Help, my child has a fear of sitting on the toilet!

By Step by Step Consulting

Our top goal when it comes to toilet training is to ensure it is a positive experience for both you and your child. Often children have a fear associated with the toilet. However, do not worry, typically this is not related to an experience and has more to do with the new experience of using the toilet. We should remember the toilet is, loud and uncomfortable to sit on, going in a pull up is much easier! We are also disrupting your child’s routine; they were and poo when and where they want in their pull up.    

If your child is showing signs of fear and nerves, reducing this fear is the starting point for toilet training and the most important step in setting your child up for success! 

Start by taking trips to the toilet without any expectation to do anything except sit on the toilet, gradually build the expectation to sitting and voiding on the toilet.  Depending on your child, the first step may be for your child to stand beside the toilet in their clothes without getting upset, the next step could be sitting on the step in their clothes then sitting on the toilet in their clothes. Taking it step by step until your child is sitting on the toilet with no pull-up or undies! The key to success is lots of praise!! Let your child know how fantastic and brave they are for each step they make towards sitting on the toilet. Only move to the next step, when there are no signs of crying, shouting or refusal. This may take a few days to weeks. Go at your child’s pace.

Some tips to help your child feel relaxed in the bathroom and to have it as a place associated with fun rather than dread:

  • Have a dedicated box of toys or books in the bathroom that are only used for sitting on the toilet, doing this will pair the bathroom as a fun place.
  • Ensure your child is comfortable sitting on the toilet- using a seat where they have a place for their feet can help with this.
  • It may be good to get their teddy/ dolly involved in the toilet training process. Make it into a game and take turns with different characters and then ask your child to sit up when it is their turn.
  • Begin with sitting on the toilet with trousers on and allow them to get comfortable with this. The next day, remove their trousers and allow them to keep their underpants on. Take it at a pace they are comfortable with. 

Best of luck with your Toilet Training journey!!

For support with toilet training click here for more information

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