Night-time Toilet Training

Most parents and experts recommend getting your child dry through the day before trying to get them dry through the night. As they train during the day, their bladder and bowel control will improve and they will become more aware of the urge to go and this sets them up for a more successful time when it comes to leaving the nappies off through the night.

Night Time Toilet Training Night time is harder for two reasons ? firstly, it is a longer time; you are aiming for your child to stay dry and clean right through a 10 or 12 hour sleep! Secondly, they aren’t going to be as aware of the signals from their bodies telling them they need to go. If they don?t wake up, they will have an accident, and if they can?t quite work out what they need to do, they may partially wake and get very upset when they don?t make it.

Fortunately there are a number of things you can do to make it easier for your toddler when training at night.

1. Make sure they don?t have a big drink before bed ? sounds obvious but if they are in the habit of having a big glass of milk before bed, chances are they will need to use the toilet before long. Instead, bring the night time drink back so they aren’t having it so close to bedtime.

2. Make sure that the last thing your child does before they get into bed is to go to the toilet.

3. Consider leaving the potty upstairs in case your child wakes and wants to go but can?t make it onto the toilet in time or isn’t confident in getting onto the toilet without supervision. You may be surprised to find that they have got up and done their business without calling you.

4. Listen out for sudden waking and a shout indicating that your presence in the bathroom is required immediately!

5. Consider a waterproof mattress protector and/or a disposable bed mat. These give the bed some protection while allowing your child to feel that they are not wearing a nappy or pull-up pants.

6. When an accident does occur, try to clean it up quickly and quietly, place the child on the toilet, change them and then return them back to bed. Don?t make too much fuss about the accident ? that’s all it was, an accident. A child who is worried about wetting the bed is much more likely to do so. Just remind them that they should be doing their pee/poo in the toilet/potty now.

If your child is really not getting the hang of using the toilet or potty at night and is wetting the bed frequently after a few weeks of trying, it may be a sign that while they are dry during the day, they are not yet ready to be dry through the night. In this case, you will benefit your child most by taking a step backwards and using nappies or pull-up pants for a while longer. This will give them the security and the good night’s sleep they need until they are ready to try again. Leave it a month and then go back to trying dry nights.

If you get frustrated you are at risk of pushing the child or giving them a complex about their bed wetting, and that can lead to a more long term wetting problem. The important thing is that you focus on the daytime toileting and aim to return to the night time training at a later date. Your child’s control and understanding are developing all the time, so you may find that a brief break from training is all it takes to get your little one dry day and night.

Author: Arlene Copeland

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