10 Night Time Potty Training Tips You Must Try

10 Night-Time Potty Training Tips To Free Your Baby Of Overnight Diapers!

Many times it so happens that we mothers think that since our babies are potty trained, they will be able to pull off an all-nighter without diapers. We are eager to free them of diapers at bed-time, just like they have been enjoying diaper-free time during the day. However, in the morning, they become uncomfortable, wet their bed and are unable to sleep again. This is when you need some overnight potty training tips!

Diapers have become a boon to all mommies. However, there comes a time when your child has started potty training and you look forward to seeing him go diaper-free. However, just because your baby is potty trained well enough for daytime does NOT indicate that they are prepared for night as well!

Night time potty training is very different from that in day-time, and therefore it is imperative to pick on cues to understand if your baby is ready.

What Is the Difference Between Daytime and Nighttime Potty Training?

Daytime and nighttime potty training differ primarily in the child’s ability to control their bladder during sleep. Daytime training focuses on recognizing and responding to the need to use the toilet while awake, typically when the child is more alert and active. Nighttime training involves teaching the child to stay dry while asleep, which can be more challenging as it requires them to hold urine for longer periods without waking up. Additionally, nighttime training often occurs later than daytime training, as it depends on the child’s physical and neurological development, including the ability to produce antidiuretic hormone to reduce urine production at night.

Signs That Indicate Your Baby Is Ready to Go Diaper-Free at Night

While some children start very early with potty training, others are not ready till they’re 3 years old. Most parents begin potty training their child at about 2.5 years of age. But when it comes to nighttime potty training age, understanding the cues becomes even more important. Here are three ways in which your baby may give an indication that it is time you tried letting him sleep without a diaper:

  1. Your baby shows inclination towards removing the diapers at night. If your baby is irritable and does not wish to wear a diaper at night, it could very well be indicative that he/she is perhaps ready to try and sleep without them.
  2. Your child wakes up at night to go to the toilet, or asks you to accompany them. This is a sign that their body is waking them up when they get an urge to pee/poop.
  3. You see a dry/ partially damp diaper in the morning. When you wake up in the morning to inspect your munchkin’s diapers and find that it is surprisingly dry or very slightly damp, it means they are starting to associate the teachings of your potty training. And if this happens on a regular basis, it typically means that your baby is ready to part ways with that diaper completely!

How Long Does It Take to Potty Train at Night?

The duration of night-time potty training can vary widely depending on individual factors such as the child’s readiness, consistency of training, and any underlying issues. Generally, it can take several weeks to several months for a child to become consistently dry at night. It’s essential to be patient, offer encouragement, and be prepared for setbacks along the way. If progress seems slow or if you have concerns, consulting with a pediatrician or potty training specialist can provide guidance and support.

Tips to Make Night-Time Potty Training Easier

There is no doubt that potty training at night is difficult. However, if systematically done, it can become a lot simpler. The key is to familiarise your baby with the concept of understanding their body’s signals and making their dependency on diapers lesser. Use these night time potty training tips to make the process simpler:

1. Get Them to Pee Before Bedtime

Introduce the habit early in your potty training routine. As adults, we generally use the washroom before bed to avoid having to wake up in the night to do so. Therefore, introducing a similar habit at a younger age will only help in the long run. Even if your baby has peed half an hour earlier, have them pee once again right before it’s time to hit the crib in the night. The trick is to make sure this practice takes place as close to bedtime as possible.

2. Use Water-Proof Sheets to Avoid Mattress Soiling

Since you are starting with the process of night-time toilet training, it is best to be prepared that accidents are going to happen for sure. We just need to be patient and better equipped to handle the situation. One way to do so is to place water-proof sheets on the bed mattress to save you the trouble of waking up to a damp bed. Also, ensure you have an extra set of dry pyjamas/ change of clothes for your baby in case of such events.

Water resistant sheet

3. Restrict Fluid Consumption Post Dinner

Not everybody is able to flush all the liquid out from their body before sleep. Experts recommend that limiting liquid consumption up until dinner time, especially if you are night potty training, can be very beneficial. There might be exceptions on a hot day; however, a gradual shift is what’s required. A small sip of water before sleep should be the last water break. Do make sure that your child remains hydrated through the day so his fluid requirements don’t fall short!

Note: It is best to stick to milk or water before bedtime. Sugary or fizzy drinks are a strict no as they tend to increase the risk of a wet night.

4. Wake Them Up!

This is an age old trick that never disappoints! Wake your baby up right before YOUR bedtime and get them to pee. This will easily flush out any liquid that was filtered in their body in between their bedtime and yours. Many kids are able to do this without fully waking up and therefore falling right back to sleep is not usually an issue. Of course, this may not be a good idea for you if your child experiences sleep-related problems.

5. Make Them Wear Footed Pyjamas

Many babies have the habit of messing with their pants/ diapers while sleeping, sometimes pushing them down. This usually results in bunching up of nappies and making them more susceptible to leaking. The solution – make them wear footed pyjamas as it covers them from head to toe. This way, they won’t be able to access the pants.

Make Them Wear Footed Pyjamas

6. Consider Using Big-Kid Underwear

If you have started overnight potty training, you can consider making the switch to underwear for big kids. The main reason this is helpful is that the child will tend to feel uncomfortable/cold if he pees! This will increase their likelihood of waking up to pee in the toilet instead. Whatever you use, make sure the child is comfortable so it doesn’t affect his sleep.

7. Simplify the Process of Using the Toilet at Night

Sometimes, the main roadblock to night-time potty training is that the child feels uncomfortable about it. If your child is old enough to get up and go by themselves, the dark may be scaring them, or the toilet may be too far from their bed. Make sure that the bathroom light or the hallway light is on/easy to reach. If your child sleeps separately, you can keep the door a little ajar so the light seeps into the room. You can also consider keeping a potty seat in the room in the initial days of training.

8. Applaud Their Efforts

Lastly, don’t forget that accidents may happen with anyone, but the fact that your baby is trying is worth appreciating. Little gestures like appreciating them when they leave the bed dry the whole night, or giving them a big hug and a kind word, can help. Our children are never too young to understand what makes mom happy!

9. Offer Motivation

Encourage your child with positive reinforcement. Consider using a sticker chart or other rewards system to track and celebrate dry nights. This can boost their confidence and motivation to stay dry.

10. Be Patient and Supportive

Night-time potty training can take time and patience. Be understanding of accidents and avoid showing frustration. Offer reassurance and support to your child as they navigate this new skill.

When to Seek Medical Help?

Seek medical help for night-time potty training issues if:

  • If your child consistently wets the bed despite your efforts with training and implementing strategies, it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as a urinary tract infection or bladder dysfunction.
  • If your child experiences pain or discomfort while urinating, or complains of abdominal pain or other unusual symptoms, it could indicate a medical issue that requires attention.
  • If your child has previously been dry at night but suddenly starts wetting the bed again, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional to rule out any medical causes or emotional stressors.
  • If you have concerns about your child’s overall development or any other related health issues, it’s best to discuss them with your pediatrician or healthcare provider for proper evaluation and guidance.

FAQs

1. How can I distinguish between normal bedwetting and a potential medical issue?

If your child experiences frequent bedwetting beyond the age of 5, complains of pain while urinating, or has other concerning symptoms, it’s advisable to consult a pediatrician to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

2. Are there any specific strategies for handling bedwetting accidents during sleepovers or travel?

Consider using disposable bed mats or waterproof liners for sleeping bags when traveling or attending sleepovers. Encourage your child to use the toilet before bedtime and discreetly pack spare underwear and pajamas just in case.

3. What if my child is resistant or afraid of using the toilet at night?

Address any fears or anxieties your child may have about nighttime toileting by offering reassurance and creating a positive and supportive environment. Consider using nightlights or keeping the bathroom door slightly ajar to alleviate fears of the dark. If resistance persists, consult with a pediatrician or behavioral specialist for further guidance.

This was all about potty training and night time. In the morning, make sure your baby pees well as it’s highly likely their bladder will be quite full. If your baby has a series of accidents a few nights in a row, maybe they still aren’t there yet. However, if this is a rare occurrence, continue the practice. Some babies get used to the training easily; some take time. And that’s completely alright, as they will all eventually learn.

References/Resources:

1. Arda. E, Cakiroglu. B, Thomas. D; Primary Nocturnal Enuresis: A Review; Brieflands; https://brieflands.com/articles/num-17245; May 2016

2. Is it true that boys are usually toilet-trained later than girls?; American Academy of Pediatrics; https://www.healthychildren.org/English/tips-tools/ask-the-pediatrician/Pages/is-it-true-boys-usually-toilet-trained-later-than-girls.aspx

3. Jørgensen. C, Horsdal. H, Rajagopal. V, Grove. J, Als. T, et. al.; Identification of genetic loci associated with nocturnal enuresis: a genome-wide association study; The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health; https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanchi/article/PIIS2352-4642(20)30350-3/abstract; March 2021 

4. Al-Zaben. F, Sehlo. M; Punishment for bedwetting is associated with child depression and reduced quality of life (Child Abuse & Neglect); Science Direct; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0145213414003779?via%3Dihub; May 2015

5. Bedwetting: 3 Common Reasons & What Families Can Do; American Academy of Pediatrics; https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/toilet-training/Pages/Bedwetting.aspx

6. Bed-wetting; Mayo Clinic; https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bed-wetting/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20366711

7. Potty training: How to get the job done; Mayo Clinic; https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/potty-training/art-20045230

Also Read:

Potty Training Ideas for Toddlers
Potty Training Games for Toddlers
Toilet Training In Preschoolers
How to Prepare Toddlers for Potty Training?

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