27 answers

At What Age Should Your Child Stop Wearing Pull-Ups at Night?

My daughter who just turned four in March is still wearing pull ups at night. Once in awhile she'll wake up dry but for the most part she's wet every morning.Yes, she is fully potty trained during the day, it's the night time thats the worst. And with her getting older the smell in the morning is awful. I need some good advice on how to get her to stop wetting herself at night. And what age should they stop wearing pull ups at night?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

It's not an age that matters. Each child is different so don't compare her to her playmates. We are getting ready to stop pullups at 4+ because he is finally dry maybe 29 days out of 30.
I think you have to draw a line of no drinks after 7pm or maybe even 6pm, depending on when she goes to bed.

My son is almost 6 and has just stopped wetting the bed. At Christmas we bought a WetStop2 alarm after talking with the pediatrician. He has now gone 2 weeks without a wet night (he would have 1 dry night a week before the alarm). I couldn't deal with the middle of the night bed changes, so I had him wear underwear under the pull-up. The doctor believed it was because he slept so soundly. The alarm "teaches" the child to wake up to go potty. The alarm we bought is safe and has a good reputation, but there are some that are not safe, so be careful.
Good luck!

Hi H.,

There is a web site about potty training.

www.parentingtoddlers.com/pottytraining.html

There is an infant and toddler connection at

www.infantva.org

Hope this helps. Good luck. D.

More Answers

H.,
I have three boys ages 11, 9, and 5. My younger two still wear pull ups (Good nights) at night. They are also fully trained during the day but cannot go a single night without wetting. Please do not get mad at her or rebuke her for this. I have been to different preds. who have told me that this is not uncommon and they will stop. They do not have anything wrong with them their bodies just aren't developed in this area. My husband's sister was 12 before she finally stopped. I was older myself before I stopped. My oldest never had this problem. Wen he was done, he was done! One thing you may do is eliminate any fluids two hours before bedtime. A sip of water before bedtime is fine. Cut out caffeine. So, give her some time. I pray it wil not take as long as my boys!

I personally hate pull-ups but I also hate changing the bed in the middle of the night so my four year old daughter is still in them at night. I did notice that when she has worn the ones from huggies that have the cool alert she doesn't pee as much as. I have talked to a lot of my fellow mom's and we all just felt like as long as it's just at night and our kids aren't 7 or something it's a lot easier on everyone involved to use the pull ups. With my son I just clamped down on the amount of stuff he could drink before bed and waited till his pull up was dry for a whole month before going without. Now I make sure he goes to the bathroom before bed and he hasn't had any accidents. I would really say don't worry too much about it just limit the liquid and see if that helps.

Good Luck!
R. A.

She should stop wearing them now. Let her go to bed at night with regular underwear on. After a couple of times wetting them she will stop. She may wake you up at night at first, but don't let her drink anything a couple of hours before she goes to bed either and that should help. She has to feel uncomfortable in order to stop.

From what I have heard from parents I know is that Pullups just prolong the problem. They are too dry and don't tell the child that they are wet and should stay dry.

I would ditch the pullups in favor of training pants or nothing with a waterproof mattress pad.

And as mentioned below, limit liquids before bedtime and have her use the bathroom.

Alot of children have immature bladders and just can't help it. My daughter (college senior) wet her bed until she was almost 6. Her bladder was just too small for her to be able to hold it for 8 hours. A relative also has a small baldder so we blame it on her :). Just don't put pressure on her, it just makes it worse. I found that when I "backed off" and gave it time, she was able to do better. Best wishes.

Hi H.,

There is a web site about potty training.

www.parentingtoddlers.com/pottytraining.html

There is an infant and toddler connection at

www.infantva.org

Hope this helps. Good luck. D.

It's not an age that matters. Each child is different so don't compare her to her playmates. We are getting ready to stop pullups at 4+ because he is finally dry maybe 29 days out of 30.
I think you have to draw a line of no drinks after 7pm or maybe even 6pm, depending on when she goes to bed.

Hi,
My pediatrician said girls are usually pooty trained at night by 5. My 5 1/2 y/o was happily wetting pull ups until I finally said "last one" a few weeks ago. I protected the mattress, let her have only a sip of water before bedtime, and take her to the potty when I get up to go (about 4 hours after her bedtime), and so far, so good. She loves it.
Good luck, but if she is not ready (physically), no point in pushing it.

Dear H.,

I hope the other ladies who posted read my response. Pull-ups do not cause children to wet the bed longer, they just keep you from getting upset over having to change the bed every morning. Decide what you want, a soaked bed every morning for several months or a wet pull-up. Which is easier for you and your daughter? Don't make life any harder than it is.

Bedwetting can be inherited, so check your family and your daughter's father's family to see if there were any bedwetters.

Doctor's aren't concerned about kids not staying dry all night long until they are 6 years old. The average age for girls to achieve nighttime dryness is four; boys achieve it about five. Or, if your mother keeps you dehydrated like mine did, earlier.

My daughter was a bit older than four when she achieved nighttime dryness. I used the pull-ups a couple of months after that because she is a very sound sleeper and hadn't learned to get up at night if she needed to. Also, she had a bed rail, and it would take her a little longer to get out of bed (though wetting the bed once convinced her she didn't need the bed rail anymore). At the end of October 2007 she asked to wear her big girl panties to bed, and she has had only two accidents since (including the bed rail incident).

What actually has to happen is that your daughter needs to start producing a hormone called anti-diuretic hormone in order to stay dry all night. In some kids it happens right around achieving daytime control. But in a lot of kids it takes longer to develop, sometimes a lot longer. My daughter has it in spades now, because she can stay dry all night long, then go another 45 minutes after she wakes up before she has to urinate. She has also learned to get up and use the little potty in her room if she needs to urinate at night (something I reccommend, so your daughter doesn't have to rush to the bathroom in the middle of the night; very handy having a potty right there).

I also would take my daughter to the potty before I went to bed (she never really woke up) then her dad would take her again when he got up in the morning (around 5:00 am). When I notice her urine production was diminishing at 11:00pm, I set my alarm and got her up at 2:00am (yeah, it was tough staying up late or getting up at 2:00, but it was better than having her hysterical in the morning because she wet the bed). When her 2:00am production was getting less, I decided to let her go all night without waking her up and she has been perfect. I think getting her up at night helped her learn how to get herself up. I restrict her liquids after dinner (unless she has been very active and obviously thirsty, but I stll restrict it to a couple of ounces) and she goes potty right before she goes to bed.

Scientific studies have been conducted that prove some kids are very sound sleepers and don't register when they need to relieve themselves at night. If the child has been dry then starts wetting again, it is a symptom of sleep apnea because when they do sleep, they sleep so deeply that they don't realize they've wet themselves.

You can get a very nice, not hot, waterproof mattress cover at Linens 'n Things. It's a bit expensive, but it saves a lot of worry about ruining the mattress. My daughter is a hot sleeper so I wanted a mattress cover that wasn't to plasticy to make her hotter. Your daughter may be too young for an alarm pad. It might scare her. But if she is delayed in achieving dryness, it might be something to consider.

I am not an expert, I just know what worked for my daughter. I got most of my information from wwww.childdevelopmentinfo.com/disorders/bedwetting.shtml This website has a very good explanation of how anit-diuretic hormone works.

It may just take you daughter awhile to achieve nighttime dryness. Please be patient.

A.

My advice.....don't stress about it. I was in the same boat with my daughter until about two weeks ago (she's 4 years and about 8 months old). It seemed strange to me because my daughter was fully daytime potty trained when she was 18 months old, but the night time was just difficult for her (she's a very sound sleeper). Also, she's a really mature little four year old, so I just couldn't figure out what the hang-up was. Anyway, I tried several motivational tactics I thought might help (stickers on the calendar, reward cards, etc.), but I think it just put unnecessary pressure on her and gave me something to worry about. So a few months ago I decided to just let it work itself out. Then, two weeks ago, after about a month of waking up with dry pull-ups, she announced that she wanted to start sleeping in regular panties. She's been doing so ever since and hasn't had a single accident. So my take on it is that when she's ready she'll do it all on her own - without any pressure from you. Good luck!!

I'm going through the same thing with my daughter. She will be 5 in August. I have several nieces who did not stop wearing pullups to sleep until they were closer to 7. A friend's daughter just turned 4 and wears panties 24/7. Her daughter gets up in the middle of the night to go potty. I just can't imagine my daughter being able to wake up and do that yet. I guess all kids are different. My plan is to put something on the bed to protect the mattress and give it a shot. We might have to change a few sheets, but we'll see if she's ready. I'm not going to stress over it. I'm trying to get my soon to be 3 year old out of daytime diapers too.

Hi H.,
I can't really say an age because every child is different. I would suggest not giving her anything to drink two hours before bed and gradually mention that to her if she ask for something to drink. Also, get her up in the middle of the night and take her to the bathroom. She is definitely not going to like that. Let her sleep in her panties and put some plastic under her. She is not going to like that either. She will eventually not wet the bed. Let me know how that works. My child was not wearing pull ups at the age of 2. I did everything that I am suggesting to you and it worked within a couple of months.

we used pullups (only at night) until a couple of months after her 4th birthday (we were getting up with accidents several times a night and it was driving me nuts), when the ped convinced us to try underwear again. She did fine at that point. We put a toddler potty in her room in case she had to go in the night which she still sometimes uses, along with a night light. If she just turned 4, I would give it another month or two until you try.

My son is almost 6 and has just stopped wetting the bed. At Christmas we bought a WetStop2 alarm after talking with the pediatrician. He has now gone 2 weeks without a wet night (he would have 1 dry night a week before the alarm). I couldn't deal with the middle of the night bed changes, so I had him wear underwear under the pull-up. The doctor believed it was because he slept so soundly. The alarm "teaches" the child to wake up to go potty. The alarm we bought is safe and has a good reputation, but there are some that are not safe, so be careful.
Good luck!

H. wait until the weather warms up a bit then get rid of pullups :). you should have avoided them from the get go, but you can still do it.
get a mattress protector, get a potty with a lid and put a box of wet wipes in your daughter's room. take her potty when she goes to bed. then wake her up once more when you're ready to go to bed. she should be dry for the rest of the night. explain to her that she can use the potty in her room if she needs to.
good luck

Hi H.,
I have had the same problem with both my son and my daughter. My son was in good nights until age 6 and my daughter just finally came out of pull-ups at age 4 1/2. I had spoken to 2 different doctors about it and they both agreed that pull-ups wouldn't effect wether or not they would wet the bed longer. It would just cut down on the mess for me to have to clean up. They both told me that the bed wetting thing was due to a connection that wasn't quite there yet in their brains. It had to develop on their own and it takes a different amount of time for different children. I left my children in pull-ups until I noticed that they were staying dry regularly. Then they asked if it was ok for them to wear big girl/boy undies and I said yes. We have had no problems since. I think that my daughter had an accident once due to her falling asleep in the car and we changed her clothes and put her to bed without having her go to the bathroom...our fault! Bed wetting is definitely hereditary. I wet the bed until I was almost 12. It wasn't an every night thing but it happened and it was definitely embarrassing. I wish they had good nights back then! Good luck to you. I have a new baby and I am very grateful to not have to be buying 3 different sizes of diapers and pull-ups. But trust me....she will eventually get it!

My son wet at night for quite a while - frustrating, I know. I tried 2 things that I think helped. During the day, I pushed TONS of fluids - milk, water, diluted juices. This, according to my pediatrician, would increase the capacity of his bladder and the strength of the muscles used to control the flow of urine. Then about 2 hours before bedtime, we pretty much eliminated all fluids. Naturally the last thing he did before bed was empty his bladder. I don't know if it was these tricks or simply age and maturity, but within a few weeks, we were pretty much dry through the night. A word of advice, though - keep the plastic mattress protector on the bed for a while for those unexpected and understandable "accidents!" Good luck!
K.

check on her right before she wakes up if she is dry for a week then she doesnt need them anymore. sometimes they pee in them when they wake up because they just dont want to go to the potty. she may still have an accident or two after that. if shes still wet when she wakes up she still needs them.

There's no certain age that a child should stop - every child is different, after all. Have you tried letting your daughter sleep without a Pull-Up to see if she's physically capable of staying dry through the night? My daughter potty-trained at 2.5 and was still wearing Pull-Ups at night at just past three, so we bought a plastic mattress cover to go under her sheet and ditched the Pull Ups. She had one accident - very small, before realizing it and running for the bathroom - and has been dry at night ever since. It was the same issue for her with the Pull Ups at daytime - she just treated them as a diaper, and if she was wearing it, she'd use it. It was never until we got rid of them altogether that she got the hang of using the potty full-time.

Best of luck!!

What we did was tell our daughter that if she stayed dry 7 nights in a row she could try wearing big girl pants to bed. We went thru several weeks where she would do great until night five or 6 then we'de have to start all over. We made a chart with stickers for each morning that she woke up dry in her pull up and made a big deal about picking a sticker in the morning, right after she got off the potty to add to her chart. The key here is she was willing to try and had enough friends out of pull ups that she wanted to wear under ware to bed like them. If it's any consolation her best friend just turned 5 and he is still in a pull up at night so every child is different. Good luck. B.

The first step is to make sure she is peeing enough during the day. Some kids are too busy playing and they save it up. Make sure she goes during the day as often as at least YOU do. Then you can control her fluid intake by giving her plenty to drink all day long and a good drink at dinner, then thats IT. I would stop all drinks about 2hrs before bedtime and have her pee at least 2-3x during that 2hrs. If she insists on a drink before bed she gets only a sip, but try to avoid that. Hopefully she will have a pretty empty bladder and wont wet the bed. If you have success w/ that, then you can try letting her sleep in undies. You can also try waking her to pee before you go to bed.(i did this one w/ my cousin and it worked.)
If you find that she pees enough all day and after limiting evening drinks that she still wets the bed, then perhaps she has a medical problem. Its an option to explore.
But there is no "set age" for sleeping in undies and not in pull ups. Perhaps she freely wets the bed because you let her sleep in a device meant for just that. So try undies, but also try the technique above. If she doesnt have a medical condition, then what I mentioned above WILL work. I promise.
GL.

As a mom of 3 bedwetters, I feel your pain and frustration! I come from a large family with no bedwetters, but my husband has them in his family and suffered from it. It is often times hereditary and there is very little you can do, but wait for them to outgrow it, esp. if she is a deep/heavy sleeper. Since she does have dry nights occasionally and she is four, you may want to try getting a bedmat. They have them in drugstores, either disposable, or a washable one. Many doctors recommend that at the age of four or five(depending on the child and how much they move around at night) you stop using pullups and try one of these. It did help my second child stop wetting the bed within a month or two, my oldest child and heaviest sleeper, it doesn't seem to be making a difference, but having a couple of them and be able to wash them does seem to help with the smell.
Just hang in there! They will grow out of it, at least that is what they keep telling me!

H....I totally agree with Alice P. She has hit it on the head. I am a nurse, and I know that actually it can be very normal fro a child to continue to wet the bed for various reason even up to age 8. Don't put more frustration on yourself or more pressure on your daughter. If you are really worried, talk to her pediatrician, I can almost guarantee, she will tell you what me and Alice have told you. My 4 year old, never really wore pull-ups, he can hold it til morning, my 6 year old will pee in it EVERY night, but he is a sound sleeper, and cannot wake up to go. Good luck!!!

I'm not the best person to give advice since my son is 5 1/2 and he has wet the bed the last two nights in a row. He is fully potty trained and has been for years but he sleeps very heavily. He'll go for weeks with no night time accidents and then we'll have a bad stretch. I think it may be because he is having growth spurts. Also, he is already getting some permanent teeth so maybe he isn't sleeping as well because of teething pain. I'm very reluctant to go back to pull-ups because he doesn't have many accidents but it is a pain having to wash all the bedding. You may want to try getting your daughter up a couple of times during the night to use the bathroom and see if she can get through the night without a pull-up. I am going to go back to that approach tonight. I wake him up around 11:00 and sometimes again at 4:00. Good luck!

I know how you feel. I have 6 children and my oldest was out of pull ups by age 4. My other ones are different 2 of my children r still in pullups and 2 are in overnights. They all vary and you can try all kinds of things. You can try to stop them from drinking anything an hour or so before they go to bed but really it all depends on the child and if they are ready.

When she outgrows the biggest size? Just kidding. Every kid is different. Some times this can be caused by stress of fear. Is there something stressful going on in the family? Is she scared of anything? See a mean movie? It could also be that her bladder muscles just aren't strong yet. They may be fine for holding it in for 2-3 hours, but 8 hours is just too long. Try not giving her a drink 30m before bed time. Then the last potty visit of the night should help.
M.

Please forward me some of the suggestions you may have received we are having the same problem. In fact she seemed potty trained last year for about 9 months. She was going to a formal day care center and sometimes had accidents at nap time. Now it's about every night at home and far too often during naptime at school.
She will be 5 in July.
Any helpful hints would be appreciated

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