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I am having trouble with my 5 year old wetting on herself during the day. This happens approximately 2-3 times a day. I need answers as to why this could be happening and how to react.
By Kimberly from Pittsburg, CA
Definitely speak to your pediatrician, especially if she has been dry previously. You need to rule out things like diabetes and urinary tract infections. Please don't delay!
Yes, see a doctor. And what ever you do, do not feel it's something you are doing. Is someone bullying her?
I know when I was young I had a problem with wetting in my pants. I just could not hold it. I had six bladder operations before the age of six. They corrected the issue. So, yes, see a doctor. It could very well be a physical problem for which your child has no control.
My little girl had the same problem. I was at my wits end. Came to find out she was alergic to sulphur and this is what was causing the incontence.
My 6 year old daughter is having accidents almost everyday. We thought it was a medical problem, but the doctor says no. We tried counseling due to her being adopted, but that is not working. I thought it might be an attention getter, due to her having a younger sibling. We have tried everything. We need some help. Any suggestions?
By STEPHANIE from Dayton, OH
I wouldn't make a big deal about it. My granddaughter was "trained" at 2 and has started wetting the bed recently and having accidents. She is 6 also. I see that discouraged look in her eyes when my daughter fusses at her. Being a little older I just feel like there are bigger issues to do battle over but she feels it is unacceptable since she knows better.
I am a retired therapist for adoptive/foster children. This is common in children when we are not sure of their history. If they had been abused they may be experiencing flashbacks or fears which can lead to wetting. Or, it may be developmental. Age 6 is a common age for wetting accidents and they usually grow out of it. There is a medication, DDAVP, that is used for bedwetting. It is very effective with no side effects. We used this a lot for foster children and saw a lot of success. It can be prescribed from the pediatrician and can slow or stop the bedwetting, no matter what the cause is. Good luck.
Certain food allergies can cause an overactive bladder. It might help to have your child tested for allergies and put her on an elimination diet.
If you want an old ladies advice, that is an old lady that has 7 grown kids, 25 or so grandchildren, (it is hard to keep up with the step-grands these days, but they do count), and i lost track at about 12 great grands with one or two on the way. (I am not senile, nor am i joking about the numbers, it is just crazy sometimes).
Anyway, here is my advice to you, spend your time loving, reinforcing her position in the family, but also give her jobs, make her place in the family an important one, as sometimes a feeling of unimportance can cause the "little" diversions from normal behavior. Also, sometimes, the ability to "hold it" just seems to weaken, and then a few weeks, or even months, later, all's well again.
Mostly, just don't make a big deal about it. The less you stress it, the less it will make her upset if it is something she can't seem to control at this particular time. All the best to you and your family. Loretta, (and I am only 70)
Please just don't make a big deal of it! My brother wet himself (whether at play or sleeping) for what seemed like forever and he finally got over it not long after our parents quit making an issue out of it.
They would fret and run him from doctor to doctor and once the physical part was ruled out they took him for mental/emotional help about wet sheets and wet pants. Well, when the children's hospital finally told them he's a normal boy they stopped their fretting and the disappointed looks on their faces and he stopped wetting himself in a really short time! That was almost five decades ago so some things are best left to nature, time and and not worrying!
With adoption there is a high probability of FAS or FAE (fetal alcohol syndrome/effects). FAS kids can have all kinds of mental health issues but also medical, one is bladder issues. My dd (adopted) bio-mom (also FAS) had one kidney significantly smaller than the other. She also had problems with her bladder.
ADHD: If your child is ADHD they are running and moving all day, by the time they finally sleep they can zonk out so hard they can't wake up.
One of mine (adopted with FAS, ADHD etc etc) actually fell from top bunk at night and never woke up - he slept hard and was 11 before he was actually dry over 1/2 the time
Allergies: Allergies are another problem that can cause urine issues. When mine flare up I have to pee all night, so do my kids & dh. Ria
My daughter is 7 and she wets herself all the time. I have 2 children who live w/my parents due to their father being so abusive while we were still together. The kids never were in direct line of the abuse plus my daughter was only 18 months old at that time. My parents shame her and belittle her. How do I make them see that they are only making it worse for her, and what do I do to help my daughter? I'm afraid the kids in her class may be picking on her. The whole situation enrages me so badly and I don't feel like I can really do anything to ease her pain. It also breaks my heart.
Take your daughter to the doctor for a complete physical. She may have a urinary tract infection or some other physical reason for bed wetting.
If it is not physical, invest in waterproof pads and nighttime diapers. This will keep the wetness contained, and cut down on laundry.
You may need to take your daughter and the entire family to therapy. They will teach you how to deal with this situation.
I agree with Judy -- the child should be evaluated both by a pediatrician and a family therapist. I know this might be expensive but bed-wetting is a cry for help. Maybe start with school nurse or teacher for referrals.
Bed wetting is a complex issue. As the others have said, it may take a two fold approach with a doctor and a psychologist. Perhaps the school psychologist can help if you think your daughter is being bullied at school (and maybe even help with the grandparents behavior).
Perhaps the grandparents can go with you to the meetings so they can learn coping techniques also and stop shaming her.
Web MD has a really good article that you could share with the family: www.webmd.com/
This one has some slightly different points:
These are trusted sites and you can use it for talking points when at the doctor and with the school psychologist.
Prayers for all that this can be resolved and not leave permanent scars on your daughter's psyche.
There are so many questions that are unanswered that it is really difficult to even suggest where to start with helping your daughter.
I have twin girls that are almost 7 years old that still wet their pants during the day, but not at night. I have had them to the doctor and they have run all kinds of test on them. They all come back negative. So I know there is nothing wrong with them medically. They will both go to the bathroom, but instead of sitting on the toilet to pee they would rather pee in their pants. So my question is how do I get them to stop wetting themselves during the day?
Have you found out if they're afraid of the toilet? Some kids are afraid of the sound the toilet makes or believe they can be flushed down the toilet.
If they are especially petite they may feel like they are constantly going to fall in while balancing on the edge of the seat. You might try holding onto them while they go or putting an arm around their back.
At 7 years old this is rather strange. Your girls are being lazy to go to the toilet during the day. You might not have another choice but to take them to the toilet yourself. Stand with them and make them go pee in the toilet. If they only wet their pants during the day they are crying out for your attention. If one twin decides to wet her pants the other will follow. It is a game of who gets the most attention from mommy.
Do not assume they are doing it for frivolous reasons and make a big deal out of it. For a long time, even through my teens, I would wet my pants if I laughed too much. Thank God my parents never thought I was doing it to get attention and never punished me for it! It didn't get better I was an adult and has recently started up again now that I am 67.
Any update on 6 year old peeing in house? I'm going through same thing.
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My boyfriend's 4 year old daughter keeps wetting her pants while watching TV. Her mother, grandmother, and father (my bf) have decided to spank her on the butt after she wets her pants, and I do not agree with this at all. I think they should ground her from TV and maybe timeout as well. So what do you think should be done? There's got to be something better than what we are all doing. Should we get her professional help?
By joy from Hobart, IN
If she is only doing this when watching TV, I would say she is so engrossed in what she is watching she "forgets" she has to go. Have her go sit on the toilet during each commercial break whether she has to go or not, I'll bet most likely she will go. Heck, run the water in the sink if you must, she'll go, and praise her when she does. Spanking is not going to help her and will probably only make matters worse.
In response to the other post regarding the 5 year old, if there is no medical problem then please seek help elsewhere. It may be emotional, especially if her parents are not together. In both cases are these kids wetting more when they are with one parent or home more so than with the other? At this age, they are more likely to act out in some way as they can't articulate what is bothering them.
A child this age knows what she's doing. One thing she's doing is getting attention. She probably should see a doctor to rule out physical problems, but I suspect it's being done on purpose. I'd not let her sit on furniture, but on an old shower curtain or plastic table cloth on the floor. She would have to wear large diapers. She can also miss out on "big girl" stuff (think of some!) until she proves she's big enough to do them. If everybody gets all lathered up over this she's getting what (I suspect) she wants. It's just a simple matter to go back to babyland with no fuss from adults. (04/07/2009)
I don't believe punishing her will help at all. Our little girl used to wet herself regularly while playing with her toys. She just didn't think to go to the loo. Her mind was too preoccupied. We just had to keep reminding her, every ten to fifteen minutes with "Do you need the toilet?". She stopped constantly wetting herself by about the age of five, with a few accidents every so often. She was pretty much dry by the age of six. She never had the problem once she started school.
Our little boy is now the same. He is three, and he just doesn't think to go to the toilet or potty. He doesn't need a diaper, but we need to keep reminding him.
Children are not being naughty when they wet themselves, and punishing them for it, especially spanking, should have been left behind with the Victorians! Try rewarding the child for a whole day dry, with a small treat (doesn't have to be candy), or keeping a chart, where they get smileys and frowns for dry and wet days, and a little prize for so many dry days. Also, when they have a whole dry day, tell the, how good they were. If they have wet day, you can say it's not good., but don't be cross or angry. Yes, it wears the patience thin, when your running out of dry pants and your hands smell of wee, but they are just children, still learning to live.
I am strongly against the idea of corporal punishment or humiliation (e.g. treating the child like a baby) for dealing with this wetting issue, because in the event that it's unintentional and difficult to control, using the first two options as discipline could really shatter the child's self esteem and lead to further emotional or behavioral problems. Please remember that this is a little girl who needs to be treated with love, not taught that her body or its processes are shameful.
I'd seek a second doctor's opinion or request a referral to a urologist to rule out a medical problem, and use other posters' suggestions of consistent reminders to take a bathroom break (a kitchen timer would help!), limiting fluids in excess, and handling accidents with encouragement and kindness. She might also need to have her TV time shortened somewhat so that she's able to listen to her body's cues without being mesmerized by whatever's on the screen. (04/10/2009)
By Melody T.
I had an acquaintance that was a pediatrician. She had an uncanny way of working with preschoolers with these types of behavioral problems. The solutions were usually quite simple or straight forward. This is all part of their training and worth a visit to a pediatrician to get to the bottom of it. I'm not against corporal punishment for kids, but only as a last resort. It does not look like it is appropriate in this situation. (04/10/2009)
By Tom D.
Children need reminders and will until they move out of the house and still they will need reminders. It is your job as a parent to stay in control and instill good values and morals in your child. Accidents will happen. I think if you make sure she potties before she sits to watch TV and then maybe at 30 minute intervals, have her go during commercials, this will eliminate the problem. Lots of praise for staying dry and little reaction to the accidents will keep her self esteem in tact. (04/11/2009)
This is giving up their complete control. This is the only thing they themselves have control over and no one can stop it except them. Think about why she may be wanting to keep this control. (04/11/2009)
How many times have you sneezed or coughed till you "had an accident". Remind the child every hour if necessary to get to the BR. If this were an issue other times, chiropractic care is fantastic. There are little areas in the back that press on the bladder, etc. (lots of medical terms), but an adjust is fantastic for the pants wetter.
My 2 yr old granddaughter and her sister when 2 went through this as well. They were done with diapers except when accidents began, we got them in, adjusted, and wetting was over. Kids run and play and jump and don't tell us if they hurt themselves. Only wetting can do it. I am 54 and my mom took my bed wetting siblings in for the same thing, chiropractic care, without medical treatments and medication are the best way to start, totally non-invasive. Why medicate and still pee the pants? Take care of the problem. (04/13/2009)
By Grandma J
My daughter's boyfriend has a 5 year old daughter and she's constantly wetting herself for no apparent reason, that we know of anyway.