A Common Potty Training Mistake Parents Make

Oct 04, 2023

Getting your child to go to the bathroom can be filled with angst, power struggles, and fears. I get it. I’ve been there too. Especially when it comes to poop. First, let me say that this newsletter is judgement free. This “mistake” happens because parents don’t know how common this is! That’s why I’m telling you and why I want to help.  

When our child has been withholding poop – meaning they have not pooped in a few days – it can feel scary. Where does it go?! I remember when my son held it for days. I think it might be a world record, but I’ll spare the details. He’s now a teen, healthy and regular ; ) 

From my years of working in early childhood schools and as a gentle potty coach, my experience tells me that the biggest obstacle is getting the child to poop.  

Here’s what often happens (so don’t feel alone if this sounds familiar!): 

The child begins potty training. Pees come easily and the child is comfortable peeing in a floor potty or the toilet. The child holds the poop in for a variety of reasons. The parents or caregivers worry because the child hasn’t gone poop in several days. The child really needs to go and asks for a diaper to poop in. The parents/caregivers are so worried that they will do anything to get the child to poop so they give the child a diaper. And then the pattern continues.

If this has already happened to you, no worries! That’s what potty coaches help with. But if you are thinking about potty training your child, keep this story in mind and stay connected for tips and strategies on how you can prepare for this scenario.  



If we anticipate several scenarios of what could happen – and even visualize a challenge- we may feel better equipped in the moment. We don’t need the answer. We can just picture what could happen so we can feel more prepared. *And we can do the same for our child by having them visualize different situations. 


I LOVE this floor potty by Jool Baby. It has side support which helps little ones feel secure, especially if they don’t have solid core strength yet. They can complete relax their muscles with their feet rested on the floor – important for those poops! 

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Have a different kind of diaper for nighttime. This way when you start potty training you can show your child you only have nighttime diapers (but you actually have to get rid of the day diapers). This will also set a boundary for you as a parent.  


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