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Potty Training

How to Make Potty Training Easier

1 May 2024
6 min read
Rascals Premium Nappy Pants

How to Overcome Potty Training Regression: An In-Depth Guide for Parents

Going through potty training leaves parents with so many emotions… From excitement because our baby is growing up, to worry about how they (and we) will manage this massive milestone. Potty training is a lot to process, so we put together this handy guide to help walk you through the journey and provide helpful tips to overcome potty training regression.

Understanding and Avoiding Common Potty Training Mistakes

The potty training journey starts with a crucial step: recognising the right time to begin. The most common mistake parents make is starting potty training before their child is ready. Whilst most children start potty training between 18 and 30 months, it’s important to recognise your own child’s signs of emotional and physical readiness before starting. It's important to look for readiness signs in three key areas:

  • Physical readiness: Make sure your little one has the ability to walk steadily, pull up or down their pants, and control their bladder by staying dry for hours at a time. A child who stays dry in their nappy for up to two hours, shows signs that they are physically ready to begin potty training.
  • Cognitive readiness: It’s also essential that your little one can follow simple instructions to begin potty training - test whether your little one can follow instructions, such as “Can you bring me the red truck?” Other signs of cognitive readiness include increased discomfort with wet nappies or telling you when they need to go.
  • Emotional readiness: For most children emotional readiness is the last sign to appear, but is also the most crucial. Your child should be willing to let go of nappies and be comfortable with tackling this new stage. It's important to make sure your little one doesn’t feel pushed into it and should be able to cope when accidents happen.

Misjudging or rushing this readiness can lead to stress, fear of the toilet, or a prolonged training process. Avoid the temptation to start training due to external pressures. Each child is unique and will be ready in their own time.

Preparation is key: Once they’ve show these signs of readiness, discuss using the potty in a positive, pressure-free manner. Reading potty training books and engaging in play that stimulates potty use can also be beneficial. Often the next step is switching from nappies to nappy pants which give your little one more control at change-time. Engineered with 6 Core Innovations for a high-performing pant, Rascals Premium Nappy Pants will help make change-time easier (and get your little one excited about using the potty again!). Ensure you’ve got the right size by using our handy nappy pants size guide!

Quick Potty Training Tips

Check out some of our favorite potty training tips to help you get started or improve your progress so far:

  • Put undies underneath nappy pants: This helps your little one recognise the sensation and discomfort of wetness, but keeps any accidents contained!
  • Use a couple crib-sheets and liners: Learning to use the potty during the day is one thing, but staying dry overnight is a whole other can of worms! To prepare for nighttime accidents, layer crib liners, mattress protectors or a couple sheets onto their mattress. So, when you do need to change bedding at night you can remove a single layer and avoid too much disruption at night.
  • Use a portable potty and nappy pants for on-the-go training: For trips out of the house, keep a travel potty in your car and line it with a nappy pant (for easy clean up!) so your little one can continue their routine, even if a toilet isn’t nearby.

Tackling Potty Training Regression

Regression during potty training isn’t uncommon. And while it’s frustrating for parents, know that setbacks are part of the journey as your little one learns a new habit. To help minimise distraction, try avoid potty training when you’re travelling, in an unfamiliar environment or your routine is changing. To help you get back on track, try these tips:

  • Focus on the basics: It’s important to refresh your child’s memory of why we are using the potty in the first place. Try frame this in a positive life, and stress the importance of using the potty, going to the bathroom and proper hygiene. Acknowledge their fears and worries, and let them know that setbacks are normal and often temporary.
  • Consistency is key: Creating or reinstating a routine is essential for success. As best as possible, aim to have a predictable schedule for bathroom breaks, especially after meals and before bed. Consistency helps your child understand expectations, reducing the likelihood of regression.
  • Positive reinforcement and patience: This is a key and often overlooked area of potty training. It will take time for their body to adjust to using the potty, and accidents are part of the learning process. Try not to react to these occasions with frustration, instead offer reassurance and help them change into a clean nappy. Mistakes are bound to happen and framing them in a positive light makes them more likely to not turn into another episode of regression.

Embracing the Potty Training Journey

Finally, it's essential to approach potty training as an exciting milestone for your child. Celebrate the successes and manage the setbacks with empathy and understanding. Each child’s journey to being fully potty trained is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Your patience, support and encouragement is crucial!

To help you get started with potty training, check out this Guide To Potty Training Your Toddler.

FAQs: Potty Training Regression

Potty training regression refers to a setback where a child, previously toilet-trained, starts having accidents again. Causes can vary, including stress, changes in routine, or a new developmental stage.

Potty training regression is relatively common, affecting many toddlers at different stages of their potty training journey.

Signs include increased accidents, refusal to use the toilet, or reverting to behaviours like hiding when needing to go.

Stay calm and avoid punishment. Offer reassurance and support, reminding the child about using the potty or toilet.

Re-establish routines, offer positive reinforcement, use incentives, and maintain patience and consistency in toilet training.

Yes, events like moving to a new house, the arrival of a new sibling, or starting daycare can trigger regression due to increased stress or anxiety.