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My 4 year old daughter is regressing in her potty habits!

My 4 year old daughter seems to be regressing in her potty training. She was completely trained at school, or when we are out - no remember and always asking to use the potty (it has been this way for about the last 6-9 months). When at home, she seems to wet herself unless we remind her about using the potty. If she had an accident, we tried everything we could think of - rewards, punishment, time out. Then, this past week, she started having accidents at school, in addition to her normal antics at home. My husband & I decided to make her clean up her messes, bring as little attention to the situation, while at the same time rewarding any potty successes with candy treats. However, this seems to be making the situation worse. Now, she's having accidents all the time (even at school) and doesn't even seem to mind if she's wet or soiled. I'm so frustrated, but trying not to show it. Please help me!

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Asked by tmz717 at 7:25 PM on Jan. 23, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (5)
  • Before answering this people may need a little more info. Has there been any major changes to bring on this regress?

    Answer by maddiemygirl at 8:08 PM on Jan. 23, 2009

  • my 4 yo son did this. i was so frustrated!!! so after a week or so of dealing with it and not calling attention to it, i sat him down for chat. asked him if he felt ok, if there was anythign wrong... since not, then i told him that he was a big boy and knew how to use the potty, and that all these 'accidents' were NOT ok. he needed to use the potty like he used to, that i loved him, etc etc. so for whatever reason, he has not had another 'accident'. i had to check inwith him for the first few days and send him to the bathroom, but now we are back to the norm.

    Answer by kelinnh at 8:25 PM on Jan. 23, 2009

  • When the regression started, we had a "big girl" chat about how she is a big girl, etc. We are expecting our 3rd in April and as the due date approaches, there's been more conversation about the baby. When we do chat about the baby, I always try to make her feel special and included - that she's going to be my big helper and reassure her that I love her, etc. If that's the issue, how do I deal with it? While I want her to get over this hurdle, I don't want her to think that she can manipulate the situation by having accidents...Is this a situation that is better to not call attention to or stay on her with constant reminders?

    Answer by tmz717 at 9:25 PM on Jan. 23, 2009

  • That's usually a reaction to some major change or stress in her life. Is there a new baby? Did you move? New teacher? Something is different and you need to deal with that to fix the problem. I think your approach to the accidents is the right one though. Good luck!!!

    Answer by shmorris56 at 12:15 AM on Jan. 24, 2009

  • baseballOne thing I was thinking as I was reading is have you had her checked for a UTI? Try spending a little time writing down what happened before and what happened after the accident. How is she otherwise? Any other developmental skills has she regressed in? She may be having more accidents because she is worried about it and then the accident happened out of worry. I agree with some of the others is that this behavior may very well be because of having another. Try to be patient. I would "matter of fact" manner have her clean up her mess, not so much as a punishment but as a hands on job. Good luck!


    Answer by mrsrevjohnson at 1:28 AM on Jan. 24, 2009

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