Potty Training And Getting Sick

As best I can tell, there are 2 distinct sicknesses sweeping the US, in addition to the regular old colds. There’s a pretty fast but very messy 24 hour pukey-thing and the flu.  It’s pretty unbelievable how often sickness will strike in the beginning days of potty training. I mean really unbelievable.


First thing: DO NOT BEGIN POTTY TRAINING IF YOU OR YOUR CHILD IS SICK.  You both need to be on your game and if either of you is sick, it will be so. much. harder. Seriously.


One: stay afloat as best you can. This is a good option if your child has been really getting it from the get go. There may be more accidents while sick and your child may not want to participate. So you can kind of hang in limbo and ride it out.

Two: rediaper, rest, regroup. IT’S TOTALLY OKAY TO REDIAPER UNTIL THE SICKNESS PASSES. You will not lose any of your work. Every single child I’ve worked with seems to understand on a gut level that this is temporary. As soon as you and/or your child seem on the mend…jump back in. Be sure to tell them, “You are too sick right now to learn this. We’re going to put a diaper on you and when you feel better, we can start learning again.” IT’S OKAY. I PROMISE.

IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT NOTHING IS BEING LEARNED WHEN SICK. So, you will end up feeling like you did all this work and you’re just banging your head against the wall. You are.  Even if it’s just YOU, Mom who goes down…you can’t be effective when you feel like crap.

If your child has a bug that is puke-y and diarrhea-y…REDIAPER!  It’s all beyond their control and nothing will be learned.

Now, obviously in the winter months, many kids have a low grade cold practically all season. As long as you think your child is well enough to learn a new skill…go for it. Colds and runny noses aren’t necessarily a reason to delay potty training or to rediaper. You do have to determine the level of sickness but honest and truly, cut your child a wide amount of slack while they are sick.