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Readers Respond: What's Been Your Biggest Potty Training Frustration?

Responses: 15


We all do our best to remain positive and supportive during potty training, but some days we just want to throw in the towel. Maybe for you it's the frustration of knowing your child can go yet seeing so many accidents or perhaps it's your toddler's absolute refusal to sit on the potty today when yesterday she wanted to sit and read there for hours. Whatever the issue, know that other parents have been there. Take a moment to vent about the most frustrating part of potty training. It's OK. We feel your pain.

Can't Take His Pants Off

My 2-year-old will go on the potty but when I put him in pants he doesn't know to take them off first.
—Guest honey

Accidents Every Time She Has to Go Potty

How do I get my toddler to go potty in the toilet and not in her pants? She say she has to go potty, I take her and put her on the potty. She sits on the potty for two seconds and says she's done, but really she didn't go.
—Guest esther

Success with the "Prize Bowl"

I was frustrated with my daughter's lack of interest in potty training. She knows what it is to pee on the potty, and has many of the signs of readiness. I've tried multiple times over the past 6 months but she was fine just sitting around dirty. Then... I debuted the "Prize Bowl." It has some stickers, silly bandz, coloring sheets, markers, and little packets of gummy bears (like 6 to a packet). Whenever she uses the potty, she gets to choose something from the prize bowl. This has been a TERRIFIC success for us. We still have ups and downs (this morning she fought to have a diaper instead of underwear but I didn't give in), but everything started to go better with the introduction of the Prize Bowl. If your child's main obstacle a is sheer lack of motivation, give it a try!
—Guest KC Johnson

She's So Smart, Why Won't She Go Potty?

I am at the end of my tether with my little girl. She'll be 3 in two months time and this is probably our 5th attempt at training her. We gave up every time after a week or so. She knows exactly what to do. She knows when she has to go but she just refuses to sit on the toilet or potty. She just pees all over herself. She has great control - only goes every 4 hours or so! In fact the only time she will sit on the toilet or potty is when she's playing and she DOESN'T have to go!! She is so advanced in every other way, her speech, number skills, letters, and even attempting to read, I just don't know what we're doing wrong with this!! So frustrating!!
—Guest julie

Psychic Abilities

I've been trying to train my daughter for a little over two months now. She definitely gets the concept, but just doesn't tell me before. She will tell me as she is having an accident or immediately after. My psychic abilities are slowly getting tired.
—Guest Lisa

MIL Pressure

My MIL is constantly pressuring my husband and I to get our 2-and-a-half-year-old girl potty trained. She compares her to her cousins who are younger and already trained. This frustrates me to no end and makes me feel as if she thinks we are lazy parents. Our child is just not there yet. She has almost got it but I have the feeling it won't be until after she turns 3 with the way she is going. What's the big deal anyway? Is she embarrassed that her grandchild is in diapers? Or not as "advanced" as her cousins who were potty trained at school by teachers, not their mothers I might add. I am doing the best I can. Sorry I'm not super mom.
—Guest rose

Loses Interest Quickly

We have been trying to potty train my daughter for about 4 months now. The problem is she tells us sometimes and then most times doesn't. Most of the time she stands there and goes in her pants and then says "mommy, I peed/pooped!" I had begun to put her in time outs when she would do this and am now realizing this was very BAD!!! She has been only getting worse :( After reading these articles I am going to take their advise and not say anything when she has an accident but have her help me clean it up. She also gets frustrated when I ask her if she needs to use the potty, saying "I don't like to go pee pee potty!" With her it is a huge motivation thing. We were giving her Easter chocolates when she would pee or poop on the potty before and for about two weeks she didn't have one accident. Then she lost interest! Which is another huge issue we have. This is definitely the hardest part of parenting I have encountered yet! Good luck to all!!!
—Guest Crystal

Peeing was easy--now what???

My son will be 3 in November--this past week we have mastered peeing--AMEN!! He just will not poop in the toilet--He's not afraid of the actual process; he tells me when he feels like going, but once he's sitting there for a minute or so, he says "I can't anymore--I want a Pull-Up" (we use them for sleeping & pooping). He had a poop accident once in his underwear--I think that did it for him--I'm lost--where do we go from here?
—Guest Tina

Hit a brick wall

I've been working with our son (he just turned 3) for several months now. He gets what he is supposed to do but could careless about wanting to do it. He'll seem to be making progress for a week or two and then just stop. I've tried Pull-Ups and cloth training pants; stickers, M&Ms, jelly beans and bigger rewards set at given intervals and I've got all kinds of potties. It all works for a while and then-- boom -- nothing. I'm so completely frustrated and feel like I'm beating my head against a brick wall. Ugh!!

Peeing Outdoor Part 2

Yeah, my dad thought it would be funny to teach my 3 1/2 year old to pee in the bushes. The battle to get him to go in the toilet/potty again after that was fun, thanks, Dad!!!

Trying to find patience

I felt pressure by my in-laws to potty train even though in my gut I'm not confident my daughter (19 months) is ready. I try to be positive and give her the benefit of doubt. I just wrapped up day 5 and it is ugly in the house! Husband is so awesome with her. While at times I can get her on potty to sit, sing, play... as soon as she has to pee she jumps off, runs around room in panic and pees on floor... then cries about getting wet. Her solution - she has great "control" and now tries to hold the pee till naptime, bedtime or lunch. She gets a diaper for sleeping and I put hospital underpad in high chair to ease the clean-up. If she pees on floor I notice it is because she just cannot hold it. And poor kid hardly eats now - think she figured out the poop thing. Hasn't pooped in now 2 days. I am trying to be patient and calm... but goddness me. This is harder than our first week home from hospital!
—Guest Liz

Peeing outdoors is sooo much fun!

My husband decided to teach our 2 year old son to pee against a tree in the backyard. Well, now he isn't interested in peeing anywhere EXCEPT on a tree outside. This includes the potty. GRRRRRR!
—Guest Natalie

Getting Frustrated About Potty Training

One day my son would tell me he need to go to the potty, then later he started saying he wanted to go pee and poo in his diaper. I know he knows how to go potty. Even when he is going, I feel that he just does not want to do it.
—Guest Melanie

We are potty training now..

My son is 2 1/2. For the last six months I have had a little froggy chair for him to potty in. At first I bought the Pull-Ups disposable pants. He played with the potty chair for many months. Not until two weeks ago did he actually go in the potty all day. In the last few days he has been back into the diapers. I choose this as a less expensive way, because he constantly wet his underwear, and even gave up on the toilet to go on the floor! I felt frustrated, but I stayed calm. Reading this article gave me more of an understanding to hear from other parents. I will try these suggestions. I thought he was already overdue, as his signs to go on his own started at 16 or 18 months old.
—Guest Ms. Silver

Trying to Find Potty Training Motivation

I tried to potty train my daugther at 2 1/2 and she just doesn't get it!! She knows she's supposed to go in the potty but went through about 10 panties in one day! When I started potty training her brother last year, I planned on staying home all week. I tried to have him teach a doll and be able to call grandma after he went in the potty. Nothing was working. He knew what to do and where to do it but would never tell me when he needed to go!! After the second day of him going through a dozen pairs of underwear, he was sitting on his potty and I was very frustrated and it dawned on me! He wanted to go to school more than anything else. So I told him if he wanted to go to school, he couldn't pee in his pants. He had 3 accidents that day and each day it decreased! I have no idea what to do with my daughter but it worked for my son!
—Guest Danielle
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