Parent FAQs on accidents

two toddler children in the bathroom

Suddenly starting having accidents after 6 weeks of being dry. 

Q: My 2.5 year old has been potty trained for about 6 weeks now with no accidents. This week all of a sudden he is having some accidents in his pants. He’s asking to go to the toilet and when we get there, there is already a small wet patch in his pants. When I put him on the toilet he sometimes has a good pee but sometimes it’s just a dribble coming out. It’s almost like he’s holding it in even though he’s on the toilet and has stated he needs to go and he’s holding it for a long time before he asks to go.  

A: Sometimes children do start having accidents after a while, and it can be because they are mastering the final stage of potty training, which is learning to hold on for longer. You may find that he is going longer between visits to the toilet, and the damp patches in his pants can be a sign he’s just left it too late.

Not being able to fully empty his bladder may be because he has been trying so hard to hold on. If you talk to him to relax him or give him a toy to play with while he is sitting on the toilet. This may help him fully relax and completely empty his bladder. It actually sounds like you are very nearly there! 

Q: My daughter is 2 and half and is brilliant at using potty/toilet as long as she is naked from waste down. As soon as she has pants and bottoms on she will just wee anywhere and not even say she needs toilet. I have tried persevering but she really dose not care one little bit that she is soaked and would stop like it all day if I let her. Any advice please xx 

A; Hi Gemma, This is a common occurrence with toddlers. It seems to be that if they start potty training with no clothes on the bottom half, when clothes go back on they think it’s a nappy that has gone back on. The best advice we can give is to persevere (sorry, know that can be messy!) but they do need to learn through trial and error.

When accidents happen get your daughter to sit on the potty/toilet to ensure she has fully emptied her bladder. Try not to keep asking her if she needs a wee, but instead you can introduce set toilet times. Ask her if her body gives her any clues that she needs a wee to try to get her to recognise the internal signals that she needs to go to the toilet. Rewards for getting wee in the toilet can sometimes work, but always keep positive and try not to get annoyed at accidents. Good luck x 

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