Potty training is definitely not the easiest parenting task to tackle. Most children tend to be pretty stubborn about this process—no matter their age. Of course, there are circumstances that may change your child’s timetable for learning to use the bathroom. If you’re ready to tackle potty training, here are three common things to watch out for and why.

Nervousness or Fear

Many parents are surprised to learn that "going potty" and the sound of flushing actually scares their child.  If you push them to start potty training before they are ready, being scared of the potty can make the process more difficult for both you and your child. If you still want to persist, you should take some additional steps. Your child could have a few different things going on. They might be scared of the feeling they get when using the toilet. Your child may also worry about disappointing you. Make this a fun process that includes a reward each time they use the potty.

Flushing Items

Children tend to become fascinated with the toilet and how it flushes. It would be wise to watch out for items that may get lost down the pipes. According to Elite Plumbing,  children tend to flush personal belongings or things they have easy access to, such as toys, pets (especially fish), food, paper towels, wipes, and small personal items. 

Many parents play games, sing songs, and give children toys to keep them entertained and on the potty. Keeping toys and other fun items in the bathroom is key to the potty training process, but children may be tempted to flush such items away. To avoid a flushing mishap, teach your child that if something goes down the toilet, it’s not coming back up. 

Holding It

Many children are scared of having an accident once they start potty training. As Brenner Children’s explains, some children will hold "it" as a way to control what’s going on around them. This isn’t a healthy situation. Encourage your child to sit down on the potty periodically, even if they don’t need to go. This will give them the opportunity to relieve themselves if they are holding back.

If your child starts to potty train and you realize they aren't quite ready, don't force the situation.  Different children are ready to potty train at different times, so even if your oldest was ready at 18 months doesn't mean your youngest will be ready at that age too. Your child will train when they are ready. You don’t have to wait another year to start again. Give it another month before you try another time. Most children do really well the second or third time the process is started.

If your child isn’t quite ready for potty training, try our cloth diapers!