Bedtime Changes

Bed-time at Casa Henriquez has been pretty consistent from the start: bath, story/song (depending on the night), snuggles, bed.

Once Maya hit 18 months, we began adding a potty attempt before bath and, in the past few months, have added one more try before bed since she’s been doing pretty well during the day.

(Note: she’s still in diapers because of my own laziness/stress with the move and her transitioning to the preschool room, but she goes on the potty probably 4-6 times a day right now, including 2-3 times at school, if not more — so I know she is ready for the full commitment … just need to do it).

Anyway, recently — I’d say in the past two weeks–bed-time has become a nightmare. I don’t necessarily blame it on the move or her big girl bed … though surely both are probably contributing. And the fact that I’m alone at bed-time most every night the past month doesn’t help, either (with the move/open houses/showings, Luis has been doing everything for both houses completely on his own which means most nights he isn’t here at bedtime — he’s mowing/cleaning/painting/fixing/etc.).

Here’s the problem: it’s like she has developed a sudden anxiety about the bathroom before bed — in that she will go on the potty and then once tucked in, claim she has to go again. And again. Even if she already went successfully.

Sometimes, like tonight, she will go during that second attempt if the first was a bust. But tonight, I felt like she was playing a game … telling me a total of four times she had to go. Each time, I told her, “Sweetie you already went, it’s OK, we can try again tomorrow. You already did great!” Because she HAD gone.

The rational side of me thinks, “She is two. Duh, Melissa, she’s CLEARLY trying to delay bed-time!”

But then the emotional side of me knows that sometimes she just pees a little and then has to go again (we call that “Marion bladder” in my family since my siblings and I ALL suffer from this lovely ailment!).

And so my fear of not letting her try — even if it’s more than once, and even if she already went– is that I do NOT want to create any bathroom-related anxiety for her throughout this process, especially since she has been doing sooooo well — including vocalizing when she has to go and going most of the times we sit her there.

I’m genuinely at a loss for what to do. When she’s crying hysterically telling me she has to go … how can I deny her that other attempt(s) in good conscience? But then on the flip side, when is enough enough? When, as a parent, are you being played (and therefore need to be firm) … versus being a good mom who doesn’t want her kid to develop any weird bathroom anxieties? I’ve cut her off after 3-4 attempts but I still feel unsure of if I am being played or not.

Ultimately, I think I need to call the pediatrician for some recommendations, but since it’s top of mind, I thought I’d ask my readers here if they ever experienced this with their child at bed-time, or if my daughter is just particularly anxious? I know potty-training is a sensitive topic, but I welcome any thoughts and input.

Asking, begging! Don’t let me down, blogosphere 😉

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2 thoughts on “Bedtime Changes

  1. Nate does the same thing (although he doesn’t quite pitch a fit about it) and I have the same concerns. I don’t want to be a sucker but I also don’t want to traumatize him. So, I do two things:

    1: When I feel like it might be ramping up into another of those nights where he gets up four times, I tell him the first or second time that this is it. That he has to sit there until he has no more pee left. Then when I tuck him back in, I remind him he told me he was all done so there’d be no more getting up and I will see him in the morning.

    2: When he’s on the potty, I leave the bathroom so he’s not “rewarded” with hanging out with me. I stay right nearby (our bedroom is right next to the bathroom). This usually takes all the fun out of it for him, he does what he needs to, and goes back to bed without resistance.

    It doesn’t work 100% of the time but I think it works more than 50% of the time.

  2. SO glad I am not alone!! That’s great advice, Candice–because it seems like it IS partially a game, and part physiological. YES–my mom suggested leaving, too. She usually likes one of us in there but good call — if I leave, she will have no one to talk to. THANK YOU 🙂

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