HELP: Pottying at night without crying? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 08-13-2009, 03:31 AM - Thread Starter
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I have only been pottying my ds for a little over a week (4 months old). He picked it right up. Only problem now is he doesn't want to go in the diaper at all, even at night. He partially wakes up fussing when his bladder gets full at night. I get him up to potty him and he starts screaming and is FURIOUS.

If I just leave him in his diaper, he'll whimper with his little bladder hurting until he finally pees (I can't sleep while he is whimpering and it takes 30-40 minutes for him to give up and pee in his diaper at night. Last night he was dry in the morning but I took him to the potty 3xs.

I don't know what to do. I want to let him pee at night because I know how bad it is to need to go pee in the middle of the night. I get up once per night to pee myself. I hate for him to be hurting with a full bladder and have to pee on himself when he wants to hold it and seems to be trying really hard to stay dry. I don't know how to potty him during the night without upsetting him and waking up the whole house.

Please help!!!!
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#2 of 10 Old 08-13-2009, 04:45 AM
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Have you tried keeping a bucket/bowl next to your bed? When ds wakes, you can cradle him in your arms while holding his bum into the bowl (clamped oh-so-tightly between your legs!) and cue him so that he knows it's okay to go. I got so that I could do this with lights off, and dd could pee without fully waking up. Somehow keeping it dark with minimal movement made it work for her. Good luck!

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#3 of 10 Old 08-13-2009, 12:48 PM
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When my little guy was around that age he had some of the same issues. He wouldn't go over a bowl. But if I laid a waterproof soaker over my lap and left him nakey butt while I nursed and cued him he would pee. Don't know if it is a good habit or not (he doesn't still do it) but he would pee every time and then I'd just diaper him and put him back to bed.
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#4 of 10 Old 08-13-2009, 01:24 PM
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Hi Sequoia,

I'm not sure if this will help, but my son is 3 1/2 mos and if he wakes and is hungry, i need to feed him first before pottying. He usually is too asleep to potty at night anyway, but in general if he wakes up and it has been more than 2 hours since he ate, i feed him first. Even if it's just a snack, it will be enough so that he can potty calmly. Otherwise, he cries.

I find that when he wakes up and is hungry and also has to pee, he eats for a little while and then as soon as he starts acting "weird" on the breast I take him to potty. He will hold it between waking up and then. I also don't take off his possibly wet diaper until he has eaten. That way, he stays calm.

I'm starting to see a pattern now where he is too sleepy to potty between his first and second nighttime sleeps (his first one is usually 2 1/2 hours to 4 1/2 hours). His second nighttime sleep does not last as long (1 to 2 hours), and he is able to potty after that one. If i feed him first!

since you and your son have just started, you will find patterns that work for you. And then they will change as soon as they started! ;-)

Good luck,


-Kathy First time Mom to Son F, born April 30, 2009.
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#5 of 10 Old 08-13-2009, 04:10 PM
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hi Sequoia Sunset

I've been doing EC too for a couple of weeks now. Nighttime doesn't go well at all in our house b/c DD is usually dry from about 7PM until I go to bed (10:30 or so- when I nurse her) and then she often sleeps through until 4AM. At which point she's soaked. I sometimes rouse myself enough to potty her (like Birth Kathy said, after she eats) and then I change her. She's wet again in the AM.

She gets MAD if I try to potty her when she's sleepy and doesn't have to go. And then she wakes up her brother, which is a PITA. Other times she doesn't seem to mind. I keep a little potty by the bed, but might try a bowl if I decide to go for it more at night. We're traveling right now but I am considering trying to diaper free at night if I can get up the courage (and drum up the bed padding).

The idea of just loosening his diaper a little and cuing him sounds like it might work, and just changing him right afterwards, staying in bed and all? Just keep a stack of stuff in arms reach?

dissertating mom to three

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#6 of 10 Old 08-13-2009, 08:06 PM
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This is such a tough one! I think offering to nurse first is a great place to start. That has helped with my dd on more than one occasion. Sometimes it means missing a pee, but it's worth it not to have a crying baby at night, in my opinion. This is still a challenge here at 16 months, and started at 7 month-ish. I hope you find a solution that works for your little one!

Kimberly, in love with Hannah Rose! (04/08) EC grad!
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#7 of 10 Old 08-13-2009, 10:24 PM
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Hi! We had the same problem for months. What works for us now is that I nurse him with his butt over the tub while I cue him. If he needs to go, he'll pee right away (most of the time). As long as he's latched on for the whole process, he's fine. And he seems to know that this is only a night-time deal. During the day he doesn't like to pee while nursing. (He's 14 months now).
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#8 of 10 Old 08-14-2009, 07:54 AM
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Hi Sequoia Sunset,
awesome that it's going so well - chuckle that he's so indignant!

OK. You'll just need some tweaking! You'll find the right sequence in a bit. I know exactly how you are feeling - I can't sleep when my ds needs to go either.

Have a look at the tips on night-time EC I have here.

What if you gave a quick feed, felt for the slowing down or pulling off, SLOWLY moved him over a bowl for a wee and cued, even a low murmur is good, or a hum...

Whatever happens, it'll not teach him some odd thing - they just begin holding longer and longer, then wake up in the morning to go (That's awesome).

Good luck!


: Charndra, Mum to Maven and Jett, my Tribal Babies!
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#9 of 10 Old 08-14-2009, 10:33 AM
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we have mastered nursing while holding over the potty.
Also, we use disposable pull up at night and then if she does pee in it she is not as uncomfortable.
At our house comfortable sleep is hte first priority. I only ec at night bcs she wants me to.

nicole wild.gif,  mom to 3 boys here on earth jumpers.gif 9, 7 and 4.5 and 2 girl's fly-by-nursing2.gif2.5 and 10/16/11. Always remembering my babies in heaven:  Sam (9/7/05) at 12.5 wks  angel1.gif, Morgan (2/13/06) at 6 wks angel1.gif , Emeric angel2.gif (8/9/10 at 17 wks) and Pepper angel1.gif (11/26/10) at 8wks. 

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#10 of 10 Old 08-17-2009, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by tbmum View Post
This is an awesome link!! I've been struggling with how to EC my 10 month old at night, as she screams if I put her on a potty in mid sleep. She used to wake up dry, but now she wakes up with a HEAVY diaper.

Some great tips in there!
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