I have an almost 3 year old who I am struggling to toilet train. She is very stubborn, says no if I ask her or take her to the toilet, refuses to sit on the toilet and will go stiff if I put her on there. She refuses to get dressed, laughs at me and runs if I ask or cries if I try to be more forceful (with both nappies and knickers!) I would love some tips from anyone else who’s had a difficult time. Thank you.

Posted by Simone, 8/7/13

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  • I haven’t read all the answers, so apologies if my advice is the same as another persons.
    With my daughter (stubborn as anything), I used to have a potty in the bathroom and a potty in the lounge room/play room where we spent a lot of time. Any time I needed to go to the toilet, I used to make her sit down on her potty. (Some times she would sit fully clothed, other times, she would pull her pants down as well). I never forced the issue either way, just said she had to sit. When we were in the lounge room, every hour or so, I would make her sit down on it again. I would try and distract her by watching tv, reading a book, or just singing a song, so she didn’t realise she had been sitting for 5 minutes. If she did a wee, we would jump around and sing and get so excited. If nothing happened, we would just say, ok, we can try again later.
    We also had a sticker reward chart. We would give her a sticker for sitting with her pants down and trying. A different sticker if she actually did something. A different sticker if she told me she needed to go, whether it was successful or not. We just tried to make it fun for her. We had a few accidents, and she quickly learnt how bad it felt having wet undies. I never put her in pull ups during the day (unless we had to go quickly to the shops). That way she knew when she had done something. She was day time toilet trained in about 2 weeks I think. I hope this helps! :)


  • I haven’t read all the other answers yet but will soon as I’m in the same boat with my Miss 3.5. She has no interest in using the toilet and is happy to say she’s “little” and doesn’t want to use the toilet. The other day I had her in undies and we actually got a tony wee on the toilet so that was a good start! We have the health nurse tomorrow for her 3.5yr check and I’m dreading it tbh


  • yeah how did you go? these are great tips


  • We decorated the bathroom with balloons and streamers and generally made a big deal about things. We bought “princess biscuits” i.e. ones with hundreds and thousands and pink icing as a reward for actually using the toilet, and had 1 m&m for trying without whinging. Seemed to help our little girl, but it was still challenging time.


  • Hope you’ve had some luck! They can get so stubborn at that age!


  • I hope it all works for you, maybe try a potty as she should be trained around now


  • Like any kids you need to build them up (a little like men) and make them think its their idea!


  • Three year old girls are amazing creatures! you dont want to break their spirit but you need to be firm. My best advice is to make her want to please you and prove to herself that she is a big girl now! Maybe a reward system, star chart? or a new special toilet seat might help to, she has to feel special!


  • How is she going now?


  • my friend told her son that he wouldn’t be able to go to kindy unless he could use the toilet because they only let big kids who use the toilet go to kindy – worked for her.


  • i hope you’ve had success


  • How is she going now?


  • Maybe reward her with something afterwards


  • How are you going now?


  • Buy her some nice cool printed undies with her favourite picture on them and say big girls that go to the toilet wears these


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