Help! How do I deal with night time toilet training?

Help! How do I deal with night time toilet training?

Potty training during the day can be challenging enough but now how can you help your child achieve dryness at night so you can finally go totally nappy free. Following our Pottiagogo instagram live Potty Training Basics in partnership with ERIC we have pulled together essential guide to help with dry nights. 


Once your child has potty trained and is reliably clean and dry and finally out of nappies during the day, you may be wondering when and how to tackle night time training? Read on to find out how to know your child is ready and get lots of tips to help you both prepare for the next stage of the toilet training journey...  

Your child's bladder is still maturing up to the age of five and night time dryness is expected to take longer than the daytime. Each child is an individual so try to avoid comparisons with others the same age - just because they are out of nappies in the day doesn’t mean they will automatically be dry at night too.

How do I know they are ready?

Clues that your child may be ready to start night time training include:

  • Waking up dry or having just damp rather full nappies in the morning.
  • Two or three dry nights in a row.
  • Your child may ask not to wear bedtime nappies or take it off during the night.
  • Waking in the night to use the toilet or waking you up to ask to help them go. 

How do I prepare myself and my child?

Before you begin, think about what's going to make it easier for your child to use the toilet in the middle of the night? 

  • Explain to your child what they’ll need to do in the night now they won’t have a nappy on.
  • Put a potty in their bedroom and encourage them to practice getting from bed to the potty or toilet. Use the same potty consistently to make sure they don’t get confused (this is where Pottiagogo really helps with consistency during potty training as you can use it at home and when travelling about)
  • Protect their bed with a waterproof mat. 
  • Put a gentle night light by the bed.
  • Make sure they can either pull their PJ’s up and down easily or just keep them PJ free for a while.
  • Have fresh pyjamas and bedding ready in case of accidents so there is less stumbling about in the middle of the night

What’s a good routine before bedtime?

  • Encourage your child to stop drinking an hour before bedtime. 
  • Don’t restrict daytime fluids thinking this will help it doesn't! Make sure they're having at least 6 drinks during the day.  
  • Try and avoid drinks like hot chocolate and anything fizzy especially before bed 

What are good habits to build?

  • Doing a wee when they first wake up and just before bed should become part of their everyday routine.
  • Make sure they aren’t constipated (that is pooing less than 4 times a week), as this will stop their bladder from being able to fill properly. 
  • Explain to your child why it's important not to keep your bladder waiting to be emptied - if it's used to being ignored all day how can you expect it to wake you up at night?! 

How can I best encourage them?

Try to make it a calm, positive experience for both of you. Offer your child lots of encouragement and reassurance. Always reward the efforts they are making to be dry rather than whether it's worked to now. Try to avoid putting too much pressure on them to be a ‘big boy/girl’ and try to avoid making a fuss out of accidents - it's all part of the process just like with potty training. 

Should I put them back in nappies if it's not working?

Try without nappies or pull-ups for at least a week to see if it makes any difference. If accidents keep happening every night, or more than once a night and you’re finding it stressful coping with washing, it's better to go back to nappies and try again after a few weeks. 

What if my child doesn't get dry at night?

Some children will take much longer to learn night time dryness. Take a look at ERIC’s Guide to Night Time Wetting if bedwetting continues after the age of five years and talk to your GP as help and treatment are available.

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