Tuesday, October 2, 2007

WFMW--Backwards Day

Usually on WFMW (Works for Me Wednesday) we offer advice. Today we solicit it.

So my question, dear readers, is this: How do we get our almost 4-year-old (like 10 days shy of 4) to stay dry through the night?

I know he has the bladder control to do it. He has gone 8 hours during the day, and can alllllmost make it to a reasonable hour of the morning. And he almost always holds it during naps.

He's getting discouraged and the pep talks about how he learned to walk are wearing thin. And we can't go back to pullups at night because then he backslides (so to speak) on the pooping in the potty and holds it until he's in a diaper again.

I'm doing the "sheets lasagne" and have dry stuff out for the 5:30am changes. Any hints for getting him over the hump?

Any answers will be happily accepted. Think you can help solve other problems? Go see Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer for other WFMW pleas!


Ellen said...

Hmmm. DD potty trained over night first. I started getting her out of bed and putting her on the potty first thing. Things I've heard that work though....
the obvious no liquids before bed
wake him up before YOU go to bed so he can go the bathroom
setting an alarm to wake him up

He might just be a really deep sleeper.

Good luck and stay positive.


Julie said...

Now we didn't use it until my son was 5 and the pediatrician said it was time to do something, but I heartily recommend the Potty Pager (http://www.pottypager.com). We tried an alarm one first but it totally freaked him out and he would cry. The potty pager is basically shaped like a pager - you clip it inside their underwear and when it gets wet it vibrates in a random pattern. It's enough to wake them up quickly (usually before sheets are wet), use the potty, change underwear and back to bed. We used it for about 3 weeks and he did great.

Mrs. O said...

I haven't had this problem, but I have heard that making them do the sheet changes and then marching in to put it in the wash themselves before crawling back in bed is sometimes helpful.

Amy @ Experience Imagination said...

My husband started telling our daughter what he expects of her during the bedtime ritual (as in, "I expect you to close your eyes, go to sleep, and stay dry until the morning.") It's been working for us.

Debs said...

Ok, so the fist comment is from a 25 year old who doesn't have kids. Sorry about that!
Well I know of families who put their child to bed normal time, and then when they (the parents)go to bed they take the child to the toilet. The child pretty much stays asleep, but it cuts down the time they have to 'hold it' for the rest of the night, and might encourage the child to be able to get up and go without being totally awake (I know this is possible, because I'm the girl who could get up to go to the toilet in the night and apparently have whole conversations with my Mum without remembering a single thing the next day!)

Can you also limit the number of drinks the child has in the evening. Say only give two drinks after 5pm (I just made that up off the top of my head, so make a rule that suits you, please don't just follow my one!). Obviously you don't want to put his health in danger by not giving him enough drinks, but you could give more earlier in the day.

And finally, I wish you good luck!
Godbless xx

Unknown said...

No ideas here. Both my kids are still wet at night. The 3-year old does better than the almost 6-year old, but still no luck.

Several pediatricians have told me to do nothing. So that's what I'ma doin'!

Milehimama @ Mama Says said...

Sigh. Let me know if you find out. Our 8 yo still does not stay dry consistently through the night. It is a developmental thing, and he's just not ready. His 4 yo brother has been dry at night for 2 years!

For a while, a midnight waking/potty trip helped. We also shamelessly use bribery. Right now we are using a star chart - one week of dry nights = trip to the dollar store to buy whatever he wants. We've also used a cookie after breakfast for dry nights.

One thing that helped logistically until he was ready, is to go to the craft/fabric store and buy clear vinyl (for covering tablecloths). Cover the mattress with it (we duct taped it to the underside of the mattress). It is MUCH sturdier than the junkie rubber sheets that are out there, and you can easily spray and wipe clean, even with bleach.

We also bought a couple of kid sleeping bags and skip the whole sheet thing entirely. He's in charge of taking care of the mess (taking wet bedding to the laundry room, etc.) - not in a punitive way, but in a "taking responsibility for self" kind of way.

Good luck!

Gift of Green said...

Good question - I don't have the answer for you, but I know one that work theoretically : ) is to limit last minute drinks before they go to bed...easier said than done, however!

Ami said...

My boys is 4 and still has trouble on occasion. We do 2 things that seem to help. 1. We get him up to potty right before we go to bed for the night. 2. He gets 2 Skittles if he's dry in the morning. Our dr says that even though he can make it hours on end during the day, bedwetting at this age is still quite common.

SAHMmy Says said...

When I found out I was expecting again, I started potty training my then-2 year old son. He did great, but I put off training overnight until the baby was about 6 months old--I didn't want to be washing his sheets AND getting up with her every night! I finally bit the bullet and let him sleep in underwear. He had an accident. I had read that waking kids up in the night to visit the potty only worked for older (6 and up) kids, but it was worth a shot. We cut off fluids an hour before bedtime. He visits the potty a half hour, then 15 minutes, then right before bed--yes, 3 times! The baby still wakes up at night so after I put her back down, I carry my son to the potty and stand him up--he is pretty much still asleep, but is awake enough to go. I carry him back to bed, and he goes right on sleeping. I wake him up at the same time each day; the only accidents he's had are the times I've let him sleep in. We've never used a diaper/pullup since--it takes resolve to let them go, but I think it's confusing to kids to switch back and forth from underwear to diapers/pullups. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

We pretty much NEVER have any accidents with our two kiddos. Both potty trained at 3ish. Emma is 4 & Timmy is 3.
The only think I did was take them to the potty and sit them on it in the middle of their night (like 11 or 12 depending on when I was headed to bed). I did that for the first month and that trained them to do it on their own if necessary.
Good luck!

Dawn said...

My only tips are: no drinks for at least an hour before bed; pee right before getting into bed, even if only a few drops come out; bribery; and until everything kicks in, buy a nice waterproof mattress pad. There are some really nice ones out there (Bed, Bath & Beyond) that aren't crinkly and feel just like a regular mattress pad. Both of our kids who are in regular beds have one on their mattresses, and even after three or four years their mattresses still look brand new.

Kathy Days said...

We take ours to the bathroom before we go to bed, which seems to work.

My sister had this problem and her pediatrician said not to worry about it until around age 6.

Hillary (Mrs. Einstein) said...

Load up on the liquids in the morning and reduce them by evening.

Sounds like he might need to be retrained. Going 8 hours during the day without peeing probably isn't healthy.

I was always bad about giving my daughter liquids at night, but once I retrained her to drink more in the morning and less in the evening, her bed-wetting has gone away.

Good luck! If worse comes to worse, he'll hopefully outgrow it.

T with Honey said...

Things that are helping my daughter make it through the night:
- No drinks after we start the bedtime routine.
- Take a trip to the potty right before he crawls into bed.
- As soon as I hear her waking up, during the night or in the morning I take her to the potty.
- Extra praise and maybe a reward for waking up dry.

Shannon @ Some Fine Taters said...

Look into food allergies, esp. dairy.

~Rhen @yestheyareallmine said...

We have tried everything that has been suggested here and so much more. My son is almost 9 and still is not dry through the night. All of the girls who are 3 or over have trained very quickly but not him. I really hope you are able to find something that works but if it takes more time than you would like take heart- there are many of us out there who are STILL facing this. Stay positive.

Alicia said...

Just because he has good bladder control during the day and some nights doesn't mean that a child is able to always be dry at night. My little brother struggled with this and my 6 year old still wets the bed occassionally, sometimes a few nights in a row after being dry for months. Here are some tips I've learned:
1) if they are stressed by your response or threats of punishment it will likely get worse instead of better - it can also get worse if they're stressed about anything else
2)my son tend to wet the bed during allergy flare-ups or colds - don't know why
3)some of those alarm systems do work - my brother was "cured" by one, but it came with a little program to help the child think through stuff, prepare for bed, etc
4)you can layer your bed clothes plastic sheet, regular sheet, plastic sheet, regular sheet. when you remove the wet sheet and plastic sheet on top after an accident you should only have to deal with cleaning up your child.
5)Oh, and the early morning thing - could that be due to a drop in room temperature in the morning hours? Or it might just be a deep sleep cycle. I've had friends that were late bedwetters tell me that they would dream that they were getting up and going to the bathroom, but they actually wet the bed.

Hope something in there helps out - we need all the help we can get when dragged out of bed at 4 AM! :^)

Unknown said...

As a former bedwetter (until age 10) I can tell you that you can't. It is not an issue of training or laziness or anything else - it's a maturity issue. He simply can't feel that he has to go and wake himself up yet. He can't.

Do yourself a favor and drop the expectation. Just let him wear pullups (I wish they'd had these when I was a kid!!), let him drink normally, and change him in the morning.

I promise that he will stop eventually, but it honestly isn't something you can train. It's just something that happens as he grows.

Amy @ http://prettybabies.blogspot.com

Kelly said...

as someone who has had the pleasure of watching and waiting for son # 1 to fall asleep, I'm not sure if you and T want to wake R up....then again, somenights he's not really "sweepy" until 11. Oh how I miss my late night books and chats about trains with R! Can't wait to see you all this next weekend!

beth said...

There is a hormone that the brain makes that allows one to stay dry overnight. It is a developmental thing, not a behavioral thing. This is also why, if a parent was delayed in staying dry at night, an offspring will also be.

I suggest pull-ups, education, support, and having child help with laundry (not as punishment, but in just as help for the family).