Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A rude awakening. Seeking advice.

So, we have an almost 3 year old girl.
Exhibit A.
I can hear her saying, "Who? Me?"

My point in this post is not to embarrass the wee lass, it is to seek advice.

She is darling.  She is fun.  She is smart.  She is sweet.  She is a crazy kook.  I adore her.

However, I don't love that she has been waking up in the middle of the night for the last few weeks.  Usually it's because she's just wet the bed.  Now, here's the kicker... she's been potty trained for over 7 months.  She hardly ever had accidents, and in the day time, she's a machine.  It's great.  But, lately, she's been waking up cold and wet (well, warm... you get my drift).

First question:  What do you do?  ---Besides purchase a "liquid" resistant mattress pad.  I decided last night to put her in pull ups ---which she didn't want to to, but I can't tell you how tired I am of washing sheets, mattress pads, pillow cases, actual PILLOWS (she's a crazy sleeper like her mom), and bed spread.

Next related story.  One of the first nights, after she had an accident, I came in and she told me that she had spilled her water bottle.  That's why she was wet.  So, I quickly reach for her little water bottle thinking to myself, "Wow, I thought she peed her pants, but crazy that she decided to unscrew her water bottle..." Nope.  It was a lie.  Water bottle intact.  Tightly closed.  Full of water.  Nope, this was definitely not from the water bottle.

So, I picked up Tillie and said calmly, "Hmmm... I don't think it was your water bottle.  I think you had an accident.  Right?  You accidentally went pee pee in your pants?"  And, she was adamant that it was her water bottle.  Crying and saying, "No, mom.  It was my drink.  My drink spilled."

My mind was racing.  Really?  Is this my sweet little two year old blatantly lying to me?  This has never happened?  What is going on?

Keeping my cool, I said to her, "Tillie I think you had wet your pants.  Did you have a little accident?  It's okay if you did.  When mom was a little girl, like Tillie, she sometimes had accidents too."

Finally, she admitted the truth.  She did have an accident.  And, in her words, "Didn't make it to the potty."  I told her it was okay, talked about how it's okay to have accidents sometimes b/c I know that she knows where to go potty, and honestly, I was quite caring and sweet during the whole event.  We had a little teaching moment.  We got everyone cleaned up, she felt better, and we were off to bed.

But, I couldn't sleep.  It was a sad reality.  Yes, it stinks to wake up in the middle of the night knowing you are going to get to wash EVERYTHING again.  And, it was a sad reality that my little girl was growing up---she had totally lied to my face.  But, what was even MORE sad was me remembering how often I'd flipped when Tillie had accidents.  I kept anaylzing why she had thought to lie to me, but soon realized, she was probably freaked out I'd lose my cool.  I'd lie too if I were her!

Then, that spiraled into me feeling bad bad about my parenting---like, Why does she know more about those darn Disney Princesses than she does about the great scripture stories?  Why do I expect so much out of her (her smarts are partly to blame, that girl is so mature), but sometimes I forget that she's only two!?!  I need to spend more time doing fun things with her... etc.

So, I was up for a few hours figuring out ways to be better.  Eventually, I was able to go back to sleep.

Anyway, that was two weeks ago.  In the meantime, I've been trying harder to reform myself.  I went out and bought the Standard Works in illustrated form to read to Matilda at night.  I've been trying harder to do fun things with her in the day.  And, I've been trying to be really patient.

But, Tillie has been having more accidents at night.  So, back to my first question: WHAT DO I DO?  Just buy the big pack of Pull Ups at Costco and have her wear them at night?  Stick it out and eventually it will change (and keep washing everything night after night).

Next question, how do you go back to sleep?  She's been consistently waking up around the 2-3 o'clock hour (sometimes bed wetting, and sometimes crying for random reasons (lips chapped, leg hurts, you name it, etc.), and after a little comfort she can go back to sleep.  But, I have NOT been able to go back to sleep.  It's like my mind won't stay quiet.  So, I sit in bed for a few hours having revolving thoughts about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING and finally decide to do something---either work on wedding invites, respond back to emails, blog surf---whatever.

I'm not jiving on this new lifestyle.  Nights are for sleeping.  What gives?  Please tell me some of you have gone through insomnia.  Any advice?

Anyway, there's the 411.  If you'd like to give your two cents, SPILL IT!  asap.  Let's work for a better and brighter tomorrow---oh wait, I guess it IS tomorrow.


Sarah said...

Now remember I only have one child and she is younger than Tillie and still in diapers so take this for what it's worth:
- don't give her drinks before bedtime (probably 2 hours, but 1 is probably okay).
- as far as the random wake-ups: she probably just wants you, not those items. Maybe just ignore her, at least sometimes. Then she'll learn that isn't a time to get your attention.

- seems like you are doing great! Don't get too discouraged. All mothers stay up at night wondering how they can be better.

Aubrey said...

Um, same problem here. My little guy was potty trained at 2.5, and he's now 4.5 and still wears a pullup at night. We tried training at night for months, and every morning we'd be washing sheets, bedspreads, etc. We hashed one water-proof under sheet thing entirely because it got so much use. I was just thinking about trying again, but I have no idea how to go about it. He just sleeps too soundly and too long and I keep hoping he'll just one day 'get it'. His pediatrician said they don't even worry about it until they're 7, which sounds way too old to me, but she's the one who went to med school, right? Good luck!

Heather said...

I don't have any solutions. But wanted to let you know you're not alone. My 5 year old went through a stage when he was wetting the bed. He had done fine for years. Then he was having problems. He's a really deep sleeper and just couldn't wake himself up. We figured he was going through a growth spurt and was extra tired. He was also having a weird anxiety phase and I've heard bedwetting can be from emotional changes, etc. We just tried to wake him (well - sleep walk him) to the bathroom right before we went to bed to avoid accidents later in the night. It helped and he soon grew out of that problem. Washing sheets is a total pain and gets old quick!

Anyhoo... good luck! I hope she does better.

Becker said...

Don't feel like it's a failure to put Tillie in pull-ups. Caleb will be 4 in May and wears a pull-up every night (here's the kicker--he often wets OUT OF THE PULL-UP! Tell me how THAT is possible!). He even wears a pull-up during his nap. MOST of the time it comes back dry, but every once in a while, it's wet.
Thanks for sharing your concerns. I've been feeling like I needed to step it up lately too. My problem is that I run out of ideas. Caleb will glom on to every moment of "Mommy time" I give him. There is always more time he WANTS to spend than time to give. PLUS, we both get bored of doing the same things over and over (except playing trains in which case, I'm the only one getting bored). What sorts of things do you do with her that are enriching? I would like some advice too!

Tim and Melissa said...

Oh, good luck! I haven't even tried to night train Easton. He wears a pull-up every night, and last night he wet out of that so I was still washing all of his bedding today. He also wakes much too often in the night and wants to climb in bed with me. When you get this all figured out, pass me your secret. In the meantime, know that you aren't alone!

I have the same problem at times of turning off my thinking when I'm trying to go to sleep. I don't have an answer for you there either. Haha - I'm wondering why I'm even commenting when I'm not helping with your questions. Just know I love you and wish you the best of luck!!!

Lyssa said...

Well Emma had to wear pull-ups, she still has accidents at night. Kate sometimes has accidents to but she's better with getting up to use the potty. Some kids take longer than others to tackle the nighttime potty. But yes, some advice? Stop giving her liquids a couple hours before bedtime, like 5 pm.
And with the other things, like her waking up...I would love to know that too. Kate is doing that repeatedly every night, waking up for everything under the sun..last night, I got about 5 hours because she did it for like 2 hours straight...boy almighty...Anyways, and I wish I could help you on the your sleep problem. I haven't had that problem but I usually have to do breathing techniques and focusing on relaxing the muscles in my head and working my way down. Then just mentally push eveyrthing out of your mind. I have mind races when I go down initially and it's a pain. Good luck! not fun.

Lyssa said...

Oh yes, before you go to bed, just grab her and take her to go potty and put her back down. That helped when Kate was doing worse a few months ago.

Kristen said...

Lily was just like Tillie-had to have her water sippy right by her bed so she could drink it at night. My kids are such drinkers. It would never fly for me to limit their water intake, plus I personally think that is kind of mean when they are really thirsty to not let them drink, but to each their own.

I say I would rather spend an extra $15 a month on pull ups than wash sheets every other day. Just for my sanity, plus between my time-which is precious to me, detergent, water, and electricity it is not cheaper than just buying some pull-ups. Not to mention the lose of sleep can make me down right homicidal. (no need to say I am exaggerating)

Lily still wears them even though she tricked us a couple times thinking she is done with them. She would stay dry for a couple weeks, but then regress. Now she has very little pee in her pull ups in the morning and sometimes not at all, but it is not worth it to me to chance it and not have her wear one. She is a very deep sleeper, and waking her up before we went to bed was not helpful. She would be in such a daze she would just sit there, or cry when she tried to sit her on the pot. She was out of it.

Some kids just wet the bed. Eventually she will be old enough to control it. Some kids it takes till they are 8 or 10. As for the lying, I don't think it was premeditated and deceptive. She's 2. It's normal. Maybe she couldn't even believe herself that it was pee and was trying to figure out what it could have been. She was sleeping after all when it happened and she was probably confused too. How did I get wet? Hmm, my water bottle spilled maybe. Surely I didn't pee.

She's a cutie and you are a great nurturer. The sleeping...I don't let my mind think b/c if I even think about one thing I need to do or one conversation I had then it is all over. Plus lights...I keep them off if at all possible. Just like Lyssa was saying, I have to quiet my mind and if I can't sleep I do breathing exercising like yoga style and tell my muscles to relax and I start with my toes and focus on that and then I tell my calves to relax and focus on relaxing them and making them heavy and sink into the mattress, and then my thighs and back, etc. Now I sound like a real tool, but if it helps you too, then I am happy to humiliate myself and reveal my dorky-ness.

Good luck, and don't sweat the pull ups. You can always try again without them in 3 months.

Sarah C. said...

Hey pal. So, I was mostly reading the comments to see if there was any advice for ME. Mostly just justification. I'll take it.

Ditto to everyone. Blake's 4.5 and I haven't even attempted to have him sleep in undies. Bently's 2.5 and fully diapered. So, if I was in your shoes (or socks and flip-flops) I'd be giving myself a huge pat on the back!

The whole lying thing. Blake did that the first time or two that he'd wet during the day. Mostly I think he was just embarassed. As soon as he knew I was alright with it, he always told the truth. Even TODAY, during the DAY when he randomly had an accident. His go to phrase is, "Let's start over tomorrow." Wonder where he got that from.

Don't stress it. We're all in this together. Love ya.

make some pretty said...

i agree with everyone and it's soooo refreshing to hear it again, that we are not alone in this motherhood adventure.

so, lincoln does very well with his potty training and USED TO get up at night to go, but has started sleeping very deeply and sleeps right through the accidents now. he refuses to wear pull ups to bed, so we sneak in after he's sleeping and put a cheap-o generic diaper on him ($6 a pack) and he never knows the difference. we are starting to try to get them to drink more during the day and limit water in the evenings.

you are a fantastic mother and don't ever doubt it! god knew you were the perfect mother for those two kiddos and he gave them to YOU! don't beat yourself up. when i can't go back to sleep in the night like that i just start praying and asking god for help with all of the things i want to do better. i love that we get a do-over every morning. xoxo

Tyler and Erin said...

Normal. Normal. Normal. All of it is so normal. Peyton did the same thing all of a sudden. She was fully trained then stopped. We did the pull-ups thing for a while and then we bought a water proof mattress pad and just washed sheets a ton so that she could still feel like a "big girl" even though she had a very normal problem. There is a site... One step ahead.... that has a mattress bad you can just through over the sheets that they actually sleep on then you only have one thing to wash. It is quilted and comfortable. We almost bought this but since Peyton consistently fell out of the bed... who knew where she'd end up and whether or not the pad would catch it when she did finally have the accident. I've heard others use it and love it! That site has a lot of helpful gadgets and things. I believe there is even some sort of guarantee with their products. I do agree with everyone about limiting water around bed time. That does help some though it doesn't always solve it. Just be patient it may take months or she might surprise you in just a few weeks. :-)

As for filling guilty... NORMAL. Easier said than done. I know that from experience. I always want to be the super mom but that super mom is not me. I've come to accept that and just be me and I am so much happier. Just remind yourself that what your kids need most is just the knowing and feeling you love them. Don't worry about all the little things. They are easy to forgive. :-)

You are a great mom!! I know!

Kirstin - Klinton - Max - Krieg Starr said...

Well, you have plenty of essays here, I was thinking to call you, we never talk. But my two cents for Tillie would be to use the pull-ups not as a punishment, but if she can stay dry for 2,3,5 (you decide) nights, then you can reward her by letting her wear big girl panties. This is just a thought. As for being super parent and never getting mad at your kids, well, I am at a stage right now were I am so far past that I don't even care...I figure my boys can survive another 6 weeks of lame mom, and then we will work from there.

Kelsi said...

Loved reading all of this advice! I just had to add my two sense in... First of all, like a ton of people said is no liquids before bed (I actually give Jack a little sip of water right before bed only after he goes potty). I didn't even try to night potty train until he was 3.5 because I knew his bladder wasn't big enough to last all night without using the potty. Every time he woke up in the middle of the night we made him use the potty before he got what he wanted which was milk. Sometimes when he didn't wake up I would wake him up around 2 or 3 to use the potty and then he would go right back to bed. I only did that for a few weeks and he seriously only wet the bed a couple of times. I also think he is just a bigger kid and his bladder is just bigger (haha, I have no idea though).

Let me know when you found the cure to night waking! My kids switch off waking up at night. When Jack sleeps all night, Avery will wake up and vise versa...Landon and I switch off nights waking up with the kids so at least one of us gets a good night sleep. Good luck!

BETH said...

Give the girl a diaper and let her sleep in peace.
She will out grow it eventually.
I am not a fluid intake limiter because when you are thirsty you are thirsty. Especially in hot, sticky Tejas.

Jordan and Jandee said...

Night waking is the worst. I think I told you about Ike's night waking....which pretty much had me wanting to kill myself. I took that sleep course and they talked a lot about older children and their waking patterns -- since you can reason and talk to Tillie, perhaps you could give her a little routine to do when she wakes up and is scared (not when she has an accident). Like tell her she should sing a little song and tuck in her stuffed animals and snuggle in her bed for ten seconds before she tries to wake you, hopefully she can learn to self soothe. Obviously I am not potty training, but if it were me I would definitely let her wear a diaper at night -- because it sounds like she is feeling guilt about peeing the bed and 2.5 is way to early to start feeling like you are not living up to expectations right?


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