You thought the difficult task of toilet training was over. Then your child begins to make mistakes and appears to be regressing. Is this simply a fad? Is it a reversal of toilet training? Here’s all you need to know about recognizing toilet training relapse, its causes, and how to overcome it.
Most parents look forward to certain milestones, such as their children’s first birthday, first steps, first words, and…potty training.
Isn’t it wonderful to be free of diapers and take that first step toward independence? As a mom of 3, I’ve done this 2 times and on my way to potty training #3! If you need some trips read this: Potty Training Made Easy From A Mom Of 3.
But sometimes when we successfully finish potty training, along comes a very normal, not worrisome regression, which is where you will need to pay extra careful attention to how you handle these situations. Potty training regressions get messy, and tiresome too which is why you should definitely check out these hilarious potty training quotes to get you out of a funk.
Keep reading to find out exactly what you need to do when a potty training regression hits your home.
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Possible Causes Of Potty Training Regression
What causes this to happen? Let’s take a look at some of the most prevalent causes. Once you’ve figured out what’s causing the problem, you may address it and resume your toilet training progress.
Some children might become so absorbed in their play or other activities that they don’t know they need to go until it’s too late. My own son’s toilet training relapse was caused by this.
The existence of a stressor in your children’s life is another typical reason for potty training relapse. There might be some type of disturbance, such as:
- Relocating to a new residence
- A new sibling has arrived.
- Divorce of parents
- A family member has passed away.
- A new preschool is being established.
They Have Anxiety
Some children are simply terrified of using the toilet. They are terrified by the loud flushing noise. They believe there is a monster in the toilet or are afraid of falling in.
Perhaps There Are Medical Concerns
Before focusing on any other probable causes, make sure your child isn’t suffering from any physical health concerns that might be causing the setback in toilet training. Urinary tract infections and constipation, among other things, are potential problems that might have an impact.
To rule out these possibilities, see your children’s physician.
How To Work Through A Potty Training Regression
For all the parents who are going through this right now, there is some good news: regression periods are generally short-lived. Yes, it’s aggravating, but here are some suggestions for getting through it and on the other side.
Talk To Your Child
Remember that they’re young and likely don’t have the language to adequately convey their emotions. If you can sit down with your child and speak about what’s troubling them, you might be able to get enough information to find out what’s wrong.
Accept and Validate Their Feelings
Take the time to show your child that you listened to what they had to say after they had spoken what they could. If a sibling was recently added to the family, for example, your child is likely to feel left out and that they aren’t getting the attention they used to.
When the baby is asleep, try to avoid talking about being a sibling and instead spend time with them, reading with them, playing with them, and so on.
The greatest thing you can do at this point is to be calm and patient. Avoid penalizing your child for making mistakes since this will just increase their worry.
Instead, try not to make a big deal out of the accident while making a huge deal (in a good manner!) out of successfully using the potty.
When an accident occurs, simply say, “Uh oh, let’s go on the potty,” and then leave it at that.
Return to Providing Reminders
In some ways, it seems like you’re going back to the beginning of toilet training. However, there is some good news! Even if you’re going backward, it’s just for a short time, and you’ll be able to make significant forward progress in no time.
Make sure your child is reminded to use the restroom on a regular basis. Simply include it into your regular regimen.
Giving a reminder every couple of hours seems to work well for my kid while he was going through this. I just set a timer on my phone to remind me to do it, even if I was elsewhere occupied.
Don’t forget to enlist the help of everyone in your children’s life. It will speed up the process for everyone involved—teachers, grandmothers etc.
You may also review your potty training books with your child.
Praise And Rewards
External rewards are effective motivators for achieving a goal, and this is true for potty training relapse as well. Consider putting in an incentive system. That’s what we did with my kid, and it really helped him stay motivated to “get back on track.”
You’ve Got This
Many toilet training regressions are resolved in a matter of weeks, but it might take up to a month in certain cases.
If it lasts longer than that and you haven’t visited a doctor, you should consult your children’s pediatrician to make sure there isn’t an underlying health concern.
You’ll be on your way to the other side shortly!
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“GENTLE PARENTING IS A LIFESTYLE THAT EMBRACES BOTH YOUR PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL BEHAVIOR, NOT ONLY TOWARDS YOUR CHILDREN, BUT TO YOURSELF TOO“— SARA HOCKWELL-SMITH