16 answers

4 Year Who Has Been Potty Trained for 1 1/2 Years Wetting Himself

My oldest has been potty trained for well over a year and has recently been wetting himself a few times a day. He is useing the toilet some of the time but not all. he told me today that he didn't know that it happened, but I am very frusterated with it as he has been potty trained for so long. We have tried both positive and negative reinforcement and nothing seems to help! Any ideas?

***** I am so thankful to all of you who have sent me advice. I feellike I should mention that this has happened with him a few months ago and we were able to break him of it and then it started again and has been going on for a while now. Do you think this could still be a medical issue. I'm not opposed to having him checked, but I am not convinced that is what is going on here. He will wet himself and then get this smile on his face and tell us. He is certinly not ashamed that this is going on. **** Thank you all so much!

1 mom found this helpful

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Featured Answers

I myself have a 12 year old boy who only recently stopped wetting himself and the bed. There could be something else wrong, so it is always best to speak to a doctor. It could be a bladder problem or a psychological problem and it's quite embarrassing for any child to go through. My son ended up taking a pill for a couple of months and he is doing great! The best advise I have is to speak with a doctor. Good luck!

I would highly suggest seeing a dr. It sounds like he has a bladder problem. It runs in my family. I was put on steroids as a small child because my brain did not tell my bladder to hold it in while I was sleeping. It can be something minor and easily treatable.

More Answers

Hey C.!
I agree with the moms, definitely get him checked out first for any medical issues. One mom said punishment doesn't work, which I agree with, but I also really liked Shelly K's response (though I don't think I could make my child go for that long without changing out of his wet clothes), I wouldn't consider that punishment as much as collecting data to make a more informed decision in the future.

Anyway, on to the reason that I decided to respond: Sometimes children that have been sexually abused will do this, it's that he's been potty trained so long that sent up a red flag (or maybe a pink one) to me. This is probably not the reason, but if nothing else makes any sense then you should know that this can happen. Like I said before, first rule out any medical issues, look for any traumas or changes in his routine that may have been upsetting to him, but know that this could also be a reason.

Good luck on your journey, I know this can be frustrating.
D.

This is unusual, so I'd have him checked out by the doctor first.

I myself have a 12 year old boy who only recently stopped wetting himself and the bed. There could be something else wrong, so it is always best to speak to a doctor. It could be a bladder problem or a psychological problem and it's quite embarrassing for any child to go through. My son ended up taking a pill for a couple of months and he is doing great! The best advise I have is to speak with a doctor. Good luck!

My daughter has been trained for 3 years now. And she started wetting herself. I thought maybe it was because of the new baby and we moved. But then 2 weeks ago she started complaining about her back and tummy hurting. So I took her to the doc. She ended up having a UTI. Since she has been on medicine, she has had 2 accidents. So have the doc check him out.

Your 6-month is now getting attention as a cute baby because he's begun to 'do things.' Acting like a baby seeminGLy has it just rewards. The older one needs more one-on-one time I suspect and praised for grown-up behavior, I suspect. (My 4 yr old crawled for 2 days when his sister was about 6 months old.) There is always the chance of a urinary infection but the odds are he is trying to tell you something that he is not actually aware of.

V. Lansky
author of TOILET TRAINING: A GUIDE TO DAYTIME AND NIGHTTIME WETTING.

C.,

He is too old to be having "accidents." This is definately not a potty training issue. I would first rule out a medical condition. He may have a bladder infection or a urinary tract infection. Then rule out a major stress issue (recent move, new day care, death in the family, etc.)

If you learn he is doing it for attention or pressing limits, offering rewards will make it worse because that isn't positive reinforcement, it's bribery. He will learn that he can start misbehaving to get what he wants.

Consequences must be natural, related to the behavior, and unpleasant enough that it will stop. Once you have ruled out anything medical and you are sure he is doing it on purpose, I would sit down and calmly have a talk with him. This is his problem, not yours. So don't get upset or he wins. Tell him he gets one pair of pants per day. If he wets them, he has to wait until tomorrow to get a new pair. By the way, boys with wet pants can't sit in front of the TV or the computer or go out anywhere. And if he ruins his underwear, he will have to earn the money to buy new ones.

I saw a woman try this on Dr. Phil's recommendation and she had her kids wear a plastic bag to protect the furniture. Her son wet twice and stopped. Remember, this method is ONLY for fully potty trained children who are wetting or pooping intentionally for attention, to get out of time out, to manipulate parents, etc. It isn't appropriate for potty training accidents.

Good luck,
S.

I've btdt, so I know how frustrating it can be. Like the others said, go to the doc and rule out any urinary tract issues. My 4.5 yr old went through this about a year ago. We never found the cause, and it just stopped on it's own. I will say that we didn't help him change (or his teachers at school/daycare) the wet clothes. He was responsible for doing that and putting them in the appropriate place all on his own.

Good luck,and let us know what happens!

Hi C., I have seen this happen before, and the advice of ruling our physical issues is good advice. However, if there are no physical issues, start talking with him about paying attention to his body's signals. At our center we have also had great results with using timers- every time the child hears the timer go off, they are to go to the bathroom. One child we have at our center with that problem started wearing a watch that had an alarm. Then it was his responsibility to go to the bathroom each time his alarm went off. Personally, I haven't ever seen negative reinforcement work, its more a matter teaching them to pay attention to their body.
Good Luck!
E.

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