I have had over 10,000 hit on my potty training tips! That is an all time record! :) I love to potty train, and help others do it.
I know there are stories out there on "how I tricked my son to potty train" or "bribing my kid to potty in 2 days" but lets face it, those stories could only work if the kid was older than 3 and if they had been introduced to toilet training before. Those stories couldn't have worked with a barely 2 year old who has never sat on the toilet in their life. They also don't guarantee longevity in keeping them trained because - they weren't trained to go. Okay off soap box.
I have had about 15 emails and comments on how to deal with potty training regression. So I am going to address that right now.
Regression in Potty Training:
Remember that Potty Training for some kids takes time. You should never rush this process.
Every kid is so different that one technique might not work for another, as I have found in my 3 older kids. The ultimate goal of potty training is independence. You want them to go when you remind them, and completely on their own.
Once they are potty trained...some kids regress. Why does this happen?
Stress of moving, new baby, new job, really there is a myriad of things that can trigger regression. Its not that the child "forgets" its that the child can now control the one thing that had your full attention.
I had an email from a mother who had a kindergartner and so she went back to work and the kindergartner regressed. My advice to her was that the Kindergartner needed more attention. So instead of punishing her or having a negative reaction to the wetting the child would get rewarded for staying dry at school, then another one for staying dry at day care etc. We also adjusted her home time schedule to include EXTRA mommy time.
Sometimes kids subconsciously use accidents as their trigger to get what they want, I am not going to lie though in my experiences when potty training other peoples kids - they do it deliberately also.
If you suspect this is happening in your home - ignore it and make them take care of it themselves. "Fine, you need to take care of it. Put your wet clothes in the hamper and get clean ones." This will show them that they aren't gaining anything by having an accident. If they are doing it deliberately - still give them extra attention WITHOUT mentioning accidents. Its hard, but it works.
Also - lay out their responsibility as a potty trained member in the house. My kids in my house get a little extra responsibility or chore because they are potty trained. Like they have reached this right of passage...and get to be semi-grownup now. If they choose to neglect their responsibility there are consequences.
One of my daughters kept getting distracted and not getting to the potty in time and would "pittle" you know "pee a little" in her undies. I told her that she couldn't go to the store with me that day because I was worried she wouldn't make it to the bathroom at the store. She then said she would and proved it to me and has done so ever since.
The key to stopping the regression in a child that was already fully toilet trained is to avoid negative reactions, learn why this has started, discuss responsibility and consequences, decide whether they were ready in the first place...do they need to go back to diapers?, is it something else like a UTI or something else that they can't control?, and to keep your cool.
Punishing is not recommended for potty training. This is supposed to be a "positive" experience. If at anytime the child feels discouraged it will be 10x harder to get results.
If I can help more please let me know! Leave a comment or email me! :)