Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Life After Baby... Back to Diapers!

Finn has so far been a phenomenal big brother. He is helpful, understanding, and so so sweet with Phoebe. However, we have had a little problem with pee. Yup, my 3.5 year old who has been potty trained for some time now is constantly having accidents in his pants. So much so that we have reverted back to diapers on days when he is not at home and can't be reminded to use the potty every hour. And we aren't even using our cloth diapers, or even natural ones at that. We are using pull-ups, with Toy Story characters none-the-less, so that Finn can still use the potty on his own when reminded. And, they now make these 'magical' pull-ups that have a design on them that disappears when it gets wet (see the rockets and stars on diapers above)... which means that I can tell if he has peed or not. This has actually come in very handy, as we are back to bribing him to use the potty. He gets a treat after dinner if he hasn't had any accidents all day, and if he ever again goes a week straight without an accident, he gets to chose some new art materials. Before I became I parent I swore I would never use bribery for anything. Boy, have I ever failed myself on that!
This has been pretty stressful for me, as I feel like I have done something wrong or am not giving him the attention he needs, but the worst part is that I can tell he is really sad about it too. So, I am trying to not make it into too much of a big deal, while still trying to fix this problem ASAP. Although Finn is only 3.5, he is the size of a 4.5-5 year old and I am not sure how much longer diapers are going to fit him!
He is cooperative, and uses the potty when I ask, but as soon as I forget to remind him for a couple of hours he will have an accident. I am sure this is just a "phase" and part of adding a new sibling, but how long is this going to last?
Have you ever been in a similar situation? How long did it last? Any advice on how to remedy this? For now I am resorting to magic diapers, bribery, and a whole lot of patience. Pin It Now!


  1. It is amazing the ways you change as a parent when you've got more children!
    Yes, yes- my daughter was all potty trained when son #1 was born and she had a relapse that lasted a month. We simply went back to diapers and went with it. She was about 3.
    Son #2 was 3/12 when the baby was born, had been potty trained about 6 months. He didn't have a relapse, but suddenly would not poop on the potty, and even held it in until he'd get a stomach ache. This lasted about 2 weeks.
    So yes of course this is a phase, but when you're right in the middle of it, it sure feels as though it's never going to end! My only advice is keep it low key, go with the flow, it'll be over soon. The less stressful it becomes for all of you the easier and quicker it'll be.
    We continued to use our cloth diapers and cloth training pants because our children hated the feeling of being wet after they were already potty trained. Would this help your son? Our children are also all big for their ages.
    Good luck!!!

  2. We went through this with our older son after Evan was born. I actually expected it. I knew he would come around eventually, and he did, although at 5.5 he still can't make it through the night. So yes, I buy size 5/6 pull ups for bedtime. We have tried going without, but night after night, week after week, wet bed. I figure he will outgrow it. I don't plan on sending him off to college with pull ups!

  3. It is so interesting, this has happened to almost every family I know who had a young toddler and a new baby. Some of my friends are going through the same thing as you are right now.
    I wish I had wise advice for you. Hang in there! Have you check the forums of Mothering.commune? I am sure there is tons of advice on there.

  4. Have you looked into any of the Elimination Communication (EC) (AKA Natural Infant Hygiene) stuff. They say that seeing a new sibling pottied, and helping with the pottying, can help keep an older sibling on track. Don't know from experience, as we're just now expecting our first, but I plan to try EC at least some of the time.

  5. Thanks for the tip Melissa. We did do some EC with Finn (which obviously didn't work well as we are still having potty issues), and have done a little bit so far with Phoebe. I think I will put her on the potty (with Finn watching) more often. Cant hurt!