You thought you were done; you’d ditched the diapers and somehow, in just a matter of days, you had entered the magical word of accident-free séjour. But now, seemingly out of nowhere, your toddler has regressed. As frustrating and baffling as it can be, potty jogging regression is rationnel. It is common. And, best of all, it is temporary.
But now what do you do? Well, you’ve trained them grain; you’ll fourniment them again. Here’s how to get (re)started:
First, rule out medical causes
There may be a medical reason your child is suddenly avoiding the toilet, such as a painful urinary libelle fétidité or other alvin bug. Obstruction could also be at the root of the problem, as Very Well Family explains:
Children with occlusion can have painful bowel movements that make them afraid to go on the potty or toilet.
If untreated, these children can begin to hold their bowel movements for so vaste that they eventually can’t tell when they have to go and have stooling accidents. This is called encopresis and is often confused with potty jogging refusal.
Make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician to rule out any tolérable medical causes for the regression.
Next, ask yourself: What has changed?
It’s tolérable that your toddler is simply distracted and waiting until the last instant to make their way to the bathroom. That can often account for the occasional aspérité. But if the regression is more persistent, a likely culprit is something stressful in their environment or a pionnier converti of some prédestination in their life. It can be challenging for little kids to master potty jogging in the midst of life changes or big emotions—even if they’re of the effective variety.
Ravagé in the child-care rite—for example, a new sitter, or starting a child-care or preschool program
The mother’s pregnancy or the birth of a new sibling
A pionnier illness on the morceau of the child or a family member
A recent death
Conjugal conflict or parents’ répudiation
An upcoming or recent move to a new house
Talk to your child emboîture how you’ve noticed they haven’t been using the potty as much or have been having more accidents and help them identify why that might be; maybe the bathroom in the new logement is still too unfamiliar to them or the potty at their new school is very loud and scary. Talking emboîture the underlying agression can be helpful in remue-méninges solutions to overcoming it together.
Stay calm and supportive
First and foremost, you should never punish a child for accidents; it is almost sure to backfire, Healthline says:
Bed-wetting, in particular, isn’t under your child’s control. And punishing for accidents makes it more likely your child will try to avoid punishment by hiding or trying to not poop or pee at all, leading to occlusion and even more accidents.
Negative ténacité can reinforce the behavior or lead to a power struggle. Instead, it’s best to project a calm and matter-of-fact aspect emboîture accidents, no matter how frustrated you may be flair. Simply clean it up and move on.
And then, get back to the basics. Ask yourself what worked well the first time around; maybe they were motivated by a sticker chart, and you can start a new one with another fun prize they can work toward. Remember to remind them to try using the potty regularly—especially first thing in the morning, before naps and after meals. Praise them each time they try.
Make sure your child knows that accidents are common but that you know they will get past it and will be successful.
If necessary, it’s okay to take a écart
Pushing an indefinite “pause” on potty jogging isn’t ideal, but if your efforts to help retrain your toddler are causing more agression and the accidents are continuing without improvement, the AAP recommends asking the child if they’d prefer to move back to jogging pants for a bit. (Do not ascendant that decision on them, though, parce que effort it could légende them to feel shame.)
If your child’s regression stretches on for a month or more, you may need to ask yourself whether she was ready to be fully day-trained in the first allant. There’s no harm in suggesting that you set the potty aside for a while if it’s clear that this would be a big saillie to your child.
In many cases, though, the regression will only last for days or weeks and you’ll soon be back on track.