My daughter is potty trained during the day and is currently sleeps with pull-up. For the past few nights she has been peeing so much that she wets her bed. We have tried to restrict her liquid intake before bedtime, but that doesn't seem to have helped. Please help!

  • Our pediatrician said they don't worry about staying dry overnight until they're 8 or so.
    – ceejayoz
    Jan 16, 2015 at 19:44
  • 1
    around 3 was when my daughter started the routine of going to the bathroom before bed. She started sleeping in pull ups. Over the next couple months she gradually stopped wetting at night and before she was 4 she was safely in underwear at night. The routine of making sure she sits on the toilet before bed, even if she says she doesn't have to go, may be what did it for her. My 2 1/2 year old doesn't believe toilets exist, so who knows. Everyone's different, but I'd say 3 isn't old enough to worry. You may have a lot of laundry to do.
    – Kai Qing
    Feb 5, 2015 at 1:29
  • possible duplicate: parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/9186/…
    – BBM
    Mar 8, 2015 at 12:42

8 Answers 8


Pediatrists and psychologists believe that children cannot be trained to use the toilet or stay dry at night. The body and brain have to develop the ability to recognize the physiological signals that the body needs to urinate as well as the ability to hold urine during the night. Both developments cannot be forced or quickened, and they occur at different ages in different children (statistics are given in any good book on the development of children; e.g. only 50% of all girls are dry at night at the age of three and only 20% of all boys, and at the age of five ten percent of all girls and twenty percent of all boys still wet the bed at night.

Don't let other parent's tales of their early dry kids unsettle you. Usually, when parents believe they have trained their children very early, if you look closely you will note that they do things such as put the toddler on the potty every hour, wake the child at an hour to midnight and carry him to the toilet etc., so that in fact it is not the child that has been trained, but the parents who exercise his self-control in his stead.

Children will let you know when they are ready to learn to go to the toilet or not wet the bed, by asking you (in their way) to help them with it. Give the child pants that he can pull down and up himself, get a toilet that he can climb, make the toilet pleasant by provding reading material or music, allow the child to wittness how you use the toilet (children learn much by observation), make it possible for the child to climb out of bed and walk to the toilet alone at night by using a night lamp, put a waterproof sheet in his bed and buy a few spares so you have a clean one each night and each morning without having to wash them daily, and – most of all – don't make a fuss, don't pressure him, stay relaxed, he will eventually get dry in his own time. If the child can choose the time, it will all be totally stress-free for you. Just don't miss his signals, because if you force him to "stay a baby", because washing the wet bed sheets is too much trouble for you, you'll have a hard time breaking the habit later.

And don't expect "dry" to happen over night. It took my son about one year from peeing his swaddling clothes each night to never wetting the bed anymore. Expect "dry spells" and many wet relapses with a slow progress on average.

And most of all: enjoy your small child. In a few years you'll miss the child that wet the bed, because he will be completely gone.

  • 1
    They even sell "overnights" for big kids now that may help as well. Nov 1, 2012 at 21:34

Some useful steps we used:

  • Try to move her liquid intake earlier in the day - sounds like you have been trying to do this, but it is what will really make a difference at this age
  • Make sure she visits the toilet just before bed - possibly encourage her to do this both before and after cleaning her teeth. Sometimes trying twice can help a child relatively newly potty trained
  • Possibly wake the child up to go to the toilet again in the middle of the night. This is a temporary measure, which shouldn't be encouraged long term, but may help in the short term
  • Use absorbent bed mats to at least reduce the amount of washing you need to do
  • 2
    If at all possible, I'd go with "wake the child up to go to the toilet" rather than "carry him or her to the toilet." You want the child to understand that waking up and moving himself or herself to the toilet is the important part. It also helps if this can be done at a consistent time too.
    – afrazier
    Jul 13, 2012 at 14:16
  • 2
    Sorry - that's just a local Scottish term. We use "lift" to mean wake and guide through :-)
    – Rory Alsop
    Jul 13, 2012 at 15:00
  • 2
    We put a potty near my son's bed while he was learning to wake up and go at night. It reduced accidents pretty significantly and now he goes all the way to the bathroom if he needs to go.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Jul 17, 2012 at 15:28

I sleep in the same room as my 4 year old son while my wife sleeps with our 6 month old. One pattern that I have noticed is that he will start to cry out in his sleep and get very restless when he needs to go pee. I will then wake him up and ask him if he needs to go pee. It can be hard to get him awake enough to answer the question and sometimes he gets angry because I woke him up but it's starting to get easier. I'm hoping that I can teach him that it's ok to wake up in the middle of the night to go pee. The next step is to remove myself from the equation. One day at a time.


At 3yo she may not be ready to be 100% toilet trained. My daughter took a lot longer than that before she could reliably go through the night without wetting herself. The body can just take a while to develop the necessary feedback loop.

We tried all the things Rory mentioned, including midnight toilet runs. Didn't help. She was ready when she was ready.

My 4yo son is a lot better and remains dry 9 out of 10 times but still has mishaps.

  • My son had nighttime pullups until we were sure that he could go all night without an accident.
    – Mark S.
    Jul 13, 2012 at 13:44
  • Interestingly, my son was fully toilet trained at a much younger age than my two daughters... wonder if that is common.
    – Rory Alsop
    Jul 13, 2012 at 15:03

I think the answers so far are not reading the question. It's not about moving on from nappies, but how to stop the nappy pant leaking.

I would look at different brands. The cut and size can make a difference.

The clothing worn make a a difference too. Trousers will keep the pants in place.

With a good waterproof mattress protectors it needn't be a big feel anyway...

  • It may be about how to stop the pull-ups from leaking; asking for clarification in comments is helpful. As this is an old question, you may not get an answer. Useful alternative answer. May 20, 2016 at 19:08

My 3yr old also gets restless and cries in her sleep. If she needs to go pee, it's hard to wake her.

I use to get mad, but I realize she's not doing this on a purpose or to be lazy. She wakes up and tells me "I'm sorry, Mommy, I'm wet!" So now I just say, "It's OK. Next time try and wake up to pee," and I send her to change herself with a little help of course.


Nothing after supper, toilet before bed. Have 3 kids and they were all potty trained at 1 1/2. Pull ups are not necessary. Teach your child; it pays off! Rewards are also a great way to potty train- a sticker chart worked for one of mine.


Put her into overnight diapers (or just regular diapers) at nighttime instead of pull-ups. Make sure the size is not too small or it wont help. If you want to continue with pull-ups instead at nighttime, take her to the bathroom once during the middle of the night.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .