How to start potty training?

Help potty training step-child.

Okay, I’m a step-mom to my boyfriend’s little girl who is 5 and a half yrs old now, been involved in her life since she was 1 yrs old. But just got into her life a yr ago. And we are really having trouble with her potty training STILL both of us have been struggling badly to get her to go to the potty when she needs it, she will literally sit there and cry for permission to go use the toilet. We’ve been telling her for the past yr if you have to go use the potty just go you don’t need to ask for permission! We can take her potty and seriously 5 mins later or less after she’s done she will go play or w.e and come back to one of us giggling and thinking it’s funny that she used the potty in her pants especially when she poops. We’ve asked her doc and other parents even her school for advice and have tried all, but nothing is working and it’s getting frustrating because I’m due to have our son in two months. I don’t know how she will be once she sees baby using the potty in his pants if she will have more accidents because her little brother has a diaper or if it will help her understand that only little babies use diapers, not big kids. But also note that her bio grandma was not the best example as when someone was in the bathroom busy she would frantically bang on the door she needs to use the toilet and if for say the person in the bathroom didn’t get out in time she would soil her pants and come tell us while laughing and thinking it’s funny. So therefor that’s where this little girl picked up that horrible habit to think it’s funny now. We got her to use the toilet for a few months but recently just before school started she begin having accidents again. We put a small potty and night lights in her room to maybe help her so if she’s scared or something to go to the next room over to use the potty during the night or early morning, but nope she will stand beside it or at the door or just lay in bed and yell for one of us and if we don’t get to her in time she just soils herself. Even though the bathroom literally is 1 foot from her bedroom!We also have a brighter night light in there for evenings. We try to wake her up at night when one of us gets up to go and get her to try and nothing she freaks out and gets mad cause we woke her up. A few people around us have suggested use pull-ups at night, but honestly, that’s setting us back again because we both know shes ready shes just stubborn and hard-headed. We’ve been told to treat her and have a mini celebration for her, and we did that when she had no accidents for a few days and when she first started using the potty, still didn’t help. I’m stressing out. Does anyone ever have this.


She’s 5!!! Should have been trained a while ago…


I would start cleaning her up with cold water. I would have her clean up her pants and clean anything that got messed on. At 5 and she is developmentally ok then SHE IS 5 and doing it just because she can.


Because of her age and since this behavior was modeled for her, you may need to hire someone to help you. There are potty training specialists who offer boot camps or come into your home and help. Kids are much more receptive to strangers teaching them for some reason. I’ve been looking into hiring someone to help my son. He has special needs so it’s a different situation but a professional may have the answers you need since it sounds like you’re doing everything you can.


At 5, have you had bad consequences in place? Loose the tv, tablet, no dessert, etc ? And stick to it? Sounds like she’s behind the curve on this but she should be able to try to keep some of the play things she enjoys?


Night time wise, id just stop foods and water 2 hours or so before bed time. So she gets use to sleeping through the night without having to get up to use the bathroom (thats what i did and still do with my boys). Also maybe behavior therapy, or just someone to talk to, to give you guys and her tios and tricks, and try to resolve the problems and behaviour she has learnt. Could also try getting her to clean up her self/her mess.


Could there be something else going on too…Some kids with asd have trouble with toilet training…My nephews have asd and are 4 and 5 not toilet trained…


Not to sound harsh, but at 5 maybe make her clean herself up and remake the bed or clean her own underwear. At that age a reward isn’t going to work anymore that’s for littler kids first learning. Don’t make her feel bad but don’t let her continue this behavior, especially while in school. Show her once the new baby comes that she has to be the big sister and teacher her brother things! Good luck…


It sounds like she might have sensory issues. My oldest turned 5 in june and was afraid of the sound of the toliet. You might get earphones to see if that will help. Talk to the doctor will might a medical issue going on.


Sounds like there is something else going on with this child.


Poor lady, I’m sorry you’re enduring this. As for the little she knows full well not to do that. She is 5. I would start taking her things away for punishment. I promise she does know better. Sounds like she’s doing it for attention.


Make her wash her dirty drawers and clean up any mess. My son washed his underwear out twice never again an accident


If the accidents are only and night and only urine, I wouldn’t worry. However, it sounds like that’s not the case and that she knows exactly what she’s doing. I’m not psychiatrist, but I would say that’s not normal and she may have some developmental (mental) issue that should be checked out. Are there any other behaviors you may categorize as unusual? Perhaps talking to the dr about that would be helpful?


Make her clean the mess up. Don’t expect it to be perfect but let her know its gross


I’m a mom, not a professional, but with everything I have read, even with what you stated about the grandmother, I believe you and her father should request for her to be evaluated. Maybe it may appear to you that she is being stubborn. Either there is something wrong pyschologically, or maybe even a neurological disorder. Maybe she’s experienced something that no one is aware of; some form of abuse, whether emotional abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse. We as parents need to take every step necessary, and think everything is a possibility.

Instead of insinuating that she is doing it because she thinks its funny, take further steps then just asking for advice.

Children don’t do things to this extent unless there is something going on mentally, or emotionally.
Also, when you explained this to her PCP he didn’t suggest you get her evaluated? Or to speak with a therapist?


Chucke cheese offers a potty chart. Once they use the potty so many times they get play points or whatever for free id try that since she is older. Also I’d take away things she likes tv tablets etc.

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Set consequences for peeing herself intentionally make her clean her mess up wash her sheets her pants make her bed. And stick to it if that doesn’t work she can sit her ass in the corner till she’s ready to act her age.

Yeah, psychiatrist for why she’s doing this non-normal stuff & potty training specialist if that is warranted after that. Tell her Grandma laughed because she was embarrassed not because she thought it was funny; she probably actually felt awful.

Also,what’s going on at her mom’s house?


Have her clean herself up and wash out her bottoms etc… and take a toy away and she can only get it back a 24 hrs of not have an accident!

Sound likes she just doing it to be funny.

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Ok here is the deal she is getting attention for this behavior. Does she soil herself at school?? The next time she soils herself make her wash out her underwear in the commode then go into time out. Do this ever time with alittle more added to the punshiment if need be. Make sure daddy is on broad as well.


She is almost 6 yrs.old something going on with her. What’s up at her mother’s house? Does her mother have a man there? Anything could be happening get to the bottom of this

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have her see a therapist get her evaluated also make sure no medical issues… cut out drinks 2 hours before bed… put a sign on the door since she wants permission use it like an occupied sign… if its “green” you can go potty if its “red” you got to wait… i know u said you tried but try again with treats… u go potty like a big girl you can habe a sweet tart… you do good all night you get a box of raisins … you do good for a week we will go to the dollar store… once she starts doing it right bounce it to every 2 pottys and then every other night so on and so forth… make the reward immediate instead of in 2 days

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At 5 in a half she should be WAY more independent!
Does she do this at school? At her mom’s house?
I’d honestly tell her gross and have her clean it up. Rinse her clothes and mop up the floor.
Offer no short cuts and she will get sick of doing it 20x a day.
I’d also go over her life and take away any ‘big kid’ things that she can earn when she isn’t a baby and choose to be a big girl. - outings, electronics time

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Does she do this at school? What does the school say? Definitely needs sorted ASAP she doesn’t want to get bullied at school for it. I’d be seeking medical help like. My other half’s LG want fully out of nappies till she was about 5 we potty trained her only reason for that was cause her mam couldn’t be bothered. Or just in case she has an accident she didn’t need them though. Definitely doesn’t sound quite right though.

No liquids 2 hours before bed. And make her wash herself and her clothes by hand in the bath after an accident. Don’t yell or make a big deal out of it. Some kids like the attention and time it gets them. She may not like going potty, like a sensory issue. She will likely regress with the baby. Autism & ADHD often go undiagnosed in girls until they are much older and the delay and quirks seem less easily explained as childish behavior. Perhaps an evaluation is needed? Idk. My daughter is ADHD and has sensory and low frustration issues, and she didn’t potty train until about 5. :woman_shrugging:

She lives with you full time now? Hard to correct if she goes back and forth. Sounds like her Mom isn’t doing anything or the Grandma. You would have more success if she was with you full time then whatever you and boyfriend will be it. I agree with washing out her underwear in toilet. They don’t like that. Had to do that with my younger sibling He didn’t want his hands in there! But he started using the toilet after a few times. He was a little over 3 then but was lazy. We spoiled him rotten!!

I am a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. I have also been a psychotherapist for more than 20 years and have worked with a significant number of children with emotional and behavioral issues. First, let me say that I Am Appalled by several of the previous comments that suggest shaming and punishment for this child. (Both of these will cause longterm and possibly permanent harm to a child’s self esteem and your relationship with her) The amount of information you’ve provided is completely insufficient for anyone to try to give you advice without further evaluation. I highly recommend that you have her fully evaluated by both a medical doctor and a therapist. While there is a possibility that she is " being stubborn or defiant", the chances are that there is something much more significant going on. You’ve mentioned several stress factors happening in her life, any of which can cause dramatic changes in behavior. Please make sure that you get more information before you decide how to address this problem. Otherwise you may create an even worse situation long- term.


You need to take her to therapy they can help you

You need to seek professional help, she might be developmentally delayed

Regression happens when a new baby is on the way and after.

I think she needs to see a psychiatrist because that is definitely not normal.

Uhm, no. Shes not being hard headed. There is obviously a problem. Smh. Maybe consider a therapist to help identify the issue. And the fact people are reccommending shaming this child are disgusting. Yeah lets make her feel worse by embarrassing the child. How stupid would you feel if you found out there was an ACTUAL ISSUE. God, this shit pisses me off.

At 5 I would take away absolutely everything if my kid thought it was funny to poop her pants. I’d make her sit on the toilet every 20 minutes as well.

Make her clean her understand her self that’s way too old she knows better I’d make her hand wash them … maybe get a specialist to check her out maybe she’s mentally delayed

You are not her stepmother until your married. Patience.


Okay if she is over 5 she knows better next time she uses the potty in her pants even if it’s a poop give her some wipes and a trashcan and tell her to clean herself up…if she refuses take her hands and make her clean it and then whip that ass! … Sorry not sorry after a certain point that is not acceptable behavior. Maybe she will learn after you make her clean it … and make her wash her clothing out… when I would have an accident when I was her age my parents would whip me and then to try and get through my head it wasn’t okay they would say they were going to tell all my friends I pee myself because I’m lazy… My husbands dad took him outside and sprayed him with a hose one-time when it was cold out too because he peed himself and he was close to 4 1/2-5

Make her clean up while you watch give instructions. That is only thing I can think of.

She is way to old for that behavior…I hope nothing is happening to her

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Setting you back? Stressing you? It’s about the child and all kids are different, have different needs and timelines. Some big kids do wear diapers as do older people. If it makes it better with pull-ups then do it, get waterproof sheets, whatever it takes, do not punish her by making her do disgusting things. Support her with patience and understanding, being a parent means not giving up hope with our children. Best wishes to you and your family.

Why dont u take one thing at a time, work on the day time, make a big deal when she does go, i use to give the kids a treat when they potted, put a pull up on her until u get her trained, what does u doctor say.

Please have a professional evaluate her. There could be abuse you don’t know about, or sensory issues. Please do NOT shame, humiliate, or punish her. It may not be in her control, and she may be laughing out of embarrassment.


I used the sticker method for my daughter. If she went to the bathroom on the big girl potty she got to put a sticker on a chart we made together.

I’m going through the same thing! My daughter is developmentally delayed though. She knows to use the potty but can’t grasp that she has to use it all the time. Keep working at it. Eventually she will get it. Take it a day at a time. Try not to show you’re frustrated with it. And when she does go on the potty praise her, clap and cheer. It gives them more motivation to go again.

This girl is 5 years old she just being mean let her keep the soiled pants on for a bit

Some of these comments are dang sad! New woman in daddy’s life. New baby on the way. … Sounds like issues are just at dads. She is acting out. Seeking attention. She needs reassurance from her father that she is still his number 1. You need to step back. They need to spend quality one on one before this new kid arrives. Your just the girlfriend. Not being mean but it’s the truth. The dad needs to be the one working through this with this child’s mother.


If she is going to school, her peers will straighten her out.