Potty Training Regression
My daughter was potty trained, but now that I'm pregnant, it seems like she's regressing, and refusing to get on the potty. What do I do about potty backsliding?
Oftentimes, if a child's stress level goes up, her potty prowess goes down. The fact that you're pregnant means a new baby is on the way. In your daughter's mind, that's a big deal. And regression is often common during this transition. ("No, I'm still your baby, mommy!")
Besides a new sibling in the house, there are other events in a child's life that can increase stress and trigger backsliding include:
1. Starting a new daycare or preschool
2. Being separated from a parent
3. Experiencing the death of a family member or pet
4. Moving to a new home
5. Witnessing an increase in parental arguments
To reverse backsliding, give your daughter some time in disposable diapers or pull-ups while she emotionally adjusts to the changes in her life. Be clear that this is a temporary measure, and empathize with her by saying, "When we go through a difficult time, it can be hard to remember to use the potty. For now, wear your pull-up just in case. In a few weeks, you'll feel better and be ready to use the potty again." Use this time to talk to your daughter about what's going on emotionally with her. Our children want to be validated, and she may just need to hear from you that just because a new baby is coming, doesn't mean she's being replaced. Meanwhile, try using a reward system, and up the ante by offering her a bigger incentive to be such a big girl, and an even greater big sister!