How to Deal With Potty Regression




By: Nicole Pelletiere

Congratulations, your child is going potty!  Besides your overwhelming feelings of excitement and pride, you no long have to change (or even better) purchase diapers.  But what happens when your child stops going and starts having accidents?  If this potty regression occurs with your child, it can be very frustrating, but there are ways in which you can help your child overcome this obstacle.  Potty training specialist and owner of Successful Potty Training—Ashley Hickey shares with us why children may go through potty regression.

“Children can regress for a variety of reasons. Most obviously, children may regress due to a change in family status, such as a birth, or a significant event, such as moving to a new home or starting a new school.”

Ashley also explains that rewards are significant when potty training a child. If a child is potty trained using a reward, but he no longer receives the reward after he is deemed “potty trained”, it can cause a regression.  In some cases, children will stop using the toilet because they develop a fear of the toilet, especially in a public bathroom.

The first way to reverse this “no longer interested in the potty” phase is to provide your child with a motivation for using the potty.  After you’ve started the potty training, keep your little one in underwear at all times.

“Being in wet underwear can motivate a child to stay dry” says Ashley. “If you are concerned about accidents at night, put a diaper or pull-up OVER his underwear.”

If an accident does occur, you should never punish a child.  If you lose your cool, your child may get discouraged, and fixing this problem will become even more difficult.

A good tactic to prevent accidents from happening frequently is to have your child stop what they are doing, take off their wet pants, wipe up the mess, and put dry pants on.  By doing this independently, they are now able to identify that having an accident is in fact, a mistake that isn’t supposed to happen.

Another important tip to remember is to use a reinforcer.  Reinforcers motivate your child to use the potty.  Think about whatever your child would do anything for; it could be a trip to the movies, candy, or ice cream.  As our specialist explains, using these reinforcers and being consistent is the key to successful potty training.

Good luck and have fun; potty training is one of the many experiences you will only have once with your child.

Ashley Hickey of Successful Potty Training is located in Hamden, Connecticut—serving all of Connecticut, and travels throughout the U.S.  She specializes in potty training children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.