My Son Is 4 and Keeps Peeing in Cups and Bottles

Updated on May 14, 2010
T.C. asks from Scottsboro, AL
7 answers

i am about to loose my mind. My son will not stop urinating in things like cups and water bottles. Any thoughts on why he would be doing this or how to stop it would be greatly appreciated. I should also add that he has severe a.d.h.d. I dont think that it's ocd because he will gladly pour it in the toilet. Maybe he is too hyper to remember to go to the bathroom until its too late to get there???

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I guess I would first try to determine whether thing is just am "I'm a boy and I can aim my pee into a bottle" thing or something else.
It could (probably unlikely) be a sign of OCD. Howard Hughes used to keep his urine and feces in bottles and he was über OCD. OCD often emerges after a major life event/change. Does that apply? Does he hoard things? Refuse to throw things away, even if they are valueless? Collect many, many things? Do anything else in a patterned, ritualistic way? If not, he's just a normal boy fascinated with his pee-pee!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

My son hides behind the recliner sometimes when he knows he has to go, even though he knows where the bathroom is and uses it. If I catch him heading in that direction I just make a big deal of racing to the bathroom instead. He comes out from behind the chair and says, "Peeing in my pants is an accident, Mommy." I would also just try to remove the temptation to pee in things (some people have to take away indoor plants because of their cats). Have water breaks, then the water goes back. I imagine he is otherwise toilet-trained--see if he is mostly interested in his aim and wants to have a dish with some stale Cheerios in the bathroom to toss in and aim at. I try to teach my kids about safety, that touching in the toilet can make them sick--try to play up that bottles and cups are for food, and urine can make us sick, so we have to keep it in the bathroom. Otherwise, no idea why he might be doing that. He might just like the control and the reaction.

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answers from Columbus on

I am not sure, but I think I would lock up all the bottles and cups until he gets over it! I would keep only what I had to have out for everyone to drink for a while and not give him any access.

Hope it goes away. Do you think it is obsessive in nature? What does your gut say?


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answers from Chicago on

Hmm, first I would try to find out just who TAUGHT him this habit! It's possible that he is just fascinated by his own ability to 'aim and squirt' but I am thinking maybe he was out somewhere without a toilet and someone told him to do this instead and now he's adopted it all the time?? Possibly try getting some of those little 'toilet targets' they use for potty training and maybe that will inspire him to try and aim IN the toilet instead!

I think you just have to limit his access to cups and water bottles, difficult as that might be. Make it clear that we go pee in the potty or bathroom- NOT anywhere else! Is he in preschool?? Surely at school they don't allow this behavior- use that as your model and tell him that it is the SAME at home. Just keep on it and good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

You might want to tell him too if he doesn't do it, you'll give him a snack or a out something to stop behavior for a bit of incentive isn't a bad thing.............tell him you need him to be a big boys, and only little boys do those types of things..........and let's hope Daddy didn't show him this trick!!!!

Good luck and hang in there.......

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answers from Norfolk on

Some boys are fascinated by the point and shoot aspect and they do it because they can. If you were living farther north, he'd be 'writing his name in the snow'. Just keep telling him the potty is where pee belongs and eventually he should lose interest in the novelty and get over it. If he ever does this, forgets, and then drinks from his water bottle (ughhh!) perhaps it might help him break the habit but I hope it doesn't come to that. Just too gross to think about.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fayetteville on

Hi, My oldest has OCD Anxiety, ADHD and SID. We have been there!! Up until he was about 6 he would pee in bottles, cups, any container, even his trash can in his room. Moving those items out only resulted in him peeing on the floor to the point that we had to remove his carpet.
Recently while talking to his Doctor we found out that most boys have peeing issues up until 12 as their body grows, and Boys who have ADHD and/or Sensory issues have greater problems because they have other things going on in there brain and often do not get the signals to register until the last minute. This made since for our son as he still at age 7 1/2 having quarter size accidents and runs to the bathroom and he is not dry at night time(once he is asleep his body is able to relax and finally release).
We had to approach him on the "Germ" issue of why we humans use toilets. I also got a poster from the school store and put up in the bathroom. Had his counselor do social stories. His new therapist suggested that we(his father) do start/stop exercises with him in the bathroom. We are hoping this will help build his muscles there and allow him to "hold it" until he can make it to a toilet.
My suggestion: work with your son on the how and why and find one bottle that he can keep "just in case". If he can go without using the "just in case" bottle then set up a reward for this new habit.
As a parent that has been there and still working on this I understand. I know it will get better. Hang in there and think like he thinks and find a solution that works for your family. Don't worry about what everyone else thinks, you know your son best; NEVER second guess that because of others.


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