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toilet training Lock Rss

Hi, I have been trying to toilet train my daughter of 2 years for a while now. She is interested in what you are doing (watches) she sits on the toilet (with her knickers on), but when asked if she wants to go all she says in NO. I have tried everything that is possible to get her to go herself. I am fast running out of ideas, is there any advice you could give me, to encourage her to go.

Hi Sherie

I think what you are going through is all too common with conventional western toilet training methods (of the last 20 years anyway). Kids have been kept in nappies longer and longer (well heck it really is easier for some) and as such they have long forgotten how to signal their need to eliminate (and innate skill they are born with but which we typically ignore as parents). Mothers have also lost connection (intuition) on when their young'uns need to go as well.

What you probably need is some sucess for your daughter to start with. One of the best ways to get this is to put her on the potty/toilet when she first wakes in the morning (or after a nap) as this is a time when most people (babies and adults alike) tend to urinate with a high degree of regularity. Also if she is still breastfeeding then it's pretty normal for them to go during or just after nursing.

Another tactic you could try is reading to her, singing or playing some games while she sits on the potty/toilet at a time when you think she is likely to go.

You could try letting her go without knickers at all and charting a pattern if you're keen. This will help you know when she typically goes and from there you can then offer the potty at these times. Each time you have a miss (which you will no doubt at first) you simply talk to her matter of fact about how we don't like it on the floor, we have to clean it up (get her help here) and how it is much better to go in the potty/toilet.

If you're not game enough to go completely nakeybutt (or if you only have good carpet through your house and no floorboards or lino (smile you could try training pants. You then just comment on how they feel yucky when wet and how it is much nicer to keep them dry and use the potty/toilet. Training pants have the advantage that they feel wet and cold so give feedback to they will usually contain a poo which is always good.

You've got a lot of unlearning to do after 2+ years so it's going to be a process, above all don't be hard on your daughter - she will get it in time.

For anyone who wants to avoid this sort of problem in the first place can I suggest you read up on intuative parenting concepts such as Elimination Communication (or EC for short, sometimes called Infant Potty Training). There are excellent resources on the net and on the bookshelves if you care to take a look....and trust me it makes a whole lot of sense!!!


Lou - mama to 2 gorgeous kiddos (5/99 and 6/03)

kids always say "no" when asked if they need to wee... so don't bother, cause you have no where to go after that response!

My first daughter was awful to TT, it took months and months... this time around i am just letting her run around without knickers or with (her choice) and letting her wee on the floor (we have floorboards obviously!). This is what happened last time anyway, except that I was so stressed. I have decided that she will take time to learn the signals, and nagging from me won't speed that process up. It's pretty much stress free at the moment. I keep the mop and bucket out and ready, and gently remind her what the toilet is for.

It's only Day 3 and I'm still calm... smile I'm off to search the net now, I would love to learn some techniques to help make this process easier!

mumto3, Qld, 3, 2 & newborn

Yay! Good for you Mumto3! Sounds like you've found a really positive place to help your darling stress! I think what you are doing is great, a really natural approach, and rest assured she WILL get it (even if at times you may feel it's a lost cause!).

I think it's important to remind ourselves that it should not be a battle that we have to win, it's a journey for both parent and child - and we can all take different routes toour destination and arrive at different times ....!

Oh - pee is sterile too so it's really no bother as long as you wipe up (which you do obviously!).

I wonder have you tried a rough timeline of when your daughter goes? Sometimes that can help offer at the right times (but as you pont out nagging isn't the answer either and I think parents need to be careful to avoid that!).

You're right - kids often do say "no" to a direct question. I've found sometimes we can use language to help though - if we say something more like "I think it might be a good time to go potty right now" or "I'm going potty, would you like to go soon too?" (or even leave the question off and just tell them you are going) they sometimes respond better....and of course there are some kids who just want to think they came up with the idea all themselves LOL! They are the ones that you just leave the potties around, tell them what they are for and let nature take it's course (they are often the kids that learn the quickest - there's that spark of independence and stubborness that helps!).

Keep communicating - I personally think it's a vital key.

I wish you well on your search for more info, from the sounds of it you've gotten off to a terrific start though by simply following your instincts (and learning yourself from past mistakes (wink!


Lou - mama to 2 gorgeous kiddos (5/99 and 6/03)

I read up on EC yeserday, very interesting... although... it's quite a long and time consuming process too. Not something I really have time for with 2 other girls already! But, yesterday I just held baby naked for a while and she started whinging for no apart reason and voila! out came a wee! So I def think the concept is sound. I have taken some of the ideas on board, but not the ones like getting up in the middle of the night to help them do a wee... !

Miss 2 went to daycare today (day 4 of TT) and did her first wee in the toilet! I suggested she might like to use the "big kids'" toilet, plus I knew she was due for a wee, I noticed she was touching her knickers (aha! a sign! the older child never had any physical signs that I could see). I tend to say things like, "let's do a wee first, and then do X". I know not to bother asking if she wants to go, I just direct her there, either with older sister or myself.

I am loving this no-stress approach!

mumto3, Qld, 3, 2 & newborn

It *is* interesting Mumto3, I am glad you took the time to look some stuff up - and great if you can take away things and apply them for yourself. Oh Great news about your daycare too!

I too just take what works for us - that's the beauty of it. I guess it does appear time consuming, I thought that too initially.

There's a few things you might consider before you dismiss it altogether - I think the most obvious I can think of is that the practice of EC (ie taking a baby to an appropriate place to pee or poop when they start to signal/when you cue) in reality takes no longer than changing a dirty diaper...the beauty of EC is when you start to get successes you no longer have to wipe up that squishy mess from all over babe's bot and legs etc, wiping after going in a potty etc is sooooo much neater, simpler and quicker. You also never have to deal with nappy rash - which can't be fun for babes....and just think of all the nappies you don't have to wash/buy?! How much time (and money) does that save? Not to mention the time saved dealing with TT issues for months or years on end....

It depends entirely on parents priorities too, many consider that wearing your toilet and waste around is demeaning for babies and while I agree on some level I personally think many EC proponents use this line of reasoning a little emotively. I just tend to think that it mustn't be all that comfortable, I wouldn't like it as an adult and I figure babies and kids deserve the same right to feel comfortable.

Another high prority for some (me included) is that it promotes a healthy awareness of bodily functions. My personal theory is that this is the main reason kids who have been responded to in an EC fashion learn so early that pee and poop go in the potty/toilet and that they can independantly take control themselves....they *know* what is going on (conditioning).

The communication and bonding that happens is also quite amazing and a big motivator for many. Sounds corny I am sure, but it is a wonderful journey and process much more than a "destination" (ie to be TT). It does take more time in terms of getting in tune with your child and learning their signals. People who tend to EC are also typically very responsive to their babies and children in a host of other ways as well, all of which is believed to promote a healthy and secure parent-child relationship, in turn it is thought this is ideal for physical and emotional development.

It's probably pretty obvious but I am one of those fairly alternative types who is into babywearing, gentle discipline, child-led weaning and other such non-mainstream parenting ideals. I read and research an awful lot too. EC appealed to me (well not initially - first off I thought is was nonsense LOL!) because it was gentle and respectful, it made sense to help my baby learn to communicate their needs and to avoid having them "unlearn" using their nappy as a toilet.

There are also absolutely no rules except that it is obvious you communicate (: And yes - that means you talk to even the littlest babe about what is going on, what is happening, why we are doing what we are doing. Amazing what they absorb - never underestimate the infant mind - sponges they are!

I think getting up at night has knobs on it too but we have found that our daughter doesn't pee at night at all anyway, she waits until morning (so goes 8ish pm to 8ish am then pees a LOT!). She's done that since we started EC - perhaps coincidence? Who knows? Could have just been we started paying attention then LOL! And there are other things we have and have not done on our own EC journey (I never could bring myself to do cloth nappies, call me lazy /:, but that is how I ended up here anyway on a Huggies forum LOL!). Many parents just do EC part-time with great success for their bubs too. Many just do it at home, or just days or I said no rules. Basically it's just a concept of ideals, with some great practical advice for anyone with kids who has an open mind.

I am happy to share that now at 16 months my independant little Miss wears no pants (ever find undies in a size 0 or 1?! NO! though we do have trainers) most days we are home and signals to go just about all the time (of which she will take herself most of the time if possible - ie access to potty), we only have misses when she or we are engrossed in something and not paying attention at all. Maybe 2 accidents a week (pee that is - poop is 100% success - touch wood!). We do use nappies (Huggies of course (smile when we go out still. They are harder to get off when she does signal so we sometimes can't wait but we're not quite game to do just trainers yet (soon though. in the next few weeks) and pull-ups are way too big (since she's so much younger than your typical youngest TT toddler still). Anyway, the concept is there, she's got a few clues about what's going on and we suprisingly have a lot of fun learning this together.

I really want to emphasise that it is not a "race" at all, kids develop the control and awareness when it suits them developmentally. I do think this point is reached far sooner that we are typically allowing (through choice and circumstance) our kids these days. I know EC'd kids who were grads at 11 months and others who weren't until 28 months +....all a result of similar gentle and respectful journies and just showing how individual kids are indeed different (as we all know). So it's not a fast track to TT or a competition, I hope people can see it is about the process and the "why" as opposed to the "what".

If you have any questions I might be able to help with (anyone?!) please ask, if I can't help I know plenty of people who EC who could answer them I am sure. I am *far* from an expert mind you, just an enthusiastic proponent of a wonderfully gentle and respectful concept.

Cheers to NO STRESS! And, again, good on you!

Lou - mama to 2 gorgeous kiddos (5/99 and 6/03)

I haven't dismissed this at all. I have plenty of "alternate" beliefs (which I think are perfectly "normal" lol) - I do find this concept fascinating and am surprised I hadn't come across it before.

I have some knickers that are 1-2 and are very small. If you stick them in the dryer for too long you could probably shrink them! smile

mumto3, Qld, 3, 2 & newborn


thanks for the advice, and will see what i can do. having carpet in my house i can't leave her run naked, because of the smell.
it is however hard when you have an older daughter (who is toilet trained, she is 5) and then i have a younger one then her too, who is 9 mths, so as you can see she seems to think that if she takes on the whole baby approch than she wont have to go and do all the things that she is suppose to do. The whole "well she wears nappies, why can't i" thing.
She has come to a stage where she likes to flush the toilet. And when she plays her baby ( toys) go to the toilet so, i'm not sure that saying anything will help or if this is the process she is taking to teach herself to go. So do i leave her go or do i try to encourage it and say something??


Only you know if you should keep going. But... there are more things you can do. Like going out to the shops and letting her choose some new, special knickers. I keep knickers in separate baskets under the change table (which is just outside the toilet), so the girls have separate lots - even though they basically wear the same size. Miss 2 loves to go to them and say "these are MY knicers mummy!"

We went to a friends house today and Miss 3 had an accident, Miss 2 made plenty of trips to the loo and stayed dry! I know how frustrating it is to have one stubborn child. (I had only taken one pair of knickers with me and Miss 3 was a bit put out to be wearing her little sister's. See if that helps in the future.)

mumto3, Qld, 3, 2 & newborn

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