Dear Dr. Joan



Dear Dr. Joan,

I have a 4 year old son who refuses to potty train. I have tried everything and nothing seems to work. What am I doing wrong?

Under the Gun in Duluth

Dear Under the Gun,

I do not believe you are doing anything wrong. Some children, especially boys, take longer time to potty train. Many boys prefer to play rather than go potty! If he has never been potty trained, waiting until 6 is the optimal time to check for a urinary tract infection or diabetes. Things to help potty train children would be regular or frequent trips to the bathroom during the day. Also, you can limit his fluid intake before going to bed at night. You might also consider waking him up 2 hours after going to bed to potty. These should help with his bedwetting. Encourage his good behavior and discourage his mistakes. However, you do not need to punish him. Though this may seem like a big deal now, it usually resolves itself as the brain matures. There are a few children who still wet the bed late into their teen years. If you continue to have concerns, please do not hesitate to see your child’s pediatrician.


Dr. Joan

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