“My daughter is 4.5 years old and has been dry in the daytime since she turned 3. She still wets every night and her pull-up is soaked in the morning. I know this can be normal but I wonder if there are some things I can be doing now to help her get to nighttime dryness”.
This is a very common concern of parents. The general consensus is that nighttime dryness can follow daytime dryness by months or even years. Here are 8 things that you can do to help with night time potty training:
1) Daytime dryness should be established first. Make sure she is reliably dry in the daytime, knows when she needs to use the bathroom and has soft, regular bowel movements.
2) Encourage drinking and frequent toileting during the daytime. Fluids after dinner should be water, not milk or juice, in a small quantity.
3) Double void before bed. This means making sure she tries to go potty 30 minutes before bedtime, then once more as lights go out.
4) Trial of no pull-ups. Especially if you have noticed that her pull-ups are less wet or dry in the morning, try having her wear underwear to bed. Protect the bed with a waterproof cover and protect her sheets with waterproof, washable overlay pads. The ones with the tuck-in sides are the best. If a couple weeks pass with no sign of progress toward dry nights, restart the pull-ups and know that there will be a better time to try this later on.
5) Don’t allow pull-ups to be worn while she is awake. Put it on last thing before lights out and take it off first thing in the morning. Some children will wet the pull-up as they are waking up in the morning, just because they know it is there.
6) Remind your daughter if she wakes up for any reason or if she comes to your room in the night, she should use the bathroom at this time, even if she doesn’t feel she needs to.
7) You can introduce a bedwetting alarm to help her speed up that brain-bladder connection if your daughter gets to 6 and is still having nighttime accidents.
8 ) Walking your daughter to the bathroom before you go to sleep probably does not speed up the development of dry nights but there is one less voiding in the bed.
In most cases, children do not have control over their nighttime wetting and this behavior is not reflective of your parenting skills. There is no need to feel parental guilt; being kind and supportive is much better. Punishment is not warranted and will not speed up the development of dry nights. Be patient and know that each child develops at a different rate.