2 1/2 year old is potty trained, but still has multiple accidents :(

[deleted account] ( 16 moms have responded )

My 2 1/2 year old daughter is potty trained. She is in big girl panties during the day and pull-ups during nap and night time. She enjoys using the potty, but depending on the day will have multiple small accidents (we call them dribbles). Sometime's she goes 2-3 days with no accident and then another 2-3 with many. This can be very frustrating at times and I am not sure what to do. Is this normal?

In addition to the accidents, she sometimes get these pimples on her bottom and her entire area becomes very irrated. The doctor is aware of them and tells us to treat with Neosporin...it works but they keep popping up. Sometime we think there is a relationship between the irritation and her accidents.

Help! How do I get these accidents to stop.


Elizabeth - posted on 02/10/2011




You are on the right track all the way around. My daughter did the same thing and after she turned 3 we had less accidents. As for the pimples and irritation my daughter does the same and I have to look at her intake of fruits and juices. They tend to be her main culprit. Right now we are in the throws of her waking up in the night to come and let me know she has either already tinkled or has the urge. I'd say it will be no time before we can dispense w/ the pull ups at sleep times.

Laura - posted on 02/09/2011




Accidents happen when kids are first learning to use the potty. As mentioned before, part of the problem has to do with muscle development. The stop and go issue happens when kids go through a growth spurt as well. The body produces hormones that signal the brain when the bladder is full. When a little body suddenly grows, the hormone levels drop a bit. Accidents happen at this time as the body re-adjusts the hormone levels. Patience and a bit of preparation (extra panties, for example) work best in this process.

As for the pimples/rash: That could be a sign of an allergic reaction. While not wiping properly can also create problems, I would also consider laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and soaps as a possible culprit. Some food sensitivities/allergies can cause rashes or hives, too. I suggest starting by changing to soaps and detergents for sensative skin and see if that helps. After that you can try watching what your daughter eats/drinks to see if the rash pops up after something in particular. Food additives such as dyes, preservatives, artificial flavors and high fructose corn syrup have been known to cause reactions in sensative people. If you choose to try and avoid these things you will have to read labels carefully and be prepared to spend a bit more for food items without those things. Hope this helps and best of luck to you!

Julie - posted on 03/08/2011




Well I have 6 daughters. The oldest was potty trained at 2 1/2 all the way down to the youngest which just turned 3 last month and still isn't potty trained. First of all I don't consider a child truly potty trained until they are accident free. If a child is having accidents that's telling me their bladders aren't mature enough yet for them to be potty trained. For all of my girls one sign that they were ready to be fully potty trained was they could stay dry through the night. Of course to help with that you can not give more than 1 sip of water at bedtime or this becomes next to impossible. My now 8 year old was not potty trained until 3 1/2 because she would always sneak ice at night. Anyway the pimples are like a prickly heat rash. They are related to the accidents. See when a child is in a Pull-up or diaper they are designed to draw the moisture away from the skin and into the core. Of course if you leave a child in a wet diaper too long or they are wearing underpants with even a "dribble" of urine that alkali moisture sits on the skin and causes these bumps. It's similar to if you are sitting for a while and your bottom gets very sweaty. Basically those skin pores get clogged because they're not getting air and similar to acne you get a "pimple" or infected pore. The alkali in the urine, just like sweat, causes the skin to itch and it's very irritating. The best thing to do is to let her go around without any diaper, Pull-up or underpants for as long as you can each day to get air to eat. This will dry it out and help it heal faster. My girls have gotten them before when we've had a hectic day and I didn't get them changed as often as I should. It's amazing how even a "dribble's" worth of urine in her underpants can irritate her skin. I know potty training is a big milestone and everyone is anxious for their child to reach it, but it sounds like your daughter just needs a little more time. I would try Pull-ups during the day as well, so that if she does "dribble" the urine will be kept away from her skin. If you think the accidents are under her control make a potty chart and come up with incentives when she goes accident free for a certain period of time. Start small, 1 day, and gradually build up from there until she's 100% accident free all of the time. I know it's frustrating, but I would say from the sound of it she should be ready for that day in 6 months or less. That sounds like a long time, but in the perspective of her whole life it will go by fast. Good luck.

Nicole - posted on 02/09/2011




My daughter first started potty training at 2 1/2 and was very excited and used it frequently. I became an excuse at bedtime and honestly I lost it- after 45 min of her screaming she had to potty (when she really didn't) we ended up putting her in pull-ups or diapers overnight. Then she started asking for them during the day saying "it's okay mommy the diaper will catch it". So we reverted back to diapers for a while, and at three was when we started again. The 'dribbles' happen, and at 3 1/2 still happen sometimes. Yes there are days that it seems to happen ALL day long and others where it's a perfect day. We've talked about trying not to wait as long to try to potty to help it. And when Mommy and Daddy ask her to go try it's because it's been a while and she needs to go TRY. Most days that helps. She's good to wipe herself after peeing but we still help with the messy stuff. And sometimes I'll still put ointment on her bottom even with underwear because she will occasionally get a rash/bumps. I think what you're going thru with your daughter is normal and once dribbles and wiping are mastered the irritation and bumps will go away (unless like someone else posted it's something in the wash). It doesn't seem like the doctor was too concerned with it.

Kristi - posted on 02/08/2011




Hi Jenny,

Your daughter is still really young to be fully potty trained, even though she is going through the motions. Her muscles really aren't likely to be fully developed to be able to hold it all the time, so small accidents are really normal and happen a lot until kids get older and have more muscle control. Each kid is different, of course, so your experiences before this little girl might have caused you to feel she was having problems. My almost three year old does exactly the same thing. What I have noticed, is that the accidents usually happen when she is doing something she doesn't want to stop, or when she is tired, far from the potty, or any other thing that can interfere with a small person's ability to go directly to the potty without becoming distracted along the way. Just bring lots of extra pants and a wet bag along, and be understanding and positive when she has little slip ups. I try to say things that help her remember to "listen to her body".

My daughter gets the little pimples too. I think sometimes their bottoms are getting used to the changes in fabrics, TP and friction in that area. I also agree that sometimes they aren't used to wiping up well. Make sure you aren't using fabric softener or soapy detergents. Try using a high rinsing detergent like Country Save, Charlie's or plain old baking soda. Use white vinegar in the rinse cycle instead of fabric softeners. I wouldn't use Neosporin unnecessarily as it has antibiotic ingredients, but maybe if the sores get broken skin it's a good idea. Try instead a non-petroleum barrier like Alba's UnPetroleum Jelly (it's like Vaseline without the bad petroleum ingredients in it) or a traditional diaper rash cream (Burt's Bees and Weleda are good choices). Try using cloth trainers or diapers at night and naptime instead of pullups or disposables. You can buy them inexpensively and in good condition 2nd hand as kids don't use them long. During this transition where her skin is really sensitive, cloth can breathe better than plastic diapers and help with rashes and redness.

Good luck! Be patient and help the frustration level by just being at the ready with extra supplies so it's no big deal when it happens. I am so ready to be rid of the diaper bag, but I know it's not much longer! :) xoxo Kristi


View replies by

KAREN L. - posted on 02/12/2011




Try rewarding her when she successfully goes to the potty, but a frown face when she doesn't. A small toy can go a long way when a child feels good about what she has done.

Melody - posted on 02/11/2011




When she is having these 'accidents' is she too pre occupied with something? (tv, playing, etc..) It is normal for kids to have accidents for a while, and going through the night dry can take a few years...even up to the age of 7 is considered 'norma'. As for the pimples...is the redness and tenderness take up a large part of her butt? Does it effect her when she's sitting, so she'll shift her weight? How often does she get them? My daughter is a MRSA carrier (about 30% of the population carries MRSA and it doesn't effect them) But she'll get an abcess of her bottom and has to take antibiotics. She's had about 4 of them. :( Next time she gets one insist that your dr. do a culture. Best of luck!!!!

[deleted account]

Both my girls were completely potty trained by the age of 18 months, but my son (the youngest) still has issues at 2 1/2. I believe part of it is the boy in him, but he's also around bigger kids and so much more interested in what they are doing than whether he has to go to the bathroom or not. Most of the time he's great with peeing (especially now that he can stand up "like Daddy") it's when he has to poop that he doesn't want to all the time. I think its harder for little kids because it's uncomfortable and their diets don't always match up with good digestive functions so they would rather not. Then it gets to be too late and oops! He does get upset though when it happens so there is hope! This is a tough time in their little lives, but SO rewarding when they are done! My kids got the pimples too. We just made sure they were super clean and tried the little wet wipes that are flushable instead of toilet paper when they were irritated. Good Luck!

Alice - posted on 02/10/2011




My son is the same he will be 3 in may and he has been potty training since he turned 2. He still has days where he 'dribbled' several times a day and others where he's fine for the whole day. I find its just laziness as he can't be bothered to stop what he's doing. But I have now learnt to spot when he needs to go he will do a little dance and ge just cant sit still si I know to remind him and he will go. I don't worrt about it tho as I know he will get there in the end as will your daughter.

Samantha - posted on 02/09/2011




We are having the some trouble to a T.. even the pimples. But Bella still wears a diapers at night cause she is heavey wetter. I can't wait to see what other moms say...

Anna - posted on 02/09/2011




I have to say you are ver lucky to have her started going to the potty!! Ask your self how much she is drinking and make sure she goes 15 mins after or as many time as you think and make her go potty. Mine still has to be reminded. Good LUCK!!

EMMA - posted on 02/07/2011




i was having the same trouble with my 4yr old in the nights but i found the more i woke her 2 put her on the potty the more wet nights we were having my daughter was late being trained day and night she was 3 and half in the day and just 4 in the nights so i can understand how u feel it is frustrating but if you perservere it will happen gud luck hun

User - posted on 02/06/2011




Time...my son is also 2 1/2 and wears big boy underwear all of the time, even at night and naps. He will go for a week and no accidents at all-even over night. Then all of a sudden he will go for a week where he will have 1 over night accident and dribbles a few times a day.

Amy - posted on 02/06/2011




My daughter had accidents until she was a bit over 3. heck, she accidentally peed herself at 4 the other day because there were other kids over and she was just not wanting to leave the fun to pee. Accidents happen. plain and simple. if she's dribbling a bit in her pants she could just not quite be getting there in time. She's at least trying. unless you notice is tinkled later -then it could just not be wiping well. That will certainly cause an irritation on her bum.
When my daughter had any kind of accidents, I did the children's acidophilus to combat any starts of a UTI. I also noticed that with certain drinks - juice, kool-aid, chocolate milk - something about those made her have to pee more urgently and she'd try to get there, but just couldn't hold it. Kind of like [maybe i'm the only one] how pop makes you have to pee more urgently than water, milk or juice. It's frustrating, but sometimes they keep happening.

Not sure if it's the case or not, but my sis's daughter had to use the ALL free and clear laundry soap because the soap irritated her little bottom and it wasn't comfy to pee, so she'd wait super long and then have an accident. Good luck. It's sure not easy and not an overnight deal. I sometimes wonder about those "train them in 2 days" stuff. Kids have accidents. Heck, I know adults who have accidents!! :) Keep your chin up, it'll pass.

Patricia - posted on 02/06/2011




I have found that it depends on the child as to when they become fully potty trained. My oldest was 2 when we potty trained her and she almost immediately was fully trained. My youngest daughter was 3 when we potty trained her and she constantly had accidents (pooped in her pants). and my sons were both 3 and a half when I potty trained them and they caught on very quickly. Your daughter is pretty normal/average for her age. There may very well be a relationship between the irration and her accidents. Also you may want to talk to her doctor or find out if she is allergic to anything.
Hope this helps :)
God Bless ♥

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