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Potty Genius Blog

6 Troubleshooting Tips for Common Potty Training Problems


Having trouble potty training? Here are 6 tips for your potty training problems:
trouble potty training

by Angie Long

Angie is an experienced freelance writer and mother of two. She has extensive experience working in professional training, including the development and evaluation of training and exam material. She has a background in elementary education. Angie has a 4-year-old who still struggles with potty training, yet her 8-year-old nailed it by two years of age.


Potty Genius Blog

6 Troubleshooting Tips for Common Potty Training Problems


Having trouble potty training? Here are 6 tips for your potty training problems:

by Angie Long

Angie is an experienced freelance writer and mother of two. She has extensive experience working in professional training, including the development and evaluation of training and exam material. She has a background in elementary education. Angie has a 4-year-old who still struggles with potty training, yet her 8-year-old nailed it by two years of age.


trouble potty training

Having trouble potty training? Here are 6 tips for your potty training problems.

Potty Training Problem #1: Toilet Fear

Toilet fears are common in toddlers. If you consider it from their point of view, toilets are pretty scary. To them, toilets are big, cold, and loud. Don’t be alarmed if the toilet seems to scare your child. Try to figure out exactly what about the toilet is creating the fear and attempt to address it. For example, if the seat is cold, try adding a padded toilet seat. If they don’t like the sound, wait to flush until your child leaves the room. If the toilet’s just too big, try getting your child used to a potty chair first.

Potty Training Problem #2: Your Child is Constipated.

Parents may have trouble potty training because of their child’s toilet fear, which could be due to their constipation. If your child is chronically constipated, going potty might hurt and he may associate that pain with the toilet. If your child is struggling with constipation, examine their diet. Start eliminating junk food as much as possible and offer as many high fiber foods as you can get them to eat. Some examples include:
  • Beans and lentils
  • Broccoli
  • Fruit
  • Whole grain bread and cereals
If constipation is extremely problematic, you may want to consider giving your child some prune juice to help encourage healthy bowel movements.

Potty Training Problem #3: Resistance to Potty Training.

Resistance is an incredibly potty training problem common. Think about your options and determine which is best for your child’s temperament. You may even want to try a few different methods to warm your child up to the potty. Some suggestions include:
  • Leave your child’s potty chair in a central location where he can access it if he chooses. Don’t force your child to use it. Just let him know it’s there and let him take the lead.
  • Reward your child when he does use the potty. Hopefully, this will get him excited about potty training and encourage him to continue to use it.
  • Make potty training fun. Many parents have trouble potty training because the child doesn’t think it is fun. Take your child shopping and let him pick out a potty seat of his own or try using one of the new potty chairs that allow children to play on their iPads. You may also want to let your child pick out some special underwear with his favorite characters so he won’t want to have an accident when wearing it.

Potty Training Problem #4 Accidents Happen

Accidents are a part of the training process. Every child is going to have accidents sometimes. The best thing you can do is handle them appropriately and try not to make too big of a fuss about it. You don’t want your child to develop negative associations with toilet training. If your child has an accident, reassure him that it is okay, clean him up, and remind him how to use the potty appropriately.

Potty Training Problem #5 Your Child Won’t Go Anywhere but Home.

It is common for children to get comfortable using the toilet at home, but be afraid to use the toilet elsewhere. This may be at daycare, school, grandma’s house, or just any public restroom. Figure out what the problem is. If they have issues with a specific location like daycare or grandma’s house, find out what the bathroom is like there and how the caregiver is approaching potty time and go from there. If the issue is the toilet itself, consider bringing the child’s potty chair or having a special potty seat the child can bring and use when away from home. This will take some patience and you may have to use diapers outside of the home for awhile until your child becomes more comfortable.

Potty Training Problem #6 Your Child Wants to go Back to Diapers.

Sometimes children may be using the potty well for weeks or even months and suddenly want to regress back to diapers. There can be many reasons for this, but often it is due to stress or some sort of transition in their lives. A common transition is a new baby in their lives. This may be a younger sibling or even a cousin or other infant who they are around a lot. When they see the baby in diapers, they may want to go back to diapers as well. Other transitions such as starting school, moving to a new home, and divorce can cause a similar regression. If you are having trouble potty training, it is best to be patient and force the child to use the toilet. Remind your child that he is a “big boy” now, but don’t try to force the issue. Instead, just offer your child love and support and help him adjust to whatever the transition is. Chances are that as soon as he adjusts, he’ll go right back to using the toilet as he was before

Additional Potty Training Resources:

Solving Potty Training Problems Potty Training Problem Prevention

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