Obstacles in toilet learning

Obstacles in toilet learning

  • Fear of poos: some children are scared of the sight of their poos. If this is the case you can transition to doing poos in the toilet by first sitting on the toilet in a nappy to do the poo, then doing a standing nappy change. After this get them to sit on the toilet in a loosely done up nappy and take the poo away in it. Next, lay a nappy down in the toilet bowl like a sling, then get them to do a poo in it and take it away. Once this has been mastered continue the sling technique then tip the poo into the toilet and cover with toilet paper. Move towards flushing it. If doing poos in a potty, you can cover the poo with toilet paper straight away as the child stands up.
  • Running away or hiding to do poos: Have a potty waiting for them in the area where they usually hide to do it. Encourage them to let you know that they need to do a poo before they run away and acknowledge and thank them for letting you know. This will generally ease with age and continued reassurance
  • Upset at poos getting flushed away: do not downplay their feelings and emotions. Some children feel like their poo is a ‘part of them’ and do not like seeing it get flushed away. Provide reassurance and consistency. Offer to flush the toilet once they have left the room. Drawing a heart on a piece of toilet paper to flush with it might be helpful too to ‘honour the poo’ – whatever it takes to help them ease into this transition, right!
  • Consult your paediatrician or occupational therapist for further specialised help if you are not making progress (even slow progress) with toileting

Below are some examples of toileting areas from elaborate to basic:

Image credit: OurMontessoriWay via Instagram

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