need some help with potty training my 3yr old at night

Andrea - posted on 08/31/2012 ( 29 moms have responded )

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My son will be 4 in jan. and if fully potty trained during the day but we can't quite get it down for night time. We almost had it for naps but lately haven't been doing so well with it. We stop with drinks around 7/730 at night depending on when we eat dinner, and bed time is at 9pm. I'd like to stop putting him in pull-ups all together [he's only in them when he goes to bed] but I also can't be changing his bedding 2 times a day..any tips, hints, or advice on how to help with night time potty training?

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Mary - posted on 09/03/2012

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I have to agree with Dove. My daughter was diaper-free by two. She's just shy of 4 now, and has had a grand total of two accidents while sleeping. In all honesty, it had very little to do with me "training" her, and everything to do with her intrinsic ability. Her body was simply capable of understanding the signals and sensations that her bowel and bladder were sending to her brain, as well as knowing how to respond to them.



I did absolutely nothing to "promote" or teach nighttime dryness - it simply happened on it's own. I never limited fluids (in fact, she still drinks a cup of milk nightly while we read stories, brushes her teeth, and pops into bed). I never woke her after she went to sleep. From very shortly after she turned two, she would wake on her own when she had to go. I didn't and couldn't teach her that...she's unconscious!

Sian - posted on 09/07/2012

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Ella I would just skip pull ups all together and just put him in underpants that what I did with all my three because they were just using the pull ups as a nappy, and when your in the house if he wees in them leave the wet ones on he will soon get the message that dry pants are better. My youngest has caught on very quickly with that if she weed on the potty or toilet then I would change them. But boys do take longer to be toilet trained than girl, don't reward with sweets try a sticker chart or rewards chart they work loads better that what I did

Dove - posted on 09/03/2012

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Brittney, I know you have all these great potty training opinions because your daughter did it so early, but the fact that she potty trained so early is NOT common. Not at all.... And kind of sounds insulting like every parent that doesn't have a fully potty trained one year old is doing something wrong.



Heck, even Sherri who potty trains kids for a living knows that night 'potty training' is a developmental stage that can't be rushed.



It 'worked' for you because your child was ready. Period. If she wasn't ready... you'd still be waking her at night and she'd still be wetting the bed and you would realize it was nothing you were or weren't doing...

Mary - posted on 09/01/2012

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I agree with the other posters. Nighttime dryness is not something you can teach or "train"; it is just something that happens when the child's body is ready. Cutting off drinks or waking them after they have been asleep doesn't "train" them - all it does is (maybe) save on a little laundry. It certainly doesn't mean that their brains have developmentally reached the point of comprehending that their bladder is full - it just means that you have either prevented a full bladder through limited hydration, or that you have disrupted their sleep cycle to empty their bladder before an accident. In both cases, you are achieving nothing more externally manipulating the situation for them, in which case that "dryness" is artificial.

Dove - posted on 08/31/2012

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You can't night potty train a young child. It's a developmental issue and each child reaches the point where they can either wake themselves up to pee or sleep through the night holding their pee in their own time.



For one of mine it didn't start happening until 4.5 and we still had accidents for several YEARS after. For another... it happened around 2 years old... even before they were day trained.



The best thing you can do is just let him be in a pull up and give his body time. I, personally, would never stop drinks at any time. It's fine to not let them 'guzzle' after a certain time, but if a kid is thirsty... a kid should get to drink.

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Jennifer - posted on 09/20/2012

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My 6 year old son still night wets. I brought it up to his pediatrician in May and she said it is very common. She mentioned that some boys take longer to develop than others. She told me even at the age 6 that I can withhold liquids a few hours before bedtime and if I want to set a timer in the middle of the night to have him but said at this point it isn't really worth fighting because a lot of times boys outgrow it by the time their 7. When we go to his 7 year appointment then we will take more aggressive measure if he is still doing it. She said there are a few choices out there to assist if needed.

Keri - posted on 09/16/2012

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I sent this reply to someone whose 9 year old was still bedwetting at night. Hope it helps!.........I took my son to a specialist at Wake Forest Hospital where he had all kinds of tests. The specialist said there are two things that are known for sure about bedwetting; it's hereditary and it goes away on it's own. My son is almost 17 and still occasionally wets the bed when he's had a long day. There are medications your child can take that help, but you need to focus more on teaching him how to cope. My son had to learn how to wash his sheets and make his bed, basically taking responsibility for taking care of himself. Getting into a nighttime routine of not drinking 2 hours before bed and you waking him at least once before you go to bed will help cut down on the amount. Please reassure him that there is NOTHING wrong with him. I'm going to guess if you do a little family checking, bedwetting runs on one or both sides. I know where your ex is coming from, because it took me a long time to come to terms with it. Please tell him not to make the mistake of shaming your son into thinking he's lazy or bad. Bedwetting into the teens is quite common in the boys in my mom's family.

Sherri - posted on 09/09/2012

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Also DO NOT wake them up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. It will not train them or solve your problem and all it will do is give them broken sleep. Most pediatricians will also recommend that you do NOT wake them because broken sleep is far worse for them.

Sherri - posted on 09/09/2012

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There is NOTHING you can do till his little body and bladder mature enough to make it through the entire night. Many many many children will not be night trained until they hit puberty. So you simply have to wait till his body is ready.

Becky - posted on 09/09/2012

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My daughter turned 3 in June and was potty trained during the day by May. She would still wear pull ups at nap and bed because she's such a deep sleeper. We recently stopped with the pull up at nap and she's been great. I haven't even tried to get rid of the pull up at night even though she wakes up most mornings dry. It could be because I don't think she's quite ready yet or it could be because it's that last little bit of babyhood that I'm not ready to let go of yet! I am certain that she will be fully trained by her 4th birthday though. Give it time and it will happen, every child is different.

Heather - posted on 09/09/2012

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I set an alarm, woke up anx took her potty to get her onthe rhythm. Eventually she figured out how to wake herself if needed.

Apryll - posted on 09/09/2012

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I started teaching my son about germs and told him that if he keeps peeing in his underwear that germs will start collecting. I even told him that they were tiny little bugs that you can't see. The bug thing freaked him out and he potty trained in 2 weeks. I didn't mean to scare him, but it worked ;)

Dove - posted on 09/07/2012

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Ella, your son isn't quite 2.5 yet even. He is YOUNG. I wouldn't push it at this point (actually, I don't know that I'd ever 'push' it). What works for one kid may or may not work for another, but if he's ready... just about anything will work and if he's not.... pretty much nothing will.



I have a couple of kids that potty trained great while naked, but needed pull ups for sleeping and when out in public since if they had any type of pants on... it was hit or miss if they'd use the toilet... and usually miss. Then I have a kid who trained himself while in diapers. That was awesome cuz he was 100% in charge and there was never any mess. He actually potty trained faster and more successfully (virtually zero accidents once he finally chose to be in underwear vs accidents for YEARS) than the other kids.

Ella - posted on 09/07/2012

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lol, actually funny you said about using puppy pads we have an older dog and we use peepee pads at home for him so when he has one of those nasty poops my husband hold on to your nose get the pad out and lie him gently on the pad, we have been attacked! So, I feel you on the weewee pads!

Ella - posted on 09/07/2012

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My problem is if I take him rather carry him, he will go crazy cranky and it will take forever for him to fall asleep and he goes to preschool three times a week so he needs his rest. I'm stumped. I know some parents reward with sweets but I honestly don't want to start on that road. He'll be eating cookies and candy all the time and then his teeth will be bad. Am I just blowing this out of proportion or just driving him crazy as well as ourselves?

Danielle - posted on 09/07/2012

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These comments are really helpful. My son turned four in May and I have been wondering whether I should be doing something different. We use goodnites and the doctor is not even remotely concerned with him not being night trained. He says it will come in time. I really wondered though whether the goodnites were enabling him. I tried the waking up to go potty thing a couple times and he hated it and still was wet in the am :( Brandy, I will try your pad suggestion. Otherwise, I will just have to be patient and know that it will come in time.

Brandy - posted on 09/07/2012

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My son was also totally potty trained by his 2nd birthday, he is now 4. I always make sure he at least tries to go potty before he gets in bad and he always has water next to his bed. Lately he has been wetting the bed several times a week, he also just went through a growth spurt. I feel his bladder just needs to catch up to the rest of his body. I went to the dollar tree and picked up a $1 shower curtain that goes down under his bottom sheet to keep the mattress safe. When he has an accident I just wipe the curtain down with a Clorox wipe and wash the sheets. If he wakes up in the middle of the night wet then he changes his own pants and sometimes remembers to put his wet ones in the laundry but not all the time. My husband wet the bed till he was around 9 and my brother did it untill he was 14. I have a female friend who wet the bed through Jr high. It just depends on the child's body. I did use cloth diapers on my son and I think that's why he was potty trained so early. My daughter is a few days away from her 2nd birthday and is still in size 3 diapers during the day and fills a size 5 at night. I know parental sress can cause problems with that also, even if you think you're hiding it well they can still pick up on it. We haven't been consistent with her potty training but we put her in big girl panties some times. She will have days where she will be dry all day and the next day she will go through 5 panties in 1hr. I'm not to concerned about it though because she tells me very time she has to poop. Which is good because I'm pregnant with our 3rd and don't want to scare her with a gas mask while changing her just so I don't throw up, lol! If you really want you can get the new good night disposable bed pads, there like puppy pads but humongous, and put underwear on him. If he doesn't respond to that within 2 weeks then he's not ready. I also always use pull ups for him when we go to out of town or he stays at over at my aunts. I don't want them to have extra laundry or to ruin a perfectly good mattress. Good luck and just follow your intuition.

Crystal - posted on 09/06/2012

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My son wasn't a habitual nighttime wetter but he did have enough accidents that I started taking him to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I really didn't even completely wake him. I would just carry him to the bathroom and put him on the potty until he started getting up on his own to go. It can be a hassle but not as much as washing bedding all the time. Like some of the other mothers have already said at three he probably just isn't developmentally there yet.

Connie - posted on 09/06/2012

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Girls are born with the physical ability to hold their pee, although other issues, such as deep sleep may interfere with their ability. However, boys are NOT. They have to develop the muscle that will enable them to hold it. Often, this muscle is weak or does not develop fully until puberty. It's nothing they can control. Especially at night when their body relaxes. Night time dryness is more of a physical issue than a behavioral issue.

Ella - posted on 09/05/2012

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I'm having an issue with my kiddo. My husband and I keep reinforcing potty on our son and when we do it's like he retaliates and does it in his pull ups! I usually put him on the potty after naps, when he wakes up in the morning, after breakfast, after lunch after dinner. Then I keep asking him during the day if he has to go "NO" he tells me. He'll be 3 in April. We decided not to ask him anymore to see if he will ask himself. As for night time, forget that. We got lucky once. That was it. Any recommendations?

Dove - posted on 09/03/2012

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Yep. And I have one kid that was dry through the night 99.9% of the time by 2 years old.... and two that wet the bed til they were 8. Didn't matter what I did or did not do. Granted, most of the wet beds for the older ones occurred under 5, but they still happened. Yet in 2 years.... the third kid has only ever had one wet bed even though he guzzles water in bed after his last pee of the night. He only wakes in the night maybe once every 4 or more months to pee. Yet the older ones typically wake several times a week to pee. It's a 100% developmental issue and drives me literally nuts when people assume otherwise.

Dove - posted on 09/03/2012

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Not looking to argue. Just trying to keep myself from blowing a top.... ;)

Brittney - posted on 09/03/2012

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@ Dove I'm just offering advice. She trained because I trained her, not because she was ready.

Brittney - posted on 09/03/2012

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I would use a mattress protector and have a potty in his room, make sure he goes potty right before going to bed and wake him up halfway through the night and have him go again. Worked when I was night training my daughter, she got it down by 18 months.

Jennifer - posted on 09/01/2012

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Also agreeing, nighttime dryness is not a matter of their will, but of their body. He will be dry at night when his body is ready, you really can't force it, trust me, I know. My 2 girls are 9 and almost 5. My younger girl was dry at night almost as soon as she was day potty trained, I'd say we were done with night time by age 3. Her older sister, however, just stopped wearing the GoodNites big-kid-nighttime-pants earlier this year, just after she turned 9! She wanted to stop earlier, but just could not. We'd have several good nights, then a bunch of bad ones, she just slept too deeply. No amount of restricting liquid, waking her up to pee before we went to bed, or even an expensive pee alarm we tried would work. Daddy was sure we'd be buying her a supply of GoodNites to take to college, but our pediatrician said it is VERY common for kids to have problems with and they don't recommend forcing anything until at least age 8, then you can try an alarm like we did. But he said it is common for kids even up to age 12. He said "When her body is ready it will just be ready" and sure enough, one day she was just done. She said "My GoodNites have been dry for at least a week, I don't think I need them anymore, and she never did.



Don't stress out over it, especially at that young age. It won't help you or your son.

Leslie - posted on 09/01/2012

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My 5 year old was daytime trained before 2 and just in the past two months started to not have accidents and now that he started school he is having accidents again. It is actually really normal not to get nighttime trained until they are older. I have seen many kids that are 7 and 8 and have more accidents then not. It will come when their body is ready for it. Like someone else said you can't actually train them. For my boy it doesn't matter when he last ate or drank each night is different and some times he wakes dry sometimes he doesn't, even if I have him go a couple of times. Just be patient and it will come.

Sian - posted on 09/01/2012

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I Neva thought of it that way but it worked with my daughter she cought on really quickly then I no longer had to get her up in the night, it worked with my son for about a year then he was diagnosed with epilepsy and he hasn't been the same since even though it is now controlled and being weened off his meds? And now he goes through patches where he'll b dry 4a month then he has 2 weeks of bed wetting? and I can't work out why?

Nikki - posted on 09/01/2012

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I think 3-4 is too young, I would use pull ups and wait until he is waking to go to the toilet or having consistent dry nights.

Sian - posted on 09/01/2012

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Do u get him up in the night? If not get him up before u go 2bed cuz they naturally just go a wee if there half asleep and u tell them 2thats what I did, I find it does take boys longer than girls to grasp toilet training as my daughter was 3 when she was dry at night. As my son was 4 and a half by the time he was dry at night but he still has the odd accident now and he's 7. They do it in there own time so I wouldn't worry to much about it. Maybe stop his drinks a hour earlier and try and av tea an hour earlier 2 but that all depend on if u work til that late I suppose? And make sure he goes 2 toilet before bed hope this helps

Amy - posted on 08/31/2012

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It's not something he can control, it will come with time. Some kids are such deep sleepers that they don't wake up.

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