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Not so fast with the celebrations and hoopla

It's not that I am any less proud of my boy, now Pull Up-free for many nights. It's just that he hasn't exactly stayed dry all night since he was liberated from the velcro-tabbed pee prison.

OK, that's not really fair. He has had a few dry nights. But none in a row and when they come, it is with the rarity of a pair of flats in my shoe-cluttered closet (they're there, honey, but you're going to have to hunt to find them...both).

And still, every morning, he wakes up with a report: Just a leeetle bit wet, Mommy or Ohhh, Mommy, there's wetness everywhere.

Soaked sheets or just a hint of wetness, it matters not. We strip down the bed, pull off the pajamas, slide comfy pants over his skinny little legs and move into our morning. On the days, he is dry, there is a freedom in his walk to the living room, carrying babies and the paci and a sippy cup of fresh water with him.

We are going through a lot, and some of that has swelled up for this boy in these past few weeks. I don't care that he's having trouble holding it. I am more concerned that he understands the bigger things -- the emotions -- are what don't need to be held in.

And yet, there he is on those mornings, shivery in those soaked jammies, and I want for him. I so so so want for him to be warm and dry and comfortable in the safe haven of his bed, where he can sleep and dream and rest his worried little 3-year old self.

Still, he is only 3-years old and he cannot always, or even often, control the comfort he wants to feel. I am in this, choosing not to acknowledge the heaps of laundry in the hallway and my worry that I will not find the way to point him toward this milestone of night time dryness. I am in it to strip down the wet and cold and make it warm and cozy once again.

I can't make our lives completely pressed and tucked in and perfect right now. I am not even sure how smoothly I am getting us through these other transitions. But I can make that bed in the corner of my boy's room. Sheets and blankets and waterproof pads, babies and a paci lots of soft pillows and stack of clean pajamas. I can make that a place to come back to and try again. That, I can do so he can settle in, safe and still hoping and dry. For now.

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Reader Comments (5)

My youngest was dry at night from practically the first day of potty training. My oldest didn't have several consecutive dry nights until he was about 9. I'm not suggesting anything, b/c we all know we have to do what works for us; I get that this is really important to E and kudos to the best Mama in the world for washing all those sheets and supporting his pursuit of dry dreams (!). But for my family, it simply made more sense to keep the kid dry and the laundry to a minimum until his body figured out how to wake up at night. We made it okay and he wasn't mortified (even when we had to hide a pull up in his duffle for his first sleepover). Sending dry vibes for Little E!
July 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKim
Thanks for being so open about all of this. I have seen many parents go through the same thing. If he can't stay dry at night, make sure you cut back on the liquids before bed.
potty training at night is an entire different story than potty training during the day. Try waking him up an hour after falling a sleep and night and bring him to the potty. This lets him know its alright to leave his bed the use the potty when he wakes up. Try this a few nights and he should get the hang of it
February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPotty Training
Also wake him up an hour before he would normally awake too!
February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHow To Potty Train A Toddler
the same thing. If he can't stay dry at night, make sure you cut back on the liquids before bed.

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