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My daughter has been trying to potty train herself for over a year. I’ll admit that I dragged my feet. Between being on bedrest with the twins and then adjusting to life as a family of 8 potty training has not been at the top of my to-do list. When she turned 3 I finally gave in and got serious about potty trained. She was more or less potty trained in 2 days.
Night time potty training is another story.
This girl is confident. She knows what she wants.
But she is not a morning person.
She’s been daytime potty trained for several months now but getting her to remember to wake up in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning to go potty is another story so she’s hit or miss with night time potty training.
I’ve potty trained several kids (my own and several of my former daycare kids) so I know not every child is the same when it comes to potty training. I have a few go-to tips that I use when I tackle night time potty training though. First step involved a trip to my local CVS store for supplies.
Tip for Night Time Potty Training
Limit fluids a few hours before bed. This is always the first step I take when tackling night time potty training. Why not make it easier on your child? Limiting fluids makes night time waking less likely. Most newly potty trained kids aren’t usually alert enough to remember to get up and use the potty in the middle of the night so avoiding night time waking is your best option.
Simplify accidents. Accidents are probably going to happen. The key in whether your child will be successful has more to do with how you deal with the accident than the accident itself. Use a good quality waterproof mattress cover on your child’s bed. Limit stuffed animals and pillows on the bed to cut down on laundry and simplify middle of the night sheet changes. I like to have a system in place before an accident even happen so I cut things back to one mattress cover, one sheet, one pillow, and one blanket. If/when we need to change the sheets in the middle of the night, I just pull anything wet off and lay a clean blanket down on the bed. I fully change the sheets in the morning but I’ve found that not making big deal out of it and getting my child back to sleep as soon as possible makes night time accidents easier to deal with for everyone.
Have a backup plan. Some kids will have no problem going straight to using underwear at night after being potty trained. My boys were older when they were potty trained so by the time they were trained they were fully ready to be night time potty trained too My daughter is a bit younger than they were when they were trained AND I’m caring for one year old twins at the same time so my ability to be ready to jump out of bed and help her use the bathroom or clean up accidents is not quite up to the challenge. I want her to be confident in her ability though so putting her back in a diaper at night kind of undermines all the work she’s already done.
Since she’s already potty trained, I hit up my local CVS store and grabbed a GoodNites TruFit Starter Pack. It’s real underwear so I don’t have to worry about her back sliding the way she does overtime I use a diaper and it’s a great confidence booster for her. The underwear are machine washable with removable absorbent inserts. You can get a $4 off coupon on a GoodNight TruFit Starter Pack by filling out a short survey here.
Downplay accidents. Accidents probably are going to happen. In the middle of the night, the last thing you want to be woken up to is a child peeing the bed but it’s so important for your child’s confidence level that you downplay it. Tell your child that accidents happen. Change the sheets quickly and make sure that you have a good attitude about it so your child doesn’t feel like you are angry. The last thing you want to do is stress your child out. Making nighttime accidents a stressful experience will destroy your child’s confidence and make future accidents more likely.
Make a visual reminder for your child. One of the challenges we’ve had with several of my kids is remembering to get out of bed first thing in the morning (or when they wake up) to use the potty. It’s a hard habit to get into when you’ve been wearing diapers all your life. You can make the transition easier for your child with a visual reminder. Print out a picture of a potty and put it somewhere your child sees when they first wake up. We put a picture on the underside of my daughter’s bunk bed so it’s the first thing she sees when she wakes up but you could also put it on the bedroom door or the wall next to the bed.
How do you encourage self-esteem and confidence in your kids? I’d love to hear how the GoodNites TruFit Starter Pack would be put to use in your home!
For more tips on helping your child be confident at night, check out the #ConfidentKids social hub.
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