If your child was completely day trained as a 2-year-old but is still wearing training pants to bed at age 4, you’re not alone. Guest parenting expert Laura Jana, MD, explains that nighttime enuresis (wetting) is very different from daytime potty training. While most kids are day trained by age 3, one in five of all 5-year-olds still wets the bed at night.
Why? Getting your child’s bladder to hold urine for such a long time -- and wake him up when he needs to go -- is a matter of time, and development of that ability varies widely with each child.
What can you do to help?
- Serve no liquids after dinner.
- Make an extra trip to the potty before bed.
- Set a bed-wetting alarm.
- Enlist your child’s help in cleanup after they wet the bed.
Remember that all of these efforts may not be enough if your child’s body just isn’t ready to “hold it” that long yet. If you’re struggling with a child’s bed-wetting well past age 5, it may be due to genetics -- bed-wetting tends to run in families. It may also be due to underlying health problems like diabetes or bladder issues (although these are rare).
Until the nighttime wetting stops, keep a mattress cover on your child’s bed, and do your best to help keep them from feeling shame and embarrassment, says Jana.
One mom has had night potty training success with her 5-year-old but is still struggling with her older two children, who are 7 and 9 years old. She’s tried vibrating underwear, restricting drinks, and waking them at certain intervals, but nothing seems to help.
What techniques and strategies have worked to help your child with nighttime potty training? Share your tips and suggestions with the community.