Toilet Training Take Two

As I have this week off I thought I’d have another go at potty training.  We tried a couple of months ago but didn’t have any luck.  I did loads of reading, completed online readiness tests and Madame showed most of the signs of being ready:

  • She’s 2 and a half
  • She can undress herself, which she has a habit of doing in public
  • She goes into the bathroom and closes the door or hides behind the curtains when she has a ‘poo’
  • She was familiar with the potty as we had it kicking around for awhile
  • She can go for a couple of hours with a dry nappy.

So, armed with loads of knickers, a mop and 1001 Spot Stain Remover we had a go.  My basic approach was to put her in knickers, wait for the first accident and go from there.  In hindsight that was a bit naïve.

Unfortunately, I didn’t anticipate she could be a camel when it comes to peeing.  She went 5 days without peeing during the day.  I started to worry about urinary tract infections, etc so I resorted to using chocolate buttons.  It did seem to help a bit and we carried on for two weeks but when there was no visible sign of any improvement, it was sheer luck when she went on the potty, we gave up.

I’m not a fan of Gina Ford as I don’t believe babies/children are little machines but I’d heard good things about her book ‘Potty Training in One Week’ so I borrowed it from a friend (@annieqpr) and had a quick read last night. I was quite surprised that what she suggested was similar to what I had tried the first time.

On the first day, straight after breakfast, put them in Big Girl Knickers, and then encourage them to sit on the potty for 5-10 minutes every 15 minutes……

This was all very well, but what if they won’t sit on the potty?  Forcing her would only exacerbate the problem.  So, I quickly flipped to the Problem Solving Section for ‘The Stubborn Child’.  Surprisingly, Gina is all up for a bit of bribery.  So I’ve printed off a Dora Star Chart and loaded up on chocolate buttons.  I didn’t want to go down that road, but for an easy life I’ll try anything.  For every wee she does on the toilet she gets a star and a chocolate button.  Once she starts having success I’ll stretch out the amount of time between treats until there are no more treats left.

We’re still not having any luck.  She’ll sit on the potty, but come hell or high water she’s not going to wee on it.  I’ve tried everything from reading stories, TV, singing, rubbing her back, tickling her, pulling silly faces and giving her copious amounts of liquid in an effort to break the dam.

I know it’s only early days and I’m in it for the long haul but would be grateful for any advice.

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19 Responses

  1. I have a daughter exactly the same age who has been in knickers for about four months and has accidents almost every day. It was getting ridiculous as the washing machine was constantly on but she refused to put the pull ups back on. On Friday she decided to put the pull ups back on … I feel a bit of a failure as I am sure she should be dry by now. It does not help that my older daughter was dry before she was two. Let me know when you have success!

    • I don’t think books that purport to do it in a week help either….I’m assuming that it’s going to take a lot longer. I felt like a failure the first time as well but I guess she just wasn’t ready. Fingers crossed this time.

  2. We had a pretty easy time of it so not sure if I’m the best or worst person to give advice. I pretty much followed the advice for the turbo version of potty training on Baby Centre American website. Will try and find you the link. British advice was different & not as useful. We had no rewards, just lots of practice & praise. Started at age 2.5, M was dry during the day from Day 2 onwards, dry at night after about 3 or 4 weeks. 5 wee accidents total. Good luck!!

    • Will have a look for that one….didn’t want to go down the route of rewards but tried everything to get her to sit on potty. Going to have a look for that site. Many thanks.

  3. Don’t stress about it! Our boys were both just over 3 when they finally sorted themselves out – we decided to let them lead the way with it. Probably laziness on our part but it made it go quite smoothly. A few days of accidents, mainly when I’d forgotten to remind them to go to the toilet, then ok.

    And seriously, try not to worry. She’ll pick up on your tension and play up.

    Love the idea of chocolate buttons though – I’d wee for that!!

  4. Hi! Just came across your blog on BMB (I’m a newbie there) and thought I’d drop in my 2p worth.

    No 2 son who will be 3 in June was showing absolutely NO signs of readiness. He wouldn’t sit on the potty (but thought it was highly amusing to pretend to be Bob the Builder with it on his head) but he was in cloth nappies and to be honest I couldn’t be bothered with the washing any more. So at the end of November I bought the Elmo Potty Training DVD on a whim and online reviews.

    It worked within a week. I don’t know why (and I don’t care to be honest) but he skipped the potty stage and went straight to using the toilet.

    It wasn’t expensive, just £6, so might be worth a shot?

    I also blogged about it if you’re interested? http://www.cheekywipes.com/blog/2010/01/21/potty-training-for-dummies/

    • Nice to meet you! I’m willing to try anything and £6 is nothing so may have a look thank you for the recommendation and I’m off to read your blog post.

  5. I just had to tell u that you could’ve been talking about my 2yo. I’m going through the exact same thing. She refuses to do a wee on the potty and will hold it all morning til she has i nappy on for her nap, then she goes in her nappy. She was getting so upset at me trying to sit her on the potty, that i stopped a few days ago, and put her back in nappies. I’ve found a book called my potty book for girls, and i’ve been reading that to her several times a day. We have also bought her a new potty. I’m going to try again in a few weeks, in the hope that she will have come round to the idea.

    • I’m going to give it a week and if there are no noticeable signs will back off….again! I don’t have any books for her so may look into that…thanks for the tip.

  6. Put her in pull ups and take her into the toilet with you when you go. Don’t draw attention to it either way whether she wees or not otherwise it will become a chore. Star charts only work if she understands what they are for. She won’t understand she gets a treat at the end of the day. That’s far too removed from the activity. Don’t worry some kids take longer than others she’ll go when she’s ready. I’d buy a special seat and stool for the toilet it might make her feel more grown up instead of using the potty.

    • I agree with the star chart….seemed to work with friends so I thought I’d give it a go. Atleast the chocolate buttons have got her to sit on it. Tomorrow we will step it up a bit and only give buttons for success. She doesn’t seem to mind actually sitting on the potty…she’d sit on it all day if I kept feeding her chocolate….definitely want to get her a special seat and stool…thanks for the suggestions.

  7. I followed Gina’s book and my daughter cracked it by day 4 but day 3 was just the worst ever day. She was 2 1/2 and with new born twins I just had to get her out of nappies! We took her out and asked her to pick her own potty (pink with fifi the flowertot) and also big girl knickers (peppa pig). We used chocolate buttons for every wee she did – she worked out very quickly if she drank more water she would wee more and get chocolate! I had at least 3 books for her to read about learning to use the potty. She really liked the Dorling Kindersley one and a pop up one with flaps. Just stick with it and don’t go back to nappies, it is a pain now its winter having to do constant laundry but it will pay off in the end

  8. I couldnt get my daughter to wee on the potty for love nor money. then i bought one of those seats for the toilet and she loved it – she wanted to do it the same way mummy does.

  9. I feel your pain. I waited until my daughter said she didn’t want to be in nappies any more because she wanted to a big girl like her friend Elizabeth – who was nine months older! My daughter was about 2yrs 6 miths. Good luck and don’t let it become a battle ground. My sister’s daughter desperately wanted to join her friends at nursery but sister said she had to be in knickers before she could go and that worked for her but my niece was almost 3!

    • I think she is ready but may be wrong…going to give it a couple of days. She’s not stressed and I’m not (yet). It was nice to hear your daughter was a similar age. Many thanks for your comments.

  10. I am having exactly the same problem with my toddler. He refuses to sit on the potty or on the toilet yet will happily wear pants….and wee in them! ;0/

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