Potty Training Regression: 5 Life Changing Reasons

Posted by Potty Expert on October 24, 2011

Many times when children are potty training things happen that cause them to regress slightly, and sometimes regress completely.

5 Life Changes that cause regression:

  • divorce or separation in the home
  • a new baby entering the home
  • a new house and move to a new home
  • a death in the family or health issues
  • sickness that has occurred

It is not uncommon to see regression in children when they become stressed about situations in the home, as well as the fact that all these changes occurring as well as trying to potty train can be difficult for them to handle and process. Learning to potty train for a child is a big achievement and for them it can be something that can cause stress while they are learning something new. So, when this is combined with other life changes too, it can be too much for a child to handle. With that in mind, the 5 life changes that were mentioned can cause stress and you can find your child no longer wanting to use the potty.

Divorce or separation:

Your child may become very confused by everything that is happening, as well as the fact too that the schedule that he has been on has changed too. This can be especially true when a parent is moving out and no longer do they have the same potty training schedule to go by. Also, the fact that your child will be in a different home environment now as well and have to become accustom to that bathroom to use. Allowing your child to take a brief break from potty training until things have calmed down a little bit is okay. You should let him know it is just a brief break and that you will go back to potty training in a week or something of that nature. Allowing him time to adjust to the new situation will mean he will be bettered prepared to start potty training again.

New Baby:

This can mean that your child may feel that they have to behave like a baby to receive the same attention as the new sibling is receiving. They may regress to get attention, since they could feel like they are not receiving as much as before, even when they are. In this instance, setting aside special time with your child can help with this and this includes the potty time too.

New Home:

Similar to a divorce or separation, moving to a new home can be scary for a child and they may not want to use the new bathroom. In this case making sure to decorate the bathroom again and have all his favorite items in there will make the adjustment and change much easier. In this case, there may not be any reason to actually stop potty training, but instead go slower with the potty training for a time until your child is adjusted to his new home.


If a family member has passed away, especially a sibling or parent, this will be a very upsetting time for a child that is potty training. Allowing your child to temporarily stop potty training will be okay, since they will be dealing with many emotions at this time. Give your child the time needed to cope with the loss and than go back to potty training once things are back on a more normal or routine schedule again.


If your child has become sick or ill while potty training, they may not be able to feel that they need to go. Using training pants is okay, especially if your child is bed ridden due to illness.

For more information:

If you are looking for more advice on potty training regression, please check out http://www.pottytrainingconcepts.com/CTGY/Potty-Training-Regression.html.


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