My 4-year-old has been having accidents: Advice?

My daughter is four years old and has been potty trained for nearly two years now. This past week or so, she has had about six potty “accidents.” She has peed on the sofas, in her bed, on the floor, and today she pooped herself while eating breakfast. I’m kind of torn between whether these are accidents or if it could be something I am not seeing (acting out, wanting attention, etc.) She’s never done anything like this before. She has had accidents where I know she was trying to make it and just didn’t, and that’s completely understandable. But lately, it seems as though she doesn’t even try to get up and go. She continues to play with her toys or tablet or whatever it is she’s doing at the time. She has always asked or told us when she needs to go to the bathroom. She will say, “mama, I need to potty,” and I’ll say, “okay! Go ahead and call me when you’re done.” So she knows when she has to go, and she knows how to wipe, for the most part, she’s still learning the correct way. I do follow her almost every time just to be sure she is doing everything as she is supposed to. But what I am having a hard time understanding is, when she pees or poops on herself, she doesn’t say anything. She just sits in it and goes about her day. And today, when I noticed that she pooped herself, I ask her, “what happened?” And she told me, “I pooped my pants.” I asked why she didn’t go to the bathroom, and she doesn’t say anything. ? Also: **I do have a seven-month-old daughter as well, and so far, it hasn’t caused my four-year-old to act out in any way. I stay home with them during the day, and I know they both get equal attention, and they play together as well. **went to urgent care last week to have her checked and she didn’t have any kind of bladder infection or anything of that nature

128 thoughts on “My 4-year-old has been having accidents: Advice?”

  1. Talk to her regular pediatrician about it. Her doctor knows her best. It could be a phase. My daughter went through something similar and the doc said it was behavioral and had us and her teachers prompt her every half hour to go, especially when she was preoccupied with something else. It helped a lot.

  2. Is there a father figure in the situation? I only ask because if there was and you’re separated or something like that maybe she isn’t getting the training at her fathers. You didnt mention anything like that so I’m going to assume that’s not the case. Maybe she is just too interested in what she is doing to stop? I never had this problem with my 1st son who is now 5 and going to school. My 2nd is a whole other story… He has autism and doeznt let me know when he needs to go nor does he get that you need to go into the potty or the potty seat we have for him. You can imagine how that is like..

    Maybe just start asking every hour or so if she needs to go instead of waiting g for her to tell you. I get she used to but obviously now she isn’t. Keep asking.

  3. My daughter has done the same thing and her doctor said it’s just her age and a regression. Kind of how some kids sleep regress, there is potty regression. There have been no changes in our home life or her health. Welcome to potty regression. Doesn’t last forever.

  4. My guess would be jealousy.
    I don’t have any tips as to how you would get your 4yo to stop having her “accidents” I’m still trying to potty train my 2.5 year old and he goes back and forth between doing really good and not doing anything ????????‍♀️????????‍♀️

    But I will say that the obvious jealousy with him and my 5 month old didn’t start until she was about 4 months so maybe she’s been feeling it and wasn’t sure how to get your attention so she started doing this.
    Good luck!!! ❤️

  5. Is 7mth old more mobile & able to get to her stuff more? When my sons were younger that was when my oldest regressed in small ways until we started making sure he had his own things, space, tie with us, etc.

  6. We should all really read the entire post before offering advice. Almost every comment on here is about something she already covered in the post. She’s a stay at home mom, they get equal attention and she took her to the doctor, not uti.

  7. My best friend is in the same boat. Her 4 year old son is having the same issue. He has been potty trained for almost 3 years. Since he was 1. My friend is seeking medical attention. She spoke with his pediatrician just yesterday. This has been going on now for about 6 months. His pediatrician, checked for diabetes, checked his thyroid, checked for uti, and is scheduling a sonogram. She also recently took him to a psychiatrist because of his majorly acting out in daycare. (Having to get sent home 2-4 times a week) and a bit wild at home but not as bad at all. ( he is the baby or 3 bothers oldest being 9) They immediately are saying adhd. So she is happy her pediatrician is checking alll areas instead of immediately ruling adhd. Could be that. But of course she wants it all checked out before putting him on any type of meds. So I would say take her to the doctor. Have them check everything. His doctor said he could have an extra urethra and that could be causing it.

    1. Dominique it does sound like ADHD though. I went through the same exact thing. The safest bet for her son to see if it’s ADHD is to ask for a medicine called guanfacine. It works by lowering the high blood pressure ADHD kids have and it helps tremendously with impulse control and cognitive function. It is not a stimulant like Ritalin or aderall and has no withdrawal symptoms. It’s a fantastic alternative to hardcore medications in young children and results would be almost immediate. The first side effects is usually drowsiness, but once that passes it is a life saver. Edit to add my daughter didn’t start taking it until she was 6, so I’m not aware of there is a minimum age limit. I was just scared to try stimulants on my young child

    2. Miranda Drury wow! thank you so much for the information! I Will for sure show her this! (She doenst have fb so I can’t tag her ???? but I will screen shot and send it to her) the hard part is that his dad is in EXTREME denial! But they are working on it. his dad is VERY stubborn but my friend is trying to make him understand. Along with the psychiatrist and doctors. Thank you again for the insight! It’s all new! We are more like sisters and between all of us friends (5 of us) there are 9 kids (2,4,4,4,6,8,9,9,16 yo) and this is the first one of them to ever have any type of issues so we are all rallying around her and him in support.

  8. Have you checked for tethered spine syndrome? Both of my nephews had it even though they say it isn’t hereditary. It’s where the bottom of their spinal cord pulls down and it causes not being able to feel when you have to go to the bathroom and accidents, sometimes numbness or tingling in legs.

  9. Like some have mentioned it could be jealousy of the new sibling. Mayb you could try a reward system, if in a weeks time or a couple days if she doesn’t have an accident, she gets a prize. You have a lil basket of toys ya knw like from 99 cent store, she can pick one.Or mayb fix you & her a special big girl lunch with her favs. GOOD LUCK

  10. If she keeps having accidents take her to the dr. My step son did this when he was 5 and turned out he was diabetic. When the blood sugar is high they pee a lot. We never imagined it was that!

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