What if my child is struggling with potty training?

If your child is exhibiting signs of fear or apprehension about the potty training process or experiencing a potty training regression, it’s normal and OK to pause the process until your little one begins to show readiness again. 

  • Address any potty training or toilet-related fears. Does your little one seem to be fearful of falling into the toilet, or of the sound of flushing? Help your child feel comforted through this process by holding onto them as they sit to assure them that they will not fall in, and/or by giving them a heads up that you’re about to flush.  Providing this consistency over time will help your child become more comfortable with things they once feared. Gradually, you can start to let go, and flush while they are nearby to let them know that there is no reason to fear these everyday activities. 
  • Be patient. Pushing too hard or imposing a strict timeline can deter your child from the potty training process. In the case of potty training, slow and steady wins the race! Meet your little one where they are and let them know that however much time they need is A-OK.
  • Let your child control the process. This may seem counterintuitive, but giving your child control over the process when they’re having a difficult time can actually help them warm up to it. Let them know that this is their choice, and that they can let you know when they feel ready to proceed. Pressuring a toddler to do something almost always results in them resisting it more!


This article has been reviewed by our team of experts.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article does not constitute medical advice. If you have concerns about any health or medical condition, diagnosis, or treatment you should consult with your pediatrician or a licensed healthcare provider.