5 Potty Training Resistance Reasons

And What To Do About It

Have you encountered a potty training resistance from your little darling while in the process to ditch the diapers? It's sometimes hard for parents to tell just what's holding the child back, which is where this information below comes in handy.

Resistance to potty training comes in different forms, like:

  • Refusing to go to the potty,
  • Crying inconsolably and uncontrollably when being trained to use the potty,
  • Holding the pee and poop instead of eliminating.

If you've encountered potty training resistance with your toddler, it might help to take a look at some of the reasons kids resist potty training. This way you can, avoid frustration and figure out what steps to take next to get back on course.

5 Reasons For Potty Training Resistance - And What To Do About It

I'm sure you realize that there are valid reasons for your child to be resisting potty training. Take the time needed to observe your child and figure out just what's causing them to turn their back on using the potty. Then you can apply the necessary fixes to get them on track.

1. Potty Training Resistance Do To Fear

Some children could have a fear of using a particular potty because of a past experience or the fact that the toilet itself makes strange flushing sounds. We often fear what we don’t understand, and that's the case for kids going through potty training as well.

Try to spend some time showing your toddler what happens when you pee or poop in the toilet so they can understand there's really nothing to be afraid of. It may also help to buy a new potty if the existing one is linked to a negative experience for your child.

2. Potty Training Resistance Do To Lack of curiosity

Believe it or not, not all children are curious about the potty or toilet, and how to use it. To some, the concept may seem downright boring. It would help if you could use the influence of peers to get them to start using the potty.

Enlist the assistance of the day care providers, for example, by requesting that your child be allowed to see other children use the potty. Peer influence has a significant impact on kids, and will likely assist in getting your child interested in using the potty.


A good way to get over resistance to potty training is to change tactics and/or make it fun and more relaxed. Introduce your little one to books for kids about potty training – How to Potty Train Your Monster, is an excellent introduction with hilarious text and playful, energetic illustrations

Or try a potty training doll so your little darling can learn vicariously about using the potty.

3. Potty Training Resistance From An Independent Little Darling

As little as they are, children like to feel in control of their own world, and in some cases that's why they're resistant to receiving potty training. They feel they’ve figured it all out and so get impatient when a caregiver tries to show them the right way.

You can capitalize on that by reminding them that big boys and girls all use the potty, and use examples from your own family - people they look up to and love. Most importantly stop remaining your child to use the potty, offer help when needed but let them own the process. Explain its their responsibility and try using a reward chart so they can track their progress and see how independent and grown up they are becoming because they can take care of their own potty needs.

4. Potty Training Resistance Do To Anxiety

When toddlers are learning something, they usually don’t respond well to pressure. There's such a thing as overdoing it when it comes to potty training, and if the child isn’t in the mood to be questioned or pushed, it may result in potty training resistance. This is especially true if the child has started to express the need for independence. Your pressure for them to over-perform can result in them shutting down.

Try to ease up and control any negative reactions to potty training accidents. Make potty training a fun way to bond with your sweetie. Read books, sing songs or play games on the potty - so that your little darling looks forward to spending time on the potty.


Even Firefighters Go to the Potty: A Potty Training Lift-the-Flap Story is a favorite with little darlings. My son loved looking under the flaps. We had a lot of giggles with this book.

5. Potty Training Resistance Do To Physical Pain or Discomfort

If your child is experiencing some kind of infection, having skin irritation, or simply experienced pain in the past when trying to pee or poop on the potty, chances are they'll be resistant to using it.

Ask for your doctor's assistance to determine if there's something medical causing discomfort and get that treated right away.

In some cases, toddlers simply don’t understand what needs to be done in order to have a potty success. A lot of that could be based on the responses they receive from parents. It's important to keep your message and reaction consistent so your toddler doesn’t end up resisting when they realize they're not catching on to what you want. Make your expectations clear.

And ultimately if resistance to potty training is draining all of your energy maybe a taking a some time off from the process, aka a potty break, is the ideal solution to take some distance regroup and get started again.

Return from potty training resistance to Potty Training Problems

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