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Potty Training Regression

Posted Sep 19 2008 1:27am
Dear Dr. Cason - Do most kids regress with potty training after going for months?

My son tells us that he doesn ’t have to go pee when he clearly does. Is this a power struggle?

- Anonymous


Dear Anonymous,

There are some reasons for potty training regression such as such as a bladder infection or life stressors. But when he says that he doesn't need to go, it's quite possible that your son really doesn't feel that he needs to go.

Remember that the bladder is a muscle and will accommodate to increasing urine by first spasming and then when it is ignored, the bladder will relax. Do this too often though and the bladder doesn't truly sense that it's full until the urethral sphincter spasms and then it almost too late. They then can be found holding themselves and running at breakneck speed to the restroom. All the while you are puzzled looking at them and exclaiming, "But you just said you didn't have to go!"

The way you help little kids to retrain their bladder is to have them do "timed voids" every two hours. Just take them whether they feel like they have to go or not. Gradually the bladder retrains itself.

If there appears to be any other persistent problems then take your child to their pediatrician they may need to rule out out other reasons for regression.


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