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Another Trick to Try for a Dry Night

Posted inToilet Training (Night)

When becoming a Mum you enter a whole new world of conversation topics. I remember going to dinner with friends and discussing the bowel movements of babies – a topic I had never broached before, and which strangely enough lasted longer than I would have dreamed possible just 1 year before. Our friends were the experts with their 2nd child and we were in the steep learning curve of our first baby.   

It should be of no surprise therefore that my sister had a very helpful discussion regarding bed wetting with a friend she bumped into in the Supermarket.

She told me that this tip worked a treat and although it meant she had a harrowing 2 weeks it was worth it in the end. You may find it works for you too.

If you have a heavy sleeper in the family and therefore a regular bed wetter, first of all figure out the time the bed wetting occurs. This means regular checks on the bed during the evening / night. When you have established a time, then the next night, wake the sleeping child half an hour before the bed wetting time and take them to the toilet. Do this for a couple of nights. Then move the time of waking the child to go to the toilet back by half an hour. Therefore if the bedwetting occurs at 11.00pm, get the child up at 10.30pm for 2 nights & then get them up at 11.00pm for the next 2 nights. Keep moving the wake up time by half an hour every couple of nights until you have got them through the night.

Apparently it is a bit of a trick of the mind. The mind tells the child to hold on rather than wetting the bed because someone will come and get them up for the toilet soon. Because the wet bed is a really unpleasant experience the body will eventually hold on until the morning.

My sister said it was recommended to her by a woman who had had success with this method and so she tried it for her son and it worked really well. Of course there would only be certain situations when this would work. This is one of many methods that may work for you, good luck.

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Brolly Sheets vs. Disposables – let’s crunch some numbers

Posted inToilet Training (Night)

Toilet training can be an expensive business. What we do know, is that we do not want to be replacing a mattress on a regular basis, as the cost is too high. We need to stop the wee hitting the mattress, so I want to look at two options – pull ups versus a Brolly Sheet. Which option is the most cost effective?

For the purposes of this study I have researched large chain supermarkets for an average price of one pull up in three different countries.

  • NZD = $1.45
  • AUD = $1.35
  • GBP = £0.42
  • USA = $0.35

When you start the night time toilet training process, there is no way of knowing how long it will take. I have outlined three different scenarios using my own three children as case studies, as all three were quite different both in their technique and length.

Lets start with my easiest child (when I say easiest, I am referring ONLY to toilet training) This was my middle child. As far as toilet training while sleeping went, she was reliably toilet trained after 1 month. In that period we had a good mix of dry nights with the wet ones, but given that there was no way to predict which nights were going to be wet or dry - every night had to be covered. So lets take a 31 night month:

  • NZD = $44.95
  • AUD = $41.85
  • GBP = £13.02
  • USA = $10.85

Not bad, however I am not a gambler, and I also needed those day time sleeps covered, which means you can double that cost. All this for a pretty quick toilet trainer.

Case study number 2. This was my first child. This one we had a bit more energy for, and not as many years of sleep deprivation had set in, so we used the ‘lifting technique’, which meant we lifted her out of bed at about 10.30 – 11.00 at night and put her on the toilet. Was it successful? Well after 6 months she became reliably dry right through the night, whether this was because of the lifting - I guess that’s a matter of personal opinion. But for the purposes of this article, lets look at the cost. 6 months = 183 nights

  • NZD = $265.35
  • AUD = $247.05
  • GBP = £76.86
  • USA = $64.05

Again you can double that to include day time sleeps. The amount is starting to add up!

Case study number 3, co-incidentally reserved for my third child. My gorgeous little boy, he took a little longer than his sisters – 1 year, and another year of the occasional accident. We kept it up because there were periods of dry in between the wet, so there was always hope. 365 - 730 nights

  • NZD = $529.25 – $1,058.50
  • AUD = $492.75 - $985.50
  • GBP = £153.30 - £306.60
  • USA = $127.75 - $255.50

Do you want to double it? I sure don’t!

So there is your average cost of using pull ups for varying lengths of time. Now lets look at the cost of a Brolly Sheet, that come in varying sizes:

  • NZD = $46.95 - $51.95
  • AUD = $41.95 - $47.95
  • GBP = £24.95 - £31.95
  • USA = $29.95

There is no need to apply these prices to the three case studies, as with a Brolly Sheet, it doesn’t matter how long your child takes to train, You just keep putting it in the wash after a wet night, or leave it in place if it’s a dry night.

There will be plenty of other things to spend your money on – save it where you can!

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Does toilet training take longer these days?

Posted inPotty Training (Day) and Toilet Training (Night)

Have we got worse at toilet training our children compared to our mothers day? According to my mother we have. “You and your brother were toilet trained both night and day by the time you were 2” she says. So if this is true – how did she do it?  

Many mums I talk to are telling me the same story; that their mothers preach about this generation of toddlers that breezed through the toilet training stage before the magical age of 2. You only have to look at the parenting chat forums to see that this is no longer the case. Pages and pages of desperate mums seeking the holy grail of toilet training success! So where are we going wrong? Or where are our toddlers going wrong? Or are our parents just……. wrong?

An interesting theory is that ‘new and improved’ is not always better. Modern day nappies are very efficient at drawing away that horrible wet feeling from the skin, making the wearer more comfortable. That seems to be marketing gold for the nappy companies.   But compare this to our early childhood (before we were 2!) where it was cloth all the way. When the cloth got wet, you knew all about it. How many family photos have you seen with your nappy hanging somewhere down by your knees! So is this the answer?

I read somewhere, a toilet training tip that has really stuck with me “dryness is the goal. Going in the toilet is a bonus, but dryness is the goal” So if dryness is my new goal instead of tinkles in the toilet, shouldn’t we at least give our toddlers a clue as to what is dry and what is wet?

I’m no expert, and I’m not saying this would work for everyone, but its definitely something to think about. Maybe our mums did know what they were doing?

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How big is your child’s bladder?

Posted inPotty Training (Day) and Toilet Training (Night)

A normal bladder – what you should know.

We have previously talked about bedwetting being a normal part of growing up. As parents we know that for the most part normal is as normal does but it got me thinking about what a normal bladder does and doesn’t do. So we set about discovering and here’s what we found out.

Interestingly, some of the most easy to understand information about a normal bladder works came from the Multiple Sclerosis Trust. This is not necessarily a site you would have visited but it’s a great explanation.

Basically a normal adult bladder hold 300-500mls of fluid (that’s about half a pint to a pint) and we typically empty our bladders between 6 and 8 times a day.

Children are of course smaller and with all their activity they can sweat out quite a lot of fluid in a day – so for them the normal range for bladder emptying is between 4 and 8 times a day.

And one of the most interesting discoveries we found is that there is actually a formula for calculating your child’s approximate bladder capacity! Here it is…

Age of child x 30 + 30 = average bladder capacity in mls. For example, for a 6 year old child you calculate it as follows: 6 x 30 + 30 = 210 mls

Calculation sourced from ERIC

Of course, this figure is an average so if your child is substantially smaller or bigger than other children their age, their bladder capacity’s likely to different too. Either way, it’s reassuring to know that our Brolly Sheets hold up to 2 litres so they’ll never let you down.

We know as a parent of a child who wets the bed it can be really hard to get some straight forward facts. We hope this helps. If you do notice unusual bladder capacity in your child, it’s easy to have a chat with your family doctor. But for most of you, now you know what “normal” is, you can at least put that nagging worry to rest.

Sleep easy, Diane.

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How to Start Night Time Toilet Training

Posted inToilet Training (Night)

If you are not sure whether your child is ready to start night time toilet training, read our article called When to start night time toilet training here.

When you are ready to start:

  • Make sure your child avoid drinks 2 hours before bedtime, but drinks plenty in the day
  • Remind them to visit the toilet before bedtime.
  • Set a routine bedtime for your child. Over tired children fall deeply asleep and have a harder time waking up to go to the bathroom.  
  • Once they are in bed give clear instructions about going to the toilet, if they wake up and feel the need to wee.
  • Leave a night light on (so they can feel safe and can see where they are going) and give plenty of goodnight hugs and kisses and encouragement.
  • Don’t forget to leave the bathroom / toilet light on!
  • Let them know that it is all right for them to come and wake you to take them to the toilet if they feel safer doing that and if they can hang on that long.
  • Consider getting your toddler up to use the toilet just before you go to bed
  • If the bathroom is too far away from the bedroom leave a potty in their room
  • Reassure your child and don’t chastise them if they have an accident at night - demonstrate plenty of patience and understanding
  • Make aids such as Brolly Sheets part of normal routine. Tell your child it is a special sheet just for them to learn to be dry with. Some children can be quite worried about making a mess so something like a Brolly Sheet can help make them more relaxed.
  • Remember that it might take years for your child to reliably master night-time dryness.
  • If your child is becoming anxious or frustrated, forget about night-time toilet training for a while.
  • Try not to show your personal frustration during periods of bed wetting.


Products to help

Use waterproof mattress pads and other protection to keep your childs bed dry and make bedding changes easier. A Brolly Sheet sits on top of your fitted sheet and your child sleeps directly on the top. The wings hold it in place. This makes it very easy to change in the night as you do not need to strip the whole bed. Most people buy two (see Brolly Sheets value packs) as it will give you a clean one to change in the night. You can use a fully fitted mattress protector which goes under your bottom sheet. This will cover your whole mattress.   There are also great savings if you buy a Night Time toilet training Starter Pack. Also it is a good idea to think of Duvet Covers and Stay Dry Duvets.

Remember - the speed at which children achieve night time dryness does vary, often starting with one or two dry nights a week and building up slowly over a number of months.


Approaches to avoid

Some approaches will only delay your attempts to help your child stay dry at night. Approaches to avoid include:

  • Don’t criticise, humiliate or belittle your child for being a ‘baby’. Night time bladder control is a process of maturation. All efforts, no matter how small, should be praised.
  • Don’t punish your child by making them stay in their wet sheets and pyjamas or getting them to wash the soiled bed linen. If your child is anxious, they are less likely to stay dry at night.
  • Don’t talk about your child’s ‘problem’ to other people when the child is present, as this can make them feel ashamed and embarrassed.


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