One common question that many parents ask is, “will overnight potty training and cause sleep problems.” While one might wish for the answer to that question to be very pat, a lot certainly depends on your child’s readiness, current sleep habits and the approach you’re taking to nighttime potty training.
At the outset of overnight potty training start a sleep and potty log. Within a few weeks you should begin seeing patterns about when your child needs to go potty, and when they’re struggling with sleep. These observations can help you making adjustments to your potty training program so that the child achieves greater success with the least amount of sleep disruption.
If you do feel your child is ready there are a few things that help alleviate sleep problems. First off, always encourage the child to try using the potty right before they go to bed. You may find the child is unsuccessful but suddenly wants to go potty after getting into bed. Now, in some cases this is a game – it’s a child’s way of stalling the inevitable bedtime. Having said that, a warm bed can inspire the bladder into action. Your best bet is to let her try again just once. Keep this very pragmatic – it’s not play time, it’s your child’s pre-bed routine and it should not result in them getting revved up.
Nighttime training pants may also prove helpful. A child can pull these down and up more quickly than other complicated clothing. The sooner the process is complete, the faster they can go back to bed. Too much time awake can cause sleep problems, particularly if it becomes a pattern.
There are some other tools that may prove useful. Try a nightlight instead of a full lamp. This keeps the room partially dark and may help your child get back to sleep more quickly than if they’re exposed to brighter bulbs.
What if your little darling wakes to pee at around 5 and then doesn't want to go back to sleep?
Treat it as a middle of the night awaking. Use minimal light, don’t talk or make eye contact – maybe use a bedside potty so you don’t displace your toddler too much.
If you find that nighttime training is disrupting your child’s sleep significantly you may have tried night potty training too early, or not given it enough time for your child to fall into a solid routine.
Do you have a question about potty training? Just ask! I'll be happy to share my research and knowledge with you. You might receive some constructive comments from other parental units too :)
Make sure to include the age and gender of your little darling, some details about your potty training history or any previous potty training attempts.
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