Potty training...well not really...


New Member
I'm almost out of Clorox wipes, laundry detergent and sanity. difficult child's memory foam (grandparents fantastic idea) is drying on the porch, difficult child's sheets and mattress pad are in the wash again, and several spots of my carpet are now cleaner than others.
Three weeks ago, difficult child began showing interest in her potty for the fifteen millionth time in a year. Hopeful, I brought it into the tile entryway since it is a central location between her room and the living room and difficult child cant be trusted in a bathroom alone. For a week we had no accidents at all then one morning she woke up and wouldn't let me take her diaper off to put panties on until she had peed through it. Put her in panties and within half an hour she peed everywhere. It was as if she was saying "ok, this was a fun game but I'm tired of it now"
And just like that Im back to fighting her tooth and nail just to change a pull-up or diaper. I know she's holding it somewhat because she has never leaked through a diaper at night and every morning for the last 4 days Ive had to wash everything on her bed. This morning(at 4am, don't all mornings start before 5?) I caught her sitting in her bed and TRYING to pee in her diaper... explains why it was always off from where she sleeps.
Im stuck here, she won't let me change her more than twice a day yet she won't use the potty. Ive tried going without panties or diapers (worked but difficult child likes to try to stick things up there so really backfired), pull-ups, cool alert pull-ups (difficult child liked the feeling), cloth diapers, cloth training pants, panties, rewards and flat out ignoring the issue.
I found a 'special' preschool for her that starts in the fall but they won't take her unless she's potty trained. She really wants to go too.

Did anyone else have issues? Any suggestions?
Have you taken her to her Dr to make sure she doesn't have a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)? Or anything else going on down there?

Wetting through the pullup at night could mean it isn't holding either.

My DS wears diapers at night. Every single night, as soon as the tabs are on he stands up and pees. As soon as he gets up in the morning, he pees.

Has she had a sleep study? None of my kids' or my Docs allowed any sleep medications until sleep apnea was ruled out, but in our cases, it was ruled IN.

You have a 7.5 month old baby, so for the last 18ish months you've been preparing for and taking care of a new baby. There may be no point in attempting potty training, or difficult child could be using her "power" to assure she gets attention even if that means fighting to change a diaper- you have to pay attention longer if she's fighting, then if she was easy about it.


Crazy Cat Lady
This is going to sound weird, but have her checked for pinworms. They cause intense anal/rectal itching and she could be sticking stuff "up there' to try to relieve the itching.

Also, especially in little girls, the itching and irritation can cause problems with wetting since the entire vulva gets irritated.

The test is really simple. All the doctor does is press a little clear tape against the area and look for eggs under the microscope.

ALL pediatricians are familiar with this. Second only to head lice, it is the next commonest parasite kids get.

The worms live in the hind-gut and come out at night to lay their eggs on the skin in the area. That's what causes the intense itching. The little ones can pick up the eggs under their fingernails and constantly reinfect themselves.

Since it is so cheap and easy to treat (the worst of it is getting kids to take the "wormer" and having to wash all clothing and bedding in hot water), it wouldn't hurt to have this checked.


New Member
I have been wondering about a sleep study. I hate giving her so much melatonin. I've been toying with the idea that the desire to potty train then quit may both be ways to get attention but I just wish she'd at least let me change her diaper, she's 42lbs and the size of a 5 year old. I've ended up with a fat lip more than once.

As far as the obsession with her nether region, it isn't an itching issue, she knows exactly what areas cause what reactions, much like a little boy who realizes "hey this feels good!" They observed her behavior when she was in-patient and tested her for any Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), yeast or other infections and checked for pinworms. Everything was clear, she's just obsessed with her body. They told me to ignore the behavior so that she doesnt start doing it for attention purposes but to look out for foreign objects.
difficult child is only 3, every day I feel so bad for everything that goes on in that little head of hers. I just wish I could make it all better.


You may be aware that hypersexuality is a hallmark symptom of bipolar disorder. That may explain the interest in her private parts.

You may need to put off potty training until your difficult child is more stable. You may know that Depakote is dosed by blood level. Some children do well with a therapeutic blood level of 80 to 90, while others need a therapeutic blood level of 100 to 125. Has your psychiatrist ordered a recent blood level for your difficult child to see if her dose is effective? In addition, how much Risperdal is she taking? The combination of Depakote and Risperdal taken at night should be helping her sleep better.
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New Member
I am aware of the correlation between bipolar and hypersexuality, one of the things Id hoped we'd skip. No such luck.
We do blood tests monthly, she has a very high metabolism and it took a very high dosage of both medications just to get her semi-stable. I am now told that due to her age this is as good as it'll get till she is 4-5 years old and they are comfortable changing medications.
Amazingly tonight she went to sleep with half of her usual melatonin dosage, she may be up soon but hey that happens no matter how much I give her.
You should do a sleep study. My son had a bunch of sleep disorders confirmed by two studies.

He has severe sleep fragmentation, rythmic movement disorder (he bangs his head and hums when he wakes), night terrors, mild obstructive sleep apnea, his sleep efficiency (sp?) is only in the 80th%, and it takes him 3x as long as normal to get to the first stage of REM sleep.

My theory is that our kids get such crappy sleep that when they try to go to sleep again, their bodies are just so worn out they can't do it. My son sleeps much better over the summer because we're more active. The doctor thinks his ADHD is messing with the sleep and it needs to somehow be turned off at bedtime, but obviously there's no disability switch on the side of his head.


Active Member
Have you done any research on Sensory Integration Dysfunction, often called Sensory Processing Disorder these days? Kids with Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) are often very late in potty training.

If you're needing a high dose of melatonin it's a good idea to revisit medications. If it's been an ongoing problem, make sure you have the medical bases covered (it was due to sinus problems at my house). I'd also second the sleep study given the issues you're dealing with. More and more research is demonstrating the need for sleep. You know how hard it is for you, imagine being a little person who can't control their actions.


Well-Known Member
I'd second, third and fourth the visiting the sleep problems. Also risperdal actually caused wetting problems in my son who was completely potty trained. He was actually around 7 at the time he trialed the medication and he started wetting himself. We stopped it.

I dont have any magic answers for potty training because I have never had any huge issues with it. Im sure you have tried the suggestions I will make. The Elmo video. Getting her very special panties that she can have that are BIG girl panties. Starting off with the older training pants that are thicker and you can get plastic pants to put on top. Putting little bags of M&M's above the potty to give her every time she uses it. Doing the potty dance.

We successfully potty trained my then 2 year old granddaughter between my house, her mom's house and daycare using the above method. We just all threw away the diapers on one set day and it was on.


Love me...Love me not

My difficult child gave me the worst trouble when we were going throught he potty training stage. Nothing worked and it seemed like a game to her--as though she could hold it but chose when and where not to, depending on what type of mood she was in.

Sadly, this issue was not fully resolved until she was six...

We did achieve enough "potty training" to go to school. I finally found the ultimate reward. We went to the store and bought difficult child a new video. I let her watch it that first day....and then not again unless she had used the toilet properly and her pants were dry. (And no other children's videos or television shows, either) At times, I felt like I was being mean and was making the wait between reward opportunities too long...

BUT--it worked! difficult child started being determined to stay dry in order to get her way with the tv and video selections.

You may need to find a bigger reward for your difficult child, as well.

Good luck!



Active Member
Like Daisyface, I wound up going with something non-conventional when nothing else worked. Incentives worked well with my kiddo, but not the usual small change stuff that works with younger children. Computer games worked. It was expensive but still cheaper than one month's worth of diapers.


Well-Known Member
Like I said, I have zero experience with non-conformist potty trainers. Hailie seems to be giving them a bit of a problem but I think its because they are pushing her to do it before she is ready. Billie wanted to have Hailie potty train the exact same time Keyana did and all kids arent created equal! Keyana started potty training a month after she turned two which is really early if you ask me. She did well with it though so she must have been ready.