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Should I Wake My Child to Pee at Night to Train Him?

May 20, 2019 2 min read

Many parents ask about this technique, also known as "lifting.  Lifting means getting your child out of bed during the night and walking or carrying him or her to the bathroom.  In some cases, this technique does provide nights of dryness but your child doesn't actually learn anything from this.

It is likely that your child is emptying his bladder before It's full, making it difficult to learn the proper response to the full-bladder signal.  Most children have no memory of being taken to the toilet, even though they may talk to you or look awake.

Also, lifting your child at the same time each night may make his bladder used to being emptied at that time, rather than holding it until morning.  Because your child learns nothing by this method, he will wet on nights you forget to lift him.

You have no way of knowing exactly when your child needs to use the bathroom because this varies each night.  Just as you may have to get up at different times each night to urinate, or some nights not at all, your child's bladder needs to be emptied at various times.  Getting her up when you need to urinate is on your body's schedule, not hers.

If you want to try this technique for a couple of weeks, or on alternate nights, you can see if your child manages to stay dry on the nights you don't walk him to the bathroom.  If he can stay dry on his own, great. 

If, however, you don't see improvement on the nights you don't lift him, this technique most likely won't work.  "Lifting him for months or years still will not allow him to make that necessary "brain-bladder connection so he can wake on his own to a full bladder.  

If your child is 5 or 6 and still wetting on nights you don't intervene, it may be time for a bedwetting alarm. Bedwetting alarms allow him to make that connection by pinpointing exactly when he needs to get to the bathroom. The alarm sounds at different times each night, but only when his body really needs to urinate. This conditions him to recognize the feeling that comes before he needs to wake up to use the bathroom. Then he can truly stay dry at night without any help from you.

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