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Dr Catherine
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2-4 years

Hi, My son is 4 years old, turning 5 next month, My son relies on pull ups for pooping during the day, but when he doesnt need to poop, he wears undies and is toilet trained, At night he wears pull ups, just in case, But tonight he said he wants to be a big boy and not wear a pull up. Does this mean he is ready to stop the pull ups at night? Or do you think he is just wanting to see how he goes? I'm a little scared, As he has been trying new foods and eating the same meals as my partner and i without complaining, And i am happy he is growing up, But scared and worried about whats next.

Hi Melanie, the best indicator that a child is ready to achieve nighttime continence is an increase in the number of mornings he wakes up dry. There are a number of reasons why children continue to wet at night. Some do so because their body produces larger than normal amounts of urine overnight and their bladder is unable to store it until morning. This usually continues until the amount of urine produced decreases or children learn to wake-up in response to a full bladder. Others do so because they are unable to wake in response to the signals that their bladder sends to their brain telling them to wake-up and go to the toilet. While you can certainly respond to his requests to be a 'big boy', know that his conscious desire to be dry may not result in him being able to control his nighttime output in the same way that he has control over his daytime wetting. Kind Regards, Dr Cathrine