7 Times You Need To Pay Attention To Your Kid's Potty Training Accidents

Ad failed to load

Any parent with a kid older than two can tell you about the joys of potty training. And by "joys," of course, I mean "horrors." There are bound to be accidents, occasional regressions, and other hiccups as your kid adjusts to this new level of self-awareness and self-regulation, but what happens when things seem to go beyond what might be defined as "normal"? Your kid's potty training accidents may, in fact, be a message worthy of your undivided attention and potential further action, and it's up to you, as their parent, to decipher it.

While I don't have any medical training, I do have a lot of experience on this topic. In fact, I won't lie; this is hard for me to write about, but I feel it's so important to discuss with parents so I'm finally ready, willing and able to talk about it openly. I spent most of the first 10 years of my life dealing with accidents. My parents had no clue what was going on with me, and neither did I. The shame I endured, the overwhelming feeling of being broken, of wondering whether I was being judged or ridiculed, are all something I continue to deal with, decades later. It turned out that I had a bladder disorder that went undiagnosed until I was 10 years old, but eventually I did receive treatment thanks to some rather incredible doctors. Still, it all came at a price.

Fast forward a few decades and here I am, dealing with my own kid's challenges with potty training. We're trying to determine why she's having so many problems, but it's hard. Despite my own experiences, and my promises to myself that I would never react negatively to any problems my own kids had with toilet training, it's still hard. Sometimes, even letting out a big sigh of exasperation after the fourth accident that day, can come across as anger to your kid.

Ad failed to load

So, if your child is having accidents and you're losing your patience, I implore you to start researching the possibilities. It might be nothing but, if it isn't, it's worth getting to the bottom of the problem sooner rather than later.

Ad failed to load

When There's A Major Change In Routine


As someone who abhors routine, especially when it comes to my kids, I'm here to tell you that most children thrive on it. Especially when they're learning new things. My daughter had a major regression, once summer hit and all the designated times she was used to trying to go pee disappeared.

When They Tell You They Can't Feel When They Have To Go


While potty training is something every kid will learn to do eventually, there is a very small percentage of children who have physiological reasons for their accidents. Meaning, they may need to be seen by a doctor for further testing and diagnosis.

When They Are Sick


When my daughter is starting to come down with something, the first thing that goes is her bladder control. If there's a urinary tract infection, problems with bladder control can be even more pronounced. You can ask if it hurts when they pee, or if they're having trouble peeing, and follow up with your doctor if the answer to any of those questions is a "yes."

Ad failed to load

When There's A Major Change In Their Life


At the beginning of this past summer, we moved to a new city and everything went to hell. My daughter changed schools and the different routine she's having to adjust to, as well as new classmates and teachers, has thrown her for a serious loop. A new sibling, divorce, losing a grandparent or beloved pet – all of these changes can affect progress with potty training, or cause a regression.

When They Lie About Having (Or Not Having) Accidents


As someone who had problems and dealt with the shame of those problems, as a kid, (I was one of the very small percentage of children who needed medication to deal with incontinence), the shame associated with having accidents is very real, and if your child is lying about them, it's time to check yourself and make sure you aren't contributing to any shame they may be feeling.

When There Are Other Behavioral Problems


If your kid is acting out in other ways, there may be more to their accidents. Have any caregivers changed? Is there a reason your child may be upset? They may be trying to tell you something's up, without using actual words.

Ad failed to load

When You Find Yourself Getting Angry At Your Kid For Their Accidents


This. Is. So. Hard. When you're taking your kid to get changed for the sixth time in one day, or you send them to kindergarten with three changes of clothes, and they still come home wearing someone else's outfit; who wouldn't be frustrated? As I said before, though, you really need to check yourself and find ways to stay cool, calm and collected. I speak from experience – even when you're reacting negatively out of ignorance, it is going to affect your child. My parents didn't know I had a physiological bladder disorder for the first 10 years of my life, so you can imagine how frustrated they must have been, seeing my accidents persist well past the potty training years. They weren't horrible parents by any stretch, but the shame I felt for not being able to do something every other kid had no problem doing has had an incredibly far-reaching impact on me. Despite my own experiences, there are times I want to scream in frustration at my own kid's persistent accidents.

Your child needs your love, especially when it comes to figuring out why the accidents are happening. Your child needs your compassion. With those tools, hopefully you can get to the bottom of any incontinence problems your child may or may not be having.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack