What would you have done? (a bit long... Sorry!) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 12-30-2009, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello mamas,
here is what happen tonight. But first here's a bit of background. We are far away from home (overseas) so before I gave birth to DS2 (11 weeks ago) my mom came to stay with us and she's here until March. DS1 is 2.5. She is putting him down for nighttime since she's been here. DS1 loves it! Tonight we decided to change the room where she dresses him for bed going from the family room to his room because now that he is almost fully potty trained (except 1 out of 2 nights) everytime he gets upstairs he asks to go potty on the "big" toilet (even if he just went on his potty downstairs) so my mom has to undress him and remove the diaper she just put on... No big deal but we thought it would just be easier to fully dress him upstairs. Well we were so wrong!!! He asked my mom to stay in his "big boy underwear" (the little beatle trainers) and my mom explained to him that it was a big too risky since he still wets his diaper a lot at night (she probably didn't use those exact words!) So he asked to see me so he could ask me!

On my way up I heard my mom tell him: "You'll see mommy will say no too just like I did!" So of course I said no! He's has been napping with his underwear for a month now and never wetted his bed. He kept saying he wouldn't pee in his bed and I kept trying to explain that if he could stay dry for 5 nights in a row that we could try the underwear overnight (I know he's too young to undestand what 5 nights in a row means, but I couldn't come up with anything else... My mom was right there watching and that bothered me that she said I would say no... I felt a bit stuck!) By that time DS was quite upset, screaming over and over and over he didn't want his diaper It broke my heart! Then DH comes in with DS1 and tells me he would just put the diaper on and deal with the trantrum after... Well I did! I felt like the worst mother ever forcing a diaper on him. He was kicking and screaming and I kept telling him that I would let him try to sleep in his underwear in a couple of weeks. I was struggling to put it on and I kept telling him I would hold him after the diaper was on... He kept fighting! I started to cry... I felt like crap... I still do! It's only a freaking bed and I have more sheets... I could have trusted him and just avoided this whole mess! This is not how I'm raising him at all! But my mom put me in a corner (not the first time. She doesn't really approve of my gentle displine methods I'm trying to use. She raised me with timeouts in corners on my knees or in my room, screaming and yelling, and some hitting) I'm not saying she wants me to hit DS but she would like to see more "discipline". Anyways that's a subject for an other post So after forcing the diaper on him I took him to my room and tried to talk to him but he was soooo upset! I told him I loved him... I didn't know what to do! I returned to his room where my mom was waiting with the story of the night and we manage to get his mind of the diaper problem... I told him I would stay for the story then go down to nurse his brother. So I sat on his bed and my mom started the story with him on her lap. But in the middle of the book he asked to come and sit with me on the bed... And yes I said no again... And the tears and screams started again... He was reaching for me and my mom was holding him tight. What am I doing??? I am such a whimp around my mom... That's not a battle I needed to fight we could have listenned to the story on the bed and that would have been the end of it! But my mom thinks I do everything HE wants and never say no to him (which is not true at all... But I don't usually say no when it comes to non-life threatening situations!!!) So, I took him kissed him and told him I had to go nurse his brother who had been crying for a while with daddy downstairs and I left in tears and heart broken! I went to the kitchen and sat on the floor and cried... DH came and asked me if I wanted him to go see him and I said no because it would make it even worst. I could hear DS scream. And I trust my mom she would never hurt him, she was trying to calm him down and rock him to sleep... She finally did!sNit I still feel like crap... Because this could have been avoided by simply letting him wear his "big boy underwear" for tonight!!! Please tell me I'm not a bad mother like I feel I am right now! What would you have done in the same situation??? Thanks for all your replies!
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#2 of 23 Old 12-30-2009, 09:48 PM
 
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I would have told him he couldn't wear his undies to bed and put a diaper on him. He may really want to wear undies, but the fact of the matter is that there is a really good chance that he would have wet the bed. I know you have more sheets, but personally, the last thing I want to do in the middle of the night is strip a bed and a child and change everything. Esp. if I has an 11 week old.

I also would have left the room when he was happy sitting on your Mum's knee having his story.

It's complicated.
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#3 of 23 Old 12-30-2009, 10:57 PM
 
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s
it's tough to parent your own way with your mom there.

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#4 of 23 Old 12-30-2009, 11:21 PM
 
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At his age it is hard to reason with them about why the diaper is needed at night, they truly don't understand. Since I never had that problem with DS I really don't know what I would have done. DS has been PL'd for a year and half and still wears a diaper at night, but I explain why he needs to and he gets it and understands one day he won't need it anymore.

The only thing I would have done differently is take him when he asked you to while your mother was reading. She could have continued while you held him.

Being a mother is so hard sometimes. You just have to ignore your mother's comments and do what YOU and your DH feel is best. Mother's can be a pain in the butt.

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#5 of 23 Old 12-30-2009, 11:38 PM
 
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It's hard to parent the way that feels most natural to you when you have an audience.

When dd was PLing, we put her in thick cotton training pants overnight (no 11 week old at the same time though). The training pants w/ towels under the sheet seemed like a compromise that would work for our family.
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#6 of 23 Old 12-30-2009, 11:48 PM
 
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really tough to have someone over your shoulder even for a few days-since your mom is here until march, it sounds like it might be helpful to talk with her. maybe wait for the right moment-not a moment when DS is having a screaming tantrum, but a time when she brings it up or when you disagree with something she's doing. i would maybe think of using a perspective of gently teaching her; she doesn't (presumably) mean to be disrepectful of you as a parent, but is maybe not being deliberate enough in backing off to let you make the calls. you are the expert; these are your kids. she is your mom and so it is really hard not to feel like she is in charge-imagine yourself being the strong mammal mom you are, and be kind but firm with your own mom.

you don't need to be confrontational to do that. she does need to understand that if she is going to be helpful, she needs to let you be in charge, for your kids' sake. as much as many lucky kids have beautiful relationships with their grandparents, there are always at least a few little issues on which the parents and grandparents disagree-and the kids deserve to expect that the final answer on these differences comes from you. besides, part of the fun of being a grandma is to sit back and enjoy the fun parts of being with kids, not micromanaging both the grandkid and your own kid's parenting! it can be freeing to just say "eh, go ask your mother! she's in charge!" (if only, i know)

if you sense that such a conversation is beyond your emotional reserves right now, or would cause so much upheaval in your home that the situation would become more stressful for you/your kids, then maybe you could take each situation as it comes, but still be firm. you don't have to even ask your mom to do anything different to assert that you are in charge. for example-you might not have disagreed with her thought that he should sleep in the diaper that night-it was hard to tell from your post what your decision would have been without her opinion (and DH) in the conversation. so coming in to the conversation between she and your son, suppose you did agree with the decision about sleeping in the diaper that night (if there's nothing waterproof on his bed and changing the sheets is a pain, etc) but compromising like you did ("you can in 5 dry days," "you can tomorrow night when we put something waterproof down," "you can for naps but not at night yet," etc.) you don't even need to address it with her-just talk straight to him, explaining why you think he needs to sleep in the diaper (if that's what you thought,) making it as clear to him as possible.

on the other hand, if you really thought it wouldn't be a big deal, or have a waterproof pad handy, don't mind dealing with the sheets, etc, then you can say so without attacking your mom. just go for the same tone you might use if you walked in to the room and she was saying "this basket is for laundry" and it was actually the trash can. just a simple, no-tension intro to how things run in your house. but from your post, it sounded like the manner in which he was put in the diaper was more upsetting to you than sticking to the decision to diaper him that night. (although you said your mom presuming you would make him wear it irked you too, idk.)

the fundamental issue you described, at least that i picked up, is that your mom thinks you give in to him all the time. the implication being, if you give in all the time, he'll run the show. if she's criticizing your parenting, that's a perfect moment to say how you don't want to judge her parenting of you, but that you have a strategy that works for you. it's a legitimate approach to "say yes when you can so you can say no when you have to" with your kids. remember that you do know what you're doing, your intuition and research and thoughts are valid, and so you can speak to her or anyone like you are the expert.

as far as the practical question about the diaper, maybe "big boy" underwear with a liner? waterproof pad and towel under him, so all the sheets don't have to be changed? maybe it would help him to hear that all kids (simplifying for his sake, not ignoring ECers!) go through a stage of transition to nighttime dryness, and that this is a special graduation for him-maybe a "special" pad (could be somehting you're not attached to) on the bed, that his brother will get to use one day when he's grown up enough?
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#7 of 23 Old 12-31-2009, 12:11 AM
 
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When my daughter did not want a diaper, but was not quite ready to make it through the night, I would wait till she fell asleep and then slide the diaper on her, right over her underpants. If she did wet at night, then I would only have a pair of undies to wash. Sometimes the wetness would wake her up. She would get up, go to the potty, and take it off and leave it next to the potty.
It was no big deal.

Just a tip that might help.

I don't know what to do about your mom though! I would probably acknowledge that she is so helpful to me, and thanks so much...and then do it my own way.
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#8 of 23 Old 12-31-2009, 12:20 AM
 
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I would have made him wear a diaper. Just because he doesn't want to wear a diaper does not mean he is physically capable of holding his bladder all night, as evidenced by the consistant wet diapers.

You have asked your mother to help get him ready for bed and she is. If you don't like the way she is doing it then maybe you or dh should do it.

Is it possible that he is doing some of this to get attention (which would be completely age appropriate)

As a mother I know it is absolutely heartbreaking to hear your child upset and I am sure the postpartum hormones make it even worse. Hope you are able to work things through with your mother.

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#9 of 23 Old 12-31-2009, 12:45 AM
 
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Okay, I'm going to answer this twice--

What would I have done? I would have let him wear his trainers. He's completely potty trained during the day and for naps. You said he's dry at night 50% of the time. I know that my DS went from wetting at night to nearly fully dry at night (one wet maybe every other week and only if he slept extra long) in less than a week. If you have a waterproof pad or mattress, I see no reason to not let him try if he insists.

However, that's my family and my interaction with my mother. I'm pretty willing to fight with her--which admittedly makes for some rather ugly confrontations at times. I have no problem undermining her authority. After all, I'm the mom, not her, so her authority is secondary to mine anyway. In a situation where I'm not around, sure, DS should listen to her. But I don't worry about overruling my mom. In fact, the only person I try to avoid that with is DH. Well, and the school teacher as long as we're on school grounds.

I guess I would ask you this: how would you have handled the situation if your mother wasn't there? If you can say that you would have done the same thing (regarding the diaper--I know you said you would have done more to comfort him), then I think you should try to let it go and not be so upset with yourself. Sometimes kids do have tantrums and it's really not about whatever they're tantruming about. They're just overtired, overstimulated, what-have-you. But, if you think you would have responded differently without your mother there, then it would be a good idea to examine why you feel the need to be so differential to your mother and whether or not it's good for your family in the long run.
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#10 of 23 Old 12-31-2009, 01:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by noobmom View Post
I guess I would ask you this: how would you have handled the situation if your mother wasn't there? If you can say that you would have done the same thing (regarding the diaper--I know you said you would have done more to comfort him), then I think you should try to let it go and not be so upset with yourself. Sometimes kids do have tantrums and it's really not about whatever they're tantruming about. They're just overtired, overstimulated, what-have-you. But, if you think you would have responded differently without your mother there, then it would be a good idea to examine why you feel the need to be so differential to your mother and whether or not it's good for your family in the long run.

Wow, this is really good! I would totally go with noobmom's answer!!!!!!

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#11 of 23 Old 12-31-2009, 02:43 AM
 
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A good way to "give in" without feeling like you're breaking rank with the other caregiver, which I actually learned here on MDC, is to say something like, "You know, we've talked it over and we've decided to change our minds. This seems really important to you, so we're going to go ahead and do this your way for tonight."

For some reason the whole "we changed our minds" phrasing is a lot more palatable for people like your mom who might be sticking to their guns just because they feel like they need to exercise their will over the child.

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#12 of 23 Old 12-31-2009, 03:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Noonmom I think if my mom would not have been there I would have let him try to sleep in his underwear after trying to explain to him why he should still wear a diaper at night for now. I probably would not have thought of putting towels under him, but now I will Since I thought about it all night I could also have suggested to him to wear his wool cover over his underwear (even with a diaper the cover gets wet sometimes, so that would have been no different!) I totally agree with what you said about kids and trantrums. DS is an awesome big brother but like most of the big brother/sister out there he now has to share mommy and I find him lately having a bit more trantrums and doing things (like throwing) he never did before. It's also though because when DS gets something in his head he doesn't change his mind. I don't think that means "running the show", I think it means learning to have a right to choose for yourself. I used to be able to redirect him but not anymore. I guess it could be a good sign for when he's older and can speak his mind and hold his ground

As far as the situation with my mom it's so though! I do try to tell her she does or says things I don't agree with but she keeps doing/saying them. And yes Farmidwife I do believe I am the expert and she for sure doesn't think so. She told my brother back home (instead of telling me) that she feels attack when I tell her I don't agree with her. I do try to use a good tone but I just can't have a conversation with her she gets super emotional and shuts down. It's a big problem she always had with my dad. I wasn't raised in a family who talked to each other much. So I always swore I would do everything I could to ALWAYS make sure my DH and I could talk to each other about everything without getting too upset and it doesn't mean we always have to agree with each other! I told her that I would like to talk with her like that but I guess it could take a while until she gets there. I may just let this one go. We'll see in the morning how things are. I would love to talk to DS about what happened but it may not be too helpful and may just remind him that he wants to wear his underwear for nighttime again. Thanks for all your inputs. It truly helped me remind myself that I AM the mom and if she says something to DS and I don't agree I can speak up and not be afraid of it. Thanks!
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#13 of 23 Old 12-31-2009, 03:16 PM
 
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A good way to "give in" without feeling like you're breaking rank with the other caregiver, which I actually learned here on MDC, is to say something like, "You know, we've talked it over and we've decided to change our minds. This seems really important to you, so we're going to go ahead and do this your way for tonight."

For some reason the whole "we changed our minds" phrasing is a lot more palatable for people like your mom who might be sticking to their guns just because they feel like they need to exercise their will over the child.

I love this!

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#14 of 23 Old 12-31-2009, 03:46 PM
 
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What would I have done?

For me, it was all about getting the kid to sleep. That magic moment when the door was closed and dh and I were relieved from the constant supervision that was life with a toddler. Everything was directed toward making this happen quickly and smoothly. A big tantrum would have derailed that goal.

So, if I thought my toddler wouldn't make it through the night in underwear, I would have let him fall asleep in them, then put a diaper on him when he fell asleep.
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#15 of 23 Old 12-31-2009, 04:15 PM
 
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Maybe put the undies over the diaper?

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#16 of 23 Old 12-31-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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What would I have done? Let the darn kid sleep in his undies. And, actually, that's what I did do. DS had NO interest in the potty AT ALL. He wouldn't even sit or go near the potty. One day it clicked with him (when he was in the bath he was making one of his trains "pee" so I pointed out to him that he could do that too.... and for an autistic train obsessed little boy, being like a train is THE COOLEST thing ever ). After he got out of the bath, he peed in the potty! The first time EVER he even wanted to be near the potty (before that he was wearing diapers, no pull-ups, wouldn't even let underwear go near him). That night I tried to put a diaper on him (because he'd never been dry at night before). He insisted on wearing his underwear. Okaaaay. I figured we were in for a long, wet night but he stayed dry all night! And the next night! And the next! It's been over 2 1/2 years and he wet the bed maybe 3 times. Yup, he day and night trained himself in 1 day

I have since given my kid a lot more credit and am a lot more willing to listen when he wants to do something (non-life threatening)

ETA- I also work in a daycare. In my older 2 year old room most of the kids are potty trained, but 2 of them still have nap time accidents sometimes. The 2 moms want those kids in pull-ups for nap time. Both the kids don't want to be "babies". I compromise with those 2 kids by putting their pull up on top of their underwear (or the underwear on top of the pull-up, depending on whether the kid has spare undies in their cubby that day).

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#17 of 23 Old 12-31-2009, 05:51 PM
 
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On my way up I heard my mom tell him: "You'll see mommy will say no too just like I did!" So of course I said no!
This is were i'm confused, you said no because your mum had said you would? I guess you don't want to be seen to disagree?
How about "No, actually mum I don't mind if he goes to bed in his pants" (assuming you don't mind).

As for the him wanting to sit on your lap during the story, I think its wrong for your mum to have stopped him, what was that going to achieve? TBH I would of slapped anyone who tried to stop my child from sitting on my lap for a cuddle - or am i missing something?

You really need to get your mum to back off. You need to be strong and confident in your decisions, this is your family, your children. I find calm and non-confrontational with lots of 'I' rather than 'you' works well. If she gets super emotional and shuts down - thats her problem not yours, don't back down, don't get angry and don't feed her drama. My mum used to cry and lock herself in her bedroom when i asked her to not behave in certain ways around my children - I would calmly leave the house (obviously not an option as she is living with you). Its taken a while but she knows now i don't take any of her @@@@

People think i let my children 'run the show' but you know its just that most things are up for negotiation - they might be children but they deserve the same respect as adults. If its a safety issue i'll stand my ground (or hitting)but apart from that how are they going to learn if you don't let them have a say in things.

How does your DH feel? Will he back you up?

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#18 of 23 Old 12-31-2009, 06:08 PM
 
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This is were i'm confused, you said no because your mum had said you would? I guess you don't want to be seen to disagree?
I understand what you're saying, but I can also sort of see where the OP was coming from on that. I'm thinking about it in terms of co-caregivers, which doesn't strictly apply in the OP's situation since it's between the mother and grandmother rather than between two parents, but putting that part of the issue aside for the moment, DH and I tend to back each other up whenever possible. We both regularly say, "Whatever your dad/mom said is the answer -- my answer won't be different." And I've been known to bite my tongue when DH gives an answer that differs from what mine would have been, for the most part. Of course, if it's something I feel strongly about I'll ask to speak to DH privately and discuss it, but for the most part we really try not to undermine each other in front of the kids.

Now, I realize that in the OP the other caregiver was the grandmother, who doesn't have as much say in terms of child-rearing as the parents do, but in her situation, where the grandma is staying there for several months and is regularly in charge of the boy's bedtime, etc., I can see how in her mind the OP didn't want to "undermine" the grandma. That said, in this particular case, since the OP felt so crummy about doing that, it sounds like it would have been a good time for the two women to discuss in the hallway (or for the OP to lightly state that it was no biggie if he wanted to sleep in his undies), but I can understand her mindset to some extent.

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#19 of 23 Old 12-31-2009, 06:10 PM
 
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I would have done as PP suggested and compromised by putting the diaper OVER the undies. My DD was day pottytrained very early, by about 20 months, which was earlier than I think I was ready for LOL. BUT she took a veeeeery long time to be night trained, I would say she wasn't consistently dry at night until about 4.5. Anyway, she sooooo wanted to be a big girl at night that we would compromise by letting her wear the undies under the pull-up which let her be proud of herself on the nights she stayed dry and not lead to too much embarrassment for her when she didn't. After staying dry in the undies/pull-up for several nights in a row, and upon asking by her, we would let her fly solo in the undies alone. However, when she would have accidents without the pull-up she would become terribly upset at times, which led us to being more cautious about doing without the pull-up. She just turned 5 a week and a half ago. I often hear her get up in the night to pee, but she hasn't had a accident in probably 5-6 months (knock on wood).

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#20 of 23 Old 01-01-2010, 07:54 AM
 
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Ok, both DD1 and DD2 have asked this and I have allowed them to just wear pant and they haven't wet the bed, they have had accidents at a point later on which is natural.

I reckon you should try it, get some sort of bed protector and have a go at trusting his instincts, if he wets the bed, nothing is damaged and you can then compromise based on what happens.

As for your mum, she was wrong to to act as if she knew what you would say and it seems to have have formed your response. I get really befuddled in sudden situations and always freak out and do something totally different to what I normally do. Maybe use this as a time to get together on some issues so you both have a response ready.
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#21 of 23 Old 01-01-2010, 11:01 PM
 
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I would have done the undies under the diaper thing too.

I'd also stop calling them "big boy undies" or anything like that, because of course he wants to be a big boy, and then wearing a diaper will make him feel like a baby, particularly now that there is a tiny baby for him to compare himself to. He can't control when his bladder will keep him dry all night, and I wouldn't relate that to being a big boy. Maybe tell him that lots of big boys still have to wear diapers at night, for a long time after they're able to stay dry during the day.

Another thought - maybe buy a different style of diaper, pullups or good nights or something - and say that those are "big boy nighttime diapers" as opposed to baby diapers.
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#22 of 23 Old 01-01-2010, 11:24 PM
 
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What would I have done...

Let him keep his undies and told him the extra diaper over them would be there just incase he had a little sprinkle at night time. I did it alot when my boys were potty training and we needed to go on a long car trip. Undies then a pull up.

Hang in there

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#23 of 23 Old 01-02-2010, 10:47 AM
 
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I would have let the kid sleep in his undies. It's my kid, I decide. And actually, overhearing my mom saying something like "you'll see, mummy will say no too like I did" would make me tell her exactly what I felt about saying that kinda thing to my kid afterwards. Not ok, at all.
And I would have held him when he wanted to be held of course, and if anyone tried to force hold my child I would've gotten really mad, physical contact like that is not to be forced, ever.

But that's me, and I don't have any problems standing up for my kids to anyone. Mama bear inside me kicks in.
I would certainly work on it, if I were you though, you are your childs only advocate. And it's nothing wrong with disagreeing with your mother, it is your child, your decision. You said you were polite about it, and that's good. But know that it's your child, and you are the expert, and your mother needs to learn to respect that.

-pixie, my dear, and (A-88), N-98, Littlest-06/00-08/00, J-03 & Little Miss Cotton Ball Button-03 (SN), S-05, Hope-loss 09/09, Bean-loss 04/10, and littlePopcorn due feb. 8th -11.
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