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Old 01-31-2009, 07:24 AM   #1
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PL regression - how long does it last and coping

My 3 yo has be PLed for 6 months. He's not in dipes during nap or overnight anymore and tells us when he needs to go. About a month ago, he also started just going into the bathroom and doing things totally himself without needing any help (except wiping after poop).

But, just in the last week, he's been having lots and lots of accidents (pee only). I know this regression is totally normal, and I'm not particularly worried about it. But, none of my parenting books give an idea of how long I should expect it to last or how to cope with it (aside from not punishing him for it or threatening to return him to dipes).

So, what have others done?


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Old 01-31-2009, 09:32 PM   #2
Leslie Napastuk
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Re: PL regression - how long does it last and coping

This happened to us three times before sucess. Everyones situation is different, but what I had to do was start from near the beginning. Re-introduce a potty routine, after waking, after meals and snacks. I had to start watching her signs and prompts and start physically taking her to the bathroom again and giving praise like there was no tomorrow. And I had to start limiting fluid intake to meals and snacks, no walking around with a sippy cup. We also introduced a potty chart and she got to put on a sticker every time she went potty and two when she went by her self.

We didn't punish her, but gently let her know that it wasn't okay to pee in her pants and we were a little disappointed, but never made any big deal about it after that, and tried to not show my frustration. I also had her help me clean it up from time to time.

The first regression took the longest, about 2 1/2 - 3 months and happened when we brought her sister home. The other regressions only lasted a few weeks.

I got a book, when we started having problems, that was very useful "Early Start Potty Training" by Linda Sonna. I highly recomend it. She is very strong in her opinions and it's mostly about potty training babies, but it has great information for all ages and stages of potty learning, from new born to 5 year olds. Easy to read as well.

I hope any of this is helpful.

Good luck

Last edited by Leslie Napastuk; 01-31-2009 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:31 PM   #3
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Re: PL regression - how long does it last and coping

Has he been sick? Have you traveled? Was there a routine change in your house? A lot of things can cause a potty regression, and sometimes getting into a firm routine can be really comforting for kids. My DS#1 was completely potty trained and then we took a big trip, that was the end of that. He finally went back to peeing in the potty by the end of our trip (two weeks) and quit having poop accidents about, oh, nine months later. I just recently had a baby and then I threw my back out, so our routine is off again and things are pretty tense in our house, so he has had one or two poop accidents again. (he's 4 now)

I really think it depends on the child and the parents and what is going on in the family as to how long the regression lasts. Just hang in there. Respond with positive reinforcement when he makes it to the toilet in time, and if he doesn't, you can have him help clean up his mess. Don't make a big deal out of it -- just have him take a little more responsibility. And make sure he is getting his full share of snuggles and hugs throughout the day.

Also, we try not to call them "accidents". We just say he didn't make it to the toilet in time, or something like that.
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