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She's 3 - do I push the issue or keep waiting?

I know there are always a million potty-training questions on here, but since everyone's situation is different I thought I would still ask...

DD just turned 3. We've had the little pink potty in our bathroom since she was 18 months old and she's been introduced to it repeatedly...she knows exactly what it's for.

I kept waiting, figuring when she was really ready to train, she would act more receptive to it. But now that she's 3 and still BEGS to be in diapers, it's got me concerned. She has actually peed in her potty about half a dozen times - the few times she was receptive to the idea - but the rest of the time, she will pee a diaper or Pull-Up and stay in it until I force her to get changed. Even in cloth panties, she will pee/poo and it doesn't seem to phase her whatsoever! I thought girls didn't like being wet? :-/

Do I keep pushing the issue or wait a while longer? I'm so confused.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:10 PM on Jan. 15, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (16)
  • Try using positive reinforcement such as stickers. It's something new and maybe she's afraid of not being a baby. Sometimes diapers are children's comfort zones. Get her some big girl panties with her favorite character and try them out. Have her help you with little things around the house to show her that she's a big girl. Emphasise that only babies wear diapers and she's no longer a baby. It's gonna be tough, but she'll get it. Good luck!

    Answer by nicolemstacy at 8:15 PM on Jan. 15, 2010

  • I had this same problem with my 31/2yr old son what i had to do is take away everything all together pull ups diapers everything and had him running around the house in just his pants not even cloth underwear and believe me i had to do alot of cleaning up but i used the reward system telling him for pee pee you get one sticker for poo poo you get two stickers and have a poster board for his stickers hanging on his bedroom door when he uses the potty (which took like 2wks of doing this for him to start acting on it) he gets to put his sticker on his board himself then i make a BIG deal out of it i mean i jump up and down yell and wave my arms around going yaaaa you did it you did it!! and shower him with hugs and kisses, he still is working on the poo poo but since i've started this he is responding much better to the whole potty training thing. Good Luck, just keep working at it don't give up hope shell catch on soon:)

    Answer by jsimonds220 at 8:19 PM on Jan. 15, 2010

  • It's your decision, but I wouldn't push it. So long as she's potty-trained by kindergarten, it wouldn't even bother me. When your daughter is ready, it will only be a matter of a few days. Encourage her to wear her panties. Use the reward system. If she absolutely does not want to wear them, then give her a pull-up.

    I'm a firm believer in child-led weaning.

    Answer by Fallaya at 8:40 PM on Jan. 15, 2010

  • No offense intended, but I think this is the potential problem that can come with waiting for every single "readiness" sign or defining readiness as a child being 100% on board the process. I had to say that because so many people on here jump down a mom's throat who asks a single question about a difficult moment of potty training and then dares admit that the child is under three or -- oh the horror -- under two: "she's clearly not ready! don't push him or he won't train till he's six!" It sounds to me like your daughter has gotten so used to diapers that she's attached to them. Kids can learn things they aren't dying or begging to learn, and just because they show a little resistance doesn't mean they're being traumatized. I'd tell her she's big enough to get rid of the diapers, have her help you get rid of them, and move forward from there. Be consistent, have confidence in her, and don't look back.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:41 PM on Jan. 15, 2010

  • Two of my children did not get potty train until they were close to 4. I tried everything under the sun. It did not work...until they had the desire to be big boys or big girls. Then, they really work hard at it. I would not worry about it. You try your best and they will decide the right time.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:09 PM on Jan. 15, 2010

  • Yes, push the issue. A 3 year old is capable of using the potty. They are helped, and that's the key word, helped, through every other thing at this stage, such as losing the paci, sleeping, losing the bottle, separation, etc. But parents are reluctant to help their kids pee and poop on the potty? I don't get it at all. This is the only thing people wait around on, and it is just crazy to me.

    There is nothing wrong with expecting your child to use the toilet at age 3. I'm not saying to punish her, but I am saying to make it a priority and focus on it. She is capable, but she needs to understand the expectations, be taught what she needs to know, and receive the encouragement to keep going.

    Answer by whiteroses82 at 9:32 PM on Jan. 15, 2010


    Answer by ohio4 at 10:49 PM on Jan. 15, 2010

  • "There is nothing wrong with expecting your child to use the toilet at age 3. I'm not saying to punish her, but I am saying to make it a priority and focus on it. She is capable, but she needs to understand the expectations, be taught what she needs to know, and receive the encouragement to keep going."

    WHERE IS IS WRITTEN THAT A CHILD MUST BE POTTY TRAINED BY THE AGE OF 3? Please show me your medical documentation/source. A child is ready when the CHILD is ready, not the parents. Parents need to stop pushing their kids to "grow up" and to be "big boys and girls". They will face enough pressure when they get older and begin schooling. Kids should be able to trust that their parents are backing them up 100%, not pushing them into something they may not be ready for.

    Once again, show me where it says a child MUST be potty trained by age 3. From a credible source.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:32 PM on Jan. 15, 2010

  • Anon, where does it say they have to be trained by 10? Common sense must take over at some point! Encouraging your child to put their bodily waste in a toilet is what every parent should be doing when their child is ready. And I'm sorry you disagree, but 3 year olds are ready. Mine isn't even 3, and I can't imagine her not using the potty. She's been using the potty for months. If i had waited for all of the "readiness" signs people talk about, she never would have been ready! I think it's crazy to wait until your child has to beg you to use the potty for them to be ready, but that's what I see around cafemom.

    Answer by whiteroses82 at 8:34 AM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • I do not see a child who can pee in a pot as grown up or a big girl or boy. She needs my help for so many things, I am not going to selfishly make her go in a diaper to fulfill my need to keep her a baby. That's what SOME of you seem to be doing, when you don't even bother to start potty training your poor kids. My little girl is still my baby, but she doesn't have to deal with diapers. Helping them learn new skills is not forcing them to grow up.

    Answer by whiteroses82 at 8:36 AM on Jan. 16, 2010

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