|My daughter is nearly 3 and
she still refuses to use the potty. It’s been 2 months
now, and I am losing patience.
Potty training coincides with the exact developmental time
when a toddler is starting to establish individuality and
enjoying the power of saying no. And mom encounters what
she sees as a rebellion against potty training. Some toddlers
are also highly resistant to change and find the transition
from nappy to potty difficult.
It’s not easy for mom to continue exercising patience,
especially after you have changed what feels like the 5200th
nappy. But getting tough will get you nowhere fast either.
See if any of these ideas work.
1. “It’s your potty,
and you can use it if you want to.” And leave
the whole question of potty training for a month.
And then start the process all over again. Stop nagging,
don’t punish or shame. Don’t force her
to sit on the potty when she refuses, or force her
to stay sitting until she performs; this can lead
to straining and constipation. A parent reports: “My
daughter was 3 1/2 when we finally got her potty trained.
She wanted to wear panties, but not use the potty.
It was a lesson in frustration; nothing worked. Finally
I decided I was not going to make a fuss anymore.
'Your potty is ready for you whenever you want
it’. When she was wet I changed her without
comment. Three days later she started using the potty.”
2. Potty bedtime stories. There are excellent picture books for toddlers (try ““Once Upon a Potty” by Alona Frankel) about children learning to potty train and what fun it is to use a potty. There is also a “ “Once Upon a Potty" DVD with a delightful song which parents report is a great incentive. But remember to let the pictures do the talking. Don’t moralise after you have read the story. No pressure!
3. Wrap it up as a present, or go shopping with your toddler and allow him to choose his own one. Even better, allow him to personalise his potty with magic markers and let him carry it around or sit on it like a stool so he feels comfortable with it. Explain what the potty is for: “When you're ready, you poop and pee into the potty instead of in your nappy. We'll keep it here in the bathroom until you're ready to use it".
4. Get granny to help. “At
3 yrs 6 months my daughter still refused to use the
potty and, as a result, the local playschool refused
to have her. Then, after a weekend with granny, she
suddenly came back quite willing to use the potty.
When I asked my mother what was different, she told
me she had said to my daughter 'this house doesn’t
have any more nappies, so you will have to be a big
girl and use the potty'. And that was that."
5. Throw out the high tech nappies. "One of the best potty training tips I have heard from
a nurse is to start using ordinary nappies again when
you know your child is ready for potty training. Your
toddler will become uncomfortable when wet, which will
speed up potty training."
6. The last nappy.
“My son drove me crazy for months, using the
potty one day, then insisting on nappies the next.
Finally I told him at the supermarket that these were
the last nappies we were buying. And we went to buy
some training pants ready for when he was a big boy.
As we used up the pack of nappies, I reminded him
that when these were gone, there would be no more.
Celebration day… away with the nappies and into
training pants. We had a few accidents the first week
but we never looked back.”
There is an old joke that no child ever entered
university in nappies, and although it doesn’t feel
like it, you child will eventually make this transition.
Keep going, and good luck.