As almost any parent can testify, potty training can be a daunting developmental milestone. Even after having success in daytime potty training, nighttime will bring unexpected problems that can last for years, such as nighttime accidents.
Potty training is not only an accomplishment for infants. It also marks a significant milestone in parenting. And successful potty training at night makes for a complete, break-out-the-confetti-level celebration. You should save all the money you spent on diapers and congratulate yourself on accomplishing a massive accomplishment in parenthood.
But do not panic if your kid isn’t there yet. Nighttime potty training can be a completely different beast from daytime training, and at various times other kids are ready, so the trick is not to stress it. Here’s your complete guide in mastering this!
Is Your Child Ready?
Because so much potty training is physical and unique to the individual kid, it is challenging to set a hard and quick nighttime potty training age. More than chronological age, it’s about developmental preparation.
The child is ready as long as the child can obey clear instructions, physically access the bathroom and the toilet, and stay dry for up to two hours. Try it earlier rather than later, if possible.
Potty training is about the child being trained as much as it is about the family’s preparedness as parents would need to spare time to devote themselves to this endeavor.
Between the ages of 2 and 3, daytime training is regular. If they are absolutely dry during the day or with rare accidents and have gone for a few weeks a month without having a night problem, you should consider that they are ready for potty training at night.
Establish a Routine
A routine of nighttime potty training is easy. Just before hopping into bed at night, make sure your child goes to the bathroom. And when they say they don’t have to go, make sure they try.
Be sure to let your child know that even though they are asleep, they need to listen to their bodies. And they need to get out of bed and go to the toilet if they have to go to the potty.
Install nightlights and let them practice getting out of bed to go potty in the hallway and in the nearest toilet. You can even buy a special flashlight for the night that they can use to light their way.
Some Parents Wake Their Children Up
By setting alarms and waking kids up at the same time each night, some parents approach nighttime potty training to teach their bodies to get up and use the potty.
Some parents wake up their kids right before they go to bed on their own. And some parents don’t wake up their children at all.
See what happens in the first few nights if you just feel like your child can stay dry all night long. You can either start waking them up during the night to use the potty if there are frequent accidents or just wait for nighttime potty training to be addressed before they are really ready.
There’s No Need to Limit the Liquid
Some parents cut off all liquids after dinner, barely giving their child a sip of water with their bedtime snack. Other parents send their children to bed with bottles of water. What solution will keep your child dry for the whole night?
There is no need to unnecessarily limit water and other fluids, but if bedwetting is a concern, tapering the intake of fluids by your child during and after dinner might be worth trying.
Only bear in mind that your child getting a full bladder at night is not liable for wetting the bed. It’s triggered by not waking up your child to use the potty.
How to Deal with Bedwetting
No one wants to waste time putting clean sheets on a bed in the middle of the night when you could be asleep! Invest in one plastic sheet when you first start off with potty training at night. A tablecloth made of plastic would fit, too.
One plastic board, followed by a collection of sheets, goes on top of the mattress. Then, place another sheet of plastic on it, followed by a sheet package.
Peel off the top layer of sheets and plastic sheets if your child has a middle-of-the-night crash, and you have a fresh collection all ready to go.
Nighttime training is a completely different undertaking, and once they have mastered daytime training, some parents do not even consider trying it again for a few years.
Your pediatrician can be a great resource if you ever feel like you are struggling, as they may help you to remove or fix issues that could cause a delay.