Potty Training Regression - Question and Answer

Question from a frustrated single mom:

My name is Charlotte. I am a single mom and I have a child going on 5 years old and recently she has started to regress when it comes to going to the bath room she was completely potty trained now for the last 2 years and now she has started acting as if she is not a child going on 5 that she is going on one how do I get her to stop peeing and pooping her pant and start getting her to use the potty in stead please help me I feel like a failure to my kids as a parent.



My Response to Charlotte's Question:

Charlotte ,

First and foremost, this regression does not mean you are a failure as a parent.  The reason your child has started doing this is probably because there has been some change in her life.  Something has caused her to regress.  Have you had a change in your life?  Has she had a change in her life?  Do you have any idea what the change may be that is causing her distress?

Young children are unable to articulate their feelings as easily as we can, so sometimes they will communicate their feelings through their actions. 

If you can identify the change, talk to her about it.  Address the feelings that are resulting from the change and hopefully things will return back to normal.

In the meantime, don't over react to the regression i.e. do not react with anger or punish her for this.  Provide lots of positive reinforcement - you may want to use potty charts - we have free printable potty training charts available or you can purchase some potty training charts  and potty training stickers as well.  Put these in the bathroom; they will provide the visual positive reinforcement.

Also you should check with your child's pediatrician - to make sure that it is not a medical or physiological issue - and get confirmation that this is indeed behavioral.

I hope this helps you out.  Please let us know how things work out.

Have a great day.


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regression (9/27/2013) Reviewer: Courtney (Broken Arrow, OK)

My 3 yr old has been potty trained since 2 but the past few weeks she is wetting the bed at night. I have cut her off drinking at a certain time and we even go to the bathroom before our bedtime routine.

I don't want to get on to her about it but I don't understand why the regression. She never had accidents until now.

PTC Comment: Just when you think that you are done potty training you will find that some children will regress. There could be many reasons for their regression. Sometimes, it is no more than a disruption to their normal routine. For example: starting daycare or preschool program, moving to a new home, a new baby in the family, etc.. Whatever the reason may be that is causing your child to regress, just remember the best thing that we can do is to be consistent. Remind them to go to the potty, praise them when they do and encourage them to go back to having no accidents at all. This too will pass with a little patience and before you know it they will be right back to where they were.

How often to ask? (6/27/2011) Reviewer: jennifer (victorville, ca) How often to I ask my son if he as to use the restroom? Potty Training Concepts: It depends on what stage you are in regarding potty training. If you have done test runs for about a week or two by taking him to the restroom every couple of hours, then you need to ask him often. If you have been doing the test runs for a while, step back and see if he will tell you when he has to go to the potty.