Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Wee Celebration.

My daughter is 6 years & 5months. She has worn nappies for 6 yrs & 5 months. Until September 20th 2010. On that day we went cold turkey. Complete withdrawal from nappies.

A friend back in the UK told me what she had done. I decided to take her advice. She bought 2 mattress protectors, & made the bed up twice over so that in the night when her daughter wet the bed, she would just strip off the 1st sheet & protector to reveal the next layer of sheet & protector. She said her daughter just decided to stop wearing nappies. It took 3 wks of 50% wet, 50% dry nights until she cracked it.

So I drew a deep breath & decided I would try it. After all, I could manage 3 wks couldn't I? My 6 y-o has never been dry at night. Aged 2 ½ she went about 7 days of dry nights, & I thought 'Great, we're nearly there'. She never did it again for 4 yrs. I can count on the fingers of (possibly) both hands the times she has had a dry night.

Her paediatrician in the UK has always said not to worry, some children just are late, no investigations till she's 7, don't 'lift her' at night, wait till she's ready. So I waited. And waited.

Of course I felt somehow it was a failure on my part. My parents (the Dr Spock generation) had us all dry, by day, at 18mths, with the 'catch whatever's passing through after a meal' school of thought. I don't know when we were dry at night but certainly we weren't late. Until I admitted it to someone & suddenly the stories came 'flooding' out, I had had no idea that statistically, in fact, it's very common.

My son was potty trained really quickly, & very annoyingly, by my husband. There was I, going by the book, doing star charts, soft rewards, lots of praise etc. but still we had very regular 'poo' accidents. So Mr INGO took it upon himself to ask a good friend of ours who had had 4 children what she would recommend. She said, without hesitation “Bribe him, with edible treats.” So he decided chocolate biscuits were the order of the day. Reader, it worked. Immediately, instantaneously & without a blip. Grrrrrr.

Our son also decided he wasn't wearing nappies at night & aged 3 was dry at night. I remember one night waking up rather startled to hear the sound of someone in the bathroom. But my husband was in bed next to me. We had no guests. Was it the Phantom Bathroom Burglar?

Nope, it was 3 y-o. He had got himself up, walked up the two little steps into the bathroom, done a stand up wee, in the dark- (gets that from his father), & retraced his steps, all without putting a light on, or calling for us. To coin a phrase I was 'gob-smacked'. Where did he learn to do that I wondered? Maybe that had been part of my husband's alternative potty training methods.....

So I assumed this was genetic. Early potty trainees. Hooray. Imagine my surprise when my daughter followed no such pattern. Chocolate biscuits? If only.

She had accidents every day at a nursery aged 2 ½, then managed to survive the 3 hours at nursery “pantus intactus” as it were, only to wee on the floor of our garage in Sri Lanka, as soon as we got out of the car at home. It was so perfectly timed, I found it hard to convince myself it wasn't deliberate. Potty training whilst living in Sri Lanka, at least, was easier climate wise. Tiled floors, hot weather, no clothes needed.

But on 20th September, I decided I would just have to 'hit the wall' & run through the pain barrier of being a 44 yr old having to cope with broken nights. So I did. And we had a dry night. Then another, then another. From the day of removing her nappy, my daughter has been dry every night for 2 wks without fail. I am ecstatic & she is pretty pleased with herself too. Though I do find myself wondering if she was perfectly capable before but just couldn't be bothered....

And like her brother, she gets herself up in the night & takes herself off to the loo. Unlike her brother, the 1st night this happened, she just yelled for me from her bed telling me she needed the loo, so I escorted her, then got her a torch & told her she could go by herself & so she does now, most nights, wakes herself up & goes to the loo.

So it seems it's actually much more a mental thing than a physical thing. I am now kicking myself at the pounds I have wasted on nappies wondering whether she could have done this aged 5,4 or even 3.

But my daughter, in so many ways, is a law unto herself. She just lets me think I'm in charge, when really, she knows the truth & every now & then gives me a little clue to prove the point. Mum training the child....? Ha, you wish....


Expat mum said...

My friend's child did this till well past 7 and apparently there's a hormone that helps send messages to the brain and sometimes it's just late developing in some kids. Most of them don't want to be wetting the bed any more than parents so she probably couldn't have done this any earlier.

nappy valley girl said...

I'm so relieved to hear this! Littleboy 1 is 5 and a half and has never been dry at night. We've tried taking the nappy away, but he just wets the bed. (To be honest, I have to change his sheets all the time anyway, as he pees so much it soaks through the nappy.) But, it sounds like maybe we just need to persevere with that until he stops? He does want to stop, but just seems incapable of doing it....

Sarah said...

Awww, bless, great result and I love the way you write. So happy for you all!

Sarah in deepest, darkest Lomellina said...

Choccie bicies I wish. Our son had to be bribed with money. But I managed to recycle the same one euro coin for the entire process. Good job or there'd have been a massive hole in the bank account.

It was MIL who cracked it with the cash incentive. Although I hate giving credit in that direction and won't in her hearing or we'd never hear the end of it.

Mwa said...

Yeah, I fool myself I'm in charge, too.

Wahey for you, though! The end of nappies is a GOOD THING.

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

Expat. Thnx. No I didnt really think she cd, she's just such a pickle/madam/feisty little person that it's tempting to wonder that!
NVG. Poor u , that sounds really hard work. My daughter was desp to stop too, & embarrassed going on sleep overs etc. I'm told it's mch more ocmmon in boys too. I have friends whose sons were still regularly wetting at night aged ( & 10!
Sarah & Mwa. thnx, yes, a whole new Nappy FRee life has opened up;o)
SarahinDDL. yes, it's galling when despite all yr best & unstinting efforts, someone else breezes in & sort sit effortlessly!

I shd also add here that my mum's efforts were highly motivated, not surprsingly by having a.) 4 children, b) terry nappies & c.) no washing machine. I think I'd hold a baby over a potty at every opportunity to get them traiend in that scenario!

Iota said...

I'm another of the stories that come 'flooding' out.

The statistics are that if your 5 year old is in nappies at night, he/she won't be the only one in the class.

It's really hard to pick the right moment, because if you try and fail, it's demoralising for the child. But if you don't try, then you spend a fortune on nappies - perhaps unnecessarily.

I think homeopathy helped my oldest (age 8 when dry), but who knows?

NVG - have you tried 'Dry Nites" or whatever they're called, rather than nappies? Expensive, but worth it. (At one point, I bought washable cloth incontinence pants, but they were HOPELESS. I'd ordered two different brands, and neither was up to the job - so don't waste your money on those.)