Let’s Talk About Potty-Training Regression


Let's Talk about Potty Training Regression

It’s rare to find a parent who thinks potty-training is easy. Some parents are blessed with children who decide to use the toilet one day, and BAM they’ve potty-trained themselves, but I think that’s the minority. You can kind of guess how our experience was since I’m writing this article. The words “potty- training” kind of fill me with dread at the thought of ever having to do it again.

I thought we were at a point where we would finally be in the clear, but boy was I wrong. I guess that’s something I should know as a parent by now; don’t get complacent. My daughter has been potty-trained for almost a year now, but unfortunately, we are going through a regression of sorts.


What is our problem you might ask? POOP. Poop is the problem. This is actually fairly common; I’ve been in several mom groups where this topic has been brought up multiple times. Of course, I’ve even put in my 2 cents before with suggestions on what might help. Now it’s our turn-my daughter no longer wants to go poop on the potty. I’m pretty sure it’s because she had a painful experience or two, and now she is scared to go. It’s a vicious circle, of course, she pulls her poop back in, and holds it which is just making the problem so much worse. Those suggestions I’ve given other moms that worked for us in the past are not working for us anymore.

Of course, I’m going back and finding these chat threads asking for advice and asking Dr. Google, and I’m not having a whole lot of luck. In fact, the Internet is definitely making me feel like a bad mom because pretty much every article says, don’t overreact, don’t act frustrated or upset, yada yada yada. As you can probably guess, even when I try to keep my cool, I’m sure my frustration is fairly evident.

The Internet is also not helping me understand why it is happening. The majority of them say there must be some type of large change in the child’s life for regression to happen. I find with us, that’s not really the case. There really haven’t been any major changes in our daughter’s life and/or routine to be causing this, and she is a stickler for routine, so she’d let me know via tantrums if this were the case.

As I mentioned, I’m pretty sure we are having this poop potty revolt due to her having a painful poop or two. I’m not sure I really have any expert advice for anybody, but here are a few things I’ve learned so that we can commiserate with each other:

A high-fiber diet and probiotics will help

However, just because they will help the situation does not mean they are a cure-all. They will help your kid have to go more, but it won’t stop the holding-it-in behavior. My advice for a picky kid is to go straight for the tasteless probiotic packets to go in their beverage. I tried a gummy product and a chocolate product initially. My daughter ate them each for maybe 2 days and then refused them. That was $30 down the drain from the start!

 You might have to start from square one

On days at home that I see my daughter assuming the squat position she reserved for pooping when she wore diapers, I have to revert to square one. The only potty-training method that worked for us is no bottoms. This method if part of what is recommended in the book “Oh Crap! Potty Training”. If it’s cold out, turn up the heater in the house and have your kiddo go pantsless if that’s what it takes. Any time my daughter had underwear on while training it felt too much like her diaper. So with that security, she felt more comfortable having accidents. Removing this barrier was a big help.

Additionally, we are not beyond rewards and bribes. We are currently giving candy for using the bathroom, no matter what she does. My daughter loves Pez, so pretty sure I am single-handily keeping them in business! Do what you have to do mama!

 If you are still having issues, see a doctor

We have a developmental pediatrician we see every three weeks, so when it was time for the appointment, I brought this up. This is also a time to discuss the controversial Miralax (or other similar drugs). There is a lot of debate about using this for your kiddo, so talk to your doctor before making any decisions. Personally, I talked to her doctor about the behavior only. I didn’t bring up medicine because I only want to use Miralax as a last resort. I gave it to her one time and she had tantrums the WHOLE day. The tantrums could have been from the Miralax OR constipation, but I don’t really want to try again to find out.

Do you have any magic secrets or tips that helped you be successful in potty training and/or potty-training regression? If so, please share it below!

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Lindsey Kosik
Lindsey has spent all of her life in Northwest Ohio and currently resides in Sylvania with her husband, Jordan, her 4-year-old daughter, Izzie, and their two dogs, Frankie and Charlie. Lindsey currently works part-time as a website admin and SEO analyst. You will find Lindsey and her family at Disney World multiple times a year as vacation club members and annual pass holders. It is safe to say the whole family is a little obsessed with House Mouse! Besides going to Disney, her favorite things include reading (mostly chick lit and suspense/legal thrillers), finding and sharing great deals she finds and enjoying a nice glass of red wine with some mindless reality tv.


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