Many parents think that potty training their child for the night is just another step in the potty training process — and that once kids stay dry in the day they’ll start staying dry at night. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy.
Nighttime dryness is something that evolves naturally as your child develops — their bladder needs to grow big enough, and it needs to send signals to and from the brain. Also, kids usually develop the nighttime slowdown in urine production between ages 2 and 7. So in most cases nighttime potty training means simply awaiting your child’s physical development. It’s not related to your child’s potty training personality but instead it’s likely genetic — and also influenced by how deeply your child sleeps.
Unfortunately, there’s really no handbook to speeding up the process. Those dry nights will come eventually — and there’s a lot of fun to have as you anticipate them and celebrate all the potty training successes you’ve already had together.
Daytime potty trained and only wetting at night?
While you’re practicing your patience, you can also practice creating good bedtime habits that make the process easier for you and your child. Try these nighttime potty training tips:
- Establishing a bedtime routine. Take your child to the potty before bed and then put on some nighttime Pull-Ups®. Called Pull-Ups® Night*Time training pants, they build consistency with the Pull-Ups® training pants your toddler wears during the way while providing extra absorbency. After you tuck your child in, you can read a book, sing a sweet lullaby or take time for a little recap of your day — what you experienced together or, if your toddler goes to day care, what you experienced apart.
If you have multiple children to juggle in the bathtub, with homework or with other after-dinner essentials, it can be tough to slow down and relax, but these special moments at the end of a hectic day are important. Give them the attention they deserve, and you’ll quickly see precious moments of joy pop up. Whatever your routine, just make sure you stop by the bathroom first!
- Limit beverages at night. Drinking water or other beverages at night can leave your child with a full bladder — and the need to go during the night. Offer them a small drink before you tuck them in, but avoid sending your toddler to bed with a bottle or sippy cup.
- Create a clear path to the bathroom. Keep a nightlight on in the bathroom, and be sure to clear toys or any other clutter so your child doesn’t trip if they need to go at night. But keep in mind that many children sleep so soundly that they won’t wake up when the need to go occurs.
- Head straight to the potty in the morning. Remind your potty training child that the first thing you do each morning is use the toilet.
Still struggling with nighttime dryness?
When children over the age of 4 who are fully potty trained by day are still waking up wet three to four times each week, parents may start to wonder about bedwetting. It’s actually a medical condition called nocturnal enuresis, and it’s much more common than most people think — affecting 1 in 6 children ages 4–12.
If your child is struggling to stay dry at night, consider these tips:
- Let your child know you aren’t upset or disappointed. Keep the conversation open so they can share how they’re feeling — especially if they’re getting a little older and worrying about bedwetting at a sleepover with a friend or relative. Assure them you’ll help them through their journey and find a management solution that works for them.
- Look for products designed for easy clean up. GoodNites® nighttime underwear can make your child feel more secure and also make clean up much easier for you if an accident occurs during the night. GoodNites® disposable bed mats are another great way to make clean up quick and easy in the morning — or in middle of the night if your child wakes up wet.
- Learn more. GoodNites.com has tips and advice from experts that can help your child rest easy tonight.
- Check with your child’s healthcare provider. Sometimes constipation or other medical issues can cause bedwetting.
No matter what your child’s age is or what their nighttime wetting experience is like, what they need above all else is your love, support and reassurance.While it’s completely normal to feel frustrated that your child isn’t dry at night yet, the sooner you accept that it’s out of your control the better off everyone will be.
Someday, this nighttime training stuff will be a distant memory and your child will be sleeping through the night in pajamas — without needing any nighttime potty training tools to keep them dry.