Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Help Your Child Get over a Fear of Potty Training

Potty training isn’t as simple as it may seem. Some children struggle with the concept of using the toilet. Here are some solutions that could help your child get over their fear of potty training.

Start Small

The large toilet in the bathroom may seem intimidating for your child. Finding a toilet that’s sized just for them may help to overcome some of their fears. For a child that’s truly terrified, try putting their potty chair somewhere other than the bathroom. As they master the basics of toilet training, move the toilet closer and closer to the bathroom. Leave it in place for a day or two so that your child can get used to its new location.

Dress it Up

Make the toilet something that they won’t fear. For example, allow you child to play dress up with the toilet so that it isn’t an object of terror. You can accomplish this task by using some construction paper and turning the toilet into your child’s favorite character. Getting them involved will show them that there’s nothing to fear in the bathroom. They may even be willing to try sitting on it once they’ve made it into something else.

Reduce the Distractions

There are some many distractions on the toilet that you may not have stopped to consider before. For example, the water and the drain could be contributing to your child’s fear of potty training. One solution to this problem is to unplug the toilet with the help of a bathroom plumber. This would make it a little easier for your child to get used to the process of relieving themselves on the toilet without the other distractions.

Do it Together

Set up your child’s training toilet right next to the big toilet. This will allow you to go to the bathroom with them so that it’s more of a communal experience. Your child can start to get more comfortable with the process if they see you modeling the behavior that you’re trying to encourage. For a more beginner approach, have your child sit on your lap and slowly transition them to sitting on the toilet on their own. This will help them to understand the expectations and to conquer their fears one step at a time.

A fear of potty training doesn’t need to become a roadblock in your household. Develop unique ways that you can start the process without having to sacrifice your sanity.

Tim Esterdahl

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