The last nappy/diaper to drop is the one at night. This stands to reason as it is a long time between visits to the bathroom. Almost half of all children still wet the bed at the age of 3. Most child development experts consider bed-wetting normal until about the age of 6, when only 12% of kids still wet the bed.

There appears to be a strong family component to bed-wetting: 77% of children whose parents both wet the bed as youngsters will do the same. 43% of children of one bed-wetting parent will follow suit, and only 15% of children whose parents had no trouble staying dry at night will wet the bed. I even had a friend who occasionally wet the bed in her late teen years. Regardless of how you proceed, avoid putting pressure on your child and don’t punish.

Staying dry all night is a developmental skill and everyone is different. Some advice could be simply to cut down the amount of liquids before bed time. A bottle to sleep with is of course going to put pressure on the bladder. Perhaps try and cut down the volume of liquid; do it gradually. Sometimes the child cannot feel the wetness as the nappy/diaper can be so efficient and it simply doesn’t feel wet.

One trick is putting on a pair of panties or underpants under the nappy (diaper) so they can feel the wetness and be aware of what is happening. You can also purchase urine-sensitive alarms that wake up your child when it senses wetness, although we did not feel this was necessary for Hector. When Hector was little, I used to take him to the toilet before he went to bed to empty his bladder and then again when I went to bed at about 11pm. He never really woke up and this certainly made a big difference to his comfort.

I always have a waterproof mattress cover on the bed just in case there is an accident. Much easier to strip the bed and throw the sheets into the washing machine than an expensive mattress getting ruined as a result of the occasional accident. The accidents were far too infrequent to justify using a nappy (diaper). When Hector did wear a nappy at night, I found in summer he would get very hot and sweaty in that area, which we all know not healthy for little boys!