Toilet training regression can be an incredibly stressful occurrence for everyone. As parents, we have no idea what to do, and for our children, it can be a really upsetting time!
The main thing to do is to stay calm and support your child. Then we need to get to the root of the problem…
There are lots of reasons as to toilet potty training regression can happen. More often than not it’s due to stress or changes in the home environment. This can include but is not limited to moving homes, the arrival of a new sibling, difficulties at school, parental separation, among many other things.
Once we’ve identified the problem we can start to move forwards.
Take a deep breath - let’s find out how to tackle this together.
THE FIRST QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF
The first question we need to ask ourselves when faced with toilet training regression is this:
“Were they actually toilet trained?”
Being toilet trained means wanting to use the toilet, not simply using it when placed on it. If your child is asking to use the toilet and has been successful in doing so, they were probably toilet trained and are regressing.
If they weren’t asking to use the toilet, simply start from square one! Though it might feel like a long road, it will be worth it in a couple of months.
6 WAYS TO DEAL WITH TOILET TRAINING REGRESSION
1. STAY CALM
First and foremost, we need to stay calm. Feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and getting frustrated about the situation will only make things worse and lead to your child fearing the toilet!
Take a breath, clean up the mess, and work through the next steps.
2. DON’T PUNISH
Punishing our children will only create negative associations with using the toilet. When accidents happen, simply help them out of their dirty clothes, ask them if they would like to use the toilet, and find some clean clothes for them to change into.
Seal it up with a kiss and cuddle for good measure.
3. GIVE REMINDERS
Set an hourly reminder on your phone to ask your child if they would like to use the toilet. If they say no, don’t force it! Remember, we need to keep the experience positive and give them a little power to make decisions for themselves - kids love that.
4. FIND OUT WHY
Take a few moments to discuss with your partner and any school teachers whether there might be a reason behind the regression. Has anything changed in the home? Are they feeling stressed at school?
Once you’ve found the underlying problem, offer your child lots of support to overcome it.
5. TRY POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT
Use sticker charts to reward successful toilet use! This includes sitting on it even when there’s no elimination.
6. BE CLEAR
Be clear with your child about what you’re both aiming for - dry pants and lots of wees and poops on the toilet!
Let them know that they can ask you at any time - day or night - to assist them with using the toilet, and make sure that you’re always ready to give a helping hand.
Stay strong, sympathetic, and on the same team as your toddler - you can handle this together!
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