15 answers

Potty Training Regression?? - Dallas,TX


I have a two-year old boy who has been potty-training successfully for the last 4-5 months. He has been #1 and #2 in the potty at least half of the time and is dry for long periods of time.

All of the sudden this week, he is refusing to sit on the potty for #1 or #2. He'll do it occasionally, but not nearly as often as he used to do it. He'll find a corner when it is #2 and he doesn't want you to watch him. If I catch him, I ask him to sit on the potty and go like a big boy, but he refuses. He's not sick, so I don't think it is a physical thing. Could he be trying to gain control? We were almost there! I'm considering putting him in diapers again (instead of pull-ups) or going to underwear and letting him make a mess. What should I do?

Thanks for your help!

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Featured Answers

I need more ideas too. My 3 yr old son is not wanting to do #2 at all on the potty (he has two times, but not since Easter) and is having frequent #1 accidents. I hope you get some ideas that I can use too! good luck

More Answers

not the end of the world; depends on how you want to approach. if it were my child i would not put him back in diapers as it will just cause everyone not to take it very seriously. i know i was more consistent with taking mine to the pott when in underwear b/c i didn't want to clean a mess. you may want to try a reward system again. take him proactively to the potty often. only let him do play, watch a show, etc only after he goes potty first. that is what we do with our daughter since she has been exerting her almost 3 year old behavior!! good luck

Do the underwear thing. There will be messes for a couple days but it ens up going so much faster than using pull ups. We only use pull ups if we are going out for an extended period where an accident would be really bad and there might not be bathrooms near by. It has worked really well even with my nonverbal twins.

I had a similar situation. 2 is still really young for a boy to be potty trained. My son started showing signs at 2 1/2 and was doing well for a little while and then reverted back. He just wasn't fully ready. It took about another 4-6 months for him to "get ready" again and fully embrace being potty trained. All kids are different and boys typically take longer than girls to get trained. Go with your gut and on his cue's to decide if this is something you need to push or something to wait and see. Good luck

All kids are different. So this might not work on your son but try something like a peppermint or something similar that he loves and let him have it only on the potty. Make it a fun thing to do. Above all be patient (which I'm sure you already are), learning to control our #1 & #2 isn't always as easy for some. Good luck.

About me - I have 3 successful grown children who my husband and I see weekly and 4 wonderful grandchildren.

Bottom line - he's 2.

Have you asked him "why" he won't go in the potty? You may have to start at square one again .... use the reward system. I'd probably put him back in pull-ups.

It could be a combination of the age and control. Two-year-olds can get really beligerant .... "No" is their favorite word and they will refuse to do something just because you want them to.


Has he been constipated lately? Maybe it hurt and it has discouraged him from going on the potty. You might want to make sure he is getting enough fiber and liquids. And the rewards might be a good idea to try also.


I think it is amazing that your got your 2 year old boy to potty train successfully! I think you are right, that this is his way of gaining some control/power, since children have such little say in things. This is one thing he can control. I think you should put him back in diapers and say to him, "I loved how you were such a big boy and went pee pee and poop on the potty, but now you are a baby again, so it's time for diapers." Say it with a smile and don't let him see you are upset. He wants a reaction out of you - don't give it to him! If you remain calm and act as if it's not a big deal, I think he will be back to going in the toilet in no time! Good luck.

Use my mother-in-law's trick. Get a basket and fill it with about 20-25 wrapped small presents....think dollar store. Then every time he has a success on the potty he gets to open a present from the basket. Mine would try to go in and do a few drips in order to earn another present. After a few days the novelty wore off and we never even emptied the basket all the way. The key was the positive motivation. Another trick is to put a few fruit loops in the toilet bowl and let him aim. Fun, fun, fun! Good luck. :)

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