Signs your child is not ready for potty training – When your child turns two years old, we as parents start to think about potty training. Many parents push their children into potty training immediately and then find the lack of results very frustrating. The truth is, some children are just not ready for potty training and that is okay! Here are some signs your child is not ready for potty training.

Signs your child is not ready for potty training

There are many different signs your child is not ready for potty training. Each sign can be very different! Here are some signs that your child may not be ready for potty training yet:

Lack of Interest:

Your child shows little to no interest in using the potty or toilet. They don’t ask questions about it, imitate adults, or express curiosity.


When you suggest using the potty or toilet, your child resists or becomes upset. They may cry, throw a tantrum, or refuse to sit on it.

Inconsistent Timing:

Your child’s bowel movements and urination patterns are unpredictable, and they don’t give any signals when they need to go.

Inability to Communicate:

Your child struggles to communicate their needs effectively. They can’t express when they need to use the potty or when they’ve already gone.

Inability to Follow Simple Instructions:

Your child has difficulty following basic instructions, like sitting on the potty or toilet when asked.

Lack of Independence:

Your child doesn’t show signs of independence, such as wanting to dress or undress themselves, which is a key aspect of potty training.

Frequent Accidents:

Your child has frequent accidents and doesn’t seem bothered by wet or soiled diapers.

Inability to Stay Dry:

They consistently wake up from naps or overnight with wet diapers, indicating they may not yet have control over their bladder during sleep.

Fear or Anxiety:

Your child appears fearful or anxious about using the potty or toilet, possibly due to a negative past experience or pressure to potty train.

Short Attention Span:

They have a very short attention span and can’t sit still long enough to use the potty or toilet.

Physical Limitations:

Your child is physically unable to walk to the potty, sit on it comfortably, or hold themselves up on it.

Resistance to Diaper Changes:

They resist diaper changes and show discomfort when their diaper is dirty, indicating they may not yet associate discomfort with needing to use the potty.

Not Recognizing Bodily Functions:

Your child doesn’t seem to recognize when they are urinating or having a bowel movement.

It’s essential to remember that potty training readiness varies from child to child. If your child displays several of these signs indicating they are not ready, it’s advisable to wait patiently and revisit potty training at a later time. Pressuring a child to potty train before they are ready can lead to frustration and setbacks in the process. Always be supportive and responsive to your child’s cues and needs.

READ: Potty Training Girls

What if your three year old is not ready for potty training

If your three-year-old is not showing signs of readiness for potty training, it’s entirely normal, and there’s no need to be concerned. Every child develops at their own pace, and readiness for potty training can vary widely. Here are some steps to consider if your three-year-old is not ready for potty training:

Be Patient:

The most important thing is to be patient and understanding. Pushing a child to potty train before they are ready can be counterproductive and potentially stressful for both you and your child.

Continue to Observe:
Keep observing your child for signs of readiness. Children can become ready for potty training at different ages, so don’t rush the process.

Encourage Interest:

While not pressuring your child, you can still gently encourage their interest in using the potty or toilet. Let them see you or older siblings using it, and read books or watch videos about potty training to make it seem like a positive and natural transition.

Offer Opportunities:

Occasionally offer your child the chance to use the potty or toilet, but don’t force them. Make it a low-pressure, positive experience.

Use Training Pants:

Transitioning from diapers to training pants can be a step toward independence without the pressure of using the toilet.

Create a Potty-Friendly Environment:

Make the bathroom or the potty area appealing and child-friendly with a step stool, colorful training potty, or child-sized toilet seat reducer.

Celebrate Small Steps:

When your child does express interest or take a small step toward using the potty, celebrate their efforts with praise and positive reinforcement.

Consult with a Pediatrician:

If you have concerns about your child’s development or potty training readiness, consider discussing it with your child’s pediatrician. They can provide guidance and rule out any underlying medical issues.

Set Realistic Expectations:

Understand that accidents will happen, and it’s a part of the learning process. Avoid punishment for accidents and maintain a supportive and positive attitude.

Timing is Key:

Remember that the right time for potty training is when your child is mentally and physically ready. It’s not a race, and forcing the process can lead to resistance and setbacks.

Keep in mind that potty training is a developmental milestone, and children eventually get there when they are ready. Some children may not be fully trained until closer to age four, while others may be ready earlier. The key is to create a supportive and stress-free environment that allows your child to make the transition at their own pace.