Ask Our Experts

Got Questions? We've got answers from experts and parents who've been there.

How can I potty train my less than willing two year old?

My two year old girl (who will soon will be three) does not like potty training. She has done pee pee a few times but after that just won't anymore. She cries when we try and put her on the potty and I've also taken her to the bathroom with me so that she can watch me do it. We've also tried bribes and its just not working. We don't know what else to do!

Submitted by angel_eyes1473

At this point, I'd suggest you back off a bit (as best you can!). You don't want your daughter's potty training to turn into a power struggle; as she resists you up the ante of the conflict. I'd stop offering reminders about the potty. You want to follow your daughter's cues and lead. You want her to think that potty training was all her idea. But support her and set her up for success. Have a potty she can get to all on her own (that she doesn't need help or a stool to reach). Have a stack of underwear as well as a stack of diapers/training pants avail and let HER chose which she would like to wear. Keep up the conversations and great modeling (talk about going pee and let her observe). But don't force or push her into the bathroom or place her on the toilet if it is isn't her idea. Eventually (really---sometime before college, I promise) she will explore potty training all on her own. When it's her idea and her time, and the right day for her, she will start down the road. As hard as it is, the most important thing you can do is let her lead the way. Good luck!

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

Community Answers7

Answer this Question
X
Enter an Answer to this Question

Tips
500 characters left


My daughter was potty trained two months after turning 2yrs old. The key was talking to her about it. I let her choose the potty she wanted to use. I turned potty training into a game. When returning home from an outing, I'd rush to the door and say, "I have to pee pee". She'd laugh and mimic me. So, we'd both be on the potty at the same time. She did get rewards for doing it on her own. She hasn't had any accidents at night so far; it may be because I have her use the potty an hour before bed.
Submitted by eciane
My daughter was potty trained two months after turning 2yrs old. The key was talking to her about it. I let her choose the potty she wanted to use. I turned potty training into a game. When returning home from an outing, I'd rush to the door and say, "I have to pee pee". She'd laugh and mimic me. So, we'd both be on the potty at the same time. She did get rewards for doing it on her own. She hasn't had any accidents at night so far; it may be because I have her use the potty an hour before bed.
Submitted by eciane
My daughter was potty trained two months after turning 2yrs old. The key was talking to her about it. I let her choose the potty she wanted to use. I turned potty training into a game. When returning home from an outing, I'd rush to the door and say, "I have to pee pee". She'd laugh and mimic me. So, we'd both be on the potty at the same time. She did get rewards for doing it on her own. She hasn't had any accidents at night so far; it may be because I have her use the potty an hour before bed.
Submitted by eciane
You all make it so complicated. It isn't...here is the trick: Watch the clock. After a water type beverage, its usually 30 minutes to "potty time", after a milk type everage, its usually 90 minutes. Just go to the bathroom with the child a few minutes before time, you take a magazine and sit down on the toilet. Give the child reading material of some sort and sit them down on their potty...The child will copy what they see you doing. Sing or hum, talk to the child about "fun" things...Won't take long, just a few minutes, they will get the idea. Grandma Joann
Submitted by jbrogers30
Honestly, you don't! When she is ready she will do it. My daughter knew when she was wet or dirty from 18 months old. We put her on her little potty and she wasn't interested. There were a few times she would go and then she would get bored of it and wouldn't for a few months she was stubborn and the more we pushed the more stubborn she was. When she is ready she will do it at her own time even if she is 3 or 3 1/2 . My daughter was potty trained before her 3rd birthday now no accidents!
Submitted by amandaallen8
I started my son potty training at 20 months by the time he turned two he would do it but was not consistent so i made a potty bag it was a really cool birthday sparkly bag filled with all kinds of treats and toys ( from the dollar store) i made him excited about the Suprise in the bag so everytime he went potty he got to close his eyes and reach in for a suprise he loved it and it only took a week
Submitted by glennsmyth526
I have a 3 year old daughter. When she was 2, potty training was impossible for her. She never wanted to sit on the potty. Everytime I tried, she resisted even more. A friend suggested that I read stories about it. Showing her photos of children with happy faces while on the potty was successful. Just a week of reading to her, i found her sitting on it and doing exactly what she was suppose to do with it.
Submitted by alieluna