Potty Training Resistance?

My toddler is resisting potty training. How can I move things along?
profile picture of Jeanette Sawyer Cohen, PhD, clinical assistant professor of psychology in pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City
ByJeanette Sawyer Cohen, PhD, clinical assistant professor of psychology in pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City
Pediatric Psychologist
Updated
May 2017
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If your child is saying no to potty training, she could just be telling you that she’s not ready. Most children younger than 18 months won’t sit long enough or follow directions well enough to be properly potty-trained. To really be ready, she should be able to stay dry for a couple of hours during the day or after her nap, have predictable,  regular bowel movements and be aware when she’s peeing or pooping.

Start slow. Introduce the potty and let her get comfortable, but don’t expect her to use it right away. Then have her sit on it with her pants off but without necessarily going. Gradually move things along, but take it back a notch if she shows signs of protest. And remember that if you have some big changes going on at home — you’ve moved, there’s a new baby in the house, she just started preschool or has a new babysitter — you may encounter more resistance along the way, so take a step back and give her time to adjust.

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Pediatric Psychologist

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