Peeing for Attention: My Fully Potty Trained Three-Year-Old Has a Relapse

After more than six-months of being fully day trained and mostly night trained my daughter is suddenly having a relapse and wetting herself during the day. I had expected some behavior reversion when my son was born three months ago, but she adjusted quickly and we’ve had just a few minor behavior issues, most of them having more to do with her age than the addition of a new sibling.

But in the last two weeks we have had several daytime accidents. At first I thought it was laziness or distraction so I started reminding her to use the potty every hour or so. But then twice she peed on the couch while I was on the phone and in both cases, she told me as she was doing it. In another case I was nursing the baby at the time. This has led me to the conclusion that she is peeing for attention.

One friend recommended trying to give her additional one-on-one time so that she doesn’t think she has to do this to get my attention, since the baby does take up a certain portion of my time. We’ve recently begun weekly trips to the library for story time and I also have begun reading Charlotte’s Web to her before naptime or bedtime. While the book is a little above her level, the chapters are short and she seems to look forward to the next installment of the story. I’m also trying to schedule more out of the house play dates for her as the weather permits, so that she doesn’t feel so isolated. Hopefully it works because I am getting really tired of scrubbing my sofa.

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2 thoughts on “Peeing for Attention: My Fully Potty Trained Three-Year-Old Has a Relapse

  1. There could be a real physical cause, which is quite common in children her age. It’s a bit complicated but google “daytime accidents” and “hodges” for some info.

    1. We just had her checked out by the doctor last week and there are no signs of any kind of infection so we’re going to keep an eye on her for now and encourage frequent bathroom visits.

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