Potty Training Regression: How To Potty Train Again

Reasons for regression and how to restart potty training

By Anusha
Potty Training Regression: How To Potty Train Again

What is Potty Training Regression?

Your child has shown good progress in toilet training initially but, couldn’t be able to continue it any longer. Ever thought what has gone wrong with his/her behavior suddenly? Did you get him/her to the child-care center? If yes, then be sure that the child would have forgotten everything you have taught. The reason behind this is that kids usually pick activities and habits from their surroundings and therefore, leaving them at a care center can disturb their routine.

Children pick and observe things in a completely different manner than adults. They used to learn and sustain new skills while children learn what they see during their development phase. They progress in sudden spurts based on little period. Sometimes, you would notice your child losing skills he/she learned a few days ago.

Potty regression is one of those problems that you might see in your children all of a sudden. You might have been teaching him/her since months but don’t see satisfactory results. You would notice the sudden neglect of potty practices or other accidents, thereby realizing the need for diapers. There is no need to worry about this situation as it usually happens to every mom who is potty training her child at an early age. So, what should you do then?

Your response to such practices should involve love and care for the child. However, if the problem increases to an alarming level, then it’s better to consult with a pediatrician in order to be sure that there is no physical problem in the child. Sometimes, potty regression is the resultant of an infection or other disorders that need medical attention sooner or later.

Reasons for New Baby to have Regression

You might be wondering what causes this regression even after you are trying so hard. Want to know some common reasons? Here are some worthy facts to take into consideration:

Lack of readiness

You should take care of the timings during the toilet training of your child. Not following a proper routine may prevent setbacks, thereby causing problems for you. So, what you should do is to be patient and keep on training for at least 20 months in order to see visible signs of learning.


The next cause may be any change in baby’s life like a new sitter, new daycare, family conflict or addition of a sibling.

Parental pressure

Never push your child to use the toilet at any cost. As a mother, it’s your responsibility to be patient, encouraging, reassuring and supportive throughout the toilet training.


In case your child likes to play a certain game or involved in an activity, be sure to pay attention on the time to go to potty. Never leave your child playing as he/she may avoid the urge.


For a child, who is going to the toilet for the first time, it may be an exciting experience, which can also work as a trigger for an accident. He/she may neglect or forget the urge that would end up as an accident.

Inability to communicate

Since your child is too young to say in words, you need to understand from his/her actions.

Regression At Night

Potty training at night is the same thing as bed wetting but still hold some uniqueness. Potty training is intended for children under 5 years of age. Since your toddler’s body is growing at a fast rate, it’s necessary for his/her bladders to take rest at night. On the other hand, bed wetting is crucial for children between 5 and 13 years of age.

You may have also seen some adults with this issue. When the bladder is full at night, it sends a signal to the brain and awakens the person to go to the toilet. However, your kid may not have this understanding and therefore, may pee on the bed.

How to Avoid These Accidents?

As a mother, you should never get angry on the child. Keep in mind that it’s an accident not voluntary. Your child doesn’t know how to control the situation and how to realize the need to pee. Other than that, you should:

  • Move to underwear if your child is dry in the morning. Check if he/she sustains that situation or wakes up to use potty. Take help from mattress protection in order to minimize cleaning frustration.
  • Use mattress pads that are wrapped around both sides. Be sure to have at least 2 pads so that they can deal with accidents efficiently at night.
  • In case your child wakes up wet, you should find another way to avoid the consequences. The next consideration is to find out how wet he/she is and how much can you tolerate the accidents.
  • If your child shows potty regression 2 to 3 times a week, go for disposable pull-ups and make your life easier.

Regression After A Year

When your child turns one, don’t think that he/she has learned all toilet manners and your responsibility is over. You still have a long way to go. Your child needs more training and understanding of the timings so that he/she can let you know before something wrong happens.

You need to maintain more patience and control your anger if you want to build a good personality of your child. Don’t frustrate and remember that this regression period is normal and happens with every mother. Don’t try to punish your little one for the accidents because it’s the time he/she needs you the most. He/she has to learn how to avoid bed-wetting by letting you know it’s time to pee or poop.

  • Maintain Positive Reinforcement: Don’t waste time and clean up the accident. Pay more attention to your child and teach him/her good habits. Give encouragement to get rid of diapers and control habit of bed wetting. Give plenty of kisses, hugs, and cuddles as a special treat of showing good behavior.
  • - Consult your Doctor: If regression seems beyond your control, then it’s better to waste more time and discuss your child’s condition with a doctor. Maybe, he/she is having some kind of infection and needs attention to get rid of its effects.
  • - Figure Out the Reason: Every child has a different reason for potty training regression that you should find in order to create the teaching plan accordingly.
  • - Reinforce Training: You can also reinforce the child to sit on the potty at a particular time. Perhaps, that may be after meal or bath time or before nap. Do it regularly so that it can become part of your child’s routine. This way, your child will automatically urge to sit on the potty.

How Autism Affects Potty Training Regression?

Not every parent is lucky to have healthy and normal children. Some have kids with autism, which is one of the common problems in 1 out of 59 children in the world. These children need special care and attention at every stage of life. They always need someone by their side so that nothing can go wrong.

Now, the question is when and how to potty train an autistic child? You, being a mother, have to look at some of the visible signs of readiness in your child:

  • Awareness of soiled or wet, desire to take off wet diaper (either by vocalizing displeasure, digging into it or pulling it)
  • Urge to sit on the toilet
  • Remains clean/dry most nights
  • Positive response to reinforcements like increase in learning behavior after giving a reward

Time to Potty Train an Autistic Child

  • Children with autism need more time to potty train as compared to an average age. Some also show results of urine training more quickly than bowel training while others need more time.
  • Show a positive attitude and start toilet training. Let your child sit on the potty chair comfortably and make him/her aware of being dirty or wet.
  • Don’t try to give your child a new situation as he/she wouldn’t be able to adapt it.
  • Keep in mind that your child may have sensory difficulties like discomfort on the toilet seat, fear of splashing water or swirling toilet water.
  • In public bathrooms, your autistic child may afraid from the hand dryers, toilet flushes or face a number of other challenges that you have to deal patiently.

Related Article: Start potty training with the top 10 toddler potty
Start potty training with the top 10 toddler potty

The top 10 toddler potties you will need to begin potty training


All in all, potty training is one of the difficult phases of parenthood where you have to show your patience level all day. Whether you are at home, out for shopping or attending an event, potty training is something that would benefit you in one way the other. So, invest some time and let your baby learn these new skills sooner or later.