HELP! My 3 year old refuses to potty train!?

My 3 year old daughter does not want anything to do with the potty. We’ve always encouraged her but now we are giving her a little push because the encouragement hasn’t been helping. We told her on Sunday morning that she was a big girl and no longer needed diapers. We bought her lots of underwear and pull ups for at night. She was excited about this and kept saying No more diapers!
She’s used the potty ONCE in a three day period. She gets on the potty and sits there and nothing happens.
I’ve bought suckers to reward her but she hasn’t gotten a single one yet.
I’ve told her big girls don’t wear diapers and that if she doesn’t stop going in her pants, she’ll have to wear diapers again.
It’s so frustrating because I know she understands it, she just really doesn’t care one way or another.
I need some advice!

Children usually begin to potty train around 2 1/2 – 3 years old. It’s not a bad idea to start having her sit on the potty for a few seconds or minutes (whatever she’ll accept) before bedtime, as a nightly ritual to start getting her used to the idea of a potty, even though she won’t know what it’s for yet. She may even have a little tinkle now and then, but don’t get overly excited, it’s usually just random timing. Below are some specific suggestions and ideas for you to look into.

It can take a long while before a child is properly potty trained. A lot of the time the reasons for having trouble potty training has to do with the child and their temperment, consistent parenting strategies and a lack of patience from parents. Usually, it takes at least a few months of solid, consistent parenting and potty training for it to sink in and make a lasting change. Without a structured routine then it can take much longer, even over a year. When the time comes to begin actively potty training her, it’s important to think about how you want to approach potty training and to develop a plan. Decide when and how you want to start, what rewards, if any, you want to use, how to handle accidents, when to back off, and so on. At the same time, prepare to be flexible. There’s no way to know how your child will respond to potty training attempts or what techniques will work best. Keep in mind that as with most developmental milestones, success doesn’t necessarily happen in a linear fashion. Your child may make initial progress only to regress at one or more points along the way, which is also quite common. Discuss your plan with your child’s sitter or daycare provider, if you have one, because they’ll probably have plenty of experience and advice to share with you too. Once you’ve decided on a strategy, be sure you and everyone else who takes care of your child sticks to it the best they can.
Throughout potty training, your child should respond to positive reinforcement. Whenever she moves on to a new step or tries to use her potty without too much prompting (even when she doesn’t quite succeed), tell her she’s doing well and that you’re proud of her. Compliment her now and then on her dry underpants and/or diaper. But be careful not to go overboard: Too much praise might make her nervous and afraid to fail, which can lead to more accidents and setbacks. It’s likely your child will have numerous accidents before being completely potty-trained. Don’t get angry or punish her because that will only add to the problem: After all, it’s only at around 2 1/2 years old or so that her nervous system has matured enough for her to perceive the sensation of a full bladder or rectum and that her muscles have developed enough to allow her to &quot:hold it in.&quot: She’ll get the hang of the process in time. When she has an accident, calmly clean it up and suggest (sweetly) that next time she try using her potty instead.
Here are some specific tips that will hopefully be helpful for you when the time comes. As she progresses and you feel it’s time she work on potty training at night then start out by checking her diaper each morning. If she keeps them dry throughout the night for a week, then it’s time to move forward with nighttime potty training. Toddlers bladders are usually big enough to hold urine for 2-5 hours at a time and they should really START to know by now the feeling of waking up &quot:dry&quot:. Talk to her about it daily. Show your enthusiasm over the dry diaper and suggest she graduate into big girl sleeping panties (disposable training panties). Explain how she should try to stay dry and that she needs to go to the toilet to go potty at night. Limit liquids in the evening about 3 hours before bedtime and have her go to the bathroom right before she goes to bed. If you tend to stay up a couple hours or so after your child goes to bed, then you might want to wake her gently to go to the bathroom right before you go to bed. She might not fully wake up, but guide or carry her to the bathroom, set her on the toilet and suggest she goes potty. Another idea is to take your child to the bathroom each time you wake up to use the toilet. Modeling the behavior of using the potty over and over can really help speed things along. If you follow this consistently, then you should only have to do this for about the first couple weeks, until she gets used to getting up to use the toilet. If you find she does not need to go more often than not, then slowly stop waking her up as much. Praise her each time she goes in the toilet and/or stays clean and dry for a week, then try moving her into cotton training panties. Try lining the mattress with a waterproof mattress pad (easy to find). Keep an extra one handy for nighttime accidents. Encourage your child to wake up on her own when she has the urge to potty, but continue to wake her and bring her to the bathroom for as long as needed or until she has stopped going at night for at least a few weeks in a ro

Everything you are doing is fine already they all learn at different rates and she will get there. Try not to make it a power struggle because little girls can be stubborn my almost 3 year old is the same. If she senses you getting upset, frustrated or worried about potty training it will become an issue for her also. You could try a favourite story or song that while she is on the potty/toilet you two can read/sing together so it makes it fun to go and not her thinking the dreaded potty. (so long as you can cope with the constant trips to the potty so she can have her favourite story/song lol) Does she have a favourite doll who she could see on the potty let her think her ‘clever dolly’ done a poop it worked for my daughter she wanted to be just like her baby lottie. I also tried the charts and treat rewards but what really worked for my daughter was a penny for a pee and 2 pennies for a poop as she has a little till and shop and she would use her ‘peepee pennies’ as they became known in her shop and after a while got a new accessory to go into her shop from the big shop. It can be trial and error but you will find what suits your daughter and then one day the training will just be done.

She’s not ready. I know you are, but she’s not and potty training is a HUGE developmental step for kids.

If you really want to push this issue, who knows maybe there’s a situation where she absolutely has to be potty trained, this is what we did (except that he was ready to train so not sure if this will work as well for you)

We let him go pants-free for a week and put the little potty in the playroom. When he peed in the potty he got a hershey kiss. After a week, we moved the potty to the bathroom and explained that this is where we go pee and poop, and he started wearing sweat pants and learned to take them up and down when he had to go potty. After another week, we picked out underwear and practiced pulling his underwear then his pants up. We didn’t use pull ups, I thought they’d confuse him.

He still wears a diaper at night (not for a nap though), and for 2 months he would only poop in his diaper and for a few months refused the big potty. After nearly 6 months he’s potty trained (sans the night diaper), and has never had an accident in public and even pooped at the zoo yesterday. We talked alot about what pee and poop are (even bought books on the subject and would read it to him while he sat on the potty) so the event wasn’t a mystery. Dad was a huge help with the logistics, how to handle his urine direction (aka not spraying pee everywhere!) and modeling good hygeine like washing hands, elbow flushing, and pulling the door open with your shirt when in public.

We didn’t care when he figured it out, we didn’t care that he only pooped in a diaper for awhile, nor that he avoided the big potty for months. Now it’s hit or miss if he even goes for the reward of a hershey kiss when he goes potty. We knew eventually he would figure it out and enjoy being a big boy. But it was all on his terms, and in his time.

Good luck!

Honestly, I am going to be the buzz kill here. I wish I could help but I am going through the very same thing. my daughter is 3 (since April) and has been potty training since about 2. I am miserable and sooo over it. She knows how to use the potty and will almost 99% of the time IF you remind her. She has only gone about three total times all on her own in the past year. i have tried candy and prizes for using the potty, i have tried encouragement, I have tried telling her she is a big girl for using the potty and babies wear diapers and she doesn’t want to be a baby anymore – she always agrees, I have tried letting her pee and poop on herself and letting her see how gross it is – she keeps right on with what she is doing and isn’t phased by it until someone mentions she needs to clean up, then she agrees. I have done charts for when she goes potty, the daycare has been helping for over 6 months to get her potty trained. I have bought the books and movies about potty training, even got the one’s with Elmo since he is her favorite. I have done Pull-up’s during the day, only at night, only during naps at school….. EVERYTHING!


Some kids I think are destined to use the potty on THEIR schedule and not ours. Your daughter may just be as pig headed and stubborn as mine and may just start using it one day. I hope for my sanity and yours they do.

I’m sorry I couldn’t give any advice, but I just wanted you to know that you aren’t alone.

If I develop the magical potty training pill or if you find the answer… PLEASE tell me. lol

Good luck! : ) I know we’ll need it!

He was four and we had a problem similar to yours, only I thought it was little harder because he was a boy and wore pants not dresses which were physically are more cumbersome to remove. He didn’t succeed until we took our son to preschool Tiny Tots. All kids had to be potty trained to attend. We put training pants on him and he soon noticed that all other kids did not wear diapers. After that, no problem.

If she is anal retentive type personality, you’ll just have to be patient and wait until she agrees to do it. She is still young and rest assured, she’ll eventually realize that the other way is easier.

Stop putting diapers on her during the day and let her pee through her clothes. Yes, its messy and horribly annoying but she’ll absolutely hate it and want to stay dry.

i know this sounds gross but let her go in her diapers and show her how bad for the envirement they are by

Uh oh! Time for an a** whooping!

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