Potty training at night
Handy advice for bedtime
Potty training at night
Potty training your toddler is one of the most important jobs you have as a parent. Figuring out how to make it through the day accident free is a huge milestone for parent and child. But what happens when your toddlers go to sleep and have to make it through the night without wetting the bed? These useful tips will help you transition to potty training at night, while promoting restorative sleep for parents and children alike.
1. Are they ready?
Potty training during the day and potty training at night are two completely different ballgames. Just because your little toddler is a pro at using the toilet all day long does not mean they're ready to make it through the night accident-free.
A good indicator that they are ready is if they are already waking up dry in the morning (and keep it up for several weeks.) You can use this development as the go-ahead for facilitating night-time potty training.
2. Establish a Routine
A night-time routine is simple. Make sure your child goes to the bathroom right before hopping into bed at night. Make sure they try, even if they say they don’t have to go.
Be sure to let your child know that they need to listen to their bodies even when they’re sleeping. And if they have to go, they need to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom.
Install nightlights in the hallway and in the nearest bathroom, and let them practice getting out of bed to go to the toilet. You might even purchase a special night-time flashlight that they can use to light their way.
3. Should you wake them up?
Some parents approach night-time potty training by setting alarms and waking their child up at the same time each night to train their bodies to wake up and use the potty. Some parents lift their child and encourage them to use the potty as they head to bed themselves. Other parents never wake their child up at all.
If you feel your child is ready to stay dry all night long, see what happens the first few nights. If there are frequent accidents, you can either start waking them up to use the toilet, or just wait to tackle night-time potty training a little later.
4. Should you stop liquids at night?
Some parents swear by cutting off all liquids after dinner. Other parents send their kids to bed with water bottles. Which solution will have your child staying dry all night long?
According to WebMD, there’s no need to restrict water and other fluids excessively, but monitoring your child’s consumption of fluids during and after dinner might be worth trying if bedwetting is an issue.
Just keep in mind that wetting the bed is not caused by your child having a full bladder at night. It’s caused by your child not waking up to use the potty.
5. Bedwetting Hack
No one wants to spend time, in the middle of the night, putting clean sheets on a bed when you could be sleeping! When you’re first starting out with potty training at night, do yourself a favour and invest in one (or two) plastic sheets. HINT: A plastic tablecloth will work too.
One plastic sheet goes on top of the mattress, followed by a set of sheets (fitted and/or flat.) Then, put on another plastic sheet, followed by a set of sheets.
If your child has a middle-of-the-night accident, all you need to do is strip off the top layer of sheets and plastic sheet and you have a fresh set all ready to go. (Both of you will be back in your beds and on your way to dreamland much faster).
6. Set your expectations
It can be defeating to face a freshly wet set of sheets each morning and a child who has no recollection of what happened. Your patience and grace are crucial for this night-time transition, because you do not want to send your child to bed with the fear of doing something wrong or disappointing you.
This is also the time to really decide if your child is ready for toilet training at night. Go back and read #1 to make sure your child is really ready before everyone is stressed out and exhausted.
Additionally, don’t hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician if bedwetting becomes an ongoing issue.