What is the best way to get my son off pull-ups at night?

Staying dry all night is a big step in potty training. How do you get your child to sleep without pull-ups?

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19  Answers

115 4

I never worried about it. I have three boys. The oldest one had a problem with occasional bed wetting until he was 7 years old. He could not help it. The doctor said it was nothing to worry about - some kids just do. Pull ups were not available then, so I just had to keep changing his sheets and pjs at night. It gradually happened less frequently. So when pull ups were available, I used them on the younger two.

I do not agree with the moms who say they are just diapers - they are disposable training pants and that is how I always treated them. When my boys were potty trained we said goodbye to diapers and made it clear that we pee and poop in diapers but NOT in training pants - we keep those dry. If they soil them it's an accident, something they are trying not to do.

But I always waited until my children were ready for the next step. In my opinion, too often parents are pressured from outside sources to get their kids out of diapers by a certain age or in a certain amount of time. I ignored all that and focused on my kids - what they needed, what they were ready for. I learned this because one of my boys (the middle one) is disabled with special needs, so I could not go by a typical child's "normal" timeline. But my other two children can also benefit from this philosophy.

So, back to the training pants. I didn't put a timeline on it. Of course they use the bathroom before bed. I don't encourage them to drink before bed but I do place water by their beds in case they are thirsty at night. We live in a desert climate. And of course they use the toilet first thing when they wake up. But they simply wore the pullups until they stayed dry all night, end of story.

We talked about it. Oops, you wet your pull up last night. But no big deal - no scolding, no rewards, no special attention to it. My boys WANTED to keep the pull ups dry because they didn't want to wear them. They always prefer to be big boys. If they still see themselves as a baby, they will keep wearing things for babies. They all stopped wetting at night, in their own time. Some took longer than others. It was no big deal, no hassle, because I didn't hassle with it.

I spent night after night in ICU with my special needs child so after that I stopped sweating the small stuff - life is too short, and they grow up fast. Overall, my kids demonstrate to me they are ready for the next step in independence, whether it is getting out of pull ups, weaning off breastfeeding, sleeping in their own room, getting their own house key, or learning how to drive.

I always try to separate the difference between what the child needs most right now, and what is easier for me, or what other people think. It's not easy. So I try to not praise or manipulate them into doing what I want. I find it easier to convince a kid to do his homework or keep his pants dry because it's what is best for him, not because it's what I want him to do.

3 1

I agree wholeheartedly with this post! I also have 3 boys. The first one hasn't peed the bed since he stopped during the day at about 2 yrs, but my second boy just turned 9 and two strikes against him. Bed wetting is genetical AND he also spent several years in ICU with a half a heart. I have tried many times during vacation breaks etc. to just change the sheets and get him to go without, I even have a special set of underwear with a buzzer on them, he just doesn't hear it. I can change sheets up to 3 times a night! It makes me aggressive and it makes him feel bad, so we just don't go there anymore. This week he went the whole week without a wet pull-up. He was sooooo proud. Like Susan said, he doesn't want to be wearing the dumb things anymore than I want him wearing them, but forcing the issue causes stress and that is not what we need in our family.

2 7

Well said Susan!

0 7

Agree - well said! Kids each have their own schedule for when they are going to achieve their next accomplishment and we should be there to encourage and guide them in what way is best for them. Thx for this post! Burban Momma (www.burbanmomma.com)

98 10

Thanks so much for posting this! My husband and I had this very discussion this evening. I took the advice of our pediatrician and let my son continue using pull ups for bedtime only because he is not confident. Acoording to our pedi she said that only 50% of children under 6 can hold their bladder overnight, every night. My husband often compares the kids to others and himself at our son's age. I explain to him that I'd rather deal with the pull ups then the occasional accident' along with his discomfort. We do explain that it is a safety net only". He gets up on his own to pee if he is still awake but once asleep he sleeps like a log!

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3 0

Mother of 4 and grandmother of 2 says- limit or eliminate liquids between dinner and bedtime; celebrate dry nights with excitment and words like "YEA! YOU DID IT!! YOU WON'T HAVE TO WEAR THESE AT ALL AT NIGHT SOON!! Won't that be nice? Look how grown up youare! Go to the bathroon right now!"; ignore not dry nights but encourage getting out of the wet pull up immediately upon waking and going to the bathroom. Your child will want to stay dry and want to give up the pull ups eventually if you make it a worthwhile and exciting goal.

0 25

I have six children (3 boys, 3 girls) and 4 step children (1 boy, 3 girls). We have been through the ringer with this issue! Some of our children had no problems staying dry, while others struggled till 7 or 8 with nighttime accidents. When our older children were small, pull ups weren't readily available. Now, they are a Godsend! Our youngest just turned 5 and still has the occasional accident. He needs the pull-ups so that everyone can get a good night's sleep. However, it is very important to remember that pull-ups are for NIGHTTIME only! We encourage big-kid pants at all other times. My husband and I differ GREATLY on how to handle the situation. It is NOT an intentional thing, therefore punishment should never be an option. (We did have one daughter who would wet her pants in retaliation to things around her.) I will not press him to get rid of the pull-ups until he can stay dry without them. I have learned that limiting nighttime drinks to water only and only when necessary plus pre-bed bathroom visits does help. However, it is not the cure-all we wish it was. Patience, love, and acceptance of your child regardless are the best way to handle the nighttime bed-wetting blues!

4 0

I raised six children (2 girls, 4 boys) with no bedwetting issues. I didn't start potty training until my sons showed an interest at around 3 years. (Both girls trained themselves at age 2) I used fitted cloth diapers with velcro closures until they asked to wear training pants. When they were dry during the day, they were dry at night. We did not restrict fluids or wake them in the night to pee.

Please remember that in order to stay dry a child needs to be able to: recognize the signs of a full bladder, hold onto the contents until reaching the desired target, and (most important) have a reason to do so (desiring social approval and dry pants!) Also remember that potty training, like any other learned skill, takes time.

One son at 3 still wasn't particularly interested; he needed an incentive. He wanted to buy a little car that cost $2.00, so we drew 20 circles on a piece of cardboard and taped a dime onto a circle each time he had a success. By the time the card was full - about 3 weeks - he was dry. You should have seen the expression on the face of the store clerk when he handed her the tape-covered card! (Bonus: he learned to count to 20)

My daughter hated changing diapers, so she held her babies over the toilet to pee from a very young age. When they were old enough to sit on the potty, they were taken at regular intervals and their parents read books to them. They were dry in the daytime at a young age, but at age 3 and 5 still have nighttime accidents. They go to bed at 7:00, and their parents wake them at 10 pm to pee.

I had a friend who followed the same plan as I did, but her children were 6 or 7 before they were dry at night. She was cheerfully philosophical about this, assuming that it was biological. However, if your child is still wetting the bed at this age, you might rule out medical causes.

0 12

Well with my son tristan just as soon as i started putting him in big boy pants he could feel himself get wet unlike with pull ups we bought him a potty book that made a flushing noise we read it to him while he was on the pot to poop and soon he would go to the bathroom to hear the book read to him and it was all done after that. Now at night for a few weeks we still put him in pull ups but now its big boy pants all the time. The occasional accident happens but im very pleased and proud cause pullups were just a different type diaper.

73 10

You know it's perfectly normal for potty training to continue on through the age of 7. I don't see the point in forcing something that will happen naturally in time. I read some of these answers and the stress that is put on children to GROW up is very sad. I'd be more worried about the video games, TV and social interactions they are exposed to than an attachment they have to a diaper or pull-up. I have twins and I didn't even start potty training them until they were 4 years old. It took a week and was the easiest thing ever because they were ready. They sleep in night time pull-ups because it is reasonable for a child to wet at night and I really think that a good nite sleep in a pull-up is better for them developmentally and for their brains than to have them wake up wet and cold.....then spend the next half hour changing them and the bed....then trying to get them back to sleep. Parent's need to lighten up about the whole potty training thing. They aren't going to go to High School or College in a diaper or pull-up.

0 259

My son is 4. A couple of months ago we went on a trip i came back and got rid of all his sippy cups so he would have to us a big boy cup. Now that he doesn't have a sippy cup he's not drinking as much before bed so he's not wetting his bed. Make sure he going to the bathroom before he goes to sleep. Also, try the sicker method. Where if he wakes up with a dry pull up he gets to put the sicker on the chart and once he's filled it up he gets a toy or something.

4 11

Once my son stayed dry for 2 weeks straight we took away the bedtime diaper. We've had a handful of accidents in about 6 months, but I think it's better to be out of the diapers and have a few accidents than to just keep them on. He's 3yr 9mo. We make sure he goes potty right before we leave the room at night.

4 0

My son just got confused with pullups. So a teacher I knew who works in Early Childhood told me to get rid of them, she believed and myself that Cody was getting confused with the nappy and pullup. So I did and have never looked back. I stocked up on undies and made sure I had old clothes for him to wear at home, if he had an accident and he had a few, but eventually he was dry. best advice I ever got

108 76

My son is now 7 years old and is finally completely dry through the night, on his own. For the last year, I have been waking him up before I go to bed, about 2 hours after he goes to sleep, and taking him to the bathroom. It helped tremendously with having consistent dry nights. If your child is younger, they may not have a well enough developed bladder, which can hold urine for such a long period of time.
All in all, time and patience is really the only thing that will truly help little ones stay dry through the night. Be encouraging and talk about waking up to go to the bathroom when your asleep. Assure them that it's okay to get up to go use the bathroom any time they feel they need to go, but it must be a legitimate need to go.
I also try and encourage extra trips to the bathroom in the late afternoon. Try a few different things to see what works for your little one.
Hope that helps.

0 16

My daughter ( now 9) never had an issue, she potty trained herself at 2 but would still wet at night so we lifted her on the potty as we went to bed and she has I ky ever had 2 or 3 accidents since. My eldest (now 18) was almost 4 before he was ready at night but again we never pushed him or made an issue out of a wet pull up. My youngest is 4 in 4.5 weeks and still has pull ups at night although has been dry by day for almost 2 years. He has a kidney condition so restricting his fluid intake is a big no-no and he drinks often through the night, especially in warm weather. He also has medications which can have an effect so he has pull ups and again we lift him to his potty at night. He has wet pull ups about once a month but we are not going to rush him as we don't want him being upset by wetting the bed as he can't help it. He knows they are for big boys only and he has just started waking during the night to go pee. I think if parents don't make an issue of any growing up problems the kids will learn as soon as they are ready. I don't know many adults, without specific problems, that still wet the bed, breast feed or have a dummy/pacifier!! They all get there in the end and I am proud of all my wonderful children :)

469 4

After my son was potty trained durring the day his pull ups were wet for a week after that he woke up dry. Once they're potty trained durring the day don't worry about at night this will happen when it happens. I didn't stress about this at all. It's probably the one thing I didn't stress about lol.

80 10

Simple never used them! We were given some and I noticed how excited my child was and realized she would want to wear them all the time. So we stuck to normal nappies til she decided to not wear them.
We have a perfectionist so it makes life a bit tricky when training because they have to believe they are the ones achieving it all by themselves. We started with afternoon naps with undies, then i just suggested after a week of dry nappies for her to let me know when she would like to go all night without nappies. We have been successful since with an occassional mishap which she feels bad for so I just keep encouraging :)
Also teach them to go to the toile tjust before going to bed, kids love being successful and we should love encouraging them even thou it adds an extra 15mins to going to bed lol

0 11

I also agree because like with my eldest daughter, she just outgrew wearing training pants, woke up every morning with clean pull-ups and just come up to tell me she didn't want to wear it anymore. She stayed dry ever since. So, with my other daughter who's almost 4 years old, I don't worry myself :-).

1 0

I guess i am very Lucky with my daughter. i make sure She has her last Drink half an Hour before going to Sleep and immediately before bed She Goes to toilet. That Way Way hardly got wet beds...

22 6

I am proud to say I accomplished this milestone two weeks ago!!!!!! My daughter will be three in August. I began speaking with her a few months ago about my plans to stop giving her something to drink at bed time and my intentions not to use the Pull-Ups at night anymore.

I implemented by plan by giving her something to drink no later than 7:00 p.m., as she is generally in bed between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. in addition to making sure she used the bathroom at bathtime. I told her that she is a "big girl" and will wear her "big girl" underwear to bed. She initially gave me a difficult time with going to bed without her cup of milk (Her father also made this difficulty, because in his eyes she is still the infant we brought almost three years ago). However, once she accepted the new routine, it has been a breeze.

12 14

If your son is a really sound sleeper he may not wake up when he gets the urge to relieve himself. Pull Ups are super absorbent so he will not feel wet either. I actually put underpants under the pull up and it helped. The Pull-up keeps the bed dry so you don't have to change the bed and feeling wet in the undies may wake him. If not they have alarms. YOu clip a sensor to the outside of the undies and when it gets wet an alarm goes off. I used the alarm with the undies/pull up combo and my child was dry in a week. I let her hear the alarm quite a few times before using it so she wasn't freaked out. Check out the bedwettingstore.com It worked for us

21 28

Doing the day take the pull ups off and put on real underware. Every two hour from the morning potty in the morning as tell him it is potty time. drink something tell him potty time about 30min. after drinking, and potty after he eats. Also make up a potty song. If dad is around dad should take him in the potty with him. (HE'S A BOY.) Praise him every time he goes to the potty. Obly use the pull ups when he goes to bed or you are taking a trip. Also tame him to the potty before he goes to bed. And if you go at night take him to, it is O.K. to weak them for potty time.

21 28

I'm a mother of 4 and by the time my children was 2 they where all potty trained, but at night I would put diapers on them. The pamper keep them dry and so do the pull-ups, and they will walk around even sleep feeling O.K., but when the feel the wet they will get up because of the discomfort. And another thing when I was home I use cloth diapers, and started the on the potty when they where 6 months old, so by the time they where 1 they knew what the potty was and then when they where 2 they would take themselves to the potty, and call me.

2 8

I too did ike Claire said about taking him before he goes to bed & again when you go to bed. It works great but I would like to add what also worked for me, as well. I also shut off drinks about an hour & a half before their bed time. If they asked for a drink before bed, I gave them just a very small bit. I also told them why & used a lot of positive reinforcement. I also told them that by not wetting the bed, they were being big helpers so i didn't have to do as much laundry & actually thanked them when they had a dry night.
I also gave them their multivitamin before bed, because magnizium (sp) & dolomite are what makes the bladder pliable & able to stretch. Finally, I did not let them to sleep till they woke up. Most kids empty their bladders as they are waking up. So, I would go in a little bit before I figured he would be waking up. I would swoop him up, tell him how wonderful it was that he was still dry & then hurry him into the bathroom. It only took about 2 weeks. Hope this helps

0 0

well for me my son started to take off is nappy and put it in the toilet when he was 1 so every time he took it off i put him on the toilet with one of those child toilet seats and into big boy pants (with child friendly pictures on). I gave him a few weeks to get used to that before I stopped the nappies at bed time i hate pull ups no difference. once I felt it was time I went to Argos they have a bed set plastic sheets you get a pillow case to put his pillow in then the normal pillow case goes on top and you get a plastic fitted mattress cover to go over mattress and under sheets and a duvet cover to go under normal duvet cover. I stopped the nappies and would put him on the toilet before he went to bed and then when your going to bed take him to the toilet. you don't have to wake him up if you just carry him and sit him on the toilet then he will pee and just go straight back to bed. you can even get the plastic protectors for your bed if your child's like mine he will leave his bed dry and pee yours. you can get the same set for your bed from Argos. after a while you will just hear them in the middle of the night trott off to the toilet and back to bed you will still have accidents but that's normal. I'm an primary teacher and I recommend it to all my parents.

9 2

My baby is 1 year old. during the visits with him. he goes for 4 hours with no wet and no messy diapers the whole time. I told the supervisor that I think Michael is ready to be potty train. she was going to tell the foster mom that I want him to be potty train. I am going to start potty training him during the visit with me.

0 0

My son is 4 and hasn't had an accident during the day in 6 months, but he sleeps so sound that he can't wake himself up to go pee. You can literally change his clothes and he won't wake up. During the night , I check him and if he is wet, I change him. I usually have to change a wet bed twice a week. Sometimes he wets the pullup so much that it won't hold it all. We have tried limiting his liquids after dinner and we have tried waking him up to go. I guess it is just going to take a little longer.

115 4

I used to have to put diaper liners inside the pullups at night for one of my kids. It helped. I also used a mattress protector under the sheets and an incontinence pad over the sheets, in case of leakage. The incontinence pad was rubberized on the back and flannel on top. This way at least I rarely ever had to change the sheets at night. He did eventually outgrow it.

0 0

my girl is almost 4 she stayes dry but dose not get the poop on the potty , i have 3 boys and they never had a prob.iv dose the pritty pantys,treats,rubbing her back nothing will work what can i do??

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