4 year old / nearly 5 that doesn’t care... at all! - ERIC


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4 year old / nearly 5 that doesn’t care... at all!

Emma_rose profile image

Hi everyone.

I really hope you can help Ive completely run out of ideas. After crying on the way home from nursery pick up i thought to myself, I need to seek professional help as what I’m doing clearly isn’t working!

My daughter is 4 (5 in Dec) has been potty trained since she was 3, but since around 8 months ago it’s taken a turn for the worse and I just don’t know where to go from here. She is on average having 4/5 accidents a day of both kinds. She has the occasional day where she is fine but it’s when she chooses too. I’ve tried numerous ways of trying to encourage here to use the loo but she would much rather do it in her knickers.. I often get the reply I was to busy.. I’ve tried the following

Ignoring it as it could be for attention

Reward charts / treats

Timers (setting an alarm to remind her)

Telling her off (I know you shouldn’t but she knows what she is doing and I’m loosing my marbles)

Making her change her own clothes once wet/soiled

Not wearing knickers when we’re at home as maybe she won’t like the feel of it


I even found these pads on amazon but no difference.

It’s just so heart breaking as I know she can do it. This week I stopped nappies at night as thought maybe that might help not having nappies at all. She has been dry 4 nights in a row but still wet in the day I just don’t know what to do. Nursery advise me that it will change when she goes to school but she is so strong willed and doesn’t care what people think, I can’t see it making any difference her just being at school.

How do you make a 4 year old care?


12 Replies

Hi my heart goes out to u as i had to clean poo out washing machine there. And then went into my sons room and he had peed on the carpet and put clothes SOAKING in washing basket.

Our son has just turned 8 a month ago. And has been like this for 4 years.

Its horrific.

And we cant get any help from anyone !!!

Emma_rose profile image
Emma_rose in reply to

Ok I might cry some more now haha. I’m sorry to hear your in the same position can’t belive you have not got any further in this amount of time.. I think I’m just doomed then lol

in reply to Emma_rose

Honestly i am sat breaking my heart just now and i am on highest dose of anti depressants now so shouldnt be really.

My heart absolutely breaks for him.

We see incontinence consultant and cahms and we get nowhere.

We have no family whatsover so we are so so alone

Emma_rose profile image
Emma_rose in reply to

Do the school not help at all? X

in reply to Emma_rose

They help that he can go whenever he wants no matter what they are doing.

But he wets there and wont tell them ! 😭😭

Hi there my daughter is now nine and we have been going through this for six years. When she was three I could have written an identical post to yours. Believe it or not it's not that they don't care. It's all caused by constipation,even the wetting, the bowel presses on the bladder. Watch the pooh nurses video if you haven't ,it's so good. This a frustrating, horrible problem with no quick fix but they can't help it.we are under another consultant and battle on. Good luck x

I can really relate to your post. I have also cried many tears over my daughter, who is now 7 1/2, I was so worried about other children finding out, I felt she was a target for bullying, but I don’t think it’s something any of her class mates have noticed , thankfully. I also felt like I had failed her in some way. She has had loads of accidents at school and many times I have smelt her and wondered how no one has noticed, but like your daughter she never seemed to care. (She has had issues since potty training )

The last few weeks she has improved but still have to remind her to go. I am hoping this will be something she grows out of. The only advice I can give is it will get better and unfortunately no quick fix. I know it’s hard but try and be patient (I know full well it’s easier said then done)

AndrewT profile image
AndrewT in reply to Isabel-123

I used to wet myself, at her age, and no-one at school, even noticed. Maybe other children did it too, I never noticed either.

I would definitely start with a dissimpactation asap and sitting routine, Usually after meals or bath time could be several times a day, whatever works for your child. Try and stick to it as much as possible for a few weeks regardless of progress to allow your child to Get used to it and learn the routine. That way she is more likely to relax on the toilet if she knows she has to do this everyday.

My dad will be 6 this October and never has been dry day or night .we under peads he was useless went for 2nd opinion. Got a plan in place now .my dd is hyper mobility (double jointed ) which I have now learned there a link to incontinence.she goes to a/c for poo not constipated goes every day .she just stated medication oxybutin 3 times a day.we under the incontinence nurse school nurse lead consultant physiology as her muscles are weak from tummy down .so far from start to toilet training to now is 27 months still not dry day or night .so I know what you going through stay strong

Hi Emma. I have been where you are and have done the same things in reference to making wash there pants, rewards etc. It does get better slowly. It's a very bumpy ride and I find it's two steps forward and then alot backwards.

I would look at a discompaction programme. Nothing improves if they are blocked and it gets worse. Sitting on the toilet 20-30 mins after meals I do religiously as I do tend to get some poo out then and hopefully it will reduce the accidents. The hardest thing is not to discipline them or making negative comments when they mess.

What I have found for myself is trying to get the dose rate of movicol right. Sometimes I think my son is to watery and should be cutting back but actually I have got overflow and it needs increasing.

Good luck and you are not on your own.

Hi Emma - all really good advice above. I’d also suggest going to your GP and pushing for a referral to your local paediatric continence team. These are specialist nurses that understand and know all about why some children just carry on soiling and wetting! Your local area might not have one so push your GP on where you can be referred if not. The clinical pathway for any wetting beyond the age of 4 is to treat for constipation (even if they don’t seem constipated, their little bodies can have very deep ‘impactions’ or blockages causing all sorts of mischief). If you can’t get referred, work with your GP to try and tackle this, arming yourself with us much information as you can from the ERIC website as possible. We’re all here to help xx

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