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Where am I going wrong?

Hi.  I started potty training my 2 1/2 year old daughter a few days ago and I have been following Gina Ford's Potty Training in One Week book to the letter but we don't seem to be getting anywhere.  She seems ready and is very proud to be wearing her "big girl knick-knicks" and she is quite happy to sit on her potty.  The trouble is she won't do anything while she's on the potty.  On the first day she was on the potty 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off and we had virtually nothing but accidents.  From the second day we tried half an hour on, half an hour off in the hope that if she was on the potty for longer we might catch something but again we've had virtually nothing but accidents (we've only managed two wee's and two poo's successfully all week).  It seems that no matter how long she's been on the potty about five minutes after she's come off she has an accident and it really upsets her.  It's almost as though she's holding it in while she's on there.  Whenever she sits on the potty she gets a small star sticker, if she does a wee she gets a small smiley face sticker and if she does a poo she gets a big smiley face sticker.  She seems more than happy to get stickers as rewards and I would rather only use bribary by chocolate as an absolute last resort.  When she's on her potty we play games, read and sing nursery rhymes so she doesn't get bored.  When she has an accident I tell her it's nothing to worry about, give her lots of hugs and kisses, clean her up and she's back to her usual cheeky self within a couple of minutes.  She wears proper knickers all the time with the exception of pull ups during her afternoon nap and at night.  Today we did have a small breakthrough whereby she has started asking to use the potty but even then she still doesn't do anything while she's on it.  How can we break this cycle?  Almost everyone I've spoken to has said how easy it is and how their children only took about a week. I'm sure I must be doing something wrong but I just don't know what and I'm sure it's something blindingly obvious to an expert but I just can't see it. I really want to get her potty trained now because I'm 3 1/2 months pregnant with my 2nd one and I don't want to be leaving it until the baby's born because my lo will have enough changes to cope with.  I'm feel that if we carry on like this she'll still be in nappies when she's taking her GCSE's!!! I don't really have anyone I can talk to and I feel that at my age (33) I'm expected to know how to do it and get it right first time.


  • hey hun for 1 dont blame yourself at all. just like with everything else all our children do things at different ages and stages so stop comparing ur lovely little family to everyone else. some people find potty training easier than others but we all get there in the endimage, when i potty trained charlie who is now 3 1/2 we definatly had our ups and downs and people expected me to know straight away how to do it because i'm a nursery nurse but believe me it is sooooo different when its ur own.

    when i started potty training charlie he would just run around the house in a top and pants and i would show him where the potty was when he needed it. i asked him every 15 mins (i think) if he needed a wee i didnt actually keep sitting him on it only when i thought it looked as tho he needed one because us mummies can generally tell when our little ones need the looimage. we had loads of accidents at the beginning but just like u i didnt make a fuss just cleaned him up and put clean pants on.

    as for not weeing in the potty when shes on it hhhhmmmm the only thing i can think of is putting something like a cheerio in the bottom of her potty and encourage her to wee on it??? as gross as this may sound i know people have used them in their toilets to get little boys to aim lol so maybe this may help in encouraging ur little one to actually wee???

    not sure if any of this will help but always around if u fancy a chat

    i'll keep my fingers crossed for u hun good luck x

  • Hi Dark star, I too used the Gina Ford method when my son was nearly 2 and a half as he was showing all her signs of being ready.  The first week was still a complete nightmare though, he really had no idea what he was meant to be doing, even though we'd been practising sitting on the potty, talking about what it's for etc for weeks before!  It improved after a week (possibly because he just wanted to sit on the potty all the time!), and after 2 weeks he really seemed to get the hang of it and would get there in time, most of the time.

    I guess my advice is to keep it up and not get disheartened when they've had their fifth accident of the day.  It takes time for them to learn what they are doing, and I don't know any parent whose children were successful most of the time after just a couple of days like GF says!!  I also carried on reminding him of where the potty was and asking him if he needed to go for ages after she recommends stopping.  I think GF's method has some really useful ideas and I used many of them, but not all tactics work for all children and she isn't always right!

    Good luck, and keep persevering!


  • Hi thanks for your replies and reassurance.  We're 2 weeks into it now and we're getting the hang of it.  She's asking to use the potty now and doing the right thing in the right place!!! I'm not having to remind her any more. She's happy to use her travel potty when we go out and she even used it at a birthday party yesterday!!!  We rarely have accidents now and if we do it seems to be nearly always when she's tired late afternoon (we don't always have naps any more).  I think the real test will come on Thursday as she's staying over at her Grandma's (P&Q for me hooray!!!) but I'm sure she'll be fine!   image

  • Yeah, just make sure she knows exactly where the potty is at Grandma's so she's sure where to dash off to.

    Sounds like you're both doing a great job!

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