This patient support community is for discussions relating to the challenges of parenting children (age 6-12), including physical development, handling school & classes, emotional development, cognitive development, and games and activities.
My 7 year old daughter has consistently been wetting her pants for the past 5 months. We have had an extremely difficult time potty training her. My husand and I work splite shifts, our potty training techniques were different. She had no consistency. She went to all day Kindergarten, had some accidents, hit and miss. But we never TOTALLY got rid of them. She doesn't want to stop what it is she is doing to go to the bathroom. This school year - 1st grade - has been exceptionally worse. The first few months were not steady. Now the days that are dry are easy to count, because there are so few of them. She is mostly dry during the day but in the evenings, when I am home she 99% of time will wet her pants. We have tried everything. Stickers each dry day, that didn't work. Her teacher was even nice enough to offer her a prize when we said she had a successful goal period. She was allowed to do that once. We then moved on to her giving us a favorite toy of hers to keep when she has an accident. That didn't work well. I will admit that my anger over this issue is getting bad. Now her dad - who is the most patient person I know - is even getting frustrated. She is not wetting the bed. The only thing that has changed since January is that we got a new puppy. She loves the puppy!! Oh and she turned 7 in March. She cannot stand her birthday, she tells me that she doesn't want to acknowledge her birthday, she doesn't want to get older. She has told me also, when we are playing and I say "Wait, I have to go to that bathroom". She will say "Oh mommy just ignore it and it will go away".
She will never tell us or her teacher when she has wet herself. NEVER.
Is this just our child or are we doin something wrong.
I've been searching for a support group for the same thing. I know exactly how frustrated you are. I feel like a terrrible parent because I can't fix her. My daughter potty trained herself at age 3. I thought, "well that was easy.' A year later we started packing to move and the accidents started happening. I tried to ignore them and made no big deal over them in hopes it was to get attention. OF course, no one thinks a 4 year old having accidents is no big deal. Well, now she is almost 8 and its worse and it is a BIG deal now. Especially at school. I came up with the brilliant idea of her wearing a maxi pad to absorb leaks. It helped a little but then she figured out she could actually pee in it and it would absorb it- at least to a point. I was mortified yesterday when she came off the bus holding the bottom of her skirt up because the pad was shredded and hanging down from being so wet. We have tried every doctor and every program- even hypnosis. We can't seem to get her to think differently. SHe totally ignores it. ANd she is a very smart child. The only thing that helped was putting her on Detrol 2x a day for bladder spasms. One of my biggest problems is that she wont' change herself. She gets everything wet and dirty. I'll see her sitting on her hee to hold it instead of going to the pottie. SHe says she can't feel it. I tell her if she can't feel it, then why do you sit on your heel;? YOu must feel it. Then she doesn't have an answer and cops an attitude that, fine,I'll go. THen she takes her time getting to the bathroom. I've made her clean everything up including washing her own soiled underwearand pants. NOw she acts like she likes doing that. One thing that actually worked but made a mess was having her wear dresses and no underwear. THen she knew immediately she was going and had to get to the toilet or have a lot to clean up. THe hardest thing was finding the time and place to be able to do this day in and day out. I cna't just stop everyone's life for aweek and cancel all outtings. It would work for a day and then as soon as we put underwear back on her, she'd wet them. I just don't know what to try anymore.
Wow! Feels like you are talking about my son to a tee.... same exact pattern, except he just turned 9 and is going to be in a new school next year and we still have not made any progress. Ignoring everything and sitting in it.... lack of desire, I paid thousands of dollars for all types of anwsers and got none...
Urologist just diagnosed him with Bladder Spasms and gave us a prescripton for Detrol.
I just filled the prescription and was soo excited that some control might be in sight, then I read about the horrible hallucination info that was posted all over the internet. I would do anything to keep him dry, but those are some nasty side effects.
Has your child had any bad problems on Detrol XL? I hope to start him on Saturday.
I feel your pain... he is getting to old for this.
Im new on here. I joined because of the exact same thing you're experiencing. Even down to the birthday thing. My daughter was 7 recently and i'm no nearer getting to the bottom of her wetting etc. Yes shes been through alot in her life already, (divore, moving house, changing schools etc.. but, she came to live with me fulltime in August and everyone thought this is it, shes happy n will be ok. she is happy n settled, shes with her mum, (me) etc, n doing very well at her new school, very bright, in top for most subjects etc, but last week she pooed and weed in school and lluckily the teachewr smelt it and changed her before any kids did. because of this i took her to drs, we're now on waiting list for childtherapy n also for hosptial to eliminate any physical reasons etc. the pooing i believe was a one off, its never happened before or since, but in lkast three days shes wet on way on from school.
i'm at a loss as to what to do to help her, as you all i've tried everything. there is loads more to add but for now, i'm just gonna keep my eye on this topic in the hope i see something i havent tried. but it is a comfort to know i'm not alone in this problem. I hope we all get the help we need to help our kids through this problem.
this can be an issue that u allcan see your doc for. sometimes its not just cut and dry as accidents or attention or there must be something wrong emotionally. there could actually be something physically wrong. there are meds for kids for this and in some case kids bladders didn't grow the same as the rest of them and could have overly small bladders. which means they can't help it. i'd start with your doc and go from there. good luck to all of u.
I must admit that I am somewhat relieved that I am not the only one that has this problem. My daughter will be 7 next month and she still has accidents. All through Kindergarten, she was fine even though she went to school full days. She may have had the odd accident here or there but, for the most part, she was fine. Now that she is in grade 1, she is having accidents constantly. I have to pack a spare pair of pants and underwear in her backpack everyday. She doesn't always have accidents at school but she does at home. She cleans herself up. She doesn't even tell me when she does it. She just goes to the bathroom, cleans herself up and throws the dirty clothes in the wash like there is nothing to it.
I ask her why she does it and sometimes she just shrugs and says she doesn't know. Other times she says it's because she can't do it. I ask her why that is and she says "I don't know". I can tell when she has to go because she will grab herself etc. and I ask her if she has to go and she says no. 5 minutes later, she is changing her pants. Do I make her sit on the toilet when she does this whether she wants to or not? And there are times when we are in public and she tells me she has to go and she does go to the bathroom. When grandma and grandpa are watching her, she uses the bathroom at their place. I am confused and frustrated,
I can totally relate to all of your above storys , my heart goes out to all of you too :) my daughter aged 6.5yrs has the same prob, the main thing ive noticed is she seems relatively fine at school she is in yr 1 and i can probably count on my hands the amount of times she came home *slightly" wet...the main problem is , as soon as she gets home from around 3:30pm-bedtime(8pm) she will usually go through 3 or 4 changes of pants arhhhhh!...we have caught her out standing behind her door (busting and crossing her legs) or under her bed or in her cupboard.Sure we have asked her y she doesnt go and her reply is..."i dont know, i dont feel it!"my fustration comes in waves, some days im like "ok ill adopt the attitude of not paying attention to it and then she will "outgrow it" and other days im so OVER it , i get so fustrated at her and demand an answer from her grrr, i make her wash her pants. she seems fine with it and alot of the times at home she will even go about changing her pants and washing the others i hadnt even needed to tell her.Some days its just gotten to the point that im not even mad , as soon as she comes near me i can smell it and just sigh and say "go and change".im worried about how this is affecting her self confidence , even her younger sister (3yrs) can go to the toilet with no wet pants at all and will complain to her when she "smells " her.my daughter who has the issue with this wetting pants seems to be the child in the family ( i have 6 kids) that craves attention the most, im trying desperately to think y she does this..some things ill note are i did go through a divorce, she has changed schools and moved (but she was doing this before we moved) her wetting herself also has varying degrees ( some months she will hardly do it, yet other months its extreme(up to 6 changes a day) when we go out its hardly an issue i can again probably count on my hand how many times she has wet herself in public. she will ask to go to the toilet when we are out so i can totaly relate to other mums out there that just DONT GET IT bec i simply dont GET IT myself lol.i ask myself if this is a habit? a way of getting attettion?( i think somedays it is) the way it makes her feel to be busting could be pleasurable for her?(something to do with trying to control urself?) or maybe she simply loves to wash! LOL i serioulsy dont have the answers but am just hoping that she out grows it soon bec it cant be too pleasant on her nose ( or ours!), she does wet herself during the night too but we put a pullup on her , admitedly we have threatened her numerous times to wear the pullup to school( she doesnt seem to concerned about that threat) we have tried the reward thing (dont even go there!) from money to stars to fav toy to special treat after dinner, u name it we did it! if anyone out there had this prob with their child and was able to find some solution please SHARE thanks again
My 7 year old son is exactly the same. He responds the same, as others on here have said, "I don't know". It did get better for a while in Kindergarten and now recently, since his 7th birthday in February it is almost a daily occurrence. He waits until the last minute to go in the first place and I find that it happens when he's playing outside or doing something he doesn't want to stop doing. I have no idea what else to do - we have tried rewarding him and taking things away. The family Dr said there is medication, but we are still trying to find the right levels with his epilepsy medication so she didn't want to start something while we're doing that. My sister told me her son, who has ADHD, did it up until middle school. He is 19 now and when she asked him why he did it, to try and help me with my son, he says even now he has no idea why. The Dr suggested having him speak to a pediatric counselor - I am at a loss anymore.
I decided to comment here - even though it's an old post - because I read this post when I was at my wits end a couple of months ago. And quite a few others like it. And even though it's always good to know that your child isn't the only one with the problem, usually noone updates these posts when the problem is fixed or goes away. So when you're desperate for answers, all you can find is endless stories of people in the same position saying they don't know what to do either!
My daughter is 5 years 10 months and has been wetting herself pretty much daily for close to 7 months now. She was better at home than at school, but that was only because it took too long to get permission to go at school and rules like "sit cross legged when listening to the teacher" and "no running in the corridors" weren't helping her either.
She also went through 2 periods of soiling herself very regularly which was just utterly heartbreaking for me.
I just came from the paediatrician and everything makes sense now. This is the summary of the diagnosis:
She has an overactive bladder. It means the bladder capacity is smaller than usual and the bladder doesn't relax properly. It is not known what causes this but quite common, especially in girls at this age. It can be tested by keeping a diary of fluid-intake and pee-volume for a couple of days. This will show if they have a unusually small bladder capacity.
There is a treatment too! They can give bladder relaxants - don't have the prescription yet - that will allow the bladder to relax and increase it's volume. These are harmless to use as the bladder muscle is unique in its kind and can therefor easily be targetted.
Constipation and faecal impactation make the issue worse also and can result in soiling if it goes on for too long. Unless the child has an unusual diet, these are usually caused by the child getting into the habit of holding on too long and ignoring the brain telling them they have to poo. If they do this often and consistently, the brain will start ignoring the signals, the bowel will fill up with poo and stretch and poo will leak out without the child even being aware. The full bowel also puts pressure on the bladder which makes the symptoms of the overactive bladder worse. This needs to be treated with stool softeners, which are also harmless to use long-term. Usually keeping the stools soft for 3 months will fix this problem.
So don't despair, don't give up. This is rarely a purely psychological problem and there is a solution.
I will update this post again when we have completed the treatment.
Thank you so much and for offering up an update. Like so many people that have posted above, I am in the same position with my 4 1/2 yr old. Same things, she says she can't feel it, "it comes too fast," that she doesn't know why it's happening....she has no problem with pooing in the toilet. And of course our methods of dealing with it have ranged from ignoring, award charts, all sorts of positive reinforcements, flat out disappointment and frustration, punishment, etc. The list goes on. I do have an appointment with her pediatrician this thursday. During her last physical one of the doctors dismissed my concerns and said that we just need to take a weekend and remind her every 20 minutes for a couple of days. She pretty much has been reminded that much everyday for that past several months.
At school during "circle time" she has to sit on the outside (off the carpet) in case of accidents. As well as take naps on the floor and not the carpet for the same reason. She will pee herself doing anything, especially when it involves sitting still and concentrating on something, which she does beautifully (concentrates.) I feel terribly sad about this. My daughter is very bright, imaginative and sensitive. This potty issue feels like a barrier between us and I am worried about her self-esteem. Also, I feel like I went about this all wrong but, I couldn't tell you how I would do it differently because it does feel like we have approached this from all angles.
Anyway, I look forward to your update.
My main reason for wanting to update this post was that there appear to be so many parents (and doctors!) out there who blame the child and/or themselves for this issue.
Our paediatrician said it is a very common problem. You usually find one or two in every classroom. That's a lot of kids struggling with this issue.
And it isn't because you went about toilet training the wrong way. It isn't because your child is stubborn or lazy or has behavioural issues. And it is very normal to get frustrated and angry about this at times because as parents it makes us feel so very helpless. And I do recognise that feeling as if you are failing your child because you seem to be unable to help her fix this issue.
Please believe me when I say it is NOT your fault! It is NOT her fault either! Give her lots of affection and tell her that you will get through this together!
If I had read this earlier, I could've sent you the volume/frequency chart. It is vital that you do this. If you read this before you go to the paed, try to talk to your daughter to find out if she usually has a feeling of urgency when she first feels she needs to pee. This is a very important factor. If she is better at home than at school, that may also be an indication that she has trouble holding on. At home they can run to the toilet very fast, at school it often takes a while before they can get there. Does she pee often? Sometimes a few times in an hour?
I get so angry with doctors who try to dismiss this as a non-issue. They most likely don't have kids themselves or are very judgemental of parents and their ability to do what's best for their child. As if you had not already tried to remind her to go to the toilet more often? It's so patronising and I get so angry about it.
I just got the final diagnosis from my doctor by letter. I will copy the letter here, hoping that it may help others to find solutions for their kids. The diagnosis was based on a description of the symptoms, but mainly on the frequency/volume chart analysis. Here goes:
The chart shows that your child has a very small bladder capacity and feels the need to empty her bladder with low volumes frequently.
This condition is called dysfunctional voiding, also knows as irritable bladder, detrusor instability or overactive bladder syndrome. This is a very common condition in children around the age they start school. Children with this problem usually have:
- urgency: this mens that you get a sudden urgent desire to pass urine. You are not able to put off going to the toilet.
- Frequency: this means going to the toilet more often
- Urge incontincence - leaking of urine before you can get to the toilet.
We do not know why this problem starts. Normally, the bladd muscle is relaxed as the bladder gradually fills up. As the bladder is gradually stretched, we get a feeling of wanting to pass uring when the bladder is about half full. Most peole can hold on quite easily for some time after this initial feeling until a convenient time to go to the toilet. HOwever, in peopel with overactive bladder, the bladder muscle seems to give wrong messages to the brain. The bladder may feel fuller than it actually is. The bladder contracts too early when the bladder is not very full. This can make you suddenly need the toilet. In effect, you have much less contgrol over when your bladder contracts to pass urine.
Treatment for this condition has several parts:
1. Child must not be at all constipated.She needs to pass a nice soft bowel motion every day, to avoid pressure on the bladder. I suggested the use of Osmolax [a tasteless stool softener, to be used daily for 3 months].
2. Child needs to drink plenty of fluids. I would like her to drink 250ml of fluid at every meal break (breakfast, morning tea, lunch, after school, dinner, bed) and more if she wishes to. Water is the best drink for all people.
3. Child needs to go to the toilet and try and wee regularly. Around every 3 hours (meal breaks) is usual. Try to hold on in between times (see below). She should avoid going to the toilet "just in case".
4. Bladder training excercises - these aim to teach the bladder to stretch to a normal amount. These take time. The aim is to slowly stretch the bladder so that it cna hold larger and larger volumes of urine. In time, the bladder muscle should become less overactive and you become more in control of your bladder. This means that more time can elapse between feeling the desire to pass urine, and having to get to a toilet. Leaks of urine are then less likely.
The aim is for the child to 'hold on' as long as possible before each time she goes to the toilet. This will be difficult at first. In the beginning , try to hold on for an extre 5 minutes before going to the toilet. The child may need distraction - such as counting backwards from 20, counting up to 50 to help her do this. If she can make the 5 minutes, slowly extend the time out for 10-20 minutes. The child may begin to find that once the urge has passed, she can hold on for quite a bit longer.
With thime it should become easier as the bladder becomes used to holdingn larger amounts of urine. The idea is that gradually extend the time between toilet trips and to train your bladder to stretch more easily. It may take several months, but the aim is to be able to hold 200-250 ml of urine in her bladder.
Bladder training can be difficult, but becomes easier with time and perseverance. It works best if combined with drinking plenty of fluids and using medication to help stretch her bladder.
Medicines in the class of drugs called anticholinergics can help. The most common medicine used in children is called Ditropan (oxybutymin). This works by blocking certain nerve impulses to the bladder wich 'relaxes' the bladder muscle and so increases the bladder capacity. This reduces the feeling of urgency and allows the bladder to fill better. Mediation improves symptoms in some cases, but not all. The amount of improvement varies from person to person. Your child may have fewer toilet trips, fewer urine leaks, and less urgency. However it is commone for symptoms to go completely with medication alone.
We usually try a course of medication for a month or so. If it is helpful, your child usually continues the medication for up to six months, and then stops the medication to see how symptoms are without the medication. Symptoms may return after she finishes a course of medication. However, if you combine a course of medication and bladder training, the long-term outlook may be better and symptoms are less likely to return when you stop the medication.
Every month, we need to remeasure your child's bladder pattern to see if she is able to hold more and more urine in her bladder. The wetting problem usually goes away once she can hold 250ml in her bladder and is no longer constipated.
And I just wanted to add that for us, it helped hugely to have a diagnosis and a treatment plan. My daughter is very relieved that this is treated as a medical condition and to know that none of this is her fault. Without that blame hanging over her, she is very cooperative and is prepared to do what needs to be done to fix the problem.
I just want to thank you all for sharing in this thread. I have been up all night despairing because my daughter is starting school in a week (we live abroad), and she has the exact same problem as described by all of you. I am horrified thinking about how her days at school will be, because she hardly knows anyone there, and I am dreading she will become "the girl who always pees herself". After reading your stories, I feel I got my strenght back. It's so comforting to know I (and my daughter) are not alone. Thank you especially to Linella for sharing the information about the overactive bladder syndrome. I was crying as I read this thread. My daughter has also started washing her own pants, and every time she has an accident, she is studying my face very seriously and asking: "Did I make you sad again, mummy? I am terribly sorry if I did." As from today, I will start filling in a chart. THANK YOU!
My 3 year old daughter just got a silver filling put in her mouth because a a cavity in her tooth last week and in the past 3 or 4 days she has just started peeing her pants almost every hour, but the doctor says she is fine. I have to say there is a direct link between the silver filling and her starting to pee every hour, because she never had any problems before the filling.
I want to ask everyone that has a child that is peeing more frequent, if they have a silver filling in their mouth.
Hmmm... Hi, when I was reading this and I get to the part where you put 'she hates her birthday' I thought how odd but the next sentence makes sense, 'she says she doesn't want to grow up'. That's probably why she is wetting herself so she can get baby attention when she's says 'mummy I wet myself'. Hope I helped :). Olivia.
I can relate to you all, my 7 yr old daughter has a wetting problem its seems like she hates going to the bathroom period, It has been going on since she was in Kindergarten and now she is in the 2nd grade she is not going to the bathroom regularly she wants to pee her pants and is hiding it from me and her father my daughters father is frustrated with it all and he is blaming me because of what has happend to her in the past, yes she is living with him for the moment, and but recently i had just had my son which has no kin to my daughters dad but he is blaming me becuase she is mad i had another baby , i am thinkin this is getting to be attention gettter and she is doing it on purpose that being said my daughters father has said to give her tough love and tell her that she is not to pee her pants that she needs to go to the bathroom. there is so much i can do over the phone,, i am suppost to have her everey other weekend but her dad has nt let me do that just yet, yes she was here the weekend before last and she made sure she made it to the bathroom because it is that i was on her about it yet she got mad at me because she looked like she was holding it in and sitting up on her heel..i really dont know what else to do or say about it, i have read that it could be a diagnoses of over active bladder but i am not sure my daughters father has taken her to the doc about it...but he would proabably say he has and would say that the doc would say it is normal give it time...and which it is normal. i believe..im just in lost of words. i dont know what to do or say to my daughter or her father..about this..if he doesnt give me the chance to keep her weekends when im suppost to then that could be a reason why..im just not sure about it..ugh it s frustrates me ..ugh.
I am having the same issue with my 7 almost 8 yr old daughter.She has not gone even a month without wetting her pants or even more recently pooping her pants. My husband and I have been to the dr. There is nothing medically wrong. We both recently took a week off during school vacation week and she NEVER ONCE had and accident or anything.... Any suggestions????
I wanted to chime in because many of these descriptions could easily be my 6 year old daughter. We've been struggling with the constant daytime wetting since she was 4 years old. Having said this I don't think she was ever completely potty trained but the frequency and urgency started when she was 4. She does many of the things described above. We've had the voiding dysfunction diagnosis (according to the Dr. one of the worst cases he's ever seen) she's been on ditropan, she's had uroflow tests and and a video urodynamic study. We even tried flomax to try and increase the flow of urine. She has the behavioral stuff to. Refusing to go the the bathroom even though it is so obvious that she is doing everything in her power to hold it in. She seems perfectly fine being in damp pants. I've talked myself senseless having discussions with her about why she doesn't want to do to the bathroom and how it's important to keep her body healthy by staying dry and going to the bathroom when her body tells her she needs to go. She never seems to have a soaking accident. It's more like she gets the urge and leaks a bit but then the urge passes and she carries on without stopping to go to the bathroom or being concerned about changing her wet clothes. Of course this leads to some pretty offensive smelling clothes. We have a lot of ups and downs. We'll go through periods where it seems like we might be out of the woods only to regress again. She's even been to see a child psychiatrist who stated that she was a well adjusted child who for some unknown reason developed an anxiety about peeing. Her advice was to completely back off- no nagging, no timed potty breaks but i have to say that it is so hard to just watch her straining and do nothing. I also must say that I experience some tough emotional stuff. I can go periods where I can do this and be "zen" about the whole thing but then I will hit a wall and become frustrated angry and depressed. This seems to get worse in the times when we've had a good stretch and then a regression. We are actually in one of those down periods now. She is having urges and leakage as much as every 20 minutes. We were actually having dry nights as well- finally taking her out of pullups about 4 months ago but she's wet the bed the last four nights in a row.
We have a pediatric urologist who has been wonderful so I'm not really looking for advice on the problem. What I would love to know is has anyone come out of this. I see postings from a few years back and would love to know where these kids are now. I have to say it is a bit dismaying to see that there are kids who are 7 and 8 and know that I may have several more years of this in front of me. She's going into 1st grade next year and slumber parties are starting (she actually made it through one a few weeks ago but that was before this recent resurgence of night wetting and daytime frequency. It is great to see other postings because I had been feeling like she was the only kid on earth with this problem. I could probably write a book on voiding dysfunction but what I have yet to hear is stories from people who have come out on the other side so to speak. If any one thing eventually helped and what that was of if one day it all just magically went away. Does anyone know of any active support groups?
I know this situation so well! From my own daughter was about three yrs she started to wet herself daytime. Almost every day. By the time she turned eight,we had given up on her totally. We tried absolutely everything!
I asked her why she kept on doing this( under four eyes ) and she told me that it just felt so good. She told me she loved the feeling of beeing wet,and it felt comfy to her. Well...we got a kind of answer that time,and she also told me that if we hadn't yelled and screamed at her all the time...she might have stopped doing it. Today she's a grown up herself,married and have two wonderful kids. But she still wets herself she told me,but now always at home. I guess we are not all blueprints of our parents,and some kids just love this behaviour? I also looked at the internet about wetting and peeing,and i was shocked! It's not a medical problem at all! So....let her do it,there's nothing you can do if she has that "fetish" if i might use that word? Good luck to you anyway.
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