Potty Training Regression: Causes and Solutions - My Carry Potty®

Potty Training Regression: Causes and Solutions

Posted by Amanda Jenner

Potty training regression can be a frustrating setback for both parents and children. Just when you thought your little one had mastered the art of using the toilet, they start having accidents again. In this blog post, we'll explore the common reasons behind potty training regression and provide practical solutions to help you and your child overcome this challenging phase.

Understanding Potty Training Regression

Potty training regression refers to a period when a child, who was previously successful in using the potty, begins having accidents or reverting to old habits, like using nappies. It's crucial to approach regression with empathy and patience, as it's often a temporary setback. It is also important to remember a handful of accidents is not regression but consistently having accidents may mean they have regressed. 

Common Causes of Potty Training Regression

Several factors can contribute to potty training regression:

  1. Change or Stress: Major life changes like starting school, moving to a new home, or a family crisis can disrupt a child's routine and trigger regression.

  2. Illness or Pain: Physical discomfort due to illness, constipation, or urinary tract infections can make a child reluctant to use the potty.

  3. Emotional Factors: Emotional stress, anxiety, or fear can lead to regression. A child might be afraid of falling into the toilet or uncomfortable using unfamiliar bathrooms.

  4. Independence and Attention: Some children may realise that potty accidents get attention or that using nappies makes them feel more independent, leading to regression.

Overcoming Potty Training Regression

  1. Stay Calm and Supportive: Reacting to accidents with frustration or anger can exacerbate the issue. Instead, reassure your child that it's okay and that everyone makes mistakes.

  2. Address Underlying Issues: If your child is in pain or experiencing constipation, consult a healthcare professional for guidance and treatment.

  3. Routine and Consistency: Reestablish a consistent potty routine. Set regular times for bathroom breaks to remind your child.

  4. Positive Reinforcement: Praise and reward your child for using the potty successfully. Offer small incentives like stickers or a special treat to motivate them. 

  5. Open Communication: Encourage your child to talk about their feelings and any fears or anxieties related to the potty. Provide reassurance and support.

  6. Gradual Transition: If your child is using nappies again, gradually reintroduce underwear during times when accidents are less likely, like at home.


Potty training regression is a common phase that many children go through. By understanding the possible causes and implementing strategies like staying calm, addressing underlying issues, maintaining routine and consistency, using positive reinforcement, encouraging open communication, and facilitating a gradual transition back to underwear, you can help your child overcome this temporary setback and get back on track with successful potty training.

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