We all want to win the gold medal of potty training, a single event that we excel at. Even better is the all-around gold medal for night-time potty training. That, my friends, is the ultimate achievement. The final frontier of diaper duty. Time to list that Diaper Genie on Next Door and sell it to the parents who are still in the blissful state where containing all your diapers in one, smell-free container is the ultimate dream. (Let’s not ruin it for them, heck, knock it down in price a little.)
Today we are going to discuss the sweet victory of nighttime potty training. A parenting milestone that for those of us going through it, a parade through our town to celebrate doesn’t seem like it would be too much. Next to sending them off to college, the epic farewell of diapers is the end to so many times we wanted to run.
The diaper blow-out. The not having a spare diaper and the one they have on is so full it may burst. The late night run to the store hoping you get there before they close, and finding out your an hour too late, and having to stop and spend 10x what you would have on a pack of crappy diapers that you might as well have just left your kid to sleep naked in their crib on a pile of towels and hope for the best. The end of all of those times you didn’t bring the diaper mat and your first born child had to lay on a dirty car seat or floor because your parent of the year award was already used the last time you forgot it.
Those are all times of the past. The time for stickers, bribes, treats and expensive name brand character underwear are here. Let’s do this!
How to Potty-Train at Night
First and foremost, we may be ready, but are our little ones? We need to take into consideration that just because we have vowed to never buy diapers again, our hiding in the corner to poop angels might not be on the same page as us, and think the scary, plastic monster in the corner of the bathroom is not something they want any part of.
If we rush our babies, it can set them back and digress them in not only potty training, but bottles and pacifiers come into play with digression too. Comfort is what they know, and when they are faced with something new, they just want that old familiar comfort back. It’s why we still have our first boyfriend’s sweatshirt that we swore we returned. It’s comfy.
How to determine if your baby is ready? I’ll share some tips and tricks with you, on what not to do, and when to do it.
One of the biggest mistakes parents make is waking up their sleeping babies to go to the bathroom, and doing this several times a night. Why are you trying to create a tired monster who will ruin your day? Did you lose a bet? Let sleeping dogs (and babies) lie. If this is your partner’s genius plan, you need to plan a two-week trip solo and don’t leave a forwarding address.
Sacrificing sleep is never a wise choice. As you know, I dedicate my life to sleeping babies, and with how hard we have worked to create a peaceful, sound and beneficial sleeping pattern for your baby, disrupting it to do something they are sure they want to do is not advised.
My Child is Ready to Potty Train, Let’s Do This!
When your baby is waking up with a dry diaper after you have been potty training during the day, you know it is time to start weaning off the diaper at night. It is best to have at a minimum of three nights of a dry diaper so you know it wasn’t a fluke, and that they are adapting to potty training.
Accidents will happen, and you need to be prepared. They will happen when you least expect it, too. You hit the potty before you left for the store, and you’re ready to get through this hour-long trip without incident. Just when you reach the checkout, guess who has to go? Might be the same little one who is now creating a puddle beneath her. It happens. To ALL of us. The important thing to remember here is you are ready for this. You’ve prepared for this moment. And while you might feel steaming hot with embarrassment, don’t. It happens all the time and most places are prepared for it.
Patience is key. The best time to start potty training is when you can afford to stay at home for the majority of the week so that you are always near the bathroom when they indicate they have to go, and you will start to notice the signs they are using to tell you it’s time.
Talk to your toddler about potty-training, and show them what the potty is. What you call it is up to you. Some prefer “the toilet” some call it “the potty”. Consistency is the key here; repetition is important for little ones, they respond to familiar words and actions.
Don’t sound overly enthusiastic. This has to be a normal situation and not a built-up situation that when they fail, they aren’t feeling disappointed or that they let you or themselves, down.
Is your baby sleeping through the night? Check out the reason why, here.
Rewards and Reactions
Some parents use reward charts with prizes of stickers, or little treasures as rewards for completing the task. If you have a child who reacts negatively when they fail, this may not be the right option for you. Training without a reward is effective, as there is the same reaction if they make it through the day or if they fail. Only you can decide what works for you and your child.
Before bed each night, have your toddler get on the potty, even if they say they don’t have to go. This gets them in the habit of going before bed and keeping dry through the night. Having them sit
on the potty 30 minutes before bed, and then again right before you lay them down has proven to be the most effective method.
When they have a nighttime accident, it is important to maintain an even reaction. They will look to you to see if you are upset if they have failed. It is okay to be upset, or frustrated, but save that for your partner or friend to discuss with. When accidents happen, take your child by their hand and clean their bed, and them up, and put them on the potty one more time, and back to bed.
Pro tip! Plastic Sheets. They are the best! Lay a plastic sheet down over the mattress, then a set of bed sheets, then another layer of plastic, then another bed sheet. If there is an accident, you have just created a second set of bedding with little effort. The soiled bedding can go right in the laundry and all you have left to do is clean up your kiddo and a new set of PJ’s. Much easier to do when you are both tired and just want to go back to sleep.
If this is not working for your toddler, don’t fret. It just might not be the right time. Try again in a couple weeks. They have to be really ready or they won’t take to it. When they are ready, it is a great process and pretty soon it is a habit and everyone is getting a good night sleep, including the washer and dryer.
There is no wrong or right time. Just because your neighbor has a potty trained prodigy at age 1, it doesn’t mean your two almost three year old is behind, or slow. There is a right time for each child and they follow their own schedule, not their friend down the street. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad if your kid isn’t there yet. This is not a competition, it’s a part of life, and sometimes, it happens when it happens, and that is okay.
Contact Rocky Mountain Sleeping Baby Today!
And if you or your family are still struggling to figure out how to manage your child’s sleep, please don’t hesitate to book a 15-minute FREE consultation with me or one of my consultants! As a Denver sleep consultant, I’m not here to pressure you or sell you anything at all – we’re here to listen and come up with solutions so you can get back to the most important thing in your day – SLEEP!