3 1/2 Year Old Son Is Peeing in His Underwear All of a Sudden. Why?

Updated on April 22, 2010
S.C. asks from Arlington, TX
8 answers

My 3 1/2 year old son is having pee accidents all of a sudden. Three in the last two days to be exact. He was fully potty trained except for naps and nights. We are in the process of moving. I can only imagine what he is feeling and the change is probably what is setting back on the potty situation. Have any of you experienced this backtrack after a few months of being potty trained? Was it a result of a major change in his/her life or does this just happen under the most normal of circumstances. How did you deal with it? HELP!!!

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answers from Dallas on

Yes,my daughter was 2 and completely potty trained when we suddenly got visitation with his daughter from a previous marriage. It completely set her back and I had to train her all over.

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answers from Washington DC on

Hi S.,

I think this can happen in both major life changes, and just day-to-day, for a long while yet. My son is the same age, and he was fully potty-trained until he lost beloved grandma to cancer. Then he had accidents for a few weeks.
He was fine for a while, but then started to pee in his pants again when he started going to a new school... o_0

I am also a teacher, and I have had several four and even five year olds who have occasional accidents (some more than others), because they forget to go when they are playing, or they do it at naptime while they are sleeping...

It is fairly normal at this age, and because you are moving, that could upset your son's sense of rhythm and regularity. Hope it gets better for you.



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answers from Austin on

Mine does that when he gets involved with something he likes to do. He just doesn't want to stop. You might just watch him for signs that he has to "go" and encourage him to. I know that when we are playing in the back yard, mine will pee on the tree, but doesn't want to go inside to go.

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answers from Salt Lake City on

This same thing happened to my son...he had been completely day trained for 2 months....not one accident. Then a few weeks ago, he started wetting in his underwear 1-2 times a day....for about 2 weeks straight! It was driving me CRAZY! But then I realized that he was probably starting to train his body to go longer without peeing....most of us go a few times a day, not every 1/2 hour or hour, like children do when they are first training. I realized that he wasn't having "accidents"....he was just learning to go longer. So he would "leak" a little out and then run to the bathroom and go a ton. It took a week or two for him to figure his body out again, and now he's back to having no accidents....and he goes less often now. I hope this is the case for your son....Good luck! I understand how frustrating it can be!

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answers from Cleveland on

My potty-trained 3 yr. old just started to go pee a little bit into his pants, just enough that it soaks through his underwear and onto his pants (he has been trained since September). What I have noticed is that he has been having so much fun playing ouside since the weather has been nice, he is just plain too busy to stop and go inside to go potty!! I think he trys to hold it as long as possible because he doesn't want to interrupt his playtime to go inside.

I have since made a point to give him potty reminders and have stressed the importance of not holding it in. He seems to be having less "mini" accidents when I stop him while he is playing to tell him to go potty.

Good luck with the move. I bet once you are all settled in to your new home, he will get right back on track. I would just give him additional potty reminders in the meantime if you haven't done that already. Good luck!!

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answers from Dallas on

This is very normal. Once the child is potty trained they usually have a small set back then get back on track. Also, the move could be the main reason. Any major event can cause a set back, especially for a newly trained child. Don't worry about it and don't make him feel bad about it. Be understanding and do the same thing you did when you potty trained the first time. You may need to go back to reminding or taking him to potty every so often. My child had a very minor set back and there really was nothing to cause it (no "event"). It lasted a month or so then he was back on track. My nephew had a minor set back after having been potty trained for over a year due to his parents moving from Ohio to Texas. It also lasted about a month. Just stay calm and supportive, he'll be back to normal in no time. Good luck and God Bless!



answers from Dallas on

Yes, yes, and yes. This happens under normal circumstances. Moving might have something to do with it. Just try to maintain his routine. Try not to make a big deal about it either. Maybe a few extra potty reminders during the day. After you're settled in at your place I'm sure he will be back to normal.



answers from Dallas on

call the dr to rule out UTI's. Boys can get them too. Frequency and Urgency are the first signs.

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