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How often should my toddler be going potty?

Been working on potty training my toddler for a while (she's 36 months) and initially she wasn't taking well to it.

Then we tried the sticker-on-a-chart tactic and she got really excited about it. (Every time she goes pee in the potty she gets 1 sticker, for poop she gets 2 - at 10 stickers she gets a small treat.) Suddenly she was peeing on the potty regularly, and almost never having an accident.

Unfortunately, now she's going ALL THE TIME. Like, every 20 minutes she goes pee and comes to tell me.

I'm starting to get the feeling that she's holding some on purpose so that she can get more stickers. She IS a pretty smart little kid. Is there any guideline on about how often it's normal for her to have to pee? Any suggestions what I should do?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 6:02 PM on Jan. 19, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (8)
  • 1. She's 3. Yes, that's 36 months, but she's 3.
    2. Little kids, especially ones who are newly potty trained, especially ones who get treats every time, will just go even if they don't have to, to get more treats. Once they're going, the treats need to stop. Treats aren't the best idea in the first place, but they can be helpful for stubborn kids.
    Tell her she'll only get a treat/sticker/whatever if she goes all day with no accidents.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:29 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • My kid is also 3, he's been potty trained for about 6 months. I used no treats or motivation. We sat him on the potty every 2 hours and if he had to go he did or not. Suddenly one day, he went all by himself. The only thing we did was clap and say, "yeah, pee pee". He still does it every time he goes. I think the stickers got into the way in your training. I would cut down on the water and other drinks. If you must give stickers, wait until the end of the day or use pretty underwear as the treat.

    Answer by coutterhill at 9:33 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • OMG you're right, my daughter's 3! How could I ever have referred to her as 36 months?! What a horrible, unintelligent thing to say! I'll never make the mistake of using months to refer to my child's age again! Jeez. Get off your high horse, Anon.

    Thanks for the advice couterhill. :) I am going to change the sticker program because it's definitely getting in the way!

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:18 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • My daughter just turned 2 last week and she has been potty trained since November. She took interest on her own, but I dont reward her because using the potty is something that you are supposed to do.
    Some days she goes alot and some days she doesnt. Your 3 year old is normal. Some days if you drink alot you will go alot and some days you dont. As long as the child is going atleast 6 times in a 24 hr period I would assume thats fine.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:23 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • The pretty underwear things works great. My daughter is 2 and I took her to Walmart and let her pick out some panties. She got Dora and Elmo and Minnie Mouse. I put those on her and she will stay dry. I tell her, if you wet Dora you have to take her off." She runs to the bathroom when she has to go. I dont reward her, I just say, good job for keeping Dora dry.

    Answer by lilmsnay83 at 11:25 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • I used treats as incentives because it is a big deal using the potty! Anyways, after he got it down consistently I started backing off the treats...but he had potty training down within 2 weeks. (he trained at 3 yrs and 2 months)

    Answer by Mom2Just1 at 11:45 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • I agree... time to phase out the treats. We just changed the rules after awhile... a sticker or some other small reward for a day of no accidents. As potty stops being such a big deal (parents and kids both stop being so excited about it), they just move on with their lives and chill out on wanting the rewards. As for going pee every 20 minutes, some kids just go through phases of that. Believe me, though, when she's no longer rewarded for every attempt, you'll be amazed at how good she'll get at holding it to avoid interrupting play. Since this can be such a problem, I definitely wouldn't want to discourage her from going often (like avoid saying, "you JUST went..." Congrats on the success!

    Answer by EmilySusan at 7:55 AM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • I agree that you should phase out treats, but I also think she will sort of phase it out on her own over time. We used M&Ms with DS. At first one M&M for pee and, well, he wouldn't poop. When he finally started pooping on the potty, we started giving M&Ms only for poop (just one was enough for him!). Eventually, he just stopped asking for the treat.

    Answer by RobynS at 5:34 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

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