Potty Training Regression

toddlers walkingYour child is doing great with potty training and everything seems to be perfectly aligning for them to get out of their diapers even faster than expected. And then it happens. Your son or daughter is suddenly experiencing accidents on a daily basis again and you have no idea how this has happened.

This is an experience that just about every parent has to go through while attempting to potty train their child. The process is one where there are moments of extreme pride as your child begins to progress. These instances are then often followed by moments of disappointment as it seems you and your child are right make to where you started.

The purpose of this article is to help you to better understand potty training regression, how it happens, and what you can do to get your child back on the right track. Hopefully the information provided will help you continue through the process of successfully potty training your son or daughter.

Potty Training Regression is Normal

One of the things that should be reiterated about potty training regression is the fact that it is completely normal. Even if your child seems to be at a point where they are completely potty trained, accidents may continue to happen. In a lot of instances, the reason for these lapses are because of issues that the child cannot control.

Even something as simple as a change of teachers or rooms at a daycare can cause regression. Other reasons may include things like being apart from parents for extended periods of time, birth of a new sibling, or just about anything that insinuates significant change in the life of the child.

Because this regression is basically something that is uncontrollable, it is important that you do not overreact when it begins to occur. Punishing your child or shouting at them can lead to even worse problems and further regression from the end goal.

What Should You Do?

Generally, the plan of action in instances where potty training regression is occurring is to help your child relax as much as possible. Try to help them destress in situations of great change and make sure that you are not adding any type of additional stress through the expression of disappointment.

It is essential that you attempt to stay positive through this regression phase, as it is the only way to ensure that your child is not experiencing further anxiety. Talking to your child in an encouraging manner and helping them to better understand what needs to be done to improve will be far more effective than yelling or verbally expressing disappointment.

Is Your Child Really Potty Trained?

kid on toiletOne thing that you will also want to ask yourself when regression occurs is whether or not your child can actually be considered potty trained. Most pediatricians will tell you that a child that is truly potty trained will actually want to go to the bathroom when the duty calls.

If your child is having multiple accidents throughout the day and does not seem to care about actually going to the potty, then it would be somewhat irresponsible to say that they are truly potty trained. In these instances, the first plan of action is to get them in the proper mindset for when they have to go to the bathroom.

Getting Your Child in the Proper Mindset

One of the best, and easiest ways, to get your child in the proper mindset for potty training is by giving them gentle reminders throughout the day that they should be going to the bathroom when they have to go. In many cases, your son or daughter may get so caught up in playing or participating in an activity that they do not even think to go to the bathroom.

Try to get them in the mindset that they should be thinking about going in certain scenarios. Reminding them before dinner, when leaving the house, or before taking a nap are all good times for encouraging them to make their way to the bathroom.

Even with reminders, the potential for accidents is certainly still there. Stay patient and work to figure out ways for your son or daughter to focus on the fact that, when they need to go, they should be making their way to the bathroom to do so.

Look at Potential Causes

If there is a certain time or instance where your child is experiencing accidents the most, try to better understand why this is happening. Observe the times that your son or daughter is most often having accidents and look to find ways to remedy the situation.

It should also be noted that even if your child is not experiencing potty training regression during the day, it could be quite some time before they gain control during the night or with naps. This can be due to several reasons, with the most common being that a lot of children are afraid to go the bathroom by themselves at night.

Give Rewards a Try

Providing incentives for your child to stay dry can certainly be effective in some instances. Things like allowing for extra time before bed, taking them to the movies after a dry week, or taking them on a trip for ice cream after extended success can all work.

Be sure, however, that you are not overdoing it with rewards. Not every child reacts the same way to rewards and some children can even experience further anxiety if their reason for staying dry is completely reward based.

The Final Word

At the end of the day, you should understand that potty training regression is a completely normal thing. Just every child experiences some sort of regression at some point in their journey towards being fully potty trained.

Stay patient and work with your child to get where you need to be. In some cases, attempting a program or asking your pediatrician for help can also be effective in expediting the process.