I hope I’m not alone to say that potty training your kids is one of the most tedious jobs ever. It is just one of those things that you wish you don’t have to deal with and hoping for your kids to kind of learn it on their own! Well at least that’s the way I feel, lol.
Potty training Bella during the day was a task but she eventually got it very quickly in about a week. This was at her second attempt at 3 years old as the first time we tried it, when she was 2 years old, was just not possible as she wasn’t ready.
The problem was that she had a few regressions caused by an unfortunate constipation. She suddenly didn’t want to use the toilet anymore as she was scared. Things like that were always a step back but then she finally mastered it and things were great during the day, so no more nappies and hello to normal underwear! Well at least during the day.
Our problem was always the nights. This was something that Bella was struggling with for years! We let her have her Pull-Ups during the night and we just decided to wait for the correct moment to try to stop using them. The first time we tried she didn’t manage to keep dry. We persisted for a few days but it was always the same so we decided that she was definitely not ready for this yet and it was better to wait. The next time we tried, Bella was using Pyjama Pants and not Pull-Ups anymore. It is a similar idea to Pull-Ups but they can hold more pee during the night (Bella at this stage was 4 years old). I was pregnant with Sienna and desperate to get Bella out of her Pyjama Pants. We tried for a couple of weeks and she was successful at the beginning but then the accidents started again and I had to keep changing the sheets (up to 4 times one night) and so I decided to stop again, returning to the Pyjama Pants. I guess being pregnant wasn’t really the best state of mind in which to be dealing with this so with hindsight it was perhaps obvious that this wouldn’t work out but I just wanted to try.
The next attempt was last summer, a few months after Bella had turned 5. It was of course a big concern for me as she was getting older and older and we were still regularly stocking the wardrobe with Pyjama Pants. I was actually worried that she would be wearing them forever, even on her wedding day, LOL!
Anyway, this time we all decided that it was time to get rid of the Pyjama Pants once and for all so when the last pack ran out I had a conversation with Bella and said that she was already 5 and she was now big enough to go to the toilet during the night and that she will not be wearing Pyjama Pants anymore. It was an easy conversation for once as she actually agreed with me.
We started to make a conscious effort to cut her liquids after her evening meal and I was constantly talking to her about it so she was mentally prepared. She went to the toilet before she went to bed and we told her that later in the night we were going to take her to the toilet again. We also put a waterproof sheet underneath her while she slept just in case. At about 11:30 we took her again to the toilet. She was confused but she actually did pee and I was of course constantly monitoring her that night. I think I hardly slept worrying that she would wet the bed, but she didn’t. It was a successful first night.
The following night we did exactly the same thing and it worked again. She was like this for about 4 days. On day 5 she had an accident! Oh no I was so disappointed! Why did she have an accident? What did we do wrong? I was confused.
The following day we did the same routine but she had an accident again. It was so confusing, but then after a few days of failures she had a dry night again. The celebrations didn’t last long. She managed to be good for another week but a week later she had a few more accidents. The whole process was so frustrating and we were like this for months, some nights good but then an accident!! Cleaning sheets and changing pyjamas were just part of the routine! One thing we did do this time was to stick with it with no return to Pyjama Pants, even if it meant waking her in the night to empty her bladder. From the moment we said no more Pyjama Pants, that was it, there was no going back!! This is the best recommendation I could give to any parent trying to potty train during the night.
I must admit that I was really worried about this whole process. I didn’t understand why Bella at 5 years old was still wetting the bed. She had a GP appointment for her eczema and I discussed it with the doctor just in case. The doctor explained that each child is different and of course some kids develop at a different pace to others. The bladder should mature enough in order to be able to hold the pee for the whole night. Apparently this wasn’t just something that needed teaching but it was something that needed lots of patience because you just need to wait for this moment to come. She said that wetting the bed up to 7 or 8 years old was still considered normal but perhaps after that age it could be possible that there could be some other issue. If it was still happening then, we could discuss about it at that time.
I felt more relieved after that conversation as I felt that it was still okay if Bella wasn’t ready for this because her bladder was not mature enough to hold her pee for the whole night. We just kept trying and remained persistent with it. The routine was to always make her do a pee before bedtime and then take her to the toilet later in the night to make sure her bladder was empty and this would allow her to get through the whole night. Since then, Bella hasn’t had any more accidents. I guess this is a routine for her now so she knows that she needs to go to the toilet if she needs to pee and not do it in the bed. Also her bladder has matured as it is holding much more liquid during the night from 11:30 to 7:30 am, so it is definitely a huge improvement.
At this stage I can say that she is finally potty trained at night if you would like to call it like that but my only concern now is for how long do I need to encourage her to go to the toilet later in the night. I’m hoping that soon she won’t need it and that she will go all night without having to go to the toilet or better still, gets up and goes to the toilet on her own if she needs to without us asking her to do it. I hope this will just come with time.
This post is for all the parents out there that are struggling with potty training their kids during the night. I think it is important to be persistent and always to keep trying. It is not easy but eventually will happen. Just be aware that the bladder needs to mature enough in order to hold the amount of liquid your child needs to keep dry during the night. For this we just need to be patient and give it time.
I guess if you are concerned it is always better to have a conversation with your GP as the one I had actually helped me and gave me more hope. I was more relaxed and less worried after that and I just knew that things would progress with time and if not there is always the option to have the proper conversation with the doctors when that moment comes and there has been no progress at all.
Have you had any problems like this with potty training during the night? What was your experience? Do you have any tips to improve this process? Please leave a comment below as I would love to hear what you thing.
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