Peeing for Attention: My Fully Potty Trained Three-Year-Old Has a Relapse

After more than six-months of being fully day trained and mostly night trained my daughter is suddenly having a relapse and wetting herself during the day. I had expected some behavior reversion when my son was born three months ago, but she adjusted quickly and we’ve had just a few minor behavior issues, most of them having more to do with her age than the addition of a new sibling.

But in the last two weeks we have had several daytime accidents. At first I thought it was laziness or distraction so I started reminding her to use the potty every hour or so. But then twice she peed on the couch while I was on the phone and in both cases, she told me as she was doing it. In another case I was nursing the baby at the time. This has led me to the conclusion that she is peeing for attention.

One friend recommended trying to give her additional one-on-one time so that she doesn’t think she has to do this to get my attention, since the baby does take up a certain portion of my time. We’ve recently begun weekly trips to the library for story time and I also have begun reading Charlotte’s Web to her before naptime or bedtime. While the book is a little above her level, the chapters are short and she seems to look forward to the next installment of the story. I’m also trying to schedule more out of the house play dates for her as the weather permits, so that she doesn’t feel so isolated. Hopefully it works because I am getting really tired of scrubbing my sofa.

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Toddler Night Wakings

When my daughter was a baby she didn’t sleep through the night consistently until 9 months old. Then she reverted again around a year and it took another two months before she was sleeping consistently again. It was an amazing time. Both my husband and I were well rested for the first time in over a year. One of the biggest worries I have had about our new baby is whether I’ll be able to manage the lack of sleep again while still caring for a toddler. Well, now I have a new worry. My toddler has begun waking up in the night again.

It has been so exciting watching my daughter become potty trained. She is pretty much completely day trained and is also going without diapers at nap time. However we have faced a new challenge I did not anticipate. On her way to night time dryness she has begun waking up multiple times a night and asks to use the potty. While on some level I should be pleased because this means she will soon be completely diaper free, part of me would gladly let her continue to wear diapers at night for a few more months if it meant I could get more sleep. On Sunday night she woke up 3 times: 12:30 AM, 2:30 AM and 4:45 AM. I don’t quite know what to do about it. This is almost worse than having a newborn again. I’m in my last two months of pregnancy and rest is the one thing I really can’t do without. But my husband also needs to be functioning on all cylinders at work and hopefully have some energy left to help me out at home in the evenings.

Possible solutions I’ve come up with so far include: limiting her water intake during the evening and no longer letting her sleep with a sippy cup. (This may have a serious temporary consequences as my daughter is such a creature of habit that she may cry for quite a while at bed time if denied her routine sippy cup of water). I’ve also considered ignoring her nighttime cries and hoping she will eventually go back to sleep. (This may produce even less sleep for us all as she is very loud and hard to drown out, even down the hall with doors closed.) My other option is to just keep putting up with it and hoping the behavior will fade with time (not my favorite solution). Any suggestions anyone?

Traveling with Cloth for the First Time

My daughter is two and half and we have never traveled exclusively with cloth diapers before. We’ve spent the night at my parents house during a home renovation and used and combination of cloth and disposables for a short trip for a family funeral. But for longer stretches we’ve always employed disposables, though also always with a diaper cover because I didn’t trust them not to leak. I’ve always hated this because it is an added expense for travelling. Fortunately we don’t travel more than a couple times a year, so I found the expense to be tolerable, but annoying. But in my heart, I wanted to use my cloth diapers, and buying disposables seemed like a waste.

First major barrier to using cloth was having a large enough stash. Even if I washed the night before we left I wasn’t always confident that we wouldn’t run out of diapers, especially when my daughter was small.

Second problem, my husband didn’t want to haul our whole diaper pail and we didn’t have a large enough wet bag that would hold in the smell of three or four days’ worth of diapers.

Third, I wasn’t sure if our diapers could go that long without washing.

But now that my daughter is partially potty trained and we decided to take the risk. I also finally decided to invest in a large enough wet bag, purchasing the size Large Bummis Fabulous Wet Bag which I’d had my eye on for quite sometime. Honestly, I wish I had bought it sooner. Yes, it was a larger upfront expense, but it would have paid for itself on what we would have saved not buying disposables for travel. I figured if it was a disaster we could run out and get some disposables. This year, for the first time, we also stayed in a hotel while visiting my husband’s family instead of in his mother’s home. This made me feel even better as we could leave the large wet bag in the bathroom at the hotel in case it didn’t hold in smells as well as we hoped. We packed diapers for nighttime and diapers for the car, using waterproof training pants during the day.

The whole experience was a surprising success. The only problem I had was making sure I had enough nighttime diapers for the trip, since I only have three nighttime diapers that work really well. My daughter actually did surprisingly well. The double stuffed pocket diaper she wore in the car was damp but not soaked, and we stopped three or four times to use the bathroom while en route, most of the time at her request. We went out to lunch and had a family dinner on Saturday followed by an all day Christmas party on Sunday. She didn’t have one accident. Now perhaps my good luck traveling with cloth was related to her wonderful potty training progress. But it still pleased me not to purchase disposables. Hopefully I can try the same technique next year with our new baby.

Did you find ways to cloth diaper when in the past you would have bought disposables? Share your experience.

Finally, some potty training success

After months of casual potty training and very little success there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. My almost two and half year old daughter is finally successfully using the potty several times a day. I dress her in cloth trainers every day, except for nap times and night time. This means we do spend more time at home and indoors because the minute I put pants on her it seems to deter the process. But the weather has been gray and rainy anyway. The past week she has finally hit the point where she uses the potty while dry (and often at her own suggestion) rather than waiting until an accident happens and then head for the potty. I have to say while I don’t love emptying her little potty chair 10 times a day, I like it better than changing poppy diapers.  Now she tells me she “no want to go in my big girl pants” and off we go to the potty. We had a major break through over the weekend when she asked to use the public restroom at church. I should clarify, she asked and then actually used the potty.

We have resorted to offering M&M’s or Nestle chocolate chips as a reward for using the potty. Once she’s pretty well trained I’m hoping to wean her off of them. I had hoped that we wouldn’t need a reward system, but it seemed that self-motivation was not going to be easy for her.

I know we still have a long way to go, but for the first time I feel like I see light at the end of the tunnel.

Wet Pants: Potty Training Tales and Reviews of Cloth Training Pants

My daughter first showed interest in potty training around 17 months. So we bought her a little potty and let her sit on it if she wanted to. She got pretty good at it too. After a few weeks we thought she would also always poop on the potty and we would only be stuck changing wet diapers. We thought she was going to potty train early, saving us months of washing diapers. No such luck. For two months after that, she showed almost no interest in, if not an aversion to, the potty. Now at almost two she is headed toward being interested again. Last winter, when she was consistently using the potty at least once a day or so and I got tired of trying to put on and take off diapers in our tiny bathroom, I decided to buy some cloth training pants.

As a cloth diaper family, I really didn’t want to start using disposable pull-ups. But I couldn’t find many cloth trainers that I thought would work for us. I needed something that could be pulled up and down, but if it could unsnap that would be ideal. It also needed to be fully waterproof and fairly absorbent while still allowing her to feel wet. She wasn’t going to make it to the potty most of the time in the beginning and I wanted something that would save us from puddles on the floor. The reviews for most of the cloth trainers were sketchy. The really well reviewed ones, like Super Undies, were really expensive. I knew that cloth would ultimately save us money, but a stash of $20 each training pants was going to add up fast. So I bought a trainer here and there from several different brands until I assembled a reasonable stash. Below are my reviews:

Mama Bear One-Size Trainer

Mama Bear One-Size Training Pants (purchased from Mama Bear Baby Wear at Etsy.com)

$12 + shipping

These are my all time favorite trainers. I love that they snap off and are highly absorbent, though still not as much as a diaper. I think the key is in the inner absorbent core of Zorb ™. Zorb is made of a combination of bamboo, cotton and microfiber and claims to be four times more absorbent than cloth diaper flannel. I’ve been impressed by the adjustable snap system that will allow these trainers to grow with my daughter. They are the only one-size trainers I could find. My daughter, like many other children, has been potty training for a while. I like not having to worry about buying multiple stashes of sized trainers should she linger on the process for a very long time. I also bought a pair of Mama Bear’s petite one-size trainers that use a Gerber prefold as the absorbent core. It’s not as absorbent as the standard one-size trainer, but fits my skinny girl very well. If your child is thin for his or her age, ask her about custom petite trainers.

Blueberry Trainer

Blueberry Trainers (purchases from Kelly’s Closet and Amazon)

$15.95 (Size Medium)

These are adorable and fit just like underwear. Since they don’t snap they are a little annoying to take off if your child poops and they aren’t fully waterproof. But they honestly hold more than I anticipated and they will save you from a puddle on the floor. I recommend washing them inside out for easier cleaning. The color choices are more limited on Amazon, but they qualify for Amazon Prime free shipping.

QTBunns Potty Training Pants

QTBunns Potty Training Pants (purchased from QTBunns at Etsy.com)

$11 + shipping (Size Small)

These are also a pull-up only pant, but the soft flannel is wonderful. The stretchy sides will, I think, allow for some growth before having to size up. I found them to be quite absorbent and wash easily. This is also the only trainer from an Etsy seller than is currently featured on Diaperpin.com.

Now that Kelly’s Closet is selling Super Undies, I may finally purchase a pair if I can use a coupon and combine it with a large enough order to meet the free shipping threshold. I had a hard time finding anywhere that carried these that offered free shipping. I’m also considering purchasing a Prefold Trainer from Little Moose Diapers on Etsy since I like the idea of using a prefold that can pulled up and down like underwear, but is still waterproof, plus they have snaps. If I end up purchasing these or any other trainers I’ll make sure to review them as well.

Note: My daughter loves wearing her “big girl pants.” But she still doesn’t use the potty most of the time. When we use exclusively trainers we usually need to change her pants at least once a day when the trainer becomes oversaturated. She’s getting better so I’m hopeful.