My daughter has been potty trained for about 8 months and going well. Currently, we still put her in a diaper for her nap and when she sleeps at night.

Suddenly, she doesn't want to go to the potty at all. At minimum we have to remind and bribe her to get on the potty.
For a while it seemed that she was holding it in until she got into her diaper. Now it seems like even that is an issue.

Also, to note, we just had a newborn so not sure if this is related.

Any suggestions on how to get my daughter back on the potty?

  • We had similar problems, maybe my experience or the answer do also help you: see parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/2209/… Good Luck!
    – BBM
    Sep 26, 2011 at 20:23
  • I am working on the same issue with my 3 year old boy. He dosesnt care if he is wet at all. This has become an issue with preschool since mid oct . I have 7 month old twins as well.
    – amanda
    Nov 25, 2018 at 20:01

3 Answers 3


My children both had a regressive phase in their potty training. The doctor told me that it was normal. Some children are doing a really good job for a while and then they just decide they don't want to try anymore.

The worst thing that you can do is to put the child back into diapers because it will make the second round of potty training even worse. Pull ups are still fine since you have been doing that, but as hard as it may sound, you will have to figure out a system to continue potty training.

Children need consistency, and they need their parents to show them that. If you have to, take the child to the bathroom every half hour - which is what I did. If you don't have the schedule for it, just make sure that daycare is taking her every half hour.

My son used to have a holding it in phase too, but that was because he went to daycare and was too shy to go when he was there.

Is she still going to the bathroom though, even if it is in her pants? If she isn't peeing like normal, she could be getting dehydrated.

If she still goes, try a sticker chart. You don't have to buy anything, you could just tape a piece of paper to the door and write the days of the week on it with a time schedule. Next to the times of the day she goes, give her a sticker or a big check mark with a colored Sharpie and congratulate her!

Kids love attention! Just remember the more good attention she gets for going potty, the more likely she will be to continue on the right path.


We had a problem with an older one (partially related to a younger child's birth) as far as #2. 3 things that helped the most were:

  1. Choices and being somewhat in control. In this specific case, he went on amazon.com with us and CHOSE the toilet seat for himself he liked. VOILA. He LOVED using that seat once it arrived.

  2. Positive reinforcement. Initially, small presents for successful toilet run (coupled of course with praise). Eventually, just praise. As another answer noted, a newborn will suck attention from the older one, so showing the extra attention - especially as reward - is a sure way to progress him.

  3. Have the newborn "watch" and "learn" how the older one goes. Older kids seem to REALLY like showing younger how to do things (both in general, and as a way of showing off).


A newborn will start issues (as we've had) with jealousy, and a whole new set of attention seeking behaviour.

Has her refusal to go to the potty gained her more attention (even negative attention is still attention), and has that actually diverted attention away from the newborn?

If so - I'd suggest going with diapers again for a brief time, and not giving her attention for the behaviour. Watch out though - our little one went through a stage of removing her nappies and threatening to wee - an attention seeking tactic.

On the other hand, when she is not playing up, be sure to give her plenty fo attention and reassurance that she is still an important person in your lives.

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