Potty Training a Three Year Old

My daughter will be three on June 9th and she's not potty trained yet. She has peed a couple times and then that was it. Now she says she's scared of it; now what do I do?

By Kristi from Birdsboro, PA

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May 25, 20110 found this helpful

She needs a potty chair. If you are using the big toilet, imagine what it looks like to a 3 year old, she is probably afraid of being swallowed up in it (and indeed, kids can and do drown in them). Make the training relaxed but be firm. You take her in there frequently whether she needs to go or not (frankly, I'd say about every 30 minutes or an hour). You don't punish, act ugly or make her stay on the potty overly long. You don't in any way want to make the experience unpleasant. You act all goofy happy when she does succeed. You may even give her a small treat (not necessarily food, but something fun.) Praise her wildly. Do be extremely consistent about taking her, whether it is convenient or "fun" for you or not (it is not fun). This is just one of those parts of parenting where you must concentrate and hold steady. If she goes "after the fact" (after she has left the bathroom) she is "getting it" but not any too fast, her timing is still off (this is a typical). She probably will still wet the bed at night and prepare for that with plastic covers and a minimum of bedding. She will still have accidents now and then and prepare for that with an extra set of clothes and wipies with you at all times. (Even up to 6 or 7 they occasionally still have an accident.) Anyway, girls train fairly fast, be patient and keep at it. Stop the daytime diapers except if you go somewhere where it would just be completely intolerable for her to wet her pants, such as a wedding). Hope all of this helps.

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May 25, 20110 found this helpful

This is normal. I say to forget the idea of training for a while. She will learn when she is ready, trust me! Just encourage her and she will learn quickly as soon as SHE is ready. There is really no rush, we all learn eventually lol. One thing I did to make it a little "fun" for my kids was to put a few drops of food coloring in the potty. That way when they went, they color would change. My kid's were scared to death of there plastic potty chair. We bought a "Cushy Tushy" for the regular toilet and that is when they wanted to learn. Best wishes!

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May 26, 20110 found this helpful

My grandson was almost 4 before he was even interested in going potty. Don't worry about it, she will go when she is ready. Just make sure you keep the potty chair in the bathroom and take her with you when you go. "I know, no privacy" but this will help her understand what happens.

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May 26, 20110 found this helpful

Back off the training for a couple of months as the previous poster said. I am a teacher and have never seen a child in diapers in kindergarten unless he or she is special needs!

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May 26, 20110 found this helpful

Everyone is right she'll go when she's ready. I have 2 girls and when they were learning I would turn the water on in the sink and pour a little water down the front ot them to help coax them a little. My oldest one caught on real quick, my youngest one thought the water was fun and kept asking for" more mama more". She took a little longer but she caught on eventually.

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May 27, 20110 found this helpful

I always started the potty training when the weather warms up and they can wear only training pants. Dont be concerned about her age. I started my daughter in the summer before she turned 4. I have trained several little ones and i have found that the closer they are to 4 the easier it is. One of my children would absolutely not do #2 in the potty. I had to put on a diaper. She eventually got over her fear. It is really easier on everyone to try when the weather warms up.

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May 27, 20110 found this helpful

I wouldn't worry about it too much if she's only turning 3. Rather than put yourself (& her) through the stress, just let her be ready for it and it will happen before too long on its own.

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May 27, 20110 found this helpful

At not even quite 3, I don't think you need to worry. The right time will come along. It will be less stressful for you (& her) if you just back off a while. My daughter daytime trained at 4 and still needed a pull up at night till she was 9. My son is special needs so he trained very late and still needs protection at night and he just turned 11! It will happen and I'll ya, trying to train kids when they aren't ready physically or mentally can be way too challenging.

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August 13, 20110 found this helpful

Relax. She'll get there when she's ready. Her own potty chair can make her feel more comfy, you might try that.

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