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....