4 years old: 1st dry night of her life – Potty training at night, a different way

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog. Mainly because as Lolo gets older, the mile stones are less pronounced. We’ve mastered the walking, the running, the eating on her own, drinking from an open-topped cup, stringing sentences together… and of course potty training.

I’d originally thought that I would potty train during the day and as soon as she’d got that, I’d move on to potty training at night. Thing is, she was potty trained during the day at about 1 and a half. This was out of personal preference mainly as her little brother was fast on the approach and I really didn’t want 2 in nappies. So she got with the potty training nice and early so she’d have that as the norm for a while before the arrival of her brother caused disruption and any knock on regression. It took her a while to get a hold on it, about a month and then as anyone potty training will tell you, they go through good patches and less good patches, then they discover attention absorption (i.e. Mummy – sorry I was too busy playing with my friend and forgot I needed a wee, FOMO for us adults :). Anyway, the short and curlies of it are that I tried to get her into night-time training, but it wasn’t working. 9 months pregnant and knowing we were about to have more than enough challenges on our hands, we decided leave it alone for a bit. I couldn’t face being in the depths of training and then having her regress due to her new brother’s arrival, washing bed sheets every night and then having her come tearing down the hall screaming because she was upset she’d wet herself, waking the whole house up. Nope. I left it alone. She’d also had a few nights where she’d woken up and her nappy had been dry. I was hopeful she would just grow out of it. She didn’t. But it’s so much easier to do nothing!!! Surely she’d grow out of it eventually – wouldn’t she?

Anyway, we find ourselves on the cusp of a big mile stone in her life again. A big disruption is on the horizon. She’s about to start school in 6 weeks. It is time to try again.

My motivation? She’s pretty strong of character, but kids are unkind and I really don’t want her to be on the back foot at school. I don’t want her to get bullied for wetting the bed at night, or still being a ‘baby’ in nappies. If I can imagine it – I’m sure kids can exploit it.

So what have we done?

  • I have set our expectations at a month, a month of wet beds and sleep disruption. Of her coming down the hall and crying she’d wet the bed. If I aim for a month, it means I’m committed and I accept it may take a while.
  • I have stopped her drinking fluids before bed. They’re going to bed around 9pm at the moment due to the late nights of the summer so she’s allowed to drink what she wants up until about 7/7.30pm. Then literally 2 or 3 small sips if she gets thirsty to help her not need a big wee during the night.
  • Big wee before bed, last thing before bed
  • Prepping the bed. We’ve put a bed mat down, so I don’t have to disassemble the mattress and wash it each time there’s an accident. I’ve also added a towel under her, doubled over, again so I don’t need t change the sheets every day (yup – I’m lazy)
  • No more pull ups for bed. Gone.
  • Making it OK for her. She’s in training. We expect her to wet herself at night as she’s done it for the last 4 years, she needs to know it’s ok to have accidents whilst we’re ‘training’.

The results? We started on Monday. Tuesday morning, 6am we have Lolo going to the toilet, but then coming in to our bedroom, very sad, holding her wet pants. It was OK we told her. She climbed into bed with us and calmed down. A month of this, I could probably manage. Tuesday morning she came in at 7am – she was dry. WHAT!?!!! Yes people, first dry night of her life. She ran to the toilet straight away. When asked she said she’d gone in the middle of the night too. Maybe she had, maybe she hadn’t – who cares, she had a dry night! Lot’s of celebration as you can imagine. And then this morning – Wednesday. Totally dry and no getting up at night to use the toilet.

This is exciting. 2 dry nights in a row. But I’m giving us a full month for the training to be over. And the truth is, we’ll probably have to keep an eye on it when she starts school again. But this is lovely. We’ve been waiting 4 years! Should we have started earlier? Who knows. Will report back later on progress.

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