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Help! Potty Training Isn't Working!

Question

I have read the toilet training book and have been trying N75 with my 2-year-old daughter. After 5 days she has had zero success going in the potty. Peeing on the floor and down her legs does not seem to phase her at all! When she is told to sit on the potty she doesn’t usually put up a fight but she will sit for a brief second and then she’s up again to play. It seems like she has too many distractions around to keep her focused on the task at hand. When should I introduce something else like the bell? Also, how can I get her to stay on the potty long enough to have success?

Answer

Hello and thank you for your question.

First, congratulations on beginning the potty training. Let me encourage you by reminding you that all children are different and therefore will progress at a different pace. The N75 is a process, not a magic formula. So take a deep breath and relax! Remember that micromanaging this process is the biggest hindrance to successful potty training and if you're already worried after only 5 days this may be a sign of micromanaging.

A few pointers: First of all I would ask you where is the potty placed. You mention that there are too many distractions. Does that mean it's in a room where she has lots of toys/play things? If so, you may want to consider moving it to the bathroom or an area with less distractions. Secondly, it may help to introduce the potty bell now and maybe in conjunction with the gate. By moving the potty to the bathroom and using the gate she will be contained to that one room with no toys/distractions. Then when the bell goes off you take her to the bathroom and in a calm and matter of fact tone tell her to sit on the potty and call you when she has done a pee. Then gate her in and walk away. If she puts up a fuss just let her be and check on her in a few minutes (5 or so). If she still hasn't gone, tell her the same thing, to let you know when she has gone and walk away. (Do this only if she is crying or putting up a big fuss- if not just let her tell you when she's done). The less involved you are the better. If she has an accident outside the potty, teach her how to clean it up so she can learn to take ownership of the process as well as her accidents. Keep some wipes/paper towels by the potty so she can clean up the mess as well as herself. Stay calm and let her know that this is the next step in becoming a big girl. You're doing great! She will get this, just give it some time!

Stay the course and let us know how it goes.

Carmen Korsten
Certified Leadership Parenting Coach

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