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The Dreaded Potty Training Regression Starting Preschool



toilet training boy on small potty  - potty training regression starting preschool

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Navigating Potty Training Regression Starting Preschool

Hello dear parents! Remember when you thought diapers were the toughest part of the early years? And then came the wild roller coaster ride called potty training. Just when you thought, "Eureka! We've cracked it," in walks another little challenge: potty training regression when starting preschool. It's like thinking you've conquered Mount Everest, only to realize there's another hill to climb! But don’t fret, because we're here to navigate this journey together, with a good dose of information and a sprinkle of humor.

1. Potty Training Regression: The Mystery Unveiled

Picture this: You've painstakingly taught your toddler to put their toys away. They're doing great, and then one day, your living room looks like a toy tornado struck again. Potty training regression is similar. Your little one, after mastering the throne (yes, the toilet), might suddenly have a change of heart and revert to their old ways.

2. Preschool: The Big, Scary, Exciting World

Preschool is an exciting yet overwhelming experience. It's like giving someone who's always had vanilla the full 31-flavor ice cream experience. Overwhelming, right? Amidst the whirlwind of new faces, new toys, and new routines, some of our tiny tots might forget the great toilet habits they had picked up.

Reasons Behind the Regression:

New Environment: Our kiddos have entered a realm full of wonders. Sometimes, the wonders are so captivating that the bathroom seems like a far-off land.

The Fear of Missing Out: Picture being engrossed in a great book (or for us, maybe a TV show) and not wanting to pause even for a second. That's how our kids feel when they're neck-deep in play.

Adjustment Jitters: New peers, new adults, new rules. With so much "new" at once, it can be nerve-wracking, causing them to momentarily forget their potty prowess.

3. Embracing the Regression: The Humorous Side

Let's admit it, while the extra laundry isn't fun, some of these situations can be downright hilarious. Remember the time when your little one decided to do the potty dance right in the middle of circle time? Or when they proudly announced to the class that they didn’t need the toilet, only to need it two minutes later? Ah, the joys of parenthood!

4. The Action Plan: Tips, Tricks, and a Whole Lot of Patience

Here comes the superhero toolkit for parents:

The Power of the Timer: Use a timer or set alarms. It could be a fun ringtone or their favorite song. When it goes off, it's potty break time! Consider it the potty training equivalent of Pavlov's bell.

Sticker Charts Galore: Kids love rewards. Every successful potty break can earn them a sticker. Once they collect a certain number, perhaps there’s a bigger reward in store. Maybe a day out or a new toy?

Narrate Potty Tales: Kids remember stories. Craft a funny tale about a character who learned the importance of timely toilet breaks. It could be "Peter the Punctual Potty Penguin" or "Tina the Timely Toilet Tiger."

Scout the Premises: Before preschool officially starts, make a fun day of visiting. Discover where the bathrooms are and practice some trips. It's like rehearsing for a big play.

5. The Golden Rule: Patience, Patience, and More Patience

Mistakes will happen. There will be days when you're cleaning up a mess while suppressing laughter (or a tiny sigh). Just remember, these regressions are temporary. It’s just a phase, much like that time they insisted on wearing rain boots on a sunny day.

6. Celebrate Small Victories

Every time they remember to use the toilet, give them a high-five or a hug. Celebrate the days without accidents. It’s these little positive reinforcements that will encourage them to get back on track.

7. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

One of the best ways to address this roller coaster of potty training regression is to partner with the preschool teachers. They've seen it all, trust me! From Timmy who only went potty if the seat was a particular shade of blue to Sally who needed her favorite jingle to get things moving.

Steps for Successful Teamwork:

Open Communication: Have a chat with the preschool teacher. Let them know where your child is at in their potty journey and ask for updates on any progress or setbacks.

Consistency is Key: Try to maintain a consistent routine between home and school. If potty breaks at school are after snack time, try doing the same at home.

Potty Preparedness Kit: Pack a little kit with a change of clothes, wipes, and maybe even a fun book about using the toilet. This can be a lifesaver for those little unexpected moments.

8. The Silver Linings Playbook

Look for the bright side in this journey:

Building Resilience: Every time your child faces a setback and then gets back on the horse (or, in this case, the potty), they're building resilience. They're learning that it's okay to stumble as long as they get up again.

Teachable Moments: Use this time to teach about listening to our bodies, the importance of cleanliness, and the idea that everyone makes mistakes.

Strengthening Bonds: Facing and overcoming challenges, even potty-related ones, can strengthen the bond between you and your child. Those little moments of reassurance, the giggles over accidents, and the shared celebrations of success can be priceless memories in the making.

9. Remember, This Too Shall Pass

The wonderful (and sometimes exhausting) part of parenting is that every phase is just that - a phase. The same toddler who insists on wearing their underwear on their head today will be the teenager you’ll reminisce with tomorrow. So, while in the thick of it, it might seem never-ending, this too shall pass.


toilet break chalkboard cartoon - potty training regression starting preschool

Wrapping Up Potty Training Regression Starting Preschool

Potty training regression during preschool is one of the many colorful chapters in the vibrant book of parenting. While it has its messy pages and a few plot twists, it's also filled with moments of laughter, learning, and love.

Up next, Be Potty-Free with This Potty-Training Schedule.

So, dear parents, while you're navigating this chapter, remember to pause and enjoy the journey. And always keep a spare set of clothes handy – because, as we've learned, you never really know when the next adventure will begin!


Hi! I'm Jen, and I'm thrilled you stopped by!

I am a certified life coach, mother of five, wife, founder of the non-profit Eye on Vision Foundation, entrepreneur, Christian, and friend. I live, play, work and worship in the Orlando, Florida area.

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