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Any advice welcome.

kerry b

Silver Member
Nothing to do with Sw but it does affect my mood and how I react affects my weight. Sorry, its a long one.

My son is 3yrs 5mths and has been potty trained for 8 months ( he was 2yrs 8mths when we did this). He was clean and dry within 2 weeks with the very odd accident then he got ill at xmas & the medication he had to take was so vile I had to hide it in hot chocolate (warm for him) to disguise the taste. I buy highlights so that is what we used. Around this time he started to wet himself again approx 10 weeks after being trained. I put it down to him being ill.

After having 7 months off work to be at home with him I started a new job in January (im a nanny and he comes to work with me). When the wet pants continued I put it down to me going back to work. We also sold our house in January and moved house in February. He seemed to take this in his stride but again, another viable reason for him wetting himself.

After 3 months of him wetting himself, not every day we would have dry days and even dry weeks, I dot the dr to do a urine test which came back clear and I was told he was very young to be trained for a boy ( he was 3yrs 2mths by that point) and I should put him back in nappies. I disagreed and refused to put him back in nappies as I felt that if he could have a whole week with no accidents then he was probably just being lazy.

When we had a long weekend away with a friend she pointed out that the hot chocolate which he was drinking twice per day has aspartme in it ( he has to have special milk formula as he had allergies and couldnt drink cows milk and refuses soy milk and to make sure he has enough calcium he has to have 2 large cups per day and it reached the point he would only drink it as hot chocolate). Aspartme is a bladder irritant. We changed the hot chocolate immediately and stopped everything that contains sweetners and within 3 days he was completely dry again.

That lasted 2 weeks and 3 days. Last week he started to wet himself again and I got cross with him (doesnt bother him). On wednesday he wet himself 5 times in 3 hours and soiled himself which he has NEVER done since he came out of nappies. He has wet himself 4 or 5 times per day since wednesday and soiled himself every day since then.

I have finally admitted defeat and put him in a nappy yesterday as we were going to a christening and I couldnt take enough clothes with me and I didnt want other kids laughing at him when he had an "accident". When we left the christening I knew he had soiled himself as i could smell it as soon as he came near me. When I asked him why he had done it he just looked atr me and asked me to change the nappy. He had obviously been dirty for a few hours as it was completely stuck to his skin.

He starts nursery in August and I have been told if he soils himself they will call me and I will have to go to nursery to clean him up. He will be there while im at work and I cant keep running to nursery to clean him up.

Im really at the end of my tether with this to the point that I was in tears talking to someone about it. OH says he should be put in nappies and treated like a baby, take away all his big boy toys. Being in a nappy doesnt bother him (yesterday for example). Nothing seems to get through to him. I have tried getting cross with him, praising him when he does go, giving treats and rewards for using the loo, taking toys away for not using it. When he soiled himself on wednesday sfter 5 wet pairs of pants I just sat down and started crying. He said sorry then went off to play. NOTHING seems to work with him.

Any advice is welcome. There have been no changes in his life since we moved in February, he doesnt have an infection (tested last week) and I dont think he is too young to be trained. There are no medical issues that would explain this and it has reached the point that I just cant deal with this anymore:cry:. I am now so stressed with it all that all I want to do is hide away ignore the problem and eat rubbish. I feel terrible:sigh:
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Gold Member
S: 22st10lb C: 17st4lb G: 12st0lb Loss: 5st6lb(23.9%)
I think you need to go back to your doctor and asked to be referred to a child psychologist. Just to understand and learn how to retrain him to go to the toilet.. You still have a month and half so hopefully that will be enough time to be able to get him back on the toilet again.

Go back to the doctors time and time again until they listen, this is treatable and it is probably something that has to be learnt again. Don't put yourself through this, it may be something very small that needs changing in your life style that will help him.

I hope he starts using the toilet soon xx
hi hunny,
You obviously know what you are doing as you are a nanny you know all the praise stuff etc. I am a deputy leader of a childrens centre and throughout the summer I have arranged some transition sessions for families who have children going to school in september to help with toilet training, speech and language and general readiness for school. Do you have a local sure start childrens centre? They may not do the same as my centre but they could signpost you for extra support.
You may already know this but doctors dont start worrying until a child is 5years old as that is the age that children are 'expected' to be dry day and night. You could contact your family health visitor, they should be able to help too x


Silver Member
S: 19st0.5lb C: 18st7.5lb G: 11st12lb BMI: 47.5 Loss: 0st7lb(2.63%)
Try standing back and being very blase about it, take deep breaths and relax. Children no matter how young they are are very manipulative, how do babies get fed? They cry! How do they get picked up? They cry! How do they get changed? They cry. They are designed to be this way. We don't notice puppies or kittens because it's the wrong pitch to our ears but I imagine it drives their mother insane!
He's gone through a lot yes and it's normal when a child hits a block he doesn't like/can't cope with that they back track! Sometimes a new baby can make a child back track. As you've taken him to the Dr and he's been checked over and it's not physical, it would seem to me ( I might be wrong) it's attention seeking, and ANY attention is better than none.
I'm a nanny with over 30 yrs experience and one of my boys would go beautifully to wee but always had a problem with number 2s. He was on permanent Lactulose for a while to keep it soft as he wouldn't go til he had to go and then it wouldn't matter where he was!
When he started school in Transition, he was sent home from school nearly every day.
When he moved up a year the next teacher was very understanding and said that's fine if you're prepared to come IN to school and change him he won't have to go home!
So for 6 months that's what I did!
Then one day at home (after nearly 18 months) I did lose my cool, I didn't shout or lose my temper but I'd come to the end of my tether!I got him cleaned up and then stood him on a chair at the sink, put the dirty pants in there and made him help me wash them. He was not happy, and asked me why. I replied that I didn't mind if he poohed himself,if he couldn't help it but he was old enough to help me wash them because it wasn't fair that I had to clean his stinky smelly pants, look how smelly it makes your hands etc etc
We washed his pants, then his hands and I told him that every time he poohed himself we would wash them together.
He never did it again, when I questioned him gently if he needed help on the toilet he just said "no thankyou kate I'm a big boy and big boys don't pooh themselves, and it made my hands smelly!".
I'm still with him and he's now almost 17.
I would hazard a guess that you've got a very clever little boy on your hands!
So when it happens, don't shout leave him alone for a minute just to get your cool, then turn back, calmly and deal with the situation. If you're out and it happens if it's easy enough take him home. Don't change him there, explain calmly "Oh that's a shame now we'll have to go home it's a shame you and Johnny were having a nice time! Say goodbye to Johnny, maybe we can play another day" Or "oh that means we can't go the the park!"
Try not to let him see that it bothers you, just treat it all very matter of fact.
If you're calmer and accepting it may be the trigger he needs to be clean again. He's shown he can be when he wants
As for the hot choc, have you tried making it with real cocoa and sugar?
None of my children have ever had dietary drinks, not the toothkind or diet coke, sugar free squash, have you read the ingredients?)! I buy full sugar and dilute it! I have diet soft drinks they get full sugar!
At the end of the day nobody has given me satisfactory results as to what saccharin and aspartameK does to the body and if they don't know how it affects me - what is the point in giving it to a system 30 times smaller than mine!
I'm sure you'll get more help and advice, that's just my experience and what worked for us!
Just remember no child has ever worn a nappy to walk down the aisle!! It WILL get better, try and relax it may be the best thing you can do!


Gold Member
S: 21st12.5lb C: 21st4lb G: 12st0lb BMI: 45.3 Loss: 0st8.5lb(2.77%)
I agree kids are really manipulative and will do anything for attention. Your Nanny job may be making him jealous (regardless of how much attention you lavish on him, children are very possessive)..

I used to Nanny for a girl of 8, who had wet the bed for years, she'd seen doctors, psychologists, had tests, medicines etc and nothing worked.
After seeing her Dad lose his temper with it one day I asked if he would leave it to me.

So I sat her down and told her that when she wet the bed she had to strip it, and put the bedding and her nightie in the washing machine, I would wash and dry them and then when she came home from school the clean stuff would be on her bed, she would have to make her bed before playtime and snacktime. Well the upshot was she was dry within a week and stayed that way for months.

I think giving him responsibility for it may help. A reward system (with losing things when he messes) will give him that responsibilty.

kerry b

Silver Member
Some fab ideas but he is only 3. If I gave him a sink full of soapy water & dirty pants he would have a ball playing in it lol.

My parents think it is an attention thing but I'm finding it extremely difficult not to react at the moment. It is so bloody frustrating when I know he can do what he is supposed to. Really not sure what to do about the nappies. He isn't even attempting to use the toilet when wearing a nappy yet I can only carry a certain number of pants & trousers when I go out.

Will contact the health visitors again tomorrow. As has been said he is a fairly intelligent little lad, he knows its wrong, he just doesn't care.

I have worked in childcare for 21 years & have never come up against this. Stubborn doesn't even begin to describe him.


Silver Member
S: 19st0.5lb C: 18st7.5lb G: 11st12lb BMI: 47.5 Loss: 0st7lb(2.63%)
It's normally the clever ones that do something like this! I know it's hard, hope you can get an appointment! In the meantime deep breaths.
Good luck
The problem is when you treat something as natural as this as "wrong" and "naughty" you start to build a whole wealth of problems. I agree with Nanny Kate, treat it as matter of fact, and dont let him see you lose your rag over it. He sees it getting a reaction, he will do it all the more.

My youngest was near on 4 before we managed to get her out of pull ups, fortunately we had a very understanding preschool. The more an issue you make of it, the more of an issue it becomes. He has had a lot to deal with recently and its unsettled him. Thats all it is. No need for a child psychologist to tell you that. Just keep your patience, dont react to it, deal with it matter of factly and he will get the hang of it again. Honest!


Silver Member
S: 19st0.5lb C: 18st7.5lb G: 11st12lb BMI: 47.5 Loss: 0st7lb(2.63%)
We were told to take Number 1 (they're twins so they're Number 1 and Number 2 I never use their names in forums!) to a child behavouroligist at the age of 2 1/2 or 3 because he wasn't doing what the other children did! It was a Montessori nursery and when it was circle time etc he wanted to be in another corner on his own, he didn't like groups.
So we took him and were told that he was extremely immature (he'd grow out of it!), but also incredibly brainy and some of his abilities were that of a 6 yr old, so the two things were pulling aainst each other! He gave us advice and the best bit of advice he gave which I have ALWAYS now passed on and lived by is - " Whenever you tell a child off you must praise him 10 times before you tell him off again!"
It's only when I put this into practice thinking he's rarely told off it's not going to work that I realised this poor child was always being told off!
"Don't do that!" "Put that down!" "Leave your brother alone!" When you actually have to think about the negatives you realise we use them much more than you think! So you have to think about the spin you put on things, "why don't we sit down and do a puzzle?" "Oh I really like the way you helped your brother" "Thankyou for bringing your plate into the kitchen that was very kind!"
It was just little things but it helped enormously!
Sometimes the hardest thing we have to do is stand back and see what we ourselves are doing.
I have to say I cried for weeks when I realised I wasn't as positive as I thought I was. But here we are he's now almost 17 and he's the most lovely boy you could possibly meet! (And he doesn't pooh his pants , it is something they grow out of!)
But I hope you get your appointment.
May every day be a better day for you and him


Gold Member
S: 21st12.5lb C: 21st4lb G: 12st0lb BMI: 45.3 Loss: 0st8.5lb(2.77%)
That's the thing there aren't many 17 year olds in nappies and if he were to be one of the few his toilet habits would be the least of your worries right now.

Does it matter all that much if he takes a step back? Maybe growing up is scary for him perhaps he thinks that being potty trained means you have to move house, or that Mummy will get another job and he'll have to share her even more.
Kids see the world in straight lines, he may not even remember moving house now but the emotion has stuck, perhaps he needs a rewind and restart.

kerry b

Silver Member
Just to update. He had been in nappiesfor 10 days and I am a lot calmer. If he has an accident I have just ignored it and changed him, made him leave the park when he soiled himself and we are using a sticker chart to promote using the loo with a reward for a full chart. He is back to using the loo st home but still wetting the happy when we are out and about but like I said I'm a lot calmer and just ignore it.

Think you do much for all your advice. No matter how much experience i have with children my son constantly shows me that I don't always have the answer. Maybe that is a good thing lol


Silver Member
S: 19st0.5lb C: 18st7.5lb G: 11st12lb BMI: 47.5 Loss: 0st7lb(2.63%)
I'm glad you're calmer! Experience doesn't count when you have your own children it all flies out of the window because you're tied by the heart!
But it's a very good start that he's using the loo at home and 10 days is no time at all really when you think about it.
When you're out if you can get to a toilet why not say " mummy needs a wee, why don't you go/ do you need one too?" at the same time!"
I found giving a chance/choice to go,when out helps get them used to asking/being allowed to go when you're out!! Plus you get to use hand dryers always great fun!
But he's making great strides, and you're calmer so it's a win win situation, he's still only little!
Good luck and thanks for the update

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