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Potty Training a 2 Year Old

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You have heard those stories about the toddlers who are completely potty trained at 18 months old. Their mothers walk around bragging and all smug, while you sit there looking at your 2 1/2 year old, wondering why he isn’t interested at all. Some mothers worry that there is something wrong developmentally with their child if they aren’t potty trained and seem to have no interest in potty training. In reality, this is perfectly normal.

A study put out by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia states that the average age for a child to start potty training is 27 months. This being the average age, there are a lot of toddlers that won’t be completely potty trained till after their third birthday.

You can try to encourage your child to potty train, but you shouldn’t push them or get mad as it could only slow the process for them. When your child starts to show interest in YOU going potty, ask them if they want to sit down and try. Many kids might be scared or might just say no. Try to put them on their own potty chair or on the toilet before and after baths, right before bed, or first thing when they wake up in the morning. Some kids will be more comfortable on their own potty chair, others will want to try it like a “big person”.

If you have a child that just doesn’t “get it”, see if you can get them to sit on the toilet or potty chair and try giving him milk, juice or water. Have him sit there till he goes, as the urge might still be involuntary. When he does go applaud and cheer, make a big deal out of it. Chances are he may not know the jist of what he did, but he will know that he pee’d in the potty and you are happy. This praise from parents can often help a child along.

Dr. Phil has his own advice and tips when it comes to teaching your child the art of potty training. Several celebrities have used his methods and believe that they worked in helping them succeed in training their child, including Holly Robinson Peete and Vanessa Marcil. His method includes getting a doll that wets letting the child see this doll going potty and getting praise, so that the child wants the praise as well.

Often times, subsequent children potty train faster than your first. Seeing an older sibling running around is often encouragement for a toddler to hurry up and get there. They want to be like their older sibling. Also, getting a child to not only pee, but poop on the toilet can be a challenge in itself, especially for boys. For some reason boys seem to find it harder than girls to get fully potty trained.

There are no concrete methods that will guarantee your 2 year old will potty train when you are ready for him too, if he is not ready. It is best to remember that you just not push him, get mad, or yell if he isn’t doing it fast enough. Don’t make it seem like a big deal so that your child doesn’t fight the effort to learn. Eventually something in your child’s head will “click” and your child will be ready to potty train. After all, how many kindergarteners do you know who start school still in diapers?


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21 Responses to “Potty Training a 2 Year Old”

  1. 21
    cyndi Says:

    my 14 daughther poops in her pants and laughs about it what should i do

  2. 20
    mercedres Says:

    my little 2 yrar old girl and boy won’t potty they pooped in their undies

  3. 19
    Michelle Says:

    I have a son who is almost 3 he was potty trained at 2 and a half, it was super easy because he wanted to do it. Recently though his father and I have split and seems he is peeing in his pants first thing in the morning unstead of getting out of bed and doing it. Having been potty trained for over a year I have no clue what to do. Also the guy I have been dating for 6 months now has a 1 and 2 year old both in diapers. We just had our first poopie with Jonathan (2 year old) about ten minutes ago! I am wondering though is my 3 year old acting out because of these other babies in diapers or is it that his dad is not making him potty in the morning? I have no clue how to fix this but I know he knows better because he will get up and hide his wet pants or try to put dry ones on before I see them.

  4. 18
    Angie Says:

    Overall advice for frustrated parents from an Infanct Massage Therapist… it’s ok if they are not potty trained by 3 years old, 2 years old is YOUNG! You are doing everything right and all people are different- some catch on faster and it doesn’t mean they are smarter. Mine has been going in the potty since 17 months but her older sis at 3 years and a few months. If kids are sitting forever on the potty- they are not ready. If they are under 3, typically, they will not be consistent. We all love our kiddos and we are all loving parents or we wouldn’t be on this site- just let them be, try not to get so frustrated with yourself or with them and allow them to progress at their own rate even if it’s slower than you think :). Potty training requires a mature nervous system, one that allows you to hold pee and go on command- so no matter what videos or books the child sees or practice they get on the potty, really, they will go when their body is ready and they “get it”… and they will!

  5. 17
    Amanda Says:

    i have a 2 year old boy who at daycare will only sit on the potty but refuses to do anything other than just sit there. With him just enjoying sitting on the potty is there anything i can do to help encourage him to actually use the potty instead of just sitting on it? cmon no mom wants to keep changing diapers forever :)

  6. 16
    Trish Says:

    My three year old son really go the hang of going potty but he refused to go number two in the toilet. My sister in law came to town and in three days had him doing all of his potty in the toilet. She started to make him clean up his own mess. Although I had to go behind him he was in charge of dumping hie underwear, cleaning himself off in the bath, rinsing his clothes and cleaning any place that he may have transferred number two on. This really helped!

  7. 15
    sarah Says:

    my 2 1/2 year old dose not use the poty i sit him on the and he will push but dose nothing here lately he will take his diaper off and pee and poo in the floor but not always in his diaper i hvae tryed underwear and he has a poty chair he loves to sit on the big potty but he will not pee or poo what should i do?

  8. 14
    Jennifer Says:

    My 2 1/2 yr old daughter she only goes to pee, we don’t have no accidents whatsoever with her and all that, but I cannot get her to go poo. She will sit on the potty and fake the pushing but nothing comes out. She will ask for a diaper and poo there and as soon as she is done she will come to me so I can clean her up. But no success in the potty yet. I don’t push her around, she will let me know when she is ready to go by herself.

  9. 13
    aimee Says:

    i have a 27 month old daughter who actually will use the washroom on her own but will not contiuously do it wat di i do ?

  10. 12
    nicole Says:

    we are barley potty training my son and it is hard i just bought him pull ups he peed once but it got all over the toilet he it two does anybody have any other suggestions on what else i can do

  11. 11
    Arthur Bhutic Says:

    Desiree,
    Girls, must not run aroun naked. I loved my training pants, which I always put on my training pants, though I couldn’t take off my training pants. I am of severe and profound mental retardation. The same goes for them.

  12. 10
    Crystal Says:

    I have a 23 ,month old who is in pull-ups and i am struggling to have him sit on the potty and pee or poo..after about two hrs. of him sitting there, watching education videos, reading, or coloring he still has not made one tinkling or poo in the potty..yet as soon as he gets up and puts on his underpants or pull ups..he goes..i dont understand why this is. i have a four year old who was potty trained before he was two. help me someone!!!

  13. 9
    Sarah Says:

    I have struggled so hard with my daughter potty training. I started with after she woke from her nap in the morning. I stopped giving her liquids an hour before bed. I tried before and after she sleeps. Then all of a sudden after we moved and my son was born she doesn’t care at all. I gave it three months and started trying again. She has no interest and we ask she says no. I tried panties, pull-ups, nothing on her bottom but nothing matters. What do I do??

  14. 8
    Desiree Says:

    My girls are 27 months and i let them run around the house naked so i moved their pottys into the living room and when they have to go they will use it. I still put diapers on for naps and bed time and when we go out but they normaly will stay dry when they have them one.

  15. 7
    Denia Says:

    I have a 26-month old boy that started potty training at 18 months and he still doesn’t quite get it. Sometimes, when I tell him “let’s go pee pee” he’ll actually do it. If I sit around for him to say I want to go pee pee, it will not happen. There are times when we go out that he does want to go to the public bathrooms and he does number one. The only thing he is not wanting to do is number two. He always goes to the corner or another place where I can’t see him. He gives me this face like he is embarrassed that he did poo poo in his pull up. I think he’ll do really good before he is 3 but you have to have a lot of patience.

  16. 6
    charlene Says:

    I just took diapers away altogether and watch where she pees and clean it up, making sure and reminding her to tell me she has to go before she pees again. Its not that kids dont get it, its that there depending on a diaper just like a soother get rid of it, and dont give them a single diaper ever again or theyll get the wrong idea. Keep them in underwear even if it means they pee or poo themselves, they gotta understand you cant keep dry if you pee or poo in your pants.

  17. 5
    Bobby Says:

    My 2 year old will go pee in the toilet but wouldn’t poop. He would usually go in another room by himself or up to his room to play by himself. Finally i realized what was going on and i put some toys in the bathroom and i leave him alone (shut the door and standby). I check on him regularly by opening up the door and just asking if he’s finished. It’s worked for almost two weeks now. Hope this can help some.

  18. 4
    mary Says:

    I HAVE A TWO YEAR OLD AND AT FIRST SHE DID REALLY GOOD AND SHE WAS USING THE BATHROOM EXCEPT FOR AT NIGHT WHEN SHE WAS SLLEPING AND NOW SHE DOESNT WANT TO USE THE BATHROOM AT ALL!!! I WILL ASK HER IF SHE NEEDS TO GO AND SHE WILL SAY NO AND THEN 2 SECONDS LATER SHE WILL GO IN HER PANTS WHAT DO I DO ????

  19. 3
    Amy Says:

    I have a 3 year old that absolutly refuses to potty train. Is there any tips anyone might have, we have a potty chair, but he won’t sit on it. We also got a little seat that fits on a toilet and he won’t sit on that. We also tried putting a cherrio in the toilet and that didn’t work. Please help.

  20. 2
    Melanie Says:

    I’m 17 weeks pregnant and also have a 2 year old daughter and w going through the terrible two stage. I’m too tired to go through this what can I do

  21. 1
    JESSENIA Says:

    HELLO:
    I HAVE A TWO YEAR OLD THAT LOVES TO FOLLOW ME WHEN I HAVE TO GO USE THE BATHROOM, ASK ME FOR TOILET PAPER TO “CLEAN” HERSELF, YET I’M HAVING TROUBLE POTTY TRAINING HER.
    I THINK I STARTED THE WRONG WAY. I SCOLD HER WHEN SHE PEE ON HERSELF. HOW CAN I FIX THIS HUGE MISTAKE

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