Guide to Potty Training at Night
If your tot has mastered day-time potty training, here are some simple tips to help you get started with overnight potty training.
As almost every parent can attest, potty training can be a difficult developmental milestone. Even after finding success with day-time potty training, the night -time can bring unpredictable challenges, like nighttime accidents, that can linger for years.
10 Night Time Potty Training Tips
Follow these steps on how to potty train at night and look forward to the dry nights ahead!
- Make sure there are no significant changes (moving, traveling, etc) happening during night training as it’s a big step in developmental independence.It’s important that your tot has stability and his/her normal bedtime routine in place throughout the process. Big changes to the routine could cause your child to regress back to previous bedwetting habits.
- Day-time dryness should be well established before beginning night training. If your little one has conquered using the toilet during the day then it’s time to move on to bedtime training.
- Encourage drinking of plenty of water and frequent use of the toilet during the day. This will help your child better understand the signs of needing to use the bathroom.
- Wear pull-ups only when sleeping and underpants during the day.
- If you notice more dry pull-ups once they wake in the morning, this is a good sign that they are ready for more advanced night-time potty training.
Once you have decided that your child is ready to go through the night without any diapers/pull-ups here are some tips:
- Limit liquids right before bed. Only very limited water or milk, if any; and, preferably only a little water after dinner, if needed. It’s important during this stage to try and focus on hydration throughout the day.
- Leave the bathroom light on so they can find their way easily and consider adding a nightlight to their room.
- Make it part of your little one’s bedtime routine to go to the toilet right before bed. If they’re a very deep sleeper, consider setting an alarm to wake them up during the night for a short period of time.
- Take your child to the bathroom one more time before you go to bed yourself — ideally, 2-3 hours after you’ve put them down.
- Use a mattress pad or protector and try not to get frustrated when changing out the pads or sheets during the night after an accident. It takes time to master the control of our bladders. Remember, you went through this once yourself!
When to Start Night Time Potty Training
While there’s no set night time potty training age that everyone will meet, the average age is from about 3 years of age or whenever your child is staying dry throughout the day and having accidents infrequently.
While the dreaded potty training can be a challenging life stage, it will be one that you fully appreciate as your child grows into greater independence. If your child doesn’t show interest or becomes frustrated, take a break and try again a week or two later. Patience is key. Just remember, that your child is still considered potty trained.
Night time training is a very different challenge and some parents don’t even consider attempting it again for a couple years once they’ve mastered day- time training. If you ever feel like you are struggling, your pediatrician can be a great resource as they can help you to eliminate or address concerns that might be causing a delay.