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The prospect of DLA is rearing it’s ugly head again and I just want to check whether these two things are ‘usual’ or ‘normal’ for a 4 year old boy.

Firstly - Sam is still not out of nappies and no sign of him being ready any time soon.

Secondly - Sam still wakes 4-8 times a night to be settled back down.  He has never ever even nearly slept through.  Probably 3-4 hours is the most at a time.

Now, the DLA is judged on whether he is developmentally significantly different and needs different care than other children his age.  My 3 others haven’t been in this situation at this age but I am looking for others’ experience.

Are/were your 4yo boys similar or not?  (wondering if it’s the AP approach and long term BF that’s causing the 2nd one…. if everyone else here is or has been in the same situation then that’s a good indicator!)


Mummy to four little ones

Or 4 yo girl for that matter, as DLA decisions will be based on both.  For my own peace of mind I was asking in reference to boys because developmentally there has been a real difference between the sexes in my experience.

Mummy to four little ones

My experience with my DS was that he wasn’t ready to be out of nappies till he was around 3 and quarter, and that seemed to be considered ‘late’ by everyone who felt they needed to comment on the matter rolleyes  so I presume the experts will consider Sam ‘late’ as well.

As for the long-term BF, my daughter self-weaned at 20 months, but my son, still going strong at almost 5, started sleeping through at around 4 and a bit. Up until then he did used to wake to feed at night, sometimes a lot and sometimes only once or twice. It varied wildly. So, what Sam does in that respect could be considered developmentally ‘normal’ (though I suspect an ‘expert’ would consider it bizarre), but I don’t think it’s an artefact of AP and long-term BF. Some kids are just like that, and some aren’t.

Has that helped at all???

Liz grin x

Druid, boat-dwelling, home educating mum of DD1 (11), Aspie DS (9) and baby DD2 (2), & part-time step-mum to 2 stepdaughters, 9 and 7.

Hi smile

I can only speak for my little boy who will be 4 in 8 weeks time (my little girl is only 2). He was out of nappies just before he turned 3 but does still have milk once in the night. That’s often his only night waking although there can be a couple more wakes.

Hugs x


Radically unschooling mama to three gorgeous pickles Alfie (April 06) and Holly (Nov 07), Amber (Nov 2010)

Hi Becky,

I know plenty of 4 year olds who are still in nappies at night, but none in the day too, however I do know quite a few 3-and-a-bit year olds who are still in nappies.  Apparently though, schools have seen an increase in children who are still in nappies (possibly the younger ones who have recently turned 4?) so it can’t be that unusual.  On the sleeping front, having a 2 year old who only sleeps through on the nights when we are restless and awake I can’t really get my head around this possibly still happening in 2 years time so I’m afraid I’m going to stick my head in the sand and not think about it too much otherwise I will self-destruct! wink


Rye’s just turned 3 as you know, and only has a nappy on for nighttime.. and quite often that’s dry too so I don’t think it will be that long before he’s dry through the night.

I do know another boy at 4 who is in nappies during the day too but he’s, well I’m not sure; his older brother I believe is Autistic or maybe aspergers?  Not sure, eitherway the brother is high functioning if he is; and the younger, 4 yr old is “high needs”.  Both absolutely lovely kids; just very definite in their needs and the environment they need to be in.  Other than that I don’t know of any other 4 year olds in nappies during the day - but it has to be said I don’t actually know many other 4 yr olds grin

Joxy.  - Freeform Crochet Art.

My blog:

LETS membership # 52 - HOME!

My DS1 is 4yrs 9mths nearly.
He has slept through the night since a baby (BF to 9mths, sleeps in his own room) but of course we do get the odd disturbed night for one reason or another. He has been out of nappies day and night since 2.5yrs and v.rarely an accident since. Not sure if that helps you.
I wasn’t going to post as it is not always helpful to ‘compare’ as they are all so different… but maybe it gives you another example for your survey.
Like Diana, I also read about the increasing numbers of 4yr olds starting school in nappies and heard of it locally too, in one case, so it is not unheard of. But I do not know of any myself (I do know a lot of 4 year olds DS’s school and several friend’s 4yr old’s schools).

Like the other gals said it can vary widely but it also depends on why you are applying for DLA.  If it’s any help Benedict is on DLA because of the diabetes, we get the care component because of his needs both day and night.  Up until recently he was still in pull ups at night, but the pump therapy has stabilised his sugars and therfore his kidneys are no longer having to work overtime, clearing the excess sugar from his system!! 

As far as sleeping is concerned if you feel that it might be an issue then put it down, if that makes sense!  It’s like all things with DLA it is depressing filling in the forms but the more info you give the better your chance at getting the right help.

Best of luck

LETS # 115

Be The Change You Want To See In The World


My 7 year old was out of nappies in the day by 4, but he’s still in nappies at night and soaks through. We wake him at 10.30, but even to watch him as we take him through, you know he’s not actually awake, so at this point in the game, I don’t know that I have a hope in hell of him not wetting even with me waking him etc. What I mean to say is that I think there is a developmental “button” in the brain that has to be switched on and it is possible at 4 that your son’s isn’t there yet. I don’t know if that’s what you need to hear or not. In my experience, I think it’s unusual for a four year old to wet in the day still but not sure that it’d be considered so vastly different yet?

Sleeping could be down to the extended b-f?

Probably no help at all—sorry


DS was out of nappies in the day by about 2.5, can’t remember at night. DD is just 2 and dry at home but not quite when we go out. She’s nowhere near out of nappies at night. Both of them started the no nappy phase themselves with lots of interest in the potty. Here the kids have to be dry at least in the day if they go to pre-school at about 3 yrs old otherwise they won’t accept them (a couple of accidents here and there are OK but not constant wetting and if they poo in their pants the parents have to come and change them!). 4 seems quite late to me for daytime nappies but I’ve also heard of kids (admittedly mostly in the UK so perhaps culture has something to do with it too?) still in nappies until quite an advanced age.
DS stopped waking a lot during the night around the time he stopped bf at about 16-17 months and DD just recently has gone down to about 2-3 night wakings.
Hope that helps.

In my opinion it is better to put as much info down on a claim for DLA if that’s what you want to do, all helps to get the right support/component.

My experiences aren’t really much help but you did ask about a girl for comparison too in your 2nd post so will share my experiences - my dd is 4 yrs 4 months and was out of nappies around 3. We’ve had a good sleeping little girl for a long time and she hasn’t woken in the night since she was about 18 mths unless she’s unwell. No experience of extended bf though, would imagine this would affect/increase night waking.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. He may just not be ready yet - it’s amazing how different children are reaching these developmental stages. I know of a boy who’s 4 and is still in nappies, although starting to understand using the toilet, but only recently.

my family care for my neices and nephew and my neice has only just started sleeping through the night on a regularbasis and she is 5 and a half. although the younger one is not yet 2 and sleeps 12 hours straight! niether were breastfed.

all my boys (5) were arond 3 when they were dry,which is later than both my girls,most of them slept well but the youngest didnt sleep through at all till he was 4,waking 4-5 times through the night,its a killer at the time,but there is light,he’s the best sleeper of them all now x

LETS no42

Leni is 3yrs 6mths, she came out of nappies at 3 and 3mths had been dry at night since 18mths (odd I know!) she sleeps through pretty consistently now, but didn’t til she turned 3. She’s still nursing…around 2-5 times a day.


Hippy-anarchist-feminist-eco-crafty Mama of

Helena July 06
Felicity March 09
Miranda December 11 - home!

DD is 4 in may. Toilet training tried at 2 (I know, stupidly early! but first child!) but I would only say that she is toilet trained now in day (was having accidents of both kinds until recently). She wakes and needs resettling once a night usually, but up to about age 3, 3 and a bit needed ressettling several times every night.

Hope thats some help.

To dare is to lose ones footing temporarily, to not dare is to lose oneself.

LETS number 137

DS1 is 4 and 2 months, only breastfed til just before 2 years old.
He is dry at night but I do lift him when I go to bed and he wees half asleep on the potty, just about to give this up though.
He is dry in the day but has periods where if he is totally engaged in somehting he doesn’t tune in to needing to go so will wet himself or try to go just too late and not quite make it, sometimes lots in a week and sometimes not for weeks.
It took a long time to go from nappies to ‘dry’.

He does wake in the night sometimes but he has just moved himself into the spare room so whereas before he may have woken and just snuggled in a bit closer or looked over when in a different bed to us now he’s in a seperate room and I think it’s normal to pop back to the bed/room where you’ve spent the last 4 years!

DS1~05 DS2~08

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