Night time toilet training
There are some toilet training experts (especially the boot camp variety) who advise parents to ditch all nappies at the same time, even overnight and encourage them to use the toilet. But, most parents keep their kids in nappies at night for a while after they're toilet trained during the day. In some cases, it only takes weeks or months to toilet train at night but, for others, night time bladder control may not kick in until more than a year later.
How do I toilet train my child at night?
One common rule is to wait for five dry nappies in the mornings before you go nappy-free.
Even when your child makes the transition of going to bed without that trusty nappy on, you can still expect the occasional toilet training accident for a while. It’s perfectly normal and you should clean it up calmly and matter-of-factly (if sleepily). If you find yourself stumbling through too many middle-of-the-night clean-up calls, you may want to re-introduce the nappy for a while. But remember, there’s no toilet training deadline here. Your child will be night-toilet-trained eventually. In the meantime, just do what works best for your family.
Some helpful hints
Some parents find pull-up nappies or training pants useful in toilet training. They can be easier for kids to put on and take off themselves, so they can take them off to go to the toilet if necessary. Plus, they look more like underwear than nappies, so there’s no shame.
- Mattress covers
Make sure you've got a good-quality absorbent bedliner on the bed - these have moved on by miles since the old crinkly plastic ones. The modern ones are lightweight and breathable but still fully protect the mattress from wetting and smells. These sit on the top of the bottom sheet and a good quality one will absorb multiple accidents overnight, drawing in moisture and trapping it so your child can enjoy a comfortable nights sleep. The best thing about a bed liner is that in the morning you can just whip it off the bed for washing without having to strip off the sheets!
- Easy access
You might also want to make sure your child can easily get in and out of her bed. Or perhaps leave a potty nearby and encourage her to use it if she needs to go to the bathroom.
- Take precautions
Toilet accidents may still happen when you least expect them. It's a good idea to encourage your child to have a wee right before going to bed. And in some cases, you may want to limit the amount of water she drinks in the run-up to bedtime.
- Celebrate success
When your child finally masters night time bladder control, praise her, cuddle her, show her how proud you are. It’s a big thing, and she should celebrate her own toilet training brilliance!
- To read about the basics of toilet training
- To read about the differences in training boys and girls
- To find the best time to start toilet training for your child
This article was written for Kidspot, New Zealand’s leading pregnancy and parenting resource.
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