Do you know that the most common search that leads people to my blog is “night time potty training”? I guess I’ve talked about it a lot. It’s been a big deal in our house for a very long time.
Bud was day trained by the time he was 2.5/3. We kept pull-ups on him at night, as I think most parents do in the beginning, but instead of tapering off, the need for them remained consistent. I think we just assumed that at some point, he would stop needing the pull up. We tried once, just letting him go without, a little while before he turned 4. It was a bust. We tried again, more diligently, with middle of the night wake-ups in the months after he turned 4, when I was pregnant with Liv. (those are the posts referenced above) At this time, Lucy had potty trained herself and was staying dry through the night with no effort. It was upsetting to Bud, so we were trying hard, but after endless frustration, again we gave up.
We used Pull-Ups, and then as he grew, Good Nights and Under Jams because he produced more urine, leaking through more often than not. We had conversations with our pediatrician, consulted the internet, and ultimately decided to just wait it out and let him grow out of it.
And then in September, he went to kindergarten and made friends. There was talk of sleepovers (though if I’m being honest, I probably wouldn’t let him sleep at another kids house for a few more years). There was talk of his friends not knowing that he was a bed wetter. And there was embarrassment. And so, again after talking with our pediatrician, we put a plan in place to move forward this past March just after he turned 6. We started with him still in the Good Night, and began waking him twice nightly to pee. It worked, however, we realized we weren’t getting an accurate picture of when and how often he was peeing. So we moved to a rubber sheet and no pull-up, at which point we determined 1. He was peeing 3-4 times a night, and 2. He never ever woke up no matter how wet he or the bed was.
It was a sleep issue. He was in such a sound sleep, he missed the “I have to pee” cue and just let it go. We continued to wake him up twice a night, to get him in the habit of getting up to go pee. After a few weeks of success, we tried to let him go it alone, and it was a huge fail. He was frustrated, we were frustrated, and we were all exhausted. TEH Internets told me to buy one of those alarms that sense the wetness and wake the kid up. All I could think of was the episode of Diff’rent Strokes from when I was a kid and that red headed kid wore the pee alarm and Arnold put up an umbrella when it went off to avoid getting peed on. I didn’t want my kid to be traumatized in any way. But what were we to do?
So again, we spoke to the doctor who supported moving forward. I researched several alarms, some where a child would have to wear a panty liner in order for the alarm to detect the wetness, some that involved safety pins and elaborate wiring, others that were so expensive that I nearly fainted, and finally settled on the Wet Stop 3. We talked with Bud about what the alarm was and how it worked. That it clipped on to the front of his underwear and that the alarm piece clipped to his shoulder. That it would vibrate and beep to wake him up as soon as he started to pee. Then we watched a video online, showing a kid using it.
We received the alarm and started using it the first week of June. We tested it and showed Bud what it would feel like if it went off. We put it to use right away. For the first 2 or so weeks, the only person who heard the damn alarm was me. Bud slept right through. Gradually though, through waking him up while the alarm was still beeping and buzzing, he started doing it on his own. He was waking up mid-pee, and then later as soon as a drip hit his underwear he was up and going in the bathroom. It took longer than a lot of the reviews indicated, but finally, he was getting it. And on Monday after about 3 weeks of the alarm barely going off, he finally slept through the night without the aid of a parent, without wearing his alarm, and without wetting his bed. He got up on his own to go pee, and went back to bed.
He is so proud of himself (as evidenced by the burying of his head in the couch when I congratulated him), and we are ridiculously proud too. He stuck with it, and conquered it—my amazing little man.
And this my friends, is the official end (finally) of night time potty training.