Goodbye diapers! It’s one of the best feelings parents have when at last, their little ones have ditched their diapers and are potty trained. But, before rejoicing the thought, potty training is a long and tedious process, not to mention, the endless “accidents” you and your babies will endure. That means soaked bedsheets, couches, clothes, and blankets. It’s important to make sure you potty train them right so it will be easier and faster.
One of the hardest parts of training your baby is nighttime potty training. It’s the time your kid won’t need to wear their diapers at night. Potty training isn’t just an accomplishment for kids, but also for the parents. A successful potty training is a major parenting milestone, too. Being able to train your children, especially at night, is a totally different celebration. But, if your kids aren’t ready yet, don’t fret. Training your kids to use the potty at night needs time and patience.
What Is Nighttime Potty Training?
If teaching your toddler or preschooler to use the potty at daytime is a fight, nighttime potty training is a war. Many children learn the tricks of potty training during the day, but sometimes, they still fail to do so at night. In fact, kids still wet their beds until they reach the age of five. So, you’ll expect accidents every now and then.
7 Nighttime Potty Training Tips
Nighttime potty training is the most challenging part of potty training. You need the patience to train your kids, but it’s important to make it easy for them to understand. This way, they won’t get pressured or scared when they still wet their beds at night.
If you want to make nighttime easier and faster, here are some helpful tips :
1. Patience Is A Virtue
Did you know that about 15% of children who are five years old still wet their beds? Many children may still have their accidents and it should not be a reason to pressure them. Patience is a virtue and nighttime potty training may take time.
Learning to use the toilet is a huge milestone in a child’s life. Most kids start working on the skill when they’re between 18 months and 3 years old. But, the average age for potty training is about 27 months. However, nighttime potty training is a different story. It may take quite a while before they master this skill.
Children should have various skills to be able to use the toilet. Kids should have signs of readiness, focus on the task, and proper developmental skills. Nighttime dryness typically transpires naturally between 4 and 5 years old but can happen earlier in some children. The reason for this is the child’s bladder should have matured sufficiently to hold urine the whole night. In some cases, children may have problems in their bladder-brain neural pathway to hold urine the whole night. Either way, they will learn it naturally but you as parents can supplement learning through nighttime potty training.
In time, everything will click into place once the kids are fully potty trained in just a few days. But, it can take longer for others. Let them go through the course without hurrying them.
2. Consistency Is The Key
Since nighttime potty training stems from daytime potty training, you should ensure to implement a good daytime potty training plan, so you have a solid foundation that’s individualized for your child.
Also, you should have a consistent routine to make your child adapt to nighttime potty training. For example, you let your child pee before bedtime, then wake him or her up the same time in the middle of the night to urinate again. This way, there’s a routine and they will feel relaxed. Plus, you’ll avoid accidents at night.
3. Invest In Rubber Mats And Waterproof Mattress Covers
During the potty training during the night, you can expect a lot of accidents. So, it’s better to be prepared. Buy disposable sheet protectors or layer multiple fitted sheets in cases of accidents. Furthermore, you can use a waterproof protector and then a sheet.
Layer these elements to protect the mattress from being soaked. If the child wets the bed at night, it helps to make the bed in layers. Put a waterproof pad, a fitted sheet, another protector and another sheet. This way, whenever the child wets the bed, you can just grab the first layer. Keep a spare blanket in handy in the room, just in case your child wets the bed in the middle of the night. You can remove the fitted sheet and put the blanket or a spare bedsheet. It’s a lifesaver at 2 a.m.!
4. Limit The Use Of Diapers
Many parents use overnight diapers for long periods even after being potty trained. These diapers ensure that you have clean and dry sheets in the morning. But, remember that using diapers for extended periods may act as a burden for your nighttime potty training. If you notice that the diapers are dry come morning, you can switch to regular underwear at night. You can always use a plastic or waterproof sheet protector in cases of accidents but limit the use of diapers.
You don’t have to force your child if he or she isn’t ready to be pulled from the diaper, they’ll get there. But, it’s important to use the diapers during the night and never during the day when they’re already potty trained. This puts them at risk of regressing to using diapers and you’ll be back to square one.
5. Limit Fluids Before Bedtime
Drinking their milk or any beverage before bedtime may lead to an accident and a wet mattress. Limit liquids right before bed or they can drink very limited water or milk. To prevent dehydration, focus on hydrating them during the day. If they’re sleeping and needs to use the toilet, leave the lights on in the bathroom so they can find their way easily. Also, let them use the toilet right before bedtime. If they need to go to the toilet during the night, take them to the bathroom one more time before you go to bed yourself, which is about 2 to 3 hours after you’ve put them down.
6. Don’t Punish Or Shame
Potty training can surely drive the most patient parents insane but the child is also having a hard time. They don’t like the feeling of wetting their bed because they’re uncomfortable and they feel as if they failed. Keep in mind to never shame or punish them, even if you’re upset or frustrated. Furthermore, never scold them when they accidentally wet the bed. Nighttime potty training takes time and patience.
Potty training can be frustrating for both the parents and kids. When children feel pressured and stressed to accomplish a task, like potty training, they can experience negative long-term emotional and physical implications. They can suffer from chronic constipation, self-esteem issues, stool withholding, and anxiety with toileting.
Thus, never punish your child if they failed during the first tries. What’s more, punishment may take a toll on the parent-child relationship. Punishing can also lead to humiliation and shame, and the child may feel like a failure. Encourage and motivate the child for a successful nighttime potty training through rewards and incentives. This way, they will feel encouraged to do their best in potty training.
7. Encourage Bathroom Use
Lastly, encourage bathroom use every time your child wakes up during the night. There are tons of reasons for kids to wake up in the middle of the night – nightmares, loud sounds, and feeling uneasy.
When they wake up, let them use the bathroom first before letting them sleep again. This way, they can be trained to use the bathroom and to control the urge to urinate at night. When your child often wets the bed, make sure to wake them up during the time they usually have accidents and let them use the bathroom.
Using the bathroom at night can be hard to teach especially children younger than 4. But, when they reach the right age, they will naturally have control over urination during the night. Keep in mind to motivate your child to use the bathroom more often. This way, you will have a successful nighttime potty training.
If all else fails, you can also use cloth diapers. Using cloth diapers at night can help your child with potty training. Cloth diapers are less comfortable when wet, so the kids will hate it.
Nighttime potty training is harder to master for kids, than daytime potty training. It will take a lot of time and patience before they get the hang of it. But, with your guidance and motivation, your kids can be trained to use the bathroom at night or urinate upon waking up. If all these tips are effective for you, you can now say goodbye to diapers, at last!