I can't take it! Help with 4 yr old son

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2007
I can't take it! Help with 4 yr old son
Fri, 09-25-2009 - 8:43pm

Hello All,

I am hoping to get some guidance from you great and all knowing

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2003
Fri, 09-25-2009 - 10:58pm

hi, i just wanted to say, i know the feeling. i'm having the same type of problems with my 4yo too. she hasn't had an accident since i've had her go every 30 min. i told her if she can't stay dry on her own she has to go when i tell her to. i'm hoping she will get tired of having to go so often and want to stay dry so that i don't make her do it. i am giving my no chances. once she wets her pants she has to go when i say. if she can keep them dry on her own than she won't have to go try every 30 min.

so far i've only done this for 1 day, and so far no accidents(when i have her go every 30 min). maybe try making him try more often? i don't really have a lot of advice, just what i have started doing. i hope we can both get our kids to go on the toilet on their own soon.




iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005
Sat, 09-26-2009 - 7:55pm

I don't know that I have any great answers, but I'll throw out some thoughts.

First of all, nighttime potty training is completely different from daytime potty training. The body must first develop the hormone to slow urine production at night. Once they show signs of having developed the hormone, by not urinating as much at night, then you can begin training a child to awaken to the sensations of a full bladder by limiting fluids before bed and taking them to the toilet once during the night.

For daytime urinating, I know you said your ds does not have problems with pooping in the toilet, but does he tend to be constipated? Could his bowels be pressing on his bladder, making it more difficult to control his wetting? Could your ds have an over-active bladder?

Does your ds have any sensory issues that might make it more difficult for him to recognize the sensation of a full bladder until it's too late? Two of my kids have sensory challenges that make it so they don't know they need to go to the bathroom until it's almost too late. When they were younger, they had a lot of accidents. Now that they're older (10 & 14yo), they have better bladder control, so they can get to a toilet before they wet themselves, but they still don't know that they need to use the toilet until it's almost too late. Many times when I've sent my kids to the toilet, they've insisted they didn't need to use the toilet, and then they were stunned to see they actually had a full bladder.

Like the PP said, you may just need to insist that your ds use the toilet at regular intervals until he can recognize his body's urges, and be willing to respond to them, better. You can even get your ds a wristwatch with a timer (or silent vibrating timer) to prompt him to go to the bathroom at set times.

Good luck at finding a solution.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2004
Mon, 10-05-2009 - 1:42am



iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2009
Thu, 10-15-2009 - 7:23pm

OH MY GOODNESS!!! Have you been in my house?!? My son (4 1/2) will have WEEKS that he will regress back to peeing his pants. This has been going on ever since he turned 4. We've gone through the "Does it hurt to pee?" (no) No fever, no hurting...my guess is no bladder infection. So WHY in the world are you peeing your pants? "I just don't want to go potty today." (Oh, I should add, he's been fully daytime pee / poop trained since he was 2 1/2)

This week alone he's had 8 "accidents," and it's only Thursday. Yesterday he peed his pants 3 times. So today I went out and purchased a package of diapers. He's in pull-ups at night, but I was thinking that an actual diaper might make a dent in his little head. This afternoon, after he peed his pants, I put a diaper on him. Screams, tantrums, "Don't make me do this! I don't want to wear this!" Etc. After over an hour of screaming, once he was starting to calm down and would hear me, I went in the room and informed him that, "Oh, by the way, those diapers cost me over $6, which you will pay to me from your piggy bank." (He's BIG into saving his money - he understands now that he can use his money to buy the toy he wants). Screams again. I informed him that babies pee their pants, so babies wear diapers. I was thinking that THIS would get through to him.

Nope, once he was done sleeping off his fit, he started bragging about how he wears diapers now and doesn't HAVE to go potty anymore because he can just pee in his diaper....which, in fact, he has. I told him he could unfasten the diaper and go to the toilet if he had to go, after he told me he wanted me to take off the diaper, etc. Nope...he has just peed his diaper all afternoon. He just asked if he could put on his pull-up for bedtime. I told him that I would change his diaper in a minute, that pull-ups were for boys would would pull them down to go pee while they're awake, but since he just pees in them while he's awake, he could just wear a diaper to bed.

The only threats I have left are telling him that he'll wear it to church and then to preschool next week. Help?!?!?

*banging my head against the wall*

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2006
Tue, 10-20-2009 - 12:52pm

I actually just came to this board to check it out and see if there is anything that could be helpful to me, and I can totally relate with everyone in this thread.

My son is actually turning 5 today (Happy Birthday Adam)!

2010 Siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2003
Thu, 10-22-2009 - 2:20pm

i've threatened my dd with diapers, and she fights me about it. i haven't done it yet purely because i think she'd do the same thing, just pee them!

the only luck i've had(even if only a little) is she just wets enough to get her undies wet, not her pants, is if her undies are wet she doesn't get them. she just wears her pants, and then if she wets those too, she loses them too. so it does take part of the day before she ends up with being naked. also if she doesn't have pants, she doesn't get to come out of the bathroom and play.

is she still wetting? yup, but she HATES just wearing pants.

she refuses to go when she knows she needs to go, but if i tell her to, she does... still stuck! too bad we can't just wave a magic wand.




iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 10-22-2009 - 4:22pm
Hello muzikalanne.
Have you tried putting plastic panties on over her regular panties?
As you have tried basically everything else,you might want to try the three strikes method I have used for years.
She gets only three pair of cloth panties a day,after she wets the first two,she gets to wear plastic panties over the third and warned that this is the last pair of regular panties she gets for the day,if she wets them,she will only have the plastic panties until the laundry is done the next day.
If you are willing to try this,you must be consistant.
It normally takes no more than a couple of days to a week for her to get the idea,that this is not a comfy way to be.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-26-2006
Thu, 11-19-2009 - 9:31am

Hello Ladies, I was hoping I would find info like this.



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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2003
Mon, 11-23-2009 - 9:09am
WOW. We are having the same problem with our almost 5 yr. old granddaughter. She
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2009
Mon, 11-23-2009 - 9:21am
Ended up buying a pkg of diapers (and then making my little miser pay me back for them). He was horrified at first when I put one on him...screamed and cried himself to sleep. After that he went to his friend who was visiting and said "Guess what? I'm wearing diapers now! I don't have to take it off to go pee, I can just go pee in my pants." *groaning* BUT I put a dry one on him before bed that night...the next morning he woke up and had to go poop...only he didn't get the diaper off in time, so some of it got into the diaper while he was struggling to get it off (I was NOT going to help him). He was absolutely disgusted, and we've had very few accidents since then. Still have some days I've had to threaten to pull the diapers back out, but...