All the excitement of Christmas with house guests aplenty, long journeys to see relatives and no sense of routine can really disrupt the building of toddler milestones. Unfortunately, many parents see regression in their toddler’s potty training during and after the festive period as other demands take up the attention of both parent and child.
If you are seeing the signs of potty training regression, trust us when we say that you’re not the first person who has experienced this situation. Regression can take place in all sorts of situations – with a house move, new sibling or other major change – and it can sometimes happen for no reason at all. Toddlers are just people and everyone is entitled to take their eyes off the ball at some point.
So, what can you do about regression? Our first piece of solid advice is not to panic. You’ll probably want to know why it is happening but often regression is just a phase and most children will experience setbacks. That being said, if the problem continues then it’s important to identify the reason for your child’s regression because it will help to determine the best way to solve it. Take note of any changes that may have stressed out your toddler, such as moving to a new house, starting nursery or becoming a big brother/sister. Even the excitement of Christmas can trigger regression.
Emotional potty training regression is easily fixed as long as you have a chat with your child about their problem and show that you are there to support them. Reassure them that it’s perfectly normal to feel the way that they do and work together to fix the problem.
If there’s no easy fix to the issue, then a lot of TLC will make your child feel more safe and relaxed, which will naturally encourage their potty training to resume once again. Keep their routine as far as possible to encourage the process – little ones thrive on routine and it will give them a much-needed solid framework within which to master the milestones.
If everything in your child’s life has been fairly steady, it may be something as simple as constipation but dealing with it quickly will minimise the impact of the issue.
Perhaps your child is having accidents because they just can’t keep their focus on potty training and don’t prioritise it enough. They may get so caught up in playing with their toys or watching TV that they just don’t think to respond to their body when it’s giving them a signal. Continue to support them by giving gentle reminders that they might need to use the loo at times when you know they usually go. If accidents happen, take them in your stride and don’t make a big deal of it.
Encouragement goes a long way towards solving regression. Always, always, always give rewards for when your child does well and be positive about the whole experience. Having their progress recognised will certainly help to get him/her back on track. With both accidents and rewards, don’t go OTT. Keeping everything on an even keel is best for long-term, solid results and steering things back in the right direction.