How to Deal with Potty Training Setbacks: 7 Steps - MakeSureHow
Edit Article

Keeping potty training low-key helps overcome setbacks.

You changed wet undies, rushed her to the potty chair and cheered when she had potty training success. So why is she suddenly regressing? Setbacks come with the territory for many tots during toilet training. A change in the routine, such as a new caregiver, or a life change, such as a new sibling or the separation of her parents, is often to blame for the problems. If you're left wondering what happened to your potty training superstar, a little patience and strategies to get her back on track can help.


  1. 1
    Look at your toddler's recent activities to identify potential changes that caused the setback. Focus on events that happened around the time of the first signs of a regression in potty training.
  2. 2
    Talk to your toddler's child care provider if she goes to day care. Ask about her potty training habits when she's away from home to determine if she's having the same problems at day care.
  3. 3
    Deal with the underlying causes of the setback if you can identify them. For example, if you are getting divorced, give your tot lots of attention and one-on-one time. Consider a session with a counselor to help your little one deal with the changes in her life.
  4. 4
    Talk with your little potty trainer about sticking with the process even when it gets tough. Keep the talk positive rather than trying to shame her into using the toilet.
  5. 5
    Cut into play time to remind her about potty breaks. Play is her work, and she may get so wrapped up in building her block castle that she doesn't pay attention to her urge to go to the bathroom. Get your little one to the bathroom at regular intervals, even if she tells you she doesn't need to go.
  6. 6
    Clean up the messes and move on when your tot has an accident. Punishing or making a big deal about the leak creates a negative feeling about potty training that may keep her from making progress.
  7. 7
    Cheer on your potty training star when she shows signs of progress again. Verbal praise works on many young potty training kiddos. If your tot needs a little more motivation, use a sticker or incentive system to help her get back on track.


  • Taking a short break from potty training is an option when a major setback occurs. After a few days or weeks, she may be ready to get back on the potty training wagon.

Article Info

Categories: Education and Communications

Did this article help you?


an Author!

Write an Article