I need help potty training my daughter who is 3. She is my only baby and I have not a clue! Thank you for your help.
By Mary from Dallas, TX
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The way I did it with mine (28, 25), may not be the current method, but here's what I did. Begin by taking them to the bathroom frequently, but doing nothing. Explain what to do. Show them what you do (keep your clothes on if you want). Talk about the potty, the changes which will happen, etc. Emphasize that this is "big girl" stuff she needs to start to do. Do that a couple of days. Then start taking her regularly and begin the undressing, potty-sitting training. Get a child's potty chair by the way, it's a lot easier. (Let her help you pick it out, that's a good way to get this started, also.)
The hard part of this is: you must take them a half to a dozen times a day, every day, 7 days a week until they begin to get it and you must not get frustrated or angry or scold the child ever. Eventually they will get it. They frequently will go to the rest room, and then wet after they leave it, which is just a part of the process. They are not trying to get back at you or drive you crazy...let them run around partly in "big girl underwear" (get the thicker trainer kind, in my opinion, more absorbent for small accidents), but do not make it hard on yourself by taking them out in public in them, go ahead with the trainer pants or diaper until they are completely trained. Otherwise, you will just give yourself unnecessary headaches.
Expect that there will be slip-ups even after they are trained (kids can do this even up to age 6 or 7). They may have accidents when they have waited too long to go, are tired, anxious, are not feeling well, etc. They may wet the bed even after they are day trained, so prepare for that by not infusing them with a lot of drinks or water late in the day and do not scold them for this. If they wet the bed, then just keep a plastic cover on the mattress and change the sheets, and factor that into away from home situations. Also (of course if this goes on a very long time you might want to talk with your doctor about it). Praise them excessively for all good efforts and results, but don't scold them EVER. Girls are easier to train than boys, in my experience. They seem to latch on it quicker. (I am from Dallas too, fellow Dallasite :).
Put her potty next to yours, demonstrate, and be as casual as you can about it. If you push her, she will probably just rebel. Just show her, encourage her, and then act as if nothing has happened if she does not. But when she does go on her own, that is such a big deal! Party time! My daughter was so stubborn and she was my first, I was afraid she would never learn. Finally she would pee in it, but no poopies, ugh. I finally just left her alone, pretended to forget all about it, forget my worries that she would be in kindergarten in diapers! I just let it go, and sure enough, a couple days later she did it on her own. Had to come show everyone in the house and we had company! yikes! But we got through it and she never even wet the bed after that. Same with my boy, I just let him be , and he found his own time and way, pressure free. He also never wet the bed. I always kept them as comfy as possible, the breathable cloth like pull ups, and then getting real big kids undies was a huge trip to the store to celebrate!
Good luck, she will learn this, she will be fine. Just show her and let her go!
The other moms are right, keep it positive, lots of praise for even sitting on the toilet. My daughter wanted to wear pretty panties. So I bought ruffled, pink, flowered underpants and told her when she didn't potty in her pants she could wear the new panties. Sometimes I think it's easier when there is an older sibling they can emulate. Some kids are just slower at this than others.
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