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4yr old having multiple wee accidents. School soon, please help!

(8 Posts)
WannabeNigella Fri 08-Jul-11 21:10:23

Started potty training DS when he was 2.6 as seemed ready, after 3 months with absolutely no progress we stopped and started again when he had just turned 3. It was a long road and slow progress but we eventually got there at about 3.5 with the odd accident prob every other week.

Since dd arrived in January he has been having accidents daily, multiple times. Every now and again he'll be ok for about 4-5 days and I think "This is it!" then he has accidents again. I'm at my wits end and am so worried that we are only weeks away from him starting school and I so don't want him to get picked on etc cause of this.

The main problem seems to be when he is engrossed in doing something, or outside and he simply doesn't want to come in. I've tried punishing him (not proud of that!, reward charts, sweetie for every wee and have also tried ignoring it, which actually seems to be the most successful. I just don't know what to do and am desperate.

Please help!

WannabeNigella Sat 09-Jul-11 12:27:55


Groveregg Sat 09-Jul-11 13:52:39

Hello I haven't got any advice as such but just want to say that you are not alone; my DD who is 4 in two weeks is having both wee and poo accidents on a daily basis. She managed it perfectly for a month at Christmas (after us persevering since August), then got flu and after that it went downhill. Weirdly every time we go on holiday she can do it perfectly but always goes back to her old ways when we get home. Could moving house be the answer?! At least I know the problem isn't medical but instead a mental one, she just doesn't want to get it right. I find it quite upsetting as when it gets worse after a good patch she also seems to go backwards in development all round. Her speech gets worse and she shows no curiousity at all, just disappearing into her own little world. And I can tell when it's going to improve because she starts asking more intelligent questions.

I too find that ignoring it works quite well but it's not easy after all this time. We are now working on various reward schemes, which have escalated over the months: a bag of small presents that she can pick one out of if she manages to keep pants clean all day (which hasn't happened for a few weeks) and also a Squinkie (nasty cheap pencil topper in a ball) if she does a poo without any in her pants first, and I also bought a pack of beads and she can thread a bead onto a necklace we are making if she does a wee without any in pants first. Not sure what a boy-friendly equivalent would be...

I have contacted my health visitor about it and after being nearly in tears over it during an early visit, she is coming to see me every so often to check on progress and do what I can only describe as a mini counselling session. The only advice she has really been able to give me is to keep the process positive, loads of praise and rewards. Which again is not easy.

As for the school issue I did mention it to her prospective teacher on a visit and he did not seem phased at all - but I know that schools vary.

Maybe we can keep eachother's chins up...

suzikettles Sat 09-Jul-11 14:00:23

No, you're definitely not alone.

I started with ds when he was also about 2.6 and it was also sloooow progress with mucho washing the result, but he finally got properly reliable almost exactly on his 4th birthday (we had just persevered rather than go back to nappies, which in retrospect was a mistake - just created more washing).

However, about 6 weeks ago he seemed to regress and was having multiple accidents - both wee, and unfortunately poo. He goes to nursery 3 days a week and they were not impressed.

Anyway, we have an appointment with the GP next week, specifically about the poo accidents as he genuinely doesn't seem to know that he's had an accident so we want to rule out constipation. Coincidentally, he had his first accident-free day at nursery at the end of the week and has been much better at home so fingers x'd.

There's nothing obvious that has triggered this with ds, but I do still have to nag him to go to the toilet so maybe if you're busy with a newborn he's not getting these cues at the moment? Ds just doesn't seem to care that he's wet or dirty and I really worry about him getting teased at school if this carries on. He starts in August.

Groveregg Sat 09-Jul-11 14:06:36

I meant to mention a little lifeline that I am saving until my very last marble has been lost: ERIC., a friend of mine rang them about a vaguely similar problem and they were really helpful. Haven't tried them yet but I'm waiting until the health visitor has exhausted every last bit of help for me.

WannabeNigella Sat 09-Jul-11 14:17:59

Oh thanks both. I know he won't be like this forever but it is soooooo hard remaining positive and the whole school thing is really hanging over me big time.

Groveregg - We did the present in a bag type lucky dip thing for DS when he was ok with wee's but still poo'ing in pants and it worked a treat but believe it or not it was a bout of diarrhoea which actually ended in getting that part sorted. I don't know how or why but he spent so long on the loo over the course of 3-4 days that he never poo'd his pants again!

I'm feeling really desperate now but it's nice to know I'm not alone.

gingergaskell Sat 09-Jul-11 14:27:07

My daughter is like this.
She is 3 and a bit now, but first trained just before 2 years old {at her own instigation, to copy her older brother}. I put her back in nappies the first time she regressed, but persevere with undies now since she is constantly back and and forth with it.

Do you think your new baby was the starting point, is your son 'regressing' in other ways?
I can't put my finger on the reason with my daughter, likely a lot of things {we don't have a new baby, she is the youngest} but she really wants to be the baby. For example she refers to herself as baby, likes to make crying noises and baby talk {IE well below her current vocabulary} etc.

In her case I think the pant wetting is part of this, so I've been trying to reassure her on that count.
The other part of it, for her, is that she really wants my constant attention. The pants wetting is very pronounced when I am doing something else that requires my full attention, for example trying to help my son with reading, or during our 'quiet time' in the middle of the day where I do things like make phone calls, or surf on the internet, while they watch TV.
During those sort of times, she will constantly {say every 10 minutes} ask me to take her to the loo {she is capable of doing so herself, but won't do it without me}
She always wets her pants {not puddles, just wet knickers} before being taken so she needs changing etc too. If we are home in an afternoon say, we'll go through a dozen pair of knickers.

She is starting nursery in September and, as my son is there now, I had the chance to get some one on one time with the teacher there to see how she would go, as it's been really worrying me.
The teacher reassured me that it's really common, and outlined how they deal with it, so I feel a lot better now.
Make an appointment with your son's teacher to go through it all and get advice and support from them before he starts.

The other thing might be worth looking into is urinary reflux. I had this myself as a child, so am getting my daughter tested just in case {although I believe her case to be behavioural, as outlined above, rather than physical.}
Usually that presents as UTIs, but frequent wetting / unable to 'hold' is a symptom.
The test is unintrusive and involves an ultrasound to check for scarring.
See if your GP thinks that is worthwhile.

gingergaskell Sat 09-Jul-11 14:56:20

Grover, thanks so much for that ERIC link. smile

I pant wet right up until an adult due to my urinary reflux / urge incontinence.
So I'm pretty sensitive to the effects of teasing around it / worrying for my daughter over that side of things.

I'm hoping, given her age {she's still only 3}, once she gains some independence from being at nursery {she has not been in any out of home care yet, hence the demands on my attention / regression I think} she will out grow the pants wetting.

The nursery teacher has reassured me that in nursery at least it is so common, and there is no teasing.

If it is still as big a problem when she starts school though, I think those pads, or undies with absorbent liners are a great idea, and will get her those. I wish I'd had that sort of thing when I was a child.

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