22 answers

Getting Rid of Pull-Ups at Night

My daughter will be 5 in July. She easily potty trained over a weekend before she was 3 years old but she still wears a Pull-up at night. This has totally been for my convenience "just in case". She wakes up dry 75% of the time. How do I transition?! Do I just "go for it" and take them away? I want to do the right thing for her since I've been lazy. She has been asking to get her ears pierced, should I use this as a "bribe" which I normally would never do or does this work at all in this situation?
Help! Thank you!

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I kept my daughter in pull-ups until about 4 1/2 for night time sleeping. When I saw that she was dry when she woke up for about 4 months I finally decided she was ready. She never had an accident and it was just me scared she'd wet the bed. But she did great! She's now 6. My now 4yr. old almost 5 decided when she was 3 that she'd wear her panties to bed and low and behold she didn't have an accident! So she transitioned faster but I think because mommy didn't get in the way and stop her. So go for it!! I think she'll do fine.

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I would start by just asking her if she's ready to get rid of those pull ups at night, and tell her if she can go 3 mornings in a row with a dry diaper then she can stop wearing them. you can have a celebration of some kind if you want to sweeten the deal or buy her a new pair of jammies. My son just started not wearing diapers at night at 5 years old. He expressed an interest, so we told him his diaper had to be dry in the morning for three days in a row before he could go without, which he did right before his 5th bday. good luck!

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I went through this very same thing with my son. I started talking to my son about a week before I stopped using the pullups. In our case, we showed him that Dad didn't wear pullups. In yours show her you don't wear them. Everynight tell her she has only a few nights left to wear baby pants. Stop allowing her to have liquids at least 2 hours before bed. Make sure she goes to the bathroom prior to jumping in bed. If my son woke up dry in the morning I would let him decide what I made for breakfast. Be prepared for accidents. I put a waterproof pad under his sheets for just in case. After waking up a few times wet, she will get the idea.

I have four kids as well. ranging from 17 to almost 5. I what you mean by too-busy.

Good luck and take care.

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Pull-ups are for wetting in. Panties are for keeping dry. Go for it. That was the best advice I received 30 years ago with my first born. It also worked for the next four children.

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Hi S.,

You might be surprised if you just go for it. With my son, at about 3 1/2 we decided no more diapers at night. The first few nights we woke him and took him to the bathroom before we went to bed but after that he started just going himself if he needed to. Wetting the bed was VERY rare. It's kinda scary at first you think you'll be getting up 3 times a night to change sheets but she might surprise you especially at 5 I would think she is ready. Her brain will kick in and tell her to get up and go. You could get an exrta waterproof mattress pad and put two layers of sheets on the bed and if she does wet the bed just pull the wet layer off and you've got fresh sheets ready to go! Hope this helps! Blessing to you and your family!!

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Don't bribe her in this area. If she can't make it all night it's because her bladder is not mature enough. It's not a matter of will or her fault in any way. It sounds like she is almost ready, tho. You could try it now, or you could wait until she wakes up dry more like 90% of the time. It's not considered a problem if she wets the bed until she is more like 7 or 8. For some kids it takes a little longer for their bladders to mature enough to make it all night. You could also try waking her once during the night to go to the bathroom, that might help her get into the habit of waking herself when she has to go. But don't bribe her or make her feel like she has to control this because she simply can't.

1 mom found this helpful

I kept my daughter in pull-ups until about 4 1/2 for night time sleeping. When I saw that she was dry when she woke up for about 4 months I finally decided she was ready. She never had an accident and it was just me scared she'd wet the bed. But she did great! She's now 6. My now 4yr. old almost 5 decided when she was 3 that she'd wear her panties to bed and low and behold she didn't have an accident! So she transitioned faster but I think because mommy didn't get in the way and stop her. So go for it!! I think she'll do fine.

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S.,

I like your idea of the reward of piercing the ears.
But not as a "bribe".

Simply explain to your daughter that only "big girls"
get to have their ear's pierce, and "big girls"
don't need pull-ups at night.

Make a chart with a smiley face for every night that
she doesn't wet her bed. When she can do that for
(however many nights you feel is appropriate)
Her ear's piercing will show everyone she's a big girl now.
It's more like a right of passage type of thing.

When you set the amount of nights required, don't compromise!

It may take some time and you might get to change some sheets
but in the long run it is worth it.

Note: If she "backslides" after getting her ears pierced,
be sure to let her know that we are all human.
The important thing is she is doing her best.

Best of Luck with this time of transition
With Joy, C.
Transition Life Coach

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While I am all for the "go for it" theory we are in the same situation...possibly worse(if worse is even an appropriate word to use). My two oldest are still in pullups at night. One is 5 and the other is almost 8 (I know...8). My 5 year old will have an accident at least twice a week. My 8 year old, every night, several times a night. One reason why we can't just "go for it" is because we currently live in an apartment and we can't just throw wet sheets and clothes in the washer. We also have a limited number of sheet sets and I was going through every sheet set, every blanket, and ever towel in the house nightly. I started talking to my oldest daughter's pediatrician when she was 4. She was potty trained at 3 1/2(which I felt was a little late) so I thought by 4 we would have tackled the night time stuff too. The pediatrician was not as concerned as I was and still isn't. She asked if anyone in the family had been that way as a child...my husband and his brother both were until about age 8. We have tried the goodnites but my daughter is too small for the smallest size so we have to use pullups. If she just wears panties to bed it is a guarantee that she will be awake, wet, and upset within the first hour of sleeping. We have limited liquid intake hours before bedtime and I spent a heap of money on the super absorbent and thick bedtime panties from One Step Ahead(they didn't work for us). I can wake her up and she will pee and then she will still wet the bed a half and hour after that. In our case...it is far less embarrassing for my daughter to wear pullups than it is for her to realize we have run out of dry bedding. We tried bribes but quickly realized that she has no control over it. As far as my 5 year old still wearing pullups...part of why I still have her in them is because of the few times she wets in a week. My older daughter just couldn't understand why her little sister was wearing panties even though she was still wetting the bed a lot too. Since my younger daughter didn't seem to mind wearing the pullups we have kept her in them for both wetting and because of the affect it was having on her older sister (I would have kept her in the panties if she was upset). We are moving into our first home on Friday and the girls will have separate rooms and I will have a washer and dryer. I will be able to "go for it" then because neither child will feel upset by the other child's accomplishments and I will have enough dry bedding to go around. I guess my point is that you can "go for it" but if you see that it's not working and your daughter and you are both becoming frustrated don't feel like she's not a "big girl" or that you are a bad Mom for keeping her in pullups. Yes...kids should move on and not be in pullups but if it ends up being something that affects her self esteem then pick the one (pullups or no pullups)that doesn't completely crush her spirit and know that everyone has their own timing. If you think it is a problem (once you take away the pullups) then I would ask a pediatrician. In our case, there is no medical issue...in fact, she's not even that deep of a sleeper. Sometimes it's just "how they are" and something that they might take longer to outgrow. I know that some people might say "geez...that kid is too old to be in pullups! what kind of mother does that to a child!" For me, I found two reason why I wanted her out of them. First, the obvious, her age. Second, the cost. Those reasons are just not good enough when we're talking about a child's feelings and self worth. I just have to think that it's a very small part of what goes on in her life. She loves school and has lots of friends and is very confident in all aspects of her young life. Taking away her pullups so that she wets her bed several times a night was far more detrimental to her than the thought of wearing pullups so I just have to go with that for now. My youngest just turned three and she is dry all night, every night so I know it's not me. Some kids just wake up to go and some do not. I hate to say it this way, but I am thankful that pullups exist. If they did not then I would have a very upset little girl who would feel very bad about herself and her lack of ability to wake up and use the toilet. She would do it whether we had them or not...and you have to consider how many nights that has actually been that she could have woken up wet(364 days x4 years). Anyhow..."go for it" but know there are other people who are in support of using pullups should they still be necessary, though I do hope that she can successfully get out of them! Good luck to both of you!!!

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Night time wetting is totally different than daytime potty training. No bribe will work because it is a physical thing. LOTS of kids wet at night because their body has not matured enough to keep them from doing it. So...keeping them in pullups is not laziness, it's cleanliness and there is nothing wrong with it. good luck! Amy

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I would start by just asking her if she's ready to get rid of those pull ups at night, and tell her if she can go 3 mornings in a row with a dry diaper then she can stop wearing them. you can have a celebration of some kind if you want to sweeten the deal or buy her a new pair of jammies. My son just started not wearing diapers at night at 5 years old. He expressed an interest, so we told him his diaper had to be dry in the morning for three days in a row before he could go without, which he did right before his 5th bday. good luck!

I am a mother of four ranging from 14 months to 8. I can tell you that there isn't any correct way to handle this situation. It all depends on your daughters bladder. If the pull ups are still wet 1/4 of the time I personally would leave her in them until they come up dry almost always. You can cut of drinking anything two hours before bed time and see if she is always dry then, but if not I believe she still needs them. Changing a pull up verses a entire set of bedding is just smart practices. I don't have a problem with bribing children to do things they have the power to do, but asking them to be responsible for something they don't have control of is a lot of pressure to be put on them that they don't need. I would tell her that if she keeps up trying to get to the toilet as soon as she wakes up and goes to the bathroom like a big girl and doesn't fuss about not getting drinks before bedtime that she can have the earrings.

P.S.... I KNOW for a fact that there are children in this world that CAN'T control their bladder and some up until age 11 for medical reasons! It is easy to say that she can or can't but the truth of the matter is only you and her can figure this out. My oldest didn't need a pull up past three, youngest son needed them until four, my oldest daughter is now four and I have taken them away because she is dry at morning, but wets them after she wakes up because she is lazy. I just recently made her quit wearing them and deal with her bedding if she choses to wet them after waking up. You know what your situation is and no one can say forsure what is best for you and your daughter.

She's 5? And still in a pull up? Sorry to break it to you, but if after 2 years, and she's still not in panties, I wouldn't exactly call her potty trained. Just go for it.

I was in your same situation and we just tried last night without pull ups. My daughter is 3 and she stayed dry. I told her she could have 3 M&M's if she stayed dry. Not sure if that is the best thing to do, but it worked. I was just keeping her in the pull ups for my sake-so I wouldn't have to clean it up. Other moms told me if she is staying dry, I should stop the pull ups. Hope she stays dry-don't want to clean it up :)

I'd say go for it. That's what we're doing and my son's three. He's been doing pretty good so far.

S.,

I would definitely just put her panties on. Make sure she doens't drink too much for about 2 hours before bed and make sure she goes to the bathroom right before bed. She'll proabably be just fine. I don't think I'd bribe her. But, you could tell her that she's your big girl now who doesn't need pull-ups and she get's to get her ears pierced too!

Get rid of the pull-ups. Put a vinyl/plastic sheet under the mattress pad to protect the mattress. Find out how much ear piercing costs. Give her $1 or whatever amount you choose for each night she doesn't wet the bed. When she reaches her goal, she gets her reward. I personally think 5 is too young to get ears pierced --- but maybe I'm old fashioned and it's none of my business. Your story sounds like what we're going through with my son. He was potty trained during the day since he was 3 --- but he still struggles at night even now that he's 5. Despite the incentives --- he still has accidents. I've talked to a pediatrician about this. I was told that bedwetting is a physiological thing --- it really has nothing to do with what the parents do. The doctor didn't think there was anything wrong with using pull-ups. Which is something to think about if you don't want to be doing laundry and making beds unecessarily. Your decision.

Don't use bribes. Bribes never work. You can just "go for it". For some kids that works because they know they do not have that pull-up to fall back on. For others it really is just a matter of being old enough to control the bladder at night so don't get frustrated by wet pull-ups. Either way you should of course limit drinks an hour before bedtime. Make a big deal of the nights when she's dry. Consider helping her make a goal chart. She can put a sticker on the chart for every dry night and tell her that when she's done that x number of times she's big enough for undies at night. Wearing the underwear at night is the reward. Then after the fact you can tell you are proud of her responsibility and take her to get her ears pierced.

My doctor said no rewards for a young child that doesn't have bladder control at night, she may not be able to control it. My daughter can't control her night time pottying.

My son, however, regressed after doing great at night. In that situation we offered a reward (a bicycle after 30 dry nights). That worked for him because we knew it was in his control... it still took nearly 3 months for him to get his reward because we restarted after a single accident. He was so happy and proud when he got his bike.

I think the commercial devices that beep when pants get wet do help with the brain side of things so a child with an immature bladder will learn to wake up and go potty... but I think a lot of parents, myself included, are happy to use pull up's at night (or a large size diaper if the child never goes potty at night, since pull ups are pricier).

Good luck!

My son is 4 1/2 and still in pullups at night. I have tried LOTS of things mentioned already. He just doesn't wake himself up. Just wanted to let you know, I am in your same boat and hope to get out...

I have twins and the pull-up worked great at night. When I decided to give up the pull-ups I put the disposable changing pads under the sheets. It work great for my girl but it took a while for my boy. The thing is, you can't turn back.

S.-
Well sense the pull-ups were used more for your convience than hers, you shouldn't bribe her with getting her ears pierced. I would suggest you let her get them peirced, and let her know that now she is a big girl, and she doesn't get pull-ups anymore. Or don't connect the two at all, and just take the pull-ups away. My son was potty trained at 2.5, and we never had him in pull-ups at night. As soon as he was going consistantly during the day, the pull-ups were gone... We barely used them anyways, it's just an excuse to pee in your pants.

Don't use bribes at least until they are older...otherwise they'll have you wrapped around their little finger! Here's what I do with my son...absolutely no liquids one hour prior to bed time and he HAS to go potty before he gets into bed. Once in a while he'll wet the bed but that's usually my fault for not watching the time and giving him something to drink. During the transition from diapers to underpants there was about a week or two where he wet the bed almost every night but I guess that's something mom's just have to deal with!

I agree with the others. My 2nd son was easy to potty train at 2 1/2 and within the first 3 days was fully potty trained. No pull ups ever! Go for it. You might be surprised. I wouldn't make a big deal about it. Just have her get used to no drinking at least an hour before bedtime and going potty right before bedtime. And then just say that you don't have any more pull ups and see what happens. My son personally didn't want to wear them. And yes, on rare occasion he will have an accident (once every 2-3 months), but that happens. Good luck.

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