Need Potty Training Advice for Almost 3 Year Old — The Bump
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Need Potty Training Advice for Almost 3 Year Old

My daughter will be 3 in October, we have been trying to potty train for about a month and half.  During the day at home she wear undies and pullups during nap/nighttime and when we go out.  My issue is that she still will not tell me when she has to go, I just have to watch her and constantly put her on the potty every 1/2 hour. Sometimes she will hold both pee and poop until I put a pullup on for nap, then immediately goes in that.  It doesn't bother her when she wets her undies or even when she poops in them. She will just keep on playing or whatever. I had hoped to get her starter in preschool when she turns 3, but she has to be completely potty trained and in undies by then.

Any advice? I have tried stickers, M&M's...nothing really seems to motivate her. Help! 

Re: Need Potty Training Advice for Almost 3 Year Old

  • Does she have the vocabulary to tell you that she has to go? Maybe you've done this already, but I might practice saying "I have to go potty, Mommy!" with her, and give lots of praise.  If she has the muscle control to hold it, she is probably ready to be potty trained.  My only other suggestion besides stickers/candy is when we potty trained DD I went to the $1 section of Target and the dollar store and picked up some little toys and wrapped them. DD got an M&M for pee, and a present for poop.

  • Being physically ready is only half the battle.  They have to want to be clean and to use the potty.  She honestly doesn't sound ready.  I would back off for a month or so and then give it another go and follow her lead.  

    I don't really think the vocabulary is a huge issue.  At that age a "pee" or "poop" should be sufficient to tell you.  My DD trained with a speech disorder and had about 10 words.  It didn't affect her.  We used signs and pee and poop are pretty simple words to pick up with repetition.  

    I do not do rewards (candy, stickers) except we let DD pick out a gift at the store to celebrate after she had been mostly trained.  And we let her pick out underwear as well.  The problem with those type of rewards is that the excitement is very short lived for your LO and isn't worth it without actually wanting to be ready.

    Have you looked into other preschools that do not require your child to be potty trained at that age?
    blu-eyedwife[Deleted User][Deleted User]
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  • ShelbyCShelbyC
    Tenth Anniversary First Comment
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    edited August 2014
    Thanks for the advice. We are looking into another preschool that takes kids in pull-ups/diapers so we don't have to rush her. I was just curious to see if we were doing something wrong or there was other things we could try.  She does get excited when she goes on the potty, and she likes wearing the undies that she got to pick out...it's just getting her to tell us that she has to go that is the issue. 
    She did have a speech delay and worked with a speech therapist up until about 2 months ago, but she is able to communicate now and should be able to verbally tell us.

    She also is able to hold it for long periods of time, she is still not dry in the mornings tho and most naps she is still a little wet.

    Thanks again!
  • ashiscute said:
    Being physically ready is only half the battle.  They have to want to be clean and to use the potty.  She honestly doesn't sound ready.  I would back off for a month or so and then give it another go and follow her lead. 
    This.

    If I'm reading this correctly, she wears underwear whenever you're awake at home, right?  Have you thought about limiting underwear time?  When my son (who will be 3 in October too!) first started showing an interest in potty training, it was wanting to pee on the potty before bath.  He really wanted to wear underwear, so we'd put him in underwear for a short period of time between dinner and bath.  The short time frame meant he stayed dry the entire time, which is good positive reinforcement - you're setting her up for success.  Continuing to put her in underwear, while she continues to have accidents, and doesn't seem to mind, doesn't give her much incentive to stay dry.  (Plus it gives you a lot of laundry and probably frustration!)

    The only "reward" we did was underwear involved.  As in, he got to wear underwear, and we let him pick out new underwear himself.
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    ashiscute[Deleted User]
  • ashiscute said:
    Being physically ready is only half the battle.  They have to want to be clean and to use the potty.  She honestly doesn't sound ready.  I would back off for a month or so and then give it another go and follow her lead. 
    This.

    If I'm reading this correctly, she wears underwear whenever you're awake at home, right?  Have you thought about limiting underwear time?  When my son (who will be 3 in October too!) first started showing an interest in potty training, it was wanting to pee on the potty before bath.  He really wanted to wear underwear, so we'd put him in underwear for a short period of time between dinner and bath.  The short time frame meant he stayed dry the entire time, which is good positive reinforcement - you're setting her up for success.  Continuing to put her in underwear, while she continues to have accidents, and doesn't seem to mind, doesn't give her much incentive to stay dry.  (Plus it gives you a lot of laundry and probably frustration!)

    The only "reward" we did was underwear involved.  As in, he got to wear underwear, and we let him pick out new underwear himself.
    This is a great point.  DS is 23 mos and is very interested in the potty.  We have not started training but we are encouraging him.  If he pees or poops we will put him in underwear for a bit and make a big deal out of it.  We switch to a diaper before too long so as to decrease accidents.  
  • I think part of it is figuring out what motivates your kid.  My DD has always been, and still is, really affected by the distinction between "big girl" things and "baby" things.  The whole "diapers are for babies" argument worked like a frickin charm with her.  DH and I (or her grandparents) being proud of her is also really important to her, and so making a big deal about her telling us and using the potty also worked really well.  Meanwhile, when she did have accidents, the slightest hint of disappointment from us was also really affecting for her.  Just saying "Ohhhhh, T, really?  Why didn't you tell someone?" with a disappointing tone of voice mattered to her.  This stuff worked with my kid, but something else may work really well with yours.  Prizes work well for some and not others.  I think it matters that you determine what motivates them and use it.

    I've heard people say that having the LO be the one to clean up the accident mess, or at least have to help do it can be motivating.  I think this is the opposite with my DD.  Every now and then, she has mini accidents, like a little pee leaks out, but then she holds the rest until she gets to a toilet.  I thought I'd try having her clean it up, but I think that might have made it worse, because she loves to clean and to help so much that she gets excited and says "Mommy, can I rinse out my pee-pee undies?  Pleeeezeee?"  Gah.

    Good luck.  I hope that you're able to figure something out that works for you and your LO!
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  • We are having the same trouble.  Except that my DD won't poop in her pants, only pee.  After 5 weeks, I can't take cleaning up pee anymore.  I finally broke down and put her in a diaper today because I couldn't take it anymore, but I really don't want to put her back in diapers.  And 10 minutes after I put the diaper on, she told me she had to go to the potty (poop), and is currently on the toilet pooping.  It's like she figures if she pees, she can just get new panties.  Ugh.  I'm losing my mind.
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