Potty Training Problems and Their Solutions

potty training problems

Here is an insight on how you can get past the potty training problems thrown to you while training your child. It’s inevitable that the child will suffer setbacks throughout the potty training process and both the parents and child will become frustrated when this happens but it is important that the parents stay relaxed and continue to encourage the child in a positive manner.

Potty training problems and their solutions

Dealing with the fear

Many children can develop fears throughout the training routine and these uncertainties can cause problems throughout the process. In cases where the potty is thought to be the fear or problem this can cause potty resistance. This is common and can be dealt with by offering the child non-threatening exposure to the potty to allow them to become familiar with it. Encourage the child to sit on the potty fully clothed and incorporate the potty into play time by getting his favorite toy or teddy bear involved. Make them understand that you are there to help and try to keep them as stress-free and comfortable as you can when training. If the flush causes fear, then try not to use it for a while when the child is around. If the child is concerned about falling off or down the toilet, then reassure them that won’t happen if mummy or daddy are there and give them the option of using the potty instead.

How to potty train a child full of stubbornness

There are many factors that can cause stubbornness whilst training. Sometimes this can stem from when a child suffers a bad experience whilst training or that the parents have decided to start the process too early. Certain children are just strong willed and will be hard to train, so it is essential that the parent identify this and proceed with the training. If the child persists with their stubbornness, then it’s never a good idea to force them to do anything. This will only have a negative effect on the process. Don’t be afraid to delay training for a few days or weeks and consider adopting a new strategy to the training regime. Consider introducing rewards like stickers or coupons into the process or just try making it more fun by creating a song.

How to deal with potty training regression

Whatever the reason for the relapse it should be dealt with in the same way as previous accidents. The parents should remain calm and not make a big deal about it, discuss the situation with the child and offer encouragement about getting to the toilet the next time. Sometimes it helps when parents offer reminders at regular intervals as regression can also be caused by forgetfulness, especially when a child is reluctant to interrupt a play routine or favorite television program. Offer light encouragement towards the child every hour or so to remind the child that the potty is there should they need it. If the child continues to have accidents and ignores the request, then take the child to the potty and encourage them to go in a firm manner and explain to them that they can return to whatever they were doing before once they have been to the toilet.

Problems in night time training

It’s likely that your child will grasp daytime toileting long before they remain dry through the night. If your child continues to wet the bed after mastering their skills throughout the day, then don’t be concerned that they are regressing in their development as it’s perfectly normal. It is essential that your child has a toilet break built into their bedtime routine to give them the opportunity to go before they get into bed. Equally, it is important to let the child know that if they require the toilet in the night, they can either get up and go independently or wake the parents to help. No matter how quickly and successfully your child adapts to the idea of potty training it’s highly likely that he or she will have the occasional accident. Approximately 80% of children experience some kind of setback during the training process. These accidents are part and parcel of the training process and should be dealt with in a controlled and calm manner.

Tips To Help You With Potty Training Problems

problems in potty training

If you have problems in training your child to go on the potty and they just won’t cooperate, don’t worry – you’re not alone! Some kids just don’t embrace the whole potty training experience. But there are some things you can do to help them along their way!

First, ask them why they don’t want to use the potty. Sometimes, misconceptions or real fears stand in the way of successful toilet training. You may find that you child is simply intimidated by the whole process and wasn’t sure how exactly to proceed.

If you get a response like this, you are in a prime position to help. You can start to teach your child how and when it’s time to use the potty without the fears or trepidations that they might possess inherently.

What else can you try? Look at these time-tested tricks:

  • Turn on the faucet. Some parents find it helpful in early training to try turning on the water faucet in the bathroom as a stimulus to urinate. Hey, if it works for adults it will work for kids.
  • Try the “warm water” trick. Once the child is sitting on the potty, fill a large bowl or small bucket with lukewarm or tepid water. Place some new “potty” toys in the bowl and set the bowl of water in front of the child. When the child places his/her hands in the lukewarm water to play with the toys, they may nearly instantly go.
  • Place targets in the toilet. This tip works best for boys. Many parents put objects in the toilet so boys have something to aim for. We’ve addressed this before, but having an “aim” to shoot for can be a huge motivator! This challenge taps into their natural interest in hitting targets. Inexpensive and biodegradable targets include Cheerios, Fruit Loops, and squares of toilet paper with drawn-on “bulls-eyes.” Some parents have been known to use glitter or sprinkles. One even pours a little bubble bath in the toilet and tells her child to make bubbles.
  • Sing a song. Singing a song for your child will help you pass the time and keep them interested in staying in the bathroom. Some parents go so far as to create a potty song to make their child feel more comfortable in the bathroom. Try this parent’s technique. This song is sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. It goes like this: “Tinkle, tinkle, little pee, in the potty you will be. Poopy, poopy stinky-o, in the potty you will go.”
  • Let your child run naked. Allow your child to run around naked when you are at home. Having to deal with the urge to eliminate will be much more noticeable to your child when there is nothing to catch it in but the potty. We are big fans of this technique. When children are feeling less constrained by things like clothing and diapers, they are more apt to try and get rid of their waste in the toilet.
  • Try a pee-pee tree. For a resistant boy who refuses to go anywhere but his underwear or training pants, as part of the outside bare-bottom drill, paint a target on a tree and show him how to water it. Again, we’ll remind you that this worked wonders with Conner. Well, we didn’t have to paint a target on a tree, but he took great joy in watering his friends that gave him climbing opportunities.
  • If any concerns come up before, during, or after toilet training, talk with your pediatrician. Often the problem is minor and can be resolved quickly, but sometimes physical or emotional causes will require treatment. Your pediatrician’s help, advice, and encouragement can help make toilet training easier. Also, your pediatrician is trained to identify and manage problems that are more serious.
  • Seek advice and support online. Talk to other parents about their success and failures on online discussion boards. Post a message, ask a question, and exchange information about potty training. It’s a great learning experience!

If you are having an inordinate amount of problems in potty training with your child, you may want to consider that there is a physical problem that is inhibiting them from going.

Physical Problems in Potty Training


physical problems in potty training

While I’ve already addressed the issue of constipation earlier, I still feel like this deserves a chapter of its own. Physical problems in potty training can be confusing for your child. They know they should be going on the potty, but their body is just not cooperating.

If you suspect a physical problem, of course, your first line of defense is to take your child to his or her physician. My sister was having trouble with hard stools during her training. Her doctor prescribed strong stool softeners and my mother made dietary changes and eventually, the problem was rectified.

There are a number of things that could be going on when your child’s body just isn’t cooperating with his or her mind.

Consider the possibility of an allergy. Lactose intolerance (the inability to digest milk or milk products) is the most common, but other foods can cause allergies, too.

How much sorbitol is your child consuming in sugarless candies and gum? Sorbital is a new culprit in chronic loose stools. It also is found naturally in pear juice and apple juice, which could make a difference if a child drinks lots.

Watch for signs of urinary infections. These include pain or burning sensations while urinating, straining to urinate, color changes in the urine, foul-smelling urine, frequent urination that produces very little, or a split stream of urine. Other signs could be abdominal pain or a fever of an undetermined origin. Such infections are not uncommon in small children.

Be aware that even after a urinary problem has cleared up, the child may still remember and fear the pain of urinating, and this may complicate training. Reassure the child and don’t be impatient if it takes him or her a while to get over the fear.

Check a toilet-trained child who starts to have many urinary accidents, as well as a significant increase in urination for diabetes.

Remember that diarrhea can cause problems with bowel control. Persistent diarrhea is usually a symptom of a physical problem, and it should be treated by a doctor.

Remember that constipation could be keeping your child from wanting to move his or her bowels, because it is painful. If it’s not chronic, you can help by keeping the children company while they’re sitting on the toilet, lubricating the anus with Vaseline, or even helping hold the “cheeks” apart to make it easier to move the bowels.

Dietary changes can also help. Chronic constipation can put pressure on the bladder and cause daytime, as well as nighttime, accidents in which case it’s time to seek medical attention.

Some parents with special needs children wonder if there’s anything out there that will help them toilet train their child too. There actually is some advice we can offer in this venue as well.

Regressing back to previous non-toilet-trained behavior is something that is very likely to happen – even after you have successfully trained your child.

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