Q&A: fear of the toilet

An unnamed blogger at BlogHer asked me about her daughter's potty training issue. It seems her daughter is afraid of the toilet.

I asked if it was the sound of the flushing, or if her daughter was maybe afraid of being sucked down the toilet when it flushes. But it turns out that her daughter is also afraid of the free-standing potty chair.

Hmm. This makes me think that it's not a fear of the toilet itself, but of using the toilet. In other words, she's afraid of not using a diaper or pullup.

So is this a fear of change? A fear of being a "big girl"? It seems like there are all kinds of subtle fears that could be playing into this.

As usual with potty-training, I'm not convinced there's a perfect solution. I'd try to use peer pressure as much as possible, because this might help her get past any fears of being a big girl, if that's what it is.

In this situation, I'd talk to her daycare providers to see how things are going there, and if they have any suggestions about how to leverage any friendships to help her get past her fears.

The thing to bear in mind is that she will eventually use the toilet. This is just a bump in the road. It may take a little sleuthing to see if you can figure out what's really at the root of the fear, though.

Has anyone been in this situation? How did you get past toilet-fear?