Thursday, 24 December 2015

Potty training regression - the horror returns


First of all, no matter what they say, don’t comfort your kid and for God’s sake don’t punish him. Just accept the potty training regression like it’s something normal.

 So you finally got your loved one to sit on the potty and do her thing. The first couple of ups and downs and you think you are in the deep. But a few weeks later all your effort and sacrifice goes down the drain when the underwear ends up wet one day out of the blue. Or, even worse, out of the brown.

 Like they say in all survival kits, first of all, don’t panic. Don’t make a fuss out of this; you will make it just worse. Try not to start comforting your kid because it gives him the sense that something tragic has happened. He may be sad, scared, surprised but you are the one to lead him from there. You get to decide what he feels. If you start shouting “Hang in there, boy, it’s nothing really, be brave, walk with me and I’ll hold your hand” in a tear suppressing voice, it’s a big red flag in his eyes. You will make it even more difficult for him to forget what happened.

 And the worst thing you can possibly do is being angry with him. Do you really think he wants to do it? He did it on purpose? Why don’t you try it, then?

 Then why did he do it? It’s not really something fun to do. It can be one of the following reasons. You pick your category and act accordingly.
  1. She got a brother or a sister. Every child needs attention, and let’s face it, a baby needs a lot more attention than a 3 year old. She can eat by herself, get dressed most of the times, take her own potty and the baby can’t. It’s nothing out of ordinary if she stops doing what she usually does. And it won’t necessarily be potty training regression; it can be any other kind of regression, asking for bottle, refusing to get dressed on her own or something similar. That’s where we get back to comforting. Resist the urge to do it. It’s not that you are cruel. It’s just refusing to reinforce the bad behavior. You are basically telling her she’s getting your attention the right way by wetting her pants. And the same goes to punishing or negative response. She’ll take the bad publicity if she can’t get the good. Don’t give her that either. Just start potty training fresh and she will soon catch up where she left. And find some time to spend with the older one, surely there is a way to spare hour or two every day.
  2. Starting the daycare. That is the biggest stress your kid can have apart from illness or a death in the family. She gets separated from mommy and daddy for the longest time in her life in a completely strange environment. And she needs her safety back so she sends and SOS signal into her undies. Mommy comes urgently and takes her home. It’s a win. And all you can do is ask the daycare lady to be patient and do your best to get to the right track as soon as possible on the “back at home” front line battling the potty training regression.
  3. He wasn’t potty trained in the first place. Now that’s your fault. Parents put up with a lot of pressure from grannies and grandpas, other parents and TV. The stories of 6 months old babies fully potty trained make them rush the thing up too much. And the first day the child spends without an accident is instantly considered to be the first day in a life of a potty trained child. But it isn’t so, not by a long shot. And living in a lie never helped anyone. Just try to relax and don’t let them get to you. It will happen when it happens, and guess what – other people lie to you and themselves too.
  4. No night potty readiness. This may be a part of the previous point. There are a lot of kids who hold themselves perfectly during the day but just can’t make it through the night. This can last for months, so you just have to be patient.
  5. Having too much fun. Sometimes they just don’t have the time for such timewasters like going to the bathroom. It’s too boring, and the new train is REALLY fun. Nothing to worry about. The feeling of being wet will probably make them go the next time.
  6. Urinary tract infection. You can find all about it HERE . You must do the urine test; your doctor will order those probably. If your child has high fever and wetting the pants, the odds are you are facing an infection. If you can’t wait for the results, take a look at the urine sample you took. If it’s blurry and has some cloudy parts in it, it’s from the antibodies which are produced due to the infection.
    The good news your kid's potty training regression isn't really regression.
  7. Taking strong antibiotics. Sometimes, after taking the medicine to get rid of some heavy infection like lung infection or bronchitis, the production of urine goes up. The child can’t control it anymore and you have a false potty training regression.
  8. Constipation and diarrhea. Obviously, a kid with diarrhea can’t control his urge either. Just remember when you had it yourself, you almost lost it too, isn’t it right? And something like that happens with constipation. It can hurt the kid and make going to the potty a really unpleasant experience. When the stool is hard, large or even spiky, the child may avoid going to the bathroom on purpose. If you see some small parts of feces around a big rock, you have yourself a kid with the constipation. Some greasy soup and other natural and over the counter and prescribed medications will help.
  9. If the kid has got the rash down under, it will make it harder to urinate, even painful. This can cause them to postpone it until they lose control. The treatment consists of treating the rash with some barrier ointments.

As you can see, 6-9 are all false potty training regressions. All of them are medical reasons which go away when the medical conditions that caused it are solved. As for 1-5, all it takes is a little patience (or a lot of patience) and all your trouble will be forgotten. In a few years you won’t even mention it.

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