How to overcome potty training anxiety

If your child is struggling with potty training, then you are not alone. Potty training can be a slow and sometimes stressful process and lots of children suffer from some form of potty-training anxiety at different stages of the potty-training process. The good news is that there are lots of ways to avoid potty training anxiety or to deal with it if your child is already suffering. 

Changing routines

It is a well-known fact that babies, toddlers and children respond well to routine. However, it is equally well known that any changes in their normal routine can have disastrous consequences. Potty training is a fundamental change in routine because all of a sudden you are telling your little one that they need to do their wees and poos on the potty instead of in their nappy. Whilst some children will take to this like a duck to water, others will freak out at the very notion of sitting on this strange looking chair to go to the toilet.

The key to preventing this is all in the preparation. Instead of one day deciding to take away their nappy and introduce the potty, you need to start planting the seed weeks in advance. Reading children’s books about potty training with your little one or watching cartoons about it before you start are helpful ways to gently introduce the idea of potty training. This will help lay the groundwork so that when you come to start potty training in earnest, your little one will be prepped as to what to expect and what they need to do.

When you do start, make sure that everyone in their life is on board with the potty-training journey. The last thing you need is an older sibling telling your toddler that pooing on the potty is ‘disgusting’ or a grandparent trying to put a nappy on them when they’ve already started using ‘big’ pants. Take some time to tell the people that are closest to them about what you are doing and what is expected of them during this time. It is also important to tell nursery or childminders that you are planning to potty train so they can present a united front.

Unfamiliar environments

It is common for toddlers to feel some anxiety about going to the toilet outside of their home but having one potty that can travel anywhere with your child will create a familiar setting for them wherever they are.

A travel potty like the Potette Plus offers a convenient solution for you because it is so compact and easy to use, but more importantly it provides a comfortable, familiar, safe environment for your child, wherever you are. This will help to alleviate potty training anxiety when you are out and about and because the Potette Plus converts easily in to a toilet seat, it should help reduce anxiety when you are transitioning to toilet training too.

Number two’s

Lots of children find the idea of doing a poo on the potty quite unnerving, despite being happy to do their wees on the potty throughout the day. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to this issue and the key is to gently and calmly persevere with putting them on the potty. Try reading stories with your little one while they are on the toilet to take their mind off what they are doing.

If your child is quite regular with their bowel movements then you might find it useful to put them on the potty around the time that they normally do their poo. Eventually, they will do one and when they do, calmly and quietly praise them for doing it. Even though you might feel excited that it finally happened, try not to over react as this might end up exasperating the issue.

A reward chart with stickers might help to motivate your toddler to keep trying or you could fill a jar with a piece of pasta each time they go if you don’t want to buy a sticker chart. When the chart or jar is full, treat your little one to something they will be excited about, whether that’s a trip to the park, a small toy or whatever you choose.

If you have any questions about potty training or if you want to share your journey with us, we would love to hear from you! Contact us at smile@cheekyrascals.co.uk or find us on social media at

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