15 answers

Potty Training When Child Wont 'Release' Pee

My daughter will be 3 next month. We are on our 3rd 'try' potty training. She holds her pee for hours and wont release it on the potty. She says that she 'can't' do it. She pees in her diaper when she sleeps. We have tried things like putting her hands in water, running water, offering rewards, etc. Is releasing pee a learned skill or is it something that comes with time through maturing? Her dr said to wait 4 more months and then try again. She will be approaching 3.5 by then and it seems like understands what's going on now-- except how to release. This is so difficult b/c we only have a couple of opportunities each day when her bladder is so full that she releases it by accident. We try to get her to drink, but she still seems to hold it forever. She seems to do this naturally (when not training) and mostly wets and poops in her sleep. Any advice? Thanks.

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Thanks for the great advice. I am wondering how to 'take it slowly'. Putting her on the potty throughout the day generally doesnt work b/c she holds it so much. Yesterday we spent a ton of time in the bathroom between 11 and 2:30 waiting for her to go. She generally goes around 12:30 or 1 PM but we never know exactly when. Even when she's not training, she usually just goes in her sleep. Im just wondering how she's going to get up to 15 or so 'hits' b/c it is so difficult to catch her at a time when she has to go.

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My daughter was around 3.5 when she pottie trained. It was when she was ready, not me. When I finally gave up and said, "there is the potty, please try to use it" (she was running around in underwear) then I left her alone, and she was almost instantly pottie trained! I heard the less stress you put on them, then they do it. I don't know, but it seemed to do wonders for my daughter. Good Luck.

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My little sister did the same thing during her potty training... my parents would pour water over her privates and she would just let go...

2 moms found this helpful

I would listen to the doctor. Let it go for now. Take it up again when she is ready. I'm sure she understands what is going on, but by what you say it might just be a power struggle by this point. It sounds like she is really stressed out if she is only voiding in her sleep. Is there some reason that you "need" her to be trained? Otherwise, let it go.

1 mom found this helpful

Your sweetpea, I garantee you, will not be pee-ing her britches in the 3rd grade. My DD was a little late too. She is a singleton that does not go to day care. I just waited and encouraged. One day,,,,,boom!!!...she went!!!
Give it time, dont listen to "bad-mouthing" of those around you....when you are calm...those nuggets are calm!!!
She will go before you know it!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Maybe it is too late for this.....but I am doing what I call "stress free" potty training. I have been putting my son on the potty since he was a little over 2. No pressure....just sit for awhile. We started by doing it ONE time a day, then 2 and so on. I have TONS of books by the potty, toys that are only used when on the potty. I let him sit as long as he wants. He finally just caught on....started peeing/pooping in the potty. He will be 3 in Sept....and he pees/poops in the potty about 60% of the attempts. Now he is starting to tell me when he has to go. I am really not expecting him to be fully trained until he is 3.5.

My advice....try this stress free approach....until she gets how to release on command. Don't make it a big push, but just part of your everyday routine.

Try putting her on the potty after her bath......my son goes after his bath about 80% of the time....it kinda surprises me that he would hold it during his bath, and then go afterward....but he does.

Lastly.....if you have ANY friends who are trying to train their kid.....when your daughter is ready (and their child is ready), spend the weekend together with both of your kids in underware. I also have 1.5year old son who is a bit advance for his age (IMO), and I have started putting him on the potty when I put my older son on the potty. They get REALLY competitive. I make a HUGE deal when they go on the potty (yes, singing, dancing, spinning them in the air, basicly being crazy), and they get REALLY jealous when they see their sibling getting attention......if one brother goes, the other brother will go after seeing the big celebration. I really didn't think that they would "compete" but they kinda do.....peer pressure exists even with tiny kiddos.

Best luck.

1 mom found this helpful

The book Once Upon A Potty is great. They have a version for boys and one for girls. We started reading it when my son was on a potty training break. He was 3 years 4 months by the time he finally figured it out. The Mom who said kids are competitive about potty training was really right on. Dr Phil (take him or leave him) has a method where you get a favorite doll or stuffed animal and put her on the potty. Then you cheer for the doll for using the potty and give lots of praise and wear party hats and celebrate with cake for the doll. When your child sees all the attention the doll gets, she'll want to steal the spotlight. Then you can celebrate and eat cake for her achievement! No pressure really is best.

This is the one place kids really do control things and they won't fall in line on your timeline, only theirs so relax. Don't let other family/friends she should be trained by now. It's 100% up to her so give her the time and space to do it on her own.

It sounds like you've been doing everything right! Remember that she's not even 3 yet. Most studies on potty training show that though some kids are earlier and some are later, on average they end up mostly successful at about 3 or a little later. So don't worry too much about it at the moment if your doctor thinks there's no physical problem. Your doctor may have had this thought in mind by suggesting taking a short break before trying again. If we stress the child about it before they are ready developmentally, they will feel bad about the task and about disappointing you. That feeling could make them want to avoid the challenge completely and make them get the idea that they just aren't able to do it.

Try backing off your explicit suggestions for her, while integrating a regular potty time into her day. About 1/2 hour after breakfast and dinner are usually good times when her body might be sending signals she hasn't wanted to hear. Have her go and sit on the toilet for 10 minutes. She doesn't have to do anything--take away the performance anxiety! But sit with her and read her a story or two. It's important that this not reduce the time she gets for an enjoyable activity. If she has siblings, they must not, for example, be watching a video at this time. Otherwise, she will think that this potty time is making her miss something fun. It's not punishment, after all. If she is successful, give her lots of praise. If not, make no comment about it except to thank her for sitting so patiently. This regular potty time has to be every day, including holidays or weekends or at grandma's house.

Your question about releasing pee is a good one. Many kids (even grown-ups) have trouble relaxing enough in a public restroom, for example, to go when traveling or at school. By age 3, most kids (but not 100%) can control these muscles. But like all muscles, it takes exercise to train them. Before she can start, she has to relax about it to let it happen naturally. At the moment, this is when she's asleep. For additional support, visit www.GoodNites.com.

Try sitting her at determined times, just after she wakes up in the morning, 15-20 minutes after meals, before and after naps, and just before going to bed at night.. This could give you a clue of her schedule. Also try putting her on pretty panties, princesses or Disney characters or any other she likes. NO PULLUPS. EVER. Good luck
Did you ever watch the Kate plus 8 episode where she sat the sextuplets on their potty chairs until they peed?--one of them for about 30 minutes? Pure torture.

If she can hold it, then she is physically mature enough to be potty trained. But her not wanting to go, means she's not mentally ready. Try to relax and not pressure her. She needs to feel relaxed and not stressed herself before she'll be ready to "let go". Don't let anyone else bother you either. I know sometimes other parents feel the need to point out when it's "normal" to be done. But there is a wide range of normal. I wouldn't say stop and wait altogether given that she is mature enough, but just take it extra slow. Ask her if she wants to go and encourage her to sit for a few minutes after meals and before bed. But if she doesn't go, then she doesn't, no biggie. She will get it when she's ready and be fine. My kids were 2 1/2, 3, 3, and 18 months. My niece was 4.

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