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Bedtime nightmare - 2 year old - Pooing/Stalling at bedtime. Won't go to sleep. PLEASE HELP!

(10 Posts)
RosasMummy Thu 11-Oct-12 21:52:23

Hi everyone. This is the first time I've posted so not sure if I'm doing it right....doing it on the chance that someone else out there has dealt with this!
Daugther was 2 in May and always been great sleeper.

But, last couple of months bedtime has become nightmare and we are both shattered. She does bath/story with lights dimmed and everything we have always done. However now she messes in her cot, chats then starts to wimper and gets more distressed. The minute we go in, she says 'wee wee' so we get her up, put her on loo. We keep lights low and don't speak to her and make minimum fuss. (She is a good few weeks into potty training and is doing really well in the day. She has a wee before bed (usually goes to bed about 7.45 - 8pm) and has no drinks after 6pm). She was asking for wee wee several times - excuse to get out of bed? and some nights this would go on for a good couple of hours.

Now, it is getting worse and the last 3 weeks she has started doing a poo in her pull up and then putting her hand in and smearing it all over cot - up wall, on bedding, everywhere. This is happening a couple of times a week and some nights it is as late as 9.30/10pm. So, we then have to get her up, change, wash, change cot etc etc. Tonight she has been crying/jumping in cot, putting legs through bars and crying she is stuck (we have video monitor so can see). When we go in to sort her out, she asks for a poo. She has done one poo on the toilet tonight but asked for another one 20 mins later and wouldn't go when husband put her on. It is now 9.50pm and she is still awake!!...banging dummy on bars, jumping up and down.
She gets up 0730 - 0800 and has an hour sleep in the day (sometimes more at weekends if she is shattered from nursery). She still really needs that daytime sleep and asks for her cot if is gets to 1pm and I've not put her down.
I know she is shattered at night time but she just won't go to sleep. Hubby and I are stressed/tired etc and now rowing about how to handle it.

We have thought about putting her into bed but I'm sure she would just get out and smear poo round the room!!! She is great going to sleep in cot for her nap but night times are now ridiculous!

If anyone has been through this or has any advice, I would really appreciate it!

Thank you in advance!

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Fri 12-Oct-12 08:41:54

I think it could be potty related tbh. She sounds like she's done extraordinarily well for a 2 year she almost 3 or not long 2?

I think the best thing might be to change the routine...she's rather young for reward systems.

Also....if you KNOW she's done a wee then it sounds harsh but perhaps simply don't go up when she asks for a wee? If she gets distressed, you could go near her room and say "Time for sleep now..." then leave and don't bring weeing into it.

none of mine were dry at night until about 4....they needed pull ups....they were trained in the day from just before three...both girls...your DD is rather quick with it (unless she's nearly three too!) and she sounds bright to be using the potty as an excuse to get up/create a fuss.

The pooing is harder but could resolve once she realised that needing a wee won't bring you to her side anymore.

If she does the getting trapped thing, you can again, ignore...just call in "You're ok...bedtime now" and dont let her draw you. If she gets very upset, go in, remove her legs and leave the room.

this is the age when lots of them get a bit challenging at bedtime...mine both did but used other tactics! I found that within a week of not engaging/ignoring they realised that I wasn't being pulled in anymore.

Olympicrock Fri 12-Oct-12 08:45:16

To stop the poo smearing thing can I suggest the zip up sleep suits from Primark. Available in all sizes to teenage!

RosasMummy Fri 12-Oct-12 12:54:40


thanks for your reply. Nice that people respond so quickly.

She used to be in sleeping bad but after we came back from holiday in Aug (too hot for one when away) she wouldn't wear one at home any more. So, she has a blanket or quilt. But, I do put her in a vest with poppers and baby grow that has poppers down back.....but she still managed to get into the poo!!! I did buy a zip up fleecy Peppa baby grow/sleep suit from Asda the other night but she scream if I try to put it on her....when I did finally get it on, she took it straight off the minute she was in her cot!

RosasMummy Fri 12-Oct-12 12:59:19

Hi BigWitch.

She was 2 in May so I know she is still fairly young. Maybe we'll try the ignoring tonight. I think she is forcing the wees/poos to get our attention! I just dread the poo smearing and that is why we end up going check she hasn't done it. We're going on holiday week after next and I'm dreading night times in case she does the smearing.....we won't have a washing machine while we're away!!

Will try ignoring/just calling in over next few nights and see how we go.


ZuleikaD Fri 12-Oct-12 12:59:22

I think you've got several issues all bundled up here.

For a start if she's coming up for two and a half I think it's probably high time she was out of a cot and into a bed. I'd say she may be partly expressing her frustration at being caged in the evenings and you may well find that if you take the sides off her cot (and put a gate across her door) then she goes to bed more willingly. She knows that poos go in the loo so I think the dirty protest is to do with this. She may even be withholding during the day as a protest, though it's not unusual to poo in the evenings (my DD does).

I think a secondary issue is the weeing. She's feeling like she's got a grip on it during the day and has taken on board the fact that wees go in the loo. So she may be feeling genuinely distressed and upset when she knows she's about to wee and she can't get out of her cot to do it in the loo. You will need to help her understand that it's ok to wee in nappies at night/ once she's in her cot.

I would also suggest that you change the bedtime routine quite radically. Bath & story etc is what you've been doing but it's clearly not working for her and she's getting beyond the baby/toddler phase and turning into a little girl. I would be inclined to give her a bit more responsibility. You could try bath and story, then some playtime in her room with free access to potty etc until 7.30 (which is a bit late, IMO, but if that's what she's used to). Then her nappy goes on and her light goes out. I would also institute a reward system for nights when she stays in bed without a fuss after lights out - perhaps a sticker chart or marbles in a jar with a treat when the chart/jar is full or something.

RosasMummy Fri 12-Oct-12 20:22:21


thanks for your message but I was looking for some helpful suggestions rather than someone criticise my parenting and everything I am currently doing. She is in a cot bed so has plenty of space and is not caged in.
7.30 pm is a perfectly reasonable bedtime. She sleeps til 7.30am on nursery days and sleeps in a bit later on my days with her - I don't want her getting up at 6am!!

ZuleikaD Sat 13-Oct-12 06:18:04

I'm not criticising 'your parenting and everything you're doing' - if you're going to ask for advice on a public forum then you must expect people to sometimes say 'no, I think you could be doing that differently, here's some ideas of what might work'.

If what you wanted was to be told that this is all your daughter's problem and how to 'fix' her then you've come to the wrong place. I told you I think you could rethink your bedtime routine because your daughter is clearly trying to communicate very hard with you that she's not happy with what you're doing. I suggested she might feel caged (it's really not a question of how big the cot is, it's still a cage) and that she's getting distressed about having to wee in her nappy. You are free to ignore my suggestions, of course, and continue treating her like a baby, but then expect her to continue smearing poo around when she can get her hands on it. Treat her like a baby and she'll act like one.

If you're convinced that you're doing everything right, why ask for advice?

BlackSwan Sat 13-Oct-12 07:36:29

OP, I think ZD was offering you considered advice and didn't deserve to be shot down for it. Clearly you're frustrated with the situation - who wouldn't be. But if what you're doing isn't solving this issue, then you should try something different.

How do you react when she does this to her cot? Have you read any advice from experts on this messy problem - you're not the first person to experience this. Just google 'toddler poo smearing' and youre on your way. Also, I think the book 'Toddler Taming' written by a paed, deals with this. Worth a read.

We didn't experience smearing, but we had a couple of alarming incidents of poos in the bath. My solution was to tell him we were throwing the bath out (it was a baby bath) because it was dirty, and then he had to have showers for a week until we got a new one! Now he tells me if he needs a wee when he is in the bath!

I would make it clear the behaviour is not acceptable, but mix things up a bit so she's not in her old routine where she can comfortably continue the behaviour. If she can reach into a pull-up, why not use nappies instead? She would have to be pretty dextrous to reach in from the side as the waist band/tapes wouldn't allow her to reach in from the top. Or how about a nice, all in one suit? Make it impossible for her to continue. You're going to have to be smart about this little brain teaser!

Don't worry - this isn't going to last forever.

TheCountessOlenska Sat 13-Oct-12 07:52:52

I was coming on to say more or less what Zuleika said, sorry OP!

My DD is the same age and we have had A LOT of problems with bedtime/ sleep and still have 1 night waking per night so I really don't think of myself as an expert or anything (!!) BUT it does sound to me like you are "babying" her a bit - still having the side bars in the cot bed, and putting her in babygrows. I think she is responding to feeling powerless by acting up around the poo/wee issues. I think Zuleika's suggestions are good ones.

My DD goes to sleep at about 8.30 some nights (due to my disorganisation) so I think 7.30 very reasonable!!

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