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My oldest daughter was finally potty trained right after she turned 3. She was a nightmare in potty training, to say the least. I won’t get into the long convoluted story.
My second daughter potty trained herself by the age of 2. I’m almost convinced God gave me a pass since my first daughter was such a nightmare.
The baby hasn’t started yet so she’s an unknown. 🙂
Nighttime potty training was a bit of a different animal. Similar to their day potty training, my oldest daughter was waking up with a totally soaked nighttime pull-up while the middle daughter woke up dry or 99% dry almost every morning.
Nighttime Potty Training
I had talked to other mothers + I had talked to the pediatrician + both said nighttime training is harder + best left to allowing it to happen naturally. While that theory seemed to be working with the just turned 4-year-old, it was lost on the just turned 6-year-old.
At her 6-year-old wellness checkup, I spoke to the pediatrician again. He told me to rip the bandaid. He said a pull-up was acting as a crutch. He said to send them to bed without a pull-up + to give it a try for a month or so. If that didn’t work, he suggested a bed wetting alarm.
If the bed wetting alarm didn’t work, then he said they would send her to a specialist to see if there was anything physically wrong or if it was more of a behavior issue.
First Nighttime Potty Training
That night, when my husband arrived home, I told him what the doctor suggested. We decided to go with it. We had a mattress cover on their mattress.
We cut liquids off 1/2 an hour before bedtime. We had them brush their teeth + use the bathroom before climbing into bed. We woke both of them up to use the bathroom again before my husband + I went to bed.
I went to sleep expecting to be woken up in the middle of the night with soaked sheets + kiddos (or at least one kiddo). At the every least, I expected when they woke the next morning, one or both would be wet, if not soaked.
To my surprise, neither of those things happened. BOTH girls woke up COMPLETELY dry.
Beginner’s luck, right?
Every night since we started, we go through the same routine + both girls wake up completely dry.
I am not suggesting this works for every child. I am not suggesting that it’s going to work for your child. I am saying that it worked for two out of three of my girls. If you have concerns about day or nighttime potty training for your child, talk with your child’s doctor.
Nighttime Potty Training Tips
Every child is different. I also hear that nighttime training boys can differ from training girls. I wouldn’t know anything about that but here are some tips to help you start nighttime training when you + your kiddo is ready.
- Start after daytime trained. Make sure that your child is completely potty trained before even thinking about approaching nighttime training. We waited close to 3 years + 2 years, respectively, with our girls before attempting a more formal nighttime training process.
- Assess the situation. I had nighttime accidents until I was about 7 or 8. It wasn’t an every night thing but an occasional accident here + there. I also read that bedwetting can be hereditary so I always chalked my oldest daughter’s bedwetting to something she might have happened upon naturally. It turns out that she was likely just afraid of the dark so with her new bathroom routine at night and leaving some lights on, she gets to the bathroom in the middle of the night if she needs to go.
- Cut out liquids. Some parents start cutting liquids out after dinner. We cut them out about 1/2 an hour before bedtime (so 7:30 for an 8 pm bedtime).
- Create a bathroom routine. Have your child use the bathroom before they go to bed + again before you go to bed. The second time is optional so do what you think works best for you + your child. Have them use the bathroom again as soon as they wake up in the morning.
- Expect accidents. We have had a good run of dry nights so far. I expect we still have some accidents in our future + that’s totally OK. I’ll take it. Expect that your child is going to have some dry nights + some nights where they have accidents.
- You can wait it out. You certainly have the option of waiting it out. My plan was to have the girls wear pull-ups until they were waking up dry for a couple of months. While the 4-year-old was pretty much there, this plan wasn’t working for the 6-year-old. You can follow your child’s lead + wait to yank the nighttime pull-ups until they’re waking up dry for a few months.
- Make a big deal of successes but don’t stress over the accidents. We made a big deal out the mornings when the girl woke up dry with whooping + high fives + praise. We also let them know that accidents are okay, too. So far, we haven’t had any accidents so we’re trying not to stress over it ourselves + avoiding stressing the girls out about any accidents that might occur.
Now, I’m off to see how I can use all of the money I am now saving on nighttime pull-ups. I also think it’ll cause us to approach nighttime training with our youngest daughter differently than we did with the first two, when the time comes.
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