How do I potty train a very stubborn 2 year old? She refuses to use the potty.
By Tessa from Alberta, Canada
I trained my daughter in one day. I got the biggest bag of M and Ms sold at the time. I told her we were going to play a game. Every time she sat on the potty (no diaper of course) she would get a candy after one minute (no longer). We sat approximately every 10-15 minutes, and of course she went pee and eventually poop during the course of the day.
She got 2-3 (I forget) and lots of praise when she went. But that bag lasted pretty much until bedtime and since I tipped it upside down and she saw when it was all gone, she was okay when I said all gone, but she had gone potty several times that day. I put her diaper on at bedtime of course, but she had the idea and that was that. Offer meals as usual, but don't be surprised if she doesn't want much food and is a little hyper.
Give the entire day to the process; don't try to do anything else. If there is something you want to do as well, pick another day. Maybe even have dinner precooked. Don't be a grump, it's a game. If she doesn't like M and Ms pick a small candy (not a choking hazard size) she does like, but not a sour candy or she will have a sore mouth by end of day. It can be pieces of gummy bears. One gummy bear is too large.
Make sure she has lots of water that day, it will dilute the sugar in her system and she will certainly have success. I had told her it was just for that one day, and didn't mention anything about further potty issues. When she was done with the day, all I said was, and now you know how to go potty! She had few accidents after that and that was good enough for me. Didn't ask for candy the next day either. I think she'd had so much, it wasn't appealing, but the experience took.
For the woman with the son, make sure son has low type of potty, regular is too high. Also latest research says 27 months is perfect age to potty train boys.
That is the exact age my son was, when he trained. Just one day, he got it; hadn't thought of the candy thing. (03/22/2010)
First all kids are different and some are slower at getting things than others. But this worked on both my daughters. I bought 1 large box of diapers/pullups and told her that this is the last box I am able to buy and when this is gone she would just have to go to the bath room like mommy does because she is not a baby anymore. First couple days she told me when she had to go and I would put diaper on at night. Next 2 days no diaper in day time just at night. Next day no diapers at all day or night. I put plastic sheets on the bed. One did pee the bed the first night, but after that, potty all the way. She would even scold me when I was not fast enough to the potty when we were shopping. She would say "Mommy, I am a big girl and I have to use the big potty so hurry up." (03/22/2010)
With my youngest two I would sit a toy on the potty and pretend the toy was using the toilet. The more exaggerated the sounds and expressions, the bigger the laugh. They were keen to give it a go after that. Also, expect a few accidents to start with. (03/23/2010)
The whole potty thing is all about control. As long as you get upset over it, your daughter is in control. Relax!
As was previously noted, kids differ from each other. When your daughter is truly ready, she'll show a definite and unmistakable interest in your potty habits, so I hope you're not shy.
Let your daughter know the potty thing is a natural part of growing up, it's a "big girl" thing to do. That, and allowing my "trainees" the freedom of going bottomless in the beginning also seemed to help. Without the restriction of undies, they must've felt their natural urges more. They also didn't have to start out wrestling with unfamiliar garments. Of course, we didn't go out much when my kids were little, can you tell?
Since my youngest was in full-time daycare at training time, the sitter had more than one at that stage. Zack had a "potty buddy". They had side-by-side potty chairs, and had no problems enjoying a relaxing chat while "taking care of business". On the other hand, when my daughter started training her son, she had the convenience of Pull-ups. He loves stickers, so he got a new sticker for every dry day at first. As his skill improved, he progressed to stickers for a dry week.
Sorry if I rambled, hope this helps. (03/23/2010)
The new pull-ups and disposable diapers hinder this process, they don't feel it. If she is not interested I would put her into cloth diapers for a month or so (use the plastic covers) so that she can feel the wetness when she does go. If she is a big wetter you can line the inside with a cloth diaper liner, that will hold a little more wetness. Buy a pail and running a load every night will take the stress out of cloth diapers and training panties.
When you change her, comment on the wetness, or the smell, etc. Just so that she gets the idea that she is wet or smelly. Go buy some of the real ruffly girly panties or ones that has a favorite character on it and build it up about how special they are that she gets to wear them when her ugly panties or ugly diapers are dry for for a whole day. Put those panties where she can see them and comment regularly about how pretty they are or how cute, etc. Talk about the potty and ask if she wants to try it.
After a while of cloth diapers then move her to cloth training panties (or don't use the plastic cover if you need to save a little money), on a day when you will be home all day and let her feel it actually run down her leg. (I know, there will be a puddle), but after the first time race to the bathroom and sit her on her toilet and talk about the puddle and get her to help clean it up.
She might regress after a few weeks, but what you do is put her back in the "ugly" panties and tell her that her pretty panties don't like getting wet or stinky. At night I would keep her in cloth diapers this takes a little longer sometimes. My daughter and son both like their underwear to be "nice" even today and both are in their late 30's. No plain janes for either one of them. (03/24/2010)
Children learn at a different pace and potty train at different times also. I work in a daycare and they all get the hand of potty at different times. Some children take to it right away and others take longer. My daughter was almost 3 before she was potty trained. I would try it at least once a month and if she did not want to then I did not push it. Finally she was ready and it was a breeze. Neither one of my children ever wet the bed at night and I did not have pull ups.
Just don't push and rush her, I see so many parents rush their children through the bottle, diapers, food, and then say they grew up too fast. Let children be children while they have a chance. And no I am not saying let them stay on the bottle or a diaper until they are five, just don't rush your children. Once they start school they really grow and have lots of pressure on them! (04/02/2010)
By Teresa Kay
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