By the time your child reaches the age of three, chances are he’ll be ready for night time potty training.
For some children, night control happens spontaneously, while others need positive encouragement and support from their parents before they get it right. It’s also interesting to note that girls frequently gain bowel and bladder control at night earlier than boys.
Is your child ready?
Here are some signs that your child is ready for night time potty training:
• He is reliably dry during the day, with very few toilet accidents.
• His diaper is dry in the morning when he wakes up.
• He complains about waking up with a used diaper.
• He actually asks if he can sleep without wearing a diaper.
Once you are satisfied that some of these signs of readiness are present, turn your attention to night training. Keep in mind that you and your child need to work together. Let him know what you want to achieve, and make sure he realises you don’t expect him to get it right after just one or two nights.
(Also read:Bed-wetting: why it happens and how you can help)
8 steps to follow
When you start talking to your child about night time potty training, emphasise that you hope his bed will be dry in the morning, but that he shouldn’t be upset if it is not. He needs reassurance that you won’t be annoyed if he wets the bed. Try the following steps:
Buy a waterproof cover for the mattress in case he wets the bed during the night, have a supply of clean sheets standing by, and get some training pants for night-time use.
Decide when to start
Pick a date to start and tell your child. He’ll be excited about not having to wear a diaper, though he may be worried about wetting the bed.
Pre-sleep toilet visits
No matter how tired he is, your child should use the toilet just before he goes to sleep.
Your child could wake up in the middle of the night, so it is vital he knows how to get to the toilet. Otherwise, having a potty close to his bed might be more convenient.
Some children don’t like getting up to find themselves in the dark. So leave the toilet or bedroom lights on all night if necessary.
Get on with it
Leave him with his training pants on and give him a goodnight kiss. If you find that he is wet in the morning, reassure him that he will succeed tomorrow.
He will achieve success eventually. In the meantime, give him lots of support and encouragement.
If you find that your child is dry in the morning, then it’s time for a celebration! Give him a big cuddle.
Don’t rush your child
Don’t worry if your child takes months, rather than weeks, to become dry at night, and remember to give him lots of encouragement and praise on the nights he succeeds. Finally, be prepared to wash mounds of sheets while night training is in progress.