My 6 Year Old Keeps Peeing Her Pants...

Updated on April 02, 2007
J.C. asks from Santa Rosa, CA
15 answers

Ok so I am in a little bit of a bind. My little girl is going through a phase. I don't know why, and I don't know what to do about it. I think it may be becuase we are expecting a little one in August. I'm 20 weeks pregnant, just starting to show, we find out the sex today. She always talks excitedly about it, but at the same time she is also being EXTREMELY clingy, and now the peeing the pants thing. We had a small issue with it before but it stopped. I don't remember how or why. Now its back. I assumed that its becuase she is playing and having fun and doesn't want to pause it to go to the potty, but at the same time it happens so much I am lost and confused.

Today she also was complaining of a sore back, and tummy ache, but when I told her that she'd have to come to the office with me, she was extactic, so I am sure it isn't real. She wants to be with me all the time.

I know its the pregnancy and baby on the way, but what do I do, to get her to calm down, and get her to STOP peeing her pants!

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone. After a few more days of monitoring her, and dr. appointment she is fine. No infections. She has grown ever more clingy, which makes me certain its attention. The other day when she peed her pants I ignored her, and let her sit in them as if there was nothing wrong, made her go out in public with me (you couldn't really see it), but I think she's better. Its been several days and she hasn't peed her pants since. She is now instead of trying to get attention in a negative form, asking for it directly. Thank you all again.

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answers from Bakersfield on

Take her to the doctor to get tested for a bladder/kidney infection. She has all of the symptoms of one.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi I may not have a 6 year old but my sister has the same job and my nice will act out. I know this sounds cruel but give it a try. First take her to the doctor. Call a head and let them now what is going on say that she has said that her back and her tummy hurt. (She could just be copying your symptoms if your back and stomach hurt.) Let her know that it is not a joke to make stuff up have the doctor ask her why she is peeing her self. Sometimes kids will open up more to other people. My niece loves to talk to me about her mom. Then Go out and get the biggest pair of pull ups you can make her ware them (on the weekend) see what happens. Yes she is just wanting some attention. This is going to happen but let her know that she is a big girl and mommy will need her help to change dippers, may get to feed the baby. Let her know that she is going to be involved. And if you can take her with you to work spend as much time as you can with her and dad too she really is looking for attention and if she gets in trouble when she pees her pants that is just attention bad attention so get her out of that now it only gets worse. To know that she can do something that you and dad don’t like and you pay attention to her. I hope this helps have a good day



answers from Las Vegas on

I've gone through this with my daugher too, and it was a result of her not wanting to stop doing what she was doing to go to the bathroom. You might want to take her to the doctor just the same though, as a backache and tummy ache could mean a bladder or kidney infection. It wouldn't hurt to check it out, and if it's not an infection the pediatrician may be able to help find out what the problem is. I know my daughter has been accused of "faking" before because she'll complain she doesn't feel well even as she's zooming off on her bicycle. When I've taken her to the ped, it turns out she really does have something wrong with her. If it's not medical, I'd follow the advice of the other moms, put her in pull-ups and ease her transition to big sister as best you can.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.! I see that you've gotten some really good advice so far. What I would add is just the "how" to go about it all. Do take her to the doctor and have her checked out for the bladder infection. Ask about the diabetes -- just to put your mind at ease. And above all, just keep it low key with your daughter.

Whether she is seeking attention or not (and yes this is possible), she will quickly learn that this gets her attention if too much fuss is made of it all. Just stay calm, confident, cheerful as you can. Get the all clear from the doctor, remind her to use the toilet before you go out places, and etc. But above all, act like it's no big deal.

Then make a point of giving her attention at other times during the day. Snuggle time with a special book or video. Make a "date" to have lunch or dinner someplace special together. That kind of thing. Find time to talk to her about the new role she'll have in the family, emphasizing what a special and important person she'll be to the new baby. And how much you appreciate having such a big girl to keep you company, help with little jobs, etc. But most of all, get her talking to you. Ask what she thinks it will be like, how she thinks a big sister can help, how babies act -- even how she thinks the two of you can find time for each other once the baby comes.

The biggest thing this accomplishes, besides simply giving her your attention, is that it will reassure her that you are listening to her, and are responsive to her needs. This will hand her some sense of being in control. Which is something that often feels threatened when a big change comes along that we can't stop.

Finding new "big girl" privelages and responsiblities that she can have may help too. Even if it's little things like helping you set the table, decide what to have for dinner on Saturday nights, and so on. You might even invite her to help you make choices on decorating for the baby or buying special toys for the baby. Naturally you don't have to give her total control, just "Do you think the baby would like this one... or that one?" I did this with my youngest daughter when I was pregnant with my son and she was just thrilled. Helping to decorate and set up the nursery area got her really anticipating his arrival. And it got her to see it more as something that was "hers", something she was actively participating in and helping happen. As opposed to something that was just happening TO her.

Hope this helps! Best wishes to all of you.



answers from San Francisco on

Have you taken her to the doctor yet? Complaining about back pain makes me want to consider ruling out kidney infection. If you rule out medical issues then it may just be the normal regression that can occur if a little one is on the way. A friend of mine is experiencing this regression with her son and is about to deliver. He is hitting, pouring food on the floor etc. This is not his normal behavior. For peace of mind I would have her checked at the doctor though. Good luck.



answers from San Luis Obispo on

Dear J.,

Yesssssss she is feeling insecure because of the baby, remember you are her total love and she is afraid of having to share you. She is a little girl, for goodness sake. Remember that please, give her lots of time and hugs and just sitting in your lap. Of course she felt better coming to work with you, she would beeee with you. She will stop being clingy and peeing when she is convinced that you will still be her beloved mother and that you have enough love to share and still have more too.

My grandson and his wife are getting a true baby doll for their oldest daughter with tiny diapers and a little blanket, etc. so that she can be a Mom too and get used to having a 'baby' around.
Read her books about new babies in the home, go to the library, you do not have to buy the books, and you have a better group to choose from She would also love to go to the library with you and be the center of your world for a bit.
Good luck, C. N.



answers from Los Angeles on

I have a six year old too. She does not pee her pants but here's a few ideas we used when she was.

After months & months of potty training I put her back in pull-ups, after about two weeks she was all set. She did not like them, the wet feeling and they are not as cute as panties (even with the pictures). I know it may seem like a step back but it may help her though this time.

As far as her "needing" you, try one on one time. I know its hard with work, house work and the pregnancy but you'll be surprised what one activity will do. I try to do at least one thing each night with mine, game, reading a book, coloring, etc. She has even taken to chores with a chore log and if she does them all for a week I take her to get a treat.

feel free to message me. Good luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

First off, dont mean to be rude to others, but this is clearly a case of wanting attention. She realizes she is not going to be the only child around now. Before she had all of you and your husbands attention 100% to herself. Now she realizes she's going to have share that attention with someone else. Keep her involved with helping you pick things out for the baby. Ask her if she will read stories to the baby now b/c the baby can hear her. When the baby does arrive, keep her just as involved with helping change the diaper, bathing and once a week she needs time alone just with you and then just with her dad. Hope this helps!



answers from Las Vegas on

Get your daughter to a doctor immediately and have her tested for diabetes. Frequent urination, excessive thirst, body aches, and stomach problems are all symptoms of diabetes. Type 1 or juvenile diabetes is an auto immune disease that usually presents in early childhood and is NOT related to diet, exercise, or even heredity. Many children end up critically ill in diabetic ketoacidosis (which can lead to coma or death) because parents don't recognize the symptoms or doctors misdiagnose it as a behavior issue or other non critical problem. I doo't want to scare you but I do want to drive home the point that this is very serious and needs immediate attention. we didn't recognize the symptoms in our daughter, who was 2 at the time, until she was so sick that she had to spend 6 days in hospital once the doctor realized what was wrong. Please don't ignore this. Your child's life could be at stake. For more info on this you can visit or You may also email me privately at [email protected]



answers from San Diego on

Hello well you can try a couple of things one cut down on how
much she drinks and ask her to take breaks to use the rest room. But most of all tell her how special she is and that shes your first born becsuse belive me you will be glad you
did because she will not feel as if shes been replaced by the new baby. Good luck take care. T.



answers from Los Angeles on

To J. C.,
I am a mother of 4 and I also have a six year old daughter who pees her pants. She doesn't do it all the time, just when there are major changes going on like when I was pregnate with my 2 year old. And we just went through it in September when school started and she went into the first grade, which meant all day at school. I really believe its an emotional need to get extra attention. We all react differently to changes and you just have to be patient and I know that when she goes through this. I just give her extra love and I let her know how special she is to me and that no matter what no one and nothing will change this. And I plan a little extra one on one fun. Usually seems to help and we get back to normal. Hope this helps if you want to talk to me more. Please feel free to email me at: [email protected]



answers from Los Angeles on

I woudl head straight to the doctor IMMEDIATELY! Peeing pants & a sore back are nothing to ignore. She may have a bladder infection or UTI that has traveled to her kidneys.

My 4.5 you dd was wetting her pants & I thought the SAME thing.....until she CRIED to pee....boy did I feel awful. I headed straight away to the doc but I regret even waiting so long that she was in such pain.

Also make sure she is drinking tons of water & cranberry juice.



answers from Los Angeles on

Actually, while part of it might be a bit of jealousy, if she does have a sore back and a tummy ache it could be a bladder or kidney infection



answers from Los Angeles on

I have a 7 and a 4 year old. My oldest was potty trained before her sister came along. She was a very independant girl. Once her sister came, she became VERY clingy and needy and the accidents began. She still has accidents evry couple of months. I notice that when she has them, its for 3 reasons: 1) something is going on in her life - added stress or new changes. 2) She wants attentiona dn she fgures "negative" attention is better than no attention. 3)She is so busy playing that she doesn't want to stop then when its too late she runs to the bathroom.
I have also had her complain about "this hurts or that hurts". None of her complains were valid. They were cries for attention. one time I took her to the ER. After a $100 co-payment and 2 hour wait, she admitted nothing was wrong. (Boy was I pissed!)
I have had her checked for any kidney infections and she's all clear.
I know life is crazy for you now, but try setting up and 1 on 1 day for just the 2 of you doing something she likes. Don't bring up the baby.
Also, for the time being, remind her every 30 minutes that she she has to go potty, its OK to stop what she's doing to go.
Good luck!



answers from Sacramento on

double the amount of times you take her to the bathroom, until shes had enough. then maybe she will voice her fears about being replaced. then, of course you can reassure her of her place in the world and she will be okay

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