Potty training at night
Being able to use a potty during the day doesn’t mean your child is ready to go without nappies at night. Some experts say they’re two separate processes – and daytime training is the easier one to start with. Bear in mind, too, that children can take years to learn to stay dry all night long.
If your child’s nappy stays dry for 2 or 3 nights in a row, or is only slightly damp in the morning, they may be ready to try night time potty training. They may also show they’re ready by refusing to wear a nappy at night, or by taking it off themselves. Some children may even get up to use the potty, or ask you to help them.
- Introduce the idea first, just as with day time potty training. Chat about it together and let them know what’s involved.
- Accidents are likely! Waterproof sheets or a mattress protector can make your life easier. You may also find it helpful to keep dry night clothes to hand.
- Ask your child to use the potty last thing before bed and first thing in the morning. You may want to keep a potty close by in case they need a wee at night, or have to go very quickly when they wake up!
- Make it easy for little ones: leave a night light on in the hall, or let them know the bathroom light will always be on if they need to go.
- Give lots of praise at each step. Learning to be ‘just like a grown up’ is really exciting for them!
Being faced with extra laundry or clean-ups every day can be frustrating, but let your child know everything’s OK. Punishments or getting angry won’t help little ones to feel excited about mastering the potty, so try to stay patient and positive. If your child has accidents every night, it may simply be too soon for them. Think about having a break, and try again after a week or two.