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3yo holding potty all day. Help needed.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
My 3yo has been using the potty reliably for 6mos. She started preschool at the beginning of the month and at the end of week 1 started holding her pee all day long (from 8am until 4 or 5:30pm). At first I thought it was the auto flushers on the toilets but she won't even use the potty now that they have been covered. She did use it 2 times, but every other day she holds her potty all day long. Help! How do I help her through this so she can feel comfortable using the potty?
post #2 of 5

No help.  My daughter did this.  She must have a power bladder, I tell you.  She could hold it almost an entire day.  It helped-- a little-- that we had a routine of using the potty at bedtime.  I don't know what her issues were, she just did not want to pee.  Issues with nerves?  Not noticing when her bladder was full?  I have no idea.  She didn't have accidents, ever.


I would have just let this one go, but she not only wouldn't go when we left home for any amount of time, she made the entire trip miserable for everybody.  Heaven forbid we went for the weekend.  Just miserable.  


The tables turned when she was around 5yo when she had the idea herself to undress completely from the waist down so she could spread her legs wide.  This avoided the awful drips she hated so much and started getting her comfortable.  She started using the potty out and about, trips started getting easier and I let the issue drop.  She still has a power bladder, but she doesn't hold it all day.  And now her legs are long enough she can position her pants around her ankles and still get that wide stance she prefers, and this has made it even easier when we go out.  


Now, at 7yo, the issue has dropped completely.


In fact, she's getting quite "grown up" in so many ways.  I told a dumb "joke" the other day I had heard once: "you know you're a grown up when you ask yourself before a long trip whether you need to go to the bathroom or not."  Now she said, "I think I'm a grown up now because I decided to use the bathroom first".




Anyway, good luck!

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
She is using the potty just fine at home. Its when she's at preschool that she will not use it. She definitely knows she needs to go because they offer/go very frequently. She also holds herself between her legs and dances around. I'm concerned about her being uncomfortable--I'd like to help her find a solution but I'm not sure how to do that. It is very hot here and they play outside--she is limiting her fluid intake and will refuse water on the playground (that is not like her; she usually downs a couple water bottles full of water per day). I'm wondering if it has turned into a control issue??? I decided to try ignoring it (that's what worked for potty learning) but I don't want her to "suffer" if she is having a fear, etc.
post #4 of 5

I would talk to her teachers about how things are going there.  It could be as basic as her having so much fun and not wanting to get interrupted and not keeping up on her fluids because she has connected them with peeing.  Or it could be a control issue, or a fear issue.  I would try to investigate these possibilities before letting it go entirely yet.  (If I was really suspicious, I would try to keep the conversation with the teacher going as long as possible, get their guard down and let them blab, with the faith that something will slip regarding the issue.)


And talk to her about it at some time when she is not holding it, like in the car.  I am amazed at the kinds of conversations my kids and I have in the car.  


As for the dancing around, the "potty dance", I did give up on even suggesting dd2 go to the potty when she does this because I got so much resistance.  Painful to watch, but she mostly made it to the potty on time.  So, I decided that my persistent questions about whether she needed to use the potty might be conveying distrust on my part (um...yeah!) and that this was counterproductive in getting her to trust herself.  Very difficult to let go of.  Sometimes I even had to walk out of the room to avoid watching her do this!

post #5 of 5

We simply have a rule that you have to try to go before snack. And the teachers lead all the kids to the potty then. They are aware of big bladder DH and we had to make it routine to make sure he went.

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