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Potty urgency and frequency trouble

I have a 5-year-old boy who is potty trained, but will still have accidents sometimes because he is too busy to stop and go to the bathroom or he waits until the very last minute to go. I cannot get him to understand that once you feel the urge to go, you go and not to wait until it's coming out!

The other part of this question is, that he pees all the time. He can go potty and 10 minutes later have to go again...SERIOUSLY, he really does go again. It's not just a game. He has to pee constantly. I have stood there with him, making sure he is getting "all of it out" and still, the frequency is unreal. There are no symptoms of a urinary tract infection or anything, his urine is very clear with no smell to it. He says that he doesnt' have any pain or discomfort when urinating.


Stephanie Neuhaus | Pediatrician

Stephanie Neuhaus

In regard to the urinary frequency, while this may be a normal finding, it may be something that needs to be evaluated by your child’s doctor, especially if it is somethnig new or is accompanied by any weight loss or other symptoms such as decreases energy or appetite.  

If the urine is found to be normal, then I would suggest setting a timer initially for every hours to remind him to go, and then gradually increasing the time on the timer. You can also use positive incentives, like sticker charts or small treats at the end of the day if he makes it the whole day dry. This problem will eventually phase out after a couple months. What you describe is a fairly common phenomenon in the age group where children become very busy playing (and overconfident in their urine holding ability) and hold it until the very last second. We start to see an increase in daytime accidents in this age group due to kids holding it too long.

If this behavior continues, you should see your physician to make sure nothing else is causing it.

Read more answers by Dr. Neuhaus