The Parent Consultancy Guest Blog – advice on Potty Training Regression

We are delighted to welcome Kate Barlow from The Parent Consultancy as a guest blogger on Pourty. Kate is an NNEB, Parent Consultant and a mother to three young children who has worked in child care for over twenty years. She knows you and your child and can give you expert practical advice and support for continued confident parenting. Her first guest blog deals with the thorny issue of potty training regression which is an issue familiar to most parents.

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Potty training regression

After the novelty of potty training has worn off, it’s not uncommon for children to start having accidents again. In the beginning enthusiasm was high and there were lots of rewards and incentives, over time these naturally decline.

Often children become engrossed in their play and forget to use the toilet or just forget. Some children regress when there are changes happening within the family or a change of nursery or school. Talk to your child about any worries she may have. Regression can coincide with new fears, as children become scared of the dark or being alone. When you have addressed any issues, and ruled out infection or a medical complaint you can start to rekindle your child’s interest in the toilet. You may want to stay home for a couple of days to e-establish good habits.

  • Devise some new incentives and rewards
  • Don’t keep asking your child to use the toilet
  • Dress her in easy to manage clothes
  • Don’t force her to use the toilet or potty
  • Give accidents little attention
  • Involve her in the clean-up process

Don’t be tempted to give up and put her in nappies; this will not solve the problem it will only confuse and aggravate the situation.

The way you react to accidents is key give them little attention, it’s ok to look disappointed but getting cross or telling her it doesn’t matter will not help, save all your attention for praising her for using the toilet. Unlike using the toilet accidents should disrupt play; lead her away from the T.V or game she was playing, then involve her in the clean-up. I have seen parents change their child whilst their child is watching T.V the child barely notices the accident or the clean –up. The aim is to make accidents a chore and for her to learn that using the toilet is quicker. When the clean-up process is finished remind her of to use the toilet next don’t punish her or dwell on it.

Young children crave independence and the feeling of being in control, allowing her to choose when she uses without prompting will help with this. Most children will say “No” when asked to use the toilet you can drop a hint and encourage her to use the toilet before leaving the house or before meals toilet training is about creating new habits.

Although this is a frustrating phase handled correctly potty training regression should pass quickly.

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