Potty Training Filter
August 6, 2010 7:21 PM   Subscribe

Parentfilter: How do you handle very specific potty training regression issue with a 2.5 year old girl?

My daughter is 2.5 now, and potty trained very early (completely, including nights, at 22 months). For the last week or so she's had very specific training regressions: she pees, a LOT, in her sleep. She hasn't had any accidents anywhere except her bed...she's slept in a hotel recently on vacation for 2 nights and naps, and has napped in a carseat during trips without any issues.

This happens during naps and overnight, and in both instances we are making sure that she goes to the bathroom before she goes to bed. She happily pees in both instances...she's not withholding, and doesn't seem to be in pain or bothered at all about using the potty during her waking hours. When asked about it, she says that she pees, and it wakes her up...not that she's waking up, and then not getting out of bed for some reason.

This isn't a huge deal (although of course it's a bother to have to change sheets 3x a day), but it does seem to be an issue for her...she says it makes her feel sad when she gets up. :-( There is no major drama in the house, and the only major change recently (2-3 weeks ago) was her move to a toddler bed (which wasn't a move at all, since her crib converted). She seems perfectly happy in the bed...she's not having nightmares, waking, or anything like that. She typically sleeps 11-12 hours a night.

So, oh parents-of-mefi: What the heck? Tips, tricks? Right now we are trying really hard not to make it a big deal, but we are talking with her about it. My pet theory is that she's having an increase in REM/dreams that she remembers (she tells us about her dreams now when she wakes...she wasn't able to do that a month ago) and that along with this there's some autonomic nervous system stuff going on.

Is there anything we should be doing? Any thoughts at all are welcome.
posted by griffey to Human Relations (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is it possible she could be having a bladder infection? Or, is her fluid intake more than normal?
Or, is she maybe sleeping more soundly than usual?

My daughter used to wake her son up and take him to the bathroom in order to prevent wet beds, so that's an option.

Maybe worth giving the pediatrician a call, just in case.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:28 PM on August 6, 2010

Yes, please consider having her checked for a UTI. As a mother of three daughters, I can vouch for the fact that when a potty trained girl this age starts having accidents, this is what you should check for first.
posted by tamitang at 8:18 PM on August 6, 2010

Another vote for the pediatrician, or at least the advice nurse.
posted by leahwrenn at 9:04 PM on August 6, 2010

Just so you know, this is normal and common at this age. She'll grow out of it. She's likely going through a growth-spurt, which is exhausting. She's sleeping heavier. so her little brain isn't getting the pee-signal from her little bladder!

Try waking her to pee before you go to bed. She'll barely waken and should go right back to sleep. Put her back in diapers/pullups as necessary so she doesn't feel like a failure, explaining that her body still wants a diaper sometimes and that lots of kids and grown ups use them, too.

Also, restrict liquids before naps and bedtime -- this may sound like "duh" but I was nanny to a family who's little 2+ year old girl had this problem, which I pretty much solved by stopping the sippy cup with bed routine.

(BTW, I am an old granny lady with kids of my own, so this isn't just hypothetical.)
posted by kidelo at 6:07 AM on August 7, 2010

Thirding checking her for UTI and possibly taking her to a urologist. I had ongoing bedwetting problems as a young child, from the time I was potty-trained. After years of having a pediatrician guilt my mother into believing that she was the cause of the bedwetting (insinuating that my mother was overbearing and whatnot), we finally found a specialist who was able to diagnose that my urethra was abnormally narrow, and as a result, my bladder didn't always drain fully when I went, resulting in leakage at night and ongoing problems with UTI's, which only compounded the problem massively. I eventually had a surgery at age 7 to enlarge the urethra, and all of that went away.

Your daughter's very young, though, and this regression may just be a normal developmental blip.
posted by amusebuche at 1:33 PM on August 7, 2010

In my experience (14 years in early childhood), occasional regressions like this are normal and no drama. It sounds like you are doing the right thing not making a fuss and calmly dealing with it. Children's bladders can be too small to hold the urine of a long sleep, and, as kidelo said, while asleep the pee-signal is sort of automatically obeyed. Pull-ups (aka "big girl pants", that she can get on herself for a sense of control) can help, without returning to "baby" nappies. Certainly check with your GP for any problems, and then, if all is well, just keep dealing with those "sneaky wees" as they come. She'll grow out of it.

A really helpful book on supporting kids's development is "Children are people too" by Louise Porter - it's really parent-friendly, and the advice is easy to pick out what's relevant to you.
posted by liss at 8:32 AM on August 8, 2010

« Older Private student loan hell.   |   What TV show or movie is this quote from? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.