Potty TrainingToddler and Preschooler

Potty Training Regression

I have a child (boy) who is potty trained but he has decided he does not want to be. It all started when he did number 2 and it touched his bottom. Any ideas out there? I have tried the rewards system and stars on a chart. He does not respond. Anymore ideas would be nice. Thanks


Roxi from Seattle, WA

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July 9, 20080 found this helpful

when training my grandson it helped to take in his favorite boy toy which is ernie and we pretended like he did his business too and congratulated ernie for doing so good, so while there playing that pretend game he was so intoo the game of it he did his own business just great, then ernie clapped hands for my grandson congratulating him too, then of course ernie had to pretend wash his hands turn the light out the whole 9 yards, but hey ! it worked. good luck. also great place to read a favorite book to him as well.

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By ACG (Guest Post)
July 9, 20080 found this helpful

I worked in the potty-training room for a daycare for almost a year. Sometimes children just decide they aren't ready yet. They usually come back around. The ones I worked with were 2.5 years going on 3.


How old is he? You could also try having him go at the same time as you (or Daddy) does. When he sees you (and especially his peers/playmates) doing it, he will be more obliged to do it.

Another thing we'd do *without being mean about it* is give in and put them in a diaper and GENTLY talk to them about how big kids go potty on the toilet. If he doesn't respond be patient and he will come around.
I would only get concerned if he refuses for more than a month or so OR he is over 3/4 years of age.

You can also talk about poop. There are Poop books out there for kids. Talking about how everyone poops and its a normal thing. Sounds funny to adults, cuz its a normal part of our lives.. but to a child who is just learning how to go on his own. It's a weird thing. Knowing that everyone does it can be comforting and give them the confidence to try again. Good luck.

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July 10, 20080 found this helpful

You could tell him that, if he wears his diaper, his poop will end up ALL OVER his bottom? Just a thought.

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By mom of two boys (Guest Post)
July 10, 20080 found this helpful

I have two boys and I agree with all of the posts. Both boys were trained around the age of 3 years old. For us, this idea worked really well. I let them have any brand new book that they picked out but the catch is that the only time they could read it was on the toilet.


Whether they went or not was okay. Of course, I praised when they went and loaded them up with liquids for success. Our first son had a slight reaction when he actually saw the poop that was on his tissue after he wiped. We talked about it in a manner of fact way. Soon after he was okay.

GOod luck!

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By Rene (Guest Post)
July 11, 20080 found this helpful

I had to start and stop several times with my son. He was still done training before 3. I truly believe that if they are fearful or not ready it isn't going to work and you end up battling over sitting on the potty. Once he was really ready and willing I gave him a small candy such as 1 M & M per time he went. We worked our way up to a treat for staying dry all day. Then they just kind of phased out on their own. Also-not many people say it-many boys are not trained in their sleep. My son never has an accident during the day, but he naps and sleeps overnight in a pull up. Hope this helps! Good luck!

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August 31, 20080 found this helpful

How old is your child? I've taught preschool for the past 10 years and have pottytrained more children than I can count. Potty training regression is not that unusual. Most Pedetricians will tell you not to get worried until a child is 6 or so. Often regression is a response to a change at home--new baby, new home, family illness--basically anything that causes stress. When someone has accidents frequently at school I start charting the time of day and what was going on prior to it happening (Did they just eat? PLay outside? Engrossed in an activity) I have a child right now that goes within 20 minutes of eating and is often unaware that he needs to go. We know to remind him to go try within that time frame (he's 4 1/2).


Reminding your child gently that if he doesn't put his poop in the potty it will get all over his bottom should also help, you will probably say it so many times you'll hear it in your sleep, but the lesson will stick. We also have the child help clean up the mess (they put on diaper changing gloves and we handle any chemicals that may be needed). At home we reccommend that the children help clean their soiled laundry as well. Yes it is gross, but again you can take steps to keep hands relatively clean and then supervise a thorough hand washing. Often having to deal with that unpleasant BUT natural consequence is enough.

And as always, if you feel there is something more going on speak with your pediatrician.

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