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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Deb
Deb
12 years ago

This is our ongoing dilemma. I am so reassured to read that others face this and sometimes it takes a lot longer for some kids. My almost 5 year old son has woken up dry maybe 3 times in his whole life. He was soaking through pullups every night and starting to have rash/itching/skin problems (and had been fully trained during the day for a year) when we decided to take the pull-ups away and wake him to go to the potty. Unfortunately, he is such a heavy, heavy sleeper with such a tiny bladder that in spite of limiting liquids, we need to wake him 3 x per night in order for him to stay dry (and frankly, we barely even wake him – he just sleep walks to the potty that is how heavy he sleeps). We wake him at 11 pm (when we go to bed) and 2 am and 5 am and even now (after almost a full year of doing this) he STILL wets the bed sometimes (often).

But since we got rid of the pull-ups, he refuses to wear them. He has a baby brother and they feel like diapers and he won’t wear them. We recently decided that we need our sleep and can he please try to wear these special overnites? BUT no, they are just like diapers and he won’t have any part of it. He would rather wet the bed a couple of times a week than wear a diaper! I SO wish we had just kept him in the darn pull-ups (with maybe one wake-up so he didn’t soak through). So I say, just play it by ear – when he starts waking up dry and waking at night when he needs to go, then it is time to take them away. Until then, just keep them on (and our pediatrician agrees with this approach and said her own child was in pull-ups until almost 6 years old).

Laurie
12 years ago

Ok, so you have probably heard this but we did our older son between the ages of 4-5. We limited the water/juice/milk intake before bed and we also have plastic cover on the mattress. We have him go before bed. And then while training him, one of us would get him up and take him to the potty when we were heading to bed – usually around 11ish. This was just to get him used to getting up and going to the bathroom. We did this for about a week to a week and a half and then stopped and just reminded him – if you have to go be sure to get up. Left a night light on in the bathroom so it’s not completely dark. And the first week, there were some accidents. We did not make a big deal, just reminded him that he needs to get up to go and then after that all was good. Keys that we found to making it work:

1) limit intake of beverage about 1 hour before bedtime
2) do not chat, turn on lights when getting him up to go (before you head to bed) (the key is not to get him used to you helping him, just get him used to getting up to go)
and 3) not over-react with any accidents.

Good luck. I am sure you will be great!

Carrie
Carrie
12 years ago

My son was 2 when he stopped having accidents at night. He wasn’t potty trained until he was three, but at 2 we had dry diapers in the morning. So I think as long as he is dry in the morning you are safe. Good luck!!

Laurie
12 years ago

@Deb, my son is also a heavy sleeper. After we had baby #2 he regressed and started wetting the bed (after getting up and going and keeping the bed dry for over 6 months). My mom gave us an alarm to try. It worked great. You pin the alarm to the shirt and the outside of their underwear – and one tiny drop – the alarm sounds – bing bing bing – and wakes the kid up to go to the potty. We did this for about 10 days and now he’s back on track. This helped us out – I thought you might like to hear about it. It saved many sheet washings.

Keri
Keri
12 years ago

Our daughter was potty-trained at 2 1/2 and stopped wearing pull-ups just a couple months after that. She wakes up and uses the bathroom if she needs to pee at night. Which, if it’s in the middle of night, means she wants me going with her.

Linsday
Linsday
12 years ago

My oldest sonjust turned 6 and he can soak through 2 nighttime pullups and onto his sheets even if we get him up to pee before we go to bed. We recently put him on desmopressin at bedtime, which is supposed to work to keep him totally dry, but while it helps slightly he still has a full pull-up in the morning AND we’re paying $80/month for medication. Super awesome! My 4 year old and 2 year old started staying dry at night as soon they were daytime potty trained, though.

Linsday
Linsday
12 years ago

Oh, and sorry to post again, but it doesn’t matter whether we restrict liquids before bed or not. He’s also a heavy sleeper and will sleep right through the night in a completely soaked bed if we forget the pullup.

Jen
Jen
12 years ago

My son was potty training just as he turned 3. For the first month or so he wore a diaper to bed, but I found he was waking up to tell me he had to go so we ended up ditching the diaper just after he turned 3. There has been the rare accident… once or twice when I’ve forgotten to put him on the potty right before bedtime or if he’s sick and sleeps through etc, but more or less he’s been good. We do have a plastic padded sheet under just in case and I make sure to put him on the potty right before bedtime and try not to let him drink more than half a glass of water at bedtime (he’s totally a “give me a drink!” kinda kid as soon as he’s in bed!) He’s a few months over 3 now and I’m surprised how easily it came (given that nothing else has been easy with him lol). I think it may also help that he’s a super light sleeper? Oh and some nights if I think he’s had too much to drink in the evening I will put him on the potty when we come to bed later at night just to be sure :)

Carrie
12 years ago

Mary: night-time pull-up free from the word “potty-trained” at two and a half.

Keith: night-time pull-up free within about six months? He was probably about three and a half.

Izzy: It took over a year and a half for her to stay dry through the night. She was four.

They’ll do it when they do it. *sigh*

robyn
12 years ago

My kid started sleeping without any kind of diaper at age 4, and never had an accident (though he continued to have them during the day occasionally – go figure). My nephew, however, wore pull-ups at night until he was 8.

I think how the child feels about wearing a pullup is important – is he embarrassed by it, made more secure by it, apathetic about it? You might suggest trying a night or two without it and see what he thinks and how he does. Plastic mattress covers are great for that in-between stage (I think the one on my now-seven-year-old’s bed is still lurking under the mattress pad – oops).

Jane
Jane
12 years ago

10 years old. So…yeah.

Nicole
12 years ago

My daughter was daytime potty trained at around 3, even for naps, but I didn’t know how to even start doing nighttime training. The summer when she was 3 1/2, I spent a few weeks at my parents’ house and for some reason that I can’t remember now, I had Ella sleeping with me. It suddenly dawned on me that this would be an excellent time to try getting rid of the nighttime diaper, since she could wake me up immediately if she needed to use the potty. After a week, I realized that she didn’t need to get up in the night, we just had to get her straight to the toilet when she woke up in the morning. We have never had an accident since then.
On the otherhand, my sister’s two boys are still wearing pull-ups at 6 and 9, although the older one has just started being able to get through the night dry. She talked to tons of people about this (she is studying early childhood development) and everyone told her to not worry til they were 10 (!) as there is a development stage that takes boys longer to reach.

Ezza
12 years ago

My Riley (girl) potty trained during the day at around two and a half. She’s been without pullups at night since about three months after that. Girls are earlier, I hear. Yes, we still get wet beds every once in a while. For a time, it was one or two nights a week, and over the last nine months, it’s decreased to once a month or so. If I KNOW she’s had a lot of liquids right before bed I usually check in with her before I go to bed myself. She’ll at least nod yes or no if she has to pee and I carry her into the bathroom if it’s a yes!

Tatiana
Tatiana
12 years ago

we gave our guy the option of pull-up or underwear (around 3 1/2, when he was fine during the daytime). He’s been great. He gets up to pee at night. Sometimes three times. And its heart breaking to see him bleary and stumbling and trying to aim. We’ve had one or two close calls (wet underwear, damp bed spot). But it all part of the learning curve. Just sucks to have sleep interupted. But that’s parenthood- right? My advice: ask him. He knows.

cindy
cindy
12 years ago

It really depends on the kid. I have 4-year-old twin girls, and one needs a pull-up every night. The other one has slept in underwear for months, with only one accident I can remember. The one in pull-ups just has a smaller bladder than the other one does, and until her bladder grows some more, we’ll keep her in the pull-ups at night (actually the Good Nites brand – she’s too big for toddler-size pull-ups).

melanie
melanie
12 years ago

My son was done wearing the pull up at night a few months before turning 3 (he was completely daytime trained by 2 1/2) what i did was put the pull up over his underwear so he still got the uncomfortable sensation of being wet, but we didnt have a huge mess in the middle of the night to deal with (and we also have waterproof mattress pads on the kids beds)….. I know it can be tougher on boys they say, so its sort of whatever works for you—in my opinion….. but if you think it might just be a habit, ie he knows the pull up is there so why get up, you might try the over the top of underwear thing. As an added bonus, I would reuse the dry ones (since they were over his undies) and I actually never went through a whole package of them!

Sundry
12 years ago

You guys are AWESOME! So many good ideas in here, and lots of reassurance that not every kid crosses this milestone at the same age. (Which, duh, right? But sometimes it helps to HEAR that.)

MelV
MelV
12 years ago

My son was 3.5 and he had gone a while being dry every night. SO i told him it was up to him to decide when he would wear underwear to bed. I kinda wanted it to be a very conscious decision for him(as much as it can be for a 3 year old) and one day he said he was done with them and i told him that meant he had to make sure he didnt “go” at night. And he never has. Everyone told me the “they’ll do it when their ready” and i thought it was B.S. but lo and behold….its apparently true.

Jessica
Jessica
12 years ago

I am very lucky and have had a fully trained boy since 27 months. Day and night. I never used pull ups at ALL and never had a nightime dryness issue at all.

Knock on wood right!?!

Sunshyn
12 years ago

Night wetting generally runs in families, especially with boys, so ask your husband if he was a bedwetter. My oldest son was still wetting when he was 8 or 9, I think. His oldest son is 10 and still wetting through pull-ups nightly. My kidlet, his other son, is still wet a little over half the time in a pull-up at age 7, and part of his night wetting is emotional. He is more likely to be dry if he didn’t have milk at school that day, but no guarantees. NO MILK, juice, soda, or other bladder irritants in the evening will help. Goodnites actually has a very helpful website (and coupons) you can consult.

Jenine
12 years ago

My husband has a teeny weeny bladder. He cannot get through a movie without a pee break (even if he doesn’t have a soda in the theater). Our oldest now 8, grew out of the nighttime pullup last summer at 7 and a half. She had a wet bed last week but it’s rare. Hurray for waterproof mattress pads.

Our youngest is 5 and we just tried to go without the pullups. It works fine as long as I am willing to get up twice a night and take her unconscious body to the toilet to pee. I’m giving up on that for now. Time will take care of it.

Cherish
12 years ago

My oldest boy still has the odd issue with nighttime wetting so he wears them on sleepovers, but my 5 year old hasn’t needed anything since he was 3.
My dear, I wouldn’t even waste the time thinking about it.

Gena
Gena
12 years ago

My son, who is a heavy sleeper, had no issues with sleeping through the night and staying dry – he’s 5 now, but we cut him off of pullups around 3.5. My daughter, who I would have expected to be faster with staying dry through the night, was extremely resistant to sleeping without a diaper – we started weaning her off the diaper around 3 years old (she is almost 4 now). She threw the biggest fit when we told her she had to go without a diaper. I think she was relying on it, but didnt need it. She woke up with a wet diaper every night, but had no problem staying dry during the day. Finally we cut her off and she had a few misshaps, but after a week or so, she started staying dry through the night and only very occasionally wakes up wet. For us it was cutting her off and staying the course, because we knew she could do it and was just resisting the change (this is a recurrent theme with her!) Good luck!

jessica
jessica
12 years ago

i’m not sure if it’s a girl/boy diffrence thing, or a STUBBORN thing, but our daughter didn’t wear them for more than 2 weeks. We tried potty trinaing (2months before her 3rd b-day) with them, but it was like she KNEW it was “ok” to go in those, so she put no effort in to ever TRYING to hold it. when we took away pull-ups, everything seemed to click for her. for a week I kept her in them at night, but she complained that she was “a big girl all day, so she was ready to be a big girl at night”. i felt showing her I trusted her would be a good way to improve her confidence w/ the training. She had maybe 3 or 4 accidents the first two weeks, but potty training in gernal was still new to her, and she was that weird kid who didn’t get herself out of her own big-girl bed – always waited on us. But (OMG I am SOOO gonna regret this, I’m SURE) we’ve been accident free for about 5 months now. (she’s almost 3.5)

My assvice would be to try it on a weekend (that way if there is an accident, it’s not messing up a morning routine) but definitely invest in some rubber sheets first.

Steph the WonderWorrier

Not a parent, but work with a lot of kids, LOL. Isn’t it supposed to be, once you’ve noticed they’re consistently dry in the morning anyway then you try just underwear? :-)

Lindsay
Lindsay
12 years ago

Our son is now 3.5. He was pretty much fully potty trained at 2.75, and at just over 3 we noticed he consistently woke up with a dry pull-up. I started to think maybe I was wasting my money on those damn things, so we just decided to throw caution to the wind and send him to bed with underwear. He’s never had an accident. So, i’d say consistently dry in the a.m. and you’re good to go.

Amy
Amy
12 years ago

My kid was NEVER dry in the morning but he wanted out of the nighttime pull up at 3.5/4 so we let him try it. He wet the bed a few times but mostly was fine. He still wets the bed occasionally–a few times a year (he’s almost 7) but that’s it. Give it a try–if you are having to change sheets every night maybe it’s too soon. I would expect once a week for a few weeks and then you’re done.

SaritaPagita
SaritaPagita
12 years ago

Thank you for posting this so I can read the comments and feel ok about having a 6 yr old son who has a wet pull up EVERY morning. He sleeps like a log and I fear will be in a pull up for some time. It is pretty far down on my list of things I give a crap about but glad to hear some other kids aren’t dry all night at that age too.

Megan
Megan
12 years ago

my son has been completly potty trained during the day since he was two. But at night was a different story. He stopped wearing pull ups at night about three weeks ago right when he turned 5. I was with you I just didnt care. ONe pull up a day I can handle that.

vickie
vickie
12 years ago

We were encouraged to NEVER put a pull up on a child once you have started potty training.

amber
amber
12 years ago

My son pooped in the potty consistently at 2.5 and by three had figured out the peeing thing. We never used pull ups at night, we just covered the mattress with a plastic sheet. We had the occasional nighttime pee accident once a month or so for the next couple of months. Honestly I think not using a pull up and letting him get wet is what finished training him. FYI, this is coming from some one who wet the bed till she was 7 before pull ups ever existed…sooo…ya…

Jamie
12 years ago

My theory is that night time and day time potty training are two COMPLETELY different things. Alex stopped peeing at night when he was just barely 2 years old, yet he was over three before he was day time trained. There was also no “training” I did to have him stop peeing at night, he just did. The only time we have night time accidents is if he doesn’t remember to go pee before bed.

Now, he was NEVER a big night time wetter even as a baby. My 19 month old however, SOAKS his diaper EVERY NIGHT. So I expect night training him will take much, MUCH longer.

Danielle
Danielle
12 years ago

My oldest was about 4.5 when we ditched the nighttime pullups. It was getting to the point where they were dry 9 times out of 10, but he refused to let us “re-use” the dry ones..so it was such a waste of money. I started by limiting his drinking close to bedtime, then I started with a sticker chart, for every morning he was dry he got a sticker, and then when he got 5 or whatever, he got a small prize (even just a piece of candy) I don’t think they can really control it though. I also reminded him that he can get out of bed during the night and go pee if he has to. It will come in due time!

A
A
12 years ago

My little dude is about the same age as Riley and we were in the exact same situation until a couple of months ago (perfectly trained during the day but pullups at night). We started waking him up to pee right before we went to bed at night and he has been dry through the nice ever since!

lisa
lisa
12 years ago

We kept Nathan in a pull up until he was consistently keeping it dry all night long (I was not about to have someone waking me up in the middle of the night with a wet bed or needing to go potty for the sake of a $0.50 pull-up.) We make him go before he goes to bed at 7:30 and he has no problem staying dry until he wakes up in the morning. We weaned ourselves off the pull-up when he was about 3 1/2. I think the bottom line is if he’s dry all night you can make the switch. If not, no big deal- it sure beats changing sheets at 2am.

Kelly
Kelly
12 years ago

My daughter will be 4 in March and has been potty trained for over a year. She still sleeps in a Pull-Up at night and 75% of the time, it’s wet when she wakes up. In my opinion, both of our sleep is worth more than the cost of a Pull-Up so we’ll continue on this way until she is ready to be night trained. I suppose I could wake her in the middle of the night to help her stay dry all night, but that just seems like an INSANE thing to do. I mean, I get thoroughly pissed off when someone wakes me up so I’m certainly not going to do it to my child.

BT
BT
12 years ago

they will do it when they are ready. You can ask him if he wants to sleep without the pull-up and get up to pee by himself, and work toward that goal.

Four is pretty young i think, my grown up 7-yo wakes up by himself but he misses once every few weeks.

Katie
Katie
12 years ago

My daughter just turned 4 this week and we told her now that she was a ‘big girl’ she had to sleep with panties at night. She was excited and has done great. This was after about 3 months of no pee in the pullups at night though. I talked to our pediatrician at her 3 y.o. check up about this and she said “Eh, anywhere between 3 and 8” so apparently there is a fairly wide spectrum there.

Jess
Jess
12 years ago

When my daughter was potty trained and doing great in the day and the pull ups were mostly dry every morning, we invested in an incontinence pad (like they use in nursing homes) and put it under the bed sheet. they are pretty big and covered a good portion of the bed and we didn’t have any problems. any medical supply store or maybe a pharmacy will carry them. Good luck! We also kept one folded up in her car seat for a while since it would be easier to wash that then the entire car seat pad.

Maria
12 years ago

S started sleeping through the night with no pull up about five months ago. He’s had a handful of accidents but it hasn’t been too crazy. We’re REALLY REALLY careful about not giving him a shitload to drink after 6 pm though. I think that helps a lot. And he doesn’t seem dehydrated or anything.

What I’ve noticed is that it definitely contributes to him waking up at the flaming ass crack of dawn to pee. But sometimes he’ll actually go back to bed. He’s allowed out of his room on his own but he hasn’t gotten up to pee in the middle of the night yet.

I tried the no pullup thing after noticing that every other day or so he’d wake up dry. Then I went a week with the careful evening liquids regiment and noticed fewer overnight wetting. Then we explained what the deal was and how he should probably try not to let ‘er rip and night and he rolled with it.

I think overall we got lucky. And FYI every single time my mom puts him to bed he wets the bed that night. I think she gives him Big Gulps.

Maria
12 years ago

Also I’ve heard that picking up a couple of cloth training pants type overnight things can offset the cost of those effing pull ups. We were going to try that but then S figured it out on his own. I cloth diaper the little guy but the thought of an older kid in cloth kind of freaked me out. But apparently the whole wetting sensation helps them figure things out and the whole training pants issue helps you not have to change the sheets every day.

victoria
victoria
12 years ago

Getting fitted for a bra the other day at Nordstrom, I had occasion to use the phrase, “penis-wilting contraption” to describe the 34D triple-hooked Wacoal monstrosity they sold me. The salesperson laughed.

Amy
Amy
12 years ago

Two boys, 5 and 7 1/2….still using the GoodNights :( Just when I think we can chuck them we have a bout of accidents even through the goodnights! I’ve talked to their pediatrician and he confirmed that the older may be at it for awhile yet. He has a small bladder and sleeps like the dead. I did find a potty alarm that I am thinking about getting to see if we can get past it. I feel bad for him because it makes him self conscious when he has sleepovers.

Samantha
12 years ago

My son who is the same age as Riley, older just by a few days, would probably still be wearing a pull up to bed if it wasn’t for my MIL that was making me feel like the worst mother in the world with the “I can’t believe you’re still putting him in those.” statements.
He does do great staying dry all night and the other night he did get up once and went to the bathroom and then went right back to bed, like some kind of big kid. Blew my mind!
Good luck!

susan
12 years ago

My daughter just turned 4(late Dec). We JUST stopped using nightime pull-up about 3 days ago!

We started talking to he about it a few months ago, as she approached her 4th birthday, explaining the concept of getting up to go pee in the night and seeing if she could have dry diaper in the morning. We also started offering a small reward if she was dry in the morning (the girl responds to the thought of chocolate, just like her mom). Soon after we started talking about it and offering a reward, she started having a dry diaper in the morning. We finished a pack of pull-ups a few days ago, she’s been dry in the mornings for a while, so just decided NO MORE DIAPERS! (collective family chant).

So far so good. But it’s only been three days. One night soon, I fully expect to get a shriek and find my sobbing child soaked in urine. We’ll see. Bound to happen at some point.

Good luck!

Amy
Amy
12 years ago

Um, I have too many kids to remember. My almost 3 year old is sleeping with a safety net and waking up dry most nights of the week. WILL NOT STOP PULL-UPS THO. HATE DOING SHEETS IN MIDDLE OF NIGHT.

Leslie
12 years ago

My youngest will be 3 in March and he potty trained right before Christmas. I kept him in nighttime diapers for a couple of weeks until he flat out REFUSED with a capitol R! to wear them any longer. He has been dry every night since and I am completely and utterly astounded because the boy seriously pees a gallon in the morning when he wakes up. Now, if he would just start wiping his own butt and pulling up his pants we’d be golden!

Leslie
12 years ago

Me again. I forgot to ask if Riley could come over to my house and show my 5 yr old how it’s done. I have to pry my son out of bed with a spatula and then when it’s time to get dressed his arms mysteriously break or something and he’s suddenly incapable of dressing himself. He’s very close to arriving at school in his PJ’s.

Karen
12 years ago

We went for that three-day potty training gig when he was 3, which was cold turkey on all safety nets, so never did the night-time pull up. He never once wet the bed but I’ll also add that he’s perfectly capable of peeing only twice a day, must have a bladder the size of a small house. This probably wasn’t useful advice, but am a big fan of just doing it and seeing how they do. Is the pull up ever wet in the morning? How often? If it’s only once in a while, I’d sit him down and explain that when he needs to pee, he’s required to get up, no wetting the bed please. I bet he’ll never pee at night again. I mean, in his bed.

KG
KG
12 years ago

Firstborn, son = Pullups till AGE 9!poor guy
2nd born, daughter = at age ONE, could go all night!woohoo
3rd child, daughter = age 3 & STILL loves her a Pullup at nite lol
The baby is 7 months & I’m just concentrating on getting her to SLEEP all nite lol