He Peed AGAIN!!!

Updated on January 24, 2010
P.P. asks from Brookfield, IL
10 answers

Okay, I'm at a loss, mamas. My 3 and a half year old son has been using the potty for a little under a year. I knew when we brought our baby home 4 months ago that there would be some regression and we would likely have to deal with some peeing in his pants (among other things) as he learned to adapt to the new person in our family. However, he is getting progressively worse every day. It started out where he would be fine all day long at day care, but when he got home, he'd pee in his pants. That changed to peeing in his pants twice after we got home at the end of the day. Now he's having accidents at school, as well. And today he's peed in his pants 5 times!!! My husband and I have tried many different approaches to deal with this; from letting him sit in his wet pants, to telling him to go up to his room and change his clothes, to making him wash (in the sink) the wet pants and underpants, to taking priveledges away (like watching TV), to letting him know that we're disappointed, to just not saying anything at all when it happens. The boy has no more clean pants or underpants - one more accident today and he'll be running around the house in his birthday suit! Does anyone have any suggestions at all???

I should have mentioned in my first post that we DO praise him immensely when he is dry after a specified period of time. He was getting a treat (and lots of praise) if he stayed dry all morning, and another treat (and lots more praise) if he stayed dry from nap to bedtime, and a bonus treat if he stayed dry all day. My husband and I I think are very good at making sure he is not deprived of attention (although with a new baby, there is no way to keep up the level of attention he received pre-baby brother). And our policy is to praise the good and do our best to ignore the bad. So I didn't even put that in my first post because I figured it goes without saying that we've tried that route before anything else.

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answers from Chicago on

Do not punish him. Kids often regress after bringing home a new baby. I think it's a cry for extra attention. Instead of punishing him, try praising him when he doesn't mess his pants at school or at home. Some kids respond better that way. Maybe set aside extra special time when he does a good job. Let him know, if he does a good job for a week, you'll do something special with him like go somewhere he enjoys or take him for ice cream or something do a puzzle with him.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Do not punish him. He may be trying to get attention form you and this is the only way he knows how to do it rght now. He is still very little. Put him back in diapers or pullups and continue like you did when he was first trying to potty train. I guarantee in 15 years when he walks across that stage in his graduation robe he will not be peeing in his pants.

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answers from Chicago on

Oh Mama, Please please plaase don't make an issue out of this with him! I did with my daughter at the same age, and I regret it so much. He does not mean to do this. Go back to diapers or pull ups unitl he is consistantly dry, and don't say anything that might him feel bad or embarrassed about it. This is not a moral issue, or one of rebellion. With those issues, we should act quickly and firmly. But this isn't it! Please be patient with him- I promise this will stop. My daughter is now 18 and hasn't peed in her pants for a really long time! (ok- we did get to laughing really hard that one time last fall...) Blessings- N.



answers from Detroit on

I would suggest ignore the bad behavior.. as mcuh as you can so he gets very little attention for wet pants..

just have him change himself and move on..

or .. go back to potty training mode.. set the timer and make him pee on the potty every 30 minutes.. just liek that first day you were training him..

hopefully that will be boring enought that he starts using the potty ..


answers from Chicago on

I would rule out urinary tract infection first. I agree with the others that you should ignore the wets (go change yourself, you know how) and praise him when he's dry. Maybe read him an extra book in the evening (just you and him) if he has no accidents all day.

With everything, this too shall pass. Patience!



answers from Chicago on

I see you tried versions of this, tell him, there are the clean pants, and you can change them when you are ready. Here are the places you will be permitted to be when this happens. Floor, chair with plastic, etc. If you choose to keep wet pants you will be uncomfortable.Then drop it. It may be uncomfortable for you for awhile to see this, but it may just work. I want to point out that my children got very busy at times and wet their pants - not a bad thing. They were just busy. And if you want to know something else, my husband wets the bed sometimes. He gets into a very deep sleep and does this sometimes. It may not be a new baby issue or a jealousy issue or a control issue as so many seem to claim. It is perhaps good old fashioned unawaredness and that my friend happens sometimes to the best of us.



answers from Portland on

I would go back to having him go potty often, especially right after school if that is a common occurrence. Also talk with the teacher and make sure they understand the changes at home and ask them to remind him to go potty (as in "It's time to go potty" and make him try to go).

I agree with the other posters that you do not want to be punative, but rather find ways to do some positive reinforcement. Maybe when you remind him to go potty and he does give him a treat or put a sticker on a chart . . .I would try all those things again rather than punishing him.



answers from Washington DC on

Have you had him checked for a UTI? That was my first thought. Especially since its now happening at school.



answers from Houston on

Have you read any articles on how to deal with regressive behavior and helping big brother deal with his new baby sibling? If not I suggest you do some research online.

He is acting out as a way to get attention. He is obviously feeling left out or unimportant. Punishing him for this may actually be having a detrimental effect rather than helping. He is also very young to be potty trained so that may be a factor as well.

I would suggest more positive reinforcement. Praise and rewards for good behavior. Make sure that you let him know he is special because he is the big brother and as the big brother he needs to be helpful etc. See if you can communicate to him at his level that as the big brother and a big boy he gets to do things that the baby can't.

Good luck, I'm sure this is a phase and you will find a way to work through it. (For now you may want to get some pull ups!)



answers from Portland on

You describe the negative actions you take when your son pees in his pants. I'm sure you also show and tell him often how much he means to you, and that he's still an important part of the family. But he may need more positive attention, and less stress on his failures.

Most emotional and many physical behaviors are strategies (often unsuccessful) to get a need fulfilled. If this were my grandboy (just 4yo), I'd find many ways to ask him what he needs. Since kids this young can seldom answer that question directly, I'd try some make-believe games (puppets or stuffed toys can work well) and play some "family situations." Then I'd watch his responses. It's a great way to get clues about what's going on with him. He may just need more reassurance.

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