My 2 and a Half Year Old Has No Interest in Potty Training

Updated on January 07, 2007
K.W. asks from Castle Hayne, NC
14 answers

My 2 and a half year old...has no interest in the potty...I've tried everything..pull ups, potty seats, asking her every 5 minutes if she has to go to the bathroom, putting "Big Girl" panties on her...etc...nothing seems to work...her older sister didn't have any problems being potty trained...but still has accidents when she's sleeping...does anyone have any suggestions for me?

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answers from Spartanburg on

Hi K.,

I think that each child is difference and they will potty train when they are ready. We first tried to potty train my son at 2 and he did it for a while and was then disinterested so rather then drive myself nuts we just waited until he was three. On his third birthday we tried again and it worked in a weekend. He has never had any problems with accidents so I think that if you wait just a little bit longer then things will be easier on you and her. Don't sweat the small stuff, she will potty train when she is ready!!


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answers from Providence on


I have 2 boys, ages 5 and 6. When I told my pediatrician of my concerns about it, he told me "You need to relax, he is not going to go to Kindergarten wearing a diaper - he will do it when he is good and ready. Don't rush him!"

Lo and behold, as soon as I eased up about it, they both eventually trained with maybe 2 nighttime accidents in over 2 years. They were both trained by 3 1/2 and 4.

My advice to you is your child will train when they are good an ready to.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Florence on

We must remember that all children are different...and they learn differently from each other. I noticed that you said you older daughter had no problem being potty trained. This is a different child...and she has a totally mind set from your other daughter. She will learn when it is time for her to learn. I know what you are going through.. because my son ia a little over two and a half... and he has just learned... whereas my nephew learned when he was 18 mos. Just relax.. don't get so bent out of shape. She will learn when it's that time. I promise you she will. God bless you.



answers from Raleigh on

K., don't worry so much! In the scheme of things in life, this is not a major problem; I see so many Moms like you who worry about potty training or weaning from bottles or taking away the pacifiers......she's only a little over 2.....some kids need more time....and maybe this has become a power struggle.....Let go of the rope! Have you ever seen a child in elementary school wearing diapers?! Let it be and she'll do it! Just ignore the potty stuff, but lavish the praise when she does do it!



answers from Greenville on

Try peer pressure... when a friend's child uses the potty act really impressed and excited. I'm going to buy the Elmo DVD as well so my son sees his beloved Elmo pottying.

Also, they say not to put too much pressure on, just focussing on it too much can cause the toddler performance anxiety and/or stubborn refusals.



answers from Charlotte on

Hi K.,

Like some of the others said, every child is different. My older son was going on the potty sometimes and not others. I talked to him about it when he was about 3 1/2. He said, "I know how, I just don't want to." Before his 4th birthday, I told him that I would cancel his party if he didn't use the potty all the time. He told me to throw away all the pull ups and he was done. It's been over a year with 1 accident. My second son, potty trained easily at 3. He also demanded that I take the training wheels off his bike at 3 1/2. Go figure!!

My mother-in-law suggested that I take away the diapers and let him wet his pants, I asked why I would want my house to smell like a litter box!!

Good luck and be patient.



answers from Charlotte on

Try not to compare the children to each other. They are their own individuals. I've always heard wait until your child is ready. Do you see them squating or hiding when their using the bathroom if so you know it's time to start. They may be very slow at training, it may take even up to a year. With my daughter we felt she was ready so we started her and it was just to hard on everybody so we waited 6 months and tried again and this time it took. I was just at the playground the other day and a lady said her son is 4 years old and still not potty trained, and come to find out it's not unusual. So don't sweat it, it's all in due time.

As for the older child at night try not to give anything to eat or drink for 2 hrs in advance if that still doesn't work try 3 hrs in advance, give this method a try for atleast 5 months b/f giving up on it. Then if thats not working see your pediatrician and ask their advice.



answers from Raleigh on

my daughter will be 3 in a week and the only thing she will do is go number 2 in the potty.... so I am a little confused because with my other 3 kids going number 2 was the hardest part! so I guess you are all right.. all kids are different! Good luck K.!



answers from Jacksonville on

this may sound awful but if you have tried everything then try this take all the diapers and pull ups away except at bedtime. leave her in underwear and let her go to the bathroom in that like a diaper she will eventually get the ideal thet if she doesnt want to mess hersel and constantly get her clothes changed she has to use the potty. i have not tried this but a girlfriend of mine did this to both of her kids and they were potty trained within a week to me it sounds mean to do but if i had tried everything i might consider trying it if i were desperate. good luck



answers from Charlotte on


You might want to try taking her to the bathroom when you go (I know it sounds odd but when she sees you she might get more interested)and tell her that this is what big girls do. It might take a while to get her used to the idea but my daughter is 4 (5 on Jan. 21) and I took her to the bathroom with me all the time when she was little and she was potty trained at 2 and a half. It might work.



answers from Charleston on

its not something to rush they go at there own time. not every child is potty training at the same time. but once they are ready it takes like a week at the most. but it sounds to me like you have done alot to try maybe possibly if she sees her sister go or another kid her age she would understand.



answers from Goldsboro on

I only have one child. He is 2-1/2 as well. I am no expert nor is he potty trained completely. BUT one thing that helped us is that he loves him some fruit snacks. So, I went to Sams Club and bought a huge box of Happy Feet fruit snacks and he doesn't get one unless he goes in the potty. I keep them in plain sight and he asks for them all of the time. I feel bad because its almost like teasing him, but it makes him go. As he sits on the potty, he asks for fruit snacks. That, my friend has helped me tremendously!



answers from Jacksonville on

When i was having trouble getting my 2 year old to potty train, I found a potty training kit, with stickers and a chart, and a book. It was free from Charmin ( After getting to actually see what he had to do (i.e. pull down his pants, sit on the potty, use toilet paper, flush the potty, and wash hands) then he had a blast. After every trip he got to put the right stickers in the right place on the chart as long as he got it all right. He was really excited to use the potty after that. I noticed that he learned better with the visualization chart. Actually seeing what came next helped him. Maybe your daughter woud benefit from the same type of approach. I don't know if Charmin is still giving these kits out, but there would be no reason you couldn't make a chart for her. Make it special for her, and let her know how proud you are when she does it. Never let her see your frustration, just keep encouraging's not something that's going to happen over night! Good luck!



answers from Greensboro on

Wow! I felt like I was the only Mother with a child that had no interest in the potty for a long time! My now 3 year old is potty trained now, but whew... It was hard to get there! My first son was fully potty trained at 2 1/2 years old, so I thought I was doing something wrong with my second son when he showed no interest in the potty at 2 1/2 year old. I just gave up with big boy undies and put him in feel and learn pull-ups during the day. It was way less messy with less laundry for me! I took him to the $1.00 store and let him pick lots of toys (candy works too) and we came home and put them in a clear box with a snap lid on it on the back of the toilet. I told him he could have one of the toys after he went on the potty. He threw a fit for the toys now, but I stood strong and didn't let him have them. This worked for us and I got the idea from a friend of mine who it worked for too.

I have also heard of people getting a doll that teetees and having the child teach the doll how to go on the potty while having a tea party with LOTS of juice drink in the doll and the child!! I saw this on Dr. Phill. You may be able to look it up on his web page. How to potty train a child in one day was the title of the show.

Hope something works for you two soon! Good luck!

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