Potty training regression can be a challenging and frustrating phase for both children and parents. But with the right strategies and a positive approach, you can successfully navigate this setback and regain momentum towards your potty training goals.
In this article, you will learn:
- What is Potty training regression and the common causes of regression.
- Four strategies to overcome potty training setbacks
- How to encourage & reward progress with our FREE Potty Training Charts
What causes potty training regression
Potty training regression is often caused by a number of factors, such as changes in routine, stress or even developmental milestones. Here are a few things to be mindful of:
Changes in routine: Major life events such as starting preschool or moving to a new home disrupt the established potty training routine, leading to regression.
Stress: Adjusting to potty training requires routine and repetition, and stress may cause toddlers to feel overwhelmed and less receptive to change. Be mindful of situations that are stressful for your child, or factors that might be causing stress for people around them.
Developmental milestones: As children focus on acquiring new skills like language development or motor skills, their attention may temporarily shift from potty training, causing regression.
Resistance to change: Some children resist the transition from diapers to the potty because of the lack of familiarity. Don’t forget that this is a big change for them, and the fear of the unknown is enough for them to resist the potty all together. Take your time in familiarising them with the potty, explaining or helping them experience the feeling of undies and what it’s like to have an accident and don’t take small setbacks as complete regression. It’s quite common for kids to adjust to the potty one day and want to be back in diapers the next.
Strategies to overcome potty training setbacks
Don’t forget the emotional aspect! Shower your little one with support, encouragement, and understanding. Acknowledge their fears and worries, assuring them that setbacks are normal and temporary. Your patience and love will help them feel safe and confident on their potty training adventure.
Back to basics
Help your little one overcome setbacks by going back to the basics. Remind them why we use the potty with examples of how it feels to have accidents. These examples don’t need to be negative, but will help you explain the importance of trying again as you re-teach the basics of using the potty, going to the bathroom and proper hygiene. It’s importance to build their confidence again! Head to our blog for a full guide on how to potty train your toddler.Don’t forget the emotional aspect! Shower your little one with support, encouragement, and understanding. Acknowledge their fears and worries, assuring them that setbacks are normal and temporary. Your patience and love will help them feel safe and confident on their potty training adventure.
Consistency is king
Creating a consistent routine sets the stage for success! Stick to a predictable schedule for bathroom breaks, especially after meals and before bed. Consistency helps your child understand expectations, reducing the likelihood of regression.
Positive reinforcement and patience
Essential to the potty training process is positive reinforcement and patience. It will take time for their body to adjust to using the potty, and accidents are part of the learning process. Try not to react to these occasions with frustration. Instead, offer reassurance, help them change into a clean diaper, and explain why we use the potty and what we can try do next time.
When they use the potty successfully, offer gentle praise or a small reward like a sticker chart. Positive reinforcement of their behaviour and what they did successfully also helps them learn.
Keep the motivation high
Essential to the potty training process is positive reinforcement and patience. It will take time for their body to adjust back to using the potty, and accidents are part of the learning process. Try not to react to these occasions with frustration. Instead, offer reassurance, help them change into a clean diaper, and explain why we use the potty and what we can try do next time.
When they use the potty successfully, offer gentle praise or a small reward like a sticker chart. Our FREE Rascal + Friends CoComelon Potty Training Charts are the perfect incentive to track progress and keep the process fun.
4 Potty Training Hacks For Your Toddler
Potty training is an exciting yet challenging milestone for your little one. The change in routine can be difficult to adjust to and inevitable accidents are something most parents would want to avoid!
To help you start potty training your toddler and eventually make bathroom breaks a breeze, check out these viral potty training tips featuring Rascal + Friends CoComelon Training Pants. Made with seriously good features to make change-time easier and up to 12 hours of leak protection for changes on-the-go.
Watch this video and try these Potty Training Hacks for yourself!
Try putting undies underneath training pants
Help your little one feel the sensation of having an accident by wearing undies underneath a training pant. This allows them to feel the sensation of having an accident while reducing the cleanup for parents. Allowing your little one to gain a better understanding of their body’s signals, helping them to realise and respond when they need to use the potty.
Cut down on nighttime laundry and get back to sleep sooner
Bedtime accidents are an almost inevitable part of potty training. When they happen, the goal is to have processes in place that get you and your little rascal back to sleep sooner. One way to achieve this is by layering multiple sets of waterproof mattress pads and sheets. This is a game changer, saving you valuable time in the middle of the night, allowing your little one to get back to sleep and continue dreaming.
Mastering potty training on the go
Keep a travel potty handy in the boot of your car for times when you’re out of the house. To make clean up a breeze, line the potty with a clean diaper so you can simply roll and reseal the mess! You can also get a portable tent that unfolds and packs away easily for extra privacy.
But what do you do when theres no bathrooms in sight? Almost all parents will experience this at some stage, yet it does not mean you need to go back to diapers. Leave a lightweight portable pop-up tent in your car, allowing you to create a private bathroom wherever you find yourself. Combine all these tips, and you have the perfect cheat sheet to potty training.
BONUS TIP: Use our FREE CoComelon potty training charts
Our Rascal + Friends CoComelon Potty Training Charts are an awesome way to incorporate positive reinforcement into the potty training journey. Download them for FREE from the link below:
Avoid this mistake when you’re potty training your toddler
Potty training: Two simple words that can fill parent with a mix of emotions from excitement because our baby is growing up, to worry about how they (and we) will go with the process, as well as a tinge of sadness as saying hello to a new stage in our little ones development, always means saying good-bye to the last one. It’s a lot to process.
With so much at stake, it can be easy to get swept up in pressures to start too soon, so when it comes to toilet training the number one mistake parents can make is not making sure your child is emotionally ready for toilet training.
Sometimes children will start to refuse to have their diaper changed or not want to be changed lying on their back. Before you consider potty training as the solution try some training pants. We love the Rascal + Friends training pants as they allow your child to get changed standing up. It’s a win win! More independence for your toddler and less chasing for us.
Children show several signs they are ready for toilet training, but often the last sign to present (which many parents may not be aware to look for) is emotional readiness.
When children are not emotionally ready for the toilet learning process, it can lead to a situation where everyone gets stressed out, and our child can wind up either taking much longer to train, or even developing a fear of the potty, which can really have everyone wishing they had just waited a little longer.
Parents may start potty training before a child is emotionally ready for three main reasons:
Feeling external pressure of a deadline like a baby being on the way or a child starting pre-school.
Getting tired of diaper change time. Let’s be honest, changing that nappy can get a little ‘old’ for everyone and when neither us or our toddler are having a good time we may think the answer is potty training.
Being unaware of the signs of readiness and not realising we want to see all three signs (physical, cognitive, and emotional) to begin the process.
While completely understandable, it’s important that children feel ready – in their own time to begin the big step of toilet training for the simple reason that if our child feels pushed, or overwhelmed, they don’t feel safe. Which is vital for successful potty training.
How to know if a child is emotionally ready for potty training or learning?
The average age for successful potty training is around 2.5-3 years when children tend to have better grasp of language and awareness of their bodies.
There are a number of signs of readiness that can be broken down into three main areas:
- Physical: Your child is walking and can pull up their pants or get them down. Other good signs of physical readiness might be a child with a dry pull up or nappy for up to two ours, or a child who does a poo in the same place every day. All of this demonstrates some awareness and physical readiness.
- Cognitive: We are looking for signs our child can follow instructions (like can you pass me the red truck?) Or maybe they are increasingly wanting that wet nappy off straight away. Maybe your child is telling you when they do go, but this isn’t essential. Ideally, we want children to know what it ‘feels like’ when they ‘need to do a poo or a wee’.
- Emotional: We need to know children are ready to ‘let go’ of a situation they are used to (which is using nappies and pull ups), and comfortable with tackling a new stage in development, as well as coping when accidents happen. Put simply, they need to be ready and excited to start using a potty or toilet, and not feel pushed into it.
The emotional readiness factor usually comes last and the most powerful. When we mistime emotional readiness, it can delay toilet learning and cause a lot of mess and heartache for everyone. Not all these signs need to be present for your child to be ready. However, a general trend will let you know it’s time to start.
What else can we do to make sure the potty-training journey is a success?
Use the lead up time to really prepare your child for the changes ahead. Think of the lead up to toilet training as the time to talk more to your child about using a potty, talking about how you use the toilet and how you know when you need to go. Kids are visual learners, so it helps to read books on the subject, making sure that this talk is free from pressure at our end. The more they can picture it, the less of a ‘leap’ it is.
Play is also a beautiful way to see if your child is ‘ready’ and to increase toilet awareness too. You can talk about their ‘teddy’ wanting to use the potty instead of his pull ups and see if your child is interested in this play theme.
As toddlers begin to indicate they want more independence or resist nappy change time we can start to embrace that. We can offer our toddlers an alternative to a traditional nappy such as a nappy pant with an easy up design, we loved Rascal + Friends premium nappy pants for this! We can start to change our toddler more often in a standing up position. This is more like how things work once we are toilet training while embracing their growing independence.
OK, I think we are ready…. Now what?
When you do decide the signs are there that your little one is ready, remember that connection is your superpower
When you think about it. Learning to use the potty or the toilet is a huge leap forward in our little one’s development. With this big step happening, it’s easy to get emotionally invested as parents, frustrated when there is a setback, and this can lead to a lack of connection.
Kids process change visually so printing off this Cocomelon potty training chart from Rascal + Friends is a fabulous way to help your child see the wins!
Bring play, humour, and lightness to the process, being silly when needed to make sure that your relationship stays central, and the process remains light and pressure free.
While you may have heard horror stories about the pitfalls of toilet training: if we wait for clear signs of physical and emotional readiness, and focus on making sure our child feels supported, and connected with us, we often only need to get out of the way and watch as our child, takes the next step. As our child farewells the last phases in their infancy, we say hello to so many adventures and independence that comes with being a big kid!