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Previously toilet trained 3 year old suddenly having daily 'accidents'

(20 Posts)
AdamantEve Tue 16-Sep-14 13:46:41

My 3 year old DD has been toilet trained for 9 months and after the initial few weeks, she has had no toileting accidents.

However in the last 4 weeks or so she has been wetting herself multiple times each day. Most of the time this occurs when she's standing right in front of the toilet, so it's as though she just isn't getting there in time. She is wetting herself both at home and nursery.

Nothing has changed in her life so there are no obvious reasons like stress etc. I have taken a urine sample to the GP in case it was an infection but it was clear.

She will often sit in damp underwear rather than say she's wet, so her skin is starting to get red and irritated. I am asking constantly if she needs the toilet.
She drinks loads and often can need another wee 5 minutes after her last so does need to use the bathroom a lot. Could it be diabetes related? We have no family history of it.

Has anyone's child regressed like this? How long did it last and what did you do, if anything? Thank you for any ideas.

OP’s posts: |
AdamantEve Tue 16-Sep-14 17:49:11


OP’s posts: |
lizandlulu Tue 16-Sep-14 19:12:45

Yes my dd did regress. She wanted to wear pants at 2.2 so I went with it,and after weeks of daily accidents she did get on we'll nod went a few weeks without an accident. Then when she was abut 2.8 she started weeping again, much to my frustration.

Apparently it's just a phase, dds nursery said it's quite common and they do regress. I just tried to sty calm with hr,not to make an issue of it, and now she hasn't had an accident for weeks.

I hope it passes for you soon x

lizandlulu Tue 16-Sep-14 19:13:28

Sorry just read that back And the mistakes are terrible!!

She started weeing, not weeping!

Givemecaffeine21 Tue 16-Sep-14 19:22:14

I trained my DD at 20 months at her instigation and she is now 26 months. She's done well but every few weeks she'll have a week or so of accidents. It really bugs me because I ask if she needs to and she insists she doesn't then wets herself 10 minutes later. So I end up taking charge and telling her to go.....But then she isn't learning to listen to her body. She tells me she needs to go about 70% of the time.

I'll be honest, often it seems to be laziness, because she's playing with her cousins and doesn't want to stop. If I make no fuss, she will keep doing it sometimes 3 times a day. If I tell her off, the accidents stop .....this totally goes against the grain of not making a big deal of accidents though so I'm really confused! The not making a big deal hasn't worked for me at all!

Bessiebigpants Tue 16-Sep-14 19:24:37

Is she sitting long enough to finish her wee properly.Some bright/nosey little ones don't fully empty their bladders just take the top off so to speak hence the accidents.You could encourage her to do a twirl if it's safe ie her tights are not around her ankles.Basically do her wee,get up do a twirl and sit back down to finish off this causes any wee caught in bladder ridges to come down and encourages children to empty fully.Another common problem is constipation,Is she pooing once a day a soft sausage like poo because a bowel full of poo presses down and can cause wee accidents.Also bribery use a star chat for dry pants minimise the wet and choose a sensible reward together.Hope this helps.

mathanxiety Tue 16-Sep-14 19:26:10

Busy little girl syndrome.

Try to conduct dry undies checks -- ask her to check if her undies are dry about every half hour. It will seem like nagging, but try to keep it lighthearted. You are aiming to tell her that keeping dry is better than being all wet. There could be a little bribe at the end of the day for a day with dry undies. Or a sticker. Do high fives if the undies are dry, and a hug for getting to the loo on time. This is positive attention for desirable results.

If she has an accident, support her in a spirit of kindness and very gently, but have her do all wet clothing removal with maybe a little help from you, then have her mop the floor using windolene and paper towel, and have her put her wet things in a laundry basket and put on new clothes after wiping herself with a baby wipe. Accidents shouldn't lead to more attention of the babying variety. The general aim is to keep moving forward into Big Girl land, and taking care of yourself and the mess after an accident, with gentle support from a parent, reinforces that.

Do some practice runs after each accident. Go back to the game or wherever she was when she had the accident or when she first set off for the loo, and say 'Oh I need to go to the loo. I need to get up right away and hurry there' and then hurry with her. Repeat a few times without actually peeling down the pants and using the loo unless she needs to go..

Also, on the practical side, make sure she is able to get her pants or tights and underwear down easily -- with more clothes involved when the weather gets colder, toddlers trained in warm weather sometimes have difficulty. Perhaps invest in a few loose/ elastic waist sweatpants and put away any jeans that are tighter or have zips or buttons.

mathanxiety Tue 16-Sep-14 19:29:50

Also, is she drinking plain water or milk, or juice/fruit beverage/squash?

If she is drinking a lot of juice/fruit beverage/squash, dilute it and gradually cut back. I was shocked to see how much sugar DD1 was getting in her favourite apple juice. It was making her more thirsty and we had a vicious circle going for a while..

AdamantEve Wed 17-Sep-14 13:48:38

Thank you all for your replies, I think it helps just knowing your not the only one dealing with various child rearing issues!

She does drink quite a bit of (very dilute) squash at home, though just water/milk at nursery. I will try cutting back on that as it can't hurt.

I also am going to try the reward chart idea, I hadn't even thought of doing this, don't know why it didn't occur to me, but I think she may respond well to a reward based incentive.

We have had a dry day so far today so I'm hoping it continues!

OP’s posts: |
Givemecaffeine21 Wed 17-Sep-14 15:48:47

Ok so I'm also going down the reward chart route after two accidents today. I don't know what to do! I'm getting so discouraged as she's had accidents all summer, but generally at other peoples houses and not our own...being the holidays meant lots of interaction with other kids. I know I trained early but she got it after 3 weeks and there was definitely a point where I was confident it was done....but it just seems like she doesn't even care anymore. She cares if I get cross, but only because I'm cross. I'm so fed up! With accidents 2-3 times a week it doesn't justify returning to nappies or pull ups and I really really do not want to.....but when will they end?!!

Givemecaffeine21 Wed 17-Sep-14 16:02:51

Ok feel a bit better having read up on regression and how common it is, especially when working on new skills......

AdamantEve Wed 17-Sep-14 16:39:58

It's frustrating isn't it Givemecaffeine
If you remember, please post back when your DD goes back to staying dry as I'm interested to know how long this may go on for!

My DD had damp underwear earlier but hadn't done a full wee - I think that I find that more annoying though as she'll happily sit like that until I notice and she ends up sore which isn't great but she doesn't seem to get the connection yet.

OP’s posts: |
Givemecaffeine21 Wed 17-Sep-14 16:45:28

That's what I have - no full on puddles, just wet knickers .... Often doesn't even go through, but enough to change her trousers too as it smells. I've made a really clear reward chart with a photo of her, a toilet, and above it a photo of her reward once the chart is full (a Peppa DVD).

mathanxiety Wed 17-Sep-14 19:02:13

I don't think you can say you are done and dusted with potty training until a child is about 3 or even older and really, really reliable, even if the new habit took off well at first.

It's really frustrating when you think you have sorted it all out and have congratulated yourself on a job well done, but try not to get mad when accidents happen. It's rarely the case that children do this on purpose, and accidents are not an affront to your initial teaching approach. Try to look at the whole business of potty training as a continuing education effort on your part instead of a once off training period, and anticipate that the initial lesson will need periodic reinforcement and formal practice. It's not like learning to ride a bike, something that just gets hardwired into your brain and you never forget it. There is so much else going on, developmentally speaking, and often upheavals like babies added to the family, new staff at nursery, etc., that makes it a challenge for small children to keep all the balls in the air at once.

Givemecaffeine21 Wed 17-Sep-14 19:08:20

Thank you mathanxiety that is very sound advice! I've taken a super-encouraging approach this afternoon and she's done really well...better than ever in terms of enthusiasm actually. It's an ongoing process as you say.

CorporateRockWhore Wed 17-Sep-14 20:18:22

We've had two phases over the summer of DD pooing in her pants after being clean and dry for over a year. Bloody horrible, and frustrating!

Star chart is working for us over the last fortnight, but you have my sympathy, it's (literally) shit.

Givemecaffeine21 Thu 18-Sep-14 13:56:25

Adamanteve the reward chart is going well ... she have been dry since it went up yesterday afternoon! I made it clear she'd get TWO stickers if she stayed dry at nursery today and she did grin. The other thing I've done is ordered a double step; she wants to take herself but the single step isn't big enough as she's petite, and I think needing me every time frustrates her as she really wants to go, wipe herself, flush & wash hands unaided. She's made this pretty clear so I'm trying to give her independence in every area I can whilst waiting for the steps to arrive. We have really high basins so even if she can get on the loo she probably won't be able to reach the basin for another year on the single step. Thank goodness for amazon!

nomdemere Thu 18-Sep-14 14:04:20

My 3yo DD did this at the beginning of the summer. Really annoying. She got over it, and is now fab again.

I seem to remember her older siblings doing something similar. I think it's partly just getting bored after the initial novelty of going to the toilet - it stops being in the forefront of their minds, they ignore the signs they need to go because they're occupied with something else, just generally can't be bothered, and then it all goes to pot a bit.

I would reduce sugary drinks and stick with plain water/milk. I think sugar messes up urine production/signals rather - hence needing lots of small wee's instead of more infrequent bigger ones.

Star chart / rewards might increase interest again. And just general growing older/maturity will help too.

I also think that toilet-training is an ongoing process over many months/years, rather than a short, sharp phase. From no control/awareness as a baby, to the total control/awareness of an older child/adult is a long journey.

Sbram Mon 23-Sep-19 13:40:52

Hi, never posted before but AdamantEve post several years ago is only thing I've found that describes what I'm experiencing with my DD. She 2 1/4 and I trained her 3 months ago as she was taking nappy off. It clicked in a week and we had 2-3 months of no accidents, thinking it was job done (how silly of me!). Two weeks ago she went from appearing completely trained to now never going for wee without an accident. She doesn't do full wee but she goes a bit so undies damp then says she weed and we go to potty to finish off. Poos are still ok she goes to potty. It's like she cant tell she needs to wee anymore. Urine sample all clear.
Cant think of anything that's triggered it so not sure what to do. Wondered what happened in cases of people who posted on here previously, is there light at end if tunnel!

Allforava Sun 19-Apr-20 22:29:33

Sbram just wondering how you got on as we’re in this exact situation! Trained just before 2 years old, in just one weekend, no accidents for months and then all of a sudden wet pants every single time she needed a wee, and this has now been going on for a year!! It’s driving me mad. I remind her to go all the time but she has a complete meltdown if I try to get her to use the potty and insists she doesn’t need a wee, even if she has wet pants. Reward charts work for a day or two, and then she gets bored of them. Any tips very gratefully received!

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