Night time potty training is one of the most difficult phases of training a child. The child might not be completely ready for the training and can be more comfortable in using a pull-up diaper to bed. Even young children who are already trained can sometimes wet their beds at night. Patience here is even more necessary than it is with training during the day because much of the night training is dependent on the physiological preparation. You can find more tips here.
Here are some of the best night time potty training tips that you can use to train your child.
1. Make sure that your child is ready for night time training
Figure out if your child is ready to learn to go to the bathroom at night. Check his diapers in the morning. If you find that his diapers are dry most of the times, then it is an indication of the right time to start nighttime training. Make sure that you check the diaper before the child wakes up to avoid mixing up night time wetting with morning wetting.
2. Take your child to the bathroom just before the bedtime.
Going to the bathroom can easily be made part of the bedtime routine that includes having a bath, brushing the teeth and reading with mom and dad. Make sure that your child goes to the bathroom 30 minutes before bedtime, then again when the lights go out.
Provide your child with a portable toilet, if your room is not near a bathroom. Keep the path from your child’s bed to the bathroom clear and collect all the toys before bedtime. Remind your child to always use the bathroom in the event he wakes up in the night for any reason, even if he doesn’t feel the need for doing so.
3. Daytime dryness must first be established
Make sure that the child is reliably dry during the day and knows when he has to go to the bathroom. It is also necessary to make sure that he has smooth and regular bowel movements. Encourage drinking and going to the bathroom frequently during the day. Fluids after dinner must be water, milk or juice in small amounts.
4. Try using no pull-ups
If you’ve noticed that the pull- ups are dry or less wet in the morning, try to stop using pull-ups at night. Protect the bed with a waterproof casing and protect the sheets with washable and waterproof overlay pads. Those that can be tucked in from the sides are the best.
Do not use pull-ups while the child is awake. Put it on just before you turn off the lights and take it out as soon as the child wakes up in the morning. Some children tend to wet the pull-up when they wake up in the morning, just to avoid going to the toilet.
If a few weeks pass without any sign of progress towards dry nights, start using pull- ups again and know it is not the right nighttime training age.
5. Try using a night time potty training alarm
You can use a bedwetting alarm to help speed up the bladder-brain connection if your child is getting to 6 and still has accidents at night.
6. Make sure that your child is not constipated
If your child is constipated, it may create unnecessary pressure on the bladder increasing the number of visits to the bathroom. So, it is necessary to pay more attention than usual on ensuring that your child is getting a good balance of beans and vegetables.
7. Plan for the pee
Keep a new set of night time potty training underwear, towels and the wipes handy. Consider using a waterproof mattress pad that fits over the sheet and folds under the mattress. So, you will not need to remake the bed in the night. It is also good to keep some night time potty training pants in spare so that you don’t have to look for them in the midnight.
8. Embrace the pee
When potty training night time, make sure that you don’t react badly seeing your child wet. Most likely your child will be weak and annoyed when he finds himself wet. He does not need to be rebuked after that. He should be told that this is natural, and it takes time to control this.
9. Regression occurs.
It’s well evident from day time training that even if the child makes a declaration of being free from all kinds of potty dependence, it does not mean he or she is really ready. In most cases, children have no control over their night time bed wetting, and this is not a reflection of your parenting skills. You need not feel guilty, being kind and supportive is much better. Penalizing the child is not justified as this might have certain negative effects. Be patient and know that all children develop control at their own pace.
10. Rewards do work.
Every time the child is successful in his attempt, you can reward him or her with a sticker placed on a night time potty training chart. When one row of the chart is full with stickers, give your child a small gift or some special activity. This will boost his morale tremendously.
Process of Night Potty Training
There are many “Big steps” in life that we must go through in the human development. Night potty training is one of those milestones. There is no specific age where children stop using diapers and adapt the use of a toilet. However, it is generally safe to assume that this is between the ages of 2 to 2.5 years. Starting them off too early only increases the period required for their training. Toddlers will gladly stop wearing diapers when the time is right. Even so, some parents worry when their child takes too long to learn how to use a potty.
Fortunately, there are numerous experienced writers, to guide you and your child on this journey. Books vary in volume and detail, from the very simple to follow, like Potty by Leslie Patricelli, to the verbose and informative, Potty training for dummies by Diane Stafford and Jennifer Shoquist. If you so choose, there are even gender specific books such as The Princess and the Potty and the Potty Book for Boys. Some are suitable for mother and child while the other will be more focused on the parent.
Night training process
Ensuring daytime dryness is completely different from night time dryness. The latter tends to be handled a bit differently. Toddlers will show signs of changing time well before the begin waking up completely dry. If your child is capable of staying dry throughout the day and wake up with a dry diaper most mornings, then he or she is ready for a nighttime training. Going over some of the best training books, breaks down the process of night training as follows:
- You should be prepared in advance with pull-up nappies or training pants, which are easier for your toddler to put on or remove. However, limit them for wearing only at night. Prepare yourself as well mentally by preparing yourself for when accidents do occur at night. Have a fresh pair of sheets, towel, and pajamas in hand ready for any eventuality. The mattress should also be covered with a waterproof mattress cover. Also ensure to place the toilet trainer close by, where the toddler can reach with ease until they are comfortable visiting the toilet themselves
- Any liquid intake should be kept at minimum two hours before bedtime. Drinking water is recommended over other fluids after supper in small amounts. However, ensure your child receives enough fluids in the day time. Still on nutrient uptake, ensure your child partakes sufficient vegetables to avoid constipation. Constipation creates pressure on the bladder increasing the urge to visit the restroom.
- To reduce changes of the toddler soiling itself, ensure they visit the bathroom an hour before bedtime and just before retiring for the night. If they sleep earlier than you do, wake them up again before you sleep to visit the bathroom on more time.
- Be vigil and listen to when the toddler wakes up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Monitor and praise them for doing so. Celebrate every successful bathroom visit to further encourage your child. At this point, other family members could assist the parents in monitoring the child’s night activities.
- Express no form of anger or punishment in case your child has an accident at night. Understand that accidents can and in most cases will happen. Do not take toilet training as a reflection of your ability to parent. Rather, take a more relaxed approach.
- During the day, try and space bathroom breaks further apart to reduce the number of times your child needs to visit the bathroom even at night.
Do not get ahead of yourselves. Even when a toddler wakes up dry, it usually takes about five dry mornings to assume the toddler trained. Occasionally accidents will happen even after training. Overall, whichever approach you opt for, this is a journey best suited for the entire family. Patience and support for the toddler eventually builds enough confidence in him/her to accept using the potty and if in any doubt there are numerous books for all ages and genders. Happy learning, and remember, learning should be a fun experience for all involved.
It’s Time To Tackle Nighttime Training
For most parents, toilet training is a very frustrating process that takes place in stages. Once day time training is done, it’s time to tackle nighttime training. After you child is trained, child may respond well to full bladder during the day, however this does not mean that their bladder is fully developed. Therefore it will be hard for child to respond to and also control their urination during the night. Night time training is for the children under fiver years; their bodies are growing at a very high rate that their bladder cannot keep up.
Parents are often frustrated about the night accidents, thinking that child is doing it because he or she is lazy or simply being rebellent. Achieving potty control at night is not just learned skill but a physiological development, control is also largely involuntary. With most adults, having to urinate during the night is not a problem because when the bladder is full during the night, a signal is sent from their bladder to the brain and are awakened. However, for the children, the signaling mechanism develops with age.
Here is a table showing the age at which the children achieve night-time control.
|Age||percentage of children with nighttime control|
|Under 3 years||66 percent|
|Under 4 years||75 percent|
|Under 5 years||80 percent|
|Under 6 years||85 percent|
Below are tips on nighttime training;
1. Use a mattress protector to cover the child’s mattress before making their bed with sheets. Plastic mattress protectors are a must when starting to-night time train the children as accidents are excepted along the process and you do not want them to destroy the mattress.
2. Always have extra set of sheets, pajamas and plastic mattress protector in your child’s bedroom so that if the child has an accident during the night, their bedding and pajamas can be quickly changed to get them quickly back to bed.
3. Limit the amount of water and other fluids your child drinks as their bedtime nears. This prevent a full bladder during the night which causes bedwetting.
4. Take your child to the bathroom so that they can empty their bladder before they gets in bed every night. You can also wake your child before you go to sleep and take them to the bathroom. This should be only done if you go to bed the same time every night. This is meant to establish a fixed schedule for child bladder and help them grow accustomed to getting up at specific periods to use the bathroom.
5. When you start night-time training, dress your child with disposable pull-up and pajamas. If they usually wears underwear during daytime, let the child know that pull-ups are only for the night until they are ready for the underwear at night.
6. Wait patiently for the child’s elimination muscles to fully mature physically, allowing them to hold their urine overnight. This is all that you can do at this stage. be very supportive and praise the child for the mornings they wakes up dry. Don’t be angry with the child, if they seems to be making no progress with the training. It’s important to note that it can take the child up to when they are 5 years, for successful achievement of night time toilet training.
7. Switch the child to underwear for night wear after they wakes up dry in most mornings ( fever than three to fours accidents a month ) and Praise them his their progress.
8. Continue to constantly remind the child to visit bathroom before getting into bed and leave the bathroom light on so that the child can get up and go to bathroom when they needs to. Undoubtedly there will be setbacks, however once your child wakes up dry in most mornings they are well on their way toward fully achieving training success.
10. You can also introduce bed wetting alarm to assist you child speed up the brain-bladder connection when the child gets to six and is still experiencing accidents at night.
Potty Training at Night
Training at night is more difficult because it depends on your child’s ability to hold the urine for an extended period of time and how deeply s/he sleeps. The urge to go may be difficult for them to notice when sleeping, so getting up in the middle of the night may not happen for them.
This was something that my own mother struggled with during my own toilet training phase so many years ago. I was a chronic bed wetter, but my problem was medical. Some children will have physical problems, so if bed wetting becomes a real struggle after a certain period of time, you may want to consult with your doctor.
Start by limiting fluid intake right before bed. While some people don’t feel like this should be done, the reality is that if there’s nothing in their little body to expel, they won’t go. If you haven’t ended night bottles, now is probably the time to do so.
Don’t deny a thirsty child a drink of water. Some say that going to bed thirsty just fixes a child’s mind on water and increases the chances of nighttime wetting.
Keep bedtime calm. The risk of bed wetting can be increased if your child engages in lots of rough housing or even an exciting television program close to bedtime. When kids are excited, they tend to produce more urine. Keep her/him calm by having a quiet conversation or reading a story to her/him.
Before your child goes to bed, have her try to go to the bathroom one more time. Even if she says she doesn’t, try anyway. Your child might SAY one thing but when they sit on the potty they GO!
Consider not using training pants at night. Although you did not intend it, continuing to put your child in training pants for bedtime and expecting her not to have “accidents” may be sending her a mixed message. Initially, you should probably start with a diaper at night with praise in morning for a dry diaper, but soon after that, put them in regular underwear at bedtime.
Be alert for unexpected nightly visits. While your child gets used to underwear at night, s/he may have an accident and then wake up before you do. S/He will be uncomfortable and will either call out to you or get out of bed and pay you a visit.
Make sure the way to the bathroom is lit, even if only with night-lights. Draw a map with your child showing the way from the bed to the bathroom to help form a visual image. You may want to invest in an automatic sensor light in the bathroom that comes on automatically when someone enters the room.
Keep the house warm enough so the child won’t avoid getting up because it’s too cold. You can return to energy savings later.
Consider keeping a potty chair near your child’s bed if that will make things easier.
Practice “positive imagining” as you put your child to sleep. Help a child imagine staying dry all night and waking up dry in the morning. Talk about the pleasure of feeling dry, in control and grown-up.
Try whispering “dry” ideas into the ear of a sleeping child. This is something psychologists say children are often receptive to such “idea planting” during certain periods of sleep.
Let your child know that you know that he or she will stay dry at night II soon,” like other big kids. It is important to set up the expectation, but don’t subject your child to heavy pressure.
Remove diapers and replace them with training pants, cloth soakers, or disposable Pull-Ups only after a week or so of dry nights.
If your child does have an accident, try not to make a big deal about it. Reassure them that accidents do happen. Some psychologists recommend having the child clean up their own mess. This includes stripping the bed and placing the soiled sheets in the laundry bin as well as putting new sheets on the bed.
During this whole process, don’t focus on the accident and don’t make your child feel guilty for having an accident.
A plastic sheet under the regular sheets also will help you save the mattress.
Night time dryness does not always immediately follow day time dryness and could often take up to a few months or even years. It’s not uncommon for pre-schoolers and even some elementary schoolers to wet the bed at night. Just practice patience and be sure that there isn’t a medical reason for this problem.
Another issue during toilet training is how to maintain progress while traveling.
Training for girls is a bit easier than it is for boys. Training for boys is harder as boys tend to be more regressive. Consult your child’s pediatrician or GP if consistent bedwetting continues after the child is old enough for school. The underlying reason for bed-wetting might be related to the psychology of the child.