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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Child Witholding Pee While Potty Training

Question:

We purchased your book, and love your approach, and are on Day 3, with some success! Actually only one accident, and some self-initiation, which we're so proud of.

Here are the details, and my questions!

1. Our daughter is 2 1/2, and showed all signs of potty-readiness... language, interested, ability to distinguish wet and dry, and ask to be changed immediately after peeing/pooping, etc...

2. We tried training back in Oct, but our 4 days of trying, with no real strategy were fraught with stress, and crying, and withholding of pee... so we decided to try again another time.

Well, since my husband had a 4 day weekend over New Years, and I needed some help, we decided to try again, after purchasing your book.

We're encountering some "withholding" of pee-pee, and poop, for that matter - AGAIN! Our daughter will hold it for as long as she possibly can, until she's visibly uncomfortable, and then we can read her signals, and get her to the potty. Or sometimes, she'll ask to go potty. At which point she'll pee or poop. She's very proud of herself, and loves the rewards. But I can't help but worry that she's causing herself, (and me) more stress, and even physical harm by doing this. She's only peeing about 2-3 times per day, and I know if I drank as much as she did, I'd be in the bathroom more than twice as often!
Should I be worried? Is there anything I can do to avoid this, or get her over this hump? Any advice would be great!
 
Answer:
 
It actually sounds like your daughter is doing great so far. I wouldn't worry too much about the withholding at this point. She is still going 2-3 times per day, which is not perfectly ideal but still acceptable. I would only worry if she starts to "leak" into her panties but not go to the toilet afterwards. That would tell us that she is somehow miraculously holding it beyond her muscle capability. Most kids/people in general cannot physically hold urine long enough, consistently enough, to cause themselves a problem.
 
I think she will settle into a more normal pattern once she becomes more comfortable with her new skills. Poop is another issue. As long as she is going at least once every 48 hours you have no reason to worry...but if it drags into 3 or 4 days it can turn into a serious condition called encopresis. You would want to consult a pediatrician at that point.
 
So, overall... no worries! She is doing terrific and is right on track.
 
 
Post by Suzanne Riffel, author of "The Potty Boot Camp: Basic Training for Toddlers" - a new, fast, easy toilet training method that produces remarkable results.

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