Whether it comes about naturally or you’re a mom of a really deep sleeper, you can still easily train your child to stay dry overnight.
(For those of you who missed this post on training a toddler and are looking how to toilet train a child by day, you can start there. In that post, I shared that I don’t toilet train kids at night while training during the day. It’s possible I don’t do it because I train them relatively young, or perhaps because it’s too exhausting and I can’t do it all.)
Congratulations! Your child is trained. However as it turns dark, you get out those pjs and with it a diaper, pull up…and now you decided you want to get rid of that! Glad you are here. This post is an unscientific post from a mom with lots of experience. If you need some bedwetting tips, we have this post for easier cleanup.
For Kids That Train Themselves:
Some kids naturally stay dry all night after you toilet train them during the day. Once you see that they’ve stayed dry for a few nights, remove the diaper (see the three tips to keep it up!) Some kids start waking up at night, sometimes saying they need to use the toilet. Other times they just cry and cry and can’t explain why they are crying. That crying is usually the first sign that they need to use the bathroom. Take advantage. Do NOT MISS THE OPPORTUNITY. Put them on the toilet and don’t ignore the sign. If you keep doing this a few days they will naturally train themselves at night and you’ll congratulate yourself on how easily it went. You should thank Hashem for that! Keep in mind that if you ignore this stage then you have missed the window and the child will train themselves to go back to sleep, wetting their diapers.
If you were lucky enough then keep in mind a few things:
- Take them to the toilet before they go to sleep. Don’t skip this step for a few good weeks.
- If you do feel they drank a lot before going to sleep and you are afraid they will wet themselves, you can wake them up before heading to bed. Quietly move the child from bed to toilet, talking as little as possible. Use minimal words – Sarah, let’s go to the toilet… and back into bed before they wake up fully.
- If you really are worried about bedwetting at this stage, the easiest thing you can do is place a bed mat on the bed. See end of post for options.
Some kids will never show you those signs and you’ll have to train them from scratch. If that’s the case, read on.
For Kids Who Need to Be Trained by Mom:
Since I day-train most of the kids when they are 2 (or 2 and a bit), if they don’t naturally train themselves within the first month, I train them at age 3. If your child is not naturally staying dry at night and you want to night-train, follow these steps.
- Start with getting rid of the bottle or sippy cup if they have one.
- Limit drinks one hour close to bedtime. Let them drink a lot earlier in the day and only give a bit before bedtime.
- Let them use the bathroom before heading to bed. Don’t skip this step.
- You can train them while they wear a diaper or pull up, waking them up before you go to bed, walking or carrying them quietly to the toilet. Limiting conversation as discussed earlier in this post. A child that is ready will usually wake up dry the next morning.
- If you see it’s working, remove the diaper (use bed mat just in case, see end of post) and keep waking them up for about 2 weeks. That usually will get their bodies used to waking up if they need the bathroom. If the child argues during the night that they don’t need to, trust them and don’t force it.
But what happens if the child can’t even stay dry between bedtime and the time you wake them up? They aren’t ready to be night trained. Let go. They need some more time to grow and mature.
Training a Deep Sleeper:
There are deep sleepers or kids with small bladders. Kids aren’t all ready to get trained at night at the same time.
Unofficially my sources (other moms) say that the next time you should try is age 5. You can try the above method, waking them up before you go to bed. If it works, great! But what if it doesn’t and you really want them to sleep at night without a diaper? They are pretty much outgrowing size 6 pull ups and you do not want them to keep doing this!
I found one trick that helped that might help you! Just like when I train them when they are younger without any clothing on their bottoms, you can try this at night. Why, you ask? We want kids to feel uncomfortable and wake up! The trick is to get deep sleepers to recognize when they need to use the bathroom and wake up.
- Place a bed mat on top of the linen.
- Use an easily washable blanket.
- Have the child sleep in a nightshirt. You can use an oversized t-shirt of yours, or buy nightgowns special for a girl…it can be anything that keeps them covered up without underwear or pants.
Once 1 through 3 are in place, I follow the above steps, limiting drinks, using the bathroom before bed, and waking them up to use the bathroom before I head to bed. For some kids that may mean they need to be woken up an hour after they fall asleep, others at 11 -12 pm.
If the child wakes up complaining that they are wet, congratulate them that they realized they are wet! Most of these deep sleepers usually sleep right through wetting a pull up. Strip, let them use the bathroom, and place a new bed mat on the bed. Back to sleep.
Within 2 weeks they should be more aware of their body. Do not put on pants for a solid 2 weeks. You want them to completely forget what it is like to have a wet pull up on themselves.
Once you are confident that they are in touch with their bodies, for the next month keep an eye for days they aren’t feeling well, nights that they drink a lot (Friday night Shabbos meals). On those nights you may consider waking them up before you head to bed.