Common Reasons for Not Being Toilet Trained

Renee Collins

Renee Collins

Clinical Director & Behaviour Consultant


Toilet training is a normal part of childhood development, but some children may experience difficulties and may not be fully toilet trained by a certain age. Here are some common reasons for not being toilet trained:

1. Physical Delays & Medical Conditions:

Children who have physical delays, such as a weak bladder or poor muscle tone, may have difficulty with toilet training. Certain medical conditions, such as urinary tract infections, constipation or bladder problems, can make toilet training more difficult. In these cases, it may be necessary to address the underlying medical issue before progressing with toilet training. Please discuss this with your child’s GP, pediatrician, continence nurse or gastroenterologist.

2. Emotional and Behavioral Concerns:

Children with emotional and behavioral issues, such as anxiety or sensory sensitivities, may have difficulty with toilet training because they either don’t understand the expectations or do not want to participate in the process as there may be a component that they do not like. Children with sensory sensitivities, for example, may have trouble with the sensory aspects of using the bathroom, such as the sound of flushing or the feeling of wet underwear.

3. Lack of Readiness:

Children who are not physically or emotionally ready for toilet training may struggle with the process. This can include children who are not yet physically able to control their bladder and bowels, or who are not yet emotionally mature enough to understand and follow the steps involved in using the bathroom.

4. Poor Toilet Training Techniques:

Inconsistent or ineffective toilet training techniques can also contribute to difficulties with toilet training. This can include using punishment or shame as a means of motivation, or not providing enough opportunities for children to practice using the bathroom.

In conclusion, there are many reasons why a child may not be fully toilet trained. By understanding the common reasons for difficulties with toilet training, parents and caregivers can better support their children and work towards a successful and positive experience. If toilet training continues to be a challenge, it may be helpful to seek the help of a professional, such as a pediatrician, occupational therapist, or behavior analyst with experience in toilet training.

0422 457 363

9/56 Buffalo Rd, Gladesville NSW , 2111

0422 457 363

9/56 Buffalo Rd, Gladesville NSW , 2111

Super Kids acknowledges each individual’s personal preference to use identity-first or person-first language to describe themselves or their loved one. We interchangeably use both language conventions and therefore refer to both autistic children and children with autism.