Night Time Potty Training

When to Start Child Potty Training at Night

Night time potty training typically occurs before the age of 5 for most families. When is the best time to get started?

The short answer: start not sooner then 18 months and finish no latter then 5 years.

Now the long answer: Experts say that your toddler transitions to urinating only when awake at around 18 months, (and infant potty training experts will disagree). So you have a “green light” from the medical community in the western world to give night time potty training a go starting from around 18 months.

Potty Training Facts

Percent of children (split by age) who have achieved solid control of their bladders through the night.

66% of children younger then 3 years
75% of children younger then 4 years
80% of children younger then 5 years
85% of children younger then 6 years

Sleep is a priority in our household.

Night time potty training was one of the more challenging aspects of toileting in our household, as “letting sleeping babies sleep” was the center of our parenting ideology. We are definitely a family who has a strong preference for getting a full night’s sleep for ourselves and our munchkins.

We could have started earlier with nighttime potty training, by waking our sweetie up for potty opportunities… but I just could not get my self to do it. Children look so serene when they are snoozing. I could have let my little darling sleep diaper-less and wake up when he gets wet but I really preferred that he gets his zzz.

Some families decide to take care of night time potty training  at the same time as they tackle daytime potty training. It’s up to you to decide what child potty training works best - but keep in mind that this is part of your child’s physical development, and it’s something that might require time and consistent guidance. Night time potty training accidents are not voluntary, no child enjoys waking up wet, so it’s vital that parents watch for signs of readiness and also have a support system in place for inevitable slip-ups.

You probably are not expecting that your little one completes a nighttime potty session all on his own (not the first few times anyway). 

Before that happens your child must:

  • Be able to get out of bed safely.
  • Get to the bathroom or training potty.
  • Remove their pajamas / pull-ups.

Some recommended potty readiness signs to watch out for:

If your child has been successful at nap-time dryness, and also use the toilet successfully during day hours relatively consistently, they may be ready to move into this nighttime potty training phase.

It’s important to remember that a child who stays dry at nap isn’t necessarily ready for night time training. Even a child who is successful all day long may not achieve dry nights for quite some time thereafter. Children who dislike waking up wet may benefit from a bedwetting alarm system that helps train them to recognize their body’s signals. This also supports greater independence.

Also if you notice that your child’s diaper is wet and warm first thing in the morning that means they’ve only recently urinated. You could begin waking them before that point and getting them to the bathroom. Or bring your child immediately to the bathroom as soon as they wake up.

  • A child understands and uses toilet terminology and is moving toward “big girl” underwear during the day, -- it may be time to slowly integrate the pull ups at night. Once they start being dry most of the week, then move into the regular underwear.

We started nighttime training by switching our toddler to cloth diapers.  Some parents recommend Night time pull. This way if there is a mishap, you don’t have to do a full load of laundry. Training pants also make it easier for the child to reach the toilet successfully, sliding off easily. Before you switch to pajamas only you might consider putting down mattress protection and (HINT: have a second protective pad just in case).

We started nighttime training by switching our toddler to cloth diapers.  Some parents recommend Night time pull-ups. This way if there is a mishap, you don’t have to do a full load of laundry. Training pants also make it easier for the child to reach the toilet successfully, sliding off easily. Before you switch to pajamas only you might consider putting down mattress protection and (HINT: have a second protective pad just in case).

Return from when to start night time potty training to Child Potty Training

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