4 year old boy wetting

We have always had trouble with toilet training - we have been doing it for 18 months. We began more at a push from the nursery as he was going up to an older class. Pooing was always the initial problem. So much so he would try and push it back up. when he eventually sat on the potty or the toilet he would stop himself completely emptying and "cut off" his poos and only do rabbit like droppings before jumping off and refusing to carry on trying. We still have the odd issue with poos but now we are having issues with wetting. Not completely soaked through wetting but just enough to went his pants and show through slightly on the trousers and im so conscious of the smell too. We came home with 6 bags of wet clothes today from his "accidents". We don't call them this any more because he fully understands he shouldn't do it. We have tried the softly softly approach, we have tried the hard approach, rewards, taking toys away etc. Nothing. I tried to get more help through a doctor but were rebuffed as he was not old enough to have an issue. Im at the end of my tether. Movicol makes poo incidents a complete nightmare, so we barely use it now. Hes not constipated, hes stubborn! Help. I regularly tear up and cry about it (not in front of him). I could go on and on. Advice would be helpful :-(

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Omg I could of wrote this post myself. My boy is 4.8 and we are heading for school in September. I understand what your going through as I am too. Im a nurse myself and I’ve been battling through this for a year now. He has never had a dry day and he is holding as much as he can. He is like your little man is headstrong too. I’ve been to two separate consultants nephrologist and gastroenterologist, believe it or not sent home with your on the right path keep going with movical / senna , but try to reduce it and see how you go .... MY LITTLE PERSON and I need help , we need guidance supervision and regular follow up, not see how you go. We have not got anywhere for the last two years obviously !!! If I near once more I need to try relax because it’s not helping anyone I’ll scream ( I’d like them to go through it for one week). It effects him in playschool and everyday life and it’s not getting better. He is wet each day and without laxatives holds poo until he can not , finds a safe hiding place and poo s in his underwater. The only thing that works with s the senna he poops on toilet .

Anyway I have eventually found a service run by colorectal nurses and a surgical consultant ... they specifically deal with withholding. I rang explained and they booked him straight in. This coming Friday we are booked in and having X-rays first !!! I could jump with excitement. I will post Saturday and fill you in ... with some good news I hope. I pray we will get the help he deserves .

One other point , I began train No my little man a 2.5 years old and he wasn’t ready . I told his creche I was going to put him back in nappies and they advised me to keep going . I Stupidly did as they suggested and I know in my heart this cause all of the problems with withholding ..... never pressure a child that’s not ready

I feel myself pressure has caused dysfunctional voiding ... but we will soon get answers x


Hi there. Sorry to hear about this and I completely sympathise and “get” you are at the end of your tether! I too have a 4yr old boy with the same wetting (and sometimes pooing) issues. I have to say I too thought he was being stubborn until about 3 months ago when I accepted that this was likely not his fault. I don’t think it gets to this age and consistently for this long and they still “choose” to do this. Go back to your doctor. He is old enough to have an issue. You have tried everything for long enough for this to be proven and the difference between him and his same aged peers backs this up. Push for a referral to the hospital and also speak to your health visitor. Ours are v supportive and accept no matter whether this is physical or mental help is required!! She has referred us to the local child development centre - she thinks they are likely to reject but it is a way of opening up a dialogue and asking where next? Things cannot stay as they are. I also found a frank chat on my own with the gp - about not only the wetting issue but the affects on the entire family and my own mental health - was like a breath of fresh air. Good luck! Keep going and keep smiling 😀


We have had wee problems for years...ever since out of nappies, day and night. Son now 8 and finally on meds. For ages I though he was 'lazy' or distracted or something....and doctors said not interested until age 7. Hmm. This is along time to wait. For the kid in class, with wet trousers every day, 3 times a day. For the parents/carers, for the washing machine on overdrive...

NHS guidelines on child continence say '

a service for children and young people needs to provide:

treatment for all children and young people (from birth to 19 years old), including those with learning difficulties and physical disabilities,

community - based service for children and young people with all wetting (daytime and bedwetting), constipation and soiling problems,

leadership via a paediatric continence nurse specialist with input from a multi-disciplinary team, clear and effective referral and care pathways'. As we know from this forum, things vary from place to place in the NHS. Have a read here, call the helpline, don't suffer in silence!

My son had an MRI last year and ultrasound scan to check if anything physically amiss. I mean how do they know if they don't look! All, OK. The continence nurse thinks he has a small overactive bladder, now on prescription for oxybutynin low dose to help it stretch and they gave us a buzzer for at night.

From one who's got the t shirt. Keep pestering.

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