So your child is now reliably clean and dry during the day – well done both of you! You may now be wondering when and how to tackle night time training? Read on to find out how to know your child is ready and get lots of tips to help you both prepare for the next stage of the potty training journey…
Signs of readiness
Your child’s bladder is still maturing up to the age of five and night time dryness is expected to take longer than the daytime. Each child is an individual so try to avoid comparisons with others the same age – just because they are out of nappies in the day doesn’t mean they will automatically be dry at night too.
Signs they may be ready to start night time training include: dry or just damp rather than full nappies in the morning and two or three dry nights in a row. Your child may ask not to wear bedtime nappies or take them off during the night. They may even start waking in the night to use the toilet or wake you up to ask to help them go.
Before you begin, think about what’s going to make it easier for your child to use the toilet in the middle of the night?
Good drinking habits
Good toilet habits
Will ‘dream wees’ (lifting) help?
Lifting your child can be useful in the first few days without nappies, but make sure the light is on and help your child to wake up. In the long term, taking your drowsy child to the toilet won’t stop their bedwetting as it just allows the child to wee in their sleep into the toilet.
Praise and rewards
Try to make it a calm, positive experience for both of you. Offer your child lots of encouragement and reassurance. Always reward the efforts they are making to be dry rather than whether it’s worked to now. Avoid putting too much pressure on them to be a ‘big boy/girl’ and try to avoid making a fuss out of accidents – it’s all part of the process just like with potty training.
How about nappies or pulls up ‘just in case’?
Some children will never be dry as long as they are wearing some protection – they go to sleep knowing it doesn’t matter if they wee in their sleep and that is just what happens! They’re not being lazy – they just don’t have any control when they’re sleeping. So be brave: try without nappies or pull-ups for at least a week to see if it makes any difference. If accidents keep happening every night, or more than once a night and you’re finding it stressful coping with washing, it’s better to go back to nappies and try again after a few weeks. Keep going with the good toileting and drinking habits in the meantime.
What if your child doesn’t get dry at night?
Some children will take much longer to learn night time dryness. Check our ERIC’s Guide to Night Time Wetting if bedwetting continues after the age of five years – help and treatment is available.
Sign up for Dry Like Me’s Potty Training Live campaign and get week by week help for each stage of the journey.
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