Potty Training Tips for Stubborn Toddlers: A Comprehensive Guide

Potty Training Tips for Stubborn Toddlers

Potty training is an important milestone in a toddler’s development, but some toddlers can be more resistant to getting out of diapers. While each child develops at their own pace, there are things parents can do to make potty training go more smoothly even with the most stubborn toddlers.

Having patience, using positive reinforcement, establishing a routine, and trying different tactics can help turn potty training challenges into successes. In this blog post, we are sharing tips and guidance for potty training even stubborn toddlers.

1,Be Patient and Follow Their Lead

  • Do not force training before your toddler shows signs of readiness like communicating when they are wet/dirty, showing interest in the potty, etc. Rushing can lead to power struggles.
  • Let your toddler get comfortable and familiar with the potty first before expecting them to use it. Allow them to observe others using it and sit on it while clothed.
  • Accidents will happen during training. Respond calmly and do not punish them. Frustration can cause stubbornness. Stay positive.

2. Use Positive Reinforcement

  • Praise your toddler or give rewards like stickers when they at least try to use the potty. This positive association can motivate them to keep trying.
  • Avoid scolding or shaming for accidents. Your toddler needs encouragement, not punishment.

3. Establish a Routine

  • Set scheduled times your toddler sits on the potty, like first thing in the morning and before/after naps and meals. Consistency helps.
  • Prompt them to use the potty and praise all efforts. Make potty time part of your normal routine.
  • Encourage regular fluid intake and remind them to use the potty frequently to reduce accidents.
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4. Try Different Tactics

  • Use fun training potties, read potty books, let them pick out underwear with favorite characters, do potty demonstrations with dolls, etc. Find what appeals to your toddler.
  • Toilet targets, smart watches that beep at intervals, and sticker reward charts can add motivation. Find tools that work for your child.
  • If standing is preferred, try a stand-up potty or stool. Adjust potty seats and step stools to fit their size. Consider child-size toilets.


While potty training a stubborn toddler can test parents’ patience, setting realistic expectations, using positive reinforcement methods, establishing a consistent routine, and trying creative tactics can lead to potty training success.

The key is working with your toddler’s temperament and developmental stage, not against it. With time and gentle perseverance, even the most resistant toddler can transition from diapers to using the potty confidently. The pride and independence your toddler will gain is well worth the effort. Check out here for more tips and guidance for toddlers growth and healthy living.


Q: My toddler refuses to sit on the potty. What should I do?

A: Make sitting on the potty part of their routine, like before bathtime. Let them sit fully clothed at first. Praise any attempt. Read stories or sing songs to make it fun. A potty chair insert for the regular toilet may help.

Q: My toddler goes in their diaper/pull-up even when I know they need to go. How can I get them to use the potty instead?

A: Check diapers frequently and prompt using the potty first. Praise all attempts to use the potty. Accompany them and help them relax. Consider ditching pull-ups for underwear to help them feel wetness. Stay patient and positive.

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Q: My toddler was doing well with pee on the potty but is now having lots of accidents. What do I do?

A: Regressions are normal. Do not scold or punish them. Stick to a routine and supervise closely to get back on track. Rule out medical issues. Praise every success to rebuild confidence.

Q: My toddler holds their pee and bowel movements until diaper/pull-up change. Help!

A: Limit fluids before nap/bedtime. Stick to a potty schedule. Let them run around diaper-free to feel the urge sooner. Use rewards for using the potty, not the diaper. Stay calm about accidents.

Q: How can I motivate my stubborn toddler who could care less about stickers or treats?

A: Tap into their interests. Let them pick out big kid underwear in a favorite character. Play potty videos or games on your phone while they sit. Blow bubbles or read together as a reward.

Q: My toddler will only poop in their diaper, never the potty. What can help with this?

A: Stay relaxed about accidents to reduce pressure. Place them on the potty after meals when urge strikes. Give laxatives/stool softeners if needed. Reward any effort, even just sitting initially.

Q: How long should I expect potty training my stubborn toddler to take?

A: Every child is different. Allow several months for accidents to stop completely day and night. Stay consistent with the routine. Check for readiness signs before starting. Consult your pediatrician if you have concerns.