Night Time Potty Training Tips From a Mom of Two

So, you’ve conquered Potty Training in the Day Time? Hurray! Take a moment to appreciate that! It’s a pretty huge milestone for your little one, and you! Now you’re beginning to think about Night Time Potty Training and it is a whole different ball game! But don’t worry, I’ve gotten through it with both my kids, and I’ll help you through it too!

*If you’re still working on day time potty training, I’d advise you focus on that first and then come back to night time afterwards. For more tips, take a look at 5 FREE Potty Training Chart Printables & Easy Reward Ideas for daytime potty training advice and resources.

Pin text reads, super useful night time potty training tips. Image of a toddler sleeping peacefully.

Potty Training at Night is different to Day Time Potty Training. Just because your little one has picked up day time toileting quickly, does not mean that night time dryness will come automatically. Sometimes a child will toilet train really quickly during the day and take years to be dry consistently overnight. This is not usually a cause for concern.

Overnight Potty Training is just a different thing really. It takes patience and a different set of strategies from day time potty training. Reward charts will not work overnight as when your child is asleep they have no conscious control over accidents.

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Pin text reads, Why is night time potty training so much harder than day time?

Why is Night Time Potty Training different to Day Time?

Night time potty training involves biological and developmental milestones that aren’t in play during the day. At night, our little ones’ bodies need to be able to hold urine for an extended period, and their brains must be developed enough to wake them up if their bladder is full.

It’s not just about willpower or understanding—it’s about physical readiness.

Due to this, it is harder to tell when your little one might be ready to start overnight potty training. However, there are still things you can look out for. (More detail on this in the next section.)

Another difference between daytime and night time potty training is that there is greater variation between kids in how long it may take them to pick it up.

While daytime potty training typically takes between a few days to a few weeks for most kids, overnight training can be a case of trial and error every few months while you determine their readiness.

This requires patience and an understanding that every child’s journey is different. If your child is taking longer to become dry at night, it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them.

Pin text reads super easy night time potty training tips and image shows a toddler and his teddy on the potty.

How to Tell when your Child is Ready?

One big indicator that your child is ready for night time potty training, is when they are reliably dry during the day for several months.

This is a strong sign that they’re developing the necessary bladder control needed for overnight potty training.

Some kids might start showing interest or tell you directly that they don’t want to wear diapers at night.

Of course, the most obvious sign they are ready, as we had with our daughter, is when they are waking up dry.

Consistently finding a dry diaper in the morning suggests their body is physiologically ready for this next step.

Your child must be able to communicate the need to go to the toilet, either verbally or through signs, gestures, or pointing at pictures, unless of course they can get to and use the potty independently. The ability to express the need to go to the bathroom before it’s too late is crucial for night time training.

While these signs can start appearing as early as 2 years old, keep in mind that readiness varies greatly among children.

Focusing on these cues rather than a specific age will help you know when the time is right for your child.

Pin text reads, tried and tested night time potty training tips. Image of a teddy sitting on a potty in the bathroom.

Practical Tips for Overnight Potty Training Success

While your kid doesn’t really have a whole lot of control over whether they manage to remain dry overnight, there are several things that you can do to help increase their chance of success.

  • Ensure bedtime is a calm and relaxed time. Stress and anxiety can lead to bad dreams and accidents.
  • Avoid letting them drink a lot in the hour before bedtime. It is worth saying that it is important to make sure they are drinking plenty during the day, but try to avoid anything more than a few sips of water in the hour before bedtime. A full bladder overnight doesn’t often lead to potty training success!
  • Be Prepared for the inevitable accidents along the way. I found that having a spare set of bedding and PJ’s near their bed made night time changes far quicker and easier.

Pin text reads, Must-have potty training resources and image shows a potty, a toddler toilet seat, some pull up nappy pants, and some kids toys.

The Best Resources for Potty Training at Night

There are a few handy resources that I really appreciated having when I went through night time potty training with my two.

  • Transitioning from Nappies to Pull Up Nappy Pants really helped my kids. They’re less bulky, but most importantly they make it so much quicker and easier for our little ones to get on the potty themselves. Instead of fiddling around trying to undo a nappy, or waiting for us to help them, they can just pull them down themselves. These Pampas Ninjamas, from Amazon, are perfect for that. Alternatively, if you want to save money and help the environment, take a look at these Reusable, Washable, Toddler Training Pants, from Amazon.

  • A Waterproof Mattress Cover, like this one from Amazon, is another must-have! It keeps your mattress dry and clean, and makes bed changes so much quicker and easier.

  • A Small Night-Light, like this one from Amazon, is also a good idea for overnight potty training so our kids can see to get to the potty quickly.

Pin text reads, gentle parenting tips for night time potty training without the stress. Image of sleeping toddler.

Dealing with Accidents

Overnight accidents are almost inevitable when potty training and we should expect them as part of the process.

Remaining calm and supportive during clean-up is crucial. Make sure to encourage your child that they will get there and that everyone has accidents when they are learning.

I always keep extra bedding handy to make those middle-of-the-night changes as quick and fuss-free as possible.

Pin text reads, tried and tested night time potty training tips and image shows a toddler and their doll on a potty.

When to Seek Medical Advice

Occasionally, a child may need additional help to master night time potty training. Knowing when it’s time to consult a pediatrician can make all the difference.

Sometimes a stressful event or big change can interrupt the progress you have made with overnight potty training. Moving house, relationship breakdown, a new family member, change of school, or death of a loved one can all have an affect.

Be vigilant for signs such as discomfort while urinating, a significant increase in thirst, or bedwetting paired with snoring as these may suggest an underlying health condition. If your child has any of these, be sure to speak to their Paediatrician or Health Visitor.

You’ll Get There!

It’s so challenging when you’re right in the middle of night time potty training. Your sleep is disrupted, you have more laundry to deal with, and your patience can be tested.

Just remember, the end result will make it all worth it!

And be reassured, most children eventually outgrow bedwetting on their own. This is a developmental phase, just like learning to walk or talk, and it takes some children longer than others to master it.