I am sure you have searched google endlessly looking for Potty Training Tips. You are looking for that blog post that will give you the best guide to potty training girls. They say Potty Training Girls is easy? I have to disagree.
Potty training my daughter was one of the hardest things we did. After potty training my son in 2016 when he was 2 months shy of turning 3 I thought that my daughter would be a breeze.
She was well ahead of him in conversing and understanding so I thought we would be done a year ahead of my son! I was so wrong….
My Experience Potty Training My Stubborn Toddler
When my daughter turned 2, I was heavily pregnant, we had just moved to a new apartment and my son has just started pre-school. So it was a really tough adjustment and I decided to wait it out until my mom visited when the new baby was born to help me.
We tried with my mom and she did great for 2 days and then regressed. I tried again 6 months later and the same thing happened and then I decided to just let it be.
Around the time she was about to turn 3, we put her in a summer preschool program 4 days a week for a few hours a day to prepare her.
Her teacher said she would start encouraging her to go potty. And oh boy did that cause some issues, she wasn’t ready and she kept resisting. So her teacher said she would give her time to adjust and then try again.
In her 3rdweek she started to show signs of interest and so her teacher told me she was ready and we could start. We bought her underwear, and I let would only let her wear pull-ups to nap & sleep at night. At home, until she started initiating I let her stay in her dress with no underwear.
We did go back and forth with her insisting to wear the underwear but most of the time I tried to keep her without it at home. And when she was in her underwear at home or at school, we would set a reminder her for her to go to the potty every 20 minutes.
That didn’t necessarily work because my daughter being as stubborn as she wanted to play and not be interrupted. So that resulted in an accident after accident (especially when she had on an underwear) and eventually almost 3 weeks later she finally “got it”. And would initiate going potty on her own.
Yes, mama’s it took almost 3 weeks. This was no quick fix like my son. He started to initiate on his own within 3-5 days. I used the Oh Crap Potty Training Method with him and it worked really well.
So I would like to give you some takeaways and lessons I learned from potty training my stubborn toddler.
Potty Training Tips 1: Waiting till Your Child is Ready
If there was one thing I learned it was that you either have to let your child ride it out. Every child is different.
As I briefly mentioned my eldest was potty trained by Day 5. He learned quickly and I was focused on him more than I focused on my daughter. He was around 3 and my daughter was 1 at the time so I didn’t have 3 kids to worry about while I potty train. My entire focus was on him. So I was able to help him.
With my daughter, we missed 2 opportunities when she was ready and by the time we got to try, she was probably not in the right place to take in the training. In every single potty training book, they say “wait till they are ready” and “look for the signs”.
With my daughter we had to wait, we tried 3 times before we just decided to wait it out. And when she started showing interest (willingly), we decided to start. Even then she didn’t quite GET it immediately.
She still took 3 weeks to initiate on her own and not have an accident. And this is why my biggest piece of advice is to just let them be, and they will come around when they are ready. And when they are ready, it will go so easily and you won’t be butting heads and feeling like it isn’t working.
Potty Training Tips 2: Don’t rush to put an underwear on
As I mentioned above, I found that as soon as the underwear was on, my daughter (and my son when I previously potty trained him) would get comfortable and go in the underwear. Like with my son I found that when there was no underwear on, there was more need to rush to potty and not have an accident.
Potty Training Tips 3: Use a Phone App to Set A Prompt
I did this with my son but sadly the Huggies Potty app I used with him was no longer working so I found another app that was free that I set up reminders for every 20 mins for the first few days and then moved it to 25 and eventually 40 mins. It really helped as with 3 kids it became so hard to manage potty training and remember to take her. Eventually they will know how to initiate and won’t need the prompts to go potty.
Potty Training Tips 4: Lower Your Expectations
Alongside waiting till baby is ready, my biggest take away was to lower my expectations. These little humans are not at the level of comprehension that we are.
They don’t get it automatically.
Our Toddlers will need NEED our help to grasp this.
We need to have the patience to remind them over and over.
They WILL have accidents, again and again despite how much we hope they won’t. I truly believe with each accident (provided the child is ready), they learn. Using our words we can teach them how to not have another accident next time.
Potty Training Tips 5: Give Lots of Rewards
You have probably heard this over and over. But seriously, get a bunch of candy that your toddler likes. Buy a box of snacks and stickers and keep them all in a little reward box.
I found that the more I rewarded the more it motivated my daughter to make the effort. Being as stubborn as she is, she did NOT want to be disturbed when playing to go potty.
So the only way was to say “you’ll get a reward”. It worked! The more she has salty snacks, and drinks, and other snacks she was able to feel more of a need to use the bathroom.
Potty Training Tips 6: Look for signs for UTI
I didn’t even think this was an issue when I was potty training my daughter but she once she got the hang of initiating going to the potty, she would go every 20-30 mins. Once I picked her up from school the teacher told me she asked to go 6 times in 3 hours.
It got better over time but initially, I was recommended to check if she had UTI. With girls, you have to really make sure they are cleaned well and top to bottom.
She didn’t have any other signs or complaints but it is important to make sure that your daughter is not showing signs of it (itching, burning when urinating, and going very often).
Potty Training Tips 7: Reward Chart to track Progress
I did this manually with my son and I felt like using a chart with my daughter would encourage her. Firstly I got her lots of snacks she liked and some healthy sweets. That was her regular reward for every action and she would get a sticker that went on the chart.
However her BIG reward was to go play at IKEA in the ball pit. As you may already know they don’t allow kids in the play area that are not potty trained and it was always a struggle to leave my son and not her.
So this was on repeat everyday, if you get all your stickers we can go to IKEA ball pit! It was stuck in her head and she kept saying after every successful potty attempt that she was going to IKEA which was super cute.
You can download your chart and print it out for use at home easily by clicking here!
I hope these tips were useful. Just remember that they will get it. Sometimes they might not be ready, but if you feel they are ready and you start potty training and it doesn’t happen in 3 days, don’t stress. Every child is different. Give your baby the time to learn at their own pace and good luck!