Note: If you suspect that it's a physical problem that’s causing your child’s potty training to stall, have your child checked thoroughly by a physician.
• Consider the possibility of an allergy. Lactose intolerance (the inability to digest milk or milk products) is the most common, but other foods can cause allergies, too.
• How much sorbitol is your child consuming in sugarless candies and gum? Sorbital is a new culprit in chronic loose stools. It also is found naturally in pear juice and apple juice, which could make a difference if a child drinks lots.
• Watch for signs of urinary infections. These include pain or burning sensations while urinating, straining to urinate, color changes in the urine, foul-smelling urine, frequent urination that produces very little, or a split stream of urine. Other signs could be abdominal pain or a fever of an undetermined origin. Such infections are not uncommon in small children.
• Be aware that even after a urinary problem has cleared up, the child may still remember and fear the pain of urinating, and this may complicate potty training. Reassure the child and don't be impatient if it takes him or her a while to get over the fear.
• Check a toilet-trained child who starts to have many urinary accidents, as well as a significant increase in urination for diabetes.
• Remember that diarrhea can cause problems with bowel control. Persistent diarrhea is usually a symptom of a physical problem, and it should be treated by a doctor.