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Everything to Know on Potty Training at Night

BY JEN AMBROSE

 

Potty Training at Night - Say Goodbye to Midnight Messes!


Hey there, fellow mama warriors! Today, I want to talk about a topic that's near and dear to every parent's heart (and laundry basket): potty training at night. As if daytime potty training isn't challenging enough, the thought of navigating nighttime accidents can make even the most experienced moms feel like rookies again. But fear not! I'm here to share my tried-and-true tips and tricks to help you conquer this nocturnal mission with confidence and a sprinkle of humor. So, let's dive in and bid farewell to those midnight messes!


toddler on potty with toilet paper roll in hand

Just letting you know that this post could have some affiliate links in it. These links may result in a small monetary commission for me, if you decide to make a purchase, after clicking on them. Thanks for your support of Insider Mama!

 

Timing is Everything


It's important to make sure your kiddo is ready for overnight toilet training before you get started. Daytime success is usually a good indicator, but every child is unique. Keep an eye out for signs of readiness, such as consistently waking up with a dry diaper or expressing an interest in using the potty during the night. Once you spot these signs, it's time to make the leap into nocturnal potty training!


 

Prepare the Bedroom Battlefield


To set the stage for success, it's important to create a conducive environment in your child's bedroom. Start by investing in a quality waterproof mattress cover that can withstand the wildest nighttime escapades. You might also want to lay down an absorbent bed pad on top of the fitted sheet for extra protection. Pro tip: opt for bed pads featuring your child's favorite characters to make it more exciting!


 

Encourage Pre-Bedtime Toileting


Make sure to incorporate a pre-bedtime routine that includes a visit to the potty before tucking your little one into bed. Encourage them to empty their bladder as much as possible before settling in for the night. By establishing this routine, you reinforce the habit of using the potty before sleep, minimizing the risk of nighttime accidents.


I highly recommend the Real Feel Potty with wipes storage, transition seat & disposable liners. This fantastic potty features a real flushing sound and cheering feature that adds an element of fun for your little one. The cushioned seat and variety of colors make it appealing for both boys and girls, and the built-in splash guard ensures cleanliness. The removable seat can also be used as an independent training seat, fitting most standard toilets. With custom-fit liners and an easily removable inner bowl, keeping the potty clean and odor-free is a breeze. Plus, the spacious baby wipe compartment and extendable rod for toilet paper make it a parent's favorite. The non-slip grips provide stability, and the light and compact design make it convenient for travel.



To further assist your child in remembering to use the toilet before settling down for the night, introduce a bedtime potty reminder. This can take various forms, such as a gentle verbal cue, a note on their bedroom door, or even a fun song that you sing together before heading to the bathroom. The reminder adds a touch of fun and helps them develop the habit of visiting the potty before bed.


 

Cut Off the Liquid Supply


Regulating your child's fluid intake a few hours before bedtime is essential to minimize the likelihood of nighttime accidents. This doesn't mean completely cutting off hydration, but rather limiting excessive liquids to reduce the frequency of potty breaks during the night. It's important to strike a balance so that your child remains adequately hydrated throughout the day.


If your child tends to consume excessive fluids before bedtime, implementing fluid restriction strategies can help reduce the chances of accidents. Encourage them to drink more during the daytime and gradually taper off liquids in the evening. If they feel thirsty, offer smaller sips of water instead of large amounts close to bedtime. This way, you can maintain hydration while minimizing the need for frequent trips to the bathroom during the night.


 

The Art of Nighttime Bathroom Trips


Ensure a smooth and successful journey from bed to the potty by equipping your child's bedroom with a small nightlight. This will provide just the right amount of visibility without causing unnecessary disturbances. Additionally, placing a simple step stool by the bed can make it easier for your little one to access the potty, especially if their legs are still a bit wobbly from sleep.


During the initial stages of nighttime potty training, consider gently waking your child up for a quick bathroom trip before you head to bed. This proactive approach can help prevent accidents and reinforce the habit of using the toilet during the night. Keep the lights dim and avoid engaging in stimulating activities that could make it difficult for your child to fall back asleep easily.


smiling baby asleep on back

 

Reward Systems and Motivation


Positive reinforcement is key to any successful parenting endeavor, and potty training is no exception. Consider implementing a reward system that motivates your child to stay dry at night. Whether it's a sticker chart, a small toy treasure chest, or a special outing, find what works best for your little one. The anticipation of rewards can make potty training at night more exciting and enjoyable for both of you.


 

Nocturnal Accidents Happen


Let's face it: accidents are bound to happen during the potty training journey, especially at night. It's important to approach these mishaps with patience, understanding, and a dash of humor. Keep spare sheets, pajamas, and wipes readily available for quick cleanup, and ensure you handle the situation calmly, even if your sleep-deprived brain wants to shout, "Why now?!" Remember, accidents are a natural part of the learning process, and they will become less frequent as your child gains confidence.


 

The Power of Consistency


Consistency is the secret sauce to successful potty training at night. Stay the course, even on the nights when you feel like giving up. Consistently reinforcing the routine, providing encouragement, and reminding your child to use the potty before bed will eventually pay off. Just like Rome, dry nights aren't built in a day!


 

Gradual Reduction of Diaper Use


If your child is still heavily reliant on diapers at night, consider gradually reducing their usage to encourage greater independence. Start by having them wear a diaper during the first half of the night and switch to training pants or underwear for the second half. As they become more comfortable and confident, you can eliminate the diaper altogether.


 

Tracking Progress


Create a visual progress chart to track your child's success and motivate them along the way. This chart can include milestones like dry nights, using the potty independently, and achieving consecutive accident-free nights. Display it in a prominent place and celebrate each achievement with a special treat or a small surprise.


 

young girl washing her hands - potty training at night

Potty Training at Night Schedule


Here's a sample schedule to help you structure your nighttime potty training routine:


6:00 PM: Start gradually reducing fluid intake, focusing on hydration during the daytime.


7:00 PM: Establish a pre-bedtime routine, including a trip to the potty to empty their bladder.


7:30 PM: Dim the lights, engage in calming activities, and read a bedtime story to signal winding down for sleep.


8:00 PM: Lights out, tuck your child into bed, and provide a gentle bedtime potty reminder.


10:00 PM: Gently wake your child for a dreamy potty trip, keeping the environment calm and quiet.


2:00 AM: Repeat the dreamy potty trip if your child tends to wake up naturally during this time.


Upon waking up: Praise your child for dry nights and reinforce the importance of using the potty first thing in the morning.



 

Keep in mind that each child is unique, so feel free to customize this schedule to suit your little one's individual needs and sleep patterns. As your child grows more confident and capable, gradually reduce the frequency of nighttime potty trips.


By incorporating these additional ideas into your routine and following a structured plan, you'll be well on your way to mastering nighttime potty training. Have faith in your abilities, dear parents, and caregivers! While potty training at night may initially appear overwhelming, armed with these tips and a touch of humor, you'll conquer it like the champions you are. Remember, every child progresses at their own pace, so embrace patience, and adaptability, and celebrate every milestone along the way. Soon enough, you'll bid farewell to those late-night diaper changes and welcome a newfound sense of independence for your little one. Wishing you peaceful and dry nights ahead!


If you are still working on daytime potty training, check out my article, Be Diaper Free with this Potty Training Schedule.


Now, I'm off to embark on my next parenting adventure: teaching my kids the art of folding laundry. Wish me luck on this laundry-folding journey!


jen-2.jpg

Hi! I'm Jen, and I'm thrilled you stopped by!

I am a certified life coach, mother of five, wife, founder of the non-profit Eye on Vision Foundation, entrepreneur, Christian, and friend. I live, play, work and worship in the Orlando, Florida area.

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