What To Do When Your Child Refuses to Potty Train

You read all the books and watched all potty training kid videos. You purchased the best potty training chair. You feel that your child is getting too old for diapers or they showed some interest in big kid underpants. You think you’re both ready. But what if you find your toddler resisting potty training and now won’t even sit on the toilet? Potty training resistance isn’t uncommon. We’ve listed some reasons for this below and some ways to address it.

1. Your child may be afraid to fail.

Some toddlers are excited when they first begin potty training and seem to thrive on all the praise and enthusiasm when they successfully pee on the toilet. Equally, some kids get very discouraged when they have an accident. This certainly isn’t the worst scenario; after all, if your child is indifferent to accidents then there will be no motivation for them to avoid them. However, sometimes the shame of “failing” can prevent toddlers from wanting to try at all and lead to what feels like potty training regression.

If this seems to be the case, start by encouraging sitting on the potty at all, rather than just successfully peeing on the potty. You can tell your child, “if you sit on the potty, we can have a party!”. If your child sits, even for a second, praise them enthusiastically (dancing around the room is encouraged). If they need an extra incentive, you can entice them with a favorite treat if they sit. You may eventually begin to see that they will pee during one of these times that they sit, and that’s great! But continue to praise sitting at all until you feel your child is getting the hang of it.

2. They’re scared of the toilet.

Loud flushing noises or feeling unsteady atop the seat can be the culprit here. There is no “best” potty training potty but we would recommend finding either a seat that sits on top of an adult toilet or a small separate potty chair just for them that you can keep in the bathroom. If you have an older child, there are plenty of potty chairs for bigger toddlers as well.

3.They’re just not old enough.

Sometimes parents are ready to ditch diapers before their children. Our recommendation, even if your child may be physically capable, don’t bother trying to potty train before 2.5. Generally, daycares don’t enact potty training requirements until a child reaches age 3 so don’t rush into it before your kiddo is ready.

Just Parent