You don't have to be perfect to be the perfect parent!

Want dry nights ahead? Try going without the Pull Up!

Help your child develop nighttime dryness…go without the Pull Up!

Your little one is rocking with daytime potty training but struggling with being dry at night?  Are you tired of changing sheets several times a week, or are you still buying Pull Ups?

Bed wetting is very common in children who are potty trained during the day, and often gets better as the child matures.  Often bed wetting is familial, meaning Mom or Dad were bed-wetters as children.  My advice for bed wetting is similar to my advice for potty training.  Be patient and get rid of the Pull Ups as soon as you see your child is capable of being dry for long periods during naps or occasionally at night.  Pull Ups are convenient, but just like daytime potty training; they may slow down the process for nighttime dryness if your child is ready.  A child must be given the opportunity to try to stay dry at night…give up the Pull Up and just give it a try!  Nighttime dryness happens when a child wakes because he or she feels the wetness of the start of an accident…that just does not happen when wearing a Pull Up.  A child must form a connection from the feeling of a full bladder and their brain and if your child wears a Pull Up; it is more difficult to form this connection.

Nighttime dryness is a big step for children.  Bed wetting is seen in about 40% of 3 years olds, 20% of 5 year olds and about 10% of 6 year olds.  It is very common!  How can parents help their children move out of a Pull Up to dry nights?

  • You must try to have nights from time to time without the Pull Up, especially if you are seeing that there are mornings that your child is dry.  Don’t assume that your child cannot be dry at night…give it a try!
  • Try limiting fluids in the evening and taking your child to the bathroom before you head to bed.
  • Make sure there is a night-light and a bathroom light so your child can see where to go if the urge to pee hits!
  • Be sure that your child is getting adequate sleep.  An overly tired child will often sleep too deep to wake from a full bladder.
  • Never shame your child for wetting the bed.  “Accidents happen, you will be dry soon.”  It is hard when you are up changing sheets at 2 AM, but do not let your child feel your disappointment or frustration.  This will only increase your child’s anxiety.
  • Tell your child if Mom or Dad was a bed wetter.  This provides your child support and the knowledge that it is not forever!
  • Celebrate any success…a dry morning, a dryer morning (less pee), or your child getting up to potty in the middle of the night.
  • If your child becomes frustrated, go back to the Pull Ups for a few weeks and then try again later.  Sometimes just a few weeks will result in that brain bladder connection developing.  Don’t give up, just take a break!
  • If your child is older and still wetting, there is some success in trying an alarm system for the bed that goes off when there is the start of any wetness.  This has been helpful for older children who are very deep sleepers.
  • If your child is older than age 6 and still having problems, it is best to address the issue with your pediatrician to explore other possible options.

Any suggestions from you parents that have children with dry nights?  Share!

Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.


1 Comment

  1. np

    Bedwetting alarms worked really well for my nieces and nephews. We’ve tried everything else (limiting fluids, medication) but they didn’t work. I love the tip about not punishing the child!


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