Everyday Mums Talk About Toilet Training (Potty Training) : Sleep Time Training

Childhood 101 | Toilet Training (Potty Training) Tips- Part 5 Sleep Time Training

Today our real Mums are sharing their sleep time toilet training experiences.

How did you go about sleep time toilet training?

  • J was sleep trained 2 months after day time was mastered.  This was not a conscious decision, just one it came about after I forgot to put a nappy on her and she woke up dry.  E was about 8 months after day trained.  I started to cotton on to the fact that he was just weeing in his nappy after he woke up because it was easy to do. TW
  • Around the age of 3.5 my daughter was dry for her afternoon sleeps but she still has to have a pull up at night (5yrs). AH
  • When they are waking up dry for about 2 weeks I put them in undies. I take them for a “sleep wee” before I go to bed until they get the hang of it and keep extra sheets under the mattress protector. SH
  • Once my daughter was well and truly toilet trained during the day, night time dryness naturally followed.  At 2 1/2 we stopped putting a nappy on her overnight because it was almost always dry in the morning.  CO
  • The girls (twins) were not night trained until they were 5 and a half. They simply couldn’t hold enough wee in their bladder to last the night and their sphincter muscles weren’t strong enough to hold it in even if they could. We tried waking them in the middle of the night to get them to wee but Z. would never wee and it would often trigger a night terror for I. so we just had to accept that they weren’t ready. Eventually, at a time when I was really down about it all and blogged a huge whingy post, out of the blue I. asked for no night nappy and the rest is history!  M. is 3yrs 4 months and he still has a night nappy. Just between you and me I think he’d be fine over night without it as he is often dry in the morning, or he wakes up at about 2am and asks to go to the toilet. But just because he is ready doesn’t mean than I am ready to get up at 2am and take him to the toilet, or cope with the odd wet bed…. so while he is happy to have a night nappy I am happy for him to have one ‘just in case’ at least until N. is older and I am getting a bit more sleep! KF

Great big thanks for sharing so generously go to Shae (Mum to 3 girls), Tanya (Mum to a pigeon pair), Amanda (Mum to 2 girls), Kate (Mum to 4 – two of each) and Cath (Mum to 1+1).

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  1. My daughter was 51/2 and still have very wet pull ups overnight. This upset her and so we decided to use an alarm system with advice from a professional.

    It was explained to us that it is a hormonal issue which makes the body produce less urine during the night and also it is important for the child to keep drinking lots of fluid during the day so that the bladder is used to stretching large enough to hold lots of urine at night ( the nurse showed my daughter a baloon and how it stretches.

    Basically the child will be dry at night when the hormones and the bladder/ body are ready.

    The alarm system was amazing and only took about 10 days to train her body……

    My son was dry overnight within a month of day training…..everyone is different.

    Let’s hope my youngest son is easy – doing day training now he is fine when we take him to the toilet but just does not get the sensation to take himself – but still overnight it seems he only does one wee so hopefully that is a sign night training will be easy at some point.

    Thanks for your articles and blog. I really enjoy them.

  2. Pam Lawler says:

    my 3.5yr old boy, about a month ago told me he wanted to try to go without nappy, and he has only had two accidents. My 2.5yr old toilet trained herself six months ago

  3. My best advice is to use cloth nappies. The only child of mine to get out of nappies at the age of two was the one who I diligently used cloth nappies with as a toddler! The twins used them for the first 18 months and then I switched to disposable (mainly because the daycare wouldn’t use them) and, at nearly 3, they are showing no signs! But don’t listen to me! I have been a disaster at toilet training all of my kids! x

  4. We tried to toilet train our daughter when she was 2 using the ‘take away the nappies, lots of bribes’ method – what a disaster. We gave up within 2 days after completely traumatizing everyone. Just shy of her third birthday (when I thought she would be in nappies forever) she decided to toilet train herself. She refused nappies and was happy to take herself off to the potty without any help. After a week of this she also refused night nappies. We have only had a handful of accidents since then. I am hoping my second daughter will toilet train herself too.

  5. I am a mother to two children aged 6 and 2 and at work a Child Care Professional. I often have parents asking me what is the right time to toilet train their children. I always answer “when your child shows interest in it”. Naturally children thrive in areas of development that they are ready for. If they begin telling you verbally or non verbally that they are doing or have just done a wee or a poo acknowlege this with them. “you have just done a wee in your nappy, thanks for telling me” etc.

    You may wish to then begin having conversations around toileting and consider if you would like your child to use a potty, toilet insert on the seat or simply the family toilet. Some children like the security of having their bottom encased in a seat like a potty or toilet seat insert which may have a similar feel to wearing a nappy. I have known children in my care to request a nappy to put on while they poo and have removed immediately after they have finished.

    At the end of the day, our children and other peoples children will become fully toileted when their bodies are ready. We need to support our children and encourage their attempts in trying anything new, including the bumpy road of toileting.

  6. Having real trouble with my son’s toilet training. I’ve tried food dye in the toilet (apparently blue dye turns green) as well as ping pong balls. My other son got it much easier. i had to read to him on the potty to distract him.

    • Hang in there. My boy took ages (and lots of stickers that earnt him rewards – hey I work for rewards, and this is his work :) ) That said, at first it was a case of having to sit on the toilet/potty every hour for a few minutes until he got it!!!

  7. I was worried with Mr 3.5 about the whole toilet training thing (if one more person told me that he would know when he was ready, I was going to scream – as he had NO intention of ‘knowing) A week after he had been dry for a week we used big boys undies all the time…the reason was simple, after he got the hang of going to the toilet – he worked out he could hold on until I put a nappy on!! I love the umberella sheets (a half sheet that is waterproof that goes over his normal sheet and waterproof – so much less washing and stress) At first we celebrated 1 dry night a week (with the wet ones being at 3 am and a very quick change) We are now up to 47 nights dry in a row…..he now sees himself as always having dry beds. There was never a big thing when the bed was wet (I have a younger child so sleep is an optional extra in my life anyway)….

  8. My advice is not to get stressed – easier said than done but remember no one was wearing nappies at highschool… All kids will eventually “get it”. Miss C is the youngest in her little group of friends at daycare. Because everyone else was wearing knickers she wanted to do the same but physically she wasn’t ready. It led to a lot of mess, stress & frustration for both of us. when I finally decided to stop trying and wait a dew months everyone was much happier.

    Just 3 months later & she asked to try again. This time there was no stress or pressure & she got it right away.

    Breath – they’ll get it eventually!

  9. My tip would be give them praise for their attempts to sit on the potty/toilet. My son was so scared of the potty that he never even used it and went straight to the toilet (he had to stand like daddy though) We would congratulate him even for the attempt of trying to use the toilet. The wee’s were easy but getting him to do number 2’s took longer so we used rewards for each time he did a poo on the toilet. He eventually just twigged and it happened. He also would wake up with a dry nappy in the morning so one night he decided he wanted to wear his jocks to bed….and he hasn’t worn a night nappy since and that was when he was 3.5yrs old.

  10. Lisa Fairbridge says:

    I put a pair of undies under my sons nappy so he could feel what wet material felt like and a pair over his nappy so he got used to pulling them up and down (cheaper than pull ups). Lots of time outside during summer with no nappy just undies, routine of before bath sit on the toilet for a few minutes and then again just before bed. Toilet first thing in morning. It doesnt matter if they do anything or not. If they like my daughter dont like the potty get them a small toilet seat that is just for them. Their special seat. My eldest boy was completely trained by 4, my 2nd son was day and night by 2 and a half and my daughter is day trained but not night. She became day dry at 2 yrs old. She is now 3 and a half. Little man is 17 months and he already is showing signs of interest so he sits on the potty a couple of times a day while he eats a piece of fruit or something. Basically at the end of the day there is no right or wrong time. Each child is different so go with their instincts and encourage them. They will soon get there

  11. Nicole Disbrey says:

    If you’re worried about your toilet-training toddler having an accident in the car while wearing underpants, just position an opened-up disposable nappy under their bottom before doing up the seatbelt. This will catch any leaks and keep the car seat dry. Your child will still feel like a big boy/girl and no need to buy expensive seat-protector pads either.

  12. My number one tip is to not take responsibility or blame as the parent when it doesn’t work. We have still been unsuccessful with our 3.5 year old girl but will hopefully get there when the weather warms up. We need to remember that the child needs to be ready and you can’t just magically make it all happen for them. All in good time.

  13. My only advice is every child is different. My older 2 boys toilet trained very easily at around 2 years old & were dry at night by 3 & 3.5. My youngest has just turned 4 & still has wet underpants occasionally in the daytime & has never been dry at night (nappies are full every morning). He has nothing else wrong with him & the dr & the clinic nurse aren’t worried but I find it frustrating (the daytime that is). He couldn’t care less about rewards charts either! I know he’s still in the normal range for night wetting so I haven’t worried about that yet but as 2 of my brothers needed to use the bed wetting alarm when they were kids I’m half expecting that he won’t be dry anytime soon.

  14. Claire Lewis says:

    My best tip for parents wanting to toilet train their child is be prepared with training pants/toilets seats and rewards – but wait until the child shows some interest before starting to train! Encourage them to watch you use the toilet, sit on it and pull off some paper and when they finally say ‘my turn’ or indicate they are interested, then give them a try. Starting too early can be more frustrating and damaging for parents and children than dealing with nappies for a few more months :)

  15. Ha, Ha. I have no tips. I has two girls who I trained with very little fuss, then I had twins and everything went pear shaped. I would love to win the mattress protector so I could have a bit more success with these wild 3 year old twins in the throes of toilet training!!! LOL

  16. Daytime toilet training was easy, although my second daughter was a little tougher. She suffered secondary daytime enuresis, where she was toilet trained in the day for over 6 months, and then regressed. The paediatrician told us she had a condition that meant that the messages from her bladder to her brain would go from not very urgent, to very very urgent very quickly and she just wouldn’t have time to get to the toilet. Time and patience was the only answer.
    Now, my 6 yr old and 5 yr old daughters are both still in night nappies. We are trying everything we can now, and they can be consistently dry for the first couple of hours, when i take the to the toilet. small baby steps in the right direction. I haven’t even tried my son (3.5yrs) yet. Although I am hoping he will be easier.