Your Trickiest Potty Training Problems and Solutions

We asked you (our readers) to share the most common potty training problems and solutions you've encountered.

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7 Potty Training Tips

Kate Powers

7 Potty Training Tips

Parents often face the toughest challenges when helping their kids reach potty training success. It's no wonder that potty training tips and solutions come in handy. We asked about the trickiest potty training predicaments you've faced (getting kids to stay on the toilet) plus your tips for handling them (setting a timer). We selected seven of the best answers to help you!

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Make the Potty Appealing

Kaysh Shinn

Make the Potty Appealing

My daughter just turned 3 years old. She had been waking up dry for months but had no interest in going on the potty. We did what a pediatrician recommended and told her to do the opposite of what we wanted. "We love diapers! You don't want to use the potty like a big girl!" She always responded that she did want to use the potty. Finally, she sat on the potty a few times without going. In discussing the potty one day she said, "My pee won't come out." I finally realized that she thought sitting on the potty didn't work. So the week before her birthday, we sat her on the potty as soon as she got up and before she went in her diaper. She went in the potty and has had no accidents since then. We went straight to panties and skipped Pull-Ups. I'd recommend telling a toddler the opposite of what you want, since they naturally tend to do the opposite anyway, and talk with your toddler about what scares her. - Gina Cinotto Burrell

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Skip the Pull-Ups Phase

Greg Scheidemann

Skip the Pull-Ups Phase

The Pull-Ups situation was my biggest problem. My son's pediatrician said my son had accidents when wearing Pull-Ups because he felt they were no different from a diaper; the only difference with Pull-Ups was that he didn't have to lie down to get them on. This turned out to be true -- when I quit using Pull- Ups and put big-boy underwear on him, he started using the potty almost instantly. - Amy Wilson

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Potty Training for Day and Night

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Start an End-of-Diaper Countdown

Fancy Photography/Veer

Start an End-of-Diaper Countdown

When your daughter is 7 years old and still pooping in her pants, it can be really difficult. I think our daughter's situation was a result of her biological parents separating before she turned 3 years old. I married her dad and we had a new baby. We then moved to another state away from her mom and her dad's often deployed overseas with the army. Her doctors have said it's a control thing. Since she can't control her dad or mom being with her, or our family's situation, she controls what she can, like using the bathroom. Finally, I told her that I wasn't going to tolerate dirty pants or diapers anymore, and I asked what it would take to get her to use the toilet. She said she'd use the potty when she ran out of diapers. We did a countdown and she was calm until the end, when we ran out. When she was on the toilet after using her last diaper, she demanded I get her more. I told her, "That's it. No more. It's big-girl pants or nothing." She got really upset and cried, but we haven't had an accident since. - Ashley McFadden

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Make a Game of Potty vs. Toilet

Denis Horan

Make a Game of Potty vs. Toilet

We set a timer, starting at every 30 minutes and increasing as we have success. When the timer goes off, my daughter says, "Potty time." She feels she has control and we make a game of choosing which potty to sit on (toilet or potty chair). Each time, she gets excited to show me which potty she chooses. This has worked well. I get what I want (her sitting on the potty) and she has control over her choice of potty. We've also been using big-girl panties. So far we've had very few accidents. - Jessica R. Guerra

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Aim at Cereal in the Toilet Bowl

Bryan McCay

Aim at Cereal in the Toilet Bowl

A trick to get your little guy to stand up when using the potty is to put a few Cheerios in the potty and tell him to sink them. For us, it was a game, and timing was key. We tried potty training our son at 2 years old, but his schoolteacher said he wasn't ready, so we stopped. We started again at 21/2 years old (after he started wearing shorts and underwear but no Pull-Ups). He was fully trained for the daytime in two weeks. - Jennifer Hollis Popp

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Buy a Duplicate Potty and Plastic Bags

Jason Todd

Buy a Duplicate Potty and Plastic Bags

Since we often have to go potty in the middle of nowhere (it happens a lot where I'm from), we got a duplicate of our home potty training seat and put disposable bags in it for the minivan. I haven't been caught in a pinch since. - Betsy Bailey

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Keep a Travel Potty in the Car

Alexandra Grablewski

Keep a Travel Potty in the Car

Everyone should keep a travel potty in the car. It's been a lifesaver for me. Also, be patient. You can't push your kids -- only nudge them in the right direction. You just have to wait until they're ready. They won't be in diapers forever. - Cathy Lee Sherlock

Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.

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