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I love sleep. I mean, I really really love sleep. I miss a good night’s sleep. I mean, I really really miss consistently good sleep. Since having children 9 years ago, I could probably count on my fingers how many nights of uninterrupted sleep I’ve enjoyed. It’s my own fault. I didn’t “sleep train” and I often let my little ones sleep with me.
So when one of my sons (the main kicker and mover) started sleeping all night in his bed, I was ecstatic. However, he still wore pull-ups at night. The idea of night-time training had little appeal.
I read somewhere that your child is ready to sleep without a diaper or pull-up when they wake up dry for at least 3 nights in a row. I can’t recall where I read that, but it stuck with me. So I waited, and waited, and waited and the dry mornings never came. My son had successfully potty trained at 3 but now he was 5 and it didn’t seem like he was anywhere close to being dry at night. In fact, his pull-ups were usually soaking wet and often leaked on the sheets.
Apparently, staying dry throughout the night is harder for some children, especially boys (and as evidenced from the number of Yippee! Sheet boy prints I’ve sold). I’m not an expert but I’ve heard (mostly from discussions with other moms) that there are a number of reasons for bedwetting including:
1) It’s Hereditary – if one of the parents experienced bedwetting, chances are higher that their child may also experience bedwetting.
2) Later to Mature - some children take a little longer for their bodies and bladders to develop in order to stay dry overnight or to send the signal to their brain that they need to get up and pee.
3) Deep Sleepers – some kids sleep so deeply that they don’t even realize that they are peeing in their beds.
4) Too Scared – several moms claimed that their kids were scared of the dark and wouldn’t get up to go to the bathroom on their own.
5) No incentive to get up – why get out of a cozy warm bed, when you can conveniently pee in a diaper or pull-up.
In addition to my kids being deep sleepers and being too scared to get out of bed, I think I may have conditioned them to pee in bed by relying on pull-ups too long. It’s easy to depend on pull-ups. No one – kids nor parents – need to get up and out of bed. But I would recommend trying to lose the pull up, sooner rather than later.
Based on discussions with moms and based on my own experience, here are some tips that may help your kids kick the pull-ups and stay dry through the night:
1) No big drinks before bed. Limit how many fluids your child has before bedtime. If you child is thirsty, perhaps allow for several sips but not a big glass.
2) Pee lots during the day! Remind your child to go to the washroom several times throughout the day. Some kids seem to go for hours without peeing so perhaps going more in the day, especially evening, may help empty the bladder for night.
3) Incentives. A pediatrician encouraged me to try an incentive with one of my sons. He thought he was old enough to get through the night and told me incentives at age 5+ can be helpful for some. So my son and I picked out a toy and I told him if he woke up dry for 4 nights in a week he could have the toy. It totally worked. There were one or two accidents but after that he was on his way! He had to get up in the middle of the night to pee and would wake me up to take him, but I was ok with that. I still keep a Yippee! Sheet under him just in case but he has been fine ever since. For deep sleepers, this may not work but may be worth a try.
4) Wake your child up. Some parents wake their kids up one or two times during the night to get them used to getting up to pee and to avoid bedwetting. Perhaps you can try waking your child before you go to bed if you stay up late and wake them again if you get up during the night yourself to use the washroom.
5) Don’t get angry or shame your child for wetting the bed. I know it can be frustrating and tiring, however try to stay calm. Some parents admitted that they wet the bed as children and recalled their parents getting mad at them when they really couldn’t help it.
If you give it a try and if it doesn’t seem to be working (too many accidents) then maybe you can go back to pull ups and try again another time (I admit, I did this a few times with one of my kids). I do think you need to try for at least a week and if your child has any success, keep it going. Don’t go back to pull-ups if there are only a couple of accidents. They may be on the right track!
Navigating night-time training may not be easy for all and like many childhood developments, happens at different times and for different reasons.
If you have any other tips, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will share them with everyone.
Best of luck!
Many moms told me that they kick started toilet training in the summer months when they could let their little ones roam diaper free in their backyards or at cottages. The idea being that the kids could learn what it felt like to be without a diaper and parents could worry less about accidents if they happened outdoors rather than inside.
If you are thinking about potty training your child, I can share some tips I’ve learned from my own experience and from other moms I’ve talked to over the years. We are not experts, but this may help you or at least give you something to think about.
Bring your child shopping for “big girl” or “big boy” underwear so that they can start to get excited about potty training.
Show your child their new potty or get them used to sitting on the toilet. I used a small seat cover that went over the toilet, as my kids didn’t like potties. But some kids are scared of getting flushed down the toilet, so potties may be less intimidating.
Provide an incentive for successful use of the potty or toilet. Some kids will sit just to get a treat, so I recommend only providing the reward when they actually make a deposit!
In terms of incentives, people told me they used small treats such as a smartie, a piece of chocolate, sticker or a small toy from the dollar store. Others let their child collect stickers and when a certain number of stickers or stars were collected, the child could pick out a reward.
Remind your child to go to the potty/toilet as this is a new experience and they are used to going in a diaper wherever and whenever they want. Some kids may get caught up in whatever they are doing (such as playing with toys or watching a good show) and they won’t’ want to leave it, so accidents may happen. Reminders may help.
Success seems to vary. Some kids learn at 2 or earlier, others at 3 or older. From what I heard, it took some kids a day or two and others several days to weeks. Some kids will pee in the potty but won’t poop or vice versa. Kids are funny little creatures.
Personally, I think you should see the desire in your child to want to succeed. I started one of my little guys before he was ready and he constantly had accidents. He just wasn’t that interested. I decided to put him back in pull-ups and try again at another time. Then one day it happened. I asked him if he wanted to try again and he said yes. He didn’t need any stickers, treats or rewards. He was just ready.
So good luck out there, have patience, and most importantly, have an excellent summer!
Awesome. I love the product. My son had an accident and it was so convenient. So convenient!!! And usually my little guy is so sensitive about making a mess but he didn't feel as bad because there was no big production of stripping the bed.”
Thank you for taking the time to visit so that I can introduce you to my new line of Canadian made, waterproof products designed specifically for potty training, bedwetting, adult incontinence and more!
Yippee! Sheets Inc.