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Nighttime Potty Training: Tips that Really Help

February 02, 2021 2 min read

"Our son is 5 years old and has been dry in the daytime since he turned 3. He still wets every night and his disposable pant is soaked in the morning. I know this can be normal but I wonder if there are some things I can be doing now to help him get to nighttime dryness."

This is a very common concern of parents. The general consensus is that nighttime dryness can follow daytime dryness by months or even years.

Here are 8 tips that help with night time potty training:

1) Daytime dryness should be established first. Make sure he is reliably dry in the daytime, knows when he needs to use the bathroom and has soft, regular bowel movements.

2) Encourage drinking and frequent toileting during the daytime. Fluids after dinner should be water, not milk or juice, in a small quantity.

3) Double void before bed. This means making sure he tries to go potty 30 minutes before bedtime, then once more as lights go out.

4) Trial of no disposable pants. Especially if you have noticed that his disposable pants are less wet or dry in the morning, try having her wear underwear to bed. Protect the bed with a waterproof cover and protect his sheets with washable, waterproof underpads. The ones with the tuck-in sides are the best. If a couple weeks pass with no sign of progress toward dry nights, restart the disposables and know that there will be a better time to try this later on.

5) Don't allow disposable pants to be worn while he is awake. Put it on last thing before lights out and take it off first thing in the morning. Some children will wet their disposable pant as they are waking up in the morning, just because they know it is there.

6) Remind your son if he wakes up for any reason or if he comes to your room in the night, he should use the bathroom at this time, even if he doesn't feel he needs to.

7) You can introduce a bedwetting alarm to help him speed up that brain-bladder connection if he would like to become dry and transition out of disposable pants. When choosing an alarm, look for one that is comfortable for him to use. The wireless Rodger Alarm is a good choice for your son’s age.  The moisture sensing underwear are easy to put on and the sound comes from the unit plugged into the wall.  There are no scary wires to connect and there is nothing that needs to be attached to his body.

8) Walking your son to the bathroom before you go to sleep probably does not speed up the development of dry nights but there is one less voiding in the bed.

In most cases, children do not have control over their nighttime wetting and this behavior is not reflective of your parenting skills. There is no need to feel parental guilt; being kind and supportive is much better. Punishment is not warranted and will not speed up the development of dry nights. Be patient and know that each child develops at a different rate.


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