Our 5 (nearly 6) year old son has had problems with potty training for a long time now.
When he sleeps at night, he wears diapers, as he is not aware of peeing during the night yet and does not wake up in time. So far that's ok, we've contacted a specialised doctor and it seems to be normal that some children take longer until they learn how to control that.
The practical problem:
Even though he wears diapers (slip type, which he can put on by himself) in the night, it happens very often (sometimes daily) that the bed is really wet when he awakes in the morning.
- might it be the wrong diapers?
- can anything be wrong with how he puts on the diapers?
(We've tought him to make sure that the penis does not point upwards and that seems not to be the case.)
- did anyone else have a similar problem and has a solution that worked for them?
- we already try to reduce the amount of drinking during the evening meal
- we already send him to the toilet directly after the evening meal
and a second time later before he really goes to bed. He sleeps about 11 hours.
- sure we use water-proof layers to protect the mattress, but exchanging and washing this layer and the fitted sheet nearly each day is quite a lot of work.
- waking him up in the night for going to the toilet is quite difficult. He normally sleeps very soundly and when I try to wake him up for going to toilet he is kind of confused and mostly angry/grumpy.
- he is sleeping in a loft bed which makes both waking him up or replacing sheets quite difficult
Important addendum: Toilet training for the night and medical aspects
In case you're having the same problem, one more remark might be important:
For our problems with encopresis and enuresis, which do last for years already, we consulted a doctor, specialized in this topic and still are in regular contact with her.
Concerning bed wetting in the night (and not at all waking up before to go to the toilet) she said:
Children do have to develop the hormonal processes which make them wake up if they need to urinate during their sleep. Some do earlier, some do later, but you definitely can not "teach" them to wake up in the night! That's why a solution with a sensor in his pants which gives an alarm to wake him up will most probably not make sense yet.
The only working solution here at this stage would be a hormone therapy, which suppresses the production of urine during the night (if I am not mistaken) and therefore reduces the urge to urinate.
- That would be working instantly
- and could apparently also be used punctually, e. g. if the child is sleeping at a friend's house or at a school camp)
- but she would not recommend to use it permanently at this age (6) without urgent reasons (!)
- and we also do prefer washing bed sheets over feeding our child hormones to avoid that.
(So for the given reasons we did not try that medicament yet.)
(EDIT) 2 years later
the situation has not changed. He is about 8.5 years now and still needs a diaper each night.
To avoid an "overload" of the diaper, we wake him up and send him to the toilet once per night between midnight and 2 AM. That way, we can avoid the bed getting wet regularly and reduces the laundry dramatically.
It is still difficult to wake him up, but he has become used to it and is cooperative most times (and only rarely reacts angrily).
And for sure he still goes to the bathroom again, directly before going to bed around 8 PM.
We could not find a fixed scheme, at which time in the night he urinates. Mostly, the diaper is still dry when we wake him up, but sometimes it is not. And mostly the diaper will then still be dry in the morning, but sometimes it isn't.
I think the composition of diner and what/how much he has drunk in the evening has a major effect.