Potty training regression is common, particularly in children undergoing some kind of transition. This is, of course, disheartening for parents, but don’t panic: there are simple ways to get your son or daughter back on track.
The first thing to do is to make sure what your child is experiencing is real regression. It’s always possible that your child was never fully potty trained in the first place. It’s also possible that they’re merely having accidents – those might continue to happen from time to time for several weeks (and sometimes months and years).
Still, a child who is truly potty trained will want to use the toilet. If your kid suddenly looks towards the bathroom with indifference, potty training regression is likely.
A regressing child is regressing for a reason and it’s up to you to solve the mystery. Transitions involving big changes are sometimes the cause. If your child starts a new school or gets a new babysitter, they might regress. It’s also possible that something about the toilet frightened your child – they almost fell in or something in the bathroom worries them. Physical reasons are possible too – a child who isn’t getting enough fiber may avoid the toilet because of fear of discomfort.
Children occasionally regress for no other reason than they want your attention.
So don’t provide them with any sort – not positive or negative (it’s still attention). Not even if they look super cute as they apologize. Instead, clean up accidents quickly and quietly so that you’re not rewarding the child for what they’ve done.
The biggest step in reversing regression is returning to the basics. Reestablish the importance of the potty with your kid: remind them to tell you when they need to go, tell them about “big girls and big boys” using the toilet, and focus on avoiding accidents. Children like responsibility so give it to them: tell them over and over that it’s their job to make it to the toilet.
Regression is common – don’t overreact if it happens. Address it as soon as possible and don’t return to diapers, no matter how up to your elbows you are in the urine. Diapers will only regress your child further. If they learned to potty train once, they can certainly learn again: be consistent and, if you want to scream and yell and pull out your hair, do it somewhere your child won’t see.
Ready to Potty train your child?
Potty Training Fix is a complete kit to potty train toddlers.
Each box contains a detailed step-by-step methodology for parents and a curated selection of items for the child to successfully say goodbye to diapers.