7 Tips for Potty Training Regression

One minute you’re teaching your child about using the toilet.

And they’re having no (or rarely having) accidents.

Everything is going great!

You’re probably even doing a little dance ready to throw in your diaper-changing sash!

Until suddenly you start noticing accidents more and more.

toddler holding up blocks

Almost as if your child is going backward in potty training.

You’re confused, frustrated, and at a loss as to what’s going on.

You’re probably asking yourself, “What did I do wrong?”.

Well, nothing mama!

This is what they call, potty training regression.

So if your toddler is going through some potty training regression of their own then I’m sure you have some questions.

Probably the first being, how do I make it stop!

Here I’ll go over some potty training regression tips and how to handle it, causes, and when to be concerned.

Look below to read more about it!

Potty Training Regression Tips

Don’t Give a Negative Reaction

When your toddler has an accident, it’s important to remember to not get mad and don’t yell.

This could not only make them feel bad but make it worse.

When an accident happens just remain calm and clean the mess without making a big deal about it.

Then calmly say that we don’t go potty in our pants and to make sure to try to use the potty next time.

But if you’re getting really frustrated with it just calmly walk away for a moment and take some breaths beforehand.

Toddler standing up

Be Positive

When you’re toddler suddenly starts wetting themselves again it be can a bit discouraging.

But just remain positive!

I know potty training is hard.

But try redirecting that energy to positive and encouraging!

Let your toddler know it’s okay and that accidents can happen sometimes.

Then finish with something to help encourage them by telling them you can do this!

Try Giving Rewards

Sometimes giving some kind of reward can help motivate them to start going to the bathroom.

You could give a small piece of candy, cheap toys, stickers, etc.

Just be sure it’s something that your child will want to work for!

Try to Find Out the Cause

If you notice your little one is starting to go in reverse when it comes to going to the bathroom, then try talking to them about it.

There could be something going on in their lives that they find stressful or hard.

Don’t make it into an interrogation.

You want the tone for this to be relaxed and casual.

And if something is bothering them, listen with open ears and remind them that you’re always here for them.

Girl toddler blowing kisses

Make Going to the Potty Fun

Maybe nothing is wrong.

Perhaps they’ve just lost interest in going to the potty and it has become boring to them now.

Just sitting there waiting for the potty to come out can feel like forever (especially if they want to get back to playing).

So try making the potty fun!

You could read potty books, sing songs, or maybe try putting it in a different area (a place that they like or see as fun) of the home.

This could help them see going to the potty in another light and may help encourage them to want to use it!

Have a Potty Training Schedule

notepad and pen

Create a potty schedule and try to stick to it as closely as you can.

Like, make sure they go to the bathroom at certain points of the day or every few hours make sure they sit on the potty.

This helps to kinda reinforce potty training again and may help them to start going to the bathroom at those particular points of the day after a while (if they’re going on a schedule anyway).

Don’t ever force it though.

Take a Break

Sometimes you just gotta stop and take a break.

So if you and your toddler are really struggling, then take a nice little “potty break”.

Wait a few days or weeks and try again.

Or just whenever you feel you both are ready to try again.

Is regression in potty training normal?


So do not feel like you have done something wrong if your child is regressing in potty training.

This is totally normal and happens to many other toddlers as well.

How long do potty training regressions last?

Normally potty regression will resolve itself between 1-2 weeks.

Or even in just a couple of days.

During this period of time, just remember to not get mad.

Talk to them about it and try using the potty training regression tips from above.

What causes a child to regress in potty training?

Regression can be caused by numerous things such as stress, being distracted, wanting to play, and when something new or different comes into their lives (new sibling, moving, parents separating, etc.).

Though it is possible for there to be more serious causes as well.

Can I avoid potty training regression from happening?

You can buy all of the potty training supplies that are out there.

But sometimes no matter how prepared you are for potty training, potty training regression is just one of those things that can happen.

It doesn’t matter if your child is 2, 3, or 4 years old.

Every toddler is different so some of them may go through it and others won’t.

When should I be concerned about potty regression?

If your child continues to have accidents frequently after the first few weeks (or if you just feel concerned period) contact your child’s doctor.

Just to be safe.

Because sometimes there are more serious causes to potty training regression.

These can include:

  • UTI – This will cause an increase in pee and even pain when going to the bathroom. UTIs can be accompanied with or without blood, fever, and vomiting.
  • Constipation – This will make it hard for them to go #2. And if they went to the bathroom and it was painful for them they may be trying to avoid going #2 altogether in fear that it will cause them pain again.
  • Type 1 Diabetes – This type of diabetes can cause an increase in pee.


Remember potty training regression is normal and fairly common!

If your little one is going through it just be patient and let this phase run its course.

Just be calm and try to use the tips mentioned above to try and help get your toddler back on course.

But if you are concerned or it’s lasting more than a couple of weeks, get ahold of your doctor so they can rule out any serious causes as to why they’re regressing in potty training.

Toddler girl potty training

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