Toilet training can be split into two processes – toilet training for day and toilet training for night.
Some parents will tackle both at the same time, while others prefer to wait until after toilet training has been established before moving on to night toilet training.
You have to do whatever you think will best suit your family and your little one.
But here are some tips on knowing when to toilet train for night and for helping your child wake up dry!
Tips for toilet training at night
When to start toilet training for night
Like all milestones, children are ready when they are ready. What is the case for one child is not the same for another. And what works for one family might not suit the next. Here are some tips for figuring out when your child might be ready to be nappy-free at night …
- If your child wakes up with a dry nappy most mornings then they are probably ready to be out of nappies at night time.
- If their nappies are still full in the morning you might decide to wait longer – particularly if they are still quite young (and especially if they cannot get to the toilet or to you in the night – ie. they are still in a cot).
- Your child needs to learn how to be alert to the urge to go, even when they’re sleeping. If your older child (3-4 years) still has wet nappies in the morning you could still try night training them. Take the nappies off and explain to them that if they need to go in the night that they can wake you up or use the toilet themselves. It might be enough to train their bladder if they know that they can’t rely on the nappies.
- Make the decision to go nappy-free when it suits your family. If you’ve got a little one who always ends up in your bed you might choose to leave them in nappies a little longer – it is one thing to wet their own bed – quite another to wet yours!
Tips for helping your child stay dry at night
- Try to start night toilet training at a time when your child is well rested. If they’re completely exhausted they probably won’t wake or feel the urge to pee.
- Add a trip to the toilet into your child’s bedtime routine. Make it the last thing they do before they go to sleep.
- Make sure your child is drinking plenty of water through the day but not huge amounts right before bedtime.
- Invest in a good-quality, fitted, waterproof mattress protector (or two!). Some parents make the bed twice so if there’s an accident during the night all you have to do is strip off the top layer rather then remake the bed. You can also buy waterproof sheets, so you don’t have to remake the entire bed.
- If your child makes it through the night, celebrate their achievement. Tell them how proud you are. If they don’t make it through – don’t make a big deal about it.
Remember there is no toilet training deadline. If you don’t feel like your child is ready to ditch the nappies at night then don’t stress – wait until you think they are.
If you have night trained but they’re still occasionally wetting the bed, there’s no need to worry – some children will continue to have accidents until they are aged 7 or 8. This is completely normal.
Have a look through our Toilet Training Hub for more info, free printable charts, and access to the forum to share your stories and questions of other mums.
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