I can’t get my child dry at night….but that’s ok

can't get my child dry at night

We were pretty blessed when it came to potty training and getting our daughter dry within the day. It happened pretty much when she was bang on 2 years old and although the first 48 hours was a bit of a calamity, she got the swing of it pretty swiftly after that.

I guess I thought that because she had gotten dry so early on in he day, that the same would happen for night. WRONG!

Because here we are at four years old and we’re still in nappies at night. Harassed by elders telling me how their children were dry at night at two, the thought niggles at me constantly. Yet why do we have this inkling that children should be dry at night somewhere around the age of three, when in reality it can take years to get your child dry at night? After all, there’s a reason why they make Pyjama Nappies right?

Dry nappies started making an appearance a few months ago and I thought we were onto something but then boom! – suddenly a total u-turn with nappies becoming wetter than they had ever been.

I just couldn’t understand it!

With the thought of starting school now looming close we thought right! it’s time to grab the bull by the horns. Having tried everything from star charts to full on Theme Park bribery, liquid bans and lifting – none of which worked – we decided it was the summer holidays and it was time to be brave and go cold turkey.

Well that didn’t work. Three bed wets in a night even when we lifted her!!! Not that I minded the wetness (I had put enough layers down after all!) but that just didn’t seem like a child who was ready to go dry at night.

And so back to pull ups we went and that’s where we still are. It’s funny that although most of her peers are dry I began wondering who is this bothering more – her or me? She is in pull up nappies, she is happy. Why force it? Maybe she just has a tiny bladder or the dry night  hormone hasn’t kicked in yet properly? Or maybe it really could just be laziness (gasp! – there I said what is in the back of my mind!).

Either way, as with all things in parenting I know I have to trust that she will do it when she is ready and known she won’t be in nappies at night when she is 15! So silly mum-mind ego get back in your box and trust that all will be well – as ever – in the end. And in the mean time, keep stocking up on those pull ups.

And finally why am I writing this? I’m writing this to let all other mums struggling with trying to get their child dry at night that it’s ok. And you’re not alone and this is no reflection on your ability as a mum (which if you’re already bothering to read this is probably far better than the average!).

Parenting challenges: I can’t get my child dry at night….but that’s ok

Are you struggling to get your child dry at night? Perhaps you have your own struggle to share. Do leave a comment below. Love Talya xoxo

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38 comments

  1. I’m so glad you wrote this. My daughter is 5 1/2 (dry during day at 20months) and still has wet nappies every night. She is such a deep sleeper I don’t think the hormone has kicked in. I think she’ll do it when she’s ready but she is becoming conscious of it which upsets her. There is a school sleepover looming which bothers me! It annoys me how everyone looks bemused when you say she’s still in nappies at night. From what I’ve read give them till they’re about 7 before worrying x

    • I think the deep sleep thing is a big issue with us….do you now there is some kind of alarm you can get that wakes them out of deep sleep just as they are about to need to wee? I’m so pleased to hear we are not the only ones thanks so much for your honesty Helen x

    • That is so great! I kind of thought the same would happen for us but here we are two years on from that and it’s a very different story….x

  2. This is so interesting. I know a lot of people who are struggling with dryness throughout the night. Someone mentioned that life changes like starting school can cause setbacks.

  3. Each child is different and some cannot grasp the concept as easy as others. But you seem as if you’re doing ok, it’s just something that may take some time, so try not to put too much pressure on yourself. For my daughter who has been potty trained day and night since March, with an odd accident here and there. I would tell her about the fairies and how they wanted her to be a big girl and therefore she needed to be brave, and wake if she needed to. It’s a continuous learning curve. We make a big thing about a dry bed with a dance and lots of high fives. Be a complete plonker with her really. She loves it when we show we are so proud of her. Limit her drinks after 5! Just a couple of tips that worked for us! xxxx
    Kelly-Anne | Mimi Rose and Me recently posted…THE BABY FEEDING SERIES WITH THE FOXFAIRIES PART 2My Profile

    • I love the idea about the fairies maybe I’ll try that sounds like such a lovely idea thanks so much for your words of encouragement x

    • I know illness can really set things back and with the illness season starting again I don’t hold out much hope for any changes at our end. I think you’re right that these things come with time x

    • Hey Lisa I think all children are all different I’m sure your little girl will come good with the potty training and the fact she is dry some nights already is fantastic. x

  4. I understand how you feel. It felt like forever before my boys decided they were going to be dry at night. We spent so much money on night nappies and then one day, during the summer, we just decided not to put them on and all of a sudden they went dry! Unforeseen obstacles can really make you feel like you’re taking one step forward and 5 steps back. The important thing is not to stress like you’re not because it will come in time. Good luck! x
    Leyla Preston recently posted…Easy Monster House Halloween Craft for Kids – Step-by-step tutorialMy Profile

  5. It’s so tricky trying to get them dry at night. I really struggled with Youngest and was geting quite panicked by it. But then like you say you have to stay calm and try not to worry. We got there in the end. x

  6. We’ve let all of our daughters do things in their own time, and the ages they were ready for day time and night time dryness have varied a lot. You don’t see many 20-somethings in nappies, just trust they will do it in their own time.

  7. Im glad this is our there i have friends who are constantly stressing that they are on their own so its good to see that others are struggling too – not in a horrible way i hope things sort themselves out soon! All kids are different and take their own time. #coolmumclub

  8. My little boy is 4 and just started school too. We have been trying to get him dry for the past month or so. The longest he has gone without wetting the bed is 6 nights, we have a reward system that once he gets to a week he gets a prize. Your daughter will get there, there is no rush at all x #coolmumclub

  9. The Boy potty trained easy as anything at 2, was also still in nappies at night at 4. Now, he’s 6 and a half, and doesn’t wear night time pants (the word nappies upset him) but we do use bed mats under his sheet and he does still have wet nights. He can be dry for weeks and we think we’ve cracked it, then he’ll suddenly be wet out of nowhere! He’s such a deep sleeper, we even tried an alarm and he slept through that! My plan is see a dr at 7, as that’s when i worry that sleepovers and things are approaching. #coolmumclub

  10. I’m going through potty train at the moment. I understand why it must be so hard when you’re sleepy to think about the toilet. I didn’t know there was a dry night hormone. Reading more. This is COOL knowledge #coolmumclub

  11. Argh to toilet training…it’s all puddles and poopypants for what feels like FOREVER! We have been blessed by the gods of the dry at night but CURSED by the witches of shitsville. Seriously, it’s all swings and roundabouts but as you say they WILL all get there. One day. Please…

    Sending love and plastic sheets my #coolmumclub hero x

  12. My Little girl is almost 3 and is dry through the night pretty much nearly every night, but when she does wet the bed I don’t mind because like you say when they are ready to be fully dry all the time then it will happen. We still take her to toilet when we go up to bed and place a disposable inco sheet and will do so until she no longer needs it. Loved the post.
    #coolmumclub

  13. Don’t sweat it. I’ve got a nearly 4 year old who I can’t get to stay clean during the day, nights are a long way off for us, and I torture myself about it constantly. Should I have pushed harder, should I have left it later, is he just lazy, am I a crap mum. But we all have our different struggles when it comes to our kids and he’s been pretty much plain sailing up until now. #coolmumclub

  14. Oh my god I was planning on writing this exact post this week! Amelia literally woke up one Saturday morning and declared she wanted to wear knickers. Bar a few oops moments, that was it. Fast forward 18 month and she’s still in a pull-up to sleep. I can tell that it’s only really 1 wee in the night, but even if I get her up to wee, she still wets. I’ve been despairing, but you’re right. It’s ok, and she’ll get there in her own time. #coolmumclub

  15. Am yet to tackle potty training at all with my toddler let alone the concept of him being dry at night. Lol! Trust and faith in their development is key. They learn to walk and talk. They shall learn to use the toilet eventually. Xxx #coolmumclub

  16. IT is all down to that hormone. Don’t be too hard on yourself or your daughter. There is nothing you can do about it really. At least she is dry in the day. She won’t be the only kids at school not dry at night, it will come X
    #coolmumclub

  17. I was in the exact same boat. My daughter potty trained almost bang on the two year old mark and just didn’t stay dry at night. We used pull ups in bed until she was 4. She’s 5 now and thankfully we’ve been out of the pull ups for around a year now but we have still had some accidents so I always make sure to have mattress protectors and bed pads down as well. My second daughter is 2 and is now potty trained during the day and has been waking with a dry pull up in the morning but u still continue to use pull ups at night.

    • I feel so relieved to hear other people sharing of similar experiences – you only hear of the dry ones! Thanks so much for sharing x

  18. I can think of about 4 or 5 friends whose children weren’t dry at night until they were 9 and 10. Doctors won’t even help until they are past 9 years old as it’s just not considered a problem. We put so much pressure on ourselves to get them dry at night an it’s just not necessary – they will do it when they are ready #coolmumclub

  19. I honestly think all children do things in their own time – my 2.5yr old is nowhere near being ready for potting changing and my eldest only got the hang of it just after his third birthday. If you try to do things to soon that can only cause more issues and in the longterm they all get there

    Laura x

  20. My MIL loves to remind me that Hubby was dry at night by 20 months. Ben is 16 months and we’ve not been potty training yet… He’s only just mastered walking, but this weekend we’re off to buy a potty with the idea of having it around the house getting him used it first before we even consider starting. #coolmumclub

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