By now, your toddler is either successfully daytime potty trained or well on their way. Take a few minutes to celebrate the accomplishment – and then start planning how you’re going to start potty training at night.
Potty training at night requires its own tools and tactics, so having a good plan in place before you get started is essential.
With the help of these easy tips and tricks, your little one will be staying dry through the night in no time.
What Age Should My Child Be Dry at Night?
Just as the age for potty training your child varies, the age at which your child will stay dry through the night is different for each child.
While some kids are able to sleep through the night without an accident by the age of three, others aren’t able to stay completely dry through the night until they’re six or even older in some cases.
That means age isn’t the only factor to consider when thinking about nighttime potty training. In addition to age, you should also look for other clues that your child is ready to start potty training at night.
Is My Child Ready for Nighttime Potty Training?
Since the age range for nighttime potty training readiness is so wide, look for other signs to determine if your child is ready.
Luckily, there are a couple of good signs that your toddler might be ready to start potty training at night.
These common signs are a good indicator that your child is ready to go diaper-free at night.
- Your child is accident-free during the day.
- They stay dry all or a majority of the night.
- They ask to use the potty during the night.
- Your child has transitioned into a big-kid bed.
How Do I Potty Train My Child at Night?
If you think your child is ready to keep their big-kid underwear on all night, you might be wondering what is the best method for potty training at night.
Some kids might not need to be potty trained at night and will instead stay dry on their own. Others will need some assistance to learn how to keep themselves dry at night.
There are a few different night time potty training methods you could try. Think about the potty training methods you use during the day, then try to match those methods at night.
These nighttime training methods are often successful:
- Encourage nighttime bathroom visits. While you hope that your child will stay dry while sleeping through the night, they might not have the bladder control to hold it that long. Instead of asking your child to stay dry all night, encourage them to get up to use the bathroom if they feel the urge. Let them know that it’s OK to get out of bed to use the bathroom, then return to bed when they’re finished going. You don’t have to interrupt their sleep to make them go potty, but if they wake on their own and have to go, let them know it’s okay.
- Place a potty in their room. To encourage your child to use the bathroom when they wake up at night, try starting with a potty chair in their room. Placing a child-sized potty chair next to their bed will make it easier for them to get to the potty when wake up at night. Once they get into the habit of using the potty during the night, you can remove it from their room and tell them to use the toilet in the bathroom instead.
Tips for Potty Training at Night
Once you know your toddler is ready to start nighttime potty training, it’s time to get started!
These helpful tips and tricks will ensure your toddler is a success.
Tackle daytime training first
Before even thinking about starting to train your toddler at night, make sure they’re successfully trained during the day.
Since nighttime training stems from the training you do during the day, your toddler needs to be confident in their potty abilities during while they’re awake.
If your toddler is still having accidents, hold off on potty training at night until they’re completely trained during the day.
Potty before going to bed
If you haven’t already, start making a trip to the bathroom before bed part of your child’s bedtime routine.
Laying down to go to sleep with an empty bladder is the first step toward nighttime potty training success.
Limit nighttime liquids
Once your child empties their bladder to goes to bed, avoid giving them any liquids. It’s also a good idea to limit drinks during the evening hours to ensure their bladder stays empty while they sleep.
Prepare for accidents
Especially during the first few nights, your child is likely to have accidents as they sleep. Make sure to put a waterproof cover over their mattress and have extra sheets and blankets ready.
It’s also a good idea to set out an extra pair of pajamas and underwear so you can quickly change your child and get them back in bed.
Place a nightlight in the bathroom
Make sure the path to the bathroom is well lit so your child isn’t afraid to go in there at night.
And don’t forget to place a nightlight in the bathroom or keep the bathroom light on all night so it’s not dark when they get there.
Try waiting until they wake up dry
Sometimes, you don’t have to do much training at all if you wait it out.
If your child is still young, there’s no rush to night train. Instead, try waiting until they wake up dry on their own.
Keep an eye on their diaper or training pants each morning and see if they’re able to stay dry through the night on their own.
Give it time
Nighttime potty training won’t happen overnight. So, making sure to provide your toddler with plenty of encouragement is essential.
Give them time to master the skill and don’t feel bad about allowing them to go back to pull-ups or diapers if it just isn’t working. You can always revisit the idea in a few weeks.
Expect some slip-ups
Even kids who are fully potty trained at night will have the occasional accident. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep the waterproof cover on your child’s mattress for at least a year after they’re fully trained.
This will help protect the mattress from damage if your child does have an accident.
Celebrate their success
You’ve rewarded your child for potty training during the day, so why not celebrate nighttime success, too?
Offer plenty of positive reinforcement and rewards each time your child wakes up dry to encourage them to keep it up.
Talk to your child’s doctor
While wetting the bed is a pretty common occurrence in young children, if your child persistently has nighttime accidents you should discuss the issue with their doctor.
Taking the time to voice your concerns to your pediatrician is a god way to determine if there are any underlying health or behavioral concerns that need to be addressed.
Potty training at night often happens after daytime potty training has been completed.
Be patient and understand that controlling the bladder is a bodily function that takes young kids some time to master.
But don’t worry, with a bit of time, they’ll have nighttime potty training mastered.