There have already been many times as a mom where I’ve thought “Alright, I’ve got this down!” and then – Surprise! Some new phase starts that makes me realize I still have lots to learn. Right now, it is regressions. My puppy, Wally, has regressed to pooping in the house while my toddler, Sadie, is going through a sleep regression. Bring it on world.
The first time Wally pooped in the house I thought he was sick. We told him “no” and gave him some crate time; then we made sure to take him out a bunch and give him rice for his tummy. The second time I realized he was doing it deliberately. He pooped on Sadie’s play mat while I was in the room and looked directly at me! Since I caught him in the middle of going, I pulled him outside to finish and then gave him some crate time. I think this is another phase of adjusting to me going back to work as well as some jealousy for the attention Sadie receives. To try and counteract these feelings of separation and jealously, I’m starting to teach Wally a new trick so he receives more positive attention (along with all the love and attention I already give him). My husband, our nanny, and I are also being very proactive about taking him out so he doesn’t have the opportunity to strike again.
Sadie is going through her second big round of teething. This time is different because she’s getting her lower incisors and her molars (about 6 teeth at once). Plus she’s older so she’s expressing her discomfort in new ways. Specifically, she gets ornery very easily and is fighting sleep.
This past week Sadie took an hour to fall asleep every night. Once in bed, she would talk to herself and move around a lot. My husband and I would try rocking her or rubbing her back to calm her but usually she would end up just talking herself to sleep. When she seemed to be in pain (would cry out), we would give her teething tablets or Tylenol. This would work right away. Sometimes the drool was so bad she kept coughing and choking on it in her sleep; we started putting the vaporizer on at night to help her breathe (this also helped). Very recently, we moved her to one nap a day (vs. two) so she is nice and tired at nap time and bedtime. So far this has been the best way to prevent her from actively fighting sleep.
As for the crankiness, when she starts to tantrum I hold firm to whatever I’ve told her (usually a spat comes from her being told “no”). I don’t play into her whining and crying. Once she realizes she doesn’t have an audience, she’ll quit carrying on pretty quickly.
I do believe this behavior will pass in another week or so but it is rough while you’re in it!
How have you handled regressions? Any tips for teething relief or re-teaching house rules? Feel free to share any comments below!