Inside: How to prepare for potty training accidents. Are they potty training regression or just one of those things?
My heart sinks. I scan the horizon, searching for a small white hut. We’re at the beach, it’s a very long beach and the sun is beating down on us all. What I actually want to do is jump into the sparkling sea to cool down. So do all the kids. Except one of them needs a poo and that means traipsing to the nearest toilet with a gaggle of kids in tow. Oh joy!
Why Do Kids Have Potty Training Accidents?
I love the freedom of not having to carry diapers around with me everywhere but since my twins have been potty trained, I’ve encountered a new problem. Yep, accidents. Potty training accidents come in different guises. Sometimes, they are in clusters and I’d call it “potty training regression”, sometimes it’s the “mommy you’ve got me 3 seconds to find a toilet” type of accident and at other times it’s just a momentary lapse of reason.
Whatever the cause, it’s best to be prepared, both physically and mentally.
After potty training, accidents will happen. Both wee and poo accidents. It’s not great. It can be very frustrating but if you’re expecting it, it won’t be quite such the traumatic disaster it can be if you find yourself with a chid covered in wee and poo, nothing to clean them with and no spare clothes. (Yep, it happens!)
How to Prepare Yourself for Accidents After Potty Training.
- Mental Preparation. They can happen at any time and in any place. Normally they happen at crunch time. That time when you’re late and trying to usher 4 kids out of the door. Or when you’ve got everything neat and tidy for guests and just as they ring the door you realise what’s happened.
- No Blame. I know it can be so so frustrating, but it isn’t your child’s fault. They aren’t doing it to be naughty, they are still learning. Bladder and bowel function takes time to practise. Even if you get the hang of it quickly, you may still have accidents from time to time. Instead of scolding your child, take them to the toilet, remind them that’s where big people do their wees and poos and get them some clean clothes. Take a 5 minute breather if you have to.
- Car Supplies. In my car I like to carry a spare set of clothes for each “potty training accident age” child. (My oldest haven’t had accidents for years so I don’t bother for them.) Some wipes or toilet paper. You can buy portable potties which I know lots of people use. But I have found that a plastic bag is enough. After all, if it’s acceptable for dogs to poo on the floor and their owners pop it into a plastic bag, I don’t see why it’s unacceptable for a child to do the same in an emergency.
A bottle of water and alcohol gel or spray can also be useful.
Bare minimum: Wipes, plastic bag and spare clothes.
- A Quiet Spot.There have been times when I’ve had to take my children to a quiet spot. I choose one out of the way so that passers by aren’t upset. Sebastian famously needed a poo at a beach that had no amenities at all. I took him up a dead end path, apparently others had had the same idea. For weeks afterwards, he would point up there and tell me that’s where he did a poo poo and 2 flies landing on it.
When do Potty Training Accidents Happen?
Normally they happen after the excitement of “being a big girl or boy” and using the potty or toilet has died down. Children forget and they’ve been used to just weeing and pooing in their nappy, so that’s what they do. Toilet accidents can happen for several years after they have learnt to use the toilet.
Normally it is just one of those things and part of learning to potty train. Sometimes it is laziness, sometimes it is just regular potty training regression. Occasionally there are reasons why you should worry about potty training regression.
Our Poo Emergency
This time we make it to the bathroom without any accidents. Sebastian as ever takes his time. He is not a quick poo-er. We saunter back under the shade of the palm trees. As much as I exploring the beach, next time I think I’ll try and park closer to the bathroom in order to avoid any potty training accidents. Just in case!