3 1/2 Year Old Suddenly Wetting the Bed

Updated on April 23, 2010
H.S. asks from Mattaponi, VA
10 answers

I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter who has been potty trained for about 9 months now. We started putting her in panties at night in January and she did great! All of a sudden for the past 2-3 weeks she is peeing the bed. I dont know what to do differently or what we are doing wrong. We dont give her anything to drink before bed, the last thing we let her drink is her drink she has with dinner (which we eat around 6:00pm). We make sure she goes potty right before going to bed, but she is still wetting the bed. I definetly do not want to go back to putting her in diapers, I dont want to back track. It is almost like she doens't mind sleeping in wet clothes, it doesn't seem to bother her. I work full time and when I have to wake her up in the morning to go to daycare and find out she wet the bed again, it just throws the whole morning routine off. We have to get her up, get her in the bath and washed, make sure we put her sheets in the washing machine before we leave the house (dont want to leave pee pee sheet in the laundry room). I dont want to sound like I am complaining about having to do those things, I just dont know how to get her back to not peeing the bed. Any suggestions, opinions or advice?

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answers from Washington DC on

My toddler started wetting herself because she liked baths! So I stopped giving her a bath and just a rub-down with a wet cloth and that was that.

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answers from Sherman on

It's comepletely normal. Put her back in pull-ups and save yourself the frustration.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

First off, this is not unusual, so don't stress. She can't control her body when she's asleep, so it's not her fault. She'll stay dry when her bladder is ready, and not before. Most kids have "accidents" until 5 or 6. First thing is to pad the bed to save the sheets, not to mention the mattress. You can slip a waterproof pad under a half-sheet and remove it if necessary in the morning (old nurse's trick to save the linens). Have plenty on hand, throw them in a container with a lid to keep the smell down, and wash them when you do laundry. A quick rubdown with a baby wipe or two, and don't worry about a bath til bedtime. And please, don't make her feel bad about this.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i totally get the morning routine derailing! finding ways to minimize that is clutch. so, why the anxiety about 'backtracking'? kids just don't always travel in neat straight forward lines. it's very common for kids this age to regress a bit, so don't stress over it. i would put her in pull-ups while she works out this bump in the road, and when she's woken up dry for a week you can have a celebration and put her back in panties. she is already aware of the disruption this is causing and wants to fix it, she just doesn't know how. bedwetting is so involuntary. remove the pressure from both of you.
good luck!


answers from Fort Walton Beach on

I was a bed wetter for quite some time. I can still remember having vivid dreams of actually being on the toilet and before I realized it was a dream, I wet the bed. I believe the Dr said it was most likely because my bladder or kidneys had not caught up to my size yet. So, in my opinion she isn't doing it on purpose and you may just have to wait until her organs catch up. I remember getting gold stars when I didn't wet the bed, but I doubt that actually helped prevent the underlying problem. I think my Mom used a mattress liner and sometimes I would wear panties w/ a "plastic" like panty over them. Not sure if they still sell them since that was over 20yrs ago.



answers from Norfolk on

I assume you have had her checked for a bladder infection? If she's okay, then it's just a normal part of growing older. I agree with the response from Nancy. Since urine is sterile it's not like she is laying in a pile of poo all night. Just a quick bird bath in the a.m. should save you time. Same with the sheets in a container like you'd do with diapers, and wash them with the next laundry batch that night. I too had the sitting-on-the-toilet dreams and wet the bed off and on until age 6 or so. Deep sleepers just do this and she will eventually grow out of it. Good luck!



answers from Norfolk on

You already have some awesome advice, so I will just second the thoughts that have worked for us. Wake her and take her potty right before you go to bed.....we've done this with our son and daughter and they both will pee a ton in the potty then, and go right back to bed.

Also have a large waterproof pad from onestepahead that is soft like a sheet for them to sleep right on top of...I just put the fitted sheet on, then this right on top, then our 2 year old sleeps directly on the pad as it feels like a blanket, so if she does wet through, just that and her lovely blanket are all that need washing. It's saved us TONS of time not having to change and wash all of the bedding, and rarely do I even have to change the pad.....taking them potty around 10-11PM has worked wonders in keeping them dry.


Hope that helps!



answers from Washington DC on

I see you've got lots of responses about the liner. Something else you may want to try (had to do this with my son) is to wake her at night before you go to sleep. It sounds like she is just really sound asleep. For my son we did this as he is a VERY deep sleeper as a means to help him learn to wake up if he has to go. It is just something that she has to be aware of so that she knows to wake. My son went to bed at 8 and I'd wake him at about 11 or so and it really helped him learn and become aware. Good luck!



answers from Norfolk on

Been there done that. Completely normal. My suggestion is if you haven't already, put a "rubber sheet" on her bed. I also wouldn't put heavy blankets on the bed either. Just more washing to do. Unfortunately you have to let it run it's course. Remind her that big girls don't wet the bed, they get up and use the potty. She may not be getting up because she feels like she can't. I would leave the door to her room cracked and use night lights leading up to and into the bathroom. I would suggest, seeing as you know it's coming, getting up just a little bit earlier and planning to have to give her a bath and change her sheets. You don't sound like you're complaining. I too am the type of person who if one thing in my morning routine goes a tiny bit off track I feel like my whole day follows suite.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Hmmm..not sure why this is happening but wanted to suggest something to make your mornings easier--layer waterproof pad, sheet, waterproof pad, sheet etc. You'll still have to throw a pad & sheet in the washer but you won't have to re-make the bed.

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