4-Year Old having Accidents

[deleted account] ( 14 moms have responded )

My 4 1/2 year old has recently started to have accidents, frequently. He says he has just waited too long. Part of the problem is that he doesn't care that he is wet and doesn't tell me. I figure it out. I have given consequences, but want to treat lightly doing so incase he really can't help it. Any suggestions???

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Patricia - posted on 11/05/2008

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it's a boy thing. My son continued having accidents that required clothing changes in preschool - we tried charts, stickers, etc. Now at age 5 and in kindergarten he still waits till the last minute which sometimes means a change of underwear (thankfully he realizes what he needs to do before the jeans get wet). Another mom, who is a nurse, said this still happens to her 3rd grade son. So, at least I don't feel so alone. If your son just recently started having accidents, is there something new going on in his life? Sometimes its just a phase. My son had more accidents at the beginning of a school year with a new teacher. I think you are doing well to treat it lightly. Maybe a sticker chart for positive reinforcement would give him incentive to keep dry.

Bridget - posted on 11/21/2008

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Medical problems can cause wetting issues. My daughter was about 5 and still wetting the bed. I took her to the doctor and he told me I needed to get her tonsils and adnoids out. I really thought he was crazy that that would help her, so I waited 3 more years to do it. Just before her eighth birthday we had them removed and she wet about 3 more times in the following year. Since she has not wet the bed at all. She just was sleeping so hard that she would not even feel the urge to go. I used "goodnight" Pullups every night so that it was not embarassing to her and she did not feel like she was adding laundry everyday for me. You would be surprised at how many of her friends in 3rd grade came to my house and wore pullups because of the same issues. It is NOT uncommon at all. Good luck!

User - posted on 11/21/2008

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More than 50% of children wet the bed or have accidents up to the age of 8. It can be continuous or just start up after a peroid of dry time. I have one cheild that just couldn't control at night until the age of 5.. then one day it ended. i had another that slept so heavy at night.. she had no idea she wet the bed until the am. And I had another that has been dry since the 19 months. Vewrify medical issues first, then determin sleep patterns, then look at behavior if they are wetting during the day.

Nikki - posted on 11/08/2008

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Has something happened recently that may have upset him? We've had a couple of issues with my son when he's got back from his dad's, because he moved in with his new girlfriend and suddenly my son was sharing a room with someone he didn't know.



With my brother, he was cornered in the toilets at kindy, and it scared him out of going to any toilet. There's always a chance that it may not be medical, but it wouldn't hurt to go to a doctor and rule that out.

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Sophia - posted on 09/06/2012

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keep in mind that food or drinks that are not decaffeinated will make him pee more . some kids need to not drink for the last 2 hours before bed time. and pee just before gonig to bed and pee just as they get up from sleeping.

Robin - posted on 09/05/2012

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well i have a 4 year old and she has been potty trained since 2, she hasnt really had any accidents .... she had a accident recently, and she seemed really upset over it but i told her that it was okay and just next ttime try to go to the bathroom or tell someone you need to go... i dont see why anyone would or should ever punish their child for having accidents...

Lubna - posted on 11/21/2008

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OMG, Bridget, I am going to ask about that because my son has big tonsils and I was just talking about that to his doctor, he never mentioned anything about it affecting him wetting the bed. I use pull ups now at night because I also feel he is in such a deep sleet that he doesn't feel like he has to go. He is only 4 so I thought it was a boy thing at first, but now I think it could be something else. So, thank you, that actually might be it. I will look into it.

[deleted account]

I agree with Keisha. Make sure it's not a medical problem first, but then if it's not that you have a new problem to deal with. It's one I'm having right now! My son told me that he just likes sleeping so much that he doesn't want to get out of the bed to go pee and he'd rather just pee on himself. I'm trying to think of a creative solution to this one....

Amie - posted on 11/10/2008

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I agree with Jessi. Do Not punish him. My daughter went through a stage like that and is still struggling with it somewhat at 8. She's been to the doctor but apparently it's just her muscle control is not totally there yet so during the day she goes more often so as to make sure she doesn't have any more accidents. She's old enough to remember this. She also has good nights that she wears at nights just in case. At first we thought it was just some sort of regression as it started after we found out we were pregnant with our third and it was her way of letting us know she was feeling left out and wanted to be our baby again. When it didn't stop we went to the doctor and found out why. We know she will grow out of it but it's just the waiting. Punishing them though could have serious repercussions so try every avenue and wait for the stage to pass if need be.

User - posted on 11/10/2008

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Do NOT punish him for it. He could start trying to hold it, which if he does that too long or too much can get either Bladder or kidney infections. I agree with Keisha...they do just get caught up in what they're doing that they don't think about it. No liquids before bedtime, and just keep reminding him to take a bathroom break. I have a 5 year old daughter that went through the same thing. She has a disorder called chronic costipation. She had an accident twice in one week and her Daddy punished her (one of the many reasons it didn't work out with us)..she then didn't use the bathroom for 2 weeks and was hospitalized for it. She thought she would get on trouble again.

User - posted on 11/07/2008

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My son started doing that too (he's not as old, but he was mostly potty trained), until I got pregnant. He knew something was going to change, but he wasn't sure what. Then he did it again every time we moved. If there is something changing, whether he knows what's happening or not, that could be the reason. If you are worried you can take him to the Dr. one of my siblings did that when they were young, found out they had an infection and it wasn't their fault...my parents felt awful. So you are doing good to treat it lightly.

Lubna - posted on 11/05/2008

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i have the same problem with my son, he is 4 and has been potty trained since 2, he didn't even give me a hard time when I was potty training him. But for some reason he still wets the bed, I have to put pull ups and he still has accidents every now and then. I was punishing him at first, but now I think he really doesn't feel like he has to go until the last minute, I'm not sure why or what the problem is, he could be just lazy :) but I just tell him to go even if he says he doesn't have to. I try and remember to remind him every few hours especially when he is playing and is distracted. He whines sometimes and complains, but it has been working so far, I tell him to "squeeeeze" and it makes it kinda fun. hope that helps.

[deleted account]

First I would make sure there is no underlying medical problem like a urinary tract infection, or diabetes. It might not be his fault, so I'm sure you wouldn't want to punish him if that is the problem. My daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and I didn't know at the time that wetting the bed was a sign. She was 7, almost 8 years old.

Keisha - posted on 11/05/2008

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no liquids after a certain time. put him on the potty every two hours. if that doesnt change, i would get him in to see a urologist.. he could have bladder problems. he could be embarrassed.. Do you think he's doing it to be defiant? If he's doing it on purpose than I would def punish him.. if its an accident, i wouldnt..

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