I am 34 weeks today and my 4 year old has been regressing for 2 weeks now. I don't have a problem with her peeing, its only poop, which is HORRIBLE! She has been potty trained for 2 years now and I totally get it, but I just don't know what to do anymore! It started with her just doing it at home and at first I thought maybe she had diarrhea or was sick or something, but then it happened again and again and again! I have explained to her several times that she is going to be a big sister and my helper! She has a little sister right now and she was a tiny bit jealous when she was born, but I thought she was excited about this one until now! She tells me she is going to help with the diapers and bottles and getting her dressed, so I did not see this one coming!
Yesterday was the worst of them all!!!! We went to the store and we both used the restroom before we started shopping, 5 minutes later I notice her squatting so I ask her what she is doing and she said she was playing hide and seek with her sister by hanging on the buggy and squatting and then coming back up. I asked her three or four times about this and also asked if she had to go poop and she kept saying no. Well, about 5 minutes later I smelt something and low and behold, she went poop in her panties! It was just awful!!! I had to get some stuff as my doctor said I could go into labor within the next week, so I made her walk around in it. I also made her ride home in it too and when we got home I made her clean herself up. We had another talk and all seemed fine until a friend came over and my daughter ran upstairs and yelled I pooped in the potty, so we thought...oh this is good!! I went up there and I could have died!!!!!!! It was everywhere! It was in the toilet, on the outside of the toilet, on two pairs of panties, all over her down to her knees, and ON OUR CARPET in three spots!!!! All I could think was WTH!!!!!! I tried to stay calm as I have read that we shouldn't get onto them as that is giving them attention and if she sees that she gets attention when doing this it will only make it worse, but I just don't know what to do anymore! HELP!!!!!!!! Any advice would be greatly appreciated! The first couple of times I did put her in time out and get onto her, I have told her I would send her to school in a diaper until she could learn (but I would never really do that as I think it might traumatize her), and then I said last night that I would take her out of school until she was trained again, but she freaked out! I have been trying to spend a lot of quality time with her lately so I didn't think we would have this problem, especially with her, maybe my second, but not her!
I'd put her into pullups with no further comment. It won't traumatize her. If she asks why, just say in your most casual tone that it's because she's had some accidents lately. Don't threaten her to take her out of school. She can go to school in pullups, it's not like they do underpants checks at the door. She can take them down herself when she goes to the bathroom.
True! Guess I didn't look at it that way. I had said diapers and my mom freaked out saying that would def traumatize her and it might, but pullups are just like panties, so I get what your saying! She did good yesterday and had no accidents after I promised the park, so we will see how today and then tomorrow and so on goes! If she has anymore I will now just do the pullups without giving her a choice;)
if she responded well and had no accidents when you promised the park, I would work on a positive reinforcement... like a sticker chart or reward system. She is acting out, but this is a power struggle that you will not win while fighting back, especially since she is making adjustments and you will soon have your hands even more full and won't be able to fight that battle. Also, I really like Annie's suggestion of using pull-ups matter of factly as well.
Another option- if she really likes her undies or has ones with favorite characters- the next BM cut it off of her and toss in the garbage. Explain that they could not be saved. This would only work if she would actually get upset that they were tossed (worked with a child i know)
Reinforcements, if they work, seem fine, but the reason I was thinking of pull-ups and no further comment is that "The first couple of times I did put her in time out and get onto her, I have told her I would send her to school in a diaper until she could learn (but I would never really do that as I think it might traumatize her), and then I said last night that I would take her out of school until she was trained again, but she freaked out!" is far more traumatic than just putting her calmly into pull-ups until she can get her act together again. I'm sure she doesn't *want* to be pooping on the floor, she's just a little freaked at the advent of the baby. But the fact that she was able to get it together for the promised treat of the park means she's not entirely out of (yours or her own) control. As tired says, that's really her making the adjustment in a good way. Do help her by giving her the one-on-one time, don't let the advent of a new baby be only about her being the helper. When a kid is little, they still have a big streak of wanting to be the baby themself, and she's seeing herself further kicked out of paradise by the further addition of littler kids. (What am I saying "when a kid is little --" when our son was born, my *husband* felt this way.) Everyone needs to be babied every now and then, especially someone under 5.
Thank you;) She has done GREAT the last two days!!!!! We took her to the store and let her pick out a gift for the new baby and she loved that! I took the time to spend a little extra time with her and she is loving the attention and is especially loving being able to have more conversations with me! So thank you again!
peek -- I never found out. The corner of the living room does smell a little funny.
bjb -- I'm so very glad it's better. The "How to Talk So Your Children Will Listen" author wrote an analogy ... say your husband tells you that he is going to bring a fun, beautiful new wife home soon, and she'll live in the next bedroom from yours, and you will get to help take care of her! Lucky you! How would you feel? Well, think of what we say to our kids. Even if they are good sports about it, it is still inherently (and internally) stressful to contemplate the advent of a cute new rival, and then to be expected to act delighted and take on some of the care is a lot to ask. She probably held it together as best she could the first time, but now her concern is spilling over. (Literally.) Anyway, take care, keep giving each child lots of special time (I know, I know, easier said then done). The author I quoted above is a really good read, and so is "Siblings Without Rivalry." Both helped me a lot.
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