Unwelcome Relief

When a kid wakes up crying late at night, you might think it is a bad dream. I know I did. Shortly after we potty trained my oldest daughter, she awoke upset, in tears and completely inconsolable. I picked her up and brought her into my bed. (Big mistake.) As I snuggled and tried to soothe her, suddenly she peed all over me and my bed!

Frustrated and shocked, I changed her into fresh pajamas, laid her back in her dry bed and then went to deal with my now soaked sheets. As my husband and I remade our bed, we wondered aloud if perhaps that was the source of the tears — she needed to go to the bathroom. We theorized that being new to potty training, in her sleepy state she must have had trouble connecting that uncomfortable, “I have to go” feeling to what it really meant (go to the bathroom), and instead got incredibly upset at this discomfort that interrupted her slumber.

So a few nights later when she again woke up in tears, we rushed her to the toilet. She went number one, and we laid her back in bed. End of story. No rocking or singing needed, and more importantly, no pee everywhere.

I figured this strange behavior was unique to my Attalie, but a few nights ago as I was relaxing on the couch with my Halloween edition of Martha Stewart Living, I heard some whimpering and Piper appeared in the hallway completely, upset and throwing herself about in a fit. The light bulb went on — she too is newly potty trained. I picked her up and rushed her to the bathroom, calmly trying to explain to her sleep-walking mind that she just needed to go potty. I sat her on the toilet and she instantly started going. Aha! I was right. As I was silently (an prematurely) congratulating myself, unfortunately her temper fit continued, and her flailing about caused urine to spray all over me and the bathroom. An improvement over my previous wet bed, but still incredibly unpleasant.

I showered off and cleaned the bathroom, and started wondering if this was normal behavior. I’d never heard of anything like this, but perhaps it is one of those odd things that all kids do and parents just don’t think to talk about. Or maybe my kids are just strange?

Regardless, I thought I’d mention it as a warning to other unsuspecting parents: if a potty-trained child wakes up crying, do NOT let them in your bed. Get them to a bathroom, quick!

Bettijo Bridges

Administrator at Paging Supermom
Bettijo is the founder and designer of Paging Supermom where she shares creative ideas for family fun. Known for practical and kid-friendly activities, free printables and holiday entertainment. Bettijo was a guest on the Martha Stewart Show and has frequently appeared on local TV. Her work has also been featured in national magazines including Real Simple, O, Redbook, Parents, Family Circle, and Health. She enjoys art, retro-modern design, photography and making new things. Mom of 4 kids.

5 thoughts on “Unwelcome Relief”

  1. All of my kids have done this. I think it also stems from them knowing they’re not supposed to get out of bed once the bedtime routine has concluded, and they are too tired/asleep to realize it’s okay.

    One of my kids, however, went from this to wetting his bed every night after two solid years of dry nights. He had just started kindergarten and he was just too tired to wake up. For a year (ugh) I tried everything to get him to wake up from the sensation. I refused the alarm!!! Couldn’t do it. Reduced liquids. Talked, Prayed, woke him up pre-emtively, you name it…I did it.

    Then at 2AM one night, I ordered the pee alarm. Problem solved within a week. Sick that I’d waited so long.

    I also learned an excellent tip. Wear the underwear inside the Pull-Up at night. He still feels the sensation of wetting the bed, but I didn’t have to deal with a complete mess each night.

  2. So my child has been doing this — the waking up part and having to go. But it has gone into being scared because there are monsters in the closet!!! we are still working through this one!

  3. My kids have gone through this before too- being the dad, I was the guy to bring them to the bathroom. It lasted for a few weeks, but given enough patience and the right motivation, it could be both rewarding and stress quenching. So how’d you get the stains off of the bed sheets?


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