Riley wakes up early in the morning, earlier than the rest of the household. He used to come get under the covers with us but the sweetness of his presence couldn’t overcome the annoyance factor of having an impatient, squirming, pointy-elbowed bed partner who repeatedly asked if it was time to get up yet (to which we’d hiss back NO IT IS 5:45 AM OH MY ACHING GOD), so we asked him to stay in his room, which he does. He turns on his bedside lamp, he gets out books and toys, and he generally keeps himself happily occupied until the adults come staggering out in search of caffeine.

He also gets dressed on his own, which blows my mind. He goes to bed a pajama’d wee boy, his scrawny butt padded with his nighttime Pull-Up, and by the time we greet him in the morning he’s outfitted himself in t-shirt and jeans, Spiderman underwear lurking underneath. Suddenly he’s some kind of hulking kindergartner or something, chattering away at top volume and likely as not sporting his custom-made water pistol holster, fashioned out of a sock and a belt by yours truly.

Oh, he’s getting to be such a big boy. Which leads me to a delicate question about that aforementioned Pull-Up — at what age do kids typically stop using those at night? He’s rock solid on the bathroom thing and has been for a long time, but not peeing all night long (or waking up and using the bathroom) seems like a lot to expect from a 4-year-old. But maybe not? I have no idea, really.

As far as diaper-related issues go in my house that one overnight Pull-Up is pretty far down the give-a-hoot list, but I thought I’d ask those of you in the know. When did your kid start sleeping without a safety net, so to speak?

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Veronica
Veronica
12 years ago

I’ve been wondering the same thing! Thanks for asking it! I’m anxious to hear what everyone says. Mine is close to 4 and she still does the pullup thing at night too. and it’s pretty far down on my give-a-hoot list too, but now that you asked… thanks :)

Eric's Mommy
12 years ago

Eric wasn’t totally potty trained, pee and poop, until he had just turned 4. I have a bad memory but I’m pretty sure he slept in a pull up until then.

sarah
sarah
12 years ago

My son is 5 and I still can’t trust him without his “good nites”. I start to wonder if it’s just a habit now–if we were to go cold turkey, would he actually be ok after an initial adjustment or would we be changing sheets forever?

Erin
Erin
12 years ago

My 4 year old (Nov.) is still in a night time pull up too. From what I’ve read it depends on the child. When their brains (up there and down there) start waking them up to go they’re ready. I also have a friend who woke her child up every night at 11 or 12 to go….Fun, no?

warcrygirl
12 years ago

Both of my boys needed a pull-up at night for awhile, until about 1st grade I think. One of The Captain’s friends will wet the bed sometimes when he spends the night; I don’t make a big deal of it but I will let his mom know (he’s almost 9). Some kids just have a small bladder and don’t wake up during the night to empty it; I’d try restricting fluids for an hour before bedtime and having Riley use the potty immediately before going to bed.

g~
g~
12 years ago

Both of my kids (now 4 and 6) were out of a Pull-up as soon as they were dry for about a week of through-the-nights (which was around 3-ish for both of them). I have plastic mattress covers on at all times, though, in case of *extremely rare* bedtime accidents or sickness. I just make sure they don’t fill up on water right they ‘go’ right before they go to sleep and we’re good. Good luck taking the plunge (if and when you decide to do so).
Also, we bought HUGE digital clocks for their rooms and told them they were not allowed to get up and get us until AFTER the first number was a 6. Works like a charm. Magically at 6 we hear two sets of feet hit the floor and a few seconds later, the elbows and knees and squirmy time begins…and ends relatively quickly thereafter.

g~
g~
12 years ago

Oh, sorry for the repeat wording there, I got enthusiastic with my cut and paste. Also, I would like to second whoever said that it totally depends on the kid and that wetting the bed past 6 is not that uncommon (especially in boys). They just play hard and sleep hard. (Brother experience talking here.)
g~

fredlet
12 years ago

Sometimes kids have problems when they go through growth spurts… its not always an age thing.
There are waterproof mattress pad covers (not plastic! they have cloth like ones at Target) that are handy if the pullup thing becomes an issue as well.

Hilary
12 years ago

Aha! So glad you asked this. My four year old girl (she’ll be five in August) sleeps in a pull up every night. We’ve tried to go without, and she’ll be fine for a few nights and then invariably wakes up screaming because she wet the bed. Which then wakes up her brother in the crib next to her. And then I want to die. This from an amazing sleeper who sleeps all night every night like a dream, no matter how much noise her brother makes. So I am LOATHE to mess with her sleep. And how do you train them when this is something that occurs when they are fast asleep? I don’t have the answer, but wanted to let you know we are in the same pull-up boat as you.

Maria
12 years ago

I think it’s a question of consistency. Is he making it through the night and you’re throwing away dry pull ups each morning, or is he peeing in them? My daughter was in pull ups for a while, but after she was dry for several weeks straight we moved her to underwear. She was three at the time, but I hear girls tend to go a little quicker in that dept. If his body is ready, and he’s consistently dry, great- go underwear full time. If he’s not there yet, however, I would suggest not pushing it and just let it happen naturally.

And when you do go pull up free, I agree with g~. My sister in law used the plastic mattress covers for her boys and they were wonderful for those rare middle of the night accidents.

Mama Ritchie
12 years ago

Charlie eased out of the pull-up phase at night when he was a little older than 4 and 1/2. Last July. He went back into them for a couple weeks when his baby brother was born, but broke the habit pretty quickly. He will have the occasional accident but for the most part he’s good at keeping himself dry.

I found that restricting his liquid intake an hour before bedtime helps, and reminding him to drain the snake before bed. If you find yourself washing the sheets every day for too long, and it’s not working for you, you’ll know he’s not ready.

Good luck!

andrea
12 years ago

I am wondering the same thing myself. Our 3.5 year old refuses to wear a pull-up at night and has been potty trained since he was almost 2, but still occasionally has accidents at night. We’ve dealt with this by forcing him to use the bathroom before we go to sleep at night, usually around 11:00 and with that extra pee session he’s always dry. It seems here that the accidents seem to fall with growth spurts, like he’s sleeping longer and harder at night and just can’t seem to wake himself up so I worry that this will continue into the foreseeable future. Looking forward to what others have to say on this one.

Nichole
12 years ago

We stopped using them when my daughter was a 3 or so. We did get her up before we went to bed for a final bathroom run for a few months after that, though. And then I think we forgot to do it for a few nights in a row, and she was fine. We still have the plastic mattress cover on her bed, though, just in case.

jen
jen
12 years ago

Funny b/c we just stopped the pull-up/diaper at night this week. My son is 4-1/2 (5 in June). It’s tough to give up since the alternative is waking up to “mommy/daddy, I’m wet” but so far so good. We make sure he goes/tries before bed and we moved his cup of water to the bathroom from the nightstand.

Dr. Mom
Dr. Mom
12 years ago

My daughter is 4 and will still wet the bed if we allow her to drink anything within an hour of bedtime. We stopped using a pull-up at about 3 1/2 years though, and just instituted a rule about no drinks close to bedtime.

Jenn
12 years ago

My daughter was very nearly five. My son was 3.

Clare
Clare
12 years ago

We went cold turkey on pull-ups when my son was about 3.5. We put him in heavy cotton training underpants, and put a waterproof pad on the mattress. He did wet the bed every night or so for about a week, but since then he’s been fine (he’s just about 6 now). I figured he needed to know what it felt like to need to pee at night, and was willing to change sheets for a little while to help him learn. A pull-up is a diaper as far as he was concerned, and he peed in it because he could. After a few nights of waking up with wet underwear, he learned to wake himself up before he wet the bed and go to the bathroom.

Lana
Lana
12 years ago

My Ava stopped peeing at night when she was 3.5. But had daytime accidents daily until recently (she’ll be 5 in a week). I’d rather have had it the way Riley is doing it.

Ann
Ann
12 years ago

I think every kid is different. My girl only needed one for about a month after potty training. My boy-a little longer. Does he keep the pull up dry all night? If he does, I’d stop using them. There’s really no need if he’s not wetting it. If he’s still wetting the pull-up every night then keep him wearing it. If not, then really it’s only there for the ‘safety net’ and for convenience so you don’t have to change the sheets in case he does wet the bed, right?

Monica
Monica
12 years ago

My son potty trained late – he was in full on diapers until 3.5, but somehow when it clicked for him, it totally clicked. We kept him in pull ups at night for the first week and then realized he was dry. He’s been sleeping without them ever since. I think he must have an enormous bladder or something because he also drinks a small bottle of water before bed every night. This isn’t something we worked on at all so I think it must simply be when their brains and bodies connect and give them the right message at the right time.

Now if I can just figure out how to get him to sleep until 7 am…

kristylynne
kristylynne
12 years ago

How often does he wake up with a wet Pull Up? If it’s not that often, I say it’s time to get a waterproof mattress pad and go without. He’ll wet the bed a few times, but big deal. He won’t like the way it feels to wake up soaked and hopefully that will help night-train him.

We never did Pull Ups; my kid just didn’t have very many night time accidents. He’s 4 and still occassionally wets the bed, but only if we aren’t careful to limit how much he drinks after dinner. I just keep two sets of sheets and mattress pads on the bed, so if he pees I just peel the top sheet and mattress pad off and back in he goes.

erin
12 years ago

We night “trained” our 6yr old when she was 4. She was more than ready to go the whole night and even would wake herself up to go pee if she needed to in the middle of the night. Our younger one I think needed more time. She is 3 and is in panties at night but will sometimes still have accidents. We cut off all liquids for her an hour before bedtime and she HAS to try to use the bathroom right before getting in bed. Even so, we still often take her to the potty right before we go to bed. I think it depends on the kid. My nephew was closer to 5 when he stopped using pull-ups because he was such a heavy sleeper and he wouldn’t wake up on his own to go to the bathroom. It’s a tough call to make and once you switch to underwear, it’s better to stick with that decision, accidents and all. But if it’s not high on your list, then I say don’t worry about it. Why mess with a good thing, right?

divrchk
divrchk
12 years ago

My son gave them up at the age of 6 but we still drag his sleeping ass to the bathroom every night at 10 or 11. If we don’t, he will wake up wet. My daughter is almost 5 and still wears a pull-up to bed. It is so far down on my give a hoot list… They both potty trained at 2 1/2 years old but they sleep like the dead and don’t wake up to pee.

Kristin
Kristin
12 years ago

Yeah, I was a camp counselor in college and there were some older kids (3rd or 4th grade) who still wore the night-time pull ups to bed. I don’t think it’s a problem, it just takes awhile for some kids. Better to change a pull-up than sheets in the middle of the night!

js
js
12 years ago

My daughter slept without a “safety net” when she was 4. She’d still have accidents but I was still making her bed the same way I did when she was a baby & toddler, mattress pad, fitted sheet, waterproof mattress pad, fitted sheet, waterproof mattress pad. Yes, three layers, but if she wet the bed, all I had to do was change her and rip the top layer off and not have to remake a bed at 2am because I am lazy. I did this until she was about 6 or 7 because she sleeps so soundly. Now, we are in the clear. KNOCK ON WOOD!

anon
anon
12 years ago

With my kids it was 2.5 – but we used cloth diapers and those are pretty uncomfortable when wet. I think with a pull-up they can’t even tell they peed, so there’s not much incentive to wake up and use the toilet. But he will stop eventually. :)

akofaolain
akofaolain
12 years ago

I’m so glad you asked this question because I’ve been wondering the same thing. My son will be 5 in June and we still do night-time pull-ups. I can’t remember the last time he woke up with a wet one, though. This post has encouraged me to try the underwear once this package of pull-ups is gone. Of course, I’ve been telling myself I’ll do that for the past few months and I keep chickening out!

barbara
barbara
12 years ago

I don’t think that nighttime dryness is something that can be trained — at least, I’ve had no success with my 8 and 4 year old boys. It isn’t, however, something I’ve stressed about. Kids can’t help it and I see no reason to make them stress over something they can’t control.

The 4yo still wears a pull up to bed. The 8yo stopped when he was seven but I always wake him up at around 12 to pee again (it isn’t as onerous as you might think; he usually doesn’t even wake up enough to remember that I got him out of bed the next morning). We restrict fluids about two hours before bedtime, and he pees before bed, but I still have to wake him up just to make sure there are no accidents.

I think that generally, you can go by your own family history. My sister wet the bed consistently until she was about 11 or 12. Then she grew out of it. I think if you’ve ever read the Pioneer Woman’s site, she mentions that she (and her sister, I think) was a bedwetter until around 12 or so.

It’s just one of those things.

Erika
Erika
12 years ago

I didn’t even begin to potty train my boys until they turned three but it took only about three weeks. I didn’t do pull ups at night at all. I didn’t let them drink anything after dinner and I had them use the bathroom twice before bed. It worked for me. My daughter was potty trained at 10 months. My grandmother told her that she could not wear the “pretty panties” until she went to the potty and did not have an accident. She NEVER had an accident but she is six now and I am having the hardest time getting her to remember to WIPE!

Amanda
Amanda
12 years ago

We dropped our daughter’s pull-up when she turned 3. My husband or I get her up for a potty break when we go to bed, and the rare occasion we forget she has had an accident. But, it’s only been a few in the last 7 months.

But, each kid is different, blah, blah, blah.

Christina
12 years ago

My son just stopped like 6-8 months ago. He will be five in April. I guess we just started getting him to pee once or twice right before bed, I cleaned a lot of sheets at first and he started waking up (SCREAMING) to pee in the night which sucks but is WAY better then wet sheets!

Trina
Trina
12 years ago

My oldest was out of nighttime pull ups after a month of dry morning diapers. We had a plastic sheet (you can get them at Fred Meyer for $5) that went completly around the mattress and zipped up just in case. We took that off after 6 months. She has had not a single problem. But all kids are different. I wet the bed until I was 6 years old every night. I remember the first night I didn’t wet the bed and I didn’t from then on.

Jen
Jen
12 years ago

My oldest was 3.5 when we moved to underwear at night, youngest at 3 right now is not ready. I put the oldest in underwear and a Pull Up *over* the underwear. He wouldn’t wake up when he peed with a Pull Up. With the underwear on first he would wake up if he did (during the transition, which was about less a week), but it wasn’t a total Flip On the Lights Disaster at 3am. Good luck!

Judy
Judy
12 years ago

I’m trying to remember. My son was much slower, I know that. I believe he still wore a night diaper at almost 5. I agree with Maria and others, if you are consistently throwing out dry pull-ups, maybe it’s time for the waterproof pad and undies at night. If not, and as long as he’s not bothered by wearing it, keep the pull-up. Go with your instincts. But I wouldn’t change back once I made the switch.

I had to laugh, though, here Riley is getting ready to come out of night diapers and I’m personally starting to go in. Poise pads – wonderful for that slight leakage you get from old age and 8 pound babies leaping from your nethers.

Autumn
Autumn
12 years ago

I was wondering the same thing about my daughter so i did some research and found that overnight dryness isn’t really about being potty-trained. It’s something they have to physically grow into and it’s different for every kid. If he’s mostly dry, I would go with the above suggestion and put him in underwear but buy a plastic mattress cover just in case.

justmouse
12 years ago

pretty sure my boy was about 3. i think my mother bought him some pull ups, but he never actually used one, and i don’t recally him ever wetting the bed. now..nightly barfing the bed? that went on for YEARS!

Karl
Karl
12 years ago

Ours were dry through the night around age 4, but there’s a lot of variation. I think the boy might have been the earliest, before he turned 4. One girl was a bit over 4, and the other girl had to be awakened (by me…) and taken to the bathroom every night until she was 5 1/2. (At first it was around 2 am, but we gradually moved it back to 11 pm-ish, which was tolerable.)

I agree with the other suggestions too, limit evening liquids if you can, and always always have them pee before going to bed (regardless of whether they “have to”!)

Tina
12 years ago

Oldest son in 6 1/2, still needs a pull-up and he wets it most nights. Younger son is 4, he’s been staying dry since he was 3. So he goes pull-up-less. The Dr. said the older one will stay dry when he’s developmentally ready and I’m not making an issues of it, when it happens, it happens. Thankfully little brother hasn’t harassed him much about it. My mom is more concerned about it then I am. I figure, ‘eh, when it happens, it’ll happen’.

Rebecca
Rebecca
12 years ago

Thank you for asking this as the comments are very reassuring!
My boy is 4 1/2 (will be 5 in July) and still wears a pull-up at night. Sometimes he wakes up dry and sometimes he doesn’t.

Violet
12 years ago

My six year old is pull-up free and has been for almost 2 years.

My 9, almost 10, year old only recently became able to handle the whole night without wetting his bed. He still has the occasional ‘incident’.

I think it depends a LOT on how their bodies are growing, how deeply they sleep, etc. For all of my kids (and myself!) we have waterproof mattress covers (they don’t crinkle like they did when I was a kid – no sound at all!)

We also limit his water intake (zero!) after dinner. We remind “go pee!” every night before bed. And that, combined with his body and bladder finally matching up in size seems to be working! Yay!

Kelli
Kelli
12 years ago

My just turned five year old still needs a Pull Up every night. He is a very deep sleeper and just does not wake up when he needs to pee.

Of all the things I worry about, this isn’t one of them. As my pediatrician said: it’ll happen when he is ready.

Swiggy
12 years ago

It was right around the Monkey’s 4th birthday that we did away with the night time pull-up – he had benn potty trained during the day for almost a year at that point.

I was out of town on a business trip and my husband (who was a SAHD at that point) started on a Thursday night. Hinny made sure the kid peed before putting him to bed, and then woke him up around midnight to go again. By Sunday the Monkey was fully trained, and he only had to change the sheets the first night.

In the grand scheme if things, I don’t think it’s too much of a big deal that he still needs a pull-up unless he’s going to be under someone else’s care at night who doesn’t like throwing the pull-up away in the morning.

Hope this helps!

Tifany
Tifany
12 years ago

Both my kids(a boy and a girl) weren’t even interested in potty training until right after they turned 3…and both of them were potty trained in one day, night and day, it’s like a switch was flipped in both. They didn’t have accidents at night. I certainly did nothing to cause this lol.

It really depends on the child, is he staying dry? I would try a waterproof sheet and at least see how it goes.

Liz
Liz
12 years ago

We knew our kid hadn’t wet her pull-ups in forever, but we were too chicken to go without. Finally, around her 4th birthday, we gave it a try. She’s only wet the bed once in the past 3 months. We don’t really pay attention to what she drinks, but we do make sure she goes to the bathroom right before bed.

Jen at 6:31, that’s a great idea. If there IS an accident, no changing the sheets in the middle of the night!

Melissa
12 years ago

When my girls started consistently waking up with dry diapers/pullups, we stopped putting them on at night. My oldest was 4 when that happened, my younger daughter 3. My son is 3 and has only in the last week fully daytime-trained and still wakes up yet, so we’ve got a while longer to go with him.

When we first go diaper-free at night I put absorbent pads on their beds (something like this http://bit.ly/Iin7) so if they do have an accident, it’s quick and easy enough to switch out the pad rather than having to change the bed in the middle of the night. I’d also initially wake them in the night (on my way to bed) to ask if they needed to go potty, but both girls hated that so I didn’t do it for long.

Good luck!

Beth Fish
12 years ago

We switched Mia to night-time underwear right before school started to address a recurring rash. I thought it would be a disaster – she had two or three accidents and then just learned how to hold it until morning. We were pretty shocked.

LauraC
12 years ago

I have twin boys, almost 3.75. Within a week of being potty trained, Nate woke up dry every morning for a week. We switched to underwear at night and he’s had one nighttime accident in a year. Alex is still in a pullup. He asked for underwear at night once and peed in it throughout the night, then woke up at 4:30 drenched in cold pee crying. So we’re sticking with pullups.

AndreAnna
12 years ago

My daughter refused to potty train AT ALL. Until, one day, right before she turned 3, she decided she was done with diapers. Pull-ups, diapers, NOTHING.

She wanted no part of it. So I bought a waterproof mattress pad and put towels under her sheets and prepared for the worst.

And a year plus later, never one accident, save for a very unpleasant stomach virus issue for which I was very thankful I kept some extra pull-ups around.

I think all kids are different, all bladders different, and there’s no real right or wrong here.

I fully expect my son, however, will go to high school in a diaper with his bottle.

6512 and growing
12 years ago

My son just turned five and still needs a nighttime safety net, unless a parent were to wake him up every 3 hours to pee, which no one has signed up for yet.
His doctor said kids that sleep really heavy often need pull ups longer than others. No biggie.

little miss mel
12 years ago

4 1/2 yr old boy was pee potty trained right before his 3rd bday.

He was pooped trained 6 months later.

6 months after that, we took the pull-ups off at night and never had an accident since. BUT, he had been dry in his pull-up for a good two weeks and that is when we knew we should just pull the plug.

He does get up in the night to go the bathroom if needed, or really early in the morning…

It’s a tough call. I guess when it really matters to you, and he’s ready, go for it?

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