Regression and Stubborn Kiddos… Your Questions Answered!

By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed.

Our Facebook fans ask great questions! Here, we answer a few.

How do I handle regression? (Halley M.)

First, remember that regression is absolutely normal! The most important thing to do is to stay positive. Look for reasons for the regression that you can address: a change in schedules, feeding habits, family dynamics… sometimes the littlest thing can upset the potty training process for a while. Stay consistent where you can and ride out what you can’t. You may also want to look for some new motivators for your kiddo. Some new stickers, a new prize, a new and improved potty song… something that makes it fun again may be the boost they need.

I have a 3 ½ year old boy that is daytime peepee trained. He will NOT poop in the potty. I haven’t punished (yikes!) because I don’t want him to hold it… but how can I get him to transition. He isn’t scared. Stubborn! (Michelle M.)

And along similar lines, “My daughter is almost 4 and goes pee on the toilet great.. but when it comes to BM she still hides and goes in her pants. We have tried everything we can think of. Please help!” (Heather A.)

First, we’re glad you’re not punishing, Michelle. You’re right – that could have some unintended consequences for all involved. So keep on staying positive! Also, just double check and make sure the child is comfy where they needs to go poop. A small toilet on the floor works for some families (some kids insist on the big potty though!) and if the child uses the big potty make sure you have an insert that fits the little bum, and most importantly, a stool to rest feet on. This footrest is vital because the child will need to bear down and use muscles that are too hard to use when little feet are dangling.

To actually address the stubbornness problem, here’s what we suggest: At 3 ½ and almost four years old, they are old enough to start taking some responsibility for choices. If messes happen in pants or a pull-up, bring the child with you to the potty to watch you dump it in. Then have the child flush and wash up as normal. Make your message very clear – there is one place this stuff goes, kiddo, and you will help me put it there! Good luck!

One thought on “Regression and Stubborn Kiddos… Your Questions Answered!