Nighttime Pottytraining

[deleted account] ( 16 moms have responded )

I'm just wondering what other moms/parents did to help your child to wake up dry? My 4yr 3m old has been pottytrained since right before 3. The only time he has an accident during the day is if he falls asleep while in the car and pees on himself. He doesn't take naps any longer, but the car will definitely put him to sleep if he's been up all day. We have a 2 year old still in diapers and pull ups are just too much for our family to be spending on so I've been using the underwear and protector method. However since he pees on himself several times during the night, his behind is becoming chapped. He won't get up at all to pee, he will however get up to get on the couch sometime during the night so not only does he wet his bed but he wets the couch. His bed isn't that big of a deal since his mattress is the same one he's had since being a baby. The couch however has no protection and obviously I don't want the couch to reek of pee! We've limited fluids before bed and we have been getting him up throughout the night to pee however nearly every time he throws a fit ..he eventually will go or he will have peed before we go in to get him. I'm just wondering if there's anyone who have tried other methods and had success? Also I have read that some kids don't have bladder control until 5 yrs. so I may just have to wait it out a bit. Thanks for your help!

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Jodi - posted on 09/20/2011

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If he is peeing on himself several times a night it sounds like he isn't ready. It's not that he WON'T get up to pee, it's that he can't. In order to be dry at night, I child needs to be able wake to the signal that they need to go, and this involves a certain level of physical maturity for the message to be sent from the brain. And this just isn't happening with your son. It is totally normal. 20% of 5 year olds still frequently wet the bed at night. My step-son wet the bed at night until relatively recently and he is 12! It isn't something he has control over.

I think it sounds like you need to go back to the night time pulll ups, especially as his behind is getting chapped. At least the pull ups draw the moisture away from the skin.

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Jennifer - posted on 10/19/2011

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What I do with my daughter is I won't let her have anything to drink at least an hr before bedtime. We also make sure she empties her bladder before she gets in bed. We made a big deal out of her being a big girl and sleeping in her panties, and she wakes up every morning dry and exclaims as soon as she wakes up "I sleep in my panties!" She gets super excited! Make it a big deal when he does wake up dry, praise him and tell him what a good job he's done! Good luck momma!

[deleted account]

Thanks everyone. I think it basically comes down to him not being ready. He was also 6 weeks premature and he's still small for his age..like 33 lbs. when wet. But we do need to limit his fluid, not just before bed time but through out the day. He drinks and drinks and drinks some more.

[deleted account]

My daughter, who will be 8 in November, has been potty-trained since she was 2 but always had accidents at night. I talked to the doctor about it every year at her physical and was assured that it is a very common problem and that on average 15% of kids grow out of it each year on their own. My daughter is very social and was beginning to get embarrassed about having to wear a pull-up for fear that someone would see at a sleepover. When I told the doctor how upset she was getting she recommended this. After about 2 weeks, my daughter started waking up on her own to use the bathroom at night. Before we got the sleepdry alarm she would wet the bed and it wouldn't even wake her. This has been the best money that I have spent because in the last 3 months it has already paid for itself since I no longer need to buy pull-ups!

Shannon - posted on 09/23/2011

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Well then I guess my nursing school taught me wrong and the things that I have seen and spoken to my pediatrician about are wrong thanks for the heads up!!

Jodi - posted on 09/22/2011

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Shannon, 20% of children are still wetting at night when they start school at age 5. It is normal. It isn't recommended that you seek medical attention for it as a problem until they are at least 6, or unless there is evidence of other symptoms, or unless they WERE dry and then started wetting again.

Many 4 year olds do NOT have a mature bladder, and this is perfectly normal. To insinuate otherwise is incorrect. As I said, no doctor should be recommending medication until a child is AT LEAST 6 or 7, because otherwise, the child is not being given the opportunity to outgrow it naturally. The majority of children will outgrow it by the age of 6 or 7, some will not (around 3%).

Shannon - posted on 09/22/2011

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No one knows for sure what causes bed-wetting, but various factors may play a role.

A small bladder. Your child's bladder may not be developed enough to hold urine produced during the night.
Inability to recognize a full bladder. If the nerves that control the bladder are slow to mature, a full bladder may not rouse your child from sleep — especially if your child is a deep sleeper.
A hormone imbalance. During childhood, some kids don't produce enough anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) to slow nighttime urine production.
Stress. Stressful events — such as becoming a big brother or sister, starting a new school, or sleeping away from home — may trigger bed-wetting.
Urinary tract infection. A urinary tract infection can make it difficult for your child to control urination. Signs and symptoms may include bed-wetting, daytime accidents, frequent urination and pain during urination.
Sleep apnea. Sometimes bed-wetting is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which the child's breathing is interrupted during sleep — often because of inflamed or enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Other signs and symptoms may include snoring, frequent ear and sinus infections, sore throat, and daytime drowsiness.
Diabetes. For a child who's usually dry at night, bed-wetting may be the first sign of diabetes. Other signs and symptoms may include passing large amounts of urine at once, increased thirst, fatigue and weight loss in spite of a good appetite.
Chronic constipation. A lack of regular bowel movements may lead to reduced bladder capacity, which can cause bed-wetting at night.
Anatomical defect. Rarely, bed-wetting is related to a defect in the child's neurological system or urinary system.

Shannon - posted on 09/22/2011

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My best friends son at the age of 6 had the same problem of bed wetting and it turned out that his bladder was the size of a three year olds. He had to take medication to help with the over active bladder until it was large enough to support his out put. I am not suggesting the child be put on medication, but determining if there is a larger problem is a good consideration and considering MOST children's bladders are night mature by 4, then it is something to look into.

Jodi - posted on 09/22/2011

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Um, Shannon, he is 4. It doesn't yet warrant a pediatric intervention or medication,. It is NORMAL and should be treated as such. Any pediatrician willing to start giving a child under the age of 6 or 7 medication for bedwetting should be shot.

Shannon - posted on 09/22/2011

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You do not want to have your child hold their urine, that can cause urinary incontinence in children which is a worse problem than just bed wetting. A 3 year old bladder can hold 5 ozs of urine, at approximately 3/4 full is when the urge to urinate if you make a child hold their bladder, then they lose the urge and do not or can not recognize the urge to go and then they lose bladder function. To determine the approximate amount of urine the bladder can hold you take the child's age + 2= ounces of bladder volume or capacity. On average an infant to toddler produces 2-3 ml/kg/hr urine, preschool to school age produces 1-2ml/kg/hr. The more fluids they consume the more they urinate, 80% or urine is composed of what the child has drank. So one easier fix is to have them use the restroom on a schedule and completely restrict fluids at least 2 hours before bed and urinate before they got to bed. It is not recommended to wake a sleeping child to so they can urinate at night, this interrupts there sleep and can cause sleeping problems.

Shannon - posted on 09/22/2011

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You need to have him check by his pediatrician, if you haven't already. It has been shown that boys bladders do not mature as fast as girls. My daughter has been potty trained since she was 18mos old with out using pull-ups. She just turned 3 in August and has only had 2 accidents at night, due to the fact she had pop too soon before bed and didn't not potty before she got in bed. We have a nightly ritual where she uses the restroom before we get in bed and is only allowed to have water 1 hour before bed. But if he is urinating more than 1 time at night and it is a constant every night thing you need to have him looked at. Children should be able to sleep for up to 8 hours before having to urinate. The underdeveloped bladder mostly affects boys. And there is medication that can help. Speak to his doctor.

LaCosta - posted on 09/22/2011

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bedwettingstore.com has very absorbent mattress protectors that lay over the mattress so you can just lift them off at night. We use two stacked on top of each other so I can just pull one off and have a clean one underneath. My daughters are 8 and 5 and they still wear pull ups to bed. We have tried the alarm and I think it would work, but my oldest doesn't want to do it after a few days and I'm not ready to push her. Bedwetting can be genetic; our doctor has told us that is likely why our children still wet the bed. My husband and his parents wet the bed until they were teenagers, and so did my parents. The doctor's suggestions were 1. wait it out; eventually they will figure it out. 2. Use a bedwetting alarm (everything I've seen that is decent costs over $75, so a few months of pullups might be a better investment depending how long you think it will take). 3. Hormone therapy-there is something about them not making enough of a certain hormone to wake up when they need to pee. I feel very uncomfortable introducing new hormones to my girls when they are so young, so we haven't tried that route yet. They both just had their birthdays, so we will see what he says at this well child.
You could also try putting a folded towel across the bed and couch to absorb so of the mess. When they do wet, you can sprinkle it with baking powder, wait for it to absorb, and vaccum it off. If there is still a smell, spray it with vinegar (you can water it down a little if you want). It should neutralize the smell.

Bernadette - posted on 09/22/2011

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I am only just starting night time potty training with my daughter, so can't really offer much advice since I don't know yet how successful we will end up being! What I'm doing though is waking her up at about 11 pm, before I go to bed, and putting her on the potty. She always does a wee when I do this, but she doesn't really wake up so she easily goes right back to sleep. If I wake up at any other point during the night, i will get up and do it again. Then I go in first thing in the morning and put her straight on the potty. The only accidents she has had (bear in mind, we've only been doing it for about a week) have been when I haven't woken her up at the scheduled time.

Also, to keep the bed dry you can put on a waterproof mattress protector, and a fitted bottom sheet over the top. Then on top of that, another mattress protector and then another bottom sheet. That way, if he wets the bed (provided you know about it of course) you can just pull off the top layer of sheet and mattress protector, and there is a dry one below. Then you don't have to remake the bed in the middle of the night. If you don't hear him when he wakes up, maybe put a baby monitor in his room so that you can hear him.

Samantha - posted on 09/21/2011

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My daughter is 6, my second daughter almost 5 and neither of them are night time trained. If you can't afford the pull ups, maybe you could try getting him some clothies, to save you the money. When he gets a bit older you can try one of those alarmed bed wetting mats, here in Australia they are available to hire. it sets of an alarm as soon as the child starts to wee. We are thinking of trying one soon for our daughters. We are also trying to increase daytime intake of fluid, and increase bladder capacity, by getting her to hold it for a period of time. get some advice from a medical professional as well, because I have heard that the reason they wee at night is not because they need to wake up but because the body is not yet making enough of a hormone that is required to help the body make less urine at night.

Teresa - posted on 09/21/2011

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I am having the same problem with my 4 year old son. He does fine during the day but as soon as he goes to bed I find I'm changing sheets at least once a night. I limit his fluids and wake him to go too, and there is still a problem. I don't want to put him back in pull ups at night because of the money, but also because I don't want to go backwards. If he's out of them why should I reintroduce it to him? It's hard and I hope there are other options to try

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