Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Operation Desert Moonbeam

Both of my children wet the bed. I am not telling you this to embarrass them, but to throw out my plan to help them as well as ask for advice or encouragement from anyone who have some to share. Many of my friends have told me that when their kids were daytime potty trained, the nighttime dryness just came naturally. Well, God bless them, but I need a bit more help.

It has been frustrating because my five year old used to stay dry every night until the end of last summer when we went on a trip and she had to wear a pull up for a few nights. We reverted back to betwetting and have never looked back!

The other issue is that both kids are very heavy sleepers and never even remember that I get them up to pee every night when I go to bed. Seriously, they are like cute little jammied zombies.

I did a little research and have come up with a five point plan to help them get over this hurdle.

1. Mandatory afternoon rest period. I know, I know that I should have been doing this before. If the kids are not as tired at night, perhaps they won't sleep so hard.

2. No drinks after 6:30. We often eat late, sometimes as late as 8:00, so this has been a challenge. Today is the day I start enforcing the rule.

3. Eat a portion of protein right before bed. One theory is that natural blood sugar levels drop during the night but since they can't eat while they are sleeping, they just go into a deeper sleep to accomodate the change. A bit of protein, like a spoon of peanut butter, a boiled egg or a piece of cheese before bed might help keep the blood sugar levels more constant so that they will wake up more easily.

4. Sleep with a bare booty. Not only will we lose the occasional pull ups, we will also lose the underpants, in hopes that it feels a bit different than normal and they may be able to feel the wetness sooner.

5. Set the alarm for 2:30 am and get them up again. I always take them to the potty when I go to bed, and this is going to hurt a lot, but I will also get them up in the middle of the night. One of the kids wets the bed twice every night, so I am hoping this will help.

Now, I am a big believer that bedwetting is in no way a behavior or discipline problem. The kids never get "in trouble" or shamed for wetting the bed. (**Rabbit trail alert** I wet the bed for quite some time myself. My bedwetting was a discipline problem because it always happened after I lied to my mom about going to the bathroom before bed. I never went and always told her I did. Sorry, Mom. I owe you big time.) Anyway, because of the kids' lack of control, I can't set up a rewards system for staying dry. It just disappoints them because it is an unachievable goal for them by themselves. However, I can reward them for trying! Each kid now has a chart to mark each of my five points each day. If they do or comply with everything on the chart for an entire week, I will take them to the Dollar Tree. If they stay dry, that's great. If not, so what.

Gee, I hope this works.


  1. Well, since I have a seven and a half year old who has continually struggled with this since being potty trained at 3...I don't know how much help I can be. I talked to the Pediatrician about it and they say that this can last until 8 or I am hoping we are almost done! I have noticed that my DD tends to have a cycle. She will go for about a month with no accidents and then have 3 or 4 nights in a row with accidents. I take her to the potty just before I go to bed too...and most of the time that works. (We have not done pull ups for a LONG time...I can't afford that!) Any thoughts on the cycle?

    I did find your low blood sugar idea to be intriguing! I will start trying that! She already will frequently ask for snacks before it shouldn't be hard to talk her into that! :-) My kids are already grazers...they eat all day long!

    Good luck and let me know how this goes, Laurie!


  2. Almost every night my kids beg for food before bed, as if I had not fed the ALL day!
    The protein thing might help with the early morning grumps at our house as well...I'll let you know how it goes.