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She was toilet trained for nearly 18months before the baby came

We have a newborn and a four year old girl, and my four year old has become very naughty since i was pregnant, she has started to wet her pants and is also wetting on the carpet. She was toilet trained for nearly 18months before the baby came, what can i do? I have tried taking her toys of her but she keeps on doing it

Answer: Hi, It is such a wonderful time when there is a new addition in the family, but it can also be a confusing time. It is hard for our first-borns to understand what is happening when their parents start sharing their attention with someone else. So we need to help them with the adjustment. When a child wets his or her pants in a situation like this, it is often a stress reaction. She may be seeking more of your attention and is stressed by the new living arrangements that she had no choice in. Instead of taking toys away, it might be helpful to work out why she is behaving this way. She is probably a bit confused, and these behaviours are attention-seeking. Rather than punishing, it is often more productive for us to give her the attention that she wants, but in a positive way. For example, make sure that you spend some time alone with her at various times during the day. When you are dealing with the newborn, involve your daughter in this (eg. ask her to get the wipes, let her “read” a book to the baby, etc.). If she feels that she is helping you, it is a positive experience for her and will help her reduce her stress levels. When she feels happier, she will not continue doing a behaviour that upsets you. You can even make some really positive statements to her every time you see her heading in the direction of the bathroom (even if you know she really wasn’t going in there!) such as “I am so proud that you are remembering to use the toilet now”, etc. Our children want to please us generally, so if she feels you are “catching her when she is good”, she will be more inclined to repeat the behaviours in the future. All the Best, Sally-Anne
Answered: 08 Dec 2007