Potty Training Regression


Potty training regression is not something uncommon. Children who are toilet-trained will regress when they are going through periods of adjustments. Even though your child may have been toilet-trained earlier, he may still find it difficult to adjust to the new toilet habits.

Toilet-training takes time and patience. It does not mean that once he is off his disposable diapers, he is toilet-trained. Children this age will have accidents on and off during the learning period.

Your child may feel equally disappointed when he has accidents and wets himself. He needs you to tell him that it is okay because he is still learning. Help him to get through this difficult period with minimal stress and pressure. Toilet-training is successful when parents are relaxed and understanding.

Do not regard toilet-training as a disciplinary matter. Your child will be more comfortable with the learning process when you support him unconditionally. If you punish him when he has accidents, he will defy you with more frequent accidents. When he does wet himself, handle it matter-of-factly and show him how he can clean up and change into a new set of clothes.

You can reward him with praises and special attention when he remembers to use the toilet instead of wetting himself. Positive reinforcement build a child's self-confidence. Praise your child for doing his best.

Do not feel guilty when your child regresses in his toilet habits. Some mothers take this potty training regression personally and feel that they may not have done a good job in toilet training. As parents, we must also recognise that there are certain things which children must do by themselves. If you want your child to be successful in his toilet habits, you must allow him some control over this matter.

You can offer him ideas on how to relax such as counting to five (even though he may not have learnt to count yet) or taking a deep breath whenever he feels the sensation to let go before he reaches the toilet. These are ways that you may want to let him know that you are supporting him. Do not insist that he follows your ideas if he is not comfortable with them. Let him choose what is best for him. You can set certain limits to what is appropriate behaviour and what is not, but you must always remember to focus on his positive behaviour. Catch him when he is good. 

More resources for potty training regression and motivating children to potty train themselves.

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