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Am I babying my 3.5 year ds??

(37 Posts)
cheekymonk Sat 19-Jul-08 18:16:08

Just wondered. I still use buggy occasionally for longer distances and for being in the shops usually otherwise he just runs off all the time. He has bed guard on bed, asks for nappies to do a poo but wears pants rest of time and is dry at night, I dress him mainly and always put shoes on, he mostly feeds himself but wants help if very tired or feeling lazy, has non spill cup...
Its just he was playing with neighbours kid aged 4 who seemed so much more streetwise. He was playing with guns and was much more "macho". He goes to karate and has very male orientated toys but he does have 2 older brothers. I tend to let ds play with what he wants to and choose to wait to see what his interests are rather than push typically male stuff down his throat. I did think though just how much younger he seemed compared to neighbour's child. Does 6 months make all the difference?
Neighbour is also far more relaxed about letting him play independently (older bros are always outside with him aged 7 and 11).
Am I normal or OTT?
Any thoughts welcome x

ComeOVeneer Sat 19-Jul-08 18:20:16

Sounds similar to my ds (also 3.5). I do still ocassionalyy use pushchair (he too runs off). Wees and poos in toilet fine, but still in nappies at night. His best friend is 3 months older than him and plays more "big boys games", but he has a 6 year old brother where as ds has a 6 year old sister. He does feed himself independantly and has a normal open cup to drink from, but when tired will ask me to help him. He attempts some dressing/shoes on but needs a fair bit of help.

I think also as he is my last I may well baby him a bit, in a reluctance to accept that period of my life is over.

TheArmadillo Sat 19-Jul-08 18:20:20

children with older siblings often seem more grown up ime just because they have the influence of older siblings. They also change and grow up very quickly at this age and 6 months can make a world of difference. Children also grow up at different ages.

Ds is 3.9 and seems so much more grown up than he was a couple of months ago.

SoupDragon Sat 19-Jul-08 18:20:29

Subsequent children generally gain independence far quicker than First Borns.

BabyDragon is 2.5, drinks from an ordinary cup, refuses to go in the pushchair, always feeds herself and puts her own shoes and socks on. But she's a 3rd born child with a 5 year gap DS1 certainly did none of those things at that age (and probably not at your DSs)

he sounds fine. Sometimes it's good to train them to do stuff like shoes though.

cheekymonk Sat 19-Jul-08 18:25:39

Ah thanks everyone. Yes I thought it was relevant that neighbour has 2 older brothers.
Am feeling funny as have 3.5 year check this week and health visitor said I need to name school for next year. It just seems strange to think I will be getting him school uniforms etc this time next year and while part of me thinks Hooray! Another part of me is sad to think I am losing my "baby". I just wondered if I was subconsciously babying him. Really reassuring to hear your opinions, thanks smile

AuntyJ Sat 19-Jul-08 20:15:07

sorry Im going to throw a spanner in the works here. My dd is the same age and has been dressing herself for a year now - and she is the eldest. I know all children are different, but when he starts school next year he will need to be able to do this plus have poos with no nappy.
Is there anyway you can start encouraging him to get dressed>

cheekymonk Sat 19-Jul-08 20:46:32

Yes but girls tend to be more independent don't they? Yes I saw they have to dress themselves for school on admissions info. Will start to encourage this but am more concerned with getting him to poo in toilet. I have thought about just not having nappies available but am worried this is a bit harsh.

cheekymonk Sun 20-Jul-08 08:50:26


zookeeper Sun 20-Jul-08 08:57:31

My dd is 3.5 and sounds much more independent but then she is the youngest of three and goes with the flow - her elder brother still had a bottle at night when he was five!

You do sound as though you are babying him a little but WTF? They all get there in the end and at least he's loved.

zookeeper Sun 20-Jul-08 08:58:17

and agree ime girls tend to be more independent

cheekymonk Sun 20-Jul-08 09:09:44

Thanks zookeeper. My mum always accused me of pushing him to be older but I know in the last year my mindset has changed a bit...
Will encourage independence more as I would hate for him to be struggling because of me! Thanks for your opinion!

bossybritches Sun 20-Jul-08 09:11:57

Encourage him to dresss himself -paaaaiiinfully slow at first but he'll get there!

Make it easier for him by having shirts/trousers that pull on, no buttons or zips. Velcro straps on shoes at first then buckles when he's more dextrous.

Don't worry about the poo-ing that'll come, just don't make a big thing of it he needs the security of the nappy to "let go", if he's doing wees on the loo one day he'll poo by accident & it'll click he doesn't need to worry & then he'll go without nappies.grin

School next year is a LOOOOONG way off enjoy your baby while you can, but gently encourage him to be independant. It's just as much fun -a different stage but equally enjoyable.

(says she who is clinging on to HER baby who leaves primary school next week sob )

Martha200 Sun 20-Jul-08 09:12:56

As for the poos in nappy: at 3.5 our ds would ask for nappies to poo and I REALLY thought we would never crack it, until I got calmly 'nasty'. In the past when I had tried to get him to poo without the nappy he had been distressed but I managed to train him to poo with nappy on but in the bathroom, next step was to cut a hole in it and give him the option of poo on the toilet or with nappy with a hole in it.. he was ANGRY not distressed that time so I binned the nappy calmly, he was FUMING he really was.. but I felt anger was different to the distress and we had a few weeks him pooing in his pants in bed at night time.. I responded to this by calmly bathing him quickly and changing the sheets, never scolded him, reassured him and a month later he was the proud toilet pooer!! (we also rewarded him when he did a poo on the toilet with a small toy, so yes a bit costly, but slowly upped the number of poos he had to do before he got another toy)

I really, really thought we would never crack this but we got there and was worth the nights of bath/dirty sheets just to get rid of the sodding nappies!! It may appear harsh but I always kept calm about it and he always had that option of how to do his toilet, I just took the cue of anger as the push to get him sorted!

Ds1 is now 5 and when he started school he did get more independent and that has grown since we had another baby, I think he likes to look all grown up now grin

PortAndLemon Sun 20-Jul-08 09:14:02

DS is 3.6 and a PFB smile.

We never use a buggy althugh he does ride on DH's shoulders quite often.
He doesn't have a bed guard, uses the toilet for all poos and wees, and dresses himself (including shoes). Like your DS he mostly feeds himself but wants help if very tired (to be honest he'd be happy just not to eat under those circumstances, but if I know he's very tired I'll feed him a couple of forkfuls to make sure he eats something). He drinks from a normal cup.

norkmaiden Sun 20-Jul-08 09:15:37

ds (pfb) is similar age so here's a summary:

puts own shoes on, but not clothes (will take clothes off if prompted, eg bathtime)
has nappy at night
uses toilet in the day but still needs someone to take him
feeds himself unless tired/has normal cup (and has done for ages - try a steadycup or doidy cup?)

your ds sounds fine to me! As for things he needs to be able to do to go to school, a year will make an enormous difference in them.


norkmaiden Sun 20-Jul-08 09:17:18

oh we still use a buggy a fair bit, as we do a lot of walking that he couldn't manage/would take all day

But he's recently discovered the joys of taking the bus grin so buggy might be on the way out

IndigoMoon Sun 20-Jul-08 09:17:30

dd was allllllllways independant and demanded that she do everything herself, she was a first born.

ds is less independant as the second child.

i do have to dress dd in her school uniform most mornings but thats because she would prefer to colour than actually get ready.

Ineedsomesleep Sun 20-Jul-08 10:44:21

He sounds fine to me too, and a year is a long time. The only thing I would question is the use of a pushchair. DS has only used his from 2.5 when he has been ill. If he runs off in shops could you try reins or is there a shopping centre with a creche?

As for the pooing thing, have you tried letting him have the nappy but insisting he sits on the potty while he uses it? The next step is to let him have the nappy on the potty but fasten it so its quite slack. Then finally, after a few weeks of the above steps, just lay the nappy in the potty and let him poo on that.

Apparently, it does work but you have to stick with it and be very patient.

Don't worry about the guns and things. DS has a few friends like that but there are plenty like him at pre-school that just aren't interested in that kind of stuff. I think a lot of how they are and how they relate depends on their Dad and if they have older siblings.

cheekymonk Sun 20-Jul-08 11:12:07

Thanks all, definitely food for thought. Yes I know people question the use of a pushchair. Ds was asleep in it yesterday and got some funny looks...
Everything seems like bloody military training, its like having a dog!!!
Will tackle pooing when dh is home on friday and we can work on it as a team.
Ds never has any pooing accidents, he seems to be able to control it very well. It was always weeing that he had the more accidents.

anotherdayyetanothernickame Sun 20-Jul-08 16:12:35

I think you're mixing up several different issues and worrying too much (not criticism as we all do this at times!) Try and tackle each thing independently and it will seem easier.

Re guns and grown up games - I do think this is just symptomatic of the neighbour having an older brother rather than sister. There is nothing negative and plenty positive about your ds not doing this! You are doing great if you are letting him play with what he wants to!

With nappies for pooing - ds is 3.0 and when we first trained him he wanted a nappy for pooing in. We used the old choc button and sticker trick to encourage him to use the loo but the thing that worked most was once we actually got him on there we made a whole ridiculous thing of the plop sound 'is it coming is it coming ,wow plop you did it'. Utterly silly but he thought it was funny and still says it himself blush. Worth making a fool of myself over!

Re buggies - I am a bit of an outlier with this as ds stopped using his at 20 months. It was bloody hard work getting him to walk as he was initially a bit unwilling but within a couple of months of building his stamina up he was walking a good couple of miles at a time. But he isn't the running off type (too clingy) so that is maybe easier for us.
I'm sure others will have better ideas on the running off thing.

Can you get him involved in the shopping? I get ds to help 'choose' things, spot familiar products etc. He's not Gok Wan yet but it definitely helps. Self scan zappers in Waitrose are fab for this as they love scanning the barcodes!

I'm going to go out on a limb here - I don't think it's necessary for kids this age to be getting food spooned into them (with the exception of if they are really quite ill). That is babying a little bit imho. Ditto non spill cups unless out. Start with just an inch at the bottom of a cup and then work upwards?

That said, I guess this doesn't do him any harm in the grand scheme of things and there are worse things! I would be working towards making the switch to open cups/ no more feeding though.

(Ds is not good at putting clothes on himself yet so it's really useful to see what others do at this age....note to self- must get on with helping him do it in preparation for school!)

Heated Sun 20-Jul-08 16:22:03

Maybe think about it from another perspective: what if he weren't the youngest? Say you had a 1yr old as well. Would you expect your 3yr old to be doing any of these things independently?
-feeding with a spoon
-no buggy
-bed guard
-non-spill cup
-nappies for a poo

windygalestoday Sun 20-Jul-08 16:31:02

if i were you with regards to the nappy to poop i would find something he really really wants toywise and 'spend' the nappy money on it and let him play with the toy only when hes pooped with no nappy then its like 'swap'.

things like dressing and shoes it is easier all round if you help him but think in front mybe his next shoes can be velcro ones he can slip on try esy up tracksuit bottoms and t shirts once he begins to dress himself he will feel v proud,you should try nd discourage the sippy cup thing too not immediately but work towards it -if hes a good sleeper he doesnt need the bed guard none of my dc hd them anyway and on the odd occasion they hve fallen out of bed theyve been sleep so not fell awkwardly.

as for the child next door kids with older sibs do seem more streetwise my youngest ds whose 7 is far further on becuse he hs brothers to show him stuff in fact they refuse to play chess and ps2 gmes with him cos he can beat emsmile

anotherdayyetanothernickame Sun 20-Jul-08 16:45:45

p.s. am with you on the shoes being easy to put on - must remember that next time as even I find ds's current pair tricky!

cheekymonk Sun 20-Jul-08 17:33:22

anotherdayyetanothernickname, thanks for your comments. Am puzzled at how quickly ds seems to get tired when we are walking or even out on bike. At one minute he seems to have loads of energy hence rnning off then he wants to be carried etc. He gives off very differnet messages. Since moving to pre-school at nursery he no longer wants to be a big boy and seems to want to be a baby. I wonder if he is getting messages from me?!
With shopping he will hide amongst clothes and do anything to go out of my eyesight. It is very stressful and understandable I think, its natural he doesn't want to be glued to my side and I am pleased that he has very good road sense, he will stop when he gets to a road when we are walking etc and wait for me to catch up. He wouldn't have had that with reins.
Yes with regard to drinks, he just kept spilling them all the time. He is a bit clumsy and gets very excited ad was sick of the constant stains so reverted back on the advice of mumsnet!
With the food he is just lay and would let a meal take all day if I let him. Sometimes I feed him so it is over and done with.
Have had a miserable weekend with him so prob best to get a good nights sleep and start afresh tomorrow.
Thanks everyone for your advice x

Scarletibis Sun 20-Jul-08 18:51:25

Yes 6 months does make a lot of difference!

My 3.6 yr old does go in the buggy if we have to get somewhere quick(she's a slow walker)
Doesn't need a bed guard.
She feeds herself but mostly with fingers rather than cutlery.
She can dress herself but I usually help.
Does drink from an open cup at mealtimes otherwise non spill.

With my eldest I started working on the things she needed to do for school (mainly bottom wiping!) when she turned 4 (which was 6 months before she was due to start)

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