Naughty Potty

I am a live-in nanny for a 2 year old little girl (terrible twos.....ugh) who will literally refuse a diaper change. Whenever I try to change her she hits and kicks me, scratches me, spits on me, etc. I've tried everything from giving her a toy to distract her with, offering to change her standing up, I even tried a reward system with her where she gets a sticker everytime she lets me change her and nothing is working! I know that she isn't ready to be potty trained yet because I have even tried to potty train her and she shows absolutely no interest and refuses to go on the potty too. Basically what I (and her parents) do now is force her to lay down and let me change her, but with all the hitting, kicking, etc this can take up to a whole half hour and i don't know how much longer I can keep on doing that. By allowing her to hit and kick me while I change her isn't really teaching her anything! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


no name said...

RE-post for Anonymous...
Have you found out how the parents handle this?

I would tell her a few minutes before the diaper change to let her know it's coming.

I would also try harder with the potty training - it seems she's not a fan of the diapers either.

Fiji24 said...

I had a similar problem, although the 2year old boy didn't get to the point of hitting he ran away from me. I put him on the toilet an he wasn't aloud to get off untill he went. We sat there for a long time (3hrs) he was very very stubborn. But he now is dry all day and wears a diaper at night and for naptime.
It seemed extreme but really did work

Nannycaroline said...

My 15 month old charge is getting to this point, though he can be distracted with toys sometimes. Their changing table has a strap on it that helps a lot. I am very firm with him and look at him and say Stop kicking (or biting or scratching or whatever he is doing) and glare at him. When he settles down, I change him quite fast, with a running commentary, Diaper is off, wiping, putting cream on, new diaper is on, now 3 buttons, 2 buttons, 1 button, you're done! And also I know it is hard, but I really try to stay calm, it helps. I hope something helps.

Rhiannon said...

This may seem silly, but when my charge runs away from a diaper change or tries to struggle away or kick, I start making silly faces and ridiculous noises. Or I sing a crazy song. It catches him off guard and distracts. Hope you can figure something out. Good luck!

ELam said...

Is there something like a special treat (I'm not usually one to use food as a reward, but this situation sounds obnoxious!) or a tv show or toy that you could use as a reinforcer? If there's a special something that she absolutely LOVES then I would try using it. And maybe try a proactive approach, just before you change her diaper you could talk to her about how it's not ok to hit/kick/bite/spit and remind her that "First we change your diaper, then you get ______".

It sounds like straight up bribery but I think she's young enough that eventually the special treat can be faded out and she should get to the point where she doesn't fight back. Praise her when she's laying still and not fighting, and ignore the hitting/kicking and try to just keep on changing her. Don't even acknowledge it. Just be sure if you are using some type of reward that you stay strong and do not give her a reward if she hit or kicks, even just once, while you're changing her.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

I once had a charge like this...and I told the parents.

Turns out, she was allergic to the type of diapers she was using. So we changed the type of diapers and problem solved.

TC 00 said...

I wouldn't recommend sitting her on the potty for hours on end, to me that's cruel. That hurts sitting there that long.

Op have y'all thought about potty training though? Maybe that's what she needs. See if the parents are willing to buy the thick Gerber brand panties (Walmart and target both carry them) and try that with her.

Could it be that she wants more control? Maybe she wants to take her own diaper off (pee only of course) and pants as well, maybe try pullups?

I'd also wonder if she's acting out because she's been abused. While working at a daycare there was a little girl that fought us tooth and nail to change her diaper and finally cps was called when we found a show print bruise on her back, turns out her father was molesting her.

oh well said...

I would take it as a very positive sign that she does not want to be changed. She wants to be in control.
If it is convenient (hardwood floors, warm weather...), and if the parents are OK with this, I would present her with three pairs of underwear (to be put on top of each other, ideally she would choose them with characters she likes), put a potty nearby and see what happens. When her underwear gets wet, help her change and please let her handle as much as possible on her own. Hopefully she will get tired of it and pay more attention to the potty (diapers are way too comfortable for most children).
Praise her (with moderation) when she gets it right and do not make any comment (positive or negative) when she doesn't. Good luck.

Lyn said...

I, too, was going to say to be on the lookout for signs of abuse. It's normal for a curious and active toddler to not want to stay still for a diaper change. It's not normal for screaming, tears, hitting and other violence to be a reaction to something that she's been having done her whole life.
Please pay extremely close attention to her and her relationship with her parents. I'm not one to scream abuse but I see this as a serious red flag.

MissMannah said...

I would say she is ready for potty training. "Oh well" gave some good advice and I don't really have much to add to that. Except don't make her sit for 3 hours like a PP said. That is just obnoxious and will further contribute to power struggles.

Phoenix said...

well you are not the parent.

But this a wonderful example where i belive in spanking. It is the only thing you can do now, as you see nothing has worked.

But that is for the parents only. And even a parent says its ok, you should never do it.

THis kid needs to be spanked. And if you think its abuse, no it isn't. You have to do things that make the child know that the adult is in charge. and this would be a method as the last straw. Not something to be abused. I think in my sons 8 years that we've had him back he was spanked twice. And he NEVER did that bad thing again.

A child could be terrified of the toilet. I know one kid who thoughts he was going to get sucked down.

tHe other problem may be that she just plain doesn't want to sit still. And why would she listen to you about the diaper change when her parents dont enforce good behavior as well

Village said...

I agree with oh well. This is about control. Give it to her. I was going to suggest diaper free time, as recommended by doctors. It's usually just an hour or two a day, but it would get her out of diapers. Then segue into underpants, and be ready to mop. Not recommended for carpet. But I agree, she wants control, and that's a good time for potty training.

I knew a child once, who the first sentence out of her mouth was 'I want pretty panties.' Her mother wore pretty panties and she wanted them too. So the deal was, pretty panties, use the potty, and she did. She wasn't even two. Children mature differently.

Just because she doesn't like a wet bottom doesn't mean she is being abused, but I would want a check up to be sure.

Phoenix said...

that is true about the wet part.

My little sister didn't like her diapers wet either. We would have to hold her down. She looked like we were torturinb her. She hated the baby wipes because it was wet.

Well turned out she had a bladder infection. (common in my family no matter the age) So whenever she would act we would take her to the dr to get tested and is was bladder infection.

That may be something to consider too. Think about it, if its hurts like holy hell when you pee you aren't going to want to use the big toilet.

Fiji24 said...

Sitting a child on the potty for a while isn't obnoxious or cruel. This was a child who was so stubborn. After realising he could get off after going he went every time he got on with no accidents. It was just a time to sit to see tge positive result. It was his mothers idea as it was how she was potty trained also being a stubborn person.

Bethany said...

When did you try potty training?

Sounds like she is ready.

Oh, well gave you some good advice as far as that goes.

I would also rule out an allergy, or infection that causes diaper/potty time to be uncomortable for her. Also abuse.

Tc 00 said...

Yes Fiji making a child sit on the toilet for 3 hours is indeed cruel. How about you sit on the toilet for 3 hours and tell me how it feels.

It's a stage said...

Some children do this as a two year old power struggle, get the parents on board with a plan like, give one 2 min warning, you can try sitting on the child's feet or doing it standing up which is usually easer on the child who rodent want to lay down. It might help to practice potty after lunch, before nap (take diaper off in the bathroom and have child sit and look at books for 5-10min then do standing diaper for nap. A consistent routine may help, and make sure you do not become emotionally invested in this phase, because this too shall pass.

youCANdothis said...

You're definately a HUGE part of the problem. Regardless of how this two year old behaves, you should have her changed and her clothing back on and hands washed within no more than three to five minutes. Seriously. A half an hour is craziness!!! I've taken care of five and sometimes more toddlers and had to change them ALL every three hours. Some don't like it, sure. But you can NOT let it slow you down. I'm sure you're a lot stronger & bigger than this two year old child. Stop ALLOWING her to run the show. You're in charge. You're the boss. Change her diaper & do it quickly, very quickly. Ignore her fit. Take control. I think this is redic. To be honest. I would neeeverrrr allow that! You shouldn't either bc its obviously making you all miserable.

nc said...

Well said youCANdothis!

Alittlebitstronger said...

Wow, HITTING a child & making them sit on the toilet. What terrible advice. Just awful....

alittlebitstronger said...

"For thee hours"

UmassSlytherin said...

I don't believe in forcing a child to potty train.

Regarding the child not wanting to be changed, I would ask the pediatrician about it if it is that severe.

nursemaid said...

Fiji...that poor child could've got a blood clot in his leg and died. Its never safe to force a child to sit for three hours. There is a word for that. Its "abuse!"

Phoenix said...


When my husband was a little boy his father was cruel to him.

one Thanksgiving my husband who was onlt 6 at the time was joking around with his dad and 'shut up!'

So my husbands punishment was to sit straight up on the bed. The room he chose was one that he could see into the dining room where everyone else was eating dinner and he wasn't.

Just know. there are things that happen to children in their life that they don't get over and it hurts them.

Being spanked can easily be forgotten if it doesn't happen everyday. Forcing a child to sit on the toilet is cruel and i would assume that orher kids wouldn't react the same. in fact it may hinder them and scare them worse.

they would start to hide the fact they had to go relieve themselves. Then you have a traumatized child.

That wasn't good of you at all

Phoenix said...


that is going a little too far. Way too far. Kids sit longer than 3 hours all the time. The issue here was the psychological damage

NurseMaid said...

Its a biological fact, Phoenix. You speak up before you check your facts all the time. And no, three year olds are never made to sit three hours straight, except in cases of abuse.

Phoenix said...

it is not a biological fact that someone can be in a sitting position for more than 3 hours and develop blood clots?

I don't think so. YOu are aware blood clots also form when in any position really. Sleeping is one of them. How do you keep a 3 year old from getting a blood clot while they are sleeping!? Do you wake them up every 3 hours?

Adults are more prone to blood clots as they get older because it is a circulation problem. Most adults have to sit for at least 3 hours straight and they don't get blood clots.

I will research to see how many blood clots 3 year olds get from sitting for longer than 3 hours.

That just doesn't happen. A three year old has better circulation and when they are actually sitting on lets say a toiler their legs are barely even making a 90 degree angle parallel to the toilet bowl.

Blood clot? I don't think so

The part that is bad is a child should not be punished this way at all. This can seriously screw them up more and make the situation worse. Like lets say a child hiding the fact they had to go use the toilet because they are afraid of it.

And you can obviously see that the person who made a child sit for longer than 3 hours did not get a blood clot. Hell I've seen kids sit for 6 hours straight in front of a TV and not get blood clots. If a child gets blood clots for sitting more than 3 hours then they have a more serious condition that needs to be looked at.

Phoenix said...

*** When I say circulation problem, not being active falls undert that catagory***

Here is a link about blood clots

Here is a link regarding blood clots in children and young adults. I can't find any information on getting a blood clot from sitting on a toilet

now it does say that anyone can get a blood clot from sitting too long. But they need to have additional factors. If i sit for more than 6 hours straight I probably wont get a blood clot. If a middle aged man who is 65 pounds over weight sits for more than 6 hours he will be more prone to getting one.

Telling someone that a child will get a blood clot from sitting too long is not true. That is called psycho parenting and I would think that person keeps her kids in a bubble.

The mental damage of sitting on a toilet is the most important thing to address

Jan said...

Agree with "youCANdothis!"
She is two years old. You are bigger. I worked at a daycare once, and had kids like this- it's annoying, but still shouldn't take more than 5 min! Just keep a smile on, a good attitude, and remind her in a happy voice that when she wants to go on the big potty, she can do it all by herself :) Good luck!

Aside - well said Phoenix. If this was my kid, I would swat her gently but firm enough to get her attention for hitting or kicking. But as a nanny, you shouldn't!! :P

dingdingding said...

Phoenix, were you not aware that people move in their sleep? You're possibly the most ignorant poster here.

VeryNiceThankYou said...

A three year old in a sitting position for three hours IS too long and like your link says, can cause a blood clot. Thanks for proving my point.

Phoenix said...

no idiots. IT DOES NOT cause a blood clot in most people. 1/10,000 children will develop one. And yes they can form during sleep. Mostly after surgery though

The point is, a child sitting for 3 hours will not give them a blood clot unless the child has pre-existing conditions that cause the childs circulation to be off. Like an obese child.

it is not detrimental to have a child sit for 3 hours. And for the idiots who don't know how to read the links I provided you will see that sitting DOES cause blood clots. But not in healthy children. People over the age of 65 are at greater risk. And after surgery they have to have those weird socks that pulse to get the blood flowing.

a healthy 3 year old will not get a blood cot as long as he is healthy. common sense

Nonjudgmentalnanny said...

Have you thought the pp had told the child you have to go or can't get off and the child was being defiant? Is it good to tell a child no no no then just five in and say yes to say a cookie??? Well you can't have one rule for one thi v and change it for another! Also another poster said that they would read books, there are plenty of toilet trading books out there well what a good time to encourage a child to go whilst on the potty!! Oh and as for the blood clot have you ever seen a child sit still on a potty for longer than say 4-5 secs??? So moving I'd guess. Which for anyone who travels would know when sat in a 4+ hour flight your advised to wiggle your toes move your legs to prevent!!!

Phoenix said...

The way we potty trained the kids in my family was scare them into embarrassment. Doesn't sound nice i know but it worked.

between 1 and 2 it was harder to do this cuz they didn't understand.

but as they got older we would ask them if they wanted to go to school still wearing diapers and all their friends would know how to use the potty.

Also we would refer to movies. Did Snow White wear a diaper?

What we did was put the decision to start potty training on the chld. We wouldn't force them or punish them. but when they started show some interest in the toilet we would introduce it slowly. Over time if they didn't make progress we would start asking them about who wears diapers and who doesn't.

FYI - when the Rugrats came out on TV this was a hard argument. LOL

Flip1 said...

I have potty trained many children (girls are so much easier than boys)
Some were easy and eager to be out of diapers and in big underwear.
Some where harder some were ready but liked being babied by people.

Each child is different and different tactics are needed.
Though some may not agree with different methods some may.
I agree rugrats make it alot harder

Yeah said...

If a cartoon is affecting your childs potty training, your child is watching way tooo much tv. Tv isn't healthy for children, still in diapers. What lazy parenting.

Susannah said...

I agree with those that say it's time to try toilet training.

Do not allow her to hit you.

It's ok to be upset it's not ok to hit, kick, spit etc.

There are many toilet training methods pick one or a combination of many that works for you and the little one.

Phoenix said...


Having your children watch a favorite TV show is not the same as putting them in front of a TV 24/7

Why does everyone always jump to conclusions? and the most drastic ones at that