Community Question: This One is Tricky!

By Colleen Brunett, MEd

Question: My daughter doesn’t tell me she has to go potty. I’ll sit her on the potty sometimes she goes other times she screams but she takes her diaper off all the time… when I put big girls panties on her five min later there wet… what can I do? She’s two.

Answer: Well, she is certainly showing some signs of readiness! I’m actually torn on the best way to answer this. If she is screaming on the potty the first thing you want to do is understand why. Is she comfortable on it? If you are using the big potty, that can be scary. Try an attachment to the potty seat and make sure she has a stool. Or is she screaming because she really isn’t ready?

One thing you never want to do is force the issue. No matter what we do, children train when they are good and ready and you don’t want to create a power struggle over the bathroom.

On the other hand, since she is taking her diaper off, you might just try going with that and letting her. Accidents are a big part of potty training. Respond to them calmly and with a matter-of-fact demeanor. Accidents happen. If it’s just wet, have her help in the clean-up. Many parents swear by the “cold turkey” method where you do away with diapers all together.

Potty Time Watch - choose from 3 colors!Have you found what motivates her yet? Try stickers, small treats and charts (you can see some great ones on our RESOURCES page). Some parents swear by the Potty Watch because it tells the child it’s time to go potty rather than the parent having to do it, and some children respond really well to that.

Finally, since she’s only two, it would be perfectly okay to wait for a little while. She’s got time yet and while some children train easily at two, others need much more time. Good luck!

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