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3year old insists on going to the toilet after bed time. Can I change this?

(34 Posts)
PavlovtheForgetfulCat Thu 10-Sep-09 20:00:28

bedtime routine is toilet/wash/teeth/toilet again just in case she needs to go/did not go earlier, then jimjams, story x 2, cuddles, kisses, lights out, nice and calm and sleepy.

5-10 mins after lights out (she has a night light on) she gets up 'i can't sleep, i need a poo' Go back to bed, cue tears, insistent she needs a poo.

And she does, most of the time, but not always (probably 80%). It takes somewhere between 5 mins and half hour but she will squeeze one out. All the time chattering away, wide awake. Then we have to put her back to bed, calm her back down, much later than we wanted to, and she is wide awake so cries for more stories, milk, cuddles, not sleepy.

It means her bedtime is around an hour later than we want it to be, at least. As in the time she actually goes to sleep.

It feels like she is playing up a bit when she gets up and says she can't sleep, but clearly she does mostly need a poo so can't be?

Any suggestions to help get her to use the toilet before she goes to bed. We do ask her, at various intervals to have a poo before she goes to bed, but she never wants to.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Thu 10-Sep-09 20:02:58

Now, for example. We have been through this routine, she has chilled ready for bed. She has then got up and had a quick but large poo, wee, back to bed. She wants daddy, and wants another poo. She has just slammed the bedroom door in annoyance as I said firmly 'back to bed' and she is crying asking for daddy. Who is not here.

<sigh>

letsgostrawberrypicking Thu 10-Sep-09 20:03:03

Am bumping and lurking as this has been the same with my ds since he was about 2. I could have written your post the situation is so similar!!

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Thu 10-Sep-09 20:06:00

It is so frustrating isn't it? She has always needed a poo at bedtime, ever since she was a baby, we always used to chuckle that she would just settle off to sleep as a little baby and young toddler and poo her nappy within minutes of being asleep. But since she has been potty trained, she had been good at going before bed, sometimes waking up for a poo later, but more often than not would not need to.

Now she is very upset, crying and insisting she needs a poo. Which means her sitting on the toilet, talking away while I sit there with her unable to do a thing until she either finishes pooing or decides she does not need to go again after all.

bigchris Thu 10-Sep-09 20:07:03

i just wish mine would poo in the loo every day envy
instead we have major constipation and pooey pants once or twice a week

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Thu 10-Sep-09 20:08:43

Bigchris - that is what worries me, if I insist she just gets back to bed and shuts up goes to sleep, and she does need another poo, then I am potentially causing a problem in the future if she tries to hold it in. But then, if she is just playing up now, she knows she has got me by the short and curlies.

SorryDoIKnowYou Thu 10-Sep-09 20:10:03

put a potty in her room and tell her she needs to use that if she needs to after bedtime. Then she can call you to empty it, which you do quickly with no fuss.

After all anyone should have access to toileting facilities however the forbidden fruit element of getting out her room would stop. And if she wants to sit on the potty on her own in her darkened room for 30mins you don't mind.

Hope something works for you smile

dinkystinky Thu 10-Sep-09 20:14:07

Pavlov - DS1 is the same. I now give him a time limit for his poos (5 minutes)- and give him a countdown to when he is going to have to go to bed. We also encourage him to do his poo before he's tucked in for the night by promising him an extra bedtime story if he does his poo after brushing his teeth before going to bed. Has taken a few months but generally works now. And he asks for the other parent all the time -usual 3 year old behaviour as far as I can tell...

MrFlibble Thu 10-Sep-09 20:17:41

Pavlov are you me?
My DS does this, except he goes back down without another bedtime story thank god. But my DH is working away tonight and he has been a nightmare asking for his daddy. I have no advice just wanted to sympathise and say I know how you feel! smile

GoldenSnitch Thu 10-Sep-09 20:19:51

My son is only just potty trained in the last few months and we haven't tried night training yet so bear with me of this is a stupid idea...

He does get up and ask for a wee but in our case this is generally just a delaying tactic, he doesn't actually do anything 90% of the time.

What we try to do when he does get up is the same as we were advised to do when he was tiny and we were trying to establish the 'day is for being awake, night is for sleeping' thing and have been doing ever since - if DS gets up after bedtime, we have no lights (or as low as possible if we need to see to clean him) no conversation, no interaction at all.

So if he asks for a wee, I silently take him by the hand and gently lead him, in the dark, into the bathroom, sit him on his toilet seat and sit quietly while he finishes. Then I clean his hands, redress him and lead him back to bed, tuck him in, give him a kiss and maybe whisper "goodnight".

This seems to help because a) being up after bedtime is boring. He doesn't get to play or chat and we are terrible company so it's boring and not worth it for him really and b) he doesn't get stimulated so going back to sleep is a lot easier.

It works for us....

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Thu 10-Sep-09 20:20:37

She has her potty in her room, but insists on using either the toilet or taking the potty into her room, which is also currently our room. I shall try to be more insistent that she uses the potty in the bedroom after bedtime. She uses it fine in the nighttime if she needs a wee.

I will also try the one more story, see if it works! I have tried limiting the time, but find that she is very like her dad when it comes to poos - she likes to sit there for a while and ponder the world while pooing, and as such is not a quick pooer, even when she is not 'playing up' she takes hours grin so if I put a time limit on, I worry as she might actually need to go.

She is now, after having a wee, not a poo, in the bedroom wrecking it. Quietly. Its hard as I cannot just let her stay up and play with her toys, as it is our bedroom. I have told her to get back to bed, and she needs a poo 'again' she is taking the pee [excuse the pun] now, and I am Fed Up.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Thu 10-Sep-09 20:23:12

I do refuse to talk to her when she has her poo. I sit there patiently, (not so patiently inside!) and she asks for a cuddle, tells me she loves me, chats about this and that, regardless of whether I respond! (hard not to respond to 'mama? I love you mama' but I try!).

Now she is crying 'pleeeeese mama, I need a poo mama, I promise i do mama, I not 'tending, I really really do'

sad. Now is she perfecting the art of manipulation or am I being a cow of a mother by ignoring her?

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Thu 10-Sep-09 20:24:11

And it is good to know that I am not alone smile

woodenchair Thu 10-Sep-09 20:28:20

Bigchris, ds was seriously constipated for a number of months after he was potty trained. He started hanging on to it for a few days then it was so big it really hurt him to pass it. Invariably he would then go in a his night time nappy.

We figured out that it was the splash back that was bothering him and giving him anxiety about pooing in the toilet.

But by the time we figured it out he was in the habit of hanging on to it and the going in his nappy when he couldn't hang on any more.

After a trip to the dr's we got some lactulose and it's really helped get things moving. We promised to put loo roll down before he went for a poo so he wasn't splashed and gave him the extra incentive of a marble for his trouble. It's taken months, probably a year from when it started to now.

I have no idea why I've written such a long post, but hope it helps someone!

dinkystinky Thu 10-Sep-09 20:29:28

Pavlov - another thing that helped with DS1 na moving his poos to earlier in the day is ensuring he has his fruit intake in the morning and carbs (and reducing protein)at dinner before bedtime. Might that be worth a go to try to shift her poos to earlier in the day?

Repeat after me - its a phase, it will pass. I'd go up and let her try to do a poo - take a glass of wine with you and a book and just do not interact with her. She will do a poo or go to bed eventually.

OptimistS Thu 10-Sep-09 20:30:21

Maybe try starting the whole bed time routine an hour earlier? At least then you'll have her asleep by the time you want, even if nothing else has changed...

GoldenSnitch Thu 10-Sep-09 20:34:53

I hate it when I'm pretty sure DS is playing up by asking for a wee/poo. He does it a lot when we go to Meesy play and toddler group - I think he likes the loos!! On the one hand, I know it's a ploy, on the other, I daren't risk him really needing a poo or wee and me causing a problem or making him mess himself by not believing him.

It's the hardest thing!

Feel really sorry for you Pavlov.

DS currently waked with a dirty nappy most mornings so I'm sure I have this to come when we night train

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Thu 10-Sep-09 20:36:41

dinky would so love a glass of wine, but as I am 30 wks pregnant, it would just give me very bad acid indigestion!

optimistS tried the routine earlier, as she is not tired, she just keeps getting up for an hour, and we put her back, she gets up, we put her back, she becomes sleepy at what would be her normal time and then she needs a poo.

She ate a good lot of fruit this morning as we had banana and strawberry smoothies for breakfast, and then she wanted an apple. Have no idea what she had for lunch as dh fed her while I was at work (think eggs as they were left out!), but she had fish pie, roast potatoes and vegetables for tea so food routine seems ok hmm

Now, think she is asleep after I took potty in to her and told her to use it. Strangely her poo wont come out now! And I put her back to bed and she has dropped off, but not restfully so, rather, frazzled after tears and frustration, she is now exhausted.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Thu 10-Sep-09 20:37:42

golden thats it, I don't want to take the chance either, just in case!

FabBakerGirlIsBack Thu 10-Sep-09 20:40:15

Why not just start the bedtime routine half an hour earlier?

GoldenSnitch Thu 10-Sep-09 20:41:26

I'm 25 weeks pregnant so I can imagine how tired you must be

dinkystinky Thu 10-Sep-09 21:07:45

Pavlov - in that case I prescribe a big bar of chocolate or a tub of ben & jerry's instead of a glass of wine for you!

Do you think the acting up at bedtime might be something to do with the impending arrival? I only ask because I'm pretty sure DS1's nighttime bed-time avoidance routine was related to DS2's arrival a month or so earlier - it went on for about 3 or 4 months and then settled down as things settled down at home and he got to spend more quality time during the day with me or his dad. The key seems to be rising above it all and just letting them get on with it until things settle down. And ensure you have a good line in books and chocolate until then...

giaoli Thu 10-Sep-09 21:13:16

Your not a cow of a mother, maybe you could try doing your routine 10 mins earlier each night so she doesnt notice the change much. Or when she is on the toilet go down stairs or somewhere she cant see you, I think shes doing it to prolong the time she has to go to bed and kids are very clever you know, as soon as she realises shes not winning and not getting your attention she will leave this phase and start something else as they almost always do. If its not one thing its another, I always try to be fair but firm, somethings you can let go but not the big things and you have to be tough and it is very hard but when youve succeeded you will be proud of yourself.
Good luck.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Thu 10-Sep-09 21:16:04

dinky yes it could well be? Or more likely the severe disruption of ongoing building works which have over-run. DD is in our bedroom, should have been for 2 weeks, has been for 6, with likelihood of another 2 weeks. My poor angel has had her life ripped upside down.

Unfortunately, chocolate is not great either. But ice cream is. Only problem with that is that if I eat this while dd poo's, she will want some! She would not want mummys adult drink as that is out of bounds, but not my ice cream!

FBG - tried that, it just prolongs the agony for another30 mins sad

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Thu 10-Sep-09 21:18:22

thanks giaoli smile

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