Dr Catherine
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2-4 years

Hello, my little girl will be 4 in May and has been toilet trained since 18months except for night times and nap times. I’m wanting to now stop the nappies at night but find her nappy is completely full in the morning. She also insists on sleeping in our bed so don’t want to put her in knickers and just hope for the best. How do I go about this? Thank you

The time between achieving daytime control and nighttime continence can vary from child to child. While some children will become dry at night within a few weeks or months of being trained during the day, others may take years. One of the best indicators that your child is moving toward nighttime continence is an increase in the number of mornings she wakes-up dry - the fact that she still wakes every morning with a full nappy is a good indication that her body has not quite reached the point where she can store the amount of urine her body is producing. Unfortunately nighttime continence does not work in the same way as daytime training – nighttime wetting typically happens when children are asleep and are not in conscious control over their bladder, making it more difficult to train a child to become dry at night. Time is usually the best way to deal with nighttime wetting; with most children achieving nighttime control on their own. In the meantime you can help her bladder to develop by ensuring she drinks water regularly throughout the day, it is fine to taper off in the evenings. Diet high in fibre is also important and of course avoid foods high in caffeine such as chocolate and fizzy drinks as these tend to stimulate the kidneys. I would certainly recommend using DryNites, they are designed specifically for nighttime use, offer good absorbency and look less "nappy" and more pant-like. All the best, Dr Cathrine