Overnight Potty Training for My 4 Year Old Daughter
June 11, 2010
Hi- My almost 4 year old daughter has been daytime potty trained since she was 2 with no problems. My problem is getting her through the night without an accident. She wore pull-ups for a while until she was ready to do the "big girl" underwear at night. My problem is she does not stay dry. I have cut all liquids after 6pm, I make sure she uses the bathroom before she goes to bed (8pm) but she still wets the bed. The biggest problem is she doesn't wake up even after going, so she ends up sleeping in it all night and is getting almost like a diaper rash from the wet underwear. For about 2 weeks, I even got her up at 11:30pm and put her on the toilet (half-sleeping) and made sure she peed thinking that would get her body used to getting up at that time and it would become automatic for her. That didn't work either. I am so frustrated. I do not believe this is a game for her. I honestly feel like she sleeps so soundly that she doesn't even realize it has happened. Is this normal? Is this something I need to talk to doc about? I am really unsure what to do and am at my wit's end. She stays dry an average of 1 night per week and I really make a big deal out of it when she does. I do not punish her, tho' if she does have an accident, I just remind her to try to wake up next time. I think I am doing everything right. Can anyone help me? Thanks in advance
Thank you for all your great advice and encouragement. It is nice to know that other parents have had this same problem. Clair and I had a talk and I explained that she would wear pull-ups until she is ready to wear big girl panties at night. She is totally fine with that and in the last week has even got up in the night a couple of times to go. When she wakes up dry, we have a little celebration and a high five and we are both dealing with it much better. I am going to get her to a chiropractor as well and she if an adjustment might make a difference. Thanks again. I really appreciate all the input!
Salt Lake City
I have talked to the doctor about this same issue, and he said that it is very common. I have a son who is 8 and still wears pull ups at night. There are 2 websites where you can buy alarm systems (or something like that)bedwettingstore.com and dri-sleeper.com. I have heard great things about their products. I am planning on buying an bed wetting alarm in the next couple of weeks, because I am also at my witts end with this. My brother was a bed wetter until he was 7 when my mom tried the alarm and it worked wonders. Hope this helps.
My daughter went through this and I tried everything, including all of what you have tried with you daughter so far. The pediatrician told me that sometimes the bladder just isn't developed enough to be able to make it through the night. My daughter was finally able to stop wearing pull up at age 8. It was hard and she was embarassed about it, but she couldn't help it. Pull-ups are expensive but they do have large sized plastic pants. My daughter slept in it as well. There are beeswax based ointments that would help with the rash. Time will help her grow out of it.
I think every kid is different on this one, and it depends on something in their nervous systems? that's what i have heard anyway. My son just started not wearing diapers at night at 5 years old. I know a lot of kids, boys especially who are still in them at 7 and 8. My son expressed an interest in not wearing a diaper at night (he gets up every night and comes into bed with a parent), so we said he could take his diaper off after half the night at first (so when he gets up to come in), and then 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 and has only had 2 accidents since (over a 4 month period). he just seemed ready. i think i might try to get her back into diapers at night, maybe find out some older friend she thinks is cool who also wears them to help her not feel like it's a baby thing or a punishment, and just wait til she has a dry diaper more often. i might just say, you're body's telling us it needs a little more time/help from diapers, and then before we know it, you won't! we'll know when there are some mornings in a row with no wet diaper. good luck!
S.~ I was seriously going to ask the very same question to the world of moms....and then I read yours. My daughter is older than yours and has had some medical issues as well. She, too, wets in the middle of the night. She tells me she's had a bad dream when she wakes up in the morning. I do not punish her for her accidents, I think she sleeps through them and is more upset about it than I am. We celebrate when she makes it through the night dry. But what to do in the meantime is what's got be baffled. I know I didn't offer any advice, but I did want you to know you're not alone! Good luck...to both of us.....
My daughter was the same way- she just sleeps so soundly, nothing would wake her up- even going pee in her sleep. We tried everything you have tried, no liquids before bedtime, waking her up to go before I went bed, treats if she stayed dry for a certain number of nights in a row, etc. I spoke to the pediatrician about this at her 5 year check up and he said they don't even begin to worry about bed wetting until the child is 8 or 9 years old. He said just to keep doing the pull-up thing at night and that her bladder would eventually catch up. I finally just accepted that she was probably going to wet the bed at night and just decided to let it go- and wait until her body was ready. I know this is probably not what you want to hear, but finally just after she turned 7, she was dry and night and has had no accidents since (she is now 8). She now gets up and goes during the middle of the night. I know it is frustrating to be doing all of the laundry, but it really is not their fault- it is just how their bodies were made. I hope this helps. I also have a friend whose son went through the same thing- he was finally dry through the night around age 6 and a half- and her pediatrician told her the same thing mine told me.
Hi S., I am a 60 yr old Gramma now but when I had my young boys, my oldest wet the bed at night till he was 6. I to would get him up a couple times in the night and he had his eyes open so assumed he was awake. I had him standing in front of the toliet one night eyes open and told him to go potty and he just stood there. I spanked him thinking he was just being stubborn. He of course cried and went potty. The next night was the same as many befor. I finally came to the conclusion when I got him up to go although his eyes were open, he was sleep walking as he did at times and didn't even know I had got him up or that he had wet the bed.
My suggestion is to keep a pad under her and save the bed. I think she will outgrow the bed wetting.
I experienced a similar frustration after my daughter witnessed a very traumatic and violent incident. For a couple of years I thought it was linked to that. Four years later she occassionally wets the bed. I eventually got passed the frustration and began taking her to the bathroom twice in the middle of the night. Now I am down to once per night. Sometimes I forget and sleep through the night myself. However, I noticed her making more of an effort to stop the bedwetting. Last month as I was reading through a parent handbook on health that Kaiser Permanente published, I discovered that bedwetting is not all that uncommon and is likely to stop around the ages of 6-10 years old. Of course, I still think it is worth emphasizing at a doctor's visit. I just think once you get over the frustration and show your child that you will see her through this. She will make every effort to show you that she also cares. I made the mistake of letting my daughter see my frustration and she began to lose confidence and felt really upset about a situation that she was not entirely in control of. That is when I realized that she needed my support more than anything else. Good Luck! No one said parenthood would be easy :).
It is totally normal for children to sleep so soundly that they do not wake to use the bathroom. I am going through the same issue with my 4 year old boy. My doctor said it is normal up to about 5 or 6 years old with girls. I would talk to your pediatrician; he/she may recommend a bed wetting alarm but other than that you are doing everything right. Try to teach your little gal how to remove her wet sheets and put them and the wet jammies in the washer or laundry basket each morning. Definitely do not chastise her for it. It will go away eventually!
I think you are right, she isn't doing it on purpose. It wouldn't hurt to talk to her doctor about it, but I'm not sure if it is necessary. I would put her in those pull-ups they make for big kids instead of regular underwear. If you don't want to do that, then I would suggest to keep getting up at night to take her. I've heard of many parents doing this, so it is fairly normal.
Look into something called Enuresis. My 7 year old is still having the same problem, and from what I've read about enuresis, it's possible that's what he has, and maybe also your daughter. Talk to your pedi. about it and see what he says. It does sound like you're doing things right, though - not punishing her, 'cause she's not playing with you, and just encouraging her to keep trying. No drinks . . . Sounds like you're doing just fine, but it is frustrating. I know. Good luck.
S., I have a 7 year old son who is a very sound sleeper and not on a nightly basis but every once in a while he will do the same exact thing. Have an accident and just go on sleeping like it never happened. I read something the other day that kids could have accidents at night until up to 6 or 7. That if they still wet the bed after that, then you should probably consult a physican. I also have a little boy your daughters age and no matter when I cut his drinking off at night, he still wets the bed. For now, I still put pull ups on him and I made sure I got a really good waterproof matteress pad. It at least makes cleaning up a little easier. After four kids, I still haven't found anything that helps out on this matter besides time and patience. But, if you are really concerned about it, I would just talk to your physican about it.
Don't stress about it, she will out grow it. I was 8 before I stopped wetting the bed. Just keep her in pull ups at night and don't let her feel insecure about it. She will grow out of it ;) There are too many other things to worry about in life with 3 kids- relax kick back and enjoy your kids. Good job sleeping with the boss ;)
Have a good one,
Some kids are just not ready physically to be night time trained. My daughter was a very deep sleeper and didn't wake up either. We kept her in pull ups at night until she was continuously dry for a long time (month +). My daughter and your daughter will not go to high school wetting the bed...she will grow into nighttime training and you should be patient with her and not make it a big deal. I am totally on the same page as Wendy...ps, I was a preschool teacher for 4 years and saw a lot of children who needed to grow into night training.
Hello S., In support of any emotional issues your daughter may be reacting to, I recommend, "How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen So Kids will Talk," by Faber and Mazlish. It sounds like your response is compassionate.:) ~T.
My daughter is almost four also and we have the exact problem. I also have tried to wake her up at night to go. No matter what we try we always end up getting frustrated and she goes back to pull ups. I have done some research on this and found that this is not uncommon. I was pointed to the bed wetting store website(www.bedwettingstore.com) and it did not reccommend serious action until a child was seven years of age. That made me feel a whole lot better. So for now, we keep trying panties with plastic pants at night every once in a while. My husband is a very hard sleeper. It is almost impossible to wake him up in the middle of the night. My suggestion is don't allow yourself to get too discouraged. Give some grace to yourself and especially your child. Do the pullups and then go back to panties if either of you starts to get frustrated, because it really is not worth it. We have tried everything!
My daughter is 4 1/2 and just got out of pull ups
The doctor said as many other mothers, its that they sleep to soundly. There really is not one thing you can do, we praised her for being dry, briebed her by buying her a new gift. After it happened again, just less frequently.
So I gave up on trying to make her dry at night, eventually it was 2 than 3 weeks then her dad asked if she wanted to go without and go to bed with her big girl panties and of course yes was the word.
My sisters daughter almost 7 still has accidents occassionally / So what are you to to just keep buying the pull ups until she is finished wetting the bed.
Just keep night time pullups on her until her body is ready to hold it that long. You cannot train her at night as it is her body that needs to realize to wake her up out of sleep to go when she has to. I woke my son up when I went to bed at first to get him on the potty, then he went all night without getting up, then sometimes he would wake himself up to go. I can say it is just training the bladder to hold it longer. You are doing the right things in limiting the fluids and having her go before bed, but it is time that you need and patience. Don't stress yourself out with wet sheets, just get her big girl night time pullups.
My oldest had a similar problem, she was a very hard sleeper and didn't wake up until it was too late. She was almost 5 before she wasn't wetting the bed at least a couple of times a week. We just kept her in pull up at night until she was consistantly dry. It was my understanding at the time that this is normal, some children's bladders just don't grow as fast as the rest of them, that combined with being a heavy sleeper means either a wet bed, or giving in to using protection for them.
I also have a friend whose 5 yr old boy is still having the same issue, not every night, but a few times a week
I have the same issue with my 4 year old daughter. Her pediatrician told me that a certain percentage of children this age are not physically capable yet of staying dry at night. Some children sleep too deeply. Some have a condition where they don't allow their bladder to fill all the way, and empty it more often. He said we wouldn't worry about it much until she's more like 6 years old. She does the same thing - even having an accident doesn't wake her in the night, she just sleeps in the puddle. I would be careful not to handle it in a way that it effects her self esteem. I really believe that they aren't doing it to be naughty or because they're not trying hard enough, etc. Just be patient, and keep buying those pull ups. =)
I would have your daughter checked out by a doctor first to make sure she doesn't have a physical problem. Then, if everything is good, I would put her back in pull-ups or some other type of nighttime underwear to protect her body and her mattress and sheets. NOT as a punishment. Some kids just take longer, as they sleep soundly or are unable to feel the physical cues while they sleep, but they do grow out of it. Sometimes it takes until they are 10 or so, but they do grow out of it. In the meantime, continue your regimen of no liquids after 6pm and going potty before bedtime.
Same thing happened to me with both my daughters. They day time potty trained early (18 months for one and 22 months for the other), but slept too soundly at night to wake up to go. Unfortunately, that meant they had to wear pull ups at night until they could stay dry all night. One was 5 1/2 and the other was almost 7 before they could stay dry all night with any regularity. Because they wanted to wear big girls pants, we made a deal. If they could stay dry for 3 nights in a row, they could try the big girl pants at night again. Any time they had an accident, it just meant they went back to pull ups until they could stay dry for 3 nights in a row. Doctor told us some children just sleep too soundly to wake up or even feel the sensation and there was basically nothing you can do to train them at night until they mature enough to sleep less soundly. Best of luck and try to have patience.
She isn't ready for big girl underwear at night. My son is 4 1/2 and has been day trained for some time, but he still wears a pull up at night and it's pretty wet in the morning. I'm really into my kids getting enough water, so I don't worry about cutting beverages. I still make him go to the bathroom before he goes to bed. But it really doesn't make a difference because his bladder isn't mature enough to make it all night. Most kids' aren't until they are 4 or 6, and some kids even have trouble until they are 12. You can talk to your doctor about solutions if she still wets the bed after age 6, but for now, she's still growing and doesn't have the capacity to make it all night. Some kids do, but most don't. I would just let her wear a pull up at night, and then when she starts having several nights in a row where it is dry in the morning, then switch back to the underwear. She's totally normal right now. :)
Well I think this can be normal for some kids. I am at this point with my little girl too. The doc told us that it usually takes a year after potty training to have them trained through the night. But I have known some kids that wear pull-ups up untill 8. It's that they are very heavy sleepers. I would'nt worry so much about it. It sounds like you are doing everything right. Thats good. I just think that it takes some kids just a little bit longer than others. Good luck!
S.- As a child therapist, I have seen this difficulty frequently. You might want to see a doc to rule out any physical problem, but barring that, I would just give her time. Don't make a big issue of it, and let her wear pull-ups at night so her bed stays dry. She'll grow out of it.
This is something that I dealt with, with my daughter, now a teenager. I kept talking to her Dr about this for years and she was put thru some horrible tests and I regret that, but at the time seemed necessary. She did wear the pull-ups for many years and was not embarassed to tell her friends that she had a bladder problem, something she came up with on her own. The pull-ups made it easier on both of us, with accidents. Her Dr also suggested buying an alarm for her to wear at night (it attaches to her clothes and the alarm goes off at with any moisture, it is suppose to get them to recognize the "feeling"). I involved my daughter in the purchase of the alarm, let her pick the color etc... but after one week, she would refuse to use it. I thought she would outgrow it, as the years went by, I was at a lose as to when that would happen. I realized then, that it was an emotional not a medical problem. And once that was addressed she has been dry ever since, which has given her such confidenence. Good luck with this.
It is fairly normal for a 4 year old to have problems with enuresis. However, You may think about taking her to a chiropractor. If her pelvis or low back is out of alignment, it will put pressure on her nerves that go to the sphincter of the bladder. She may be able to control her bladder when she is awake, but once she falls asleep and does not focus on it she may lose control. Please check out my website at www.althoffchiropractic.com for more information about the spine and nervous system.
I have a 5 year old son and a daughter who is 3 months away from 4. She wears pull-ups at night (which are dry about 85% of the time... not enough to switch to underpants and have to wash sheets). My gut feeling is she doesn't have control over it.
My son who potty trained when he turned 3 almost immediately was trained at night, however he started wetting the bed frequently a couple of months ago. I wasn't sure if he was being lazy or if it was some other issue... bladder development, attention getter, etc... Anyway, I told him he can have a bicycle if he can go 30 days in a row without having an accident. He immediately went 10 days in a row, had one accident, and now has gone 11 days in a row.
I would say that you should first focus on if she has control of it or not (my guess is not). We used to give her a reward on days she woke up dry, but my pediatrician suggested she should not be rewarded for something she doesn't have control over.
I think you're doing a great job, now the hard part is patience... the cost of a pull-up is less than the cost of a load of laundry... and if you need to, it can be worn 2 nights in a row if it's dry (just like underwear is worn 24 hours before it is thrown in the laundry). My SIL washes swim diapers, which I have done on occassion (maybe soak it in water first)... that could save money if pull-ups are too expensive.
My daughter suffered from this until she was 8 until I finally stumbled on what was causing it. Docs were NO help, I did acupuncture, chiropractic every week for 3 months and then finally read an article that everyone has a hormone Vassopressin that controls night time bladder control. I knew her body was "out of balance" since she had been on a lot of antibiotics when she was young due to ear & nose infections. So I tried a wonderful natural supplement to help ones own body regulate itself and within one week she was dry through the night. It was a miracle if you ask me. And, when I ran out of the supplement 2 months later, she wet the bed within a week, so I knew she didn't just "outgrow it". Anyway, send me an email if you want to know about my discovery. ____@____.com
Hi I have to agree with Sherrie. I had an easy time with my son and Can't hardly remember how we made it through the night dry. BUT I do remember using pull-ups until he felt comfortable without.
You may be making a big deal about this and not even realizing it. Kids I've learned (as we did when we were kids) know a great deal more then we give them credit for; they have an uncanny ability to just read us clear as day. So even if you may think that your masking your frustrations you may not be as well as you thought and if your daughter is picking up on that it is certainly making her very uncomfortable and insecure about herself.
My suggestion there for is to simply suggest that maybe she should go back on the pull-ups until she feels she's ready to wear big girl underpants to bed. Let it be up to her giving her the control of the situation and see what happens. As you both relax about the stress of night time control and just have more fun concentrating on the good things and simply dealing with this as an AH Well nothing more. Just one of those things like brushing your teeth in the morning. No big deal.
I'm more then sure you will start seeing results very quickly.
Hi- I am not sure this will help you, but my 4 year old daughter is in the same boat. She potty trained at 2 with no problems but can't make it through the night either. I am not concerned about her; I think it is ok that she's not there yet. She is still little and I think it is just going to take a little more time for her to get big enough to make it through the night. You certainly wouldn't expect her to go 8 or 10 hours during the day without going to the bathroom, so why expect it at night? We tried letting her go without pull ups for a while and she had several accidents a week and was really stressed out and anxious about it. I said no more. This is too much stress for a little girl. I would rather she was in pull ups and slept well, then was in underwear and slept stressed about having an accident. She will grow out of it. No reason to push the issue, who cares if she wears pull ups for a while longer?
IT sounds like she is sleeping so sound her body doesn't recognize she needs to go or hasz gone. Getting a bed alarm that will buzz and wake her and you up would be a good investment. She may outgrow this problem. I would look either online, or you can contact a local durable medical equipment company.
My daughter had the same problem. I talked to her doctor and he prescribed a nose spray that I used in the evening and it worked. It would keep her bladder from spasming at night and she would stay dry until morning and she only had to stay on the nose spray for a few weeks until her bladder and body got used to holding all night. Best thing I ever did for her and me. She is now 22 years old and a mom of 3 beautiful babies. So obviously no lasting effects of the medications. Talk to your Doctor, he will know best.
All I can say is I know your pain. My son is almost 8 and it seems we have tried almost everything except pills from the Dr. We currently go through a homeopathic Dr., which I believe has helped some. My son also has may allergies, and athsma, so they believe the bed wetting can also be caused by his allergies. He sleeps so soundly, I swear a train could run through our house, and he would stay asleep. We also stopped having him drink about 5:30 at night since his bed time is 8:00. The only problem with us doing that, is what is he is not getting enough to drink through the day, and dehydration becomes a factor? I think getting up with your daugter is the best thing right now, but make sure she wakes up enough to know what is really happening. Other wise she might just think it is a dream and continue wetting the bed. I would also maybe try talking to a homeopathic Dr., unless you don't agree with that kind of thing, then maybe see a real Dr. if things don't get any better. Other wise, she will decide for herself when it is time.
I would definitely talk to your Doctor about this just to make sure there is not a medical "problem", but I will tell you that my daughter has had the same issue. My Doctor informed me that this can be normal for many kids and can last for several years (not trying to depress you here). I have three children and she is the only one who had had this issue. My daughter is now 8 and has outgrown most of her nighttime bed wetting--although she still has occasional accidents.
I was so sure something was "wrong" with her, and the doctor really put my mind at ease. Also, I found out that both my mother and my husband's father had this "problem" when they were younger, and they were afraid to tell their parents because they got in trouble. As frustrating as it can be, I've had to be careful not to get upset at my daughter and realize that this is not her fault.
This is so hard for the child as well because they feel like they are doing something wrong, even though they have no control over it. Plus, we couldn't let her go to sleep-overs for a long time because she had to wear pull-ups at night and was afraid she would be made fun of.
If you see the doctor and he tells you that this is normal (no medical issues causing it), do everything you can to support your daughter and to encourage her that she is normal and that she will, eventually, grow out of this. I hope this helps!
As a bedwetter until age 12, I can sympathize with your dilemma. My 3 1/2 year old son is not even close to being potty trained at all!
The advice the doctor gave my parents was this......cut out "white" foods by dinner time. Just like you have done by offering no liquids after 6 p.m., the same goes for "white" foods. Milk seems to trigger a full bladder, although my mom gave me milk late at night because she thought the thicker liquid would stay in my system longer (???). Turns out, foods like milk, bread, flour based foods like crackers, cause us to urinate more frequently.
My mother also used to wake me up at 3 am each night to "sleepwalk" to the bathroom. Unfortunately, though my bladder was trained to go potty at that time, I could not get out of bed to walk to the toilet and had frequent accidents on the side of my bed, sitting up like I had gone to the toilet!
A small glass of water is ok before bed as it will be absorbed for hydration more than fill the bladder. I don't know if this was helpful, but worth a shot. GOOD LUCK
Your daughters situation is perfectly normal. She will develop the ability to stay dry as her body matures. It is not considered abnormal for children to wet the bed until after seven years old. I hope this eases your mind. I would consider using the pullups to help both of you. Good Luck.
Hi I am 26 years old now and have a 4 year old and one due in July. Although I am not having this problem with my son, I had this problem myself when I was a kid, I wet the bed at night until I was almost 7. My mother did the same things you are doing, she would get me up at night to go to the bathroom, limit my fluid intake, etc. but nothing worked. She took me to the doctor and actually I was low on a hormone which caused the bed wetting. The physician gave me a replacement hormone that I inhaled through my nose for a couple of weeks I think, and the problem was solved. So try not to get frusterated with your daughter and it may be a good idea if it continues to see a physician. Good luck!
I would talk to your doctor to make sure she doesn't have an infection. Then buy, if you don't already have them, plastic sheet covers for you mattresses.(helps cut out the pee smell)
If it is not a small bladder problem or an infection, it could be caused by her dreams. I can still remember having dreams when I was 5 or 6 about getting up and going pee on the potty and waking up in the middle of the night soaking wet. I thought I had actually gotten up when I had just dreamed it. I had to learn to control my dreams. Even when I was a teen I had to wake myself up from dreams in order not to pee the bed. Talk to her calmly about it and see if she has any ideas why she is doing it. You might consider Big Girl Night Time Disposable undies. They have some out now that look like shorts instead of pullups.
I understand completely the stress you are feeling about this. However, I want to assure you that it can be completely normal for many children. My older daughter, who is now 9, wore a pull-up at night until she was almost 6. And my 4 year old daughter is still wearing one. My son was done by 3 1/2. The Doctor explained to me that her bladder was too small to hold the urine all night combined with the fact that she was too hard of a sleeper to recognize the "full" sensation and wake up to go to the bathroom. Eventually she just grew out of it. She started waking up dry every morning and we knew she was ready to go to underwear. Cutting off fluids will not help, she probably just needs to get a little bigger so she can hold it all night. It is a blessing that she is a hard sleeper, it just means you have to be a little more patient with this and be ready to buy pull-ups for a while. They also make Overnights, which are better than pull-ups if she starts to leak out of her pull-ups. There are occasions when kids do not grow out of it, so just make sure that you let your pediatrician know about it at her next yearly exam. My Doctor said it was normal in girls up to age 6 and boys age 7.
Best wishes and God Bless!
You poor thing. And your poor child! My brother was like yoru daughter--such a deep sleeper that he did not wake up to go to the bathroom. Even by age 9, after all the same remedies you have tried, he still would wet the bed. He even would get up, in is sleep, at midnight, to pee. But then he'd STILL wet the bed. The only thing hat worked for him was to find something so huge and amazing that he wanted and for him to work towards earning it by having so many dry nights in a row. There were small treats as he went along to keep him motivated (kids have a hard time with month-long goals). But he had to stay dry for 1 whole month to get his prize (in his case, a bed tent.) Even though you would think there was no connection between a kid who sleeps so hard he can't wake up to pee and an awake kid who wants to earn a prize, it worked! Somehow his conscious desires controlled his unconscious body enough to make sure he didn't have an accident while he was sleeping.
But I have heard from other friends with kids who have serious bed-wetting problems (and heavy sleeping is always a factor) that this technique didn't work for their child. For some kids earning a prize, even a huge or expensive one, isn't enough. For some kids, priveledges mean more--like a trip somewhere or a special overnighter. For some kids, fear of being found out is what motivates them. So try to think of what kidns of things generally motivate your child--food, money, toys, trips, friends, approval, fear, etc.--and make her work towards that goal. Use a chart with stars so she can see her progress, and have periodical small treats/prizes to keep her focused. But she has to go at least 3 weeks (which is how long it takes to form a habit) to earn that prize.
I am 49 I have raised 6 children and night time potty training was a problem with my 3rd child I tried everything. She was 5 when I decided to make sure she had a good nap. Previously she had stopped taking naps. I was a stay at home M. so this wasn't to hard. Maybe you little girl isn't really getting a good nap. Anyway, it worked for us. Good luck!!
I had a similar problem with my son. He was 5 and I could not get him to wake up enough to go to the bathroom at night. It was so frusterating having to change sheets every day!! I was able to buy a potty training alarm... there are a couple different web sites that sell these, the one I used was from
This is a little machine (about the size of a pager) that can clip either to their underwear or their pajamas. It has a wire that comes out one end of it that you clip to their underwear where it first gets wet (in the crotch). When the probes on the clip get wet, it sets off an audible alarm. You can adjust the volume, and also change the noise it makes (which I had to do once cause he got to the point where he was used to the sound and wouldn't wake up for it anymore). This really helped me! It took about a month of using it, but after that, he learned to associate when he started to go to the bathroom with waking up.
I would also put on his underwear at night (with the alarm) and then put a pull-up over his underwear. That way he could understand the 'wet' feeling.
The best thing to do is to not punish her - like you have said. Trust me - if she were able, I think she would rather sleep through the night dry then not. I had a nephew with this same problem until he was 8 or 9. They actually did end up seeing a specialist and went through a "night time training program". They did determine that he was such a sound sleeper and that is why he couldn't make himself wake up when he had feelings of having to go to the bathroom. The program involved him sleeping on a special sheet that had sensors in it and when they became wet and alarm would go off and cause him to wake up and then he had to get out of bed and go to the bathroom - even if he already emptied his bladder in the bed. The whole process was actually supposed to make him realize when he needed to go and to pull him out of that deep REM sleep. It did end up working but not as quick as mom and dad would've liked - after struggling for so long I think they expected INSTANT results. You may want to seek the help of a professional but I bet they will charge you a fortune just to tell you that she is a sound sleeper and she will eventually grow out of it. Good luck!!
My brothers all had problems wetting the bed. They grew out of it though. My youngest brother (who is 10) is still struggling though. My parents put pull-ups on him at night & don't make a big deal out of it. At home he is going almost every night without peeing but away from home he still has accidents. I also had problems controlling my bladder when I was young(not at night), and I'd say the worse thing is to make a big deal about it. I felt bad enough about it without anyone saying anything.
Do tell your doctor. Usually children outgrow bed wetting, though sometimes it lasts until they are 10 - 12. Invest in pullups, :-) and since you know this is not an act of disobedience, make sure you let your child know that "this is okay and normal for some kids, and won't it be great when her body can go all night without pottying?" Your ideas of limiting drinks and getting her up before you go to bed may help speed things up, but this might just take time. Hang in there!
I have two thoughts. The first, it is normal for children and girls especially to take much longer to potty train at night. Some it takes till they are 6 or older. So don't be too discourages. My next thought is that my youngest brother had a REALLY hard time potty training at night and would still wet the bed at 9. So my dad out of a whim took him to a chiropractor. The chiropractor said that sometimes if the spine is out just right, it could cause these problems. One adjustment and my brother never wet the bed again. I wouldn't just run to the chiropractor, a little more time to let her body learn what to do would be best. Just thought I would share. Good luck.
It does sound like she is sleeping so soundly that she wets the bed. I wouldn't make a big deal out of it, and would let her sleep in a pullup. We let still have our 4 year old in pullups at night for the same reason. There is absolutely no harm in it and it keeps me from dealing with rashes and cleaning sheets all morning.
Have you ever seen a Chiropractor?
A lot of time we are just out of alignment.
Sometimes our bladders are not developed.
I had that problem until I was in my teens.
I think you just grow out of it.
Mom of 4 kids (11-8-4-2)
I am very grateful for Pull-ups.
Staying dry one night per week is really really good for a four year old and my seven year old daughter cant do it. My nine year old nephew still cant stay dry all the time. Every kid is different; it isnt lazyness, your daughter's bladder simply isnt developed enough to hold it all night. My advice: go back to pullups and wait for her body to grow more. You both will be much happier. You can also buy a plastic sheet at Walmart that will cover the entire mattress so that urine doesnt get on it when there is an accident, and a mattress cover to help soak it up. Patience is key; I know because I have been where you are. When I accepted that my daughter just isnt capable yet because her bladder is too small, then things got easier. I was able to stop being angry (its still frusterating) because I know it is not her fault. Good luck!
Dear S. It may be a Fiscal Heath problem so you may want to take her to a Dr. I had a child how just steeped to deep and did not wake up to go to the bath room. She adventively grew out of the problem. The best thing is try not to let her think badly of her self because it. And make sure she has a bath every morning to get the uric acid off her body.
I haven't read all the responses, but I can tell you about personal experience for myself and my daughter.
I slept thru the night, until just prior to starting my period at almost 13 years old. My family tried everything !
Then my daughter had the same exact problem.
My husband and I had heard about the problem with the bladder not getting the signal to the brain and tried the chiropractic adjustments. They did help sometimes, but basically she had to grow out of it. It took her until she was about 9 years old.
I do believe that the pelvic and hip area developing is what helped us both, but that's my personal opinion.
Not sure if any of this helps, but want you to know, that this problem really messed with both mine and my daughter's self-esteem in our early years.
Good luck and God bless,
It is a fact that some childrens bladders don't mature enough to stay dry through the night. You have done EVERYTHING you possibly can and should pat yourself on the back for being such a great mother. I believe the best solution is pull ups until they stay dry most of the time. I would expain the fact that her bladder isn't big enough to make it through the night and ask her if she would wear big girl pull ups at night until she stays dry most of the time. I would explain that she is doing a wonderful job being a big girl, but her bladder needs to get a bit bigger to catch up with how great she is doing.....GOOD LUCK!!!
I have helped to potty train a few children. There are a few things you can do.
1st - try waking your daughter up every hour after she goes to bed and take her to the bathroom and then after a few days take it down to 2 hours. It will be hard at first but it trains the brain to wake up.
If she is sleeping to deeply she might need extra help. She might need to see a doctor to make sure everything is ok. I had one child I worked with that his bladder was underdeveloped up to the age of 14. I took him to several doctors but all they would do is tell me to wait until his bladder stretched and developed more. Finally I found a doctor that gave him a nasal spray. He used it for about 4 months until his bladder was able to stretch enough to hold the urine all night. He was able to stay dry within about 3 or 4 days.
At least it would put your mind at ease if you took her to the doctor and it would let you know she is ok. Don't be surprised if the doctor asks a lot of personal questions so he can eliminate emotional problems.
Also, you might want to find the peri pads (but larger) like the ones at the hospital to have her sleep on so that the urine will seep into the pad and help so she does not lay in it all night. You might try "Bag Balm" for her rashing. It can be found in the first aide area or in the baby area; usually in a small square green can.
Don't forget to continue to reassure her and let her know she is ok and you are there to help in any way you can.
It can't hurt to ask the doctor about it. I can offer some experience though (not with my own kids, but with relatives). My brother was daytime potty trained around 2, but didn't get fully night time trained until after he was 9 years old. He just always would wear pull ups at night. My mother didn't talk to a doctor about him (at least not that I'm aware of) but he eventually grew out of it. My cousin (girl) was daytime potty trained early, and still had bed wetting problems until she was at least 10. I remember her being on some kind of medication for it, though. She also eventually grew out of it. Neither of them made it to junior high or high school with bed wetting problems. Some kids just have a tougher time controlling or realizing the urge to go at night. It would save you (and your washer) a lot of grief to keep her in pull ups at night, though. You can let her know that it's not a punishment, but you just don't want her to have to wake up wet and with wet sheets. Make it seem like it's something to help keep HER more comfortable. Anyway. I don't think it's abnormal, but I also don't think it could hurt to talk to her doctor about it. If she's almost 4, she probably has a routine visit coming up soon anyway, right? Good luck.
My 6 1/2 year old daughter still wets every night too. But my other daughter started waking up a age 3 to go. So I know it is just a genetic thing she got from me. I remember wearing diapers at night till 7 or 8 year old, then I just started waking up. My mom used to set her alarm clock for the middle of the night when she was a child. They now have wet "alarms" out there, but my bet is that your daughter would sleep through an alarm too at this age.
My advice is to just put her in a pull-up at night till she starts waking up to go or waking up dry. (Takes the stress off of everyone!) I've also seen washable overnight underwear made for bed wetters in magazines/web sites like One Step Ahead. That might save you some money in the long run. If you're really concerned, talk to your doctor, but it isn't uncommon for 4 year olds to wet the bed every night. I'm sure your doctor and other web sites would have statistics so you can see how common it is.
All 5 of my siblings and I wet the bed for a long time. I stopped at age 8, the rest kept going longer. Sometimes it is the deep sleeping. I know my Mom tried the buzzing undies for my older brother, some sort of pill, she would wake him up, hormones. All sorts of things. Sometimes you just have to wait it out, as it's not behavioral.
Ohmigosh! I remember wetting the bed up until 14, so I don't expect my 4 year old son to be dry through the night. Underdeveloped bladder until the teen years run in my family. Anyhow, I allow him to drink water when he's thirsty and unfortunately sometimes it's right before bedtime. I don't feel it's right to not allow him to drink. He sleeps at 8:30 and I take him to the restroom at 11:30 every night. Most of the time he stays dry or sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night wanting to sleep with my husband and I, so I tell him to go to the restroom. I don't stress about it and I don't stress it on my child. Gosh, everyone...take the time to remember yourself. Sorry for being so straight forward, but just trying to set a point.
My question is did anyone try getting up several times a night and putting the child on the potty? I started out every two hours, then three, then 4. She's doing better, but she still can't wake up on her own to go potty. We've been at this for almost 3 weeks now. We have gotten to the point that she only needs to potty every 4 hours, but I just can't seem to "seal the deal" and have her get up on her own. I am 22 weeks pregnant and am worried about what's going to happen when I'm having to care for a newborn in the middle of the night and make sure my 4 yr. old is getting to the potty. I also have a 5 yr. old who has been potty trained completely since age 3. I did the same thing with her at night, waking her up every few hours, but it only took 1 week and a half and she was doing it herself. I'm reaching the point of frustration, not at her, but at not knowing how to help her wake up to go. Did anyone else do this the same way I am? Did it work for you?