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Dr. Gupta
Dr. Gupta, Pediatrician
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 7973
Experience:  MD, practicing Pediatrician with 19 years of experience. Member American Academy of Pediatrics.
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Hello, I have a beautiful, healthy, big girl who just turned

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I have a beautiful, healthy, big girl who just turned 4. She has always been way ahead of the curve for her size, often in the 98th percentile or above for height/weight.

In terms of her development, she was a bit slow to walk (21 months) and didn't start to really talk a lot until then. She's our only child and I will definitely admit we have allowed her to grow up at her own pace. We're in no rush, but I don't think we're trying to keep her a baby either. We're your typical older parents, who came to this late (we didn't think we'd be able to have a child at all) and are probably a bit permissive.

She is a sweet kid, knows her alphabet, can count to 100, doesn't have a mean bone in her body, talks a blue streak and appears to be smart for her age.

There's just one problem. She absolutely refuses to be potty trained.

We have bought 2 different potties, a potty chair for the toilet, shown her videos, read her books. She knows exactly what to do and will pantomime the entire thing for us - sits on the potty, wipes, "flushes", washes her hand. But refuses to actually go. She did pee, once, and got really scared. She said the noise frightened her.

We are now living with family (long story) and every day we get tips and hints about how we should train her. She is a stubborn little girl and each and every attempt is met with tears and resistance. The latest offer is to do a "bare bum weekend" where you try to do a potty bootcamp of sorts.

My daughter is a very sensitive kid. I don't know if this is the right approach. At this point, although I'd love her to be trained (if only to get my family off my back), I feel like this might go rather poorly. In my experience with her, things only work when it is her idea too.

Any advice on how to potty train a smart, stubborn, sensitive little person?


Dr. Gupta :

Hello & welcome! If you have any questions after reading my answer, be sure to let me know.

Dr. Gupta :

I understand your problem pretty well, and I have a few cases that are similar ...

Dr. Gupta :

My advice, STOP talking about potty training for the next few weeks COMPLETELY

Dr. Gupta :

Do not discuss it at all... just tell the child that you know that she is grown up and knows all about how to do potty.. so you are going to stop talking about it....

Dr. Gupta :

And let the pressure of her & yourself...

Dr. Gupta :

Tell your family that the pediatrician has told you NOT to push any more at the present point of time, and he will let you know when to try again ...

Dr. Gupta :

and then I would suggest that you read these excellent articles on potty training resistance

Dr. Gupta :

Let me know if I can assist further ... remember this is a power struggle and there is only 1 winner if you push this thing at the present point of time .... and it is NOT you ...

Dr. Gupta :

Remember this excellent line too

Dr. Gupta :

"While you may get a lot of negative feedback from friends or family members about not being more aggressive with getting your child potty trained, you should be firm and let them know that you are working on it and remind them that not all children potty train at the same time.:

Dr. Gupta :

Being an older parent brings about its own challenges , but it is a very satisfying experience too,

Dr. Gupta :

try not to be intimidated by well meaning but incorrect advice ...

Dr. Gupta :

If you feel that it is NOT right for your child, it probably is not ....

Dr. Gupta :

Take care

Dr. Gupta :

Dr Gupta, MD


Oh my gosh, thank you!! I have tears in my eyes right now. I so appreciate this support.

Dr. Gupta and other Pediatrics Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Dr. Gupta,


Ok, we're settled in to our new location now, (only since Nov 20) and we've been chatting with our little one about starting potty training again.


She is still adamant she won't use the potty. We have tried to explain that she's outgrowing the diapers (which is true) and that she can't go and have fun at school, but she won't budge.


Is it time to try the diaper free weekend?


Happy to pay the fee again - just not sure how to do that.