Trouble with Potty Training 3Yo Girl

Updated on November 10, 2009
J.W. asks from Lexington, SC
7 answers

Dear Moms,

So we have been "experimenting" with potty training since my daughter was 2yo. The past few months we have been very dedicated with this. We have tried training pants and panties, rewards and praise; but still not fully potty trained. I feel like she knows she needs to go to the big girl potty. But when she doesn't and we ask her why she says b/c she didn't want to. She will go a few days with no accidents, but that's it. I just feel like we've run out of options; and I desperately want her potty trained before her 4th bday in April. PLEASE HELP!!!

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answers from Macon on

We have been there, but with a boy and I feel your pain. The ONLY thing that worked for us and I only used it as a last resort because I thought it was kinda gross, was going without pants while at home. We stayed at home as much as possible for a few days and when we did venture out we wore underwear and pants (no Pullups). They don't want to wet on the floor and he didn't have any accidents. I figured there would be pee everywhere, but not at all. I had been told by my brother-in-law that this was how they trained their daughter and it worked. I totally got rid of Pullups, not even at night and he would ask for them when he needed to poop, but I didn't give in and eventually he would go. And, I quit asking him if he had to potty all the time as it seemed to frustrate him and he would just go on his own. The first time we went out somewhere we went to the library and I told him that if he wet his pants that we would have to go home right then no matter what we were doing. He did and we went home before he got any books and he was devastated, but never had another accident. It worked amazingly well and I wished I had tried it earlier. I was really surprised at how well it worked, but I shouldn't have been because I was praying really hard about it and God knew that I had really had it. Our son was about the same age as your daughter and our other children had trained much, much earlier. It was more of a control issue with this one, I think, he knew that it was something that we really wanted him to do and he was in control until he no longer had underpants. It's really kinda funny now when I look back on it, but at the time I was to the point of crying, I was so frustrated. Best wishes!

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answers from Atlanta on

Hi J.,
Another angle to consider is that if her tummy organs are not working right, the signals to her brain are not strong enough to alert her because she is getting too many signals that don't mean "gotta tee-tee". Milk intolerance sometimes can mix up the signaling. Try removing her milk products and putting her on rice milk based instead. Make sure she eats plenty of raw fruits and veggies and meat instead of pastas, cheese, yogurts, crackers. You may see a change quicker than you think. It will get the tummy working right so the signal to go is more alone. You could also aid it by adding a chewable digestive enzyme (Zyme Prime chewable is yummy) or cod liver oil. Best of luck, J.



answers from Savannah on

You just described my daughter when she was that age!!! She was just too busy to stop what she was doing to go and would rather pee in her pants!!! This is what I did with her-don't ask, tell. Tell her every 1 or 2 hrs to go and don't let her tell you no!! It will be a fight, but get her to understand that her toys will be there when she comes back. Put panties on her and leave them on her. Only put a pull up on OVER her panties if you are leaving the house. When she does pee herself, make her clean herself up and put her dirty clothes in the washer (help her wash them too if you'd like). I did that for about a week with mine and she finally got the hint and we went to maybe 1 accident a week and she was telling me when she needed to go potty!!

Stand your ground and let her learn how to control and listen to her body and not control the potty game!!




answers from Atlanta on

I am no expert but a mom of 26 yrs.

Your Sweetie Pie has you all worked up. She is CONTROLLING this cuz she knows how much you want it done.

Stop making her toileting your problem. make it hers. She has to change her clothes, wash out the nasty undies, NO PULLUPS! and change sheets.

I know this sounds harsh but it will get her trained and quickly.

My darling daughter (dd) was a lazy girl about toileting in the mornings because she had pullups. I stopped buying them and made her change sheets and wash them (she was 6yrsold) and BOY did that stop the bed wetting. DD may have had 6 more night accidents after that.

Totally make this your girl's problem. She comes and says, "Mom I wet my clothes." Say, "Oh? Well you are a big girl now, go take care of it and wash your undies." it will stop.

Have her a bucket to wash undies in. If a poopy accident. show her how to tend to that. and she washes OUT the undies there too.

This will work. but be CALM about it. Your girl's toileting is HER problem and not yours. You need to go to the store. wait until someone can watch her. Only BIG GIRLS can go to the store. or anywhere else. BABIES have to stay home.




answers from Atlanta on

J. I feel your pain. We want them to potty trained by a certain age, but we have to be realistic sometimes and relax. Just remember, she won't go to college in diapers.

My two older boys (they are almost 11 and 12yo) were so easy to train! They wore underwear day and night at 2 years 6 months exactly. They were trained within a week. After that, they told me when they needed to go. It was wonderful! Then my daughter came. She is currently 3 years 9 months and sounds like your daughter a bit. I have to take her to go, I have to ask her, I have to watch for her when she tries to go and hide. She will be 4 in February. But, I just have to keep saying to myself that it will be okay. There have been some days here lately where she will say, I have to go potty, but then she'll go potty in her pull-ups another time that day. I've finally come to terms that it will be okay. One day (and I have a friend whose daughter wore them at 8yo because she didn't care....her boys did fine) she'll wear underwear and go to the potty consistently.

My last child is a boy (thank heavens!). LOL. I'm hoping he'll be just as easy as his brothers were. (All of my children, including my daughter wake up around 18 months old with dry diapers, so the night time thing is no hassle for us.)

Mother of 4



answers from Atlanta on

i have yet to go through this stage, but a friend of mine was having trouble potty training her 3 year old girl. she decided to find what was the absolute favorite thing her daughter loved and buy her a big reward that would be a big motivation. her daughter loved to play dress up and loved disney princess movies, so she bought her 4 dresses, cinderella's, etc etc, and told her daughter each dress required a certain period of time without accidents. it worked, it was the right motivator for her, and i think she used a dress per week.
hope it helps, good luck.



answers from Atlanta on

What worked for me with one who was difficult was to make the child clean up the mess including washing the panties and whatever else got wet or poopy. Clean the floor, herself, etc. Did not take much. Gave no attention to the deed other than to say well, I guess you have a clean up job to do now. If you have to touch up the floor area do not let her see you do it. V.

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