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