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Difficulty night potty training 3.5 year old

My son is 3.5 years old and has been day potty trained for over six months. He is an incredibly stubborn child and my mother has even said she has never seen a child as stubborn as him before (in all aspects, not just potty training). He sleeps for about 10 - 12 hours a night and when his diapers were dry for about five days I started him just wearing underwear to bed but he still wet the bed. There were times when he would wake up dry for a day or two a week, but then for three weeks straight he wet the bed every single night. He is a sound sleeper and will only wake up crying about wet sheets once the pee has become cold. We have tried cutting out liquids for hours before bed. We have tried warm baths before bed. He doesn't mind wearing a pull up to bed and it is almost always completely soaked by the time he wakes up in the morning.
Aside from waking him up every couple hours to force him to pee, I don't know what options I have left. I would like to hear any suggestions, since nothing seems to be working. Maybe he just isn't ready and needs more time?


Asked by enohp04 at 9:30 PM on Dec. 2, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • Honestly, we all get frustrated by this and yet it isn't rocket science. (I can say that now that I've been through it!) I think he's just not there yet. Obviously he's close but some kids' bladders just can't hold it at night. We cut back fluids and woke our son up for about a year at that age and some nights would be good and others wouldn't. I finally bought a Company Store nice bed cover to protect the mattress (not plastic) and left it on till he was five. But he was potty trained w/o accidents by about four years and two months. No accidents.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 11:38 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • I had that problem with my daughter about that age. She finally stopped wetting the bed right after she started kindergarten. She wouldnt wet the bed every night but it was about every other night or so. I just put a pull up on her and made her go to the potty before she went to bed and eventually that seemed to work. He may just need more time before he stays dry through the night.

    Answer by kristina.burns at 9:35 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • You can try the waking him thing. It will teach him that it's okay (and normal) to get up and pee in the middle of the night. Keep him in his underwear. Even if it takes awhile for him to notice, it's good for him to feel the sensation when he wets the bed. DS doesn't always wake up, either. It can take some work, but be consistent. Keep him underwear, wake him up 2 hours after he goes to bed, and 2 hours before he normally wakes up. Yes, this will be exhausting, but it's it better than having to change out his bed every morning? Keep a waterproof pad on his mattress or on his sheet if possible. Give it some time! Good luck!

    Answer by musicpisces at 9:37 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • I heard Dr. Phil's method works great. I plan to try that when my baby reaches potty age.

    Answer by CarriePM at 9:41 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • I would talk to the DR. I'm not saying this is the same although when my son was that age we had the same problem. He ended up needing surgery to widen the opening at the tip of his penis. He had the surgery when he was 4 and after he had it he never wet the bed again. I can't say for sure that this is what your son needs, although it doesn't hurt to ask.

    The other thing is I know when my girl friends son start to grow he would always wet the bed for a week or 2 until his bladder caught up with the rest of him.

    Good Luck!

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 10:01 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • Some kids just can't night train til they are older. There is nothing wrong with keeping him in overnight diapers or pullups or something like that for a while yet - it's why they are made. Some kids can't night train til they're almost teenagers. Don't push the kid, that could just make it worse.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:24 PM on Dec. 2, 2010