Sunday, February 13, 2011

How do I get a sleeping child to get up to use the toilet?

Ms. Dorothy,
How do you get a 3 year old to get up at night and go pee in the toilet? 
- Tired Dad

Your best bet may be to have him drink a full glass of water before he goes to sleep, and talk about how his body will process it, and make him feel pressure that will wake him up.  

Often children sleep through the need to use the toilet because their bladder never gets full enough for them to feel the urgency to wake from a sound sleep. Cutting off liquids after a certain hour only makes this worse because the body continues to produce urine, just smaller amounts.

Rather than waking up to carry him to the bathroom in the hopes of building a habit, and rather than just giving up and putting him in pull-ups, maybe helping him to understand what is happening in his body is a better route.

The book Dry All Night is a great resource picture book for this discussion, and really helps to train a child to attend to what his body is doing. It is written for parents and slightly older children because bed-wetting isn't considered unusual for a 3 year old who is just learning and still needs lots of uninterrupted sleep.

No comments:

Post a Comment