How can I get my child to use the bathroom during the night?

Q: My daughter is a very heavy sleeper and usually does not wake up to use the bathroom during the night. Do you have any suggestions on how to get her to use the bathroom during the night?

A: The ability for the brain to "wake up" when the bladder is full is a developmental milestone that happens at different ages. Some kids will figure it out around the same time they potty train during the day, but it is normal not to be dry at night up until age 7. Unfortunately, you can't "teach" her to wake up by putting her in underwear and hoping she will wake up because she'll feel wet. You will only end up with a frustrated child and a wet bed every morning. If your daughter is school aged, start by limiting fluid intake or stopping fluids entirely after dinner so there is less urine produced overnight. For kids around 7, there are some behavioral training techniques and bedwetting alarms that can be effective, but they don't really work on younger children.