I’ve been receiving quite a few questions about children who are struggling with releasing their bladders! Parents often tell me that they KNOW their kiddos HAVE to pee, but when they sit on the toilet nothing will come out! For some kids releasing their pee on the potty is just as much, if not more so, of a hurdle to overcome.
The first step is to make sure your little one REALLY needs to go when you have them sit on the potty. Some kids only need to pee as few as 2 or 3 times a day, which is perfectly normal! They might not be withholding after all. Unless there is a medical concern, it is very common for children to reduce the number of times they pee and poop during the potty training process.
Having only ever peed with something covering their bottom and then switching to peeing on the potty is a super different sensation! And let's face it, diaper technology nowadays is so good, TOO good, that in many cases, the pee is absorbed so fast, they don't even realize they've gone. Think about if someone asked you to pee in a diaper right now - it would be challenging!!
If you CAN tell your little one physically needs to go based on their potty language, but they can't let go and release their bladder once they're sitting, they could be experiencing a mental block preventing them from relaxing enough to release.
Tips to help your child release and pee:
Bubble trick – My famous bubble trick! When you blow out air, it activates the same muscles we use to pass our bladder and bowels. Several ways you can do this is:
Let your child blow bubbles.
Have them blow through a straw.
Have them blow out of a toy trumpet.
Have them pretend to blow out candles on a birthday cake.
Ask them to blow your hair around in silly ways.
Making them laugh – Tickling your child or otherwise making them laugh works wonders! A surefire way to get a laugh is to ask them to try and toot for you! This will not only be funny, but it will also help them to activate their muscles to let things flow!
Putting their feet in warm water – To avoid alarming them when you do this, you can say the water magically helps them to pee or pass it off as a mini pedicure!
Running water from the faucet – The sink works well but the bath works best!
Making the “Pssssssss” sound – Either have them make this sound or you do it for them.
Putting a few drops of peppermint essential oils in the toilet – I am personally not into essential oils myself, but I have read up a ton on this topic and there are many people who swear by a drop of peppermint oil in the potty to help with the release! Who knows, it may be worth a try!
Eliminate ALL diapers and Pull-ups – Taking away all diapers and Pull-ups will take away the option for your child to hold out and wait for the diaper to release their bladder and/or bowels. This gives your child the one and only option to go on the toilet.
Communicating clearly to our children that pee and poop belong on the toilet will ultimately result in faster successful potty training! This process doesn’t have to be stressful, scary, or miserable! It CAN be fun if we MAKE it fun for our children!
Being silly, using our imagination, and getting creative as we help our children through the potty training process is the best and most effective way to help them to successfully become potty trained in a timely manner!