What to Try When Your Toddler Refuses to Toilet Learn

Toddlers are fascinating little beings. It’s amazing to watch their minds problem solve and work through things. They’re starting to ask you the hard questions, and also getting braver and braver, pushing for more independence. One of the most frustrating stages in your relationship with your toddler is when they start to show signs of being ready to toilet learn but then absolutely refuse to even try. You’re definitely not alone in this struggle, and I’m here to share some tried and true tips for when your toddler refuses to toilet learn.

First and foremost, I want you to think about why you want to start teaching your toddler to use the washroom. Be really honest with yourself. Is it because you feel pressure from outside sources? Is it because you think your toddler “should” be ready by now? By the time your little one hits the toddler stage, there can be so much pressure regarding developmental expectations. We know how hard this can be to figure out, so we at The Mama Coach have developed a method to determine if your toddler is truly ready to Toilet Learn.

Our Toilet Learning programs were developed with the most current research and up-to-date best practices that take factors like growth and development, nutritional status, sleep hygiene, anatomy and physiology, and child behavior in mind. Through our two programs, The Child-Led Program and The Parent-Led Program, we begin by outlining “The 9 Signs of Readiness”

These 9 signs are really the foundation of successful toilet learning for you and your toddler. Some of the signs seem simple enough, but when a sign isn’t met, that’s when we can meet resistance. Here is some information on a few of them:
Sleep. How is your toddler’s sleep? We know that when our little ones are having good quality sleep, their little bodies are more receptive to learning and change. They’ll pick up details, patterns, and routines faster and easier. When they’re tired, there’s less ability to maintain attention and focus.

Change. Have there been any new changes in your toddler’s life? Maybe a new sibling, a move, or maybe they’ve recently learned a new skill? Let’s give them the opportunity to become accustomed to their new changes before trying to Toilet Learn.
Poop consistency. This is a huge factor in Toilet Learning! Probably the most important factor. Since us Mama Coaches are all Registered Nurses, part of our programming includes a dietary assessment component. Yes, we want to know all about your toddler’s poop! Too firm can cause a bunch of issues including resistance and pee accidents. Too soft can also cause issues. This is why a dietary assessment is so important.

Once we have assessed and met all 9 signs of readiness, we can then work with your family to determine which of the two Toilet Learning programs might work best. Both of our programs are a guided process that your Mama Coach will work through with you. Our Toilet Learning plans have two options

Child-Led Program

  • More relaxed timeline
  • Great for families who have previously attempted Toilet Learning or have hit a couple of bumps in the road with progress.

Two phases:

  1. 9 signs of readiness and implementation
  2. The implementation phase has 5 steps

Parent-Led Program

  • Great for families who enjoy structure and routine
  • Works well for toddlers who are in daycare or have other caregivers

Three phases:

  1. 9 signs of readiness, planning and implementation
  2. Preparation is done to ensure optimization of the plan
  3. Implementation is broken down into four easy to follow steps

Above all, I want you to give yourself permission to hit the “pause” button. We already have so many pressures on us as parents. If you’re being met with resistance, please don’t consider that as a failure. It’s okay to take a step back and try again later. Your toddler is communicating with you and that is great! There’s no rush to have your little one out of diapers.

Teaching your toddler to toilet train can be a wild journey! Let The Mama Coach help you simplify it and set your family up for success.

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