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Do you 'train' your kids to be dry at night...instinct says no but DH says yes...thoughts?

(52 Posts)
robin3 Wed 03-Oct-07 14:49:27

DH suddenly got it in to his head that DS1 (nearly 4) should be trained to be dry at night. Bizarrely it's the only milestone he's ever expressed an opinion about but maybe that's because he thinks I've forgotten one of my Mummy duties!!

Most mornings DS1 wakes up with a wet nappy and we've just moved him to dry night pants. I get DH's point of view on the environmental impact of using disposables but my question is am I waiting for DS1 to consistently wake up dry or should I be training this in some way?

iota Wed 03-Oct-07 14:53:27

I don't think training comes into it - they just become dry by tehmselves

juuule Wed 03-Oct-07 14:54:23


WitnessProtectionCod Wed 03-Oct-07 14:55:16

ds1( very early at day time) was6

nimnom Wed 03-Oct-07 14:56:41

Hi Robin3
My ds1 was five at the end of July and apart from the odd week here and there is still not dry at night. My nephews now 12 and 9 were both 6 before they were dry at night and the health visitor told my sister not to worry unless they got to 7 and were still having problems.
So, I'm not too worried except that it bothers my son. I can't begin to think how you would train him. We get my son up each evening before we go to bed to try to get him into the habit but it doesn't always work.
I think time is the key and it will happen when it happens. In the meantime thank goodness drynites have got racing cars on otherwise ds1 wouldn't go near!!!!

TigerFeet Wed 03-Oct-07 14:58:51


dd got the hang of it very early on (younger than 3) without any encouragement from us at all... I know other children that were 6 or 7 before they were dry at night.

iirc there is an anti-diuretic hormone that needs to be active before a child is physically able to hold their wee until morning - if it doesn't work properly yet then you have no chance of "training" a child.

WigWamBam is your woman for this, but she is taking a break atm.

hth though

Fennel Wed 03-Oct-07 14:59:04

2 of my 3 never woke up dry but were still out of night nappies a couple of weeks after being out of day nappies. They just didn't want to wear them at night so we took them off and they were fine. bar the very occasional accident. so it seems they were ready but without passing that "dry nappy" test.

The third was dry at night before in the day so she's probably just weird.

Hulababy Wed 03-Oct-07 14:59:36

IMo you can't train a child to be dry at night. It is something that just happens.

DD has wanted to be dry at night for about 3 years - desperately so. At 4yo she refused to wear reusable night time nappies (Bedwetters by Motherease), so we got a couple of bed mats from Mothercare. She was dry about 3 out of 7 nights. By time she was 5yo she was more consistantly dry, dry most of the time but excitement and stress would make her wet, as would drinking anything other than water after about 3pm in the afternoon. DD is now 5y5m and the only time she wets is if she doesn't just stick to water after school.

We tried alsorts of things, inc lifting. And none of it worked, and that was with DD's complete cooperation.

robin3 Wed 03-Oct-07 15:00:23

Thank the Lord...I'll take that off my list of 'things to think about'.

Twigaletto Wed 03-Oct-07 15:00:33

no .. dh talking rubbish .. its a physical not a mental thing and driven by hormones

if he's not 'dry' by 7 or 8 consider talking to doctor

that said DS never had a dry nappy but just decided for himself he didn't want to wear night-time nappies anymore at about 4 so after a couple of weeks he managed it

DD was dry from potty training at 2.6

Anchovy Wed 03-Oct-07 15:00:42

I can't see what you can do to train them, though.

DS - fully potty trained at 2.3, out of night time nappies at 2.4, has probably wet the bed less than 5 times since (is 6 next week).

DD - fully potty trained at 2.4, was 4 last week, still in night nappies. We do have dry nappies occasionallly and we are now getting 2 or even 3 days in a row, but that can be followed by a week of wet ones.

We are working up with (very) small present for 3 or 5 dry nights in a row (partly as a way of identifying how much of it is slightly lazy early morning wee-ing) but have never got up to 5. But to the extent it happens in the night, I'm not sure there is anything we could do to train her.

witchandchips Wed 03-Oct-07 15:04:16

Reusable night nappies?

Blackduck Wed 03-Oct-07 15:08:33

Glad someone else has raised this as I have been thinking about it as ds is 4 and at school and I keeping thinking I should be doing something....have always been anti 'lifting' or getting them to go when you go to bed cos I'd sooner he was in nappies than he was turned into a bad sleeper!

robin3 Wed 03-Oct-07 15:17:11

Do the reusables have Spiderman on them? Other DH slight error...bringing Spiderman 'feel when you're wet nappies' in to the equation and leaving me to explain to him and DS why he has to wear the Dry Nights with footballers on instead!

minorityrules Wed 03-Oct-07 15:25:19

I've said it before and will say again

Dump the nappies/dry nights. They are holding children back as the brain is tricked into thinking it is ok to pee. More and more children are becoming later to be dry at night thanks to dry nights

Put up with some wet bedding, buy spares and be prepared to change and wash them. that's what was done before pampers came up with this money spinner

There is training you can do. Make sure they drink loads and loads of water up to teatime. Make sure they go to the loo lots, only drinks to satisfy thirst after tea.dinner and absolutely no fizzy drinks (including sparkling water) and no red drinks (including cranberry juice)

It works, I promise

Anchovy Wed 03-Oct-07 15:35:58

But Minority Rules, why bother?

Firstly I'm really anti restricting fluids in any way (DD only drinks water, diluted apple juice or milk, so no "baddies"). Secondly, call me lazy, but I really don't want to go through the "you'll learn through a wet bed" scenario - it will make me/DH cross and tired to be changing the bed, it will make DD dispirited. She has not been great with her sleep pattern - ok, but not fantastic - but I really don't want a new regime where she wakes up, is wet, is unhappy, I have to put lights on and change the bed and just hope she settles straight back down to sleep.

In the mornings she gets up, takes her own nappy off and puts it in the bin before coming and getting in my bed. Its not exactly hard work for anyone involved grin

donttouchthefruit Wed 03-Oct-07 15:39:47

minority rules - why loads of water up to tea time?

minorityrules Wed 03-Oct-07 15:40:15

Just repeating the advice you will get IF the child is still wetting age 10 from an eneurisis clinic

I wasted a huge amount money on nappies when I know, if I had followed this advice I could have had a dry (and disabled btw) daughter much much earlier. My case was made much harder due to disabilities but it worked! It has helped daughter with self esteem and saved me a fortune!!!

If you don't want to bother, that is fine but some people might, that's why I posted

And also, it's not about restriciting fluids. It restricts types of drinks and 'trains' the bladder and brain to work better

donttouchthefruit Wed 03-Oct-07 15:48:13

does the loads of water help their bladder control, or is it just so you know they've had enough to drink. sorry to be thick

tori32 Wed 03-Oct-07 15:49:48

I don't think you can train them at night and putting too much pressure on children can be counter productive, from my own perspective I couldn't stop bedwetting and used to try to not go to sleep to avoid it. This resulted in me being overtired and making the problem worse.
However, there are things you can do to help get him dry.
1. Ensure lots of drinks up to tea time. Minimal drinks after tea.
2. If necessary put a light on in the bathroom over night.
3. Don't let him go to bed with a monitor whether its TV or video still on in bed- this stimulates the brain to produce vasopressin which in turn stimulates urine production. This is naturally less at night time because it is dark, but the brain is tricked into thinking it is still day time through false lights.
4. Get him to try to wee before going to bed.
5. Star charts etc can help if you feel it is laziness, however, limited usefulness.
6. If it persists, look for psychological factors i.e. birth of a sibling, bullying at school etc, as these can be contributors.

From experience, my parents could not understand why I was totally dry on holiday, but wet most nights at home, I was being bullied at school and had a mother who called me names when I wet the bed. sad

Never appear to be angry or frustrated.

Olihan Wed 03-Oct-07 15:49:59

Night time wetting is controlled by a hormone and until that hormone is present a child can not physically be dry through the night. The age at which this happens varies from child to child and family to family but boys are often later then girls and lateness in becoming dry can often run in families. Most experts consider bed-wetting normal until age 6, when only 10 to 13 percent of kids still wet the bed so you're by no means unusual.

If you take away the night time nappies and your ds is not ready to be dry at night then you are a) generating a ridiculous amount of washing for yourself, not to mention broken nights, and b) creating a very negative association for your ds which isn't going to be good for either of you. Having a wet bed and disturbed night, every night for days or weeks on end is pointless, to my mind. I'd put up with the nappies for a while longer and see what happens.

tori32 Wed 03-Oct-07 15:52:21

If you limit fluid intake the bladder doesn't get emptied properly and leads a residual volume in the bladder. Drinking lots of fluid encourages a total emptying before bed.

TartanKnickers Wed 03-Oct-07 15:53:13

I don't think you can train them tbh - I have tried many things to no avail.

Dumping the pull-ups never helped in my ds's case.

He is nearly 6 and still wet at night. He doesn't wear pull-ups - hasn't for a year now - I have a couple of incontinence sheets for his beds which I wash every day as he is never dry in the morning.

I don't want to put him back into pull-ups either.

We have tried lifting/not lifting, restricting drinks....that only made his urine smell much worse.....thinking of trying homeopathy but not totally decided.

Bedwetting can be genetic too. My brother wasn't dry til he was around 7, and my mums brother was about 8.

Try not to stress about it - it will come with time. I just treat it as a routine thing now - wash the sheets, get on with it and never get angry with them for wetting. They can't help it.

Incidently, ds's twin sister was dry day and night at 2 with no training.

omeN666 Wed 03-Oct-07 15:54:03

Ds never had a dry nappy but decided he didnt want a night nappy so we tried without.
He wet the bed for the first night and that wsa it. I think if they decide to try it go with it but dont push it.

minorityrules Wed 03-Oct-07 15:54:59

I think it is so they feel when their bladders are really full, rather than just holding and peeing small amounts

Our routine was
wake up, pee, mug of water
mug of water with breakfast, pee after breakfast
mug of water before we left and more pee
arrive school, water, pee
break water, pee
lunch etc etc up toevening meal

After that, just sips if thirsty. shouldn't be thirsty as they are well hydrated throughout the day

We were told a lot of children do not drink enough through the day and over drink in the evening to compensate. It should be the other way around

It took daughter a few weeks to get used to having that much water but it is second nature for us all now (which can only be a good thing in the long run) We all joined in and upped our water

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