How to potty train a 4-year-old?

Ok yall I need help. My daughter is about to be 4 years old and I have tried everything to get her to use the bathroom but she won’t. She screams or crys. I have had her naked for hours or in undies. She just goes where ever. I have done treats, prizes, stickers, toys. Drinks everything. I am at a loss. Any tips would be great


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum.

1 Like

Have you spoke to the pediatrician about it? Maybe a physical medical reason.


Get a potty watch. Stupidest thing ever. Cringe eye roll worthy device. About 10 15 bucks. Works lol


Have you seen. Dr My mom did this and had a pinched urethra

Dry erase marker on the toilet lid? Let her sit backwards on the toilet to draw?

1 Like

Sometimes they’re just not ready. If your child has a fear, it’s best to let it dissipate before trying to potty train again.


With both my girls I bought pampers pull ups. They absolutely hated them. Said there was too much between their legs. Didnt take long and they both asked for regular underwear.


Sit down and read stories , sing nursery rhymes . We also sat our grandson on his potty with baby shark songs from YouTube !

Potty trained only happens when the child is ready for it. Some take longer than others. Do you take her to the bathroom with you so she can see what she is supposed to do?


Don’t pressure her. Don’t make it a big deal. The more you talk about it and make it a big deal the more she will resist. We let it be up to our kids and they potty trained themselves when they were ready between ages 3-4.5y.


My boy did the same thing. He just did it completely in his own time. Didn’t even have to use a pull up at night, when he did it he went the whole way with it. It will happen mama!


Talk about going to school. Say you can’t go to school unless you go potty all the time.

Following because same. My oldest was potty trained by 2 and was a breeze. My 2nd was almost 4 as well and on the plus side once he agreed to it there was no going back. As soon as the tantrums and crying stopped and he went on the potty it was smooth sailing. My last is a girl and also almost 4. Has no interest. Cries screams and refuses and I’ve literally tried bribing her with everything you can think of. I think your daughter is probably just not ready. I keep trying every day with a long lecture. We watch potty training videos.

I feel you, my daughter would hold it for 24 hrs and wouldn’t go not even in diapers :confounded:, she finally goes but only for pee, she still doesn’t want to poop in the toilet and she will ask for a diaper when she wants to go #2 if I don’t put it on she’ll hold it for 2 days till her tummy hurts and gets contstipated.
She is 4 by the way.

My niece is Autistic. We tried everything imaginable to get her potty trained. My sister bought a potty watch was potty trained in no time. We also gave her a sucker when she used the potty as a reward. After a few months we stopped giving the reward.

Sometimes it takes kids longer then others, try rewards. Buy a toy she has been dying for and wrap it up. Then let her know if she goes in the potty for two weeks straight she gets it. They will do it when it’s time for them:)


Does she have a kid potty, my step son is terrified of the regular potty but will use the kid one no issues

1 Like

Let her do it on her own. She isn’t ready pushing isn’t working working. So let it go. She will do it on her own when ready.

The more you push the more she is going to push back. Take a breather for a little bit. Then find fun books or videos on YouTube that you can mix in with regular stuff. My kid went when she was ready and did great, if I tried to push her she would still be in diapers lol

Takes time,my son had it down pat in three days when he became two,even though he had accidents but I use that toddler potty chair and pull ups, work good with taking him back and fourth too,at night a diaper till completely got it,good luck.maybe store trips will help with big potty area to of not being afraid too…:blossom::hibiscus:

Unfortunately my son was 5 more like 5 in a half

Girl!! I have dealt with this my daughter is 4 starts school after summers over she’s 100 potty trained but here recently has been peeing her pants constantly I took her to the dr she had a uti… still peed her pants took her vack 3 different times and found out it was more severe than I had thought… she has a bladder the size of a 8 month old and cannot control it !! Was put on medication and has been doing great for the past 3 weeks no wet pants !! It may be something medical go get her checked out!

do you have a friend she could spend the night with? My son was that way… just lazy. He wanted to spend the night with his cousin at his aunts house but she told him she wasn’t changing a diaper or cleaning up a mess. He came home and said he wanted “big boy pants” because he wanted to spend the night. He never had diapers or pull ups on again. I was afraid that he would go to Kindergarten in diapers. He didn’t. Will she hold it all night or is she wetting then too…If she is you might want to have your pediatrician have a look.

My daughter had bad eczema, to help her I would take her to the potty with me(even if I didn’t have to go) I’d sit on the big potty and she had her little one and I’d read some of a book to her, she loved the reading and now loves the potty!

Both my son and daughter were almost 4.5 before they potty trained let her do it when shes ready its the only thing they have control over with their body. She wont go to college in diapers let it go and youll both stop stressing about it


We have a 2 1/2 yr. Old who could care less…see if she’s dry at night. If she is, she’s ready. Pretty underwear? My daughter didn’t go until she could sit on the real toilet like her brother.

1 Like

Don’t use pull-ups. Once you switch to panties… Keep her in them. It confuses a child when they go back and forth. Don’t make her feel bad for accidents. Just praise her when she pees in the potty. It will take a few days of wet clothes, but she will get tired of having to stop playing and going to clean up. And carry the potty outside or wherever you go, so she realizes it is easier to go pee now than to change later. Good luck!


3 1/2 year old boy here and he HATES it. He knows when he goes and could totally do it but just hates being naked

Idk…give an option to pee in the shower or the toilet.:joy:did that with my son, he chose the shower for a week, then he switched permanently to the toilet.

My daughter is 4 and the same way

Sounds like she isn’t ready yet. Take a break from it for a bit and then try again.


We were in the same boat. I was at my wits end! So I just asked, “What do you need to go potty in the toilet? What will help you?” He told me a Mickey Mouse toilet, it arrived 2 days later, and within a week was trained. Yeah, every kid is different and they’ll go when they’re ready, but they know more than we realize. Have a conversation with her about why she doesn’t want to and what you can do to make her more comfortable. It’ll happen.


our girl is almost 3 and just semi consistently just stared to use the toilet more the last 3 days. before we would ask and it was a big no, she still doesn’t tell us when she has to pee so we rarely catch her for that, but lately she’ll rub her belly and say oww and we ask if she has to poop and she says yes so we run to the potty. we’ve never tried to force her, we would just ask and if she said no then that was the end of the discussion. they won’t start until THEY are ready

I just completely took diapers away unless it was bedtime. Yes, you are going to have messes but they learn real quick they have no other choice than to use the potty. It might sound harsh, but I never made her feel bad for accidents, I just explained “well, you are a big girl now and gotta use the potty.” I did this with all three of my daughters.

1 Like

Consult your doctor. She may have a sensory issue or need occupational therapy.


dont fight or give hiding if she not using potty and have a glips be calm because if you fight or scrsam she going to be scared put potty where she can see it she will use it on her own living room where she plays the most mot in bath room she cant see it there let her get use to it use doll peaise doll by let it look like best friend used the potty but the doll she loved the most

1 Like

Don’t force it, you’ll make her more scared. Potty training is normal between 2 and 5. The more you stress about it the more she’ll feel it and get scared or anxious about it.

1 Like

Oh crap potty training method, there’s a book. Buy it & read it. There’s a Facebook group that’s very helpful, but they require you read the book first. Oh Crap! Potty Training Unofficial Book Club


A friend of mine had tried everything… She finally made the child’s bedroom her poopy jail… She had to stay in her room until she started going on the potty


I don’t get it 30 or 40 years ago you would be embarrassed to say your child was 3 years old and not potty trained all my kids were potty trained by the time they were 14 months old there’s no sense that child four or five years old in diapers unless there’s something mentally or physically wrong


So my 4 year old refused to use the potty until last November (she turned 4 the next month) I ended up getting her a seat with stairs attached to use the big girl potty instead of the little one and she is potty trained during the day and wears undies but at night since she’s such a hard sleeper I put pull ups on her

Both of mine were just past 4 years old when they were trained. Don’t make a big issue of it in front of her because that can cause her to make a big deal of it (and not in a good way!). Now that the weather is nice, put her in regular underwear and clothes and play outside a lot with her, ask her if she wants to try to potty once in a while and if she says no then don’t push it and when she has an accident take her in to change and get cleaned up. That’s what got mine trained. Making an issue of it or getting into a power struggle over it will make it more difficult and miserable for both of you.

I had to buy my daughter a punk potty an pretty underwear.

Don’t force her to potty. She will “fear” the potty if you over emphasize it. I potty trained 3 boys. Lol ironically my last boy was the hardest to potty train. He would get butt naked and run outside to pee…idk why…good thing we live on 6 acres. His potty would play a “royal song” if he gave it a “reward”.:rofl::rofl: he also had a plain one. I took a potty all over the house with me…he was 3.5 and a friend came over… i took the potty outside with us… he had to pee and I heard the little song. I thought he had pooped, but nope he had peed. We gave him a high five and a hug…and he continued after that. He was almost 3.5…he’ll be 16 Monday. :pleading_face: she’ll be ok… just give her time.:revolving_hearts:

The best advice I ever got was “they will go when they are ready.” And it’s SO true!


You have to have her naked from the waist down but it may take a few days, not just a few hours.

I let my daughter pick out boxers, and that somehow worked(big into power rangers and no girl undies had them at the time)

She’ll go when she’s ready. That’s what my girl did and I was in a similar situation.


Potty watch -Amazon & shop together for big girl panties :crossed_fingers:t4:

Make her clean it up.


Don’t make a big deal about it. I have a 4 year old about to be 5 in June, he’s yet to wipe his own butt we keep encouraging him. He didn’t start actually going to use the bathroom until he was 4, I honestly feel for you bc I’m going thru it. Just keep encouraging, he wears pullups at night and undies during the day. Take one day at a time and be very patient. Kids will go at there own pace.

1 Like

I don’t no how I did it but my kids and grand kids was out of pampered before they turn 2 and my oldest great granddaughter too

1 Like

The animals. we rub there nose in it, then put them where you want them to do it.


Take away all diapers and pull ups! Get a potty watch. Stay home as much as you can so she has access to her potty. If she makes a mess, have her clean it up, with your supervision/help of course, but she should do most of the clean up. Let her sit in her wet underpants. She will learn pretty quick it’s uncomfortable. My daughter was also almost 4 by the time she was potty trained. We stayed home for a week and did everything I listed above. She had it down in 3 days and went back to preschool after that week fully potty trained. Prizes and candy didn’t work for her. She’s a stubborn turd! Lol

1 Like

What a different potty seat or the attachment that goes on the actual toilet

Talk to her pediatrician


Honestly I got a little potty for my daughter and brought her in when I went…unconventional I guess but then she got excited about going potty she will be 4 next month and she’s so excited to go alone and wipe herself. :sweat_smile:


My son was 5 when he became potty trained. Suddenly one day he just…figured it out. Hang in there Mama!


My child just turned 4 she was going potty so well for a few months and then decided she wanted to be lazy I’ve been making her wear panties but it really does not help if you make a deal about it, it will surely discourage her! I suggest letting her go to the bathroom with you everytime you go. I really wouldn’t stress too much because kids sense that and then it stresses them out. Every child is different and she’ll go when she’s ready but just try to slowly encourage it


My son was soooo stubborn. I literally told him on his fourth birthday they no longer made diapers big enough for 4 year olds so he would have to just have to use the potty and that did it. Never one accident just from birthday on….

Like wtf lol


Elmo potty training system. Put a chart in the bathroom with star stickers and have a reward at the end of the week that build up to an even bigger one. My child went to bed with a pull up and would change into big kid underwear in the morning.

I let my child tell me when they were ready and we went from there. It was super stress free for me. I had a potty upstairs and downstairs. I then had their own exclusive bathroom with all the kiddie bells and whistles to make it fun.

Try putting the potty in the living room or whatever room your in. Let her know she can’t start school until she’s potty trained. That helped motivate my daughter she absolutely screamed in horror when I would even sit her on the potty. Also don’t force it. If they feel they are upsetting you it just makes them feel even worse, kinda like they know they are disappointing you. They feel it.

1 Like

There’s this new watch I hear it does a great job, you can set it and it tells them when to go potty.

Kinda Had to force it with my now five year old. He’s been potty trained for almost a year now. But it was a nightmare. He did not want to use the potty. We went to the store and he refused to pick out undies. so I picked out some for him. We went to the vitamin aisle and I turned around to grab a thing of Flintstone vitamins and I heard a loud thumping noise. Turned around he was throwing the packs of undies out of the cart LOL
But I am having the same issue you’re having with your child right now with my three year old. He wants nothing to do with the toilet and insists that he will never use it LOL

I tried rewards as well my son just starting using it when he was ready on his own and pressuring him just made it worse but when I let him do his thing he had no problems.


When first starting out we had mine sit on the potty while watching TV. And sometimes she’s pee sometimes she wouldn’t. She just became officially fully potty trained except for at night like a month ago… and sometimes while on the potty me or dada would play with her on it. Try to treat it as a regular seat so that she wouldn’t cry when on it

One of my kids took to almost 5 to potty train. I told her she couldn’t go to big girl school until she used the big girl potty.

Potty chair in her bedroom. Took us forever to find something so my daughter would start and this surprisingly worked

I litterly told my son he couldn’t turn 5 if he still was wearing diapers… and well he believed it lol he really wanted a birthday party lol


Is she competitive? You can time her to see how quickly she can go, or try to race to the potty, or see who can go to the bathroom first if you have multiple. I find my 4 year old will do anything if it’s a competition

My son was trained at 1.5 yrs. Then his dad left and he started going back into pants. So I never bothered untill he was ready and started sitting on the potty himself. Around 3.5. next two kids one was ready at 6 (only night time diapers at 4 and later, daytime she started using bathroom at 4) one took off diapers at end of 4 as she wanted to go to big kids school. Daycare trained them too but there were still accidents till 4.

I had a poster on the fridge that said NO cookies, NO candy, NO ice cream until I go pee pee toilet. Id make her read it out loud everytime she walked by. She’s 28 now lol.

1 Like

My mom trained my brother by rubbing his face in it. Sounds cruel but it worked


Take her to the doctor. Maybe she has an infection and she can’t “feel” that she has to go and just does it? If that’s not it then take her to the store have her pick out her own potty seat for the toilet and pick her underwear out, and maybe a new bed set. Get a water proof bed sheet and and extra sheet for nights she has accidents and just set a timer for every 45 minutes during the day and maybe wake her up once at night to go to the bathroom.

Try a schedule and reinforcement. Take her to the potty every 15 min and sit for 15 or something like that and decrease the time she sits on the toilet when she starts going or initiating then eventually she’ll initiate. Lots of reinforcement when she does go on toilet.

used a package called once upon a potty, seat, book, movie, silly songs and tells kids what to do in a digestible format. not sure if still make it. worked well for both. they sat on seat while watched, then seat had a spot for use in between.

We used a potty watch. It goes off every 30,60 or 90 minutes to remind them to use the bathroom. We also did a sticker chart with x amount of stickers got a certain prize working up to a big toy. Also tablet time was potty time.

1 Like

Make her wash her soiled underwater and wipe up the floor.


My twins are struggling as well :tired_face:

Sameeee, my son just turned 4 and has no interest in using the potty. He’ll wear undies but he’ll start freaking out and wants a pull up when he’s got to go potty, and ill put him on the toilet but he’ll have like an anxiety attack and scream / cry, I just don’t know what to do.

Mr Rodgers helped my son.

Please do not physically or psychologically harm them like some comments say. Anyone will do anything you ask as long as you hurt or scare them enough.


My middle was like that. Used to tell me she would change her own diaper at school when I would ask her who would change her :joy: always a huge fight with her about the potty. Then one day she told me she wanted to use the potty and that was it. She was almost four. My youngest is going the same route it seems… My oldest was three and had accidents for a bit, but no real fight.

Get a potty chair and have her sit on it when u go. It maybe she is scared of the big potty right now.

Clothe get fully. Soggy clothes on the skin is a very uncomfortable feeling, and she will quickly realize it’s better to go in the potty.


Not sure how much you have tried, but: let her know ahead of time you are going to get her ready to potty train. Explain to her what it is and why she’s doing it. Tell her often you are going to potty train her so it’s not a shock. Put her on the toilet every 30min or hour. When she finally goes, reward her with a candy (or whatever she likes). Keep doing it over and over. It’s been working for me, and my daughter was not a fan the 1st few times we tried. Consistency is key. Also, show her on yourself and on her how to wipe; have her practice and do it on herself. Make it a positive thing.

Right in the trenches with you…I’m about at my wit’s end :sob:

I knows she’s only about to turn 4 :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: but keep doing what ur doing it’s great it’s hard yes but every child is different and will go when there ready :relaxed: my boy did the exact same thing and within a week toilet trained :two_hearts: hope this helps

I just got my 4.5 year old boy potty trained recently. One day I said no more pull-ups (except for bedtime for now) and hid them and brought him to the toilet every 30 minutes. He would throw fits and whine in the morning until he first went to the bathroom and then was fine afterward. It’s been a month now and he does it all on his own apart from I help him wipe.

My eldest son was potty trained at 2 so it was hard for me waiting until my 4 year old was ready but I truly think they just have to be ready and then it’s a breeze.

My daughter would refuse to use the potty chair. I got a Minnie mouse insert for the big toilet and she started using it immediately

2 is always a good age

Bribe her with dance lessons I told my daughter she couldn’t go to go to dance school unless she could use the potty. Worked like a charm two weeks and she was in big girl panties.

Screams and crys when taken to the bathroom? Has anything "happened " to her? Is there any other learning delays? Has she reached other milestones?

I’d work through a list of possibilities.
First, doctor. Does she have a weak bladder or incontinence?
Second, is she scared? Is the bathroom where she gets punished like if she has a tantrum do you take her to the restroom to correct her?
Third, Does she have a learning delay? Some kids simply can’t quite understand how to do this.

Don’t let others pressure you. Do not punished her until you know what the issue is. Do what’s best for your baby even if that means staying in pull ups.


It’s that time to set a timer for every 20 minutes and go sit in the bathroom with them. I did it with my son, he was potty trained fine going peepee but would not go number two! He would ask for a diaper every time. So after I dedicated two whole days to every 20 minutes we were in the bathroom going (whether he went or not) no diapers. He now goes poo poo twice a day where as with a diaper only once. He also much happier and proud now before he had so much shame with the diaper as he would go hide and be very embarrassed about it (which I knew meant it was time.)

1 Like

Don’t be too hard on urself she will do it when she is ready just keep trying, my 5 year old has a bit of a learning delay and is still struggling with toilet training (wee we have sorted but she won’t do poo on potty or toilet)

Maybe make a goal with her? Like pick something she really wants to do or have(toy etc) and set the goal of we will do/get this once you are potty trained? Gives her something exciting to work towards that’s more then candy/snacks she may be able to get without going potty lol

Does she go to day care or anything at all?
Seeing other kids using the toilet can do wonders.


Ive read that rewarding kids for using the potty is somewhat counterproductive…instead stress on positive reenforcement when they go, and buy some childrens books you can read to her about potty training.


You’re going about it the right way. Undies and stickers and prizes. Trying to take her to the toilet every 30 minutes is next. Are you using an adapter for the big toilet or a potty chair? That’s my question. The big toilet may be scary. She may be afraid she’ll fall in. As for the potty chair, my son fought that like there was no tomorrow. If you have an adapter for the big potty, is there a step stool so she can get on the potty by herself? And still have a place for her feet to touch while sitting on the potty? That’s a thing with some kids. So a potty chair is better for them. Unless you have a step-stool for them to use for the big potty. I would just keep working with her. Put the diapers or pull-ups away and tell her she’s too grown up for those now. Put her in training pants and keep trying.