THIS MONTH ON MOMMY DIARIES

Ingredient of the month: Cream of Chicken Soup

Do you want to be our newest author? Click here!

5.25.2009

Overnight Potty Training Frustration


Okay, I need so me advice on overnight potty training. Jack is five years and two months old and is totally potty trained during the day and has been for years. He still wears a night time pull up to bed at night and every morning it is SOAKED. Finally when he turned five we decided that we were sick of buying diapers for a big kid and so we put a plastic sheet on his bed, stopped letting him drink anything after 6 and made him go potty right before bed etc. He would wet the bed every single night. My husband started getting him up in the middle of the night and making him go to the bathroom half asleep, but he would still wake up wet.

The thing that kills me is that I can tell that he just really doesn't care. He wants to wear the pull up and if he doesn't get one he is totally fine with laying in his own pee. I started an incentive program where he would get a super cool prize if he woke up dry. He went one night and got the toy and then never even tried again, no matter how awesome the prize was. We tried requiring him to do extra chores to earn money to buy his own diapers. (he was happy to do so).

I realized that I am the one putting all of the effort into this. I am the one who has to wash the sheets and Lysol the mattress cover every morning and he just doesn't care. His room started to smell bad no matter how much I cleaned. I decided to give up and let him have the diapers back. My husband and I disagree on this. My husband worries that the lack of consistency sets a bad precedent and that we just lost the battle of wills. I agree and I worry about this too, but I just felt like I was so sick of picking this fight with Jack every single day.

So what do you guys think? Is five years old way too old to be wearing a night time diaper? Is it worth it to keep struggling with this every day in the name of consistency? Should I just let it go until he wants to stop wetting the bed? I'm interested to see what you guys would do in this situation or to see if anyone has been through this with a child.

19 comments:

Andrea said...

I dont have a child this old but my 3 little brothers were all bed wetters and my mom got this little pill that she would give them under thier tongue right before bed and it helped! She cant remember the name of them but she says you can get them at Walmart and to look in the herb section!!! I hope this helps and I will look there next time I go to try and help you out more!!!

Elliott Mom said...

We're still working on regular potty training with my daughter, but one of my nephews is 6 and still has occasional bed wetting problems. I would start by talking to his pediatrician, he/she may have some good ideas that you can try. My nephew's dr said that some kids' bladder just take longer to mature and hold it all night.

Anna said...

I guess I would just limit his drink intake starting a few hours before bed. Put him back in undies at night and then make him clean up the mess every morning, wash and change the sheets do the lysol, and whatever else you do make him do it. My Mom used an alarm with my brother that went off when he started to pee and that would wake him up and he would then go. You could also try and explain to him how it makes you feel when you have to clean up after him. I don't have any personal experience with this, but I hope some of that helps.

Laura said...

I don't have experience with an older one wetting the bed, but when I was potty training my younger one, any time she wet herself (not at first, of course), she had to clean it up. In other words, I agree with Anna. Good luck! That must be so emotionally draining!

Cassi said...

Yikes that's hard! I think making him clean up his mess is a great idea! After doing that for a week straight he might try a little harder. Even though having him clean it up might be harder on you it might be worth it in the end.

Also... is he the youngest? It always helped with us pointing out that "babies wear diapers". Not that you want to make fun of him or make him feel bad but just helping him understand that he's a big boy and big boys need to learn how to wear underwear during the night.

Good luck!!

Shannon said...

Staci, You are so not alone in this. I have a 6 1/2 year old with the same exact issues. My husband & I have done the same things. He thinks it's a serious problem. He's taken him to has last to dr's appointments & the dr says it's actually a very common problem among boys & that it could take years. My husband thinks that's crap but I don't want him to be scarred for life by telling him bad things about it. I've talked to many friends about this & family members. They all say it just takes time & that part of the problem is that they just don't wake up & something about their bladder not being ready to trigger the response to the brain to wake up (does that make sense?) Anyway, I hated the smell of the vinyl pants & decided that I would rather buy the pullups than wash sheet every single day. Sometimes he wakes up dry like on the campout he just went on but it's so random. I tell him he just needs to try harder. No drinking didn't work & if they're thirsty they should be able to have a drink. I admit, it's very frustrating, but if it's a developmental thing, what can you do. Talk to your pediatrician, see what they say, but it may be totally out of your control. Just don't make a big deal out of it. At least he's only wearing them at night, right? Good luck & if you get any miraculous information, PLEASE pass it my way. I'd still like him to wake up dry every night. shanbeltram@gmail.com. Good luck, I'd like to know more about those pills mentioned in the 1st comment. Do not call him a baby, unless he's doing it on purpose.

Cassi said...

Sorry, I definitely wasn't trying to say you should call your son a baby! I hope that's not how my comment came across!
In your description you made it sound like a motivational problem, not a developmental problem. I've heard of people who have bed wetting problems their whole life. If this is the case then a doctor is who you need to talk to.
But if it IS a motivation thing like it originally sounded, then I was merely suggesting you could point out to him that babies wear diapers (not call him a baby). Especially if he is the youngest, because then he may not see any babies wearing diapers. I know with our son it helped that his baby sister was wearing diapers because that motivated him to want to do "big boy" things like wearing underwear.
Anyway I just wanted to clarify that. I would never condone calling your children names or making them feel bad! Especially about something that they can't control!
Good luck again! :)

Shalee said...

Staci...thank you for this question! I've heard it is harder for boys to tackle this obstacle than it is for girls. My son is still 2 so we aren't facing this one...yet.

I found this great article that might be helpful for you and your husband to read...(copy and paste it into your web browser)

http://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-normal-that-my-big-kid-still-wets-the-bed_3652531.bc

I hope you find it helpful! I know someone that used the alarm that goes off when they wet the bed...I think it took some time but it finally paid off. It helps them connect their brain to wake up when they wet.

Good luck and remember that eventually everyone gets through this stage!

Hoenesclan said...

My brother wet the bed until he was 16. He was such a deep sleeper. He eventally just grew out of it. My husband also wet the bed hen he was little. His mom had him sleep on a mat that would beep when he had to go to the bathroom. I have no idea how that worked!

Christine Archibald said...

I think this is a pretty common problem actually. My niece had a problem wetting the bed just at night for a long time. She was in school and couldn't go to any sleep over parties because she was embarrassed. Her pediatrician prescribed her with a medication that she took every night before bed. She was told that there was a hormone missing that is needed to hold it all night. I don't know how long she took the medication, no longer then a year. Now she doesn't need it any longer. I don't know what she took but you should ask your dr, maybe he needs a little help for awhile. So sorry that you have to deal with this frustrating problem! Good luck and let us know what works for you, you never know, I may need this someday!

Shannon said...

Hey Cassi, I didn't mean to say that in a bad way. Sometimes that happens at my house & I don't think it's done in a nice way. I totally use the "you're a big boy now" thing on both my boys all the time. I hope I didn't come across as a total jerk. You have great advice.

David and Shelly said...

I'm doing the potty training thing with my two-year-old and I'm soooo glad that you've all commented. I know now that I need to ease up on my son. I think I'm too hard on him when he has an accident. We have our good days and our bad days I guess. I just hope I don't ruin my first kid, learning how to teach all these things.
Anyway, I heard from a friend who runs a day care and she heard this from a Pediatrician, that there is a hormone that triggers urine production to slow down while we sleep. Apparently, that hormone works at different ages. For some kids it takes until they are 8 or even older, as lots of other people have commented.
I personally had and still have problems with controlling my bladder, only I'm AWAKE!! And being pregnant and having kids doesn't make it any better! :o) I've just had to tell my husband that when I say "no more laughing" as I'm doubled over trying to make it to the bathroom, I'm very serious that there is no more laughing. I guess it means that I should be more understanding when accidents happen.

Anonymous said...

I had this exact problem. My son was fine during the day but was wet every night. We tried limiting drinks, waking him twice in the night, and we even tried medication. We did not like the possible side effects of the meds and nothing else seemed to work. We went to see a specialist when he was in 1st grade. She told me that it was common and not to worry. She also told me not to make a big deal about it to him, he couldn't help it. She told me he would grow out of it. We just let things be and he did grow out of it. By the end of second grade he was staying dry more nights than he was wet. Now he is turning 11 next month and I think he has had only 1 accident in the past 6 months. Relax, it will happen.

Staci Kramer said...

Wow You guys are awesome! This was exactly what I needed! I'm not sure if its a developmental problem or just a motivation problem but I feel like every bit of this advice is gold! I will keep you updated on our progress!

The Paynes said...

We have twin 6 yr old sons and one potty trained great by 3, the other still wets 5 nights out of 7. We've tried the alarm(he sleeps through it) and now he sleep walks and pees all over the house at night. He thinks he's in the bathroom when he's really in the garage or my room peeing in my hamper. Seriously. I have just given up and I do a lot of laundry. He doesn't even know he's doing it. They say after age 7 to see a doctor, but I think he's such a sound sleeper he may need a sleep specialist. We cannot wake him up when he's walking for anything. He even starts laughing and acting really weird, he just can't talk. I hope he'll grow out of it. I don't know anything else to do!

aileen said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan

http://toddlergirls.net

Anonymous said...

I think Pull-ups are a fine way to handle bed wetting. But you should make using the Pull-ups the child's responsiblity. He has to put them on at night even if he is away from his house. He has to remove them and put them in the proper place. Take a bath if he is wet every morning. He has to do all the clean up do not help guide him he is not a baby.

Amanda said...

I am so relieved to see that someone else is having the exact same issue we are having. My son will be 5 in Feb and we were using pull ups at night untill the week - I had had enough of it. If we don't remind/force him to take it off first thing in the morning he will keep it on and pee in it. We put him back in the toddler bed with the waterproof crib mattress and put the pull ups away. I am however torn as to why he is wetting the bed - is he just lazy or is he truly not developmentally ready. I make him strip the bed and put it in the wash if he wakes up wet, but I think all of this is having a negative effect as he had an "accident" two days in a row during the day (which he has not had in over a year). I'm considering calling the pediatrician to discuss because I don't want to be doing the wrong thing or have a negative impact on him.

Anonymous said...

So glad i found this. I have a 5 year old and a 4 year old who both wear pull-ups to bed. They both have their own in their own dressers. They put them on at bedtime and throw them away in the morning. I know never to make a big issue of bed wetting because i did until the first or second grade. My mom never made me feel bad or embarrassed about this either. It was something a little kid doesnt have control over. Just reading all of the advice on here just helped me so much. To know now not to worry that much about it and if there is an actual medical issue that they have lots of options for overcoming it.