Another potty training question for you, this one is with regard to night wetting. Our daughter just turned 3 and has been potty trained during waking hours for over a year now (she expressed interest in the potty very early). That said, she has always had difficulty staying dry while she sleeps (our pediatrician explained that a different part of the brain that controls continence when you are awake vs. asleep.)
Within the last month, our daughter has had some continued success staying dry during her nap (which is usually 1.5 – 2 hrs) and has been so proud of being a “big girl” and that she doesn’t have to change into a pull-up anymore for nap.
Of course, now that she doesn’t have to wear a pull-up during nap, she is pushing back on wearing one for nighttime sleep. We have let her wear underwear a few times, however, she usually wakes between 2-4 am after having an accident (bedtime is 8:30pm). She has always been a great sleeper (in her own bed, not getting up at night, settling herself down etc.) but I have noticed that after we change her clothes and sheets after the accident, she has been having trouble settling down back into sleep and then asks to get into our bed etc. I want her feel like a big girl, but I also don’t want this disrupted sleep pattern to encourage bad sleep habits and create a sleep problem where there isn’t one.
My question – what is the best way to proceed? Should we continue to let her wear underwear (and have accidents in the middle of the night?) Or should we keep her in the pull-ups until she is dry through the night (although it isn’t what she wants?) A side note – she sees the pull-ups as free license to pee - when she wears one she doesn’t even try to hold her urine and usually pees immediately once she lies down in bed and we end up giving her a fresh pull-up as part of the bedtime routine. But when she wears underwear that doesn’t happen – but she just isn’t quite mature enough to make it through the night yet. Oh, and we do limit liquid intake after dinner so it isn’t like she is drinking a ton before bed – and she uses the toilet right before bed as well.
Thanks for your help!
From:: Kate, West Roxbury, MA
I have two boys. My older son was potty-trained when he was 3.5 years and was done in about 10 days. Nights, poops everything. It was remarkable. My younger son who is almost 4.5 has been training for a little more than a year. He was in early intervention from age 12-18 mos for motor delay and is still a younger 4 than his brother ... but is deemed age appropriate in his skills and is on target per his pediatrician and preschool for motor, language etc. He wears underwear during the day and remains dry but wears pull ups at night and they are wet every morning.
Our big problem is poops. He will go days or sometimes even 2 weeks without a poop accident and then will have several a day for several days. It's usually solid so I don't think it's from an upset tummy. I can't deny that sometimes I get extremely frustrated and yell. Then he cries. Today we had 3 poop accidents inside of 4 hours and I put him back in a pullup and he freaked. I don't want to torture him obviously and I feel like the worst mother in the world but I have no idea what to do. He's starting a prekindergarten program next month and if he has accidents there they will send him home. (PS- he rarely has accidents at his current preschool that he attends twice weekly). Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you--
From: J, Boston, Submit SubmitREAD MORE
I'm trying to find an age appropriate book for my 6 year old boy. He saw a clip of a tv show where a man and woman were in bed without clothes and asked why are they naked and what are they doing and how does the baby get in the mommy's tummy? Help!!! I was stumped on how to answer and I told him we will find a book for kids that can explain it better than mommy can. What do you suggest?
From: Robin, Brandon, Mississippi
My boy is 4 and was caught kissing another boy on the lips. He is not exposed to this at home or TV. Why would he be acting like this? How should we react? What should we do?
From: Monique, Miramar, Florida
My son just used " I'm going to kill you " to a school friend because he got to the swing before my son. My son is 5 and I have no idea where he got that from and it's upsetting. Can you please help me find ways to correct this the right way.
From: Barbara, Los Angeles
My 3 yr old daughter has started twitching just 2 weeks ago. She touches/rubs her nose,ears,eyes and takes her hand over her head at least 6-7 times in a day. She does so more in public,with other children and when she is tired/sleepy. She is our only child and we are not sure why she is doing it. She goes to a playschool but I did notice that no other child in her class does it. Need Your help...what should we do?---ignore it, take her to pediatrician...? Please help.
From: AC, Alpahretta, GA
I'm the mother of a wonderful 4- year old girl. Her father is not usually around so it's just me and yaya. She is a very sweet girl but I feel she is way too affectionate toward me. Not regular things like hugs and kisses, she is constantly rubbing me. My arms legs breast, if I'm wearing a low shirt or even if I'm not, she will stick her hands up my shirt. When I repeatedly ask her to stop, she gets a look on her face like I've hurt her feelings. This is not my intent I just feel that her touching goes too far at times. How do I get her to calm down without her feeling rejected?
From: Miss Jones, Vallejo, CAREAD MORE
[This letter has been condensed. BFM]
I am concerned about my 18 month old daughter and 3 year old son.
About me quickly, I am mostly a good guy, I am a gentleman, kind, caring, thoughtful, empathetic, emotionally available and passionate and loving toward my wife, which I am sure is why she puts up with me. I need you to first know this, as I suffer depression, anxiety and histrionic personality disorder, which sometimes heightens my aggression beyond any reasonable level, heightens my imaginative state and lowers my rationality and decision-making skills....I am sure it affects our family.
I am aware of it and now know the warning signs, but sometimes when we are in the car, I cannot walk away from an argument with my wife, and I go through the roof, yelling at her, swearing at her sometimes, and saying irrational things....harassing her to a point of her becoming confused....and she cried a couple of times, which my son has seen me do. ....Which brings me to my main issue.
I am highly concerned about our 3 year old son. He has a Peter Rabbit toy which he hurts, sits on and pulls his arms etc, nothing verbal, all physical, and when I ask him about it, he smiles awkwardly and says, "I can't tell you." This scares me so much. My instincts are telling me this is a massive warning sign. On another occasion my son wrestled his baby sister to the floor by her neck, which I have read is very normal, but I saw it as bullying and in a moment of stupidity, I did the same thing to him to show him how it felt. My wife was with me and immediately corrected my actions, she is a primary school teacher.
I immediately hugged him and appologised, telling him that what I did was wrong, and that I love him very much. Whenever my wife and I fight, we usually try and make up in front of him...but kids don't have the ability to understand what has happened, "sorry son, daddy is sick and gets cranky sometimes," is the best I can do, which is sad at best, as he is such a good kid, they both are...
My point is, I know I can change what I do today and tomorrow, but what about yesterdays mistakes, will they stay deep in his psyche, and mold his later years? I saw my parents fight a lot, and I want to break the cycle, any advice you could give me might make all the difference.. ..My son and I have a healthy relationship outside of the arguments he witnesses, we cuddle in front of the TV, we play in the park, he loves me very much, we read books, he instigates fun play with me. The only thing that makes me question his mental state is the way that he treats his Peter Rabbit ( and he loves rabbits by the way). He also ran a little plush toy over today with his toy train, he was doing it quietly and did not want me to see him doing it, when I caught him he felt silly about it, I did't want to make him feel silly, so I let it go.....I want to be a better dad/partner and am taking steps to achieve this.
From: Jonas, Sydney, Australia
We have an only child, four year old son. He is fun and happy and does well in preschool. His issue is he seems disinterested in any extra curricular activities. While we don't care if he is the best of the bunch, we want him to learn activities and how to be part of a team. He has taken swim, baseball and soccer classes (not at the same time, one a season) and hasn't taken to any. He is ok once he gets there but complains the entire time going. Sometimes he just refuses to participate once there. Are we doing something wrong? is this too soon? thanks
From: Laurie, Newton MAREAD MORE
No question today, just a rare vent.
I was the speaker last night at Barefoot Books in Concord, (a fabulous book store, more on that another time) at an event for mommy bloggers, co-sponsored by Boston Parent Bloggers and Raising a Reader Massachusetts. Billing me as "Boston's Original Mommy Blogger," they wanted me to talk about how I managed to separate my own parenting experience from my 19 years of writing the Globe's parenting column, which I began when my son was 6-months old.
The truth is, it was never hard. I don't ever remember writing in the first person and rarely referred to my son. That was for safety reasons, sure, but mostly it had to do -- at least in the beginning -- with the baggage I brought to the job: I was a news reporter, schooled to keep myself out of the story. By the time my son was 4, though, I also came to the realization that keeping him out of my copy was in his -- and our -- best interests. By our, I mean, our relationship.
Last night, I gave these moms the advice I lived by: "Keep your kids out of your blogs, -- don't use their names and certainly don't use their pictures." No matter how cute they are, how charming the stories, no matter that your children may be too young to know you're writing about them, it can come back to bite you. Most children do not want the public's attention on them, even in a good way, and what they don't seem to mind at age 3 or 4 or 7 or 8 could turn someday into resentment: "Mom! How could you?!"
In that context, it made sense that one of the moms asked my opinion about this week's Time magazine cover. I hadn't seen it, so someone pulled it up on their phone.
I'm not talking about the content, which is on attachment parenting; the content is beside the point.
Even if this mom was willing (and I assume she was) to pose as provocatively as she did and to include her own son in the photo, wasn't there someone who could have said to her, "You know, you might want to rethink this picture...."
And even if she said, "It's OK, honest," surely some of Time's journalists are also parents, not to mention former kids themselves who might remember being embarrassed by something their mom did, something big that might have put a dent in their relationship, something that might have been, well, as hard to live down as this photo will be? Surely someone could have said, "We may just be ruining this kid's life by putting this picture on our cover. Do we really want to do that?"
Shame on you, Time.
Oh. And just for the record, moms nursing older children isn't exactly a new trend. Here's my column on the subject.
About the author
Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.