Toddler Potty Training Mishap Derails It All

Potty – 1, Norton – 0

We were charging ahead with casual toddler potty training.  Nothing huge or anything… just putting Norton in his underwear when I decided that I wasn’t in the mood to fight, and getting him to sit on the potty every little bit.  You know, maybe every twenty or thirty minutes, I’d make a bit of toddler potty training effort and see about getting Norton to sit on his potty.  (Or “poppy” as he calls it.  At least he’s stopped calling it a puppy.)

In the beginning, it was going okay.  He would enthusiastically run to the bathroom and pull off his Charlie Banana training pants and then sit down on the potty for a few seconds.  He wouldn’t actually go, but he’d go ahead and sit at least.  And sometimes he’d stay dry for a couple of hours in his big boy underwear.  I was hopeful about some progress at least.  He wasn’t afraid of the potty and he wasn’t opposed to sitting on it.

And then disaster struck.  I encouraged Norton to hurry up and go sit on the Baby Bjorn potty chair we’d been using since attempting elimination communication.  He hurried.  And then he sat down on the raised splash guard, which hurt his… well, his bits.

And that was the end of it.  From that point on, he has refused to even go near the potty.  If I’d push it, he’d scream and throw a tantrum.

He’ll still wear his “big boy underwear” with great enthusiasm.  He’ll still pick them out when he’s in the mood.  But the potty?  Forget it.  It is just not happening.

I’m starting to think that his bits getting hurt have sort of traumatized him.   So now I’m wondering what we should do.  The only thing that I do know is that I can’t force him, and even if I could, it certainly wouldn’t do anything to help the situation.  Do we put off toddler potty training efforts until he’s over it?  Do we just get a new potty chair for him?  Maybe one that he picks on his own?  I’m just not really sure what, exactly, is the proper course of action for a kid getting hurt on a potty chair.

If we do let him pick out his own, maybe we’d do better.  Maybe an Elmo potty chair, like the Elmo Adventure Potty, would be enough to inspire him?  Have you ever had a potty chair injury?  How did you help your child get past it?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. We haven’t had any potty injuries, but waiting isn’t a bad idea. With my first son, we delayed potty training until he was three, because he just wasn’t interested enough before then, and I didn’t want to be fighting him about it. Waiting though, worked like a charm, and it only took him about a week to get it down pat.

    • The problem is that diaper changes are so darned violent that I hate doing them… and so does he. He’s super ticklish and will fight, kick, and scream the entire time. I’m over getting kicked in the face. 🙁 And he’s over being pinned.

  2. Maybe try letting him sit on the big potty, but backwards. I have several friends whose sons learned this way. They won’t fall in because they are straddling the seat, and it makes the business go down and not make a big mess.

  3. Have you tried introducing him to the big potty? I have honestly never used a potty chair, only because I think they are absolutely disgusting. I’ve always just introduced the kids to the big potty – and I don’t use any kind of seat cushion or anything… they just get the big potty.

    I also second waiting, but I understand why you wouldn’t want to. I got tired of waiting for Parker and just made him do it. It was 7 days of pure hell, but after that he totally got it.

    Good luck! Potty training is just no fun.

    • I tried putting one of those seat cushions on for him, and it was scary for him because it still sort of slips a bit on the main seat. 😛

      I don’t want to *push* him to potty train, but I don’t want to just sit back and let it completely wait, either. Not when there are days that putting him in big boy underwear are the only thing that prevents bruising. 🙁 I hate it when he kicks me in the face and jams my glasses into my eye because my “fight or flight” instinct takes over. I only want him to be willing to sit on the potty when he wears his “big boy underwear” so that he connects the two. Use the potty, get to keep your big boy underwear on longer.

      I guess I just might have to see how he reacts to your and Kat’s idea of just parking him right on the big toilet.

  4. For a boy you can get 2. A PLAIN (read girl style) potty with NO front for poo & a URINAL for pee. (Yep they make small portable urinals now, gotta love it)

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