Not all children adapt quickly from diapers and pull-ups to underwear and going to the bathroom on a toilet. If your child hits their third birthday and is still having trouble with potty, it can make a parent feel helpless and stressed about accidents at daycare or preschool. First off, all kids have their own timeline, so there’s no need to worry.
Once you stop worrying, you can get on with the business of helping your child take care of theirs. But first you need to make sure they are ready emotionally and physically. If not, you are bound to just create unnecessary stress for you and your child. To determine if your child is prepared for the potty, ask yourself these questions:
1. Does your child show interest in potty training? Do they respond to your directions?
2. Do they pull their own pants up and down without assistance?
3. Do they go to the bathroom in their pants without giving you any sign or concern beforehand? Do they complain about having a wet or dirty diaper or pull-up?
4. Can your child stay dry for several hours at a time during the day (a sign of bladder control)?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, your child might be ready to be potty trained. If there were a lot of “no’s” in there, don’t be discouraged: they may be ready in just a few short months. Just keep an eye out for changes in behavior related to the aforementioned questions.
One reason your preschool-age child may be “fearful” or resisting the potty is constipation. If bowel movements are painful, the process is not something they will have a positive outlook on. They may be constipated because of their diet. Make sure your child is getting enough fiber and drinking enough water.
There’s no single answer for why a child is a late bloomer in potty training. Just be patient - it will happen sooner or later.