15 answers

My 6 Year Old Daughter Still Pees in Her Pants

UPDATED: I have taken her to the Dr., she has been evaluated by a Urologist, there is nothing medically wrong with her. The urologist told me to have her wear a watch with a timer on it that goes off ever hour and a half to remind her to go to the bathroom. Yet, she still pees in her pants on a regular basis during the day. At home and at school. She rarely stays dry all day long. And she will not change her wet clothes on her own, she will sit in them until I tell her "go change your clothes". I don't make a big deal out of it and she knows exactly what to do with her wet clothes. Its the same at school.
She also wears a pull-up to bed every night which is always wet in the morning. The night time wetting doesn't bother me as much. She is a very deep sleeper, so I understand. I have tried getting her up before I go to bed at night and making her go, but it has not helped to keep her dry. Not to mention, she is quite unpleasant when I wake her up...

I am at my wits end. I don't know what else to do to make her stop. She refuses to take the time to go to the bathroom when she needs to. I have tried every kind of reward system I can think of and any more I just tell her to change and that's that.
Nothing works. Please help.

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This is hard, isn't it? But if your daughter is peeing in her pull ups at night, then that is totally involuntary - she's not doing that on purpose, and it's not her fault. This will change when her body is ready, and not a minute before. You might minimize it by getting her out of bed before you go to sleep and sitting her on the toilet, even if she's asleep. Chances are she'll stay dry the rest of the night. Re: daytime accidents - it's not uncommon for kids to not want to interrupt what they're doing to go to the bathroom, especially if they're playing on the yard, or afraid to raise their hand and ask. Pack some dry clothes for her so she can change, give her a plastic bag to put the wet clothes in, and above all, stop harping on this with her - it's not helping. All the timers and shaming and stickers in the world are not going to train a body that's not really ready for this. Just like some kids learn to read at 2 and some at 9, so goes bladder control. I feel for you! But if there's nothing medically wrong with her then she'll be fine, in her own time. It will happen!

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Sounds like she is having emotional problems. Bedwetting can last into someone's teens and beyond if someone is having emotional problems. I'd have her checked by psychologist.

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I am a little confused here. It sounds like she is not just a bedwetter, but also peeing during the day? If that is the case, you in all likelihood have an emotional issue going on since the doctors have ruled out a physical cause. However, before addressing the emotional cause, I would check for a milk correlation. Elminate all milk from her diet. Milk allergy and bedwetting are often linked...but not always, of course. Read all labels so all milk products are removed from her diet and see if that makes any change at all...but you'll need to give it a couple weeks. In the meantime, keep a log as to when and where she's having her accidents, what she's been eating and look for a pattern or correlation. Also, log your REACTION to her "accidents". If you are getting upset, or even giving her attention for this, it could be an attention device or a control situation. The one thing parents cannot ever control is bathroom habits in their children. If you haven't yet done it, set up a routine that you want her to follow when she has an accident without any help from you. For instance, go to the bathroom and remove your wet clothes. Put them in a designated basket, washer, etc. Get in the shower or tub and clean up. Put on clean clothes. You, Mom, say NOTHING, and do NOTHING. A simple "good job cleaning up" when she's done is all you say or do. When and/or if you see any progress, praise her. "So glad you made it to the toilet in time". Treat it like potty training a 3 or 4 year old. Plain and simple. No negative attention, none of your time helping her clean up here....she's old enough to handle it 100% and don't expect perfection. Keep a log for this so you can look back and see exactly what's going on and when. She might be making small improvements that you're not aware of. Give this two whole months with no backsliding on your part. The truth is that since she's 6, you're probably feeling pretty frustrated with her, as would we all. I am totally guessing here, but you might not be ignoring it long enough, or consistently enough. Every time you react, you have negated all your hard work...and basically are beginning from scratch all over again. If you don't see any improvements and have been 100% consistent, I'd ask your pediatrician for a referral to a good children's therapist. It is not normal for a 6 year old to consistently wet DURING THE DAY unless something is wrong....physically or some emotional or control issue. You might need just a few sessions to re-direct you and/or her and that's it! Don't look at this as a failure on your part or her part. It's just one of those things, but don't hesitate to ask for and get professional help, either! Good luck, P.!

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I also recommend taking her to a chiropractor. Sometimes a child may have a pinched nerve which causes the brain to not communicate to the bladder. Your daughter may not actually know that she has to go to the bathroom, thus, she pees her pants. There are many chiros out there and those that practice the Gonstead method specifically target only the vertabrae affected. It may be worth a shot! Good luck!

Mrs. Marine, I know your post is from 2009, and I hope your daughters problem has been fixed, but maybe this will help a few moms out there.
I have the same issues with my 6 year old. She sets her pants often at home and school. But the night problem I was able to fix it. I stop giving her liquids after 7 pm. She goes to bed at 9. In the first week, she complained about her milk at night and her water. After the first week, she stopped complaining and also stopped peeing (she stopped peeing on the second day). So the night problem has been fixed. But not the day one... I don't know what else to do...

I have had a similar problem with my son. He is 9 1/2 and still has occasional (maybe once a month) accidents.
His was/is totally due to stress.
What can a perfectly happy 6 year old have to stress about? You'd be surprised at what runs through their heads.

Take the stress out of it. Any time there is an accident just matter of factly handle it. "OK then run and change. Make sure you put your wet things in the washer..." Focusing on it only makes it worse. Anytime she feels criticized or embarrased it will make it harder to handle.

Are there times when it happens the most. I figured out that my son wet/soiled his pants mostly on the day after he spent the night with his dad. He loves his dad, he is actually a good dad, and I have no questions about sending him over there. And we had been divorced for 3 years when this pattern started.
Is it on one day or after one activity?
Taking extra care to make those days calmer and more orderly and spending more time with him made that pattern go away.

Look for positive times to reinforce good behavior, not just this but everything. I went so far as to buy my son a craft kit from Michael's or an ice cream for every day he was dry all day (they are $1 so $30 a mo was a small price to pay).

The bed wetting will probably take the longest and don't even try to get her to stop that until she is dry during the day. For my sister it took until she was 11, her daughter is almost 8 and same problem and pull ups every night.
Good Luck.

P., I apologize, but I don't have any answers for you. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. My daughter is 6 and wets the bed NIGHTLY. It causes me so much pain and stress, and is now to the point of causing her dad and I to argue about it constantly. He is convinced she just can't be bothered to get out of bed, and I am appalled at that idea. Like anyone would actually PURPOSELY pee on themselves! I think she is just a very heavy sleeper. We have tried no pull-ups at all - the idea being that sleeping in a puddle of urine would disgust her, right? Well, it didn't even wake her up. There have been times that she slept in the pee so long that it was dry by morning. So that didn't work. Just LOADS and LOADS of laundry for me. We have tried waking her up throughout the night, even setting the alarm for us to wake her up at odd hours, and somehow she'd still be wet in the morning. We've cut off fluids at a certain time. We've offered rewards. We've punished her. We've done everything we could think of - some my ideas, some her dad's - and nothing has made a difference. Her pediatrician said, "Oh, well I pee'd the bed till I was 9!" And that was her answer for me. I know you must feel very alone - I sure do. People have their opinions and ideas, but I feel in my heart that this is something that will fix itself in time. I just keep trying to keep my cool and I hope that you can too. God will send us the patience to deal with this, I'm sure of it! Good luck to you! Just know that you most definitely are not alone!

I am sure you probably have use all possible reward system but still I would like to give you couple of them.

2nd thought. She is already 6. I am not if she would go for Chocolate Raisin. My daughter loves Chocolate Raisin and she would drink milk just to get Chocolate Raisin.

Also, think about what she likes to do the most. See if there is something which she wants you to participate with her and offer that activity.

Again, these are just thoughts. Nothing proven or tried yet.

what happend when she is in school does she whear protective pant at school do children avoid her bacause she smells maybe if you talk to here about that she eill be inspired . good lluck A. no hills

I am writing a blog post on this as we speak, you can check it out at www.myfourblessings.com

The same thing happened with my daughter and she finally stopped at 8!!! The pediatrician told me to get over it as she herself stopped at 9! There is something in the brain that hasn't developed as fast as other areas and in some kids it just takes a little longer. Just get a nice thick pad or two under her at night so you don't have to do sheets every day. I promise you "she will not be going to middle school in a pull-up"!

have you ever considered that this could be a sensory issue. my son is the opposite he was potty trained by 22 months on his own. he had NO language so he would sit by the bathroom door until i let him in. he hated being wet!!! he wont even let us wash his hair. perhaps your daughter is overly insensitive to being wet. it might not bother her at all so there is not incentive for her to stay dry. she might not even notice she is wet.
we were able to get some great tips to help him with this from an Occupational therapist. i actually asked for a referral from my pediatrician and it was no big deal at all.

I have no idea whether this is the case with your daughter but it is one idea.

good luck!!

Personally, as a long as there are no medical issues and you can rule out any emotional stress that needs to be dealt with, I wouldn't make this into an issue. It is not that uncommon for kids to still wet at night well into elementary school. Perhaps she is just still developing the muscle strength down there.

My four-year old cannot stay dry at night, and often not during naps either. If she gets busy during the day and forgets to go, she often "leaks" during the day (not a full wet, but more than a little dribble). She has never been able to hold a lot of urine in her bladder. Her 2-year old sister stays dry for long periods of time. Kids develop differently.

So, I would continue to encourage her to visit the bathroom frequently and matter-of-factly have her change her clothes on her own when accidents happen. Don't get upset about it, just make it her responsibility.

Sooner or later the peer pressure from friends is going to motivate her to make sure she stays dry all day!

Good luck, and wishing you the patience that we moms need!

If there's nothing medically wrong with her and she refused to go to the potty and pees in her pants, then I'd make her wear pull ups 24/7. I guarantee you that she won't want to wear them around her friends or at school and maybe she'll wise up. It's probably a control thing. Take control back. Tell her that she HAS to wear them from now on, until she can prove she doesn't need them (3 days dry, etc).

However, it is possible that she can't help it overnight, so don't make a big deal out of that.

Have you tried taking her to a chiropractor? I've heard sometimes that works.

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