Potty Training & The Reluctant Toddler

Potty training with my first two children was a breeze, they were both out of nappies by the time they were two. Daisy was a little more difficult as she had some bowel issues but we got there pretty quickly once she got the hang of it. Now I find myself with a very reluctant toddler and I’m feeling at somewhat of a crossroads.

I just want to start by saying that nothing has ever been easy with Jake, he’s how shall we put it, spirited. He is a strong willed and frustratingly stubborn little boy. Of course I love and accept him with every fibre of my being but every new transition we need to make fills me with dread.


Jake is due to start nursery (at school) in May, they intake straight after their third birthday at ours. It’s time to potty train a thought that fills me with dread. Because it’s a school nursery they have to be dry in the day to attend.

I don’t believe in pushing children in to doing anything they are not ready for but I know physically he is. He knows when he needs a pee or poo, he tells us.

The problem doesn’t seem to lie in his readiness to use the potty it’s his little quirks that are getting in the way. Firstly he doesn’t like being naked, I’ve tried him with just undies. He insists upon putting his joggers on too which I think is making him forget he’s got no nappy on.

I’ve done all the recommend things like introducing the potty from an early age, letting Jake choose some undies and waiting until his nappies are drier during the day. All to no avail.

I’ve offered chocolate buttons as an incentive and of course stickers. Nothing is tempting him.

He doesn’t want to sit on the potty for more than a few seconds, I have tried sitting with him and reading a book or having a chat.

It’s not just the potty he’s stubborn about, bath times and hair cuts are an absolute nightmare at the moment too. He’s also insistent he isn’t going to nursery anyway it’s such a contrast to Daisy who couldn’t wait to go.

A big part of me is thinking about leaving it a few more months until he turns three and there’s a chance we can reason with him better. But an even bigger part of me wants to persevere. I admit I do need a little break. Nursery will provide that break for me and for Jake.

So what do I do ? my options are:

Crack on with it, keep going until he’s ready.

Wait a few more months and defer his place until September.

I honestly don’t know what to do. What would you do ? Do you have any tips or tricks to share with me ?



  1. February 21st 2017 / 8:49 AM

    oh no, the dreaded potty training. My little girl got suspended from nursery because she wasn’t toilet trained. My little boy, however, attended a pre-school at 2 and a half and they trained him there. In fact, when he saw the other kids going he was more than willing to try himself. All kids are different so sometimes you just need to be patient and they will get there in the end. One thing that seemed to work with my kids is to leave the potty out of it altogether. I bought junior seats for the toilet and a little step and they went to the loo like everyone else in the house. Good luck!

    • February 27th 2017 / 9:37 AM

      I wanted to go straight to the toilet instead of using a potty with him but he’s even more reluctant of that. I think this is the least favourite part of parenting for me.

  2. February 21st 2017 / 9:12 PM

    My daughter will be 3 in May and we are trying to encourage her to use the potty but she doesn’t really seem interested. She knows what it is for and has done a couple of wees on it, but I just don’t think that she is ready yet. We will keep encouraging her but I’m not too worried, she’s got plenty of time to learn. #tuesdaytreasures

    • February 27th 2017 / 9:36 AM

      Jake is 3 in May too, I think I need to stop pressuring myself I know he will get there.

  3. Nicola
    February 21st 2017 / 10:25 PM

    My son was so easy to potty train, we just decided to do it one day and that was it! My daughter was a whole different ball game! We made several failed attempts and then when we finally decided to stick to it and really persevere she would only wee on the potty everything else was done in her pants! In the end I resorted to good old fashioned bribery! We were walking past a toy shop and she saw a train she wanted so I said she could have it once she started pooing in the potty – she never had another accident! It’s amazing what kids can do when they put their mind to it!

    • Nicola
      February 21st 2017 / 10:25 PM


    • February 27th 2017 / 9:31 AM

      Children are all so different aren’t they. I think we will resort to bribery too.

  4. February 21st 2017 / 10:38 PM

    I hate the pressure bring dry for nursery puts on you. I think having being through all this with my two and my son (5) only now stopping the accidents I am far more relaxed about it as they get there in the end! Yes, give it a shot but you need to follow your instincts on this but be aware that complete dryness for some kids (inc my son) might take quite a while. Good luck with making the decisions.

    • February 27th 2017 / 9:28 AM

      Thanks Clare, it’s all about perseverance isn’t it.

  5. February 23rd 2017 / 8:40 PM

    I honestly think that you have to have the mindset that this is what you want to do, and be 100% committed. If you think you need a break then you probably aren’t ready to help him.
    There is also the point that our children will do things when they are ready to. Reuben didn’t show any interest until we bought a book called ‘Pirate Pete’s Potty’ we would read it – he then picked his pants which I washed and dried in preparation. But then he got up one morning, took off his nappy put a pair of pants on and didn’t look back.
    Try not to stress over it too much. #TuesdayTreasures

    • February 27th 2017 / 9:27 AM

      Thanks Jo, I will have a look for that book for him.

  6. February 27th 2017 / 9:32 AM

    Thanks for that Amy, I’ve not heard of those pads but they sound ideal.

  7. February 27th 2017 / 7:57 PM

    Ill be totally honest hunny… until they are ready it just wont happen. Follow your child x

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