5 Reasons Preschoolers Regress

potty training

So what can you do about it? Obviously, limiting or avoiding change is impossible. Change is a part of life, and we all must learn how to cope. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers four suggestions to deal with regression, particularly in regards to potty training.

Always remember that you are their parent, and they are your child.

First, identify the problem. Verbalizing the issue may be difficult for your child at this stage. In fact, he or she may not understand the problem. Let your child know that you've noticed the issue and discuss it. Ask questions and listen to your child's responses.

Second, sympathize. Make sure your child knows that what he or she is going through is normal and that you understand.

Next, do what you can to fix the problem. Your step to fix the situation depends on the issue. If it’s jealousy of a new baby, try setting aside some one-on-one time. If the issue is the unknown surroundings of a new house, make the transition as comfortable as possible by surrounding your child with familiar objects. Give your child a chance to provide solutions, as well. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “By helping [your child] ‘own’ [his or] her problem and its resolution … you will commit [your child] to a more active role in correcting it.”

MORE: Battling Bad Behaviors }

Finally, be clear about your expectations. Let your child know you expect him or her to try to overcome the problem, and that you are completely confident that he or she will. Be positive, offer encouragement, and give praise with every forward step.

Keep in mind that this regression will not last forever. Both of you will survive.

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5 Reasons Preschoolers Regress

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5 comments

  1. mommy nhoj says:

    A good read as when to expect regression.

  2. LIZ says:

    good things to know to keep attention to my child behavior

  3. My middle child will be 4 in a couple weeks and has been potty trained since she was 2 1/2. My 2 year old is potty trained and has very minimal accidents but with my almost 4 year old daughter she had begun to wet the bed and just potty in her pants ( thank goodness its only #1 lol; but still its the point in the matter) I try and talk to her and tell her if she keeps doing it she will be in diapers like a baby and she feels bad about it but its the only thing that seems to work as of now. its frustrating especially being an expectant parent grrrrrr, I just want to scream some times about it but I count to ten and breathe and start over…

    • Evelyn says:

      I know it’s frustrating and upsetting for you but for heaven’s sake stop shaming her by calling her a baby and threatening her with diapers! She obviously feels bad enough about it–your distress is making it worse.

      The less of a big deal you make of it, the more she can relax. Don’t lecture or scold her, just change her pants calmly when she has an accident without showing any anger or frustration. And definitely make some one-on-one time with her to play and hang out, and talk about all the changes that are happening–she’s getting older and bigger, so is her younger sibling, there’s another baby on the way…that’s a lot for a 4-year-old to deal with!

      If you have a doctor’s visit coming up, you might want to mention it, and inquire about seeing a pediatric urologist to make sure everything’s working right. A lot of kids who potty-train before the age of 3 can develop constipation (even if they’re pooping regularly, there might be a mass up there somewhere) and that interferes with their ability to hold their urine, believe it or not. Check out this article: http://www.babble.com/toddler/dangers-potty-training-early/.

      Good luck and remember that this too shall pass!

  4. Kristin says:

    We are about to have a new baby any day now and in the last couple of weeks my 4 year old has regressed in many ways. She has been having potty accidents, throwing fits and wanting to sleep with me. She is very excited for the baby to come, I think it is all of the changes that are making her do this.

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