M.K. asks from Selden, NY on March 23, 2007
4 1/2 Year Old Girl Having Frequent Urinary Accidents
Hi! My 4 1/2 y/o daughter wets herself pretty much every day. Often, up to 3 or 4 times in the day. She was fully potty trained by 3 y/o. I had a baby 6 months ago, so I can see that it may be related as it has been going on for about 9 months. It started in the last part of my pregnancy. Recently, I told her to pick out a toy, and when she could stay dry for 7 days in a row, she could have it. She did it on her first try, so that told me that she has enough control to stay dry. After she got the toy, she went back to wetting herself every day. I tried again with a new toy, but she hasn't been able to stay dry one day yet. Honestly, I am starting to get really angry about it, because I am sick of washing pee and having to leave playdates because she has wet pants. I don't want to get mad and stern at her if it will make things worse. She tries to hide it from me, and now she looks at me and says "I'm sorry" with a really sad face. Can someone give me some perspective and/or advice? Thanks!
J.D. answers from New York on March 23, 2007
It sounds like a regression associated with the new baby, and her desire for attention. Unfortunately, that doesn't change anything. I'd suggest the possibility of a UTI, or of her not paying attention, but when there was an incentive on the line, she was able to do it, first shot.
One thing you can try is to go back to what you probably did when she was initially training, and put her on the toilet for a few minutes every hour. Interrupt her when it's least convenient for her, and make her try to go. A few days of interrupted games, cartoons, activities, etc., and she may just decide that this isn't worth the annoyance.
Please understand that I'm not in favor of punishing a child for toileting accidents, and while irritating her like this may strike you as a punishment for wetting, it's not really the intention. The goal is a nudge to remind her that she DOES know how to do this, she's NOT a baby, and she DOESN'T need to be trained all over again. When she objects to it, just explain that we need to keep ourselves clean and dry, and you are helping her until she can remember to tell you when she has to go. If she gets the hint and then relapses again, start it all over.
Good luck to you, it must be really frustrating.
H.H. answers from New York on March 26, 2007
My only concern is that she's wetting that many times a day. My daughter was wetting many times a day at 4 years old after having been potty trained since she was 2 1/2 and it turned out to be juvinile diabetes. This is a very serious thing that if you have any doubts you'll want to get her tested. I do want to add that she was incessantly thirsty too. There were other signs and when we looked back we overlooked them but at the time the biggest thing we noticed was how much she had to pee. So since this is somethign I went through first hand I wanted to mention it to you and have her tested at her peditricians office. If you have any other questions for me don't hesitate to ask! Good luck and hopefully she's just a little girl who likes to play more than pee! If that's the case then jsut give her time and definiltey don't get mad at her. My friend went through the same thing with her son and it took about a year and he finally doens't wet himself any more.
M.B. answers from New York on March 26, 2007
When will your daughter turn five years old? Will she be attending Kindergarten in the fall? If so, she may be feeling as though she isn't ready to move on and go to school. She may also be feeling a bit left out since the birth of your other baby and may be seeking some attention just to see where she fits in.
All in all, this too shall pass. I would though suggest she see a pediatric urologist just to rule out a more serious condition like a hernia, etc. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Best of luck to you.
L.S. answers from New York on March 24, 2007
Have you taken her to the Pedi for a check-up? She may have an underlying issue that is out of her control. ALWAYS worth a check-up when kids seem to go backwards developmentally. Could be a UTI or something.
L.H. answers from New York on March 23, 2007
I agree with Jessica. It does sound like a regression associated with the new baby. Keep tring differnet insentives, maybe a toy one week then a new shirt or dress another. May be try a calender. Where each day she's dry she get a sticker on that day. When she gets so many stickers in a row she get the toy or whatever, and she might like it beause she can pick out the stickers and put it on the calender herself before bed.
My daughter is 3 and a half and I find if I don't keep track of when she last had a drink and remind her to go to the bathroom about a half hour after she might have an accident. Just keep at it and in time eveything should work itself out. Oh and Congrats on the new baby.
K.M. answers from New York on March 24, 2007
Talk to your pedatrician, they may want you to see a pediatric urologist. My daughter was trained at 18 mos. When she was 3 she started having similar problems. The urologist did some testing and we found that she has a spinning top urethra. This spinning top urethra would actually hold some urine in there when she was holding her urine, then when she didn't feel like she had to go anymore and stopped olding it this urine would either leak out and cause her to be wet or reflux and cause UTI's. Get it checked out because frequent UTI's can actually cause bladder and/or kidney damage. My daughter's one kidney is actually half the size of the other because of all the damage from the multiple UTI's. She wasn't the most cooperative with meds, she is now 15 and still gives me trouble taking meds.
Best of luck!!