When Potty Training Regression Strikes and How To Get Back On Track


It gives me chills just thinking about it, and yet, potty training regressions are a routine part of growing up. Just knowing it’s normal can take the edge off, but how do you get back on track? 

What Is A Potty Training Regression?

A toddler potty training regression happens when a child is successfully using the potty for weeks or months then suddenly forgets to tell you they need to go, has increasingly frequent accidents, and perhaps even refuses to sit on the potty.

How Long Does A Potty Training Regression last?

Potty training regressions can be as short as a few days or as long as a few weeks. Regressions lasting a month or more without improvement may indicate that your child was not developmentally ready for potty learning.

What Are Some Common Triggers For A Potty Training Regression?

Just as in adulthood, during times of emotional difficulty children stray from a new routine or positive habit they’ve recently picked up.

Potty training regressions tend to occur during these life transitions or events:

- A new baby in the family - New school, new home, or other new environment - Illness, especially prolonged - Emotional strife in the family (grief, divorce, mental health struggles)

What Ages Are Typical For A Potty Training Regression?

Some parents (myself included) notice a potty training regression at around 2 years old, while others swear their children develop potty amnesia between the ages of 4 and 5 years old.

At What Age Should A Child Be Fully Potty Trained?

The short answer is between 2 and 3 years old (according to the latest American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations).

 What Can You Do About A Potty Training Regression?

There are as many different approaches to regressions as there are parents in this world. Expect some trial and error!

 How Do I Set Loving Limits During A Potty Training Regression?

After you’ve identified the possible triggers of your child’s regression and re-connected with them during some quiet family time, you are in the best possible position to establish a loving limit. Loving limits work best when your child feels safe and understood.

Swipe Up to Read the Rest of the Article

Indoor Scavenger Hunts for Young Kids 

(Printable cards that can be rearranged to create tons of different hunts, divided by ages from 2-7 years old)