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Night Potty Training

By: Renee Mercer, MSN, CPNP

Nighttime dryness usually follows daytime dryness by a few months or even years. Your child should be reliably dry in the daytime, know when she needs to urinate and have regular soft bowel movements before you work on nighttime dryness.

Little Girl Sleeping
  • Wearing a diaper or disposable pant to bed until you’re readyto work on nighttime dryness is fine.
  • When you begin, expect accidents. Eliminate frustration by protecting your child’s mattress with a waterproof mattress pad. This prevents a leaky pull-up from ruining the mattress.
  • Encourage drinking and frequent toileting during the daytime. Fluids after dinner should be water, not milk or juice, in a small quantity.
  • Double void before bed, once 30 minutes before bedtime, and once just before lights go out.
  • Have a trial of no pull-ups if you begin to see dry ones some mornings. Use tuck-in mattress overlays for this transition. They lie on top of the sheet and can be quickly changed.
  • Remind your child to use the potty if he is awake for any reason during the night.

Be patient and know that each child develops at a different rate. If your child is 6 and still hasn’t had success with dry nights, introducing a bedwetting alarm can speed up the process.