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DD going through another pants-wetting phase, not sure on strategy

(6 Posts)
Mij Sat 20-Jun-09 20:25:07

DD is just 3. She pretty much potty-trained herself over a year ago (I only bought pants when I realised she'd only had one wee in a nappy the whole week and had been going on both the potty and loo without prompting - seemed daft not to really). In the last year she's gone through several 'wet pants' phases, but generally just doing 'dribbles' before being able to hold it in until we made it to a loo/potty/hedge. And each time they seemed to be 'about' something different - firstly it was the novelty wearing off; once it was definitely not wanting to leave a game or worrying another child was going to take a toy or food from her if she left it; another time she just seemed to enjoy going through several changes of clothes a day; once or twice I thought it might be associated with being unsettled because of lots of visitors coming and going (she doesn't like people leaving - but then who would?).

Since grandparents visiting 3 weeks ago, and then another lot of grandparents and a load of friends at the weekend coming for her birthday, she's been in major attention seeking behaviour mode - much more obviously than I've ever seen before. I also suspect she's gearing up for, or having, a growth spurt, and she also seems to be working on improving some skills, all of which I associate with 'fussy' behaviour of some kind in her since babyhood. All week she's had the odd dribble, but has at least made it to the loo most of the time, but yesterday she sat down on the kitchen floor and quite deliberately had a full wee. And today, with DP, she only went to the loo herself once - several wet pants and then when I got home from work, had a full wee on the sofa.

After a year of knowing she's entirely capable of both knowing when she needs a wee and holding it in until she's somewhere appropriate, it's very hard to not go absolutely ballistic. I've managed it, but am slightly at a loss as to what the best strategy is.

I'm torn between a) completely ignoring the event, to the point of not even talking about it and going back to wild jubilation when she does ask to go in time/playing loo games or singing weeing songs (don't ask), and b) telling her that we are fed up and upset as she's a year older and completely able to understand that stuff now. And perhaps saying there are certain places I'm not willing to take her until she's asking to go again.

Please don't suggest star charts or other tangible reward systems - I'm just not going there yet (I have my reasons and don't want to debate them just now!) but any other ideas/opinions welcomed smile

pinkteddy Sat 20-Jun-09 20:36:01

I would try not making any fuss at all just changing her as quickly as poss (don't let her get used to being wet), saying 'never mind' or something along those lines. It sounds like she might be trying to get attention.

As for the not wanting to leave a game etc, I still get this with dd aged nearly 6! Difference being dd can control it more so won't do the whole wee but will have slightly wet pants. I don't think its unusual to still have occasional accidents up to 6 or 7 based on conversations I've had with other parents.

BlueberryPancake Sat 20-Jun-09 20:53:22

I would take a step back and take her to the loo every two hours or so, and try to make it fun - leave her favorite book in the bathroom, a couple of toys, etc. Praise her lots. Give her a treat maybe after lunch if she gets all the morning dry? Try to spend 20 minutes of really really good quality one-to-one time with her in the morning, and again in the afternoon if you can? If she still has 'accidents' don't make a fuss like pinkteddy said.

I found that with DS, if he'd have an accident early in the day, he'd keep on having accidents throughout the day as if his 'confidence' was low. With him, getting the morning right was securing a dry day!

I know that treats are not really correct these days, but I give DSs an ice cream cone after their lunch if they have been really good at something. I personally don't think there's anything wrong with that.

Mij Sat 20-Jun-09 22:49:11

The thing is, these aren't 'accidents'. If she really does just leave it a bit too late that's no big deal. This is her deciding to stay where she is, despite being right next to the loo or potty, and having a whole wee. And smiling when I come to sort her/the floor/the sofa out. It feels like major boundary pushing, which is why I don't feel as confident choosing a strategy as DD is our oldest and so we're coming at it new!

If I try to take her to the loo as a pre-emptive measure, that really backfires - in fact in the past that has made things even worse, despite how upbeat/fun/whatever we try to make trips, as she is a real 'all by myself' girl and bitterly resents and resists suggestions as to what or when she should do anything (doesn't always get her own way of course wink.

dinkystinky Sun 21-Jun-09 17:56:43

DS1 is similar in that he's been trained for a few months but has recently started regressing and will not go to the loo if we tell him to (starts major tantrums) - I suspect its attention seeking as he has a 4 month old little brother. I've now employed the strategy of explaining to him that he's a big boy - and if he wees in his pants he has to be a big boy and help mummy clear up - which means taking his wet clothes off, putting them in the washing machine, sitting on the loo to finish his wee and getting dressed in new clothes. I also ask him to clean up the mess with me. Not sure if its working so far (only been doing this for 2 days) but he at least acknowledges now that its more fun playing in dry wee-free clothes than cleaning up wee on the floor with mummy grin

Mij Sun 21-Jun-09 22:18:39

Well, had a much better day - no wet pants at all. Combo of having both me and DP to herself all day, doing the all-singing-all-dancing celebrations when she took herself to the loo unprompted, and pre-empting any objections to going when asked (or at least preventing them from turning into major strops) by promising some kind of game on the way or there, and/or saying 'we're not going to do anything/play any more etc etc until you're back'. Anyway - it's hard when you're all tired and emotional/hormonal to put your happy face on but we managed it, and the childminder can deal with her tomorrow wink.

Dinky - DD has always helped clear up (started when she was weeny and had lots of nappy-off time, which inevitably meant the occasional wee on the carpet, when she loved fetching a terry square and mopping. She has a bit of a cloth/towel fetish... hmm

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