b-day) we worked hard at it. It didn't work out so well. We went back to preschool coop in September and the parenting expert suggested that we put him back in diapers and tell him his "body wasn't ready yet." I appreciated that because I was hating those pull -ups and frequent underwear accidents. He was quite verbal and would tell people his body wasnt' ready yet. When he was 3yrs 4 months he woke up dry. I said "I think your body is ready". He believed me and maybe had 3 more accidents in his entire life including at night. If I had known how easy it was going to be I would not have stressed over it so much. He is 8 now.
My daughter was ready earlier and basically potty trained herself. She was 2 and a half. She never even wore pull-ups or needed candy incentive. She is now 5 1/2.
My suggestion would be to not stress about it. Your daughter isn't ready yet. There is quite an age range for potty training. Have the supplies there, read the books, watch the videos and you watch for signs of her readyness. You don't want it to become a power struggle.
I personally liked the book "Mommy I have to go potty" by Jan Faull. It gave several scenarios and you can pick and choose what you think will work for your family.
(I personally feel like the younger they potty train the more accidents you experience. It is much easier for a kid who is mentally ready).
You are the best mom for your child. I know you will look at all of the advice and make the best choices. Good luck and happy momming.



answers from Seattle on

My son turned 3 in August, was showing interest for a bit but now refuses. I am not pushing it as I don't think it will get us anywhere and I am just going to wait until he is really ready. No need to cause either one of us stress when there are plenty other things that will cause that. I would just wait until she is a bit older. My friend has twin girls that didn't potty train until they were 3, and it was a breeze when they started. I would just wait and save yourself some stress and frustration.



answers from Bellingham on

My son was the same way when I tried to get him to use the potty around that age. I would get kind of frustrated because he hated getting diaper changes and when we would ask him if he knew where he could poop and pee and not have to have a diaper change, he would tell me "in the potty." It really comes down to when your child is ready to use the potty, because when she is, she will use it and never look back. Maybe give it a break for a few weeks and then try again. My son didn't start using the potty all the time until about 3 weeks ago (he's 33 mos). I found that letting him feel like it was his idea to use the potty made it easier. Let her pick out some big kid underpants too, pull-ups really are just another form of a diaper that they know they can pee in. And cheer for her when she actually uses it. Praising and cheering is also something that may prompt her to want to use it more too. My son still gets really excited when he uses the potty because of clapping and high fives. Don't worry though, she will eventually ditch the diapers :)



answers from Portland on

My daughter is 30 months old and is just now consistantly using the potty during the day with no accidents. We never really potty trained her we would just ask if she wanted to use the potty and if she said yes we put her on it. Most of the time she didn't go but rather just sat there. We kept talking about the potty and what it's for and eventually she just got it and starting telling us she needed to go. I was just talking to my husband yesterday about how easy it was with her because we never really went through "potty training". It was not this way with my son who we started way too early and expected too much.



answers from Portland on

Kids train themselves when ready. If you try to train to early you only defeat yourselves. She will probably wear diapers for maybe another 4 to 6 months (maybe longer) and then potty train easily. Relax and do it at her speed.




answers from Seattle on

I can't see the other answers as I write this, but right off the bat it appears to me that she just isn't ready. 25 months is young to begin potty training. Wait a few months and try again, otherwise you're likely to get frustrated and it just becomes a power struggle. Good luck!

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