Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Back in October, we set out to potty train our not yet two-year-old daughter. I wrote a couple of posts about our attempts. While she clearly wasn't ready back then, she learned all about the potty and how and when and where she might go. Sure enough, she let us know when she was ready and just as surely, somewhere along the way we've been able to consider ourselves the parents of a fully potty trained two-year-old. One day we were leaving the house fully stocked with wipes, lots of extra clothes, bags for wet and soiled clothes, pull-ups in case we ran out of extra clothes, and towels for the car seat. The next we left empty handed because we knew that accidents were a thing of the past. Being the proud owners of TWO potty trained children is very liberating. We leave the house unencumbered with diaper bags. We laugh at how we used to have to plan for potty emergencies and/or accidents. We wonder at how we went from training mode and several outfits a day to "done" and the same outfit from morning til bedtime. We have to stop to think about the last time she even asked for a treat for using the potty. And we scream at the top our lungs: WE ARE NEVER, EVER BUYING DIAPERS AGAIN, FOREVER AND EVER AMEN!

But the truth is that we're not really done. We never had to night-train Dylan. When we started potty-training him, he would wear a pull-up to bed. He just never woke up wet. So we quit buying them and he slept in underwear from then on. I can probably count on one hand the number of times that he has gotten up to go potty in the middle of the night (the point being that he GETS UP) and he's actually wet the bed maybe once or twice. He's been sleeping in underwear for at least 2 years.

Sadie, not so much. She wears a pull-up to bed and always wakes up wet. She's never woken and wanted to use the potty. I am at a complete and utter loss to know when she will be ready for underwear at night. Will she just stop peeing in her sleep? Will she start waking up to go? If I put her in underwear will she learn, or will I just end up doing a lot of extra laundry?

Apparently, it's not my choice to make. My not at all willful and stubborn Sadie has decided that she is no longer going to wear a pull-up to bed. Okay, she's ready, I think. She let us know she was ready for the rest of it, she's ready to take this on. Great, we'll try underwear. Here's how it's gone so far:

Night 1 - Around midnight, I heard her crying that she needed to go potty. (Midnight crying "I have to go potty" in Sadie's world actually means, "I went potty in my bed and I'm wet!") Easily solved with a towel over the wet spot and a change of clothes. Except she didn't go back to sleep for an hour and a half and got up 3x in that 90 minutes to go potty. But woke up dry the next morning! I, however, woke up feeling like I'd only slept for about 90 minutes the entire night.

Night 2 - Around midnight, I heard her cry out in her sleep. When I went to check on her, she was still sleeping but wet. Hmm... do I wake her to take care of the wet, and risk a repeat of last night, or do I let her sleep and bathe her in the morning? Mother of the Year, here! I let her sleep. (And maybe, possibly did a quik once over with a diaper wipe in lieu of an actual bath.)

Night 3 - She decided to wear a pull-up, which ended up soaking wet, but yea! I didn't have to launder sheets the next morning and air out the mattress. (And we both got a full night's sleep!)

Night 4 is tonight. She is in underwear and went potty 3x before finally staying in bed to sleep. I am planning to wake her to go once more before I go to bed. (PLEEEEASE, please, please, go right back to sleep!) We'll see how that goes.

I know it has only been a few days, but I'm kinda thinking she might not quite be ready for the underwear at night thing. I've never done this before so I don't know how I'll know when she is ready. Do I put my foot down and insist that she wear a pull-up to bed (I am the mom, right?) until I feel more equipped to deal with this, or do I let her keep wearing underwear and hope she'll figure it out?


Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

I wish I had an answer, but *I think* we are just starting potty training in my house so I should be the one asking you for advice.

katie said...

Possibly you could put underwear on under a pull-up. Then she will feel wet, but you won't have to change the sheets. I think pull-ups don't always work because they don't feel really wet