A Guide to Night Time Potty Training

Team Peanut
Team Peanutlast year4 min read

So your child has mastered using the potty during the day, and you’d like to get rid of diapers for good. We’re with you, mama. But even if your kid is cool and confident on the toilet all day long, night time potty training can be a different matter.

Night Time Potty Training

In this article: 📝

  • Is my child ready for night time potty training?
  • How do you night time potty train?
  • Should you wake your child to pee at night?
  • At what age should a child be dry at night?

Is my child ready for night time potty training?

Your child might be ready to go to bed without a diaper if:

  • They’re reliably potty trained throughout the day.
  • They’ve woken up dry every morning for at least a week.
  • They sleep in a bed they can get in and out of by themselves.
  • They can go to the toilet without help (because no one wants to wake up to little-kid chaos in the bathroom).

How do you night time potty train?

How do you teach someone to do something when they’re asleep? Sounds tough, right?

Ultimately, your child needs to “learn” to wake themselves up when their bladder is full, and this can only happen after a certain point in their brain development. Instead, think about night time potty training as recognizing when their body is ready and making preparations to set yourselves up for success.

How to start night time potty training

First, pick your moment. Make sure that there are no big changes in your child’s life right then. Also, think about yourself. If you have a second baby who still wants to be fed at night or an important project at work, you might not want to sacrifice your sleep to change wet sheets in the dark. It’s ok to postpone potty training at night if you need to.

When all of you are ready, get two or three waterproof sheets to protect the mattress and some extra bedding. night time potty-training pants made of fabric and potty-training alarms are also an option. Both these products encourage your child to wake up as soon as they’re slightly wet, helping their bodies to recognize the feeling and get to the toilet more quickly next time.

Then just do it. No reward chart, no choosing new big kid underwear like you did when you started daytime training. Remember, bedwetting is rarely under your child’s control, so making a big deal out of it can hurt their self-confidence if it turns out that they weren’t ready after all.

Overnight potty training tips

This being said, there are still a couple of things you can try to make it as easy as possible for your child to wake up dry.

  • Take them to the toilet 30-60 minutes before bed and then again right before they get under the covers
  • Leave the bathroom light on to make sure that they can find their way to the toilet in the dark. Let them know that it’s ok to get out of bed when they have to pee.
  • If it doesn’t work, take a break and try again in a month.

Should you wake your child to pee at night?

Some parents choose to wake their kids to go to the toilet when they go to bed themselves. Most bedwetting happens in the first three hours after a child falls asleep, so if they go down at 8 pm and you head to bed at 11 pm, the timing is perfect.

Taking your child to the toilet when you go to bed will empty their bladder of anything they drank in the evening, and it may help their sleeping brains to recognize when they have to wake up and go. But there’s also no conclusive evidence to say that this works.

While it may be helpful for some kids, others may wake up so much that it takes them another two hours to get back to sleep.

At what age should a child be dry at night?

There’s no rule for when a child should be night time potty trained.

A lot of kids will show signs of readiness at some time between three and four.

By the time they reach five, 85% of kids will be dry at night.

At six, this goes up to 90%.

If at seven they’re still having frequent accidents, most doctors will do further tests. There’s a good chance they just need a few months longer, but there might be an underlying issue that can be treated.

💡 More around Potty Training:
How to Start Potty Training
When to Start Potty Training
The Best Potty Training Tips for Mamas
Potty Training Girls: 15 Tips You Won’t Want to Miss
Potty Training Boys: 16 Tips to Make It Easier

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