Name: Concerned parent
Charlottetown, PE, CAN
Number of kids: 1
Ages of kids: 4
Problem: Every night I wake my 4 year old son around 11:00 PM to get him to pee in the toilet. During the day he is well-trained and rarely has an accident. The problem is that he sleeps so soundly that when I wake him he doesn't seem to recognize me and just sits on the bed and stares at me. I start by saying "It's Daddy, come Pee in the Toilet like a big boy" in a positive reassuring voice, but after a couple of minutes without any response I get frustrated. He doesn't seem to understand even the simplest instructions such as "get down off the bed" "can you hear me" "say something." Keep in mind that this is a very intelligent kid during the day. The blank look in his eyes is both scary and frustrating. In the morning he doesn't remember our nighttime discussions. This happens approximately 4 nights a week. Any suggestions?
Solution submitted by Barb from Yuma, AZ: My 4 year old son is exactly the same. He usually falls asleep on the couch, then "wakes-up" an hour later, but I really think he's still asleep. I ask him if he has to go pee-pee, he just kinda nods, so I guide him to the bathroom. At this point he's all wobbly, so I have to hold him up. So, my feeling is that they wake up just enough to know it's pee time, but not enough to even know who you are, or who they are for that matter. So, I would just carry him to the toilet, even if he says "no" to pee time. My 4 year old will say no to having to pee in the late night, but if I lead him to the toilet, he will go.
Another solution submitted by Dent of BC, CAN:My son had a real bed wetting problem at the same age and waking him up did not help. He was too sound of a sleeper to use the bathroom at night. Even when he wet he did not wake up until morning. At least he didn't disturb our sleep. We just learned to use plastic sheets on the mattress and washed lots of bedding. It is frustrating but you would be amazed how many kids, particularly boys, are still wetting at age 4. It's not their fault, they simply lack the physical maturity to make it through the night. You will be happy to know that my son is now ten and has outgrown this problem. I think he had the occasional accident until about age seven. Be patient and good luck.
Another solution submitted by Kazy: I think that potty training at night is the last thing to happen and there is not much you can do to master it until he is ready. What helped me with my daughter was to make a routine at bed time so that the last thing you do is make a trip to the bathroom. We had some wet mornings but it didn't last very long, maybe a week or two. She got lots of praise for dry mornings and no guilt on the wet ones. I just made sure she helped me change the bed and encouraged her to try her best. Once she got in the habit of doing that, I think that her bladder got used to being full at night. The first thing in the morning was to go potty.
I did not use the pull-ups on her for long even through this time because she did not want to give them up during the day. If she wore them at all, she was not motivated to go on the toilet during the day because she thought she had a diaper on.
Hang in there, sounds like you guys almost there.
Another solution submitted by Lau from Birmingham, AL: You answered part of your question...he is sound asleep. (If it's any conciliation, my 25 year old fiance does the same thing to me!).
Could you try waking your son a little earlier or later? Does he wet if you don't wake him? Does he wake himself if he does have an accident in bed? Don't take to heart that he doesn't respond if he's such a heavy sleeper he really doesn't know. And I do know that blank look and it IS frightening!
One thing that my Dr. told me: don't let the wee one have but one drink after dinner...give them a small drink at bedtime and have them use the toilet before going to bed....it eliminated any trips during the night for us. Good luck!
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