Is it normal for a 3 year old to hold his pee during sleep for the whole night so he doesn't wet the bed. He seems to struggle doing it? I try lifting him to pee but he just throws a tantrum and refuses.

  • Hi Nick, welcome to the site. Are you saying your son does not hold his pee during sleep, or he does? How often are you finding wet sheets?
    – Joe
    May 14 '20 at 14:55
  • Hi Joe, I'm saying he holds it and doesn't go to the potty.
    – Nick Sun
    May 14 '20 at 15:32
  • Most people think it's a good thing that their kid sleeps through the night. Are you asking if it's not a good thing?
    – swbarnes2
    May 14 '20 at 19:48
  • I know it sounds like a good thing but he seems to have trouble sleeping through the night because of it.
    – Nick Sun
    May 15 '20 at 0:30

My son has been staying dry overnight since around 2.5 years old, and seems to have no discomfort in doing so, but some children do not develop this ability until much later, sometimes as late as 5 to 7 years old. It's a mostly developmental ability, not so much something that is learned; it mainly just happens when the body is ready.

There is some anecdotal evidence in my son's case- he was reliably dry overnight before he became reliable with daytime potty training.

I would suggest that you implement a routine of going to the toilet last thing before bed and then at once when he wakes in the morning. If he seems restless or wakes at night, offer him the chance to pee if he's awake enough to respond. It's probably not productive to start a middle of the night tantrum over going pee if he's really too sleepy to participate and a 'dream pee' where you just lift him on the potty/toilet while still mostly asleep isn't working out. Wearing pull-ups or overnight diapers to sleep at this young age is not unusual, and may work better for your family than getting him up for the bathroom in the night if he becomes very upset and hard to get back to sleep.

This is a pretty good explanation of how overnight dryness is a developmental milestone, and when and how it develops: https://www.babycenter.com/0_developmental-milestone-nighttime-dryness_67742.bc

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