Every child is unique in the way they go about potty training. Some are more difficult to train than others, which is no fault of the parent. Although each child is different when it comes to learning how to use the toilet, parents tend to share the same roadblocks. Listed here are some of the most common potty training concerns parents experience.
Potty Training Concern #1: My Child Has Absolutely No Interest in the Toilet
If you’ve tried books, DVDs, rewards or any other tricks in your toolbox, but still face a resistant toddler — chances are it’s just too soon. Just because you’re ready to ditch the diapers, doesn’t mean your child is. This is a very common potty training concern. According to Parents.com, your child might be ready if they can pull their pants up and down by themselves and show an interest in the toilet. Some other signs of readiness include:
- Staying dry for at least two hours at a time
- Stopping what they’re doing, or even hiding to fill their diaper
- Asking for a clean diaper
Potty Training Concern #2: My Child is Afraid of the Toilet
It may seem silly to an adult, but to a toddler, a toilet is a scary thing! It is big, cold and makes scary noises. Public toilets are the worst. In addition to the fact that they’re in an unfamiliar place, some have sensors that flush whenever you move. This can scare the living daylights out of a toddler who is perfectly content with staying in diapers!
Parents need to step in and squash that fear as soon as possible to prevent it from becoming unmanageable. Familiarize your child with the toilet in your house and public toilets before even expecting your child to sit on one.
Potty Training Concern #3: My Child Has Accidents
The word, “accidents” is a strange one when it comes to potty training because accidents are actually completely normal. In other words, just expect that your child will soil his or her pants during the first few months, and always be prepared with a spare set of underwear, pants, and socks. Talk to your pediatrician if you are concerned accidents happen too often or if you suspect there could be an underlying medical issue.
Potty Training Concern #4: My Child Won’t Poop in the Toilet
Another potty training concern is constipation issues. If your child poops infrequently and seems to be holding it in, this may be the case. Constipation can also discourage children from using the toilet for fear of pain that they associate with it. According to popular pediatrician Dr. Sears, having an open dialogue with your child about pooping can help. Don’t avoid the topic, and certainly don’t act like it’s something they should be ashamed of or something that is gross.
If your child isn’t constipated and just is more comfortable finding a hiding spot and pooping in their pants, it could relate to the fear of the toilet and the strange feeling that occurs when they poop in it. Next time they soil their pants, try taking them to the toilet and emptying their underwear into it so they can see what happens when you flush. It may seem silly, but this helps many kids learn the fact that poop belongs in the potty, not in their pants.
Potty Training Concern #5: My Child Wets the Bed at Nighttime
This is probably the most common potty training concern parents have, and unfortunately, there isn’t too much you can do besides wait it out. Some kids just need time for their bladders to grow stronger, yet there could be a variety of other reasons. Besides waking the child at the same time each night to use the potty, one tip that works for many parents is to try dressing the child in training underwear underneath a diaper at nighttime so that the child can feel when they’ve urinated. The training pants help them realize when they’ve wet the bed and learn to wake up around that same time, yet the pajamas and sheets stay clean.