Peeing at night - Mothering Forums
The Childhood Years > Peeing at night
ecoteat's Avatar ecoteat 05:21 PM 09-11-2010
DD is 4 and has never not peed in the night. She's been fully potty trained during waking hours and naps for almost 2 years. But she wakes up with a full pull-up every morning. I know from experience that every time we actively try to change some habit, routine, or behavior, it ends up being a huge frustration and waste of time because she'll do it when she is good and ready--not when we want her to. I know dh is anxious to see her be dry at night, and I agree that it would be nice, but I'm not sure what is reasonable to expect of dd. She does say that she would like to just wear underwear to bed, and we tell her that she can once she wakes up with a dry pull-up. Dh also told her yesterday that we could make cupcakes with sprinkles when she wakes up dry! We also keep telling her to get up and go pee first thing in the morning, but she'd rather call me in to snuggle and read for a while, and by the time I hear her call and I wake up enough to get to her, she's already peed anyway.

When did your dc stop peeing at night? If you did anything to actively help them stop, what did you do? At what age? If you just waited it out, when did your dc figure it out on their own? I'm sure someone will say to ditch the pullups and just let her wet the bed, but I'm really hoping there's a less messy option!

CarricksMom's Avatar CarricksMom 05:30 PM 09-11-2010
I don't have any answers to your questions, but wanted to sympathize. My DS will be 4 in a couple of weeks and always wakes up with a full diaper and is fully trained during the day. He is still nursing 3 or 4 times a night, so I feel like I may be expecting too much for him to stay dry. We have decided to just wait it out. I often wonder if I missed the window when he was potty learning and if I should have let him be in underwear at night. Maybe he would think differently and get up to pee and with the diaper on he thinks it is OK to just pee in it. However he doesn't wake up anyway, so maybe not. I'll be interested in hearing other responses - thanks for posting!
EdnaMarie's Avatar EdnaMarie 05:38 PM 09-11-2010
I think nighttime enuresis is common until around age six or seven, and is not even considered pathological until near puberty.

According to Wikipedia:

"Most girls can stay dry by age six and most boys stay dry by age seven. By ten years old, 95% of children are dry at night. Studies place adult bedwetting rates at between 0.5% to 2.3%.[5]"

So this is probably just normal for them. A LOT of kids wet the bed even if their parents don't talk about it or are in denial.

In my DH's native country, everyone uses elimination communication. Children are trained at daytime between a year and two years, rarely later. But bedwetting at night is very common until school, which they start around seven.

I'm sure someone will say to ditch the pullups and just let her wet the bed,
I don't think that will work. I think it's their brain development that governs their sleep that causes this, not the fact that they don't feel the pee.
crowcaw's Avatar crowcaw 05:38 PM 09-11-2010
I would give her a chance with the panties and see how it goes, especially since she says she wants to. If it isn't working, you could always go back to the pull-ups or try something else, like getting her up to go.

My girls were wearing panties to bed pretty soon after they were in panties and accident free during the day but did get up in the middle of the night to pee (so maybe it's a trade-off, uninterrupted sleeping vs a pull-up). But one dd would occassionally (like once every 2 or 3 weeks) not wake up and wet the bed so I started taking her to the potty just before I went to bed. She didn't really wake up but would pee and then was fine until morning. She was probably 2.5 when we started that and it's only the last few months (she's almost 5 now) that we've given it up and she wakes herself up at night when she needs to go. Which still happens once and sometimes twice every night.
meemee's Avatar meemee 08:15 PM 09-11-2010
you know in our case my dd was much ready to pt than i was to trust her. mine did it on the early side. it happened by accident. when seh was running around naked because of heat rash. so i would say she was day and night trained at the same time by 20 months. but i wasnt trained for another 4 months till i completely did away with everything. even though she was consistently dry i still would not believe it

when i followed her directions, much like what you have said i have found she is right on.

i would say give it a try. i know your dd feels the urge but because there's a pullup on perhaps she is going just coz she has her pu on.

just put on uw and take the chance of messy bed a few times and then see what happens.

when my dd was pt i discovered seh was dry the whole time she was asleep. seh had to go pee within 5 mins of waking up. that's when she really filled her pullup - not at night.

so yeaah i am one of those who says just follow her cues and get messy maybe once, maybe a few times, maybe never.

edtd to add: dd never ever really woke up to pee at night. but man within 5 mins of waking up she makes a mad dash to the bathroom.
lookatreestar's Avatar lookatreestar 08:27 PM 09-11-2010
my dd still wets every night at 3.5, at first i did not get it since she used to wake up dry all the time before (1-2 yrs) and pee first thing in the morning. she is also still nursing before bed, sometimes at night so controlling liquids isn't going to happen. she also has no real idea she wets, i can literally feel her body relax, pee, then just roll over to a dry spot and snuggle back in. so pullups/diapers for us. she also gave up the nap awhile ago and she sleeps soo soundly/solidly. i am not worried about it and she would rather have the pullup than wake up wet in the morning. very interesting about the wiki, so we are shooting for age 6, eh
One_Girl's Avatar One_Girl 08:30 PM 09-11-2010
My dd was dry at night a month after she potty trained at two and a half. She has four friends who are still not dry at night though so I don't think it is something you should worry about at this point. It has nothing to do with you or your husband and nothing to do with how you parent. It is her body that isn't ready yet and forcing it probably won't help. If you think it will help her to feel when she is wet by not wearing the pullup for a week, and you have discussed this with her and gotten her consent, then trying that may work. I think it could also be very frustrating though to try something without the pullup then need to go back to it.
LynnS6's Avatar LynnS6 10:23 PM 09-11-2010
Since she wants to wear undies to bed, I'd try for about a week. But if she wakes up wet more often than not, then her body is simply not ready.

Our ds was in pull-ups until just before he turned 8. Dd ditched them before she was 3. My niece wet the bed until she was 12. It all depends on the developmental readiness of the child.
meemee's Avatar meemee 03:36 AM 09-12-2010
yup i agree with lynn. depends on the devleopmental readiness of the child.

my dd was pt by 20 months. i wet the bed till i was 12 or 13. actually if i had some really emotional sharing i would wet the bed at least once a year till i was 18.
claras_mom's Avatar claras_mom 01:40 PM 09-12-2010
It's not something she can control. Let her wear the pull-up or be prepared to wash sheets frequently.

Dd1 didn't stop with the pullups until past 5. By then, she'd wake up dry more times than not and it was her choice. She wets the bed occasionally, but I think that's only to be expected.

The cupcakes with sprinkles thing is nice and all, but if my dh had suggested such a thing, I'd have suggested we instead reward dd for something that's under her control--I dunno, like going straight to the potty after getting up in the morning.
sunnygir1's Avatar sunnygir1 07:34 PM 09-12-2010
Yeah, my dd (3.5 yo) wears cloth diapers, and I'm sure she feels wet. I've tried taking her to the toilet when she wakes in the night or before I go to bed, but she doesn't pee and she just gets upset, so I'm just waiting for her to be ready. I don't mind washing a few extra diapers. If her diaper leaks and the bed gets wet, she wakes us up because she is uncomfortable. If you are going to try underpants, I'd be prepared to change the bed in the middle of the night.
mumkimum's Avatar mumkimum 11:20 PM 09-12-2010
Hmm. . . we're actually in a stage right now where dd is (again) mostly dry in the morning. She just turned 4. Right after pl'ing, she was almost 90% dry in the morning (this was around 2.5) but right after starting school. . . and pretty much the whole past year she had wet nighttime undies every day (with cloth nighttime undies), up until a few weeks ago (only 1x in the past 3 weeks).

Some of the things that changed. . . it used to bother her too initially, but if we ever tried to bring her to the bathroom at night she'd really fight it & now she doesn't - she's even gotten up to go herself when dh was up late and had the bathroom light on. A few times before this she was waking up in the middle of the night with nighttime undies that had leaked or were wet. . . I think that her sleep pattern just changed and is now making it easier for her to get up to get to the bathroom if she needs to.

So, just saying, we pretty much went for waiting it out but DID always offer her that we'd try to bring her to the bathroom at nighttime. Once that became more natural to do for her and wasn't as terribly sleep-disruptive for her it all just worked out. I think that's one of the few things you can do, especially if she really wants to wear regular undies to bed.
teeg1973's Avatar teeg1973 09:56 AM 09-16-2010
I am glad to find this thread...very timely!

DD will be 4 in a little over a week. She has been day time potty trained/learned for 2 years now, but never woke up with a dry diaper until this summer. I should clarify.....we were on vacation visiting our family in the US and these are the only times DD has woken up dry. I would say probably 80-90% of the time. Plan was to ditch the dipes once we got back and adjusted back to the time. Now, we are totally back to having a fully loaded diaper EVERY night. Furthermore, lately her diapers have been leaking, so I feel a bit frustrated to have her still in dipes and having to do so much laundry (did I mention we have a German washer, which has a very small load capacity and takes 2.5 hours for one wash!!!). All I can figure is that while we were on vacation her sleep was still off track a bit with the time change and not sleeping quite as long as usual, which resulted in lighter sleeping/dry diapers. Limiting liquids before bed doesn't do a thing for us. Occassionaly, DD will wake up and want to use the bathroom (diaper is usually already wet) theory this is great, but it usually takes her at least an hour to fall back asleep!!!

Needless to say, I am frustrated. I realize that a pediatrician won't even look at it as a problem until age 6, but it is easier to be *ok* with it when it isn't your kid.... Yes, I need to get my own feelings in check here!!

I probably wouldn't be so miffed if we weren't dealing with a wet bed and diapers at the same time!!! I did go and buy a larger size diaper today (pull ups seem to leak too), so hopefully I won't have to do sheets again tomorrow.

Any other insight/advice is most welcome!

bluebirdiemama 12:01 PM 09-16-2010
My ds was almost three and potty trained during the day, just weaing a diaper at night. I finally got tired of the diapers and decided to lay a wool blanket over his bed and let him to go sleep in undies. He peed the bed about....... a dozen and a half times, and then figured out to get up and go to the potty. How long has she been potty trained during the daytime? I've heard it said that if they are wearing some kind of diaper they will just opt to go in the diaper. I don't know if that kind of approach would work for your dd, but if she wants to wear undies to bed, maybe it's worth a try?
~Charlie's~Angel~'s Avatar ~Charlie's~Angel~ 12:36 PM 09-16-2010
I agree with another PP, its not something you can "train". SHe cant help it. Her body has not begun to produce the hormone that shuts the kidneys down while the body is sleeping. Some people NEver produce the hormone, and some produce more then others. Hense why some people have to wake frequently at night to urinate. If your DD is a heavy sleeper, she simply has not begun yet to wake herself to go to the bathroom when its time.

I am one of those people who must produce a ton of this hormone. Even after having two children, I still never have to wake in the night to pee. My mother is up between 2-4 EVERYNIGHT, and has been since she can remember.

My older son was having such heavily soaked pullup just 4 months ago, his sheets would be damp. Now most mornings he wakes up totally dry, although not always. And how much he drinks the night before seems to make no difference.

The little guy is having to be put in overnight pullups right now because he pees soooooooo much in his sleep still.

It just all boils down to a childs growth development, and the individual. I would just stay with the pull ups for now. really, I would.
~PurityLake~'s Avatar ~PurityLake~ 04:51 PM 09-16-2010
My five year old still soaks a pullup when she's asleep, and still pees in her sleep if she doesn't have a pullup on, like the other night she fells asleep by my feet on the living room floor (linoleum) while I was watching a movie. I don't think this is a training issue at all.
My four year old hasn't peed at all during her sleep for nearly a year now. The difference between them is my 5 year old is and has always been a very heavy sleeper, whereas my 4 year old is and has always been a very light sleeper. The depth of unconsciousness my five year old achieves prevents her from 'hearing' any signals sent from her bladder to her brain telling her she needs to pee. This will come with time, but obviously will be longer for the deep sleeper to notice than the light sleeper.
EdnaMarie's Avatar EdnaMarie 09:19 AM 09-17-2010
Teeg, have you considered timing when she does wake, and then setting your own alarm to get her out of bed and potty her over a little pot in her room about a half an hour before that? You don't have to wake her. Hold her under her legs and make a tinkle sound or put her hand in a cup of warm water.

This will prevent the bed from being wet but no, it won't solve the whole sleep-through-pee issue because it really is a physical issue.
cappuccinosmom's Avatar cappuccinosmom 01:45 PM 09-17-2010
It took my middle son until after 5 yo to stay dry all night.

What I found out was that mostly he wasn't peeing at night, but in the early morning. So he has an alarm clock, and it's his job every day to "jump out of bed and run for the potty" when the alarm goes off. If the alarm is early enough (6.30), he usually doesn't have a problem getting up. If I let him sleep until 8 or later, that's when we start having wet bed again.
ecoteat's Avatar ecoteat 12:01 AM 09-19-2010
We've been talking about jumping out of bed and running for the bathroom as soon as she wakes up, and she did it once this week (she wasn't totally dry, but pretty close), and has since lost any interest and attempting to stay dry. So I'll just keep this conversation tucked in the back of my head for a while and follow her cues (which I was doing already anyway, but it's always good to get a reminder that I don't call the shots with her development!).
flutist's Avatar flutist 01:35 AM 09-19-2010
We have also been using pullups, and my DD is 4.5. We've gone to underwear at night 2-3 times, and she typically will stay dry most of the time (maybe 1 accident a week) for a couple months, then goes back to wetting every single night.

She really wants to stay dry, so getting upset about changing sheets every night just wasn't worth it - she woke up wet, sticky, and smelly, and we were exhausted from waking in the night. And then she just started to sleep through it, so she'd wake at her normal time with partly dry, sticky peed on clothes and sheets. Blech.

So we're content to just stay in pullups until she is ready. She just cannot help it. I think the two times we tried underwear and she was so successful for 1-2 months, she was just really conscious of it and sleeping lightly enough to hold it or something.

I never wake at night to pee or for any other reason than a kid waking me, so it's fine for me that she's not waking us right now to go to the bathroom!
OGirlieMama's Avatar OGirlieMama 12:17 AM 09-20-2010
My 4.5-year-old twin girls have both been day trained since they were 3+. One of them has been dry at night for almost a year now, and has only even woken up to pee 3-4 times in her life. The other has woken up with a dry pull-up about that many times, and has a very wet one most mornings. Actually, she's usually wet when she wakes up to come into my bed, anywhere between 10:30pm and 1am. They both go for a "last peepee" right before going to sleep, but somehow the one just pees anyway while her sister can hold it for 15-16 hours (she rarely wakes up and goes to the bathroom right away in the morning - often she holds out until she takes her clothes off to get dressed for the day, then suddenly runs to the potty to pee a river.)
Marylizah's Avatar Marylizah 06:30 AM 09-20-2010
Wow, such a timely post for us, too! Just last week DS decided he wanted to ditch the pull-ups. And I've washed his sheets 5 out of the last 6 days. So I decided this morning that we're going back to pull-ups for the time being.

He was wetting even though we'd take him to pee right before bedtime, AND take him to the potty once or twice a night (after getting up with DS2 I'd take him to pee). So he's just not ready.

And, after spending four years trying to get him to sleep through the night it feels really counter-intuitive to wake him up to go pee!!
mommy2maya's Avatar mommy2maya 10:04 AM 09-20-2010
of my three oldest, the first wore pull ups til her fourth birthday- I told her that was it, end of pull ups, and she has been dry ever since. She was wetting every night before that. Oh, completely day trained by 2yrs 2m. Second child day trained and night trained at 2yrs 10m. Third child is currently 4y 8m and still wets I am not expecting to have to stop buying pull ups for her forever, lol. My youngest is day trained, but not at all night. She is 2yrs 5m.