Can you imagine the day that you don’t have to turn down the diaper aisle? Nighttime potty training is that last step to diaper freedom.
Buying that last pack of diapers is a major parenting milestone and a wallet-saving celebration. It’s the icing on the parenting cake!
However, sometimes our desire and enthusiasm can cause us to rush into it before our child is ready. This just ends up with wet sheets, frustration, and less sleep. And ultimately, just sets us back in the nighttime potty training.
When To Potty Train At Night
To maximize your chance for success, it’s important to determine whether or not your toddler is ready. You don’t want to undo all the work you’ve been doing to get her to sleep through the night. So, how do you know when they are ready?
- Can your toddler make it through the night without having to go?
Nighttime potty training shouldn’t involve waking your child up to make sure that they go in the potty instead of in their beds. Nope! We don’t sacrifice sleep for potty training!
If your toddler can’t make it through the night without having to pee, they are not ready.
- Is your toddler waking up with a dry diaper?
If your child has a dry diaper a few mornings in a row, it might mean that it’s time. Or even if they have two to three dry mornings per week, it suggests that their bladder muscles are getting stronger.
What to Expect
Don’t expect a miracle. I’m sure you’ve heard stories of toddlers who were able to accomplish potty training without a single accident, but the odds are not in your favor. There are going to be some accidents. Accepting this reality ahead of time will help make this process bearable.
You will be doing more laundry than usual. Have a stack of clean pajamas ready at night.
The key is to be patient and understanding. Give your toddler a plan of action for when they have an accident. Explain that accidents do happen from time to time so that it isn’t too disappointing when they don’t make it through the night.
Heads up, a reward chart can actually be counterproductive. I am not against reward charts for all children, but if your child gets really upset that they didn’t get their sticker, it might be causing more stress. Consider letting them succeed without rewards.
Your toddler will master it eventually.
Tips for Making Nighttime Potty Training a Success
- Don’t make it a monumental, hyped-up event.
Yes, prepare and chat about the process. However, this isn’t something they have total control over and if it’s too big of an event, feelings of failure and disappointment can occur if they do have an accident.
- Make sure your toddler gets on the potty right before bed.
Even if they say they don’t need to go! Consider two trips before bed, one 30 minutes prior and one right before.
- Invest in some plastic sheeting and a good waterproof mattress protector.
The plastic sheeting is great because you can create waterproof layers. Lay the plastic down, then a set of bed sheets, then more plastic, then more bedsheets. If an accident happens… voila, quick change.
- Guard your emotions.
Accidents are disappointing, but if your toddler observes your irritation, it will frustrate them even more. Just calmly, clean them up and whip of the wet sheets. Keep the clean-up process short; there’s no need to bathe unless it’s vital. This helps your toddler go back to sleep quickly.
So what happens if it doesn’t work?
If your toddler is having regular accidents after a week or two of trying, it likely means that she wasn’t ready. It’s time to reassess and maybe give it a break. Don’t make being diaper-free your decision-maker.
If your child isn’t ready, they’re not ready. You’re just putting pressure on them and stress on yourself. Plus, you’re both disrupting your sleep. Getting your toddler potty trained is not worth sacrificing their or your sleep!
You don’t want to trade potty-training and with poor sleeping patterns, especially if your toddler has previously mastered their sleep training skills.
If you’re still struggling with getting your little one to sleep through the night with or without diapers, schedule your free chat. We’d love to help you teach your child how to sleep independently.
We want to know what you or your baby/child are struggling with so let’s chat! We bet we can help. Schedule your free, no-obligation 20-minute phone call to see if we are a good fit.