July 02, 2015

Q: My 3-year old daughter was doing great on her potty training until she got a UTI. We took her to the doc and got it cleared up but now every time she puts underwear on she has an accident. She can go around with just pj's on with no underwear and no problem but the second they go on it's accident time. Any ideas what might be wrong? Her doc, to say the least, is less than helpful and I don't have the option of finding another one.

A: It is possible that even as young as 3 she has learned to associate the underwear with the discomfort of urinating while she had the urinary tract infection. I would reccomend to let potty training go for 3-4 weeks without bringing up the suggestion of the toilet at all. Then start all over with a new attitude and some new panties that she has picked out. While you are getting the underwear go by the toy section and talk about the prizes that could be earned by having dry panties. Start with a sticker for a dry period of an hour and an extra sticker for each successful trip to the toilet. Make a fun chart and put it on the bathroom mirror or on the fridge. Every 10 stickers could be exhanged for a small prize and as she gets better at staying dry strech out the time to earning a sticker by and hour until there is only one sticker for a whole dry day. Keep the experience positive, never punish for an accident just put on dry underwear and try again. If you can stick with it and figure out what prize will motivate her she will be wearing underwear and dry all the time within a month or two. Then you can move on and use the sticker chart for some other habit that you would like to change.

Answered by Dr. Carrie M. Brown