Potty training: Hi. I just found this site and wondered... - ERIC

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Potty training

Hi. I just found this site and wondered if anyone has some advice. My daughter is 33 months old. We have tried to potty train her twice, once just after she turned 2 and again a few months later. It was awful. She seemed traumatised, was shaking and clinging to me and crying the whole time. I stopped because I felt I was forcing her and it didn’t seem right.

She used to happily sit on the toilet (only fully clothed) but now refuses to sit on the toilet or potty. She says she wants to wee and poo in her nappy. I feel like I have ruined thing by trying to train her too early. She has recently started telling me when he has done a wee and wants to be changed. I think she is ready apart from being scared to sit on the toilet/potty. What should I do? We’ve read books about it and put her toy animals on it and said well done. I even told her she can have a special toy when she uses it but she just doesn’t want to try. Do I wait until she willingly sits on it again or try to make her? I don’t want the traumatic experience again! She hates having her nappy off.

2 Replies

I'm sorry to hear about the experience you've had. Do you think it might be best to leave it completely for a few months and start again? If your daughter is scared of the potty and you try to make her use it then it's possible she might start withholding, which obviously you want to avoid.

I read a thread on another forum once about a child being scared of using the potty and another mum mentioned a game she had played with her daughter called "examining the poo". This basically meant that each time her daughter did a poo they had a good look at it together to see what it was like (colour, consistency, etc), decided that they had no use for it, and disposed of it. It sounds a bit odd, but her point was that some children reach a stage of consciousness where they know that something is coming out of their body and that have some control over it, but they are not sure what it is and can therefore get anxious about "losing" it, particularly if this coincides with moving from the "comfort" of nappies to the potty. She made the point that, for as long as they wear a nappy they hardly ever see it as it gets whipped away while they lie waiting for the new nappy. Might be worth a try...! Obviously it's harder to do with wee.

I've also read about people cutting holes in the bottom of nappies so that their children can poo / wee in the potty but with the comfort / feel of the nappy. That might be worth a go too. I would definitely leave it a few months first though.


Thank you for your reply. That’s actually something I hadn’t t thought of doing. She is interested in seeing my wee and poo in the toilet but we don’t really talk about hers or look at it. I’ll try and put some more effort into that and see if it helps!

I’ve kind of come to the conclusion that she’s just not ready yet. We’ve already left it a few months but she has a very good memory so I think we will leave it longer and just keep talking about it every so often. I don’t want her to feel pressured and I don’t want to try and force her to do it again. Thank you for your ideas.


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