Night time potty training?

Debbyie - posted on 12/15/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )

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What is a reasonable age for a child to be potty trained at night, and how did you go about it? My 4 1/2 year old daughter is completely potty trained during the day, even for the occasional nap she still takes, but has been wearing pull-ups at night. Sometimes she stays dry, but other times she does not. She gets herself dressed in the morning, and is *supposed* to throw away the used pull-up.

About a week ago, I hit the roof when I found a stash of several urine-soaked pull-ups hidden under her bed. The thing is, this is the third time it has happened, and we have discussed that she needs to throw them away. She is never punished when she wets her pull-up, so I'm imagining she is just embarassed, but of course having pee-soaked pull-ups in the room is unacceptable. My husband and I decided to try putting her in underwear for the night, thinking that if she started to go, she would wake up and use the bathroom. She stayed dry for the first night, but then wet the bed for a week in a row. She isn't even waking up when she does it, so the wetness is apparently not a deterrent. We have tried restricting her fluids near bedtime, we have tried getting her up at 10:30 or so to use the bathroom before we go to bed ourselves, and we are out of ideas! She is currently back in a pull-up as of last night...

So, am I expecting too much by expecting her to stay dry through the night at this age? If so, how should I deal with the pull-up stash, and when should I attempt the training again?

Update (5/3/14): So, my daughter is almost 9 now--I can't believe how fast time has gone. I thought I would let anyone who finds this post know how the situation was resolved.

She continued to wet the bed, and when she turned 5 I brought up my concerns to her pediatrician. He did a urinalysis just to make sure we weren't missing a bladder infection or something, but everything was clear. He said that many children wet the bed until they are 7, and not to worry too much. We kept her in pull-ups, since she was such a heavy sleeper that when she would wet the bed wearing underwear, she still didn't wake up and would sleep in urine-soaked underwear that would almost dry by morning. I figured the pull-ups were the better option, since at least it would pull the moisture away from her body. We also kept a mattress cover on her bed at all times and had a washable pad on top of her sheets as well. We resigned ourselves to being patient, and she did stop stashing the pull-ups, at least.

Eventually, she had more and more dry nights, but would still have occasional accidents. However, right before her 7th birthday (which was when I was going to report back to her pediatrician and look into other options) she just...quit. I'm not sure what's so magical about that age, but our doctor hit it right on the nose about 7 being it.

Interestingly, our other daughter, who was only 18 months old when I first posted, ended up being night-trained faster than her sister--so by 3 and a half, was dry at night while 3-years-older DD#1 was still having accidents. Caused some issues because they shared a room, and #2 noticed that #1 was wearing the pull-ups while she, herself, did not. They only thing I can attribute this to is how they sleep--DD #1 was always a heavy sleeper even as an infant--slept through the night consistently at 12 weeks--and DD #2, not so much, and even still at almost 6 wakes up fairly often in the middle of the night.

Everything worked out in the end, though--as my grandfather used to say, "your children will walk up to get their high school diploma, and they will be feeding themselves, and toilet trained." I try to remind myself of that if the girls (or their new little brother, who is now 2) aren't hitting milestones the way I think they should.

Thanks to everyone who posted with support and advice :)

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Laura - posted on 01/24/2012

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I am in the process of potty training my son who is 2. I started a week before his 2nd bday and he does really good during the day but I haven't tried to put underwear on him at night bc I'm scared too. He still wets his diaper/pull up during nap time so I'm scared he'll wet the bed at night if I leave underwear on him! Any advice?

Elisabeth - posted on 12/21/2009

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My daughter is 5 yrs now and it was only two months after her 4th birthday that we started the nighttime training. Up until then we used normal nappies (Pampers/Huggies) but we started by telling her what a big girl she is now, not a baby anymore and that her friends were no longer in bedtime nappies. As she still like a bottle of milk in the evening, I now give this to her 2-3 hrs before bedtime so it has a chance to work through her system. Then she goes for a wee before bed herself. The months following the start of this new routine, I would take her for a wee a couple of hours into her sleep (not too late as then she would have an accident in bed). We still have the odd accident but maybe once a month now only. This worked for her. Another piece of advice is to invest in a good quality bed protector so when there is an accident it's not such a big deal, just change the sheets. Good Luck!

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Debbyie-
I have four children. Three of them are old enough to have been potty trained. With all three, we had a different experience. They were all trained between the ages of 20 months and 2 1/2.-3.

My oldest (who is now 13) potty trained when he was almost 2 1/2 and as soon as he started staying dry through naps, I took the diaper off at night and he never had an accident. My daughter (who is now 7) wazs about the same. She actually had issues with accidents during the day but never wet her bed. I took off the diaper at the same time that I trained her.
So we tried this with our thrid child (who is now 3 1/2). He potty trained well and has does fairly well during the day but had accidents almost every night. I finally started using pull ups. I will say that he is more difficult to get to sleep, he still wakes up in the night (something my other two did not do at this point) and he drinks way more at night. When I limit his drinks late at night he usually does better and he has had some dry nights but he still has an occasional accident.

My best advice would be to limit the drinks at night and have your daughter use the bathroom right before bedtime and see if that helps. If you do all that and it doesn't help at all I would check with your doctor just to be safe. Some kids just have a hard time waking up to go....but I do have friends who had bed wetters into the pre-teens (my sister actually did that growing up) and there were some medical conditions attacfhed. I do not want to alarm you...she's only four and lots of kids have this issue but it's something you can rule out if the problem continues....

As far as the age expectation thing...yes and no...Personally and from my own experience I don't think she is too young to have an expectation of a dry bed but a lot of children have this issue and there are some that simply cannot control it for whatever reason. Hang in there. I hope it goes well for you.

Kimmy - posted on 12/16/2009

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Maybe she thinks the pull ups are for babies.... try Pampers UnderJams or GoodNites Underpants. They're more "grown up" than pull ups. Ad for are you expecting too much- my feeling is that if they have products for kids up to 125 pounds (WOW) than it's not an uncommon thing. This article may help- but I wouldn't worry too much till she's 5 or 6.



http://www.associatedcontent.com/article...

Karla - posted on 12/21/2009

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In potty training my nephew..the day time was really easy....when it came to the night time..we tried the pull up concept and for us...he would pee in them no matter what we did...so finally we ended up making him go cold turkey....we put him in underwear..stopped letting him have drinks after 6......and would wake him in the middle of night....we still have a few accidents here and there....but for the most part....he gets up middle of the night..because it had become a part of his nightly habits....

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Melissa - posted on 04/24/2012

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My son is 3 and We tried the pull ups for two weeks and he screamed and lost his temper because it felt like a diaper to him, So on Easter he got his new underwear and we put them on him and within 2 days he was completely trained. It's now been two weeks and last night I forgot to put a diaper on him when he went to bed and he got up in the middle of the night himself, told me he was going to pee, used the bathroom and went back to bed lol. My parents bugged me for almost a year that i needed to start potty training him, but i let him go at his own pace and i'm glad i did, it's gone much more smoothly then i would have ever imagined. We've only had a couple of accidents in the last couple of weeks.

Renee - posted on 12/16/2009

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Just a personal experience... it took my daughter a year and a half after being potty trained in the day to be potty trained at night. She would go a week with dry pull-ups, then wet them for a week! Then all of a sudden she got it! Before she would sleep right through peeing the bed, then she would stop herself halfway, now finally she wakes up before she goes.
It came to a point when I was sick of buying easy-ups. I felt they weren't teaching her anything because she would wake up in the morning with a SOAKED easy-up and have no idea if it was wet or dry, because she didn't feel a difference! That's when I went to the store and bought "night-time panties" (or Gerber's training pants). I washed the sheets a lot for a couple weeks, but now she has it and we never went back to pull-ups. She still uses "night-time panties," but never has an accident.
Another time that helped... At bedtime, she would pee just a little in the potty and think she was done. We told her that her bladder was like a balloon and we had empty it completely before we went to bed.

Coco - posted on 12/16/2009

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My daughter is the also 4 nad a half. She has been sleeping without diapers for about 8 months now. For the first 3 to 4 months I was waking up in the middle of the nigh (around 2 or 3) to go sit her on the toilet. This kept her from wetting the bed. I was tired of washing sheets everyday. She just recently started to wake up on her own to go potty at night. All kids develop differently and your daughter may be a really hard sleeper. I would suggest talking to your pediatrician if it continues. Until then hanfg inthere and be patient. Make sure you see her throw away the pull up every morning. Sometimes they just have to earn back the trust of doing stuff for themselves. Like i said some kids are just heavy sleepers. My cousin wet the bed until he was 13! He was just a heavy sleeper. Good luck!

Mary Ann - posted on 12/16/2009

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My son is 5 now, but I started night potty training him when he was about 3. Like the other mom said, my son would use the bathroom before bed, then I would wake him up sometime after midnight to go again. I co-sleep with my son so whenever he would toss and turn, I would wake him up to use the bathroom. He also said that wearing underwear helps him not wet the bed. I use a soak pad under the sheets to help protect the mattress...he still have accidents occassionally - when they're dreaming and can't get up. It's normal. Some kids wet their bed until pre-teens. It's just a bladder development thing.

Jane - posted on 12/16/2009

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I would check w/ her Dr 1st to make sure there is no medical problem. I don't think you are expecting to much @ all @ 4 1/2 years old!! I used to encourage my son to drink water @ night so he would have to go in the middle of night & knew what it felt like to have to go & then get up. Also make sure there's enough light from her bedroom to the bathroom. I also told my son he can wake me up if he has to go in the middle of the night. When I 1st started night training my son I would set my alarm for every 2-3 hours then stretch it out from there. I also hate pull-ups because they pull away the wet feeling but if the wetness doesn't bother your daughter then it probably wouldn't help to take her pull ups away anyway. One more thing I did is have my son make is own bed (he was only 2 so w/ a bit of my help of course) then he would have to take is dirty bedding to the washer. Once she starts having sleep overs she's probably not going to want to wear pull ups 'cause she may be embarressed by it so if she's not night trained by then that's always a good incentive.

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