No More Diapers at Night

Updated on June 23, 2010
C.M. asks from New Baden, IL
9 answers

Okay so my daughter will be three in August and somewhat by accident, she went without a diaper on Saturday night (hubby put her to bed and didn't put on one so she wore underwear to bed). She woke up DRY! So Sunday we did the same thing and she woke up DRY again! So last night, she went to bed in underwear and around midnight (four hours after she went to bed) she woke up wet. I don't know if she's physically ready to remain dry all night (and if not, I'm okay with that, I don't want to force it). I haven't begun to limit her liquid intake but will start that tonight. Here are my plans:

1. Limit liquid intake after 6pm
2. Put a sheet down, followed by a pee pad (not sure of the name of this) followed by another sheet so in the middle of the night, if she has an accident, all I have to do it just strip the top layer off.
3. Get her up before I go to bed (about two hours after she's been asleep) and put her on the potty. I've been told that they will pretty much just go in their sleep. I am hesitant about this because I don't want to wake her up or start having her think it's time to get up and then have a hard time putting her back to bed.

What do you recommend? What works? How many accidents are 'normal' when moving to underwear? If she has a few this week, do I assume she's not ready?

I know lots of kids do not night train until they are older, which is why I'm asking your opinions. I know it maybe was just a fluke, but guess I will just take it one day at a time! She wants to wear underwear to bed and has (about 5x) woken in the middle of the night over the past six months to go to the bathroom. She wears diapers instead of pullups to bed because 1. they are cheaper and 2. she always gets me up when she has to go so she doesnt' have to worry about taking off the diaper / putting it back on (even though she knows how to take one off. With a pullup with velcro sides she still opens them to take them off like a diaper).

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answers from Fresno on

I potty trained my daughter when she was 25 months old and within 2 months she was night trained. She is now 3 and about once every 2-3 months she may have a night accident (usually in the morning when she doesn't get out of bed fast enough). I would limit the liquids and take her to the potty right before she goes to bed and see if that helps. I wouldn't wake her when you go to bed unless everything else doesn't work. Most 3 year olds can definitely hold it all night.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Hmmm....she's not even three yet. But sounds like she's doing well. Just know that LOTS of kids don't night train for even a year or so after they're day trained. It's normal.
For that reason, I wouldn't necessarily limit liquids or wake her for the potty. I's either 1.) use Pullups at night or 2.) reduce stress by layering the sheets/pads like you're doing.

I decided to ditch the Pull Ups when my son had O. week of dry mornings in a row. He was good to go after that.

Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

With my son, I was just tired of buying diapers. He was three. I tried waking him up and that became a NIGHTMARE! We had a few problems...either he would wake up too much and it was hard to put him back to bed, or he would get angry about it yell and wake his baby sister or he just absolutely refused to go. So we just stopped doing that all together. I also did not limit fluids. My kids are like their father and crave water in the evenings. We simply double sheeted the bed and I left a change of clothes out (I hated searching for pjs and dry undies at night). If he had an accident I would strip the bed and then him and we tucked him back in to bed. It was never an argument or upset evening. I was only trying to save some money and he had an interest in undies at night time too. After about two weeks he rarely had an accident. After a month I can't remember an accident at all. I think you'll discover pretty easily if she is not ready. And I think as long as no one is getting angry, upset or embarrassed she'll get the hang of it just fine. Just be patient and be ok with the idea that she may not be ready yet, but it's worth a shot!


answers from Myrtle Beach on

We told our daughter 5 days with dry diapers, she can sleep in her big girl underwear... the first few days waking up dry she got a little prize (chalk, bubble, playduh, dollar store stuff), than we made a sticker chart after about a week, and she when she filled the paper with stickers, she got to go to the toy store and pick out a big toy! She has only had 1 accident and she was sick! Good luck!



answers from St. Louis on

I think your idea of taking it a day at a time is a good one. Kids are ready when they are ready. I have read that night time bedwetting can be related to how soundly kids sleep. This is also supposed to be genetic (my husband also sleeps soundly and also admits to bedwetting when he was younger). I also read that taking them to the bathroom asleep or if you wake them can be counterproductive because they are really not learning themselves. If they wake themselves to go that is fine. My daughter is six. When she was 4 plus, I had her in cloth diapers at night, no diapers. I tried waking her to go. It didn't matter. She didn't wake up. I put her back in disposables for night.

It sounds like your daughter is off to a good start. I would take it how it goes. If she is dry most of the time than I would stay with it. If she wets more than she stays dry I would put her back in a diaper and not make a big deal about it.



answers from Gainesville on

I would just let her be. Most kids don't fully night train until they are 5 or even 6 and that's normal. I wouldn't limit liquids or wake her at this age. Either her body is ready or it isn't. The body has to be physically capable of holding the urine and also producing a hormone that aids in nighttime dryness.

think about it this way, even if you put the pads on the bed it's still waking everyone up in the house when she has an accident. Leave her in diapers at this stage and everyone gets their rest.

We didn't limit my son's liquids and once his body was ready he would wake (usually a few hours after we put him to bed) and he would get up to go.

You can always put the panties on over her diaper.

And I'm with you! I bought one pack of pull-ups and said forget it! Glorified, more expensive diapers that don't hold as much as a diaper. Whoever invented those is laughing at us all the way to the bank! Mine never had a problem wearing their "nite nite doot doot" to bed. I never equated diapers with being a baby. Just that he needed it for protection at night.



answers from Lawrence on

WOW! We are going through the exact same thing, but my daughter is 3 1/2. I think in my daughter's case she has the ability to hold it all night, but got really complacent with wearing her diaper. She knew that as soon as her diaper was on, she had the freedom to pee. So a few nights ago we decided no more diapers on at night. We layered the bed and ensured that she went to the bathroom before she went to sleep. To our surprise it worked the first couple of nights. The third night she wet the bed, but didn't wake up. The fourth night dry and last night she wet and again it didn't wake her up. I think in my daughter's case she just sleeps so sound that even being wet doesn't wake her up. So our plan is to continue with the underwear at night b/c she needs to make the connection in her sleep that she is actually going and can feel it. I would recommend if you don't mind waking up at night to pull the soiled sheets off, continue with the underwear. It sounds like she is doing wonderful and she may get complacent like my daughter did. The other thing that I would recommend is NOT waking her up to go to the bathroom or taking her while she is asleep. Follow her cues and the rest will fall in to place. Good luck!



answers from San Diego on

Eash child is so different. My son completely potty trained himself at 3 years 2 months. He just decided one day that he didn't want to wear diapers, he wanted "big boy pants" and pretty much was dry from then on. My daughter was the opposite, she had accidents at night until kindergarten. If you could get away with not using pull-ups, then do it. They are expensive and whereas they are convenient, I think it really doesn't help with potty training.

Good luck!!


answers from Kansas City on

Hi McMama, You have started on the right foot, by limiting her drinking after 6. Before you put her to bed, have her go potty. I would restrain from waking her up after she has gone to bed. That could create a not good habit that in the long run will fustrate you. Do put the potty pad on her bed, that will help for accidents, which will happen. But most of all have her go before she goes to bed. Get her in that habit now and in a few years she'll be great! Good luck and God Bless.

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