We have reached a new milestone here at the Kaboodle house; Miss Kaboodle is now going to bed without nappies at night!
A few weeks back, she started getting annoyed when we told her it was time for her nappy. She would start to cry and tell us that she didn’t want to wear it anymore. Since it was such an out-of-the-blue moment, we were unprepared, we didn’t have any waterproof sheets and would need to buy them.
KaboodleDad was still off work at the time so we knew we would have to wait until we had money to buy some.
We took the time between her asking to go to bed nappy free, and when we had some money, to explain and discuss going to bed at night without a nappy. We spent two weeks, at bedtime, helping Willow adjust to not having a drink before bed, explaining to her about waking if she needs a wee, talking to her about buying new sheets and what those sheets mean and what they do.
We told her things like,
“you need new sheets so that if you have and accident, your wee doesn’t go into the bed.”
“You must go for a wee before bed now and if you need a wee in the night, you can wake up and go to the toilet.”
Things like that always ended up being questioned “why?” So we would explain, “if your bed gets wet, you will have to wake up and get changed and Mummy and Daddy will need to change your sheets and give you a wipe with a flannel. If you wake up for a wee, you won’t get wet and you will be able to sleep better.”
Whatever felt like the right answer was what we told her.
Two weeks we spent doing this, and when her grandparents visited we would mention it and they would discuss it with her too. By the time the two weeks were up, she was excited for nappy free sleep, she had stopped complaining about needing a drink at bedtime and she was really looking forward to getting her new sheets.
Kaboodle dad took her to buy new sheets, waterproof ones, and Willow wasn’t impressed. The set was all white and plastic, of course because we needed something waterproof, Miss K told her dad “I thought I was having new sheets?” And he had to explain that they were, but he did realise that she was a bit gutted that it was all plain white and boring.
As luck would have it, they headed to a nearby supermarket to pick up some bits and they came across some bedding, shopkins bedding, KD told me her little face lit up and she asked for the shopkins bedding. Mei agreed, he said he figured if she had the whole shebang, she might be more careful and not want to get her new bedding wet.
She he agreed to buy it. Funnily enough, when he checked out, they had been reduced to half price so it wasn’t so much of an expensive buy after all!
That day, they spent some time sorting out her new waterproof sheets and putting on her new shopkins bedding and when I got home from volunteering, the first thing I was shown by Willow was her new bedding!
That night, she went to bed with no nappy for the first time.
We’ve developed her routine so that she has to wee before bed, then when we go up to bed we wake her and take her to the toilet. In the week and a half that she has been nappy free at night, she has wet the bed three times.
I have to be honest, I was expecting to change bedding once a night for a while, possibly even twice because she used to wake up with quite a full nappy but my little whump has surprised me more than I ever expected.
If she has had a completely dry night, we give her a big hug in the morning and I can see how proud of herself she is.
That makes me ever more proud of her, because she’s not only achieved this whole new part of her childhood, but she’s embraced it as part of her life and outshined herself. Not only that, but I am happy that she can be proud of herself and even more so that she is able to feel that pride and experience it.
Kaboodle Dad and I are so super proud of her and she’s super proud of herself.
I can’t argue with that!
So if you’re about to venture into the wilderness of helping your little one to stay dry at night, I would give you these tips.
- Children are far more observant and understanding than we give them credit for, sit down and talk with your little one about not wearing nappies anymore, explain that they would need to wake to wee and explain what will happen if they do wet the bed. They need to know if you’re not going to get cross with them if they do wet the bed too, so be sure to tell them that you’re never going to feel cross if they have an accident at night.
- Invest in some good quality waterproof sheets. The set we bought contains a waterproof pillow case which zips up, a waterproof bottom sheet which fits up to a single size bed and a waterproof quilt case which also zips up. Any liquids that might come out, get absorbed by the bedding, the pillow, quilt and mattress aren’t at risk of getting wet. If an accident does then happen, all you have to worry about is cleaning the bedding, not pillows or quilts! It has been a life saver and if you’re in the UK you can buy one here.
- Reduce your child’s water intake leading up to bed time, give them their last drink before bed about an hour before they go.
- Keep a clean set of bedding to hand, just in case. it saves you having to search the bedding cupboard for something late at night.
- When you go to bed, wake your little one and take them to the toilet. If they haven’t wet the bed, take them back and tuck them back into bed as normal.
- My advice for if they have wet the bed, or do at another point during the night, is to keep the house as quiet and as calm as possible, it’s likely your little one is going to still be tired and want to sleep so just change them, strip the bed and put on clean bedding without getting to worked up yourself. It’s hard, one night I had only been asleep maybe 40minutes and Willow woke me to tell me she had wet the bed, it made me feel awful and I was in a haze myself but I stayed calm and changed the bed then tucked her back in. I dealt with the pile of wet bedding in the morning.
Lastly, I would say to not rush the process. I’ve always said that I wouldn’t rush Willow to be dry at night and as luck would have it, she made the decision herself. She is almost 4. I wouldn’t have minded if it was another year or so before she felt comfortable going to bed at night without a nappy. I think it’s okay to let your child sleep with a nappy on, even if they’ve been dry in the day for ages. It isn’t a race and every child is different. If you think your little one will do okay when it comes to being dry at night, then give it a go. But, if you think that it will be a challenge, maybe wait a bit longer. Either way you look at it, it’s not likely your little one is going to reach 7 or 8 and still be wearing nappies to bed, let them lead the way and it might be a little easier.
I hope this helps a little if you’re looking for advice on getting your child dry at night. This is just our experience and only what I have learned first hand, each child is different and will react differently to a change in routine. Don’t be disheartened if you do end up changing sheets every night for a while, they will get there, just give them time.
Are you about to try sending your child to bed without nappies? What are your worries? Or have you already been though this, what was your experience?
Let me know!
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