Subject: Potty Training Regression
Question: I have a daughter who will be 3 this month. I am home with her full time. She is a very smart child and is advanced in most areas. She has been fully potty trained for almost 6 months during the day, but not yet staying dry all night some nights.
For about a week now she has been pooping in her pants everyday. I ask her why and she says very matter of factly "It was an accident" or "the potty was too far away" The other day she even cleaned it all up and then came to tell me she had an accident. Sometimes she doesn't even tell me though, I discover she went in her pants.
I am at a total loss for what to do! I don't know if I should be giving time out for this or is she acting out because she needs more attention. I also have a 10 month old daughter and I try my hardest to give them equal time & attention. There have never been any obvious jealousy issues. They adore each other.
Please help, I don't know how to react to this without making the problem worse!
Answer: Dear Dawn:
Sometimes children just have potty accidents. Sometimes they may do it on purpose but more often than not they just get caught up in their daily activities and forget to go.
She may just need some additional support. Simply ask her every few hours if she needs to go and then take her. I do not under any circumstance suggest time out or any other negative punishment. She is only three....
I promise she will not go to elementary school with her diapers....just relax a little and provide the additional support and whatever is happening will resolve itself shortly.
The last thing you want to do is engage in a power struggle with a three year old. Trust me the outcome is never pretty! :)
Let up on your expectations that she be completely potty trained and expect a few accidents from time to time she will outgrow it.
M Kay Keller
P.S. Check out some of the other postings on potty training for additional information.