Let's admit it – nappies or diapers have become a boon to all mommies, especially when you need to travel with your baby or tuck them in comfortably at night. However, there comes a time when your little one has started potty training and you look forward to seeing him go diaper-free. Your baby is growing and getting more mobile, and successfully remains diaper-free during the day. Plus, you are also eager to let their skin breathe. However, just because your baby is potty trained well enough for day-time does NOT indicate that they are prepared for night as well! As moms, we know this only too well, since we have seen those 'accidents', experienced the frustration, and cleaned the mess...
Night time potty training is very different from that in day-time, and therefore it is imperative to pick on cues to understand if your baby is READY. Only when you see these cues should you take a step further and try and do away with overnight diapers as well.
Signs That Indicate Your Baby Is Ready To Go Diaper-Free at Night
Here are three ways in which your baby may give an indication that its time you tried letting him sleep without a diaper:
Your baby shows inclination towards removing the diapers at night. If your baby is irritable and does not wish to wear a diaper at night, it could very well be indicative that he/she is perhaps ready to try and sleep without them
Your child wakes up at night to go to the toilet, or asks you to accompany them. This is a sign that their body is waking them up when they get an urge to pee/poop.
You see a dry/ partially damp diaper in the morning. When you wake up in the morning to inspect your munchkin’s diapers and find that it is surprisingly dry or very slightly damp, it means they are starting to associate the teachings of your potty training. And if this happens on a regular basis, it typically means that your baby is ready to part ways with that diaper completely!
Tips To Make Night-Time Potty Training Easier
There is no doubt that night time potty training is difficult. However, if systematically done, it can become a lot simpler. The key is to familiarise your baby with the concept of understanding their body’s signals and making their dependency on diapers lesser.
Use these tips to make the process simpler:
Get Them To Pee Before Bedtime
Introduce the habit early in your potty training routine. As adults, we generally use the washroom before bed to avoid having to wake up in the night to do so. Therefore, introducing a similar habit at a younger age will only help in the long run. Even if your baby has peed half an hour earlier, have them pee once again right before it’s time to hit the crib in the night. The trick is to make sure this practice takes place as close to bed time as possible.
Use Water-Proof Sheets To Avoid Mattress Soiling
Since you are starting with the process of night-time toilet training, it is best to be prepared that accidents are going to happen for sure. We just need to be patient and better equipped to handle the situation. One way to do so is to place water-proof sheets on the bed mattress to save you the trouble of waking to a damp bed. Also, ensure you have an extra set of dry pyjamas/ change of clothes for your baby in case of such events.
Restrict Fluid Consumption Post Dinner
Not everybody is able to flush all the liquid out from their body before sleep. Experts recommend that limiting liquid consumption up until dinner time, especially if you are night potty training, can be very beneficial. There might be exceptions on a hot day; however, a gradual shift is what’s required. A small sip of water before sleep should be the last water break. Do make sure that your child remains hydrated through the day so his fluid requirements don't fall short!
Note: It is best to stick to milk or water before bedtime. Sugary or fizzy drinks are a strict no as they tend to increase the risk of a wet night. ||
Wake Them Up!
This is an age old trick that never disappoints! Wake your baby up right before YOUR bedtime and get them to pee. This will easily flush out any liquid that was filtered in their body in between their bedtime and yours. Many kids are able to do this without fully waking up and therefore falling right back to sleep is not usually an issue. Of course, this may not be a good idea for you if your child experiences sleep-related problems.
Make Them Wear Footed Pyjamas
Many babies have the habit of messing with their pants/ diapers while sleeping, sometimes pushing them down. This usually results in bunching up of nappies and making them more susceptible to leaking. The solution - make them wear footed pyjamas as it covers them from head to toe. This way, they won’t be able to access the pants.
Consider Using Big-Kid Underwear
If you have started overnight potty training, you can consider making the switch to underwear for big kids. The main reason this is helpful is that the child will tend to feel uncomfortable/cold if he pees! This will increase their likelihood of waking up to pee in the toilet instead. Whatever you use, make sure the child is comfortable so it doesn't affect his sleep.
Simplify The Process of Using The Toilet at Night
Sometimes, the main roadblock to night-time potty training is that the child feels uncomfortable about it. If your child is old enough to get up and go by themselves, the dark may be scaring them, or the toilet may be too far from their bed. Make sure that the bathroom light or the hallway light is on/easy to reach. If your child sleeps separately, you can keep the door a little ajar so the light seeps into the room. You can also consider keeping a potty seat in the room in the initial days of training.
Applaud Their Efforts
Lastly, don't forget that accidents may happen with anyone, but the fact that your baby is trying is worth appreciating. Little gestures like appreciating them when they leave the bed dry the whole night, or giving them a big hug and a kind word, can help. Our children are never too young to understand what makes mom happy!
In the morning, make sure your baby pees well as it’s highly likely their bladder will be quite full. If your baby has a series of accidents a few nights in a row, maybe they still aren’t there yet. However, if this is a rare occurrence, continue the practice. Some babies get used to the training easily; some take time. And that’s completely alright, as they will all eventually learn.
Have more such night time potty training tips? Do share them with other mommies by leaving a comment below.