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How do you get a potty training regressed child back on track?

My 3 year old son was completely potty trained with #2 and pretty close to being potty trained with #1. Two weeks ago he started going 1 and 2 in his pullups. He knows how to use the potty and if you ask him, he will tell you pee pee and poop should be done on the potty. The only thing I can think of that might have contributed to this was when we were in the restroom at a restaurant and the toilet automatically flushed while he was on it and it scared him a little bit. It did sound like it was going to suck in everything in sight.

I've become very upset over and don't know what I should be doing to get him back on track. He will be going to pre-school in September and he has to be potty trained.

Can you ladies please share your experiences and offer any advice?

thank you


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Asked by keebler1029 at 10:25 PM on Feb. 27, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (6)
  • My son did this too. he was fully potty trianed, received his boster shots for school and out of nowhere was going in his pants again. we just try to stay calm, we started over. don't get upset when he goes in his pants, but get all exicted when he goes on the potty. when he does go in his pants take him to the potty clean him up, put him on the potty even if he's finished still go through the motions. sooner or later he'll catch on again.

    Answer by northcarolinama at 10:35 PM on Feb. 27, 2009

  • Number 1 reason. He has on pull-ups!!! They slow down kids or make them back track because after the novelty of going to the potty and getting praised or rewarded wears off, then it is not as motivating or exciting to go in the potty. So, because he has a pull-up on, he doesn't have to go in the potty! He knows that it pulls the wetness away and he can continue on with his activities and not feel the wetness! If he was fully potty trained or mostly there, then use regular underpants because then he will feel the wetness if he has an accident. Pull ups are just glorified diapers! You may need to remind him that he needs to go when he first wears the underpants since he has gotten used to the pull up and take him on a schedule to get him back on track. Good Luck!

    Answer by LovetoTeach247 at 10:35 PM on Feb. 27, 2009

  • Yep. Start over. Stay calm and upbeat. Don't punish - he's regressed for a reason.
    Ditch the pullups and let him run bottom-less at home. Then he can't just go in his pullup, diaper, or underpants.
    If he has an accident on the floor, help him clean it up, say something like "I know you really wanted to get to the potty in time. We'll keep working on it and you'll get it!", and move on.
    Don't expect him to go on his own or tell you that he needs to go. Simply take him at set intervals or when you notice he has to go.
    And put a pack of post-it notes in your bag. Put one over the sensor of any auto-toilets you encounter. Then it won't flush until you are ready. Do this any time he is with you, even if YOU are the one using the potty.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 11:00 PM on Feb. 27, 2009

  • Yes lose the pull ups they are expensive and way too easy to clean up. Put on plastic pants over his big boy underwear and if he wets or poops himself its going to feel so gross taking those pants off that he won't do again! You can use plastic pants (buy a pack at Walmart for about 6 bucks or less) over underwear and not have the giant mess for you just wash them in the sink then throw them in the washer. Good luck!

    Answer by usbornebooksdh at 12:27 AM on Feb. 28, 2009

  • remind him to go every 30 minutes to an hour so it will get him back on track and help him think of it more often.

    Answer by jenn714 at 12:38 AM on Feb. 28, 2009

  • ohhhh... i so feel your pain. my son was fully potty trained, then while on vacation, a self-flushing toilet scared him. he had the remainder of his BM's for that trip in his pants. no laundry facilities.
    not fun. 2 BM accidents during one meal at a restaurant. One while I was looking at him telling him not to poop his pants. ... oh that was a lesson in keeping my temper in check. lol

    When we got home, we hit potty training hard again. He went back to being bottomless at home, and was rewarded for every BM he had in the toilet. It took a few days to get him back in underwear, but we made it.

    I sooo feel your pain. And I think automatic flushing toilets should have a shut-off switch. lol

    Answer by -Leann- at 11:12 PM on Feb. 28, 2009

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