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Nine reasons to delay toilet training

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 14-11-2006

The Potty Trainer


Child development specialists often recommend parents to not attempt potty training when there are disruptive factors in the child’s life. Situations like divorce, new siblings, strange environments, and family death are examples they provide that are not conducive to a “healthy environment to potty train.” Children that are distracted or disturbed by surrounding events are less likely to be focused on the potty training process. They can even be unwilling or distracted by the events in their life and be unaware of what you are trying to teach them. Attempting to potty train a child that is confused or not able to focus on the task at hand can be confusing and frustrating for all involved. Like other “rules” of potty training, you as a parent are able to decide when and how to potty train your child. As long as you realize that children can have fragile and delicate personalities that are easily influenced by their surroundings, proceed as you see fit. Just be careful to not push potty training when potty training may not be important.

Potty Monkey



Some of the more commonly described situations when you should consider delaying potty training include:


  • Arrival of a new sibling
  • Recent family death
  • New home
  • New school/daycare
  • New babysitter
  • Recent significant illness
  • Defiant or resistant phase
  • Parent relationship problems (divorce)
  • Fragile period in life (nightmares, clingy behavior)


 – Dr. D. Preston Smith