3.5 yr old refuses to go on potty/toilet. : Hi, this is... - ERIC


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3.5 yr old refuses to go on potty/toilet.

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Hi, this is my first post here. The forum was recommended to me by a health visitor. We have a 3.5 yr old daughter. We have had a few potty training attempts with her which usually result in her getting very distressed and withholding wee and poo for hours. Our most recent attempt has been a little better. As of this week she has happily worn knickers all day and asks for a nappy when she needs to wee or poo. We just can't seem to encourage her to go on the potty. Or if she agrees to sit down on it she can't or won't let the wee out. We've tried laying the nappy in the potty but that doesn't seem to help. She doesn't respond at all to bribes either and actually really dislikes anyone making a big fuss of her so doesn't want a reward chart etc. Just wondered if anyone had any other ideas to get her feeling comfortable going without the security of a nappy? Thanks.

8 Replies

Personally I would just go with it and let her wear the pull up, or even go back to them full time until she's ready. Already you have had some progress with her happily wearing knickers some of the time. You could go down the route of letting her wear them to wee and pooh but only in the toilet and then they suggest sitting on the potty/toilet with a slit in it. Good luck,she'll get there.

Ps slit in the pull up not the toilet ha ha!!

Has she ever seen you on the toilet? This can help kids understand that adults regularly do it too.

What about skipping the potty and going straight to the toilet like you do? You can buy a toilet seat that is part of a normal grown up seat so she wont feel different. When we started with our son i googled childrens programmes about toilet training. There are lots of episodes of so many shows. They helped to get him talking about it and wanting to copy. Also we borrowed lots of library books about potties etc. Normally free to reserve childrens books. I would stick with rewards charts but make them small to start. Our son started with stickers for trying as well as going and after 5 he got a paw patrol toy. The next one was a couple more stickers and then another toy etc. Really helped that he had just got into paw patrol so we made everything paw patrol. Does your daughter have a show or character you could do this with. The other thing i found was other children. If you have someone with a child close in age or a bit older who would take them to the toilet with them that may help. Not comparing them to them just showing them what to do or asking them about their new potty etc. Good luck it will happen in time.

My son found the potty very uncomfortable and we now know that it wasn't helping him with his transition. We used a toilet ring instead. Took me a while to get one that fitted, to be honest.

Www.Eric.org.uk are doing something on potty training this summer it's worth looking at for ideas and help.

Thanks for all the replies. She does see us and her big brother using the toilet and her best friend at the childminders is fully potty trained yet that hasn't encouraged her. She has been at pre-school since Easter. We hoped seeing all the other children there would help but it hasn't.

She has four different potties plus a padded toilet seat. She occasionally will try sitting on them but she panics when she can't hold onto the wee any longer and jumps up crying for a nappy. So it seems she just can't/won't release the wee into anything other than a nappy.

Attempts with bribes and rewards don't work because as soon as she realises that to get it she has to go on the potty/toilet she says "actually I don't want it".

I'm quite pleased that she's now in knickers all day with just nappies to wee and poo in as this does feel like progress. However we are now totally stumped as to how we get her on the toilet/potty. I guess we've just got to give her more time and be thankful she doesn't start reception until Sept 2018.

We had a bit of this.

We were advised to start with just sitting and use pull ups too. Controversial- but a potty training expert suggested it as ours didn't like fuss.

We also let her choose potty, travel potty or toilet with seat on each time. She gradually shifted from sitting to weeing.

Her stools were coming out quite hard which made them feel painful on the potty, so we got her treated for chronic mild constipation too.

It was a slow process but she's OK in the day now. We were low key nut persistent and made it part of daily routines after meals.

I tried potty training our daughter when she was 26 months and it was a disaster. She would get hysterical when she needed to go and would beg for a nappy as she didn't want to use the potty. I gave up after 2 days and now she's 35 months, she's still in pull ups and still won't use the potty despite having multiple different ones in the house. She uses the little toilet at nursery and will tell the staff when she needs to go but only for wees. She will hold her poo until she's at home and goes in her nappy, probably due to constipation issues. She doesn't want to wear pants at all, only nappies. Rather frustratingly she won't tell us when she needs a wee at home! Not really sure how to move forward as she'll be moving to a new room at nursery in 3 weeks and they want to encourage her to wear pants and use the toilet more. I just think the constipation issue is making things more difficult ☹️

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