Potty Train Your Stubborn Girl: 25 Simple Tips (That Work!)

Potty Training Stubborn Girl: Anyone that’s ever toilet trained a toddler, knows how awful it can be (but hey, don’t let it stop you from doing what’s got to be done!). And one of the best ideas, is to BE PREPARED. It is never too early to start familiarising your toddler with toilet related terms and actions (hello, who knows what it’s like to have a toddler watching you on the toilet – all of us!)

We’ve done a lot of research around potty training stubborn girl’s (online and speaking with other parents and experts) and utilised a few different types of toilet training methods for my stubborn little Delilah, and what follows is 25 steps to success, some tips, a and a whole heap more. So, without further ado:

Table of Contents

Is Your Toddler Really Ready?

Many parents are unclear when to begin toilet training or “potty training” their children – including yours truly! Because not all children are ready at the same age, keep an eye out for the below indicators of readiness, before deciding it’s time for bye-bye nappy.

  • follow simple instructions
  • understand and use words about using the potty or toilet
  • make the connection between the urge to pee or poop and using the potty or toilet
  • keep a diaper dry for 2 hours or more
  • get to the potty/toilet, sit on it for enough time, and then get off the potty/toilet
  • pull down diapers, disposable training pants, or underpants
  • show an interest in using the potty/toilet or wearing underpants

The majority of children show these signs between the ages of 18 and 24 months, while some may not be ready until later. .

When travelling, around the birth of a sibling, transitioning from the crib to the bed, moving to a new house, or when your child is sick, you may wish to delay commencing toilet training (especially if diarrhoea is a factor.)

Potty Training Stubborn Girl: 25 Tips That Work

potty training stubborn girl

1. Have lots of spare pairs of Toddler Underwear ready

First thing is first, get to the shops and grab a handful of cheap cotton toddler undies. You will need them!

2. Eliminate Diapers/Nappies

You’ll almost certainly have to get rid of all of the diapers in your home (except for at night.) If your child is aware that diapers are accessible, she is more likely to hunt them down and whinge for what she once used to tear off with great excitement (!)…and you’ll both be back to regular diaper changes (and buying those things is expensive, right??)

3. Maybe rewards aren’t for your stubborn girl?

We had no luck with prizes – although, I do know a couple of households where their children would run to the bathroom to obtain another piece of chocolate. EVERY SINGLE DAY. I also know a few parents whose children excelled at earning incentives. You are the most knowledgeable about your child. And you never know how one child may react to rewards at one moment of their toddler life compared to a few months ago. It will be lot easier over the long run, however, if you can do it without using any bribes, gimmicks, or prizes.

4. Try Going Without Distractions

When we tried to persuade our son to use the potty by reading him books or letting him watch videos, he completely lost interest in the fact that he had to use the potty and instead demanded more books / videos again and over. To get him to really pee in the potty, we had to remove all distractions. So, if you think you can complete it without any interruptions, go for it.

5. Use A Fun/Gimmicky Timer

It might help you to persuade your toddler to sit still for one minute This was the only gimmick that actually worked for us. Because Delilah is so active, she would sit for 5 seconds, pee or poop a little, and then dash off to play. We were able to communicate to her that she needed to sit and finish going to the potty before running off by using a cheap tiny toddler-safe (i.e., non-glass) sand timer (like this one). This is the best way to get them to sit still – try it at dinner time too haha!

6. Don’t Say “It’s OK” When Your Child Has An Accident

We don’t want our children to believe that having an accident is OK. Don’t even call it an accident; adding that word to your child’s vocabulary may encourage them to intentionally cause more “accidents” so they can triumphantly shout, “I had an accident!!” Rather, try saying “”Let’s go pee in the potty and finish!” or “Pee goes in the potty!” You’ll do better next time, and we’ll make sure you use the restroom.”

7. Also, Don’t Freak Out When An Accident Does Happen

Even if it’s the seventh time that day that your child has peed all over your floor (yep, it’s happened). It’s probably good to express some disappointment (it truly depends on your child!) But don’t let them know they have the power to make you angry or unhappy (they’ll take it and run with it – toddler’s love a big reaction!).

8. It’s OK To Take A Break

If it’s not working, it’s not working. Take a week off and try again. If you push it too hard, you’ll only make it more difficult for yourself.

9. That Being Said, Don’t Give Up Too Soon

This slightly contradicts the previous tips, but you are the best judge of your child. Stick with it if your child is making sluggish progress but isn’t upset or acting out in other ways, even if you have a lot of accidents every day.

10. Have Lots Of Small Towels Ready

We’ve been using microfiber towels for all spills in the home since our kids were born, and we have 48(!!!) of them. They’re a lifesaver since they absorb spills well… and you’ll have a lot of wee wee to clean up (unless, of course, your child toilet trains swiftly and without problems, in which case you wouldn’t be reading this long essay). And you could go through multiple pairs of underwear in a single day. Microfiber towels and small underpants make up the majority of our laundry loads. Because we stored up on these products, we don’t have to wash laundry every day. Thank goodness.

11. Practice Makes Perfect…Drink, drink, drink!

The more peeing practise your child gets, the faster they will comprehend when they need to go and how to do it correctly. We don’t usually feed our kids juice, but while they were potty training, we mixed juice with water to get them to drink more. (Be careful to wash their teeth thoroughly many times a day to prevent cavities caused by the sugar in juice, and read my guide to toddler teeth brushing!)

12. Potty Training Treasure Chest

To keep her toilet toys and any rewards like stickers, temporary tattoos, or little toys, think about making a treasure chest. While she waits on the toilet for the magic to happen, she can amuse herself with the treasure trove.

13. Don’t Forget To Look For Signs of A UTI

This was not something I had considered at first with my little boy, but when I picked up my daughter from daycare one day, her teacher informed me that she had requested to use the toilet six times in three hours, which was more than typical. It was suggested that I have her examined for a urinary tract infection (UTI). She had no further symptoms of a UTI and was well, but it is crucial to be aware of the signs of a UTI, which include itching, burning when urinating, an urgent need to go but only going a little, fever, and foul-smelling or murky urine.

To avoid your girl getting a UTI – you must make certain that they are thoroughly wiped with toilet paper – and cleaned in the bath or shower at the end of the day.

14. But, then again, maybe your stubborn girl needs a reward chart?

Make a sticker chart and reachable prizes as incentives to use the restroom. Sticker charts were a good idea for both of our little ones.

15. Use a Character Potty Chair

This little tip is a great way to get those stubborn kids on to the potty – take them to the shops and let them choose out a potty branded with their favourite character – we have Paw Patrol and Elsa – good tims!

16. Don’t get in to a Power Struggle

If they’re not ready, they’re not ready. And if either of you aren’t in the best mood – then, hey, it’s ok to wait until tomorrow to try again – promise!

17. Rope the Big Kids in

Getting your stubborn girl to go potty can really be as simple as getting them to watch an older sibling or friend do it – and watch with wonder as they follow suit (fingers crossed – good luck!)

18. Get the timing right

Aside from making sure your stubborn toddler is in the right mood, you need to get other timings right – i.e – are they even ready for potty training? To read about the signs of readiness, check out our post on potty training tips here.

19. Try to Potty train before your toddler is 3

Controversial I know, but this can really help – 3 year olds are known for being notoriously stubborn – so maybe if you get in a bit earlier, you may end up making it much easier for yourself. Deep breath!

20. Wee wee first

What appears to be the best thing for most potty training toddlers, is learning to Number ones before Number twos. Some toddlers find bowel movements a bit intimidating on a potty – they have some sort of strange ownership over poo poo in a diaper.

21. Beware the new baby

Already potty trained toddlers, particularly stubborn ones can regress when a new baby arrives in the household – it is a form of attention seeking (yes, another one!). Read our post on new siblings arriving for more tips aorund this.

24. Remember, we all eventually learn to use the toilet

When your stubborn girl is in high school, you will have forgotten all about potty training – and thank goodness for that!

25. Get Ready To Celebrate

Your stubborn girl will eventually be toilet trained, albeit it may take longer than other children. Get ready to celebrate and make a big deal out of it when that happens!

Potty Training Stubborn Girl: Simple Steps to Success

potty training stubborn girl


Start on a weekend or at least 2x consecutive days (preferably more) of just staying at home. And make sure it’s warm enough for this next stage…

Nude and Rude

We began by letting Delilah go naked for the entire day while keeping a VERY CLOSE EYE ON HER. Every room we hung out in, we brought her potty with us. We did put a diaper on her for naps, meals, car rides, and nighttime – any time she might have had an accident.

2 reasons to keep your stubborn girl naked for this first stage of potty training:

– It’s the quickest way to use the restroom because you don’t have to remove underwear, pants, or leggings.

– We didn’t want her to continue peeing and pooping in her underwear, believing she was wearing a diaper

Move It To The Bathroom

This step consisted of just bringing the potty closer to the bathroom each day, encouraging our girl to anticipate the need to use it. We spent a couple of days on this stage.

Put Their Clothes Back On

We clothed Delilah in loose-fitting shorts or a skirt once she could consistently run to the bathroom to use the potty (again, accidents happened, sometimes even every day… but she was growing better and better, so we knew we were improving).

We initially assisted her in pulling down pants/shorts (and lifting skirt out of the way) because we didn’t want her to have an accident and feel awful about it, but we eventually pushed her to do so on his own.

We didn’t want our daughter to wear underwear at this stage for the same reasons we didn’t want her to wear underwear before: (1) we wanted her to spend more time without underwear so she forgot what it felt like to be in a diaper, and (2) we wanted to be able to pull down her pants as quickly as possible.

Surprisingly, this stage took us over a week. During this time, there were A LOT of wet shorts and skirts. But she wasn’t refusing to use the potty, and she even had days where she didn’t have any accidents, so we decided to keep going.

Time For Big Girl Undies

We were finally able to put our girl in both underwear and clothes! We kept a tight check on her for the first few days since we weren’t sure if she’d recognise he needed to pee – and sure enough, after she started wearing underpants, she had a few more accidents. After each accident, we reminded her that “pee goes in the potty!” and the frequency of accidents gradually dropped. Woo hoo!

From The Potty To The Toilet

You’ll want to get your toddler off the potty and onto a regular toilet as soon as possible. TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. Cleaning out the kiddie potty numerous times a day is gross. Even after changing poopy nappies for 2yrs, the potty clean is so bad!

We kept this potty seat on our toilet at the same time as our toddler was using her toddler potty so she would get used to seeing it. She did use it a few times, but she chose to use her toddler potty most of the time. We didn’t force her to transition until we were confident that we had this potty training thing down pat; we didn’t want to upset her by making her switch potties halfway through the process.

I just told her the potty was dirty and she could try the toilet seat…and she did….shock!

If your stubborn girl refuses to change potty, don’t force it. It’s preferable for children to associate going to the bathroom with something nice, and for you to keep cleaning out that nasty potty (sorry!) You WILL get there soon.

Keep On Keeping On

We were practically “done” with potty training at this time; at this stage, our stubborn little Delilah knew what to do.

We still have a few mishaps now and then. We’re still having mini-accidents, when she starts peeing and then realises she needs to go and rushes to the restroom.

The next stage is to train her to inform us when she has to leave if we are at someone’s house or out somewhere. Then on to the dreaded night time toilet training….

Potty Training Stubborn Girl: Essential Resources

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To wrap it all up – Potty Training Stubborn Girl…

Thank you for making it this far with me. I hope that at least one of these tips & images resonates with you & your family when it comes to your toilet training journey. I hope it’s all been helpful – please comment below with any tips I may have forgotten! And if you need any further assistance on toddler toilet habits, check out our post on toddler poop consistency.


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