A common problem many parents encounter when potty training is that their child is 'afraid' of the potty. It can be the entire experience that frightens the child, or even something simple such as a fear of 'letting go' into the toilet. Below is a question and answer from a mother whose daughter gets very upset when placed onto the potty, as well as my suggestions of things to try. Some of the suggestions are certainly not ones you'll read about in many parenting books...so keep in mind we ONLY recommend trying methods that you feel comfortable attempting.
We started potty training a few days ago. My daughter had a few accidents this morning but then not any the rest of the day. She had a very full pull up after nap time in addition to pooping in the pull up. (We are doing pull ups at nap time and night time) Whenever it is time to sit on the potty she cries and cries and resists as much as possible. Then she strains and fidgets so much, she is barely on the potty at all. My husband did one bathtub session with her and she was incredibly upset, cried the whole time but finally went in the potty. The other times she has "gone" in the potty today have literally been just one drop but we have still made a big deal about it and gave her a sticker and a chocolate chip. She just screams and cries when it is time to go on the potty and then spends a lot of time off the potty holding her vagina, crossing her legs, fidgeting, etc. It is frustrating to watch and I hate to see my daughter in distress. It truly seems as if she is afraid to go. Do you have any suggestions?
I have a couple of thoughts. First of all, have you actually asked her what she might want you to change in order for her to not be afraid to use the potty? For example, "Honey, Mommy just wants to know how you want to use the potty. Do you want to sit on the big toilet? Do you want to go buy a different potty? If we move it to a different room, would that make you feel better?". Sometimes you might be surprised by the answer that you get, and changing something simple might be a huge step forward.
Have you tried placing her diaper on top of her potty? The other thing that you can do that is slightly strange is to eliminate the potty altogether. In a corner of the bathroom, you can lay down a thick padding made out of old towels, and then place an opened up diaper on top of it. Tell her that she does not have to sit on a potty, as long as when she goes she sits on top of the diaper, on top of that towels. Whether or not she is successful with this technique will tell you whether it is truly a fear of the potty or just stubbornness in not wanting to go anywhere but a diaper. If it works, you can gradually work the diaper back up on top of the potty… And then gradually work into removing it entirely and having her just sit on the potty itself. I know -- it makes you feel like you are potty training a puppy… But if it works it's worth the effort.
The other thing you can try that is definitely very awkward is for you to sit on the big toilet and scoot all the way to the very back. (You can do this with clothes on, of course.) Then spread your legs wide and place her on the seat in front of you. This allows you to hug her close and help her feel secure all while she is sitting on top of the toilet and given the opportunity to go.
THE ABOVE QUESTION/RESPONSE IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE 'FREE COACHING' WE OFFER WITH THE POTTY BOOT CAMP TOILET TRAINING PROGRAM. INCLUDED WITH EVERY PURCHASE - YOU'RE NOT ALONE IN THE DIAPER WARS! TO GET YOUR OWN COPY, CLICK HERE:
BUY THE POTTY BOOT CAMP EBOOK - INSTANT ACCESS!
Hi! I just wanted to thank you so much for your great, short, concrete book! My son was going to lose his preschool spot on Sept 1st if we couldn't get him trained and he's a VERY stubborn almost 3 …
"Potty Boot Camp Works For Me"
We received a glowing review from the blog "Epic Mommy Adventures" today. Natasha used The Potty Boot Camp to help potty train her son and wrote a blog post about her experiences. I love …
The first day can be rough...but the hard work is worth it. Read below a testimonial from a family who stuck with the program and it paid off by day #2.
"So we started our first day yesterday! Let me …