Archive for July, 2009

Regression In Potty Training - Part 2

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009


Last time we discussed possible reasons for regression during toilet training. Now let’s cover some helpful ideas what you can do to get your child back on track in a gentle way.


Here is the Cliff Note version:

 “Be patient, and love you child no matter what!”


Potty training is an important developmental step, and if your child is regressing, it can be incredibly frustrating - to both of you!

Rule #1: Be patient; this is just a phase, really! If you show your frustration, or worse, get out right angry with your child, matters will only get worse. More than likely, he already feels bad enough as it is.

Think about it: when you make a mistake, what works better for you: someone yelling at you, rolling their eyes because you messed up, or someone who is loving, patient and explains to you what you did wrong and how you can do it right next time?

See, it is the same for grown ups as it is for our little ones. Nobody responds well to criticism. Instead, be the kind, understanding parent your child needs right now.

In most cases there is a pretty feasible reason for his regression and putting your foot down will not help. Instead, look at the regression as a natural development your child is going through. Keep encouraging him to use the potty, and absolutely do NOT make him feel guilty.

If your child has been using underwear for a little while, I recommend you do not go back to diapers or pull-ups. That’s just going to wear on her self-esteem, and it conveys the message that she doesn’t need to try. Explain that you will help her by asking from time to time if she needs to go. That way she is prepared for your gentle prodding, and she’ll be glad to know you are there for her.

Remember: You are a TEAM, you are on the same side; make sure she knows that.

Every time she uses the potty, acknowledge her and cheer her on to keep it up. Consider going back to a rewards system, if that worked for you previously. And most of all: be patient.

You, as a parent, should be the biggest source of encouragement to your child. Be supportive and loving, and know that regression is usually short lived. Soon your child will go back to using the potty, and now he will also have experienced that you love and support him even when he messes up – and that lesson will be more meaningful than you may be able to imagine.

 I know it’s not always easy to be the loving parent we aspire to be - just to the best you can, and everything else will fall into place.


Cheering YOU on, too,

Marion Solis

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Regression In Potty Training – Part 1

Friday, July 10th, 2009


You are so excited your child has been using the potty reliably for a while, and quite frankly, you probably thought you were done. And then this: one accident after the next after the next….and you ask yourself “What in the world happened? Do I need to start all over again?”

The answer is: most likely not. Truth be told, regression is absolutely normal. I distinctly remember Julian having been “dry and clean” for months, and then suddenly he wet his pants at least once a day.

Try to find out the cause behind the regression. It may not be obvious, or you may not directly connect it to the potty accidents. The first thing is to simply ask your child. He just may tell you – as long as he feels safe with you, so make sure you are loving, patient and understanding.


Here are some possible reasons for regression – see if any of these apply:

  • Did you move recently?
  • Have you changed daycare or started her in a new program?
  • Have you had a new baby?
  • Did you separate from your partner or do you have a new partner?
  • Did anything traumatic happen in your family?
  • Is something exciting coming up that she may be looking forward to?


If you can pinpoint the reason, address it with your child so that she feels you understand her.

In the next post, I will share helpful ideas how to get back on track – so check back soon and hang in there :)!



Marion Solis


P.S.: For an extensive discussion about regression and the solutions, check out "The Ultimate Potty Training Guide" at