Potty Training At Night
Top Tips for Potty Training at Night
Potty training can be difficult in itself, but potty training at night is often seen as the most challenging part of this childhood milestone. It is not uncommon for a child to be potty trained during the day but still wear a diaper or training pants at night. Each child is different, however, and the whole process of potty training should be tackled with a good deal of compassion, great communication and a positive attitude.
First of all, it is important to understand that potty training at night is different from potty training during the day. The ability to control when to urinate is a developmental issue, and just because a child accomplishes this task in the daytime does not automatically mean they will be able to hold it through the night. Each of us has a natural mechanism that goes into affect when we are sleeping. This internal device will actually notify the brain when the bladder becomes full during the night and then the brain will act to wake the person up to go to the bathroom.
In children, however, this mechanism can develop at different times, and it will not always be fully functional when the child begins to be potty trained. That means that if a child has an accident at night, it is more than likely a physiological issue rather than the child just being lazy or disobedient. Doctors say that this natural mechanism may not be developed until a child reaches the age of 5 or 6, so there should not be concern over problems with bedwetting until the child is at least older than 6.
The best way to tell if a child is ready to become potty trained at night is to observe the behavior of the child. If the child is dry every morning when they wake up, and this is the case for several weeks or months at a time, then they are more than likely ready to go without a diaper or training pants at night. If a child still wakes up wet, then the training process can begin but it should be done with patience and understanding that the child is likely not wetting the bed on purpose.
The first step in potty training at night is to talk to the little one about what the whole process means. Allow them to ask questions and be honest about the answers. It is important that the child does not feel condemned or guilty about accidents, and parents should try to get a good understanding of how the child feels going into the process of potty training at night.
There are a few other steps to make the transition to nighttime dryness easier:
> Do not allow the child to drink anything for a couple of hours before bedtime.
> Make sure they use the bathroom directly before going to bed for the night. Some parents even wake the child up before they go to bed, which is usually a few hours after the child has fallen asleep. This can be helpful because it give the child a halfway point of sorts during the night.
> Use a night light so the child is not afraid to get up in the night if they wake up and have to use the bathroom.
> Make sure the child knows that they can call you or wake you up in the night if they feel they have to go potty.
> Always use positive reinforcement to encourage the child when the stay dry through the night, and never punish or yell at them since accidents are usually not their fault.