I need some advice...

I don't usually ask for advice on this blog... honestly I seem to get enough without actually asking for it.

BUT I need some advice.

My daughter Olivia is 3 1/2 and we have been potty training her for about a year. I am casual about it for the most part... after potty training my son with Autism I figured it wasn't worth the stress to make a huge deal about it.

But after this long I started thinking something might be wrong. Because she is not resistant to going pee on the potty. Not at all. She will happily pee on the potty for me anytime I ask her too. Well, she would until a few days ago anyway.

For my sons the biggest hurdle was their willingness to actually use the potty. Once we got over that it took a few days and they were potty trained. Granted I waited until they were both 3 & 4 years old to do it but still... it was relatively easy.

My daughter started asking to use the potty over a year ago.

She goes pee a teeny tiny amount each time in the potty... then she gets up and 5-10 minutes later pees her pants- again, just a teeny tiny amount but enough that she needs to change her underwear and pants. And then we start the whole process again.

This happens about 15-20 times per day.

No, I am not exaggerating. We do entire loads of just her bottoms often.

About 2 weeks ago she mentioned that it hurt when she went pee so I thought maybe she had a bladder infection or something. We went to see the doctor and no, she doesn't.

BUT the doctor thinks that she might actually have a physical bladder issue- he thinks it is probably too small so she feels like she has to pee all the time urgently so she is unable to hold it. He said it is possible that her bladder is too big and just never empties fully but he doesn't think so.

He is sending her to a specialist in the big city 4-ish hours away and he think they will want to do a whole bunch of tests on her.

The thing is that Olivia is supposed to start junior kindergarten in 6 weeks. Obviously she can't go to school in diapers.

Junior kindergarten is technically optional here but EVERYONE goes and when we arrived here from a place that didn't have junior kindergarten my boys were both a full year behind everyone else in their classes because they didn't take it. So really I don't feel like she should miss it. And I have no intention of homeschooling her, I already have a job thank-you very much.

The doctor told me if it is a medical issue she can go to school anyway which is good to know.

He said he would try to get us in to the specialist asap so we know.

Here is where the advice part comes in....

Should I still be trying to potty train her? Should I continue to try and get her to pee in the potty? Should I continue putting her in underwear and pants?

She has started to be VERY frustrated with constantly wetting herself and I don't want her to get so frustrated she wants to stop trying. I don't want her to feel bad about the whole thing.

She never gets in trouble for it and she can fully undress and clothe herself. We already use stickers and rewards and all that other regular potty training stuff.

If it is in a regular potty training advice column or book I already know it so don't bother telling me :) .

She has stopped even attempting to poo on the potty though. She will ask to put on a diaper. And she is going poo like 6 or 7 times per day. No, I am not exaggerating. She is not constipated and it is not diarrhea.  She is not sick and she is not complaining about a sick tummy or anything. She has been doing this forever. I just always assumed it was because she was a baby... but she's not anymore.

What should I do? Just leave her in diapers or pull ups until we see the specialist? What if we see the specialist and they say there is nothing wrong, she is just being difficult? Then I've wasted all this time not trying.

I never knew I would have this much trouble potty training with my THIRD child. I trained a kid with Autism for goodness sake! And that is not easy!

So any of you medical-professional or special-needs parents or brilliant experts out there have any advice?


Unknown said…
Oh Tara, I have no good advice for you, but I hope that you're able to find something out soon. Praying for you sweetie!
Unknown said…
Because this is ALL you needed. Yeesh. I'm sorry to hear Tara. No advice... cuz I'm stuck in my own potty mess, but I hope she gets in soon.

And yes, she should be able to do school if there's a medical problem. Finleigh does.
Unknown said…
I don't have any advice either, I'm sorry :( I wouldn't push her though, pray to get into that doc fast!!
Some kiddos just have to find out what their motivation is to potty train. And if she's like my youngest, her main question in life will be "why does this matter to me?"

We did all our potty-training with this book as a guide:
Potty-Training in Less Than a Day - my daughter and both boys were trained this way just before they turned 2 (this isn't a pat me on the back kind of statement, especially in light of your current situation - it's just a testimony to the method, it really worked for us). We originally got a copy from the library, and then bought one, and now it's been passed on somewhere... no idea where...

Hugs to you, mama! Hang in there, and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

the Doug said…
let's duct tape the potty to her rear. That'll fix it. We'll buy pants that are 4 sizes to big to make it fit...

I'm brilliant.
Tara's dh.
A. Smith said…
Hmm, she could be feeling pain because she might be trying to hard to hold it in. If she's peeing just a little bit so often, it might be more her mental outlook on the whole thing. Perhaps bringing characters into the mix might work. Who are her fav cartoon idols? Maybe they have a dvd or book about potty triumphs that might encourage her. I read somewhere that a little girl was having the same trouble and her mother took her to the doctor. The doctor told the little girl that she shouldn't be in diapers and somehow it motivated the girl to start using the potty normally. Perplexing but true.

If it is a medical situation, hopefully her bladder will work itself out as she grows. It sounds like she is really being brave about the whole thing and it's wonderful that you are so patient and understanding with her. She's lucky to have you cheering her on while she's learning :)

For school, perhaps the Goodnites that are more like underwear but are absorbent might make her feel comfortable in a class setting. I think they are expensive though :(

I'm having trouble getting my daughter to tell me when she has to go potty. She'll go if I put her there but whenever I ask her she says NO. Ugh, it's frustrating but I'm trying to be patient. She was trained before I broke my foot but than reverted back when I couldn't take her to the potty anymore because I'm a single mom and it was just too painfull to hop there every 20min. Now its almost like she doesn't care whether or not she goes on the potty. I've tried stickers, candy, books, dvds, dance routines, the works! Hopefully she will catch on eventually.

We're in this potty training thing together so please keep me updated if you find a trick that works with your daughter so I can try it too. Good luck :)
Sheila Hickmon said…
I don't really have any advice, just wanted to say good luck!
We are in a similar situation, and I'm super frustrated. My daughter is 5 though, and all the docs tell me she is fine!
Debbie said…
Two things come to mind.
Repeat the urine specimen and rule out an UTI. I doesn't always show up the first time.
Also, not to alarm you, but give youpeace of mind, have a Fasting Glucose level done on her blood and rule out Juvenile Diabetes. Frequent urination is also a symptom.

Keep us posted.
Poor girls; both of you!

When I was potty training Chloe, I spent 3/4 of my day in the bathroom. We'd read stories, sing and whatever. Chloe enjoyed the one on one time with me and I with her. (Though I seriously got nothing else done during that period of my life). Maybe you could try going to the bathroom together and reading stories etc while she tries to "push all her pee-pee out". If she isn't in a rush maybe she's more likely to empty completely and thus reduce the frequency?

That being said, you really are the one who knows your daughter best and are likely doing all that you can. Hopefully if it is a medical thing, they can resolve it quickly!

The only other thing I can think of to share is Blueberry Trainers. We used them as a last step with Chloe. They look like underwear, feel like underwear inside and out but can catch small accidents. They also fit really well so it never looked like she was wearing a trainer or a diaper or anything.


Hang in there!
stacey dempsey said…
i went through this with my daughter who had to wear pull ups at night till she was 9ish? and during the day she would have little leaks etc, we went to all the specialistis etc and same thing they couldnt find anything wrong, some said maybe she was getting constipated so pressure on the bladder , others said she would just outgrow it, my daughter had asthma and the weird thing was when her asthma was under control the night wetting stopped. we never really did find and answer, the day time leaking stopped about age 6 7? the night time was like i said much later 9 ish, so she just had those pull ups to wear, was hard but it was very obvious she had no control over it, my daughter was very tiny but i dont know if her small size had anything to do with it , she is now 14 and all i well , we ,et one other girl who had the same trouble and the odd thing was was that she had asthma too , does your duaghter have asthma? all i can say was no matter how worrisome it can be if she checks out physically at the doctors than all you can do is wait, and while we kept up with teaching her how to use the potty it became apparent that she knew how, but it didnt stop the leaking so we didnt get upset we just used pull ups and let it run its course , dont know if that helps but i am sure this is way more common than we know
Shoz said…
Seeing as I have no kids and no medical expertise I would just like to say I am praying for you and for Liv. I hope that the Dr.'s can figure out a quick and easy solution if it is medical and if not... I am sure she will figure things out eventually too. Although Doug's suggestion does sound like one of the most "out side of the box" parenting tips that I have ever come across. Bet that one fits the requirements of the tip that is not in any parenting book!!! Hahaha! Gotta love Doug! Anyway my prayers are with you all!!
silverneon2000 said…
I do not have an answer. But pull ups might help out with school.
We have trouble with our youngest son using public bathrooms. He holds it for to long as he does not like public bathrooms. He does not like the flush of the toilet. He knows how to go the bathroom but pubice ones and flushing makes him scared.

Toilet training both of my boys were trained in the 3rd year sometime.
It takes time and can be frustrating.
But like someone else said you know your child and sound like you are doing everything you can.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
Unknown said…
When my son started nursery school, he wasn't fully potty trained either. He only wet himself at school once though. He continued having troubles at home, but maybe doing it at school was more embarrassing?

If it is a medical condition, and if you think she is mature enough to go to nursery, then send her. I kept my daughter out of nursery because she still acted like she was 2 years old! They really don't teach much in nursery besides social skills so not sure what there is for her to be behind on. I wouldn't base the decision off of what everyone else does.

My daughter was behind in her Kindergarten class and so were my boys, they didn't really start learning anything until grade 1.
Patricia Ward said…
I agree with Misfit Mama - pre-kindergarten won't be much of a loss. She is socially adept anyway. I also thought Roswell had a good suggestion regarding the asthma. I don't think Olivia is on asthma meds, but something to consider for any nighttime leakage issues that may arise! Wonderful to have the benefit of the internet - when I was potty training you it was very frustrating, particularly because there was no info other than old wives tales!!! Ah the 70's!
Unknown said…
I do not have children, so this might not mean as much as the tried and true advice. Don't give up or stop trying to implement her potty routine.

She is getting frustrated because she does not like being wet. I wouldn't give her a diaper when you know she is capable, as she has gone potty before, and she has enough time to ask for a diaper. Eventually she will get it.

I'd keep looking into the medical explanations, there may be reason. Get a second opinion if needed. It can't hurt. Good luck :)

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