Question: What is a normal level of accidents? How long should you expect accidents before you go into to really correct them?

Answer: This is a great question with a somewhat vague answer. One of the things that makes potty training such a trying process at times is that there really is no finish line. It hard to define the moment you can consider your child DONE. I consider a child DONE potty training when the parents can have 5 consecutive thoughts that don't involve pee, poop, or potty.  For MOST parents, this takes about 1-4 weeks. Accidents during this time frame are of course, well within "legal" bounds.  Being DONE is more of a feeling than a definitive set of parameters. You just FEEL like your child is on the right path.

As far as accidents go, both in and out of the active potty training stage, you always want to be looking for the WHY. Why did the accident happen? Most times, parents can somewhat track it back to something; you ran an extra errand or you were doing something and couldn't get your child to the potty in time. I can't tell you the amount of accidents that happen and the parent says, "I had the FEELING that he had to go and I didn't push it or I just let it go."

If there's a clear reason for not making it to the potty on time, that's GREAT. You don't want to justify it and not fix anything but it's pretty clear cut why it happened and that can be adjusted.

For accidents that are seemingly out-of-the-blue, look for PATTERNS. Afternoons for toddlers can be the witching hour. They all seem to lose it somewhere around the 3pm-5pm range. Are accidents more common then? Are the accidents always or mostly around a certain time, with a certain person, under a certain set of circumstances?  When you can ascertain a pattern, it's usually just a matter of being more vigilant during that time.

When talking about "accidents", I always ask this: did your child ever "have it"? Was there a period of time when there were NO accidents?  Sometimes parents say the word "accidents", when in actuality the child never really had a potty trained period of time. In THAT case, your child is really still learning.

Almost across the board, accidents are fixed by running through the blocks again. It's almost vital to go back to Block One for even a small period of time.  The thing about Block One is that it presents the child with absolutely no barriers; specifically no pants. This helps you ascertain whether your child is having a glitch in learning or a glitch in managing barriers around potty training.

And don't forget: two year molar (or any sort of teething) is going to most likely wreak havoc on the process. I'd say 2 year molars are the #1 reason for sudden out-of-the-blue accidents.  Things usually get on track as soon as the teeth cut the skin. Do your best to coast through the teething.

One or 2 accidents, here and there, are to be expected. If you child is having 1 or 2 a day...that definitely warrants attention or "fixing". Again, finding a pattern and running through all the blocks again is usually the best fix.