Small Talk

Potty training, PM version

February 21st, 2011

I have the displeasure of now being able to say I have been peed on. More than once. It's called night-time potty training.

My kid's been potty trained for daytime, for about a year - right before she turned three. We didn't attempt to take her out of pull ups at night for a while. People say the child needs to get the daytime version downpat first, which took a few weeks. We then tried to work on potty training for overnight, but she was unable to keep her pull up dry overnight.

We gave it some time and then decided to try it again recently. I thought that maybe having a pull up on was hampering her effort to stay dry at night since psychologically, she knew there would be a crutch. I just went "cold turkey" one night.

I researched what to do, so we had plenty of spare sheets and nightgowns ready. I was prepared for lots of leaks since I knew Olivia would have a lot less control over herself if she were sleeping. We stopped giving her liquids after 5 p.m. and made her pee right before bed. We also woke her up and took her to the toilet right before we went to sleep at 10 p.m. She always has a night light, but we talked to her about staying dry at night, and getting up to walk to the bathroom to pee if she felt she needed to go.

Did it work? No. In a two week span, she stayed dry twice. Once, because she slept at my parents' house for the usual weekend sleep over, and my mother was understandably paranoid about having a urinated-on bed, so she woke up Olivia every three hours to pee. The other time, because she ate a restaurant pizza that was very salty and she was so dehydrated she asked me for water overnight. I denied the request.

What happened was that every night around 1 a.m. she would wet the bed. Around 2 or 3 am she would wake up and come into our room and inform us of such. Claus would go in and change everything immediately and then try to make her go back to sleep. Usually, she would be fully awakened after getting a new set of night clothes on, and she would object to sleeping in her bed. "I want to sleep in your bed," she insisted.

Some nights we held our ground, but towards the end we were getting worn down by the interrupted sleep. She would cry for 10 or 15 minutes about wanting to sleep in our bed. We have no problem with letting her cry herself to sleep, but it also keeps us up. So by the end of a 14 day stretch we were getting mighty tired.

I finally called the pediatrician to see what to do. She told us sometimes kids aren't ready, and that's OK. The doctor said when Olivia can stay dry overnight in her pull ups, then it's time. I guess I was wrong about the psychological crutch thing.

It's fine with me that Olivia go back to pull ups at night. In fact, we all get better rest.


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