15 answers

Six-year-old Daughter Won't Stop Peeing Pants--need Help/advice

Please give me any advice on what works to help my daughter to stop peeing her pants. She does it at least once a day and claims she doesn't feel it. I have talked to a doctor and she said to time her every 2 hours and make her go. This didn't work and now she is in first grade all day. She doesn't do it at school, just when she is playing. It takes all my patience to not get mad! Any tips or advice on what has worked for you if you've had this problem?
Also, she still wears a pull-up at night. I keep waiting for it to be dry and it never is!

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So What Happened?™

I was so impressed with the informative responses I received. All of the responses helped increase my knowledge and really helped the situation. I ended up having her wash her own underwear once, and also I don't react at all like I used to. I also changed the words I used to "Are you clean and dry?" Instead of "Did you pee your pants again?" There has been a vast improvement but mostly the advice has helped me deal with the problem much better than I was. I plan on getting the nighttime beeper that goes off when she turns 7 for the nighttime bed wetting. As for the day, it is rare that she has an accident. Thank you so much for taking the time to teach, inform and share your experiences! I truly appreciated each and every one. J.

Featured Answers

I have glanced at the responses and while it very possibly could be a medical problem and something that you might want to have looked at, I am also wondering if it is behavioral. The fact that she doesn't do it at school does suggest some control over things. My thoughts are to stay non-reactive and calmly empathize with her that that must feel pretty yucky, but then she needs to clean up whatever is made messy by wetting herself. Teach her to use the washing machine and dryer and do her own laundry associated with the clean up and if she needs to clean upholstery or carpeting, show her how the first time and then it should be her responsibility from there on out. I am wondering if the clean up and the attention that comes from that is what she is wanting. Provide attention in other positive manners. And ask her when she has an accident free day, how does that make her feel and celebrate that with her.

I know that when my own daughter kept wetting the bed at night, she quickly stopped once it became her responsibility to clean up her bedding and remake her bed at 2am by herself.

Good luck!

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The night wetting may be something else (or just late development). But here's some perspective... I vividly remember wetting whenever I was playing. Playing was too fun, didn't care about wetting--after all, it just meant changing clothes, but quite honestly I didn't care about being wet, either. I'm guessing I wet everyday during the first grade--during playtime. Come second grade, the last time I remember wetting was in the lunch room, which was embarrassing, and it never happend again.
So... for what it's worth, who cares? I have great self esteem, graduated from college, I'm raising 4 great kids... I have lots of patience and understanding for kids who just might not care yet. This probably doesn't help "solve" your dilemma, but if you rule out any underlying medical problem, perhaps she'll outgrow it on her own. hang in there!

1 mom found this helpful

I have glanced at the responses and while it very possibly could be a medical problem and something that you might want to have looked at, I am also wondering if it is behavioral. The fact that she doesn't do it at school does suggest some control over things. My thoughts are to stay non-reactive and calmly empathize with her that that must feel pretty yucky, but then she needs to clean up whatever is made messy by wetting herself. Teach her to use the washing machine and dryer and do her own laundry associated with the clean up and if she needs to clean upholstery or carpeting, show her how the first time and then it should be her responsibility from there on out. I am wondering if the clean up and the attention that comes from that is what she is wanting. Provide attention in other positive manners. And ask her when she has an accident free day, how does that make her feel and celebrate that with her.

I know that when my own daughter kept wetting the bed at night, she quickly stopped once it became her responsibility to clean up her bedding and remake her bed at 2am by herself.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My son had the same issue. He would stay dry at school because he didn't want to be teased but just didn't care if he was wet at home. It seemed like through out first grade it got better and now he hardly ever wets during the day unless we are somewhere unfamiliar and he is to busy playing to find a bathroom.

I would just say hang in there. Try not to get angry but just make her put the wet clothes in the laundry every time she wets.

With the night time wetting my pediatrician said they usually outgrow it for sure by the time they are 12. He didn't feel like any testing was necessary since my son can stay dry all day. He just recommended keeping him in the pull ups until he is motiviated to stay dry and wants to try, he said the alarms and things don't really work until they have a desire to do it and follow through.

Anyway I know how frustrating this issue can be. Good luck to you. Just be patient and she will probably outgrow it.

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My thoughts are that either it's a medical problem, which others have spoken to, and your doctor can help you sort out; OR it's more of a behavioral issue.

If she is reacting to your getting angry, the first thing I would do is be completely NON-REACTIVE. I would have her wear pullups during the day and night. Eventually, she will not want to wear them any longer, and she'll stop doing it, if it's a matter of choice or gaining attention.

You said you're a health nut - you might also try the homeopathic tablets for bedwetting by Hylands. (see http://www.pottytrainingconcepts.com/BedWetting-Tablets.html)

I have not used these, but I've used many other homeopathic remedies and they are FANTASTIC - completely safe, with no side effects whatsoever. Either they will work or they won't, but they will not harm your child in any case.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

This is probably not much advise but more of a statement that you aren't alone. My 5 yr old son still has wetting issues during the day. He can usually stay dry at school, but at home he just doesn't care. It is something that we still struggle with every day. I really try to reward him when he has a day without wetting and not get frustrated or mad when he does wet, but it is so aggravating! You've gotten good posts with advice, so just hang in there and know that you are not alone.

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While it's not uncommon for a 6 year old to be wetting the bed, the fact that she is having daytime accidents on a regular basis could be an indicator of somethinng going on. I would talk to the doctor again. If she brushes it off as nothing, get a second opinion. It could very well be nothing at all (or minor emotional challenges that can be overcome without too much difficulty, if handled well), but for your peace of mind, it would be a good idea to rule out physical causes first.

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If going to the pediatrician, you may want to see a urologist. Could be overactive bladder, or undersized bladder. One thing my dr. told me is to make her drink alot during the day. This forces the bladder to get fuller and make her go more often, instead of trying to go when nothing in there. Sometimes their bladder is too small to hold alot so makes them feel like they always have to go and so they just go with out really knowing it. Its a long process, you can always pack extra clothes in her backpack and let the teacher know if she does have an accident, she can change herself. If not they get clothes from the nurse and not always flattering attire. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

1. Ask her doctor about: Ditropan (Oxybutnin) is used to treat symptoms of overactive bladder, such as frequent or urgent urination, incontinence (urine leakage), and increased night-time urination. (expect her to be on the meds for about 3 months in connection with peeing every 2 hours while she's awake.)

2. A waterproof watch with a timer that goes off every 2 hours + a doctor's note telling her teacher she needs to be excused to use the bathroom when her watch beeps. No need to tell her friends what it's for. http://www.amazon.com/Timex-Kids-Iron-Watch-T7B211/dp/B00...

3. Panty liners reduce anxiety (which can aggravate the problem). Explain that it's just like the pads you and tons of 4th, 5th, and 6th graders wear when they have their period and no one needs to know about it. Also explain it's not a diaper or pull-up. It'll catch the first few drops that slip out but not much more.
http://www.amazon.com/Poise-Pantiliners-Case-Six-48-Count...
OR
http://www.amazon.com/Always-Pantiliner-Regular-Unscented...
4. Hot baths seem to help
5. she needs to drink more water - buy her a special water cup or remind her to drink a glass or water or gatorade every few hours.
6. If she's constipated, she needs to eat dried plumbs, or drink more apple juice or pineapple juice.

1 mom found this helpful

It always helps to know you are not alone! My 6 year old boy has had this issue since he was 3. In fact, we have never really had a time when he was not having accidents. The good news is FINALLY i think we have it resolved. You need to go to a pediatric urologist. I wish we would have gone years ago. We have tried all sorts of meds and incentives and punishments etc through the years because the pediatrician really didnt know what the problem was. According to the urologist this is a very common problem.

There are quite a few reasons that she could be having the accidents. for instance sometimes the bladder does not empty all the way during voiding, sometimes it is an anatomical problem, etc. probably your doc will make sure she doesnt have a urinary tract infection, and you may have to do a VCUG to check for anatomical problems. Our specialist put our little boy on a "pee schedule" which is helping so much, also the meds we had him on actually were making it worse. the other thing is we started rewarding him for following the schedule, instead of having a "dry day". the doc sais that rewards should be immediate as in on a daily basis. also she said that at this age kids arent too conscious of how bad it smells or the social issues that go along with the accidents, so they arent motivated by "being embarrased" about it, that really doesnt happen till like age 8 or 9. She also said that kids who are bright and active and imaginitive have this issue commonly because they are so involved in what they are doing, they dont want to stop and use the potty.

Anyways, sorry this is so long, but long story short PAY THE COPAY go to the pediatric urologist asap, they will be able to help you find out specifically what the issue is and how to tackle it. Like I said, we should have gone years ago, life would have been better for the whole family!! Good luck!!
P.S. I forgot to mention that our doc also said that most of the time once you resolve the daily accidents a lot of the time the nightime wetting will stop as well. so there is hope :)

1 mom found this helpful

I have absolutely no good advice for you! Just sympathy and to tell you that you are not alone! My daughter will be 7 in January and I was just getting ready to post the same thing. She did ok this summer, but now that school has started she has had "damp" panties and shorts the last two days. And pull ups at night. Our doctor said until she is 7 not to worry about it? She does have a watch that beeps every hour to remind her to go. SOmetimes it works. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

We have finally conquered bedwetting with our 7-year-old son. We used a Malam bedwetting alarm and it took, in total, almost three months, but he can finally go to bed without a Pull-Up and feel confident he'll either get up if he needs to use the restroom or wake up in the morning clean and dry. I know bedwetting is not exactly your issue, but I thought I'd mention our positive experience. I found the information at the Web site www.bedwettingstore.com very useful--it's not solely a sales pitch and will help you understand if a drug therapy is appropriate, or if an alarm would be useful.
I second the recommendation to see a *pediatric* urologist. It's likely this is a developmental issue and it's important not to freak out, although I know the extra laundry is maddening. Getting a couple of waterproof overlays that tuck in on the sides of the bed saved my sanity--I didn't have to re-make the whole bed.
My son hated using the bathroom at school and would often try to "hold it" for the entire day. I would just insist he use the toilet when I picked him up if we needed to run errands before going home, or had him use the toilet before having a snack or starting to play right when we got home. I use scheduling suggestions a lot--it's not exactly bribing, I don't think-- and say things like "I'd love to do puzzles with you! Go use the toilet and wash your hands so you can be clean and comfortable to do puzzles with me," or "Use the toilet and put your shoes on so we can go to the park." This has helped my children remember to use the toilet regularly--I really think life is so fun and interesting they don't want to miss anything, and take a chance on having an accident. Your child may "hold it" all day and then need to use the toilet more often to make up for that.
When I was teaching my children to use the toilet as toddlers, I remember getting a lot of mileage out of the book "Toilet Train Your Child in Just One Day" by Azrin. The approach was really positive (although it took more than one day the way I did it) and emphasized small, random incentives for staying "clean and dry." ("Are you clean and dry? Here, you can have a sip of this box juice because you know how to stay clean and dry!" and then more fluid or rather salty snacks naturally leads to more opportunities to practice regular toilet use.) Perhaps that could be useful.
Another thing I learned from the book "Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness" is that constipation and urination issues are often linked. Some researchers think it's because a chronically backed-up colon rubs against the bladder and reduces the child's sensitivity to the urge to urinate. Increasing fiber and/or using a stool softener such as Miralax can help reduce constipation as an underlying factor. That book was very informative and I recommend it; it had a lot of data I haven't seen anywhere else and is very medically accurate.
Hang in there. You are welcome to message me if you have any questions about how we used the nighttime alarm. It has been wonderful to have dry nights! Best wishes to you.

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My seven year old daughter has this issue as well. She rarely wets at school, but at home is a whole nother story, and we put her back in a pull up at night. Things we've tried: incentives, charts, consequences, increasing fiber, increasing fluids, vibrating watch alarm to have her go at regular intervals, urologist (he ruled out physical problems), medications for over active bladder, medication that affects the bladder neck. Next we're going to try therapy and chiropractor. If those don't work I'll be doing some more (sigh) research to see if there is anything else we can try. Best of luck to you.

Did not read all the responses, but she may NOT feel it. My youngest daughter has sensory integration issues- not the type where the person avoids stimulation, but the opposite end of the spectrum where they seek it out. She has it fairly mildly, so we were unaware of it until she was about 7 or so. Anyway, that was one of the issues. I have no idea if this could be going on with your daughter of course, but I wonder if you are seeing any other signs of this in her. Kids with this tend to not notice some stimulation, and they seek it out to wake up their brain. My daughter did all of the following: Dressed opposite of the weather if given the choice, rough with pets and people -not trying to hurt them, just too enthusiastic- bumping into things on purpose, spinning, craved chewing gum more thsn the typical kid, lots of humming- and of course, not noticing the need to go to the restroom until the last second and often not making it. She also did better with it in school, but I think that was because of the structure. She had many close calls in public places as well. If you see some of these types of sensory-seeking behaviors in your daughter, it might be a good idea to bring it up to the doctor and look at having her evaluated. If this is what's going on, occupational therapy can work wonders. At 10, my daughter is like a different child. She still loves sensory stimulation, but she is calmer and has better self-control. She stopped having accidents by the age of 8 and deals with her SI by chewing lots of gum, swinging and spinning on our tire swing and swimming as often as she can. Obviously this may not be at all what your daughter's issue is, but I wanted to put this possibility out there and let you know that if this does fit that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Good luck, I hope you get this figured out soon!

Maybe try and get her out of the pull up at night? Maybe because she is in a pull up and peeing at night it is contributing to some of the accidents? My daughter's pull ups had been wet and then one night she was accidently left in underwear by my husband (it ended up being a happy mistake) and she was dry the next day. She ended up with about 3 accidents over the next couple weeks and she has been dry since. We were also having problems with my daughter having accidents at preschool so we made a clean and dry chart ... when she had 10 days of being clean and dry she got to pick an activity that she wanted to go do.

Good luck!
K.

When my cousin was young like your daughter she was having the same problem. Finally they discovered that she had a 2nd bladder that she had no control over. Hopefully thats not the case but it might be something to check in to.

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