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Common Potty Training Problems

Potty training can take a toll on your little one, who has been relieving himself in his diaper since birth and is now being expected to use a strange new device. If you have problems with potty training your child, these tips will come in handy.

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Potty training issues can be cause be Stress. Stress can cause your child to have trouble with potty training. Stressful factors take many forms including moving from a crib to a toddler bed, the death of a loved one, the birth of a sibling and moving to a new house. Your child can even regress back to using diapers when he’s sick. It’s a good idea to put the potty training on hold until the stress has passed or when it has lessened considerably.


Some kids are afraid of the loud noise as the toilet flushes and an object quickly disappears as it is sucked away. The child may fear being sucked into the toilet when it is flushed. Even some potty chairs can be intimidating since some have loud music or sounds and bright, flashing lights. Purchase a seat or chair that is comfortable and stable as well as one that is appealing to your child. Your son will feel like the potty chair is his own property if he is allowed to pick out the chair. He can also personalize it with your help by applying stickers and his name.

A splashguard is a handy feature to help boys control messes, but some splashguards may make your son feel crowded on the seat or can bump or scrape his penis and if he associates the seat with pain it will make him fear the toilet more. Encourage him to sit on the toilet with his clothes on so he can get comfortable with this new device.

Let your child flush bits of torn toilet tissue or coloured paper so he gets used to the sound and is able to see objects being flushed. Although not necessary, it may be helpful if he sees you or a same-sex person use the toilet. Show him how the urine or feces is flushed away and let him know that is what is supposed to happen.

Bowel Movement Refusal

Some children will urinate in the potty chair or toilet, but refuse to have a bowel movement in either one. There are different reasons for this potty training problem including the fear of making a mess, constipation, fear of the bowel movement causing pain or he may feel that the stool is a part of him that shouldn’t be put in the toilet. To avoid constipation, make sure your little one is drinking enough fluids daily to stay hydrated as well as eating enough fiber-rich foods like whole-grain breads, fruits, vegetables and cereal. If your little one flat-out refuses to go in the toilet, instruct him to ask for a diaper when he is about to have a bowel movement.


Accidents can happen in the day or at night. Daytime potty training is usually achieved before nighttime or naptime potty training, which can, according to the Nemours Foundation, take additional months or years to master. Stress can cause your little one to have an accident.

If he does have an accident, it is important to avoid making him feel bad by punishing or scolding him. According to the Mayo Clinic when it comes to potty training, the parent should stay calm and say “Uh-oh. There was an accident. Let’s change you. Pretty soon you’ll remember to use the potty chair every time you have to go.”

While some kids are potty trained without a hitch, others run into a few snags here and there. Some problems require a short pause in potty training, while others are resolved with some intervention on the part of the parent.

Lyne Proulx
Lyne Proulxhttps://ottawamommyclub.ca/
Lyne Proulx is a Certified WEBB Bodywork Pet Practitioner, Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI), Certified Professional Wedding Consultant, and an Event Planner. She loves all things Disney and is an avid teaholic and chocoholic. She coordinated the Annual Infant Information Day/Early Years Expo for the City of Ottawa for 8 years. She was the Queen B of the BConnected Conference, Canada's Digital Influencer and social media Conference in Ottawa and Toronto. She was also the co-chair of the Navan for Kraft Hockeyville 2009-2011 committee that organized five community events within 6 months, and helped Navan reach the top 10 finalists in Canada. In April 2011, she received the City of Ottawa Mayor's City Builder Award.

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  1. Thank you for sharing this informative post for parents. Potty-training can take time and can be stressful for both parent and child


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