Your little one has now mastered toilet behaviour during the day, but the next stage that you need to encounter is night time potty training.
We usually see that many children are not ready to tackle this skill straight after day time training, and parents typically start about 6 months later.
Night time potty training requires another skill as the bladder is holding on for much longer and it can take a lot longer with children not fully grasping it until the age of five. For this reason, night time training needs to be considered in a different way to daytime training.
In the daytime, children are aware of their bodies signals that they need the toilet and they can learn what they mean and when to go to the toilet. At night, the child is asleep and the body takes over control of the bladder. In order to be able to hold on all night, the child’s bladder need to be mature enough to cope.
We recommend that if your child has fully got daytime training under their belt, that you start to look for a pattern of dry diapers in the morning before you start. You should then try for a few nights in a row, but if there are lots of accidents then wait until you see more dry diapers.
A warning though… night time training can be stressful for parents and children! Interrupted sleep is difficult for the whole family and bed wetting can affect a child’s self esteem. If you have a child who is struggling, then speak to your doctor, and if there is a common time or situation that they have accidents, give extra extra praise and attention on keeping dry during this period.
Try downloading our free night time potty training reward chart to help keep your little one motivated during this next potty training stage.
The stress of night time accidents can be reduced by being prepared and here are some hints and tips:
Be prepared – Use a mattress protector to help contain any mess.
Limit drinks just before bed – Limit drinks in the early evening, about an hour before bedtime. Limit squashes and acidic drinks that can irritate the bladder. Remember to keep fluid intake at normal levels during the day to encourage good hydration.
Encourage a good routine – Encourage visiting the toilet as part of the normal bedtime routine and before lights go out.
Keep the potty handy – Make sure the potty is easily accessible, put a towel or bath mat underneath to catch any spillages.
Take them for a dream pee – For the first couple of weeks lift them at night so they can do a ‘’dream pee” while their bladder learns to hold on for two long stretches at night. Gently lift your child onto the potty or toilet around 10-11pm.
If they wake up, sit them on the potty – If your child does wake for whatever reason, ask if they need to go to the toilet, to make sure their bladder is completely empty. Ask even if they have had an accident
Keep a night light on – This will help your child find the toilet or potty easily, and will stop them getting scared.
Use rewards – Reward charts can be helpful, but make sure they are rewarded for using the potty last thing at night and first thing in the morning, not just for staying dry all night. If they have an accident, it’s not their fault, so try not to get frustrated or angry.
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