4 signs that your toddler isn’t ready for potty training

Toilet roll hanging on a toilet roll holder

My daughter is two, and potty training isn’t on the agenda. Not yet. Not even close. A lot of her peers are well on their way to ditching their nappies forever, but she’s pretty attached to hers, so we’re just going to ride out this whole nappy thing for a while longer.

There are a lot of articles about the signs that your toddler is ready for potty training, but not as many that tell you how to spot the signs that your kid is definitely NOT ready for it.

So here you go.

You’re welcome.

1. Changing a dirty nappy requires at least 10 minutes of heavy negotiations, because they’re quite happy to sit in their own filth.

“You have a caca in your nappy. Should we go get changed?”

“I HAVE MOUSE!”

“Yes, I see you have Mouse. Should we take Mouse with us while we go get you changed?”

“FROG ALSO!”

“Yes, you have Frog also. Frog and Mouse can both come with you to get changed.”

“DANCING DANCING DANCING!” (Shakes Frog and Mouse back and forth)

“They can dance later. Now it’s time to go get changed.”

“DANCING FRIENDS, DANCING FRIENDS! FROG IS DANCING ON MUMMY!”

“It’s very silly that Frog is dancing on Mummy. Now come on – let’s get you all changed up. It’s not nice to sit in your caca, is it?”

(Starts jumping and laughing hysterically)

“That’s enough. Don’t you want a clean nappy?”

“Don’t want it?”

2. They don’t get the mechanics of how to use a toilet.

“When Mummy uses the potty, she pulls down her pants and underwear, then makes pee-pee in the potty,” you explain.

“Pants on.”

“No, sweetie. You have to take your pants down to use the potty.”

“WANT KEEP PANTS ON!”

They insist that pants must remain on when peeing, despite having watched you pee EVERY DAY for the past two years.

3. They’re very interested in the potty that you bought for them, but purely on aesthetic grounds.

“Look, it’s your new potty for making pee-pee!”

“Has cars!”

“Yes, it has cars on it. You can make pee-pee in it.”

“Blue! Has cars on it! Green and blue cars!”

“And it’s for pee-pee, right?”

“One, two, three cars! IS BLUE!”

4. They tell you. Just straight-up tell you.

“When you’re a big girl, you can use the potty to make pee-pee and caca just like Mummy and Daddy!”

“No. Want nappies.”

Well. Okay, then.

Rhyming with Wine
Two Tiny Hands

16 Replies to “4 signs that your toddler isn’t ready for potty training”

  1. Great article, Katie.
    Good call on not forcing your daughter for potty training before she’s ready.

  2. Haha, I have been through most of these with Piglet. He’s three on Sunday and I have been potty training him for a few weeks now, with varied results. He’s getting there with wees, but like Popple, he likes to poo in a nappy and is then very happy to hang around for ages refusing to be changed!

  3. I tried with The Boy a few times before he was ready. Then one day he said “mummy can I use the toilet?” he was maybe 2 and a half and it was so easy! So this time, I’m waiting! #familyfunlinky

  4. Haha. I’m not sure I agree but each to their own. My mum started us at a year and we were out of nappies by 18months. I wasn’t sure and we didn’t get a potty till 13 months and we put her on first thing in the morning, before her afternoon nap and before bed. There has been a change, she knows what it’s for. She has sat and poohed in it and pees in it. I’m not saying she feels when she needs to go but the use and routine has been established and I’m amazed. #FamilyFunLinky

  5. Pretty funny. We didn’t even try until ours was about 3 1/2. She just wasn’t motivated at all #familyfun

  6. You’re so right! My son was two and a half when one morning he suddenly refused to put his nappy on. From then on he went straight to the toilet, no potty! We never had any of the crazy training I’d heard about and im sure it was because he decided when he was ready! (Im not holding out any hope for it being that easy with my daughter tho! Haha) great post #stayclassymama

  7. Haha well ok then. Zara just flat out refused to sit on it until one day out of no where she refused to wee in her nappy. It literally changed in an hour. I think they’re ready when they’re ready and they’re all different. I loved this though, it was refreshing to ready an alternative perspective and made me chuckle too. #familyfun

  8. Ha ha, definitely not ready. My oldest was ready at two but my youngest most definitely wasn’t until almost three, they’re all different and get there in the end.
    #FamilyFunLinky

  9. Thats so funny Katie! So true! I found potty training the. worst. job. ever. Sorry but it’s true! It’s so frustrating…but then I potty trained my daughter (well tried) when she was just 2 and it took ages…..she clearly wasnt ready but I was determined. With my second, I let him get on with it…at almost 3, he asked to wear pants. Job done. #Blogcrush

  10. Haha, have been considering when to start with the kiddo but does not sound like he’s ready either. 🙂 #stayclassymama

  11. I found with potty training and most things with our kids is it is better to ease them into things and go at a pace they are comfortable with. Great post! #stayclassymama

  12. Ha! I tried to start potty training on Thursday with my 2 and a half yr old (well 2 and 7 months). It did not go well. I gave up by Friday lunchtime. she also told me she didn’t want pants, she wanted her nappy. So I am taking that as we are not ready! I feel anxious that she’s getting older but at the same time I’m not pushing it and stressing us out yet unnecessarily. #FamilyFunLinky

  13. Haha I love this! A while back I thought Emma was starting to show signs of us needing to potty train her but then moments later, she was doing #1 exactly! She’ll now tell me she’s done a poo but when I suggest we change her nappy, we have a 10 minute chase round the house 😂 I’m holding off until absolutely necessary! Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam xx

  14. Yep! It sure sounds she is not ready. Why rush anyway? Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama

  15. Haha, love the last point. I didn’t force my son and won’t be forcing the baby either, no point trying to potty train if they’re not ready. .it will just end up being stressful and messy! Love your alternative take on a potty training post xx #blogcrush

  16. I’m glad I read this – Little B is two & three quarters & ticks all these boxes! #familyfunlinky

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