Unfortunately, Abby's proud milestone has only drawn attention that Rory has been potty trained for nearly two years but still needs a pull up at night. And it's becoming a problem as she is a physically tiny girl in 2-3T sized pull ups, with a 5 year old bladder, and has peed out her pull ups several times recently. Although she takes a while to get to sleep, once she falls asleep, it takes an act of God to wake that girl up, and she sleeps right through the wetness, until morning when we wake her up to discover she has wet the bed. I don't think that would normally be too much of a concern to her, except that every night her sister gets to go to bed in panties while she has to put on pull ups, and every morning she wakes up to see her sister get congratulations for a dry night while she has to peel off a filled to the brim pull up and wipe herself down before changing into panties for the day. We have had to console her the last few mornings, explaining that it doesn't mean she isn't a big girl and her sister is; we are not mad at her; it's not her fault; everyone's bodies are just different and hers is just letting her sleep while emptying her bladder instead of waking her up to go.
To this effect I turned to good old google to solve my problem. "Preventing bedwetting" came up with several articles that quickly made a few things clear:
- Aurora is genetically predisposed to have issues with it. (I had trouble with it until I was at least 6 or 7)
- Shes got it bad and its going to be a hard habit to break. (Might be an easier case if she only went a little bit once in a while and started to wake up while she was going)
- There are no easy fixes and we are already doing all of the first line techniques, which only limit the amount in her pull up in the morning. (Limiting fluids right before bed, having her go right before then, "lifting" - bringing her to the bathroom right before we go to bed, having her practice holding it - she already does that on a daily since she doesn't want to stop playing to go)
We are left with three options, listed in order of preference least to most:
- Give her brain time to neurologically develop further and produce the hormones that stop her body from producing so much urine while she is sleeping, and wake her up on the occasion that she needs to go. Spending a $1 a day to wait until this happens on its own when she is expressing distress at the situation isn't an option for me.
- "Lifting" multiple times a night (probably when we go to bed, midnight and 3pm) to prevent her from peeing in her pull up and getting her used to waking up to go, which I don't want to do. I have barely had enough time to enjoy sleeping through the night as it is. I don't want to go back to an infant feeding schedule at night!
- Using a bedwetting alarm. Ok these must be new since I had no idea about them and I know they were not around when I was a kid. The one that gets the best reviews is the Chummie. This seems like the best option, as it trains her to get up and go to the bathroom as soon as she starts going, and she is excited about figuring out a way to solve this issue. She is eager to solve the problem, just doesn't know how. They are expensive ($100) but it would pay for itself in 3 months if it works. However, our pediatrician has said that she has experienced limited success with them and suggested the things we were already doing and then to just wait it out.
Abby is not without her tribulations either. Rory loves to "help" in the kitchen, and I have found that leaving her with a sink of dirty dishes and an hour of time will result in dishes clean enough to rinse and put away, and a girl who feels immense self satisfaction at a job well done. Although the cost is high in terms of the quantity of water and dish soap required to achieve these results, it is worthwhile to give her the sense of accomplishment at doing her "chores" and contributing to the family. Rory has no interest in walking Guinness with Ryan like Abby does so this is a way for her to be involved in the household duties without forcing her to do something she doesn't want to do.
The problem is that Abby wants to help in the same way. But she is still clumsy with her fine motor skills and while I barely trust Rory with the dishes, I certainly cant have Abby handling them. So I have (forgive my dishonesty) told her that she is not big enough to do the dishes yet and once she grows more she can participate. Since we are always communicating to Aurora the importance of eating enough varied, healthy foods so that her body gets enough nourishment to grow (otherwise she would be perfectly happy living off of air, water and perhaps the occasional cracker), Abby has picked up on this and after every meal she asks to be measured to see if she has grown. Poor thing has not grown a single centimeter in months. She is very proportional, just small. Shes in 18-24 right now, and it fits her perfectly. Her sister started growing taller at this point and just stayed the same size. She is in solid 4T for length (shirts, dresses) but anything that has to be fitted needs to be much smaller. Take her bathing suits for example. They need to be 18-24 mo two piece. One piece in that size would not be tall enough and a suit tall enough would be swimming on her and float off her tiny little body the second she got in the water.
It is nice to be headed into summer though; edibles in the garden, lots of local organic fruit in season, smoothies and fruit salads that the girls will demolish and might get that growth they are looking for - Abigail in height and Aurora in weight. :)