10 answers

4 1/2 Year Old Peeing in Her Room

My 4 1/2 year old daughter who has been potty trained for well over a year recently started peeing in her room. We noticed the smell of urine and when we investigated it further, realized that she had been peeing in more than one spot apparently during the night. The strange thing is that she isn't waking up wet, so she is obviously pulling down her underwear to do this. About a week ago she also had 2 accidents during the day - one about 2 feet from the toilet and later that day in her playgoom. Mysteriously, she didn't get a drop on her dress, legs or feet, nor on her underwear, which makes me think it was intentional. Anyone ever had this strange behavior. When we ask her about it she just says "sorry, I didn't know..." Our approach has been to just tell her she needs to make sure to go to the potty, but I just noticed that she had done it again, presumably last night sometime. Any ideas or suggestions?

What can I do next?

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It's possible that it is not intentional and she is "sleep-peeing". My older son has done this twice, but thankfully in the garbage can. In both cases, I heard him and witnessed it and woke him up while he was mid-stream. I then kept him awake and had him help me clean it up. After the second time, it was never a problem.

Maybe you can leave her door open or pull out the old baby monitor so you can hear her and try to catch her before she starts.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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my son does this- sleep walks and pees on the floor- most nights it happens when he is over tired. if it continues during the day I would take her to the ped to rule out anything medical- UTI or something more

1 mom found this helpful

It's possible that it is not intentional and she is "sleep-peeing". My older son has done this twice, but thankfully in the garbage can. In both cases, I heard him and witnessed it and woke him up while he was mid-stream. I then kept him awake and had him help me clean it up. After the second time, it was never a problem.

Maybe you can leave her door open or pull out the old baby monitor so you can hear her and try to catch her before she starts.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is 5 years old, and a few months ago, she was doing the same thing. I didn't realize it until we were smelling the urine everytime we walked in her room. When the heat would be on, the smell was unbearable. As I walked by the vent one day I noticed it was wet. I got down and smelled, SHE WAS PEEING IN THE REGISTER!!! I found several other spots in her room where she had been peeing too. She was always dry though, so I know it wasn't an accident. I was very upset with her for doing this. She was old enough to know better and she had been potty trained since she was 3. I explained how disappointed I was in her and I took the TV away from her for a whole week. Everytime she asked for it again it told her No, because you have been peeing in your room. It stopped after that.
Good luck - - It takes forever to get that pee smell to leave!!

I thought we were the only ones with this exact problem. Our daughter who just turned 5 started doing the same thing at about 4 1/2. I am positive our kid was doing it intentionally because she covered it up with a blanket or toy and she was peeing in her bed within about 5 minutes of going to bed (and we know she hadn't fallen asleep yet). She would act so surprised by the pee. We took away privileges and told her she would have to start wearing pull ups to bed again. We told her if it was an accident that was one thing or if she tried to get to the bathroom and didn't quite make it we could understand...but to just pee in her bed or in the middle of her room was just unacceptable. The 2 things that really worked were telling her we were taking her to the doctor to check her out--- honestly if the kid had a bladder infection that could cause the behavior and we let her know that; and, funny as this is, we told her that she could not wear her princess gowns to bed if she was going to behave like this. Princesses don't pee on the floor or in the bed...and we were not going to have her pee all over her pretty princess pajamas. It worked! Side note---I honestly don't think kids this young can tell you if something is wrong with them emotionally so that's a bust as far as I'm concerned. Good luck to you....BTW-- if you haven't already invest in a good steam carpet cleaner---it is the only way to get out the smell.

I don't think it's intentional. I'm with Valerie, your daughter is probably sleep peeing.

Limit her liquids in the evening and have her go to the bathroom before bed. Maybe even get her up around 11pm or so and put her on the toilet. My neighbors did this with their son.

As she gets older and her bladder gets bigger, she'll grow out of it.

My son is almost five and last summer he did the same thing. I thought it was the dog and boy did she get punished :( Then one day I had let the dog outside and went to my son's bedroom and found pee on the floor. When I talked to him about it he apologized and said he had to pee but was playing and didn't want to go downstairs. I also found out that the times prior to that he had done as well. Same as the other families who mentioned this problem, I spoke with him about it and told him how disgusting it was and that he needed to use the potty downstairs. I also told him that our dog had been put in time out because we thought she was peeing inside and made him apologize to her. LOL. Luckily after that discusssion he has not done it since.


Wow! I think her behavior is trying to tell you something. You can try the sticker approach and rewards. Sometimes the simple phrase- Popo and Pepe go in the potty works because simple and your using their age language. You can always try the hard nose approach that if you are not going to use the potty there will be consequences ( you determine those). Possibly, and I don't know if I like the idea myself, but sometimes children go through weird phases for unexplained reasons- you can put a small potty chair in her room for night time use, but I would encourage using the big potty during the day. Before, making any decisions I would talk to my pediatrician and try to figure out why such a change in behavior. Doctors can help they just need to know what is going on to help- sometimes as parents we feel ashamed to admit that our child(ren) are having issues. Don't feel that way be assertive and address the issue for your child.

My oldest son did this at 4 yrs. old, he was peeing under his bed. One time he even peed at the end of his bed on his pile of stuffed animals. When we figured out that the smell was pee and it wasn't our dog or our cat...like he said it was, we were NOT happy! He couldn't even really tell us why he was doing it. We think he would just get busy playing in his room and decide the bathroom was too far away, same at night. Even tho it was across the hall-lol! We had a looong talk with him and took away some privilages for a week. Very nasty thing to have to go through :0(.


First,.... yuck.... you poor thing.

I have to agree with you that this does sound intentional. She clearly isn't able to verbalize why...

this is a tough one... is it possible that she's afraid of going to the bathroom in the middle of the night? are there nightlights and such? although that doesn't explain the midday accidents...

maybe she thinks it's fun? maybe she isn't aware that she's doing it in the middle of the night? seriously, I had a friend (adult male) who would appear to be awake (as recounted by his girlfriends) and take it out and pee in the strangest places... dresser drawers, nightstand, closet, corner of the room, and one time ON HIS GIRLFIREND who was sleeping on the other side of the bed. I kinda laugh, but then i think... oh man, that's disgusting.

I have always been taught to make their 'accidents' personal... let me explain. For example say 'it really makes me sad that you want to ruin your carpet and the nice room you have... we can never get the pee out of the carpet and i'm afraid that your room is going to smell bad. we have toilets to keep our home clean and if you are not going to use them we are going to have to put you back in diapers'. It may make her think twice... she wouldn't want to make you sad... and she probably doesn't want to ruin her carpet or have yucky pee smell.

you're in a tough spot... I dunno... maybe stay right on top of her throughout the day and go back to reminding her every half hour or hour... I know kids can have regression in this area frequently. But the monster you are dealing with could be psychological, or physical and it's anybody's guess which one she is going thru.

I am starting potty training.. your post reminded me how much I don't mind diapers :) oy! :)

I'm sorry I don't have any solid advice... just wanted to share some ideas and share your stress on the subject :)

Good luck S....

My son did the same thing between the ages of three and four!!!..He would get up in the night walk to the closet and pee on the shoes!! (after staying up to catch him in the act we found out he was unaware of his actions.) He was sleep walking..he thought he was going to the bathroom. I had to stay up a few nights to fully wake him for his trip to the potty ...as for the daytime i do not know, she may just have an overactive bladder, or be too involved in whatever she is doing to get to the potty. Might want to put a potty chair in her room 'till you can work it out ;)

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