Nighttimes without nappy?


Registered User
Our little man is 3yrs old, for the last 4 weeks we have been (unsuccessfully) putting him to bed at night without a nappy.

He has been toilet trained since he was 2 1/2 (incl flush, wiping and hand washing), and had been waking up with a dry nappy so we talked about it with him and stopped putting the nappy on.

Now we are looking for advice because he seems to have regressed. Day times still good, but nighttime he might manage 4 dry nights ok, then wet, then 1 dry night, then wet, 2 dry, 2 wet etc...

We have limited all drinks after 6pm to maximum 1/4 cup (his bed time is 7.30) he has a wee before bed.

We created a chart that when he gets 5 stars in a row he could have a scooter (which he desperately wants), but it seems as though it is just too hard.

So where to from here? Last night, he had a wee before bed, wet the bed, slept on the floor, wet the duvet, when he woke up he had a huge wee in the toilet. He seems to understand the concept, and doesnt like it when he has an "accident". We are always quite understanding, and tell him its ok, hes learning, ask him what he needs to do next time etc. Take him to the toilet in the middle of the night after he has wet the bed to show him and then put him back to bed with a cuddle.

We dont want to put him back in nappies, he talks about being a "big boy" because he has no nappy at night. And it doesnt feel right.

Please help, what have others done? Are we too early? Does it matter?

Sleep deprived
it sounds to me like you are doing everything right. you aren't shaming your little man in any way, you are limiting his water intake, you are giving incentive.

it sounds like all he needs is time.

we have 3.5 y.o. triplets, who have been tt for about one year now. only one of them is sleeping through the night wearing knickers. the other two are desperate to, but they just havent had dry nappies so we haven't transferred them over to knickers and big boy pants at night time.

i would keep your son in pullups for a bit longer, until he has a few successive dry nights, then make the switch.

but again, congratulate yourselves for handling this so well and not belittling his best efforts.

seb's mum.
Thanks for your reply Seb's mum.

He has never had pull-ups so maybe this is a good alternative to the nappy and wont upset him so much. We will give it a go.

To be honest we have no idea what is "normal" for boys at this age so our thoughts were to just do our best to make it easy for him. Thanks for your kind words.
We picked up our daughter for a toilet visit just before we went to bed ourselves,about 10:30-11pm.We did this from 3 1/2 until 4 1/2.

My 3 years old daughter decided to stop diapers at night a few days after being toilet trained at day time.

She still has a few accidents... usually around one a week... so when we know she's been drinkng a lot in the evening or things like this.... we put her on the potty by the time we go to bed...

My expereince was that at 2 years and 8 months our son day trained, after 1 week he refused to wear diapers at night as well, he HAD to wear the big boy underware, he wt his bed 1-2 times / nightfor a long time. this summer at 31/2 he stopped wetting the bed, but once fall came he started preschool and he needed more sleep, he was put to bed earlier he started wetting 1-2 times/week again. It is completely normal and some children, esp. boys will take many years, even 7,8,9 years old or older before they don't wet the bed.
Personally I don't restrict water becasue I remember my mom doing that to me, and I would be dying of thirst and coulnd't have water until morning. I think it is mean and I won't do it. Resticting water is not going to solve the problem anyways, becasue it is about his bladder, not drinking excessive amounts of water. If you restict the water and he still wets the bed, I think you can be assured that the amount of water is making no difference.

I don't do the night wake before bed becasue I find that my child tends to wet the bed early in the morning vs earlier at night and he is extrememly grumpy when woken up, it would just create more problems than solutions for us.

I have a matress protector on the bed, but I also bought a soaker pad, like what you would use in the hospital or nursing home under a resident, and it is on top of the sheet, that way when he does wet, I usually only have to wash the pad, instead of washing all the bedding. It makes life much easier.

You might think of giving up the sticker chart/reward system, bbecasue it is a subtle message that he is doing something wrong. Even though you are positive all the time, if he can't earn the sticker it is discouraging. Night wetting is not something that he can control, unlike day wetting, so he is powerless to earn the sticker. Time will fix this problem as he grows. He sounds completely normal.
My son is 4 yo and a disturbed sleeper (or used to be until a few months ago) so we never toilet trained him for night sleep.

Does one have to wake him up around 12 midnight to wee him? Do they do it in a half asleep mode or the sleep get disturbed?

Does restricting water really help?



I?ve always been a really lazy mother and I found that it was so much less work to just leave the kids in nappies for longer. When my eldest boy was little he?d wet the bed if he got cold in the night. Wearing the nappy kept him warm around his middle and so we had the choice between a dry nappy or a wet bed. I used the same nappy for ages and used to selotape it up as the sticky tape wouldn?t work after a couple of nights. He carried on using a nappy at night until he was four and a half. When he was over five we went camping in England (it was summer but really cold). That is the last time I remember him wetting the bed but I blame the English weather rather than him.