Night training

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by mom2gc, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. mom2gc

    mom2gc Well-Known Member

    [SIZE=medium]My twins are just over 4 years old. DS is completely day trained, but not night trained.  My daughter is both night and day trained.  He sleeps very deeply and does not wake up at night to go to the toilet.  He wakes up every morning with a wet nappy. I have read that “lifting them at night” does not help to teach them to be night trained. I thought I will just have to keep him in night nappies until his brain and body is ready. He is not keen on wearing a nappy anymore, but I have explained to him that his body is not ready to wake up at night.  Am I doing the right thing or should I seek medical help? [/SIZE]
  2. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I'd say barring that there is no health conditions, then you are doing the right thing in letting him be.  All kids stay dry at night at different times.  I know there is some kind of watch that I've heard people getting that helps kids get up and go in the middle of the night, you may want to check the internet on read up on it:
    If it continues to be a concern for you and you wish to have him checked out by your doctor, there is no harm in that.  
  3. southernmommy

    southernmommy Well-Known Member

     When his body is ready he will stay dry. I have 7 kids and all of them were potty trained by 2 during the day. Some stayed dry right away at night and others were 6 before they stayed dry all night. My son was a very heavy sleepier too and it took him the longest to stay dry at night.
  4. threebecamefive

    threebecamefive Well-Known Member

    I think you are doing the right thing. From my experience, you can approach your doctor about medication. Medication may or may not be an option depending on your doctor. My doctor did not want my kids on meds until they were older, and only if that's what I wanted (I didn't). My doctor was never worried about them not staying dry at night (I only was because it was not socially acceptable to be older and still in pull-ups and it was expensive!!). My daughter was in pull-ups until right around her 9th birthday. I honestly was not sure she would ever be dry on her own, but she suddenly would have a few nights each week where she would wake up dry. Then one day she just announced that she thought she was going to be able to stay dry at night, and she did. After a week of consecutive dry nights, she was done with pull-ups. She's had one or two accidents over the past year, but seems to be right on par with her peers. One of my boys is still in pull-ups at age 8.5. Yes, I totally wish he was done. It's expensive, it's smelly and he's 8. He should be done! He has several dry nights each week, but nothing consistent, so he has to wear a pull-up. My heart hurts for him, because he desperately wants to have sleepovers, or go on a sleepover, yet at the same time, he is so afraid of anyone finding out he uses a pull-up. It's that reaction that lets me know he is not being lazy or doing any of this on purpose (something my husband occasionally wonders about).
    After years of this journey down the "can't stay dry at night" thing, here is what I have learned either from my own experience or from visiting with our pediatrician:
    *On average, boys will take longer to stay dry at night.
    *The biggest reason kids will not stay dry at night is because they are such heavy sleepers.
    *Waking kids up in the middle of the night is not going to do anything, if the major factor is sleeping so soundly.
    *Night alarms (the kind that go in their pull ups and go off at the first hint of moisture) will make no difference if the major factor is sleeping so soundly (honestly, this screeching alarm woke me up more than it ever woke her up. She would sleep right through it until I got in her room and was ripping the stupid thing out of her pull-up. Let's just say, it's a horrible way to wake up in the middle of the night! I'd prefer screaming twin babies over that thing!).
    *Most children will outgrow this and be dry at night by age 8. It's not uncommon for boys to go up to age 12 or more.
    *Doctors can prescribe medication to help, but usually not done until the child is at least 8.
    *Decreasing, or even eliminating, liquids a couple hours before bedtime will make no difference if the major factor is sleeping so soundly.
    *Trying to shame the child into staying dry will only hurt your child's feelings and not change a thing, except your relationship with your child.
    With all that said, every child is different. It is very likely that your son will grow out of it on his own, and do so sooner rather than later. But I think the best thing you can do is take a relax approach, and encourage him to not worry about it and wear his nappy until his body is ready.
    3 people like this.
  5. FGMH

    FGMH Well-Known Member

    I also think that you are doing the right thing. My DS night-trained from one day to next when he was 4y9m. Before he was consistently wet because he was a heavy sleeper, then one evening he announced that he did not want a pull-up anymore and we gave it a try and he was dry the next morning and has not had more than 2 or 3 accidents since. He wakes up some time during the night to pee most nights so I suspect that he was just sleeping too soundly before.
  6. mom2gc

    mom2gc Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much for all the replies!  You have given me peace of mind.  A good night's sleep is much more important at this stage.  I have explained to him that his body is not ready yet, his bladder needs to grow a little bit more to hold all the wee till morning before we go without a pull-up ( I will be forgiven for bending the truth a bit here :winking: ) 
  7. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    You are doing the right thing, it is normal for 4 year olds not to stay dry at night--I don't like using "night training" as you cannot "train" an unconscious brain to do anything!  If he is fighting you about underwear, just give him a chart, and say that if he can stay dry for 5 nights in a row, he can have underwear.  That way he has a concrete reminder about staying dry.
  8. JuliaS82

    JuliaS82 Active Member

    I'm going to go ahead and be the lonely nay-sayer, so don't attack!
    We potty trained just before they turned 3. Daughter has a bladder of steel so was night trained immediately... Son, not so much. I did my research and learned about the genetic component of night training when my son was waking up with a full diaper every morning. My husband was the same way when he was little, and was much older when he finally outgrew it. I suspected this was the case for my son based on his "output" at night. I was fine with keeping my son in pull ups at night, but when he day-trained he was so proud of himself that when I presented him with the "night time pull up" he just got so sad and felt like he had failed. He didnt want to wear pull ups anymore. I explained to him that his body wasn't ready yet and that the pull ups were just at night, but he begged to keep his underwear.
    I placed an absorbent pad on his bed and he went to sleep. He wet the bed (obviously), so when he woke in the night I changed his clothes and swapped out the pad and he went back to sleep. The next day he said "I didnt wake up to go potty.. I'm sorry". Never have I shamed or punished him for having accidents. I consoled him and explained again that his body wasn't ready and that its not his fault when he has an accident when he's asleep. He was still concerned about it, so I asked him if he would like me to wake him the next night. He thought that was a great idea. I put one of their little potty's in his room.
    It had to have been at least a month, maybe 2.. I would get up in the night and gently wake him to go potty. Sometimes I wouldnt make it in time, and sometimes he wouldnt want to get up, so I didn't force him. But after each accident his brain was "training". And after each praise for waking his brain was "training". There was a brief period of time where his brain was transitioning... part of his brain wanted to wake up to potty, but the other, sleeping part wouldn't want to. This translated to night-terrors at the resulting confusion and was the worst part of the process. But the terrors went away and after those couple of months he started waking on his own. At first he would just kind of whine in his sleep, but he would get up when I came into his room. Then it progressed to him waking to say he needed to potty. Now we're to the point that he gets up, goes potty and goes back to sleep. They're 3.5 now.
    He has always been a great sleeper and has remained so. He's the one that wakes up full of energy, while his sister is grouchy every morning.
    For some kids night training is about the body naturally reducing urine production at night - for others its the need to train the brain to wake for a full bladder.
    It is possible to night train if done correctly (with praise, not punishment) and if the child is motivated.
    Rewarding kids with a chart when they wake up dry seems ridiculous when they don't know how to control it. That's the same as getting a reward when its a sunny day. Better to teach them HOW to control it.
  9. threebecamefive

    threebecamefive Well-Known Member

    I'm glad that worked for you, but as I said above, it did not work for us. For either of our kids. We did just what you have described, and just ended up doing more laundry and having tired parents. It was emotionally draining on both my kids when they were still not "getting it." I can tell them over and over that it's not their fault, their bodies aren't ready, etc, but what their little mind sees is a wet bed because they wet it. They know they were successful on the nights they were dry, or made it to the toilet in time. The opposite of successful is unsuccessful, and that is how they see themselves on the nights they didn't stay dry, or make it to the toilet on time.

    I'm not convinced your son just wasn't almost ready to be able to make it through the whole night. I also think doing things the way you described may help certain children, but it's not going to do anything for others, which then leads to even more feelings of frustration on all sides (and, in my experience, only makes the child feel even worse).

    I think it's a fine line to walk, we've walked it, and it failed for us. Multiple times (we tried that at the beginning of potty training, then yearly for a few years. I stopped when it seemed I was only damaging their self esteem because no matter how many weeks we continued on, it was the same end result).

    I know my kids are part of a small percentage that go as long as they have without being able to stay dry at night. But that small percentage includes a lot of kids and parents. What makes it really hard is having parents that have been successful by doing things some special way that seem to indirectly look down their noses at my kids (or more to the point, us as parents), because they still aren't "night trained." The thoughts seem to be that we haven't tried hard enough, long enough, not the right way, etc. I think it's really important to let parents know that some kids will take a lot longer to be able to make it through the night, and that is OK. Their child is OK and the parents are OK.

    The best thing for me was learning that the 12 year old son of a lady I work with still struggled with staying dry at night. They had started him on medication that helped occasionally, but he was wearing adult diapers at night and slept on a pad. He's now 15 and fine and one of the nicest kids I've ever met. My daughter was 7 when I had that conversation with my co-worker, and it took a great amount of pressure off me, and alleviated some of the shame I felt in not being able to help my daughter (or son).

    I don't mean this as an attack on anyone, and sincerely hope it's not read as such. I also doubt the OP's son will likely be part of that small percentage that goes as long as mine did. But I don't know how many other parents read this, and I don't know their story, and I just feel it's really important to not give off the impression that something is wrong with their child, or the parent didn't try the right method in helping their child.
  10. MNTwinSquared

    MNTwinSquared Well-Known Member

    My son was in nighttime pull ups until he was 5.5 years old.  He potty trained at 3 with his sister.  She night trained a few months after that but Clayton was such a sound sleeper that he never woke.  His body was not ready for it yet.  We talked to the doctor during annual visits and he said there is a timer thing you can put on him to wake him when he wets or you can just wait for his body to catch up.  We waited.  No shame... he was always sleeping at home, and when he was ready, he was ready. 
    It sounds as if you are doing this already.  Yay! 
  11. w101ttd

    w101ttd Well-Known Member

    IMO, it really depends on kids. We did day train 2 months before they turned 3. Night train the 2-3 months after they turned 3.

    All I did was taking them to the bathroom, let them sit on the toilet for 1 min. If they did, that's great. If not, back to sleep. And I made then go straight to bathroom first thing I wake up. We completely got rid of diapers 100% after summer. They did have accidents here and there. But not everyday or every night. My girl had more accident than my boy did. She couldn't hold longer than him. My kids havent had an accident in at least 6 months. and they usually drink big cups of milk before bed.they just wake up go to bathroom at night if they need to.

    I know all my asian and some American friends trained their kids around 3. And most of their kids didn't have to use diapers at 4!

    Good luck!
  12. rizkhanjr

    rizkhanjr New Member

    It's not unusual to have a bedwetter in the house. Actually, its very common. Bedwetting impacts m illions of children and one of the best solutions is to use a bedwetting alarm. You can check out the large selection, watch videos and more. Good luck.
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