Dry nights can seem like a long way away. For most children, night time toilet training takes longer than day time training, and it’s normal for your little one to take months to learn to master the potty at night. For super-sleepers, potty training can last up to 2 years.
The important thing is to remember to take your time and remain positive. This doesn’t happen automatically, but if your child is showing signs that they are ready for night time toilet training, then the following tips could help you look forward to reliably dry nights sooner than you think.
Signs your child could be ready for night time trainingEvery child is unique and those big milestones happen at different times in their lives, but there are some signs that suggest your child could be ready to start night time training:
1. The importance of preparationAs with anything new, preparation is key. In addition to preparing the home (invest in a protective mattress cover, expect more laundry), you’ll want to make sure your child also feels ready. Let them know that they’ll now be going to the toilet in the night. Be encouraging and frame the entire thing as an adventure! They’re likely to feel more grown-up, so get excited with them about their new-found independence.
2. Establish a bedtime routineA night time routine is everything. Make going to the toilet a part of their routine, making sure they do a “proper wee” instead of rushing. If it helps, sit down and talk to them while they’re on the toilet, so they take their time. Remind them to get up and go to the toilet at night if they feel like they need to.
3. Monitor fluid intakeHydration is important, so avoid the urge to stop them having a drink too close to bedtime. However, it can help to make sure they’re drinking lots during the day, so they don’t need as many fluids as the evening draws in. Do avoid sugary or fizzy drinks later on in the day - stick to milk or water instead.
4. Expect accidents along the waySetting realistic expectations helps to keep frustrations under wraps when things don’t run completely smoothly. Children don’t have as much control over their bladder while they’re asleep, so even if your child was relatively quick to pick up daytime toilet training, night time training can be a longer process. Remember that wetting the bed is beyond their control, and if training is causing stress or anxiety, put it on hold and come back to it when they feel more ready.
Accidents will happen - especially during the early stages - but remain calm and reward/reassure their efforts throughout.