5 Ways to Help Potty Train Your Reluctant Child

When it’s time to potty train your reluctant child, you could wait a long time for the result you need. Why? Because they’re the one in control, not you. You can take away their pull ups, offer bribes and refuse treats but a toddler is not going to potty train until they want to. So, how exactly can you encourage your reluctant potty trainer?

“No! Go away! Mummy, I’ve done wees.” We’ve all been there. We ask our kids if they need to use the potty and 99.9% of the time, they say no. Then they get cross when we ask them to try, followed by the inevitable puddle on the floor. Potty training can be incredibly stressful for both parents and children. They’re either ready and willing or they’re not. While this isn’t a problem when our kids are young, as they get closer to kindergarten or school, we start to stress out a bit. That’s when it’s time to bring in the big guns and implement these five tips to help potty train your reluctant child:

  1. Decide upon a start date together – you have a feeling your child is ready (or needs to be ready) for toilet training. Instead of telling them that today’s the day, grab a calendar and ask them to pick a date within a specific timeframe. You’ll have more buy-in if they feel in control.

  2. Take it out of the bathroom – potties are portable for a reason. Instead of leaving it in a cold and boring bathroom, why not pop it in front of the television? Much more entertaining and your child is more likely to stay sitting, possibly even doing something in their potty!

  3. Bribe carefully – there’s nothing wrong with using a potty training bribe. Lollies, toys or even a visit to the park are all neat rewards to encourage your child use a toilet. The issue is when they become more focused on the bribe than the process itself. It can backfire and if you run out of their bribes, they can refuse to go to the potty without it!

  4. Make things fun – let’s face it, sitting on the toilet isn’t that fun. With an active toddler, sitting is also the last thing they want to do. So, bring out the special toys or experiences when they are using the potty. Shaving cream, bubbles, stories and even puppets are great distractions to play with. Pirate Pete’s Colouring & Sticking Book* also helps make potty training much more fun.

  5. Get a health check – a study of children in the USA who were having trouble potty training, found that 78% of the 46 participants were constipated. They found toileting hard because it was literally, hard! A check with your GP can help you rule out if there are any physical problems you can fix before you start.

It can be an uphill battle to potty train your reluctant child, but you will get there.  We run online boot camps which offer valuable peer group support.†  Using toilet training pants** or waterproof undie liners*** can also help make things easier for you and your child.

Good luck from all of us at Brolly Sheets!

†Sign up for our boot camps:

Australia: https://www.brollysheets.com.au/toilet-training-boot-camp

New Zealand: https://www.brollysheets.co.nz/toilet-training-boot-camp


*Pirate Pete’s Colouring & Sticking Book is available from our Online stores along with other great toilet training publications:

Australia: https://www.brollysheets.com.au/books-and-more/BS054/Pirate-Pete’s-Potty-Book.html

New Zealand: https://www.brollysheets.co.nz/books-and-more/BS054/Pirate-Pete’s-Potty-Book.html


** Toilet training pants are not meant to keep your child completely dry like nappies; instead they give you a bit of time to get to the bathroom when accidents do happen while letting your toddler feel the damp. Available from our online stores:

Australia: https://www.brollysheets.com.au/day-time-training/BS035/Snazzipants-Training-Pants.html

New Zealand: https://www.brollysheets.co.nz/day-time-training/BS035/Snazzipants-Training-Pants.html


***Undie liners turn any pair of kids undies into training pants. Shop online:

Australia: https://www.brollysheets.com.au/day-time-training/BS059/Waterproof-Undie-Liners—3-Pack.html

New Zealand: https://www.brollysheets.co.nz/day-time-training/BS059/Waterproof-Undie-Liners—3-Pack.html


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