Potty Training Regression 101

A Survival Guide To Most Dreaded Of All Potty Training Problems

Potty training regression is a real challenge and it's truly frustrating to be back changing diapers or cleaning puddles. BUT it is definitely something that can be conquered with a little effort and a lot of patience on the part of the caregiver.

Some regression is normal within all developmental milestones - In the world of parenting, no two days are the same! You'll notice your child advance as expected in a specific area of development one day, and the next day it seems like they're right back at square one. Its exactly the same with regression in potty training - that's just the reality of parenting and assisting your little darling through the different phases of development.

Potty training is one area that parents often report experiencing some form of regression – so you are not alone. In many cases, parents observe their children grasp the concept of potty training for a period of time, but due to some experience or the other, they decide to revert to pre potty-trained phase.

Why Oh Why?!

Getting little darlings out of the diapers and on to the potty is a success in itself, and one you did not think you had to do over. But regression is typical when acquiring any new skill - soon enough your child will rebound. The first to step in dealing with regression in potty is to figure out why your toddler is experiencing potty training regression and then what you can do about it.


Anew sibling, an illness, a separation, relocation, and other big changes in a toddlers life.

When assisting a toddler with developmental phases, any little change to a routine can set your youngster back a step or two. However, that's just not a reason to feel frustrated and feel like giving up. Remember there's a reason that kids are dependent on parents - to guide them and train them in the right way. So embrace your role and take any signs of potty training regression in stride!

Ignoring The Need To Go Potty

In most cases, toddlers simply hold their bowels in favor of doing something that is more interesting to them at the time. After some time, they can no longer hold it, and end up eliminating right in their underwear, creating a grand mess.

Use reminders to get your little darling to the potty on time maybe try introducing a reward chart with stickers to focus your child’s attention back on the potty. Tracking the progress will offer your little one a sense of pride and accomplishment.


Constipation - your child the child might delay going to use the potty because of memories of past discomfort and pain.

Sometimes due to negative experiences or discomfort, toddlers develop a resistance to using the potty, and end up holding their stool or making a mess as opposed going on the potty. In lots of cases constipation has been the cause of the bad experience. whether as a result of a low-fiber diet or stress from using the toilet.

Common way to proceed is to allow your child to wear diapers again. This creates a level of comfort and trust for the child so the anxiety is lessened and the tension disappears. As a result of this, the stool passes more freely and bowel movements return to regularity. However, it is important to not let a potty break last for too long, as your child will make a longstanding connection between discomfort with passing stool and the potty.

Once the bowel movements are back to normal, reintroduce the potty by having your child watch you use it from afar. You can also encourage your child to poop in the bathroom, even with diapers on so they get comfortable with using that room for elimination. As the level of comfort increases, have your child poop in the diaper, but while sitting on the potty. Eventually, you can remove the diaper when the child realizes there is really no connection between the toilet and constipation.

Another proactive step you can take is to increase the fiber content in your child's diet. Things like fruit and vegetables are great sources of fiber and other nutrients that your child needs, so pile those on the plate. Increased fluid is also important to ensure the stool is soft enough to pass comfortable. In other cases, you can opt for over the counter stool softeners to assist your little one with bowel movement.

Whatever the cause of potty training regression, seeing a child take a step back with potty training is stressful for parents to deal with. However, it is thankfully not the end of the world. There are actually steps you can take to reverse potty training regression and get your child comfortable with using the toilet or potty again.

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