New baby born – How to handle potty training toddler set backs?

Posted by Potty Expert on December 20, 2011

What to do after the baby is born?

Depending on the age of your child when you are potty training them, they may go through a period of potty training resistance. This is not that uncommon to have happen with a child. This can be especially true when a child is two when they are potty training and going through the terrible twos as well. At this age, they are more likely to exert control over their environment by not wanting to learn new things or refusing to learn to do things differently. Again, this is normal to have happen in many children, because learning something new can be very scary for them and saying no is their only way of having any control over what is happening to them.

However, potty training resistance can also happen when there is stress in their life too. This can be in the form of changes in the family, such as moving, a separation or divorce or a new baby entering the household. They can also resist if they are sick or not feeling well, a pet or family member has passed away or other stressors that have been happening to them that they can do nothing about. Resisting potty training when a new baby is being born is a pretty common time for children not to want to continue to potty train. Some reasons for their resistance can be:

  • They are scared or nervous about a new family member coming into the home. This is a big change for them and they are used to things how they currently are. A new baby coming home means that everything is changing and they may be too young to understand these changes. This stress can make going to the bathroom more difficult on them, since their own body is still developing all the feelings to let them know when to go.
  • They are the baby currently and no longer will be. Many children go through a period of regression when a new baby is coming home or has come home. They regress because what they are seeing is that a baby is receiving so much attention, so they behave in the same way to receive that same attention. Regression can happen with potty training, as well as other areas that your child has already learned, such as basic communicating, eating, etc.

At this time, instead of becoming upset about the fact that your child is resisting potty training, stay calm and understanding. These are some big changes that are happening to them and it can be difficult for them to take all of this in. You can go back to diapers temporarily if need be during this transition time. There is also going back to using training pants too if your child has been underwear during the day. This does not mean that the potty training has stopped, just that you are allowing your child to take a break from it and than come back to it once things have calmed down again.


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