My LO is almost 15 months. She just started walking and has been really good at climbing on chairs for a while so I figured we'd buy a potty, no pressure, just to get her used to the idea. I sat her on it a few times and she seemed to enjoy it, and peed in it twice. So I taught her the word "pee" as well as the sign and got a potty training storybook out and she seemed thrilled.

The third time she peed on the potty, she seemed to notice she was "leaking" and got really distressed and crying uncontrollably. She then stood up from the potty, pooped on the floor and sat back on the potty, and started crying again.

So we reassured her and congratulated her, even about the poop and everything. But ever since, although she still loves the potty book, still says the word/sign, still likes the potty object, she will cry whenever she sits on it (even when fully dressed) and look down to see what's going on. So I put the potty away for now.

I've read that some toddlers feel like they are losing a part of themselves when going potty but nothing about how to better handle it.

I am wondering, will this pass on its own? Is she just "not ready"? Should I keep engaging her with the story/leave the potty out? Should I show her that I'm fine while using the potty?

  • 3
    I can only caution that while showing my daughter that I was peeing (I am mom) I was totally unprepared that she shoved her hand into my urine stream. I guess maybe I should have thought it possible, but it never occurred to me. Her distress may have been the poop. Many children urinate much easier on a toilet than poop & it may take her more time to be ready for pooping. I'd leave the toilet there & not ask her anymore, but have her go to the bathroom with you when you go, and follow her lead. She sounds like she is nearly ready to me.
    – threetimes
    Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 22:17
  • 3
    If she was surprised by "leaking," it sounds to me like she may not be totally aware of peeing yet - in the sense that it is not yet a voluntary act. Probably she won't really be ready for the potty until she has the ability to control when she pees, but it sounds like the experience she had with it at least made her aware there's something going on down there. And as @threetimes said being ready for pee doesn't say anything about being ready for poop. I'll just add that 15 months sounds really young to me to be potty training.
    – MAA
    Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 23:45
  • @MAA The intention was not to potty train but just to buy one and leave it there see if she has an interest and go from there. I know it's quite early according to most of the stuff I'm reading. Actually the fear passed on its own after 2 weeks, she sits on it again and even pooped in her diaper while sitting on it today (of her own initiative)!
    – curious
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 20:56
  • @Emilie awesome!
    – MAA
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 20:56

1 Answer 1


I would just leave it for a month or so. When you start potty training, you start potty training. No more nappies at all and use bed mats at night. When you start, let her pick her knickers. If they have a picture on I say 'you don't want to make them (the picture) wet.' Do a sticker chart and reward each time she goes. Sounds like you are doing great with praise. Potentially it should only take 3 days to learn but accidents still happen.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .