Potty training regression and accidents (2023)


Potty training regression and accidents (1)

Potty training is like learning to ride a bike: there can be setbacks. Just as you fall off your bike multiple times when you start pedaling, the same learning process applies to potty training. Sometimes these setbacks can occur long after you think you've mastered potty training. If your child has been potty training for a while but suddenly has a few accidents, you may be wondering why this is happening and how you can help get things going again. We're here with the difference between potty training accidents and potty training regression, why both can happen and what you can do about it.

(Video) HOW TO HANDLE POTTY TRAINING REGRESSIONS: so you don't have to clean accidents out of your carpets 😁

The difference between potty training regression and accidents
How many potty training accidents are normal?
Reasons for potty training accidents and regression
Dealing with accidents and regression in potty training
The final result

The difference between potty training regression and accidents

There is a difference between potty training accidents and potty training regression, here is the breakdown:
Accidents while potty trainingThey occur occasionally and unexpectedly and are not usually a cause for concern, especially in the U5 club. You can record these incidents as minor setbacks in your child's process of becoming fully potty trained. What qualifies as a pure accident can be difficult to define. To give you an idea, here are some examples of potty training accidents:

  • Your child has an unusual accident or two in a week, but is dry again the next week

  • Your child is around 3 years old and only gets wet once or twice after being dry for around 8 months.

  • Your child is so engrossed in a game that they don't make it to the bathroom in time; This can also happen when your child is around 5 years old.

Potty training regression, however, is more complicated. It's not a one-off or occasional event, but rather when your child urinates frequently for several weeks after being potty trained for a long time.
To give you a few examples, potty training regression could play a role when you are 8 years oldmy la camaafter being dry for several years, or if your 5-year-old starts begging to go back in diapers.

How many potty training accidents are normal?

There is no universal answer to how many potty training accidents are normal. Instead, the larger context matters. If your child has an accident or two after a long dry spell and then doesn't have another accident for a long time, it was probably just a hiccup. However, if your child urinates a lot for several weeks after potty training, it may be a sign of regression.
By the age of 5, potty training accidents can be fairly common and it's nothing to lose sleep over. In fact, about 15 percent of 5-year-olds pee a few more times during the day.
Remember that just like learning any new skill in life, full potty training takes time and patience. Although cleaning can be a chore and you may be anxious for your child to reach this milestone, it can help to remember that even after the age of 5, slips or bedwetting can happen from time to time.

(Video) 💩 POTTY TRAINING REGRESSION | Is it normal for a potty trained toddler to still have accidents?

Reasons for potty training accidents

Potty training accidents can happen because your child is still learning the rules and needs a little more time to recognize the signs that they need to pee and the importance of going to the bathroom on time!
For example, your child may be so engrossed in an activity that they may not realize the need to go to the bathroom until it is too late. And sometimes your child may be having too much fun playing with a friend to stop what they're doing and run to the bathroom.

Reasons for potty training regression

Often, potty training regression is the result of psychosocial stress. When a child feels they have little control over a situation, they may begin to feel confused, anxious, or anxious. Anything to do with change can make your child feel this way. Some common stressors are:

  • change school

  • Moving to a new home

  • for moving an extended family member

  • a father is ill

  • be mistreated

  • have a big change in routine

  • the birth of a brother

  • A death in the family

  • Conflict between parents or divorce

To get to the bottom of whether emotional distress is behind your child's regression, think about what's been going on in your family's life and listen to what your child has to say about what's going on in their world has.
Other causes of potty training regression include:

  • A craving for attention and a desire to get your attention by immersing yourself

  • Having an active imagination and even being afraid to use the bathroom, for example imagining that there is a monster in the toilet.

  • Wanting to imitate a friend who doesn't know how to go to the bathroom by copying him

  • The desire to return to the comforts of childhood, when your child relied heavily on you, may lead your child to ask to go back to diapers.

Sometimes the reason for potty training regression can be medical in nature. This is much less common, so your child's healthcare providers can't look for a medical cause until stress or other emotional reasons have been ruled out as the cause. Possible medical reasons for potty training regression include:


  • a bladder infection

  • constipation

  • Type 1 diabetes

  • Maggots

If you are unsure what is behind your child's potty training regression, consult your child's doctor for an individual diagnosis.

Dealing with accidents and regression in potty training

Although potty training accidents and regression have different causes, the way you respond to both situations can overlap. Here are some pros and cons when it comes to dealing with potty training accidents and regressions.

Of the

  • Identify the problem.If your child suddenly has a lot of potty training accidents over a period of weeks, let them know that you've noticed a change and that they're fine, but you'll work together to get back on track. You can even ask if there is a reason for this. Listen carefully to your child's reaction and try to get them to tell you what the problem is. If your child is too young to communicate feelings well, consider whether there have been any major changes in your child's life or in the personal lives of your family recently.

  • Feel with your son.Let your child know you understand how hard it is and maybe even share some of your own stories, especially if you've had similar experiences, to show empathy. You should let him know that it's okay to feel anxious or confused about the change, but reassure your child that he's safe and everything will be fine.

  • Talk to your healthcare provider.Although potty training regression is often psychosocial, if you're concerned it might be due to something physical or medical, consult your child's doctor. Your child's provider can also give you tips on how to deal with your child's stress or how to deal with major changes in your family so your child doesn't feel overwhelmed.

  • Take practical steps to make your child feel safe.If your child is feeling stressed or just wants a little more of your attention, spending quality time together can help release the feelings associated with regression. For example, take time to do something fun together, or take your child to school and use the alone time to talk about the day ahead. If bathroom anxiety is behind the regression, find ways to make the bathroom less scary. It could be hanging fun posters, reassuring your child they won't fall, or reminding them that chain rattling is nothing to worry about. The tools you use to calm your child really depend on how old your child is and what the anxiety or stress is about. If you're moving, consider surrounding the potty or toilet with familiar items from your old home, like maybe a favorite toy, a picture, or a rug that was there before.

  • Offer positive reinforcement.When your child is doing well, be sure to hug, praise, cheer them up, or even make some fun candy-shaped stickers on a potty training chart. What you offer as positive reinforcement will change depending on your child's age.

  • Be clear with your expectations.Be understanding and patient, but also realize that the goal is to relearn how to use the toilet. Reassure your child that everything is fine and that you are confident that they will make it, even if there are a few hiccups.

  • Consider workout underwear.If your child urinates frequently, they need help from the team! Absorbent underwear such asNinjamasit can help you in your struggle. Ninjamas prevent the mess associated with a wet bed and give your child confidence as they look like regular underwear. Talk to your son about how he would feel in underwear that looks like regular underwear and is virtually invisible under pajamas but absorbs accidents. If you need further advicehow to stop wetting the bedand make the morning cleaning easier, then we'll have your back!

not to do

  • Don't go back to diapers.It's okay to wear sweatpants or waterproof underwear, but avoid going back to diapers.

  • Do not scold, shame, or punish your child.We understand; Dealing with accidents can be frustrating, especially since you thought that phase was over. Try to remind yourself that your child is not having intentional accidents and that there may be an underlying cause of regression. Also, if your child worries about upsetting you, it could make the problem worse rather than better. Instead, be reassuring and realize that despite these setbacks, together you will get back on track.

  • Don't confuse your child by stopping and starting potty training too often.If you are reading this as a parent of a toddler just beginning potty training, try not to start and stop too often as this can be confusing for your child. It's okay to start and stop because you realize your child isn't really ready, but give it a few weeks before trying again and try not to repeat it too often . Instead, wait until you see signs your child is ready to go potty before you begin.

The final result

Potty training accidents are probably just that: accidents. Your child may be concentrating on something much more fun than going to the bathroom and hence an accident happens. He or she will be back to normal soon!
Potty training regression, on the other hand, can be psychological or emotional. Help your child fully relearn potty training by trying to identify what is causing the stress or worry in the first place and taking steps to reduce the stress around them.
Although it can be frustrating when your child urinates on their own, try to see it as a bump in the road that can be overcome with patience and safety. You and your little one can really focus on getting dry again day and night with the Ninjamas Squad ready to make clean-up a breeze.

(Video) Handling Potty Training Regressions

How we wrote this article

The information in this article is based on expert advice from trusted medical and government sources such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians, and the Mayo Clinic. A full list of sources used for this article is below. The content of this page is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Always consult a healthcare professional for a complete diagnosis and treatment.




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Author: Dr. Pierre Goyette

Last Updated: 03/18/2023

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