Have kids, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. They’ll be the best thing that ever happened to you, they said.
So I went ahead and had kids.
Three of them.
And one by one, we’ve been going through the potty training phase.
Funny enough, the potty training phase matches up pretty well with the phase where the little one hates his/her own bed, and waking up in the middle of the night to come find you phase.
This is all well and good, except for the peeing my bed part.
Peeing their own bed is normal. It happens. We work on getting the combination of factors right to help them get through the night without peeing (when they are ready).
And I’ve gotten used to stripping their bed in the morning and washing up the sheets, mattress cover and blankets.
But sometimes they come to my bed in the middle of the night.
And there’s little that you can do about it.
When the kids are wearing diapers at night, and they come crawl in bed with you, you definitely reduce the likelihood of a spill in your sheets.
But even a diaper isn’t a fool-proof solution. After all, they do leak, and as kids get bigger, diapers struggle to keep in all of the flood.
Another issue I’ve had is a child who wakes up in his or her own room, who then strips off their clothes (and diaper), and THEN crawls into my bed.
There’s not much I can do to combat this, aside from putting a gate on their door, or locking the door (neither of which I am willing to do because I want them to be able to find me in the middle of the night).
It used to be that they would wake me up when they got up. They’d cry, or trip on toys, or fumble with the door.
NOW THEY ARE NINJAS.
I wake up in the morning with a little body pressed up against me under the covers, completely unaware of how it happened.
I used to wake at the slightest sound or movement of a child….now I don’t at all.
Which is amazing, actually. Is it because my body knows that the child doesn’t need to nurse? And that the child is going to survive if I throw a blanket over their head?
But I used to wake immediately whenever a child moved, and now apparently almost nothing they do wakes me up.
This is funny, because I am generally better rested overall than I ever was as a mom of infants.
What to do if your kids are peeing your bed?
Well, if your kids are ninjas like mine, there might not be much you can do besides waiting it out, or finding a time machine to fast forward a few years.
If waiting it out is not an option, there’s a few things you can do.
First, you’ll want to reduce the likelihood that peeing will occur, regardless of whether the child is wearing a diaper or not. This means cutting off fluids two hours or more before bedtime (which is hard), and making the the child goes to use the toilet multiple times before bedtime. I’ve heard some folks mention that their kid is more likely to pee the bed if they haven’t pooped in a given day, so making sure they are not constipated might help out.
I’ve never had success with this, but other parents have been able to set an alarm and get their kids up in the middle of the night to pee. In my experience though, my kids were so deep asleep that they couldn’t even pee if I got them to the toilet. They just grumbled and cried and I ended up in bed a few minutes after putting them back in their beds completely wide awake.
Next, you’ll want to consider training pants/pull-ups/diaper, even if the child is mostly potty trained for night time. My second child didn’t night time potty train until recently, but he refused to wear diapers. This meant I was washing sheets A LOT in the past year. I refused to let him anywhere near my bed without a diaper or a pullup. If he would have agreed to wear one, I would have put one on him. If I ever woke up in the middle of the night to find him in my bed, I immediately removed him back to his own bed.
Third, you’ll want to find ways to keep the kids out of your bed that are consistent with your parenting style. I don’t lock my kids out of my room, and I don’t lock them into their room.
This means moving them back to bed right away if you wake up and find them in your bed. When you are sleepy and not very alert, you might rationalize leaving them in the bed, or just hoping that they won’t pee. That doesn’t work when you have kids that are really likely to pee the bed. Whenever my risky kids climbed in bed with me (and woke me), I didn’t even give them a chance to fall back asleep. I just got up and took them back to their own beds, even climbing into THEIR beds for a bit just to be sure they wouldn’t pee my bed.
One thing I have done is direct the kids to a little camp bed in my room that they can crawl into. It was next to my bed, and prepped for a nighttime accident. So they could reach up and touch me if they wanted, but not be in my bed at all.
Another thing that you could do is put a motion sensor that beeps whenever the child leaves their bedroom. The idea is that it would be loud enough to wake you, without waking the whole house. You could also put bells or something else in the way that the child would have to move that would be noisy.
And if nothing works?
Take steps to minimize the amount of work for yourself. Set up your bed so it is easy to get the mattress cover and sheets off. Oh yes, and use a waterproof mattress cover to protect your mattress.
Put away your nice linens and down comforters, and use easy to wash and dry blankets and sheets. (That don’t require dry cleaning or a trip to the laundromat to use the extra large capacity washer/dryer).
If they refuse to go back to their beds, demand that they use the bathroom before climbing in bed with you.
And above all….don’t stress too much. This phase will pass soon, and before you know it, they won’t want to climb in bed with you at all.
You’ll miss all of it, even the peeing in your bed part.
Emily Anderson is a mother of three children, all under the age of 10. Located in the Pacific Northwest of the US, Emily is a mom and part-time blogger, jumping in front of the computer when the kids are sleeping. She started this blog in April of 2019 and is proud that the blog is now paying for itself. If you want to know about her journey as a blogger, check out out her personal digital journal or her post about failing her way to blogging success.