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What if my child refuses to sit on the potty?
Even if your child is developmentally ready to begin using the potty, he'll probably need lots of support and encouragement from you before he's willing to give up diapers.
If you've been trying to get your child to use the potty for a while and he's been saying no most of the time, put the potty away for a few weeks and take a break. As you know, toddlers often say no to assert themselves – even when they want to say yes! Give your child a little while to get out of the refusal pattern so both of you can start fresh.
To restart toilet training, wait for a time when your child's daily life is fairly routine and stable. Since training requires your child to focus and learn new patterns, it's best if he isn't also adapting to other changes, such as moving into a new house or starting at a different childcare center. If your child's days are unpredictable, consider holding off on toilet training until he's older. You may also want to think of ways to add more structure to your child's routine to make things more predictable for him.
When you begin training again, don't expect your child to make the connection between sitting on the potty and really using it. First just have him sit on the potty for a few minutes once or twice a day at regular times, such as after a nap or right before bed. If he urinates while he's sitting, he'll make the connection himself, and after a while he'll figure out how his body feels when he needs to go. Some children put all of this together in a matter of days, but most take weeks or even months. Don't worry if your child falls into the latter group.
Other common problems
- Frequent bed-wetting
- Handling accidents
- Won't have a bowel movement on the potty
- Maintaining interest in toilet training
- Going to the bathroom in public places