If you have a toddler at home, you know how important nap time can be. And that’s no exception when you’re potty training your toddler.
While some toddlers can naturally hold their pee for long periods of time, like nap time, others need a little help in that area.
If you’re hoping to continue potty training without disrupting your toddler’s nap schedule, you may need a little help, too!
These eight tips and tricks for potty training at nap time will make napping while potty training a little easier for you and your toddler.
When to Drop the Nap Diaper?
If your toddler is in the midst of potty training, you may be allowing the use of diapers while your little one sleeps.
This process is totally normal and a great way to ensure your toddler stays dry while they’re napping. But eventually, you’ll want to help your toddler transition to big kid underwear all day and night.
And that means you’ll need to get rid of the nap time diaper.
Dropping the nap diaper is a big step when potty training, but it’s also a step that requires some special care.
Knowing when to transition to underwear all day is the first step toward potty training at nap time. But if you’re wondering when your toddler should skip the naptime diaper, consider these factors:
- Your toddler’s age
- Their pee patterns throughout the day
- If they frequently wake up dry
These three important factors can help determine if your toddler is ready to lose the naptime diaper for good. And it’s imperative that you take all factors into consideration when determining whether or not your toddler is ready to start naptime potty training.
Best Age for Potty Training at Nap Time
First, let’s talk about how age factors into naptime potty training.
The age of your child is a big factor when potty training. Younger kids may have difficulty holding their pee for longer periods of time because their bodies haven’t developed enough to master that skill.
And while potty training a toddler younger than 24 months is possible, naptime potty training may look a little different than potty training an older child.
Toddlers older than three will probably have an easier time adjusting to naptime potty training.
At this age, your toddler’s bladder has developed further which allows them to hold their pee for extended periods of time.
Daytime Bathroom Habits
Another simple factor to consider when potty training at naptime is your toddler’s peeing habits throughout the day. If you notice that your toddler is able to hold their pee for extended periods of time during the day, they may be able to start napping without a diaper.
But the ability to hold their pee isn’t the only factor to think about when assessing your toddler’s daytime habits.
In addition to keeping an eye on the amount of time between each of your toddler’s bathroom trips, it’s also a good idea to see how much they go each time.
If your child is taking long breaks between each pee, but isn’t peeing more than a few dribbles each time they go, they may be holding their pee in only to go in the comfort of their diaper at nap time. If this is the case, it’s probably a good idea to wait until your toddler is able to hold their pee and go in a steady stream each time they take a trip to the toilet.
Those two clues combined are a sure sign your little one is ready to start potty training at nap time.
Waking Up Dry
After taking a look at your toddler’s daytime potty habits, you should also pay attention to your little one’s pee habits at naptime.
If your toddler wakes up with a wet diaper each day, they may not be ready to drop the naptime diaper yet. But if they consistently wake up dry after a nap, give your toddler a chance to go without their diaper at naptime.
Ease into it by starting with one night of underwear and seeing how that goes. Take it day-by-day and reassess after each day to determine if it’s working.
How to Get Rid of the Naptime Diaper
Now that you see your toddler’s ready to start napping without a diaper, you’re probably wondering how to get rid of the naptime diaper.
At this potty training stage, you have a few different options:
- Absorbent potty training pants: These handy pants are a cross between a diaper and underwear, making them perfect for naptime potty training.
- Bare bottom sleeping: This tactic helps your toddler feel the sensation to pee more easily while they’re sleeping, which could help reduce accidents in the beginning stages of potty training at naptime.
- Peejamas: Peejamas are pajama pants with built in absorbent underwear. These are great for kids who want to feel like a big kid but still need the protection.
- Underwear all day: If your toddler is comfortable in their big kid underwear during the rest of the day, there’s no reason to mess with their routine! Let them go to bed in their underwear as they’re potty training during naptime.
For absorbent undies, there’s no need to switch back to diapers once you start using them.
If you plan to use the bare bottom or plain underwear method, you’ll want to ease into it with the knowledge that there will be accidents along the way.
Create a Naptime Routine
Toddlers love routines! So, adding a trip to the bathroom to their naptime routine is a great way to get them into the habit of going potty before they go to sleep.
When naptime rolls around, ask your toddler to go to the bathroom to make sure they won’t need to go while they’re napping. Then, head to their room to finish the rest of their naptime routine.
Having a routine trains them to empty their bladder before going to sleep and helps cut down on naptime accidents.
Be Prepared for Accidents
When you decide to drop your toddler’s naptime diaper, make sure you’re prepared for the occasional accident.
While your toddler may be showing signs of readiness and the ability to hold their pee for an extended period of time, naptime potty training is yet another learning process for them.
Before transitioning to big kid underwear at naptime, make sure your toddler’s mattress is protected with a waterproof cover.
It’s also a good idea to have extra sheets and clean clothes nearby so you can quickly clean up the accident without disrupting naptime.
It’s easy to get frustrated when your toddler has an accident, but try to remain calm and laid back as you deal with the cleanup. Punishing your toddler or scolding them for bedwetting is counterintuitive.
Instead, calmly clean the bed, change the sheets, and put new clothes on your toddler to show them that accidents aren’t a big deal.
Bring the Potty to the Bedroom
If you’re worried that your toddler will have an accident during naptime, why not make it simple for them to get up and go if they need to?
Bring a potty training seat into their room and place it next to their bed. That way, your toddler can get up and use the potty if they need to, then climb back into bed and finish their nap with ease.
Having the potty in the room with them also gives them less steps to take in the event they have to go really quickly.
The first few times your toddler goes to bed without their diaper, remind them that their potty seat is nearby in case they need to go.
You could even let them practice getting up to use the potty a few times before you leave the room to give them practice ahead of time.
Rewards and Praise
Just like potty training during the day, rewards and praise will go a long way with your toddler!
Each time they wake up dry, be sure to offer plenty of praise or a fun reward to show them how great they did.
This simple step will give them confidence that they’re able to take a nap without wetting the bed.