Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Night Training

Okay, folks, I have a confession to make: Lucas still wears a diaper at night. Well, he did as of two nights ago and I think he'll be back in one tonight. Yes, he's almost four years old and has been completely potty trained for months and months now. In fact, he had an accident (literally on the floor immediately in front of the potty) last week and I was so shocked because he hadn't had an accident in . . . as long as I can remember. But, this entire time he's still worn a diaper at night. I mostly chalk this up to my personal laziness and love of a solid night's sleep. I didn't want to bother with him either waking me up to go to the bathroom or having to wake him up to go.

But, then I realized that he was waking up soaked through his diaper almost every night AND I was already waking up 2-3 times a night to pee anyway. So, why just take him to the potty whenever I woke up. There would be no additional waking for me and no cleaning up of a wet boy, jammies and bed in the morning. Easy peasy, right?


Night 1: Lucas went to sleep at 8:30pm, he went to the bathroom several times before bed (we have him try at least 2 times during the whole bedtime routine). Put him on the potty at 10pm when we went to bed. I woke up at 1am and tried to get him to go. He didn't. He wandered into our room completely drenched at 3am. Spent 30-40 minutes cleaning him up, changing him into new jammies. Put him on the potty. Brought him to our bed (to avoid cleaning up his bed at the moment). Spent the next few hours unable to sleep because he was flipping around.

Night 2: Lucas went to sleep at 8pm. He went to the bathroom several times before bed. Put him on the potty at 10:30pm when I went to bed. I woke up at 3am and went to get him to put him on the potty. He was slumbering peacefully but completely soaked. Spent 30 minutes cleaning him up, changing him into new jammies. Put him on the potty. Brought him into our bed (to avoid cleaning up his bed at the moment). We all slept. Woke up at 7am to a wet spot on our bed where he peed.

OMG. Seriously. How in the world does this kid have So. Much. Pee? He does not drink a lot in the evening. In fact, last night he had a small glass of water with dinner and a small glass of milk after dinner. How does that equal so much pee?

I am so frustrated. I know it's only been two nights. But there is a huge difference between me taking one minute to stumble to the bathroom and back when I personally wake up to pee and losing about an hour of sleep (or more) to clean up a wet kid. Should we keep with it? Have any brilliant ideas? Clearly he isn't waking up to a sensation of needing to go or even always waking up when he is SOAKING WET.

At the very least, I am going to put this on hold for a few nights. I'm so exhausted from not sleeping well anyway (waking to pee, unable to get comfortable, etc) and our dryer belt broke the other night. I don't have enough spare sheets and blankets for his bed to keep this up until I can do some laundry!

Advice welcome!

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!


  1. I wish I had some advice for you, but I had one of those kids that just never had accidents at night. I don't even think we ever consciously night-trained Will, he just sort of didn't pee while asleep and we stopped putting him in diapers and there was never a problem.

    Honestly, if it was me, I'd just keep Lucas in a diaper at night. Maybe his bladder just needs another year to be able to hold a certain volume of liquid.

  2. Everything that I've ever heard about potty training was that you can't 'train' for night time the way you can for daytime, but that it's a physiological thing. When the body is ready, it will hold the pee in during sleep. Until then, you could do the up and down and up and down thing all night, but I think I'd just opt for a pull-up at night until he's staying dry on his own. We called them 'sleepy underwear' for my middle child, and we just recently stopped using them when she stopped being wet in the morning. I think the timing has a pretty wide 'normal' range for children, and three is well-within that range, in my opinion.

  3. 1. Do you know that one in 5 kids wet the bed occasionally until age 6.
    2. More often then not this happens in boys because they sleep hard enough not to recognize the sensation of needing to go to the bathroom.
    3. He will eventually quit on his own, but if you don't want to wait another year or two, now is the time to try the cure... a bed wetting alarm. Sounds crazy maybe, but I can personally attest to it working for 4 people I know. All of them only needed to use it of one week. In fact, one person it only took one night. Google "bedwetting alarms". I just did and they even have cool ones now that hook on their underwear.

    There was a training process... you have the child lay in bed and pretend to sleep. You dribble a bit of water on the sensor. The alarm wakes the child up. He goes to the bathroom.

    Lucas would think it was cool. And if the deepest sleeper of the four I know of, woke up the second night at the sound of the alarm.
    I do have to add that he slept through the alarm the first night, but it sure did wake up everyone else in the house! Thus I recommend you do it before the baby is born... or wait for another year.
    PS... Waking them up randomly rarely works, so don't waste your precious sleep!

  4. Oh dear I'm already not looking forward this phase. We have a pediatrician friend and he did say that it is typically harder for boys to sleep through the night without wetting. Something about the way they sleep... I think I agree with Morninglight that it will just happen one day with no training.


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