Parent FAQs – Children who won’t sit or wee on the potty


Q: My daughter is 2 and a half and she is showing a lot of signs that she is ready to potty train. Only problem is she will not sit on the potty or on the toilet. We have been trying for the last three months just to try and get her use to it. She sometimes will sit with her nappy on but try and take it off and she freaks out. Is it because she isn’t ready even if she is showing a lot of the signs? Any help would be must appreciated. Many thanks 

A: Hi, thanks for contacting us. Some children don’t show any signs of readiness but it sounds like your daughter is showing some signs. Given her age we would recommend you carry on with training. Not wanting to sit on the potty is common. It may be that your daughter finds the position and sensation of the plastic uncomfortable or even just unfamiliar.

We would suggest you try to keep her practising sitting on the potty or toilet. Incentives or rewards may help motivate her to keep trying or you could put her favourite toys or books beside her to distract her while on the potty. Health professionals that we work with also suggest placing an open nappy over the potty as a first stage. This provides a similar sensation to weeing in the nappy while getting her used to sitting on the potty. Good luck, we know it’s a stressful time but try to keep positive and I’m sure she will get there.  

Q: My Daughter is 2 and a half. She will sit on the toilet and the potty and she is happy to do it, the problem is when I take her to them she won’t go! She sits for 2-3 minutes on the toilet then says she wants to get off having not done anything. Then within minutes she will have an accident. I have tried a number of incentives such as praise, stickers and books but she just won’t do it. Also should I be putting her in a nappy at nap time? 

A: Hi, we would recommend that once you take the nappy off in the day, it should stay off even during daytime naps. Try to encourage her to sit on the potty before going for a daytime nap. Nappies stay on at night though. In terms of getting the wee in the potty, check that she feels comfortable and relaxed on the potty or toilet.

If using the toilet, use a step stool so that her feet are firmly planted. You could try giving her bubbles to play with while on the toilet. This helps relax the muscles and can therefore help her let go of the wee. It is normal for children to take some time to understand how to voluntarily open and close the muscles controlling the bladder. And the only way to learn is through trial and error. Keep doing what you are doing with incentives and praise as being positive will make it easier on you all.  

Q: My 2 year old is going through potty training. However I can not get her to sit on the potty she stragauls it. And wees like a man or if in the garden like a dog. She knows when she wants to go but just will not do it propally. Any suggests will be very grateful! She has a fully on paddy when try to sit. We have brought and tried everything. 

A: Hi, it sounds like your daughter is ready to train. And we would recommend that you start by putting in place a good routine. (See our blogs on the Getting started page of the website). Talk to her about what is expected. Especially that wee and poo go down the loo, and encourage her to keep trying to practise sitting on the potty or toilet. Toys or book while she sits there may help her settle for longer. 

Things like blowing bubbles can be a good distraction and can also engage the right muscles to help do a wee or poo. Rewards may help, and introducing rewards for the wider routine and things like helping to manage clothes, flush the toilet and wash hands can be motivating to them. Some children are a bit fearful of the toilet and this change away from nappies can be quite a major change for children so as frustrating as it is try to keep calm and positive. She will get there. Good luck. We would love you to join our potty training academy so that we can help you through each stage of the potty training process.  

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2 comments on “Parent FAQs – Children who won’t sit or wee on the potty

  1. Holly Bennett on

    My son is 2.5 years and showing signs of being ready to potty train, telling us he needs a wee and when he’s doing and asked to be changed right after because he’s dirty. He keeps asking to be a big boy and use the potty and wear pants. However he will sit on the potty but won’t take his pants down or let me put no pants on him and then just holds it in..ive tried incentives potty training books but this seems a big hurdle for him taking his pants down.


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