POTTY TRAINING For 3 Yr Old

Updated on September 18, 2006
A.S. asks from Franklin, WI
17 answers

My daughter JUST turned 3 and we have tried for over 6 months to potty train. There are some days that she is so into it and others, she could care less. We are going to Disney World in 5 weeks and would LOVE not to have accidents or pullups with us if necessary. We have tried the rewarding by charting (star stickers for every time she goes-gets a prize after so many)...she has been around many potty going children, goes on her own once in a while....we just don't know what to do anymore.

What can I do next?

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M.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter liked to blow out candles. So what we would do is if she had to go to the bathroom I would light a candle while she was going to the bathroom. Then when she was done she could blow it out. It was something she looked forward to and it only took us about 2 weeks to train her. We still have problems at night but that is another thing.

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S.B.

answers from Wausau on

A.,

I have a couple of really informative hand outs about potty training Please e-mail me directly and I will be glad to send them to you. I can't attach them here or I would send them to you now. My e-mail address is [email protected]____.com

A little about me
I am a certified birth Doula through both CAPPA and DONA
Mother of 3 adult children
Grandmother of 3 Granddaughters

Blessings To you
S. Blevons - CD (DONA), CLD (CAPPA)
Fond Du Lac Co. WI.
www.lhdoula-service.com.

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M.R.

answers from Milwaukee on

My daughter started potty training at 2 and finished at 3 1/2. I wanted her ready at 2 she wasn't ready until 3 1/2. We tried the sticker rewards alos. Our biggest problem is she just wasn't completely ready. The day she told me no more pull ups, I knew she was fully ready. We've had some accidents but very far and few between. I think you may just have to wait until she is ready.

Good luck!

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M.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

A good thing to try is a treat. IF she goes potty give her a couple M&M or her favorite candies. After this works for a while you can go to stickers again. Hope this works for you.

M.

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M.

answers from Minneapolis on

My son is 3 yrs 3 mo and we are still working with this. When we leave his pants & diaper off, he runs right to the bathroom when he has to go, but when he has pull-ups or a diaper on, doesn't bother. We've even tried bribing with a M&M when he uses the toilet, telling him if he uses the toilet when he has pants on he gets 5 M&Ms. (You'll know how desperate we are when I tell you this child had no sweets or chocolate before his 3rd birthday.) Everyone we've talked to, including his preschool teachers and pediatrician, say it will happen when he's ready and we can't rush it. So, at this point we've just resigned ourselves to waiting. I'm not sure that's helpful for you, but at least it seems that there's nothing to worry about . . .

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L.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi A.,
What we did with our twins was the "potty timer." We would have them in shirts, nothing on the bottom and set the kitchen timer for 15-20 minutes. Each time the timer went off, we would head for the potty. We would increase the time if they actually went potty to 45 minutes. They thought it was fun and we only did it for 2 days and then they were ready to go on their own. We had books stocked in the bathroom so they would have something to look at. Good Luck!

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M.A.

answers from St. Cloud on

I am sure that can be very frustrating! I have heard that children go at there own rates, some aren't bothered in the least by dirty pants. I know my sister had trouble training my niece and then one day she just started going on her own. She was three as well. When I worked in home health I took care of a boy with autism, we had to take him every half hour, and then reward him when he went, I am sure that is a little drastic, and I am sure she will go on her own soon. Just stay possitive!

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A.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi,
Honestly, we went through the same thing with my now 4 year old. I had noticed that she actually wasn't having any accidents while we were out and only at home. I also knew she was only wearing pullups as a control of her own. So, one day when I knew we would be out most of the day I just insisted on underwear and away we went. We stopped at a bathroom every hour and tried to go made a big deal of it when she did. She also loved having her older sister take her. For the first few days I just made sure to remind her to try often, let her think it was her own idea and she's been dry ever since. Honestly the only accidents since were in the bathroom at home when she couldn't get her pants down on time. The one note I must make though is that my kids were both dry all night prior to during the day so, I knew the control was there. Good luck... remember they are all different and do it on their own terms though.

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T.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

If you are using Pull-Ups try using regular training pants, yep, the cloth ones. Wal-Mart doesn't carry them but Target does and they come in just plain white or nice colored ones also. They are thicker than regular underwear. They also have decent plastic ones so the mess isn't quite so big. And while you're at it stop by the cleaners and pick yourself up a bottle of Resolve to help clean the carpets for the occasional accidents. Pull-Ups are too much like diapers and it doesn't bother the kids to be wet. I have 2 little boys that are 3 & 5 (both Autistic) and we are still trying to potty train them with the help of both teams of teachers we have for them. All the teachers we have also said that regular training pants work faster, usually, than Pull-Ups do because there's not that much difference with the Pull-Ups. Yes, it's a lot of work, but it's one way to stay caught up on the laundry. (-: Gotta look for the positives. Hang in there!!

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J.

answers from Appleton on

i had a very simialr situation earlier this year. My daughter turned 3 while we were in Disney world. For weeks before hand i kept telling her who proud Belle (her favorite princess) and Mickey would be if she didn't potty her pants. She would have days where she would go on the potty all day and the next day would have accident(s). i was very frustrated and worried about our trip... well the Princess and Mickey stuff must have worked because not only did she wear underwear the whole time, but she didn't have one accident! I also promised and gave her a special Belle doll for being such a good girl on the trip.
Good luck, i hope you have a similar experience!

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B.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

I told my almost 3yr.old she couldn't go to preschool if she wasn't potty trained. She also go very competative with 2 other children at daycare at the same time about using the potty to the point they were fighting over who got to use the potty first. That's what worked for me. It wasn't that she wasn't old enough it was a mental challenge. She very well knew how to go. Maybe try reverse psychology. My daughter's now 5 and I still think that was the hardest thing I've had to go through parenting. Potty training is so stressful and hard on the parents and hard on the child because they are in complete control and they know it. Good luck!

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G.S.

answers from Milwaukee on

Find the things that she loves to do...or have, something specific and talk about how big girls get to do those things and have those things....Talk about it all the time. Big girls get to watch her favorite movie, big girls get to have a popsicle after lunch etc. (know what I mean) Also talk about how big girls go on the potty and if she doesn't --she doesn't get to do or have BIG GIRL things. Don't blink an eye when she has an accident. The more negative attention (or even being overly nice about it) you put on it nonetheless is attention drawn to her and some children will take attention any way they can get it. Then when you do something special with her talk about how much of a big girl she is. Also, give her praise of course when she go...but not alot-just a pinch...you don't want to over do it because then she will always expect it.
Good luck

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J.S.

answers from Wausau on

Hi, my daughter started showing an interest at a very young age, (about 14 months) I let her sit when she wanted, but I never pushed the issue. Then at about 18-20 months she started crying and carrying on every time she messed her pull-up. So at 25 months I borrowed a book from the library called "Toilet training in less than a day" by Nathan Azrin and Richard Foxx. I thought it would be a bunch of nonsense, but I read it anyway. I liked it so much and believed it would work, maybe not in a day, but it did make sense, so I bought it. The next day we tried it, it's like a potty training boot camp. My daughter is so incredibly strong willed I was hesitiant about whether or not she would actually cooperate. With so many treats and rewards-just for that day though-she did really well. She went on the potty 4 times and had 4 accidents that day. The next day we went a little backwards. I was ready to give up, but we kept her in panties anyway. The following day she only had a couple accidents. We started on a Monday, and by that Thursday night she began a dry streak that lasted until Sunday afternoon. It's been four full months now and since that first week I can count the number of accidents on two hands. She was wet most nights before we trained, and now this is her first full week in panties over night. Her pull-up stayed dry most nights since we started, but there were still a few wet mornings. The main idea of this book is to teach them to teach a doll that wets how to use the potty. After they've taught the doll, it's time to start with them. They are allowed and encouraged as much to eat and drink as possible on the day of the boot camp, so make there more chances to have to use the potty. After they go on the potty chair it is there "responsibility" to dump the contents into the toilet, flush and resplace the bowl, wash their hands, and pull up and down their pants. When they have an accident it is also their "responsibility" to clean up the accident and to practice going from wherever they had the accident to the potty chair, pull down their pants sit down, stand up and pull their pants back up. It gives them a chance to really get used to getting to the potty in a hurry. I know this sounds harsh, but my daughter thought it was more of a game than anything. And after the results I've had, I would (and have) recommendit to anyone. I do home day care and I offered the book to one of my moms. Her daughter was in a diaper on a friday, and when she came on the following monday, she was in panties, and to this day has had one accident at my house. Anyway, sorry this is so lengthy good luck with the "Adventures in potty training."

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J.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

This might sound bad but if I were you I would just keep doing what your doing until after the trip to Disney World. It's a big place with long lines and the last thing you want her doing is peeing herself and having that mess. Especially if it's on a ride or in her stroller or something. You'll have a lot more fun and less stress if you don't have to worry about where the nearest potty is at all times. Not to mention on the airplane if you are flying.
Enjoy your vacation!
J.

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P.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter (almost 3)has been wearing underwear for about 6 mo's. She has good days, and bad ones. For a while, she was having such regular accidents (3-4 per day) that we were considering going back to pull-ups. What we did was increase the number of times we tried pottying. Every hour, we'd get her on the potty, even if she was mad about it. We entertained her as much as possible to make it less stressful, but sometimes, it was a bit of a fight to get her to cooperate. I have a trick also for getting girls to go potty when they don't think they have to, and that helped us alot. But, we would explain that we have to try because we didn't want her to have an accident. After the 'Too Many' trips to the potty, she was able to start telling us when she had to go, rather than us telling her. We basically gave her Toilet Overdose. I think that helped her to recognize when she had to go, so that she didn't have to make senseless trips to the toilet. We did that for about 2 wks and all is good now, but we do most of the reminding still. My trick for getting a little girl to go potty is...while they're on the potty, take a glass of luke-warm water and pour it very slowly over the front of her stomach, right below her belly button and down to her vagina and into the toilet. I guarantee - if there's potty to be had, this will let it out everytime. (Sometimes, it's 2 glasses) If she doesn't go after that trick...then she doesn't have any liquids to pee out. And, my daughter likes it...she says it tickles. Good luck.

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G.G.

answers from Milwaukee on

A.,
I have a son who turned 3 in April. We went through the same experience. We had been trying to get him potty trained since Thanksgiving. We went through much of the same things you describe - same days he was really into using the potty and other days he didn't care at all. We had special charcater underware that we thought he would like, but that didn't seem to help. And we too tried rewards of various kinds with not much success. However, one day in early May he was really into Bob the Builder. So I said if you are ready to go potty in the toilet ALL the time we can go buy you some Bob the Builder undies. But you have to go in the toilet ALL the time! He said let's go buy them now. So we did. Over the next few days he had some accidents, but he was determined that he was going to wear his Bob the Builder undies. The first couple of days we were taking him to the bathroom every half an hour or so, but after a few days going to the bathroom was just part of his routine.

I think the trick is to find something that will really motive your daughter. Perhaps that is the trip to Disney itself. If she likes Mickey Mouse maybe you could try to use that to some advantage.

Best of Luck

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S.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

I trained my first at 2.5. The stickers and candy didn't work. I was determined and when we ran out of regular diapers we switched to cloth trainng pants. We had 3 days of mild accidents and then trained. We would sit on the potty every 2 hours and praise her for trying. I agree that cloth works a lot better than pull-ups. We did not go anywhere for those three days so not to confuse her with switching to pull-ups. It takes a lot of determination on your part to help her succeed.

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