Just when you think you are out of the woods and into a clear path on this potty training adventure… you realize that this is nowhere near the end. Add night-time potty training to the myriad of other things you are probably struggling with with your toddler or preschooler and it can be a complete nightmare. Here are some simple tips to make night-time potty training a little less of a nightmare!
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Potty training is a difficult task with most kids. What’s even more difficult is when you think you’re golden because you’ve got them using the potty all day long and then you find that they have wet the bed when they go to sleep. The truth of the matter is, even when kids do get potty trained, they end up needing some additional training for night time because they aren’t used to having to wake themselves up in the middle of night to use the restroom and they don’t know what it feels like to wake up before they just use the bathroom in their pants.
(disclaimer: I get asked almost weekly about potty training tips for sensory kids and I want to make it clear, that I do not want any parent to feel bad if their child is not yet ready to sleep without diapers. Hop on over to the sensory support group, where you will find some amazing parents going through the same sensory struggles as you. This post is directed at parents with children ready to be without diapers at night. )
1. Make Sure They Are Ready | Unfortunately, we put a huge emphasis on our little ones getting out of diapers. I mean, let’s face it… it’s cheaper, it’s cleaner (well, sort of), and it’s simpler. However, it is really easy to push our children to potty train, long before they are ready. To make night-time potty training a little easier on yourself and your child, make sure they are developmentally ready to be dry at night. You want them to feel successful, just as much as you want a dry bed!
2. Avoid Too Many Liquids Before Bed: Allowing your kids to drink too much for bed time is a plan for disaster. There is a much higher chance that they will have to use the restroom in the middle of the night if they are drinking something before bed. Try cutting off drinks about an hour before bed and you should be good to go throughout the night. There is only so much liquid their little bladders can handle.
3. Get Them on a Schedule: Get your kids on a night-time potty schedule. Try having them go before they go to sleep, and then set yourself an alarm to wake them in the middle of the night to use the restroom as well. Eventually they will get used to this schedule and find themselves waking up on their owns and have a lot fewer accidents in their bed.
4. Start with Training Pants: A great way to start out with your night time potty training is to put them in training pants while they sleep. Be sure that they know that these are not like a diaper and they are not to use the bathroom in them. However, if accidents happen then you have a simple and easy clean up.
5. Get a Plastic Mattress Cover: Another great backup plan for any accidents is to get a plastic mattress cover. This way if they have any accidents you will only have to clean the sheets and it won’t soak into the actual mattress. Makes for a much easier clean up job for mom!
Also, please, please, please… whatever you do, keep the mood light and airy and refrain from any harsh words when your child does have an accident in the middle of the night. They will get out of diapers someday.
Potty training is hard, but all the effort is worth it in the end to not have to change all those dirty diapers. The sad part about it all is that your little babies are growing up and getting bigger. I hope these tips help you when it comes that time to start night-time potty training your little ones.