Saturday, April 24, 2010

Help Please

I am horrified to even be having to deal with this, but Mia has completely reverted from potty training. She literally has not pooped in the toilet in weeks and then the rare occasion before that. She would just do her deed in her nighttime diaper or would just poop her pants. It is not getting better and she is now 3 and a half. She is doing it with more frequency and she is even peeing her pants all the time now as well. Today alone, she has pooped her pants 2 times and some ended up on her rug in her room and she walked around with it on her shoe all over the house-- lovely. She just now peed her pants all over the couch. I just don't get it. She was totally potty trained for a long time but over the last number of months she has just lost everything. I'm clueless to why. The only thing I can think that has changed over the last few months but I don't know if it has anything to do with her issues, but she gave up her nap about 3 or 4 months ago. Again, not sure if that is associated, but its all I can think that has changed.

The sad part of this is Mia will hide her poopy undies and attempt to totally clean herself using 50+ wipes and then go to great lengths to hide and throw everything away. Right when I just got home from the store just now Kevin was pulling her off the wet couch and she was running into the bathroom and locks herself in there. Then, just now, I saw her run out of the bathroom and then bolt upstairs - probably to change from her wet clothes. It does not seem like she enjoys doing this but she does-- all the time. I just am lost and I feel soooo bad that I am angry with her so much of the time. What is going on? Kevin thinks we should just put her back in diapers but I feel like that is just giving up and conceding. I hate that idea but at this point she pees or poops almost everything she wears, so we have to do something.

PLEASE HELP!!! I welcome any ideas or suggestions. I really do need some help here because I am spent and pissed and completely clueless on what to do. HELP!!!!


  1. I have no cure, but a couple thoughts.

    Mia may be at the age where lactose intolerance is kicking in. Does she get any milk products or product with added lactose (there are a surprising # of these) If so get her lactose free and see if that helps.

    I would also have her ped check her for a UTI and anything else he can think that may be a problem. Issues with one sometimes translate out to issues with both. ( have a story about pee in a ziploc here, but that can wait)

    This COULD be a food allergy issue. I hope not - they can be hard to isolate.

    If no physical issues can be found then you MIGHT try getting the potty training in a day book and run her through it for a day (a lot of work, trust me) to get her back on the program.

    If none of these gets you there then I think you need to accept you can't force someone to eat, sleep pee or poop on command. She may be regressing because she is working on some other major developmental milestone (yea, we have sort of seen that- although not to the level you are talking about) In any case she probably wont got to first grade in diapers.

    If it were us I would get a pack of pull ups and have a little talk to the effect of "we see you are having a lot of issues with your potty training right now. That is too bad and we are so sorry you are having trouble. We got you a new pack of pullups and we will use them instead of underwear until YOU tell us you are ready to go back to undies and using the potty."

    Then have her start putting on and changing her own pullups - except for poop of course. They don't do a decent job with that one . ..

    I hope this gets resolved quickly. Sounds like no one is having a good time.

  2. Thanks so much for those ideas. I know she has had a uti once before and I felt horrible for diciplining her for that-- but that was isolated and this is a total trend and it is getting worse. I have been reading a lot and I think I need to just let up. I have a hard time thinking mia is just not ready to be potty trainied since she was fully trained for many months before regressing-- but, I think I will try a new outlook. Here is what I am thinking and give me imput. At this point I have been --hate to admit it- but I have been disciplining her for accidents. Translation, she has been disciplined often recently. I also have become intolerant and totally ticked off, therefore I have been yelling at her as well. Feel like mom of the year at this point but Im ogoing to try something different. So, here is my idea. I am thinking about putting her back in pull ups and explaining she is going to receive a reward for going all day with a dry pull up. If she has an accident I will just not get upset (which will be really hard) and change the pull up. I will encourage her to get "rewards" by having a dry pull up.

    This will not be easy for me as this is going to be such a stretch by me not getting upset, but if she is not ready then maybe she just needs more time-- uggg!!!

    What do you guys think?

  3. Stick her back in the diapers, or pullups. Don't praise. Just accept what happens. No comments at all. Difficult, I know!

    Put a potty in every room she plays in. BUT say nothing about it.

    It could be an attention seeker, because jeepers, they DO get our attention when that happens. Lots and lots of attention. :)

    She is totally in charge of this process. She knows what she is doing since she was dry for so long. It's hard to watch her go through this but for whatever reason, she needs to.

    Mine was night dry for 2 months, then, whammo, wet every night. For over a year now. ?? Pullups it is then. No comments from me. It is what it is. (frustrating...but I keep my emotions to myself about that).

    They are in charge of elimination and when we "get into it" with them, it can become a battle of the wills. I can be quite stubborn too! And as we know, many of our girls are strong, determined, and downright STUBBORN! LOL

    Hang in there, this too shall pass. Remember to breathe.

  4. I had a similar problem when I was young. I was potty trained and then I started wetting. My mom was flustrated, but found out my bladder was not developing as fast as the rest of me and a short while after I grew out of it. It was hard for her at the time, but she tells me to be patient anytime my daughter has an accident. It could also be a UTI or lactose problem. My daughter can't hold it when she has anything with milk in it. It is hard for her and she gets very upset. My thoughts and prayers are with you that you will find out what it is so it can be resolved. Strart with the doc. Hugs from CT :)

  5. The fact that she is ashamed/trying to hide some of the mess shows that she's not doing this 100% on purpose. I'd definitely take her to the doctor to rule out physical problems, and evaluate her diet carefully and see if that could be the issue.

    For now, get her into pull-ups/diapers, speak to her calmly, and let her know you're there for her and want to help get her back on track.

    Please, please, please be patient with her and do not discipline her for this, it can be extremely damaging to her in the long run and she will learn to grow up fearing you and terrified of making mistakes and being less than perfect. I know from experience and how I was raised. She is probably just as scared and frustrated as you are.

  6. I'd definitely take her to the doctor as well. It does sound like its something physical rather than a regression. Poor baby, poor mommy.



  7. Ours is sort of a different scenario, but our oldest went back to peeing and pooping in his pants after we returned from Taiwan with our youngest. What turned him around almost immediately was saying to him that if he wanted to go back to being a baby who has to wear pull-ups it was o.k. with us, but that meant he had to also start taking naps again, he would have to start using his crib again since it had a plastic cover for the mattress and he would not get to do all of the big boy activities he was used to. Within a couple of days, he was back to wearing underwear with just the occasional accident.

    Looking back it sounds a little mean, but we were at such a loss.

    Take care.

  8. I think you have gotten excellent ideas from everyone.

    If it helps remember this before you get upset. It is physically IMPOSSIBLE to control your pee and poop with any precision unless you are relaxed. In fact you have to be able to relax to "perform".

    So if things are getting tense you might indeed be getting into a spiral.

    I like the approach you are going with.

    Give us an update when you get a chance.

  9. So sorry you all are going through all this. Sounds like you have received some great advice. Hoping for an improvement soon!


  10. I started her in pull ups yesterday and yes she peed and pooed in them and seems like it is no big deal. Thats the probelm with the pee part. She totally has the pee thing down for the most part so putting her in pull ups just seems to allow her to be lazy- and she has been and therefore just pees in her pull up instead of heading to the bathroom. Anyway, Ill get over it. I also did not get upset with her and she even said one time-- momma your not mad? and I thought- how sad that she just expects the yelling and pissed off mommy. So this whole thing is new for me but honestly, to not perminently damage my daughter, I need to just make it a non issue becuase with the anger that comes up when she poops and pees her pants-- it is bad and I cant do that to her. So, it is now a non issue. I told her last night that she didnt get a treat for having any accidents yesterday but that today is a new day and she could try again today. She yelled-- yaaaaa!!! So I guess we will see.

    Thanks so much for all your comments and if anyone has anymore suggestions, please keep them coming. I need the help.

    Christy :)

  11. Hi there,
    Does your daughter go to daycare? The reason I ask is that my daughter (just three) is toilet trained at home on the weekends, but regresses all the time during the week. And the reason is because she is afraid of the toilets in the daycare and therefore holds herself from going. She is fine for her BM...its just peeing her diapers. I would explore that because it took me awhile to get her to tell me the 'why'. Unfortuantely, for us, the daycare is not all that great at supporting her in her until we find a new daycare...this is likely to continue. I reward my daughter though for telling me when she wets her diaper, so she knows to tell us.

  12. Thought I would add..I don't reward my daughter for peeing in her pull ups; but rather reward her for verbalizing the truth about when she makes a mistake...sorry made it sound like the wrong thing..

  13. Kate had a small regression in peeing a few months ago. I took her in to get checked for a UTI. She did not have one BUT I did later find out that one of the asst teachers at school was YELLING at the kids and it was really upsetting KAte. In fact, several of the kids started regressing in their potty training. Emotional upset/fear etc. can also cause this. Let us know if you figure it out. it could help someone else.

  14. Today I took Mia to Disneyland and put her in a pull up. Even at disney she never had a pee accident but almost pooped a few times and then when I saw her literally crossing her legs in an effort not to poop and I picked her up and took her to the bathroom and set her on the toilet and she would not poop. She had to desperatly-- and even went a bit in her pants- but when I put her on the toilet she cried and said she didnt want to-- not that she didnt have to but she didnt WANT to. Im starting to think she is scared to poop for some reason. Im not sure why but I am sure I have been emotionally torturing her when I get so upset and cauding her emotional trauma-- therefore maybe she has started not WANTING to poop-- hmmmm... maybe there is something to that. Maybe it is the emotional thing. I need to wrap my head around this idea.

    Keep the ideas coming-- I appreciate it.


  15. Christy...the fear with pooping may not be related to you at all. It can be related to pain with defecating. Does she ever complain when she passes stools that it hurts? It can happen with hard dry stools and with liquidy stools (due to the acidity). Sometimes this is related to dietary intake (lactose intolerance)...other times to just needing more soluble fiber/fluid to soften up the stools. I would ask Mia what she says. The reason I focus so much on giving my daughter positive reinforcement for letting me know whether she has wet her pull ups is that she was very nervous at daycare about wetting her diaper because of the feedback she was getting at daycare. They told her I would be upset that she wets her pullups (I actually don't care that much, so long as she doesn't have a medical problem causing it (she doesn't)). And it was her 'fear of the toilet' and the reaction she was getting at daycare that interfers/interfered with her toilet training. The daycare she attends doesn't mean any harm...I just think they are too focused on the issue. The other issue is the toilet is far away from the room she is in..and so she can't go on her own...she has to be taken.

  16. Christy,
    I know i am really late on this, but I have been swamped and have just not been reading blogs lately.

    I was wondering if Mia could be constipated. Even kids who poop regularly can be constipated if they are not completely emptying. When you posted that she didn't want to poop, it kind of reinforced this thought in my head. Peeing in her pants can also be a result of the not wanting to poop. When kids hold everything in it affects all the nerves in that area.

    Maybe you could either try something like Miralax if you feel comfortable with it or just give her prunes or something.

    good luck. I know how frustrating this can be.

  17. Christy,

    When Gracie was potty training, she would go pee all the time in the potty but was freaked out to poop. She would bring me a diaper everytime she had to poo because she was terrified it was going to hurt. I finally bought the last package of diapers and would tell her that once the diapers were gone, she would have to go poop on the potty. When it was time to go on the potty, Gracie had a total meltdown and was screaming and crying. She tried twice and I had to be super firm with her but she finally went on her little froggy potty and we've never looked back.

    I also buy Gracie these gummy bears at Target called Fiber Gummies by Pedia Lax. You give them 3x per day or less and they really work in softening up the stool. Not sure how Mia is but Gracie always seems to have these hard little balls. Sorry for the TMI!

    You could also try going back to basics and putting Mia on the potty every 1/2 hour or so. I know with Gracie, that she will hold hers forever if I don't ask her and then she will end up having an accident because she waited so long. My fault, not hers. I now ask her quite a bit if she has to go. Anyway, good luck to you and I am sure things will get back on track!

  18. Christy, I'm so sorry you and Mia are having this problem,it's so frustrating!! Some of the other posters comments regarding constipation make alot of sense. My oldest used to get constipated and she would DO anything to not poop as it hurt!! Then she would wind up with poopy underwear and "skid marks" And it did become a battle of wills and it got bad with me losing it and getting upset with her and her trying not to poop!! Get Mia something for constipation maybe if you think it could be that, it might really help with her toiletting issues...Good luck and I hope things improve....:)
    Kind Regards,

  19. Humm - one other thought - JJ is getting really imaginative - and with her imagination developed a "fear" of foreign potties - e.g. home potty is OK, but strange ones are "scary" - I think because some of the automatic flushers are noisy.

    She also developed a short fear of "falling in".


    And I am going to try the pedialax thing - that sounds very helpful.

  20. I have never thought mia would be constipated becuase it is soft but maybe it is. She insists she does not WANT to therefore there must be something there. Again, the pee thing seems to be ok with the occational accident but the poop is our major issue and by the way, today I just out of habit put her in underwear going to day care and she did have an accident and she has not had an accident at day care for a really long time so whats up with that? Anyway, it has been really nice not making it an issue. I feel much more happy-- even though Im not happy about the regression.

    Thanks for the ideas-- love them!!!!

  21. Perhaps she had a hard poop recently, and it really hurt her, and perhaps now she is fearful of that pain again.

    Stool softeners, or tons of fruit or gallons of water. That softens up anything!

    Good luck, Christy. Good for you for maintaining it as a non-issue. It's so hard, but she'll eventually figure it all out again. They all do. :)
    Snick :)

  22. Could be constipation--the liquid stool leaks around an impaction of stool. Ask her Dr.--might try miralax and retrain her bowel.