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.

1 mom found this helpful


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

1 mom found this helpful

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!!!

1 mom found this helpful

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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