Potty training problems: causes and solutions

Following our 3-step Let's Go Potty approach should help to avoid the most common problems that children and parents can face.

However, all children are individuals with different needs and abilities. Some adapt to learning new skills quickly and easily, whilst others take longer and find the whole process challenging.

It's really important to remember that accidents are to be expected and are a normal part of the learning process.

If you have followed our approach and things still aren't going well, keep reading for some trouble shooting pointers and what to look out for....

Check for constipation

Constipation is really common, particularly around potty training, but it is not always recognised.

The signs of constipation can be easy to miss particularly in younger children. Get lots more information about spotting the signs of constipation and how to treat it.

You must get constipation treated and under control before trying potty training again. Poo problems don’t go away on their own without the right treatment. Book an appointment with your GP if you think your child is constipated.

Potty Training Regression

It’s not uncommon for children to regress even after being clean and dry for a while. A change in routine such as starting school can be a trigger. Things usually settle down as your child gets used to using the potty or toilet.

If problems don't stop however, it is important to make sure your child does not have an underlying problem such as a bladder infection, constipation, diabetes or threadworms. There may be an emotional or developmental reason why your child is struggling.

Getting help

The following resources cover some of the most common issues which affect children around the potty training stage. We explain what to look out for and how to help your child:

If you are getting stuck and are worried about your child, talk to your health visitor or GP. They can give guidance on the best way to help your child overcome the problem.


More information

Insisting on wearing a nappy to poo is normal for kids who are potty training, but some would happily poo in a nappy for years. Break the habit with these tips.

Almost all children can learn to be clean and dry. Get information and support for helping your child to make the transition from nappies to pants.

Stool withholding is very common in young children. Find out why it happens and how to help your child overcome poop holding.

On this page...

    Upcoming events

    Share this page