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Toilet training for a 3 year old - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Parenting
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 37 Questions
User :   My daughter who is 3 years and 3 months old is still having difficulty potty training. We began some time ago working with her in various ways like sticker charts, potty watches, etc. I feel like we have tried everything. She will go in the toilet any time you put her on it, however, she will never verbalize the need to go. In fact just the other night when I was drying her off after her bath, she pee'd on me. Is there possibly a medical issue that would inhibit her from verbalizing her need to potty?
Doctor :   hello
User :   hi
Doctor :   i am Dr XXX here
Doctor :   give me a min please
User :   okay thank you
Doctor :   let me read your query
Doctor :   well i should tell you that there in NOTHING wrong with your daughter medically
Doctor :   other wise she is healthy and responds well ??
User :   she also does not eat hardly anthing and lots of times says that her tummy hurts
User :   she is a very strong-willed hyper child, but she is pretty healthy
Doctor :   Successful potty training happens with persistence once your child is ready. Persistence and patience are key to teaching your child this grown up habit. As long as your child does not feel overly pressurised , she will soon learn how to do it
Doctor :   ok well has she met her developmental milestone?
User :   yes she meets all her milestones
User :   minus the pottying
Doctor :   well please dont worry
Doctor :   some children get a little late
Doctor :   she is only 3 and 3 month
Doctor :   give her some time
User :   yes but it gets embarassing that all the other kids in her preschool are potty trained :(
Doctor :   its very very normal for some children to learn a little late
Doctor :   i can understand your concern . keep on trying thats the best and the only advice i can give you
User :   so keep putting her on the potty? How will she learn to verbalize the need?
Doctor :   Most children show signs of readiness to begin using the toilet as toddlers, usually between 18 months and 3.5 years of age.
Doctor :   These signs include staying dry for at least 2 hours at a time, having regular bowel movements, being able to follow simple instructions, being uncomfortable with dirty diapers and wanting them to be changed, asking to use the potty chair, or asking to wear regular underwear.
Doctor :   You should also be able to tell when your child is about to urinate or have a bowel movement by his facial expressions, posture or by what he says. If your child has begun to tell you about having a dirty diaper you should praise him for telling you and encourage him to tell you in advance next time
User :   she has never been uncomfortable with dirty diapers or asked to go to the potty but she has done all the rest
Doctor :   Whenever your child shows signs of needing to urinate or have a bowel movement you should ask him if he wants to use the potty or take him to the chair and explain to him what you want him to do.
Doctor :   Only keep her seated for a few minutes at a time, don't insist and prepared to delay training if she shows resistance. Until she is going in the potty, you can try to empty her dirty diapers into his potty chair to help demonstrate what you want her to do.
Doctor :   Things to avoid when toilet training your child are beginning during a stressful time or period of change in the family (moving, new baby, etc.), pushing your child too fast, and punishing mistakes (treat accidents and mistakes lightly). Be sure to go at your child's pace and show strong encouragement and praise when she is successful.
User :   She goes as soon as I put her on the toilet
User :   but are there ways to teach them to verbalize the need or does that have to be instinctive?
Doctor :   Last but not least, look at yourself and your family situation. In order for toilet training to be as painless and smooth as possible, make sure that you AND your child are ready. Some kids toilet train quite easily, while for others it becomes what seems like a long drawn out battle. If you are incredibly busy at work, moving to a new house or a new baby is due soon, it's ok to wait a few months to let things settle down. This is probably one of the biggest steps for your child and it's worth it to wait.
Doctor :   have patience
Doctor :   Toilet training is a big process. Some experts feel that it is the first and biggest developmental step your child will take. The process generally takes several weeks to several months to complete.
Doctor :   Don't be discouraged if you have a few good days followed by a few bad. Again, it's a process that's going to take time. Also keep in mind that when your child is tired or upset this is the most common time for accidents or setbacks to occur.
User :   okay so what about the verbalizing aspect? can that be taught or do we just wait?
Doctor :   wait for the moment
User :   ugh okay...i almost wish there was a medical reason so that we could fix the problem
Doctor :   sometime just patience from parents is all that you need
User :   ok thanks
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