By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed., C.H.C
I get a variety of questions about potty training, but they often follow a few specific themes. One of these themes is that of night training – when to start it, how long it takes, and what to expect.
First of all, know that it is perfectly normal for night training to take longer than day training. Yes, there are children who will do both around the same time, or one right after the other, but there are also many who may need longer to develop the bladder control while they sleep.
This is especially true for heavy sleepers, who may be in such deep slumber they don’t feel their body’s signals and thus wake up wet.
Also be aware that some night wetting is considered common right up until about age 6. No, this doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a couple of more years of bed-wetting, but if by chance this does occur, it is still considered biologically normal. Of course, if there is ever any concern, please check with your pediatrician.
There are a few things you can do to try to ease the transition:
- Make sure your child is going potty just before going to sleep.
- You may also want to limit liquids in the hour or so leading up to bedtime.
- Some parents elect to wake a child late at night for a quick trip to the potty. This works well for some, and in others can actually just encourage energetic night waking, which nobody wants. The trick is just to know your kid on that one!
- You can also try a rewards system for dry mornings – but do not scold or punish for accidents.
- Keep extra sheets and clean pajamas handy so they are easy to access in the middle of the night or early morning.
- Finally, know that in time this too shall pass.For more information on night training visit our TIPS page!