Ollie has been potty trained for well over a year now, with no problems whatsoever. He’s been dry at naps for ages, and he goes at school by himself, no problem. So for awhile now I’ve been meaning to try to get him through the final hump, no diaper overnight, but I just kept putting it off. It seemed like it was always a bad time. We kept saying, “Oh, we’ll do it after we get back from vacation” or “well, this weekend is busy, maybe next weekend”.
We had tried awhile ago, but he just wasn’t ready for it at that time. However, with school and everything, he’s just seemed so grown up lately, and it didn’t seem fair that he had to wear a diaper at night just because his parents weren’t getting off their butts and doing it. Finally, he had two dry diapers in a row and I thought, “Okay, its time to get this done.”
I went into it with my eyes open. This isn’t my first time at the rodeo. I think it took Evie at least 2 nights before she had a dry one, so I was expecting Ollie to take at least that, but probably more. We gave him a lot of talks about what a big boy he was to pump him up, offered a reward, and I prepared the area ahead of time. I put 5 sets of sheets and mattress pads on the bed, one on top of the other, and made a stack of spare blankets and pjs. If he was wet, we could just strip off the top layer and toss him back in bed, easy peasy.
After the first few nights, I decided that he needed a little help to get a successful night. I was hoping this would give him the confidence to really do it. It seemed like he was waking up and going first thing in the morning, probably because he forgot he wasn’t wearing a diaper. The problem was, if I woke him up a little early to go to the potty, he wouldn’t go back to sleep. So I started taking him to the bathroom when I went to bed, hoping that would buy him some extra time.
This wasn’t working, so next I decided to start setting my alarm in the night. I hoped that if I took him around 4, I would catch him before he went and then he would be able to go back to sleep. When he was wet at 4, I moved it back to 2, and then 1. I was trying so hard to make him successful, but eventually I had to throw in the towel and admit he couldn’t do it. Despite my efforts, he’s just not ready yet.
It was pretty disheartening. It was just so much work, making the bed 5 times every night, washing load after load of sheets to get ready for the next night, getting up every night and cleaning him up, trying to maintain a positive attitude through the whole thing keep encouraging him. I was so exhausted and it was just all for nothing. I have to admit that on the last night, when I was cleaning him up at 1 a.m. and changing the sheets for the umpteenth time, I cried a little. Hey, I was tired.
At the end of the day, he’s got to be ready, and no amount of preparation or sheet changing can change that. He’s only 3, so it’s not like he’s behind or anything. Like everything with parenting, sometimes you’ve just got to take it as it comes.