22 answers

5 Year Old Has Regressed with Potty Training

My daughter has recently turned 5 - she potty trained when she was 2 years old and went over two solid years with absolutely zero accidents, no problems. She does still wear a pull-up at night and is nowhere close to being able to stay dry at night, which doesn't bother me and I'm giving her more time. BUT, over the past few months she has been having daytime accidents, and if anything it seems like it's getting worse. I can't decide if she's distracted, or being lazy, or if it's a sign of something emotional going on. She was an only child until last summer, when my son was born. It would make sense to me if she regressed after the baby was born, but this didn't start until he was probably like 5 months old. So I'm wondering if anyone has experienced anything like this before, and what advice you have for me. DO you think this is an issue where she needs to be disciplined somehow? Or is this a sign that she needs more attention or one on one time? Seriously, it has become like all day long, several accidents a day, and it's driving me crazy. Oh, and she doesn't do it while she's at preschool. Thanks, any input would be great!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Dear E. J. I have found that little children often go through stages and its probably and up set from having a new baby in the house. Each of my children went through different reactions when a new baby came home some were quite oparent wright from the start and others came later. I think you need to give it some more time and lots of love . I dont think they need to be disaplined unless they are doing somthing that will heart the new child. lots of luck. C. J.

A friend of mine went through something similar with her oldest daughter and there was a medical issue. I would recommmend starting with talking to her peditrician and ruling out physical reasons first. good luck

More Answers

Definitely make sure it is not a bladder infection first! If she is healthy, I would really suggest evaluating how much time you and your husband spend with her. My three almost four year old will ALWAYS resort to messing her pants(#1 and #2) when she is not receiving enough attention from us. When I spend time with her, just with her or with the other kids too, it disappears almost instantly. This may or may not be the issue. It is serious enough though to check it out and check it off.

Don't sweat it, seriously! My daughter did the same thing... as soon as she got home from preschool the waterworks started. I took her to her doctor and the doctor had us get an x-ray of her stomach to see if there was any blockage and all was fine. The doc also asked if my daughter was stressed (which freaked me out) and she really wasn't. My daughter did this for about a year, yes, a YEAR. But during that whole time she just took care of it herself (put her clothes in the laundry and put on new ones) cause I was SOOO frustrated. I also polled my friends and a lot of them had the same problem with their girls. Another thing I noticed is that she really did have to pee a lot in the afternoon (it wasn't for attention). The best thing you can do is just keep on asking her to go to the bathroom so she can keep on emptying her TINY bladder (may be another reason, even though the doctor said that her bladder size shouldn't be the case). I forgot to ask my daughter to go potty many times and she indeed would have an accident! It has been 15 months and I can safely say -- all is under control. However if she is having fun or just forgets to go potty she will have an accident (not just 5 in a row)! I have faith that this will all be over by the time she starts kindergarten (She will be 5 on September 1). Just go with the flow... no pun intended.

I have a son who could not hold his blatter at night at all. At 13 years old, I finally had the answer to the problem. We took him to a Chiropractor. After the 2nd adjustment, he didn't have another accident at night ever. He is now 19. He still had to see the chiropractor for an entire month of treatments to make sure it stayed that way. The other problem with wetting during the day could be a number or things including jealousy. Are you having good one on one with her and help her feel valuable? She may be seeing that the baby is getting m ore attention than her. I wish you all the best.

Get your daughter checked for a bladder infection. My daughter has a long history of bladder infections and one of the most common symptoms is difficulty in controlling her bladder. In fact, it is the only symptom my daughter ever had. She never has pain or a fever; she just has accidents. The doctor will perform a urinalysis on her urine. These were always negative for my daughter. Make sure the doctor cultures the urine sample and when you get the results ask to make sure the sample was not contaminated. Sometimes they won't culture without the parent requesting it and sometimes they say they didn't find anything in the culture when in fact the culture was contaminated and no good.

This happened with my 5 year old a few months ago also. She just started having accidents and it got worse over time. I thought she was reacting to the birth of our twins and that it was emotional. But I took her to the doctor and she had a bladder infection. It's worth talking to your doctor to make sure it's not an infection. The day after I gave her the medicine, her accidents stopped. Hope this helps!

i've heard that for a lot of kids the issues with having a new baby don't start until the baby is more mobile and active. i know this was an issue for a friend of mine, not with potty training but just general sibling rivalry. she loved playing with her brother until the was big enough to try and take her toys and generally interfere with whatever she was doing. good luck!

I had the same problem with my 2nd born and the arrival of the 3rd. It wasn't until the youngest was more animated that the 2nd born felt the 'threat' of the new sib in the house. The 2nd born was doing well with the potty training for about a year when the youngest started sitting up and then later crawling. I think newborns don't seem 'real' to the older kids at first. With my boys there was an adjustment time and then the 2nd one started doing better with training. Preschool is a motivation. I'd just remember to do lots of praising and create opportunities to have quality time just with your daughter. Eventually she'll realize that 'it' ain't going away and you and your daughter will be strengthening your bond. Hang in there...

Hi E.,

As a mom of a 5yr old boy who I thought for certain was simply "untrainable", let me give you some hope that this is not a permanent situation. First off, it doesn't sound like your daughter has any kind of developmental delays that could lead to this (for example, my niece just turned 4 and is still in pullups all day - my sis in law was really frustrated until she learned that kids like her who have a significant speech delay are usually late potty trainers)

If she is still in pullups at night at 5, truthfully that is more concerning to me than having accidents during the day. My 5.5 yr old son's daytime accidents go in spurts (LOL no pun intended!) He gets really busy and doesnt want to stop what he is doing so he holds it until he just can't hold it anymore. He had a full blown accident a few months ago, just because he held it too long. About 30 min after drinking, I usually make a recommendation for him to use the potty -

It probably is time to have a conversation with your doc about your concerns and why your not potty training at night. I have a feeling that your doc has been strongly urging you to get rid of the nighttime pullups.

At my son's 4yr well check my doc said it was time to get rid of the nighttime pullups that day. I couldn't imagine it was possible because he woke up just soaked every morning. She said to give it a try and that we could always try "dry camp" (classes for kids of all ages with bed-wetting issues)

It took a week to try it mostly to get myself psyched up for the extra effort. I finally realized that he was peeing in his pullup just because he could! aaghh! For a week we got him up at night to go potty and then slowly tapered off. We limited his fluids after 7pm to help too. I was amazed at how quickly he learned. Af first we considered it a successful week when he was dry half the time. Then he was able to go a week and then two and more. He still has occasional accidents but that just happens sometimes.

Ruling out a physical or medical problem is probably the first step and then I urge you to just go for it and bite the bullet of having to be up with her (and your baby) at night to help her with going potty and with accidents. I've been where you are and I have confidence you can do it!! My 2nd was only 2-3 months old when we started the nighttime training. I was pretty tired but it was what needed to be done.

blessings for success to you and your family!


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