Friday, 20 July 2012

The bedtime standoff.

We're having a bit of a standoff at home at the moment, the husband and I. It's over the battleground that is our four-year-old's night-time bedwetting.

It's a bit of a battle because I have one philosophy and action plan, and he has another entirely. I don't really know who's right to be honest. We are both doing what we think is best, which is all we can do, but it does lead to bickering every now and again.

My approach is to let the four-year-old have a drink before bed, if she wants one. I don't like going to bed thirsty and I don't think it's fair to force the children to. I make sure she has a wee before bed and, when I go to bed later at around 11pm, I will lift her on to the toilet where she will do another sleepy wee. This is usually enough to get her through until morning, when fingers crossed, she is dry. My philosophy is that her body will grow and learn to go longer between wees at night in it's own time and that by lifting her I am saving us a whole lot of stress in a morning, when I least need it.

dry nights children

His battle plan is different. He won't let her have a drink after the evening meal. She goes for a wee at bedtime but then he leaves her all night, with the logic that her body will learn faster if we're not lifting her. With this approach, she is more likely to be wet in the morning, and that leaves whoever is on morning duties to sort the bed out and give the four-year old a bath before school. But if it's his turn on duty, I don't argue because it's him that'll bear the fallout and that's his choice to make.

I wouldn't say it's causing arguments but it's probably the thing we disagree on most. I don't like the way he leaves her and then tells her off when she's wet, which I see as inevitable if you expect someone of that age to go 10 hours without the toilet - asleep or not. I tell him that I think he is wrong, but then I'm not totally convinced I'm going about it the right way myself. 

What's your philosophy on night-time bed-wetting?


  1. This is really tricky! I have to say that I'd go with your approach, to be honest. I think kids learn to hold it all night (or get up by themselves to go to the loo) in their own time, and you might as well save yourself some washing until that point!

  2. PS: I think it's even quite common for four year olds to still be sleeping in a nappy, so I wouldn't stress about her being unable to last all night.


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