Potty Training and Sleep Deprevation

Sometime I feel after three kids I should have all the answers, that raising kids should be easy, but each time I approach something with that attitude I’m proven yet again how wrong I am.

The latest example has been toilet training my youngest (now three). She’s great at using the bathroom during the day; she’s been accident free for some time. It’s the night-time training that’s proving a challenge. I expected the night training to lag behind the day time training. My two oldest took about a week or two to get the hang of going to the bathroom at night.

When she finished using her last pack of pull-ups at night I decided not to buy anymore , that’s it going cold turkey. I used the standard night-time training techniques that have worked with my other two kids: no drinks after dinner and going to the bathroom before bed. I even woke my daughter up before I went to bed to take her to the bathroom (a trick that worked well for my oldest daughter). But still my  youngest would have accidents.

I’m actually getting use to the morning routine of washing her sheets while we get ready for school. I’m trying to remain calm and supportive of my daughter,  I mean she’s not peeing her bed on purpose. But now, with a combination of me waking her to go pee and then her waking me when she has an accident (usually at 4 a.m.) I’m beginning to have doubts about what I’m doing. I think I’m starting to feel a little sleep deprived. I think my daughter is too if her melt downs and unhelpful behaviour during the day is any sign (but that could just be a sign of her being 3).

My problem is I’m stubborn. Just like when I was training my daughter to go the bathroom during the day, I thought the best thing at night was to go cold turkey (as in not using training pants). Yes during the day we still had accidents but not having the protection of the pull-up meant she recognized her need to go to the bathroom sooner. I hoped this same feeling would occur at night. But at night she’s asleep.

The other day I awoke realizing that my daughter my daughter didn’t come into my room for her usual 4:00 a.m. visit. Perhaps our persistance had paid off. Sadly no. Seems my daughter was so tired from the day before (or lack of sleep) that she didn’t even wake from her accident.

I know every child is different. I know some kids have difficult with night-time accidents, even much later than age 3. I guess I keep holding out hope that one morning she’ll wake to a dry bed, then another morning and another. But how long do I put both her and myself through these sleepless nights? Am I really doing the best thing?

Boy oh boy, if I’m struggling with my parenting skills over toilet training, I’d hate to see how I handle my oldest daughter getting a tattoo.

2 responses to this post.

  1. I feel your pain! We’re doing pretty well in the potty training arena these days but I often question my parenting decisions in other realms. Oh, and don’t start me on the sleep deprivation!!! I was in Evan’s room “sleeping” for over an hour last night and I had to get up and go to work this morning. Not good.

    Just remember that we will one day look back on this time fondly…or at least that’s what they want us to think.


  2. I do agree with your statement that every child is different, and I also agree that after the third kid we stills sometimes feel like we don’t know what we’re doing (I’m living that!!). My boys were wearing a pull up at night for probably two months after I potty trained them. I decided I would take it off at night when they were ready and when they prompted me – they both came to me one night and said they didn’t need it anymore. I took it off, and there were no issues with either boy.

    My daughter (2) has just potty trained and is far from being ready to not have her pull up at night and for naps. She is still a little wet each morning, so as she starts to drink less at night (she still has one cup of milk before bed, and I can’t take it away yet b/c she doesn’t drink a ton of milk during the day) and gets older, I will watch her to see when she is ready to lose the night time pull up.

    I don’t think it can hurt you to have her wear it – she’s only three, not six or seven (many six or seven year olds do wear a pull up at night). For me nothing is as paramount as me getting sleep and feeling rested so I can handle three kids the next morning :)!!! Good luck to you!


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