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Potty training at night.  Since writing many posts about potty training in 3 days, I get the question about potty training at night on a daily basis (literally).    Today, I partnered with CVS to bring you some of those tips as a sneak peek of my book… enjoy♥

A little girl sleeping in bed with text above her.
First, just know that some kids are not capable of this until they are older.  

  • Our first son was trained to pee at night at one. One of our other children took so much longer and it was a huge change for us.  Just realize that every child is so different.
  • You can understand HOW to train them, but that doesn’t mean that they will definitely be trained.   You can slowly train their bodies, but you can’t do it overnight and you can’t guarantee that it will work every night.
  • Our Doctor has told us that if their body is not physically ready to wake them up at night or to hold the urge to urinate for 12 hours, there is nothing that you can do about it, until they are ready (this could be as late as ten years of age before  you really need to worry).
  • Do they wake up dry?  This is a key factor to let you know if they are truly ready for night time training.  If they are, you can switch from full-out diaper to training pants at night.   Try some with  refastenable sides that are comfy for nighttime.  We like these CVS Training Pants. They have a wetness indicator that will fade when it is wet.  Plus they are so absorbent (and customized absorbency for boys and girls- so they work for any family). 
  • To train our kids at night, I transition them to these training diapers just for bedtime, and then put their training potty in their room, on a few towels.

  • I put them in the training pants (no pajamas over them), turned out the lights and we practiced several times going to the potty.
  • Go over the full routine: get down from bed, pull down the training pants, go to the potty, pull the training pants back up, get back into bed.
  • When they turned three, I stopped this and taught them to use the bathroom instead.  (Put a gate on the steps to be sure that they don’t fall down on accident when walking to the bathroom.)
  • Tip: Stop drinks a few hours before bed If our kids are thirsty, they can have milk.  I have found that drinking water causes accidents if it is close to bedtime.  Milk doesn’t seem to do that.
  • Caffeine affects our children with potty training, as well.  Cut it out while training.

Good luck!


More posts you might like:

Potty train in a weekend… 
potty train1

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. This sounds really great! I’m wanting to potty train my 20 month old.

  2. Today my baby girl turns 16 months! I taught her sign language and a week ago she started signing potty and touching her diaper every time she went. I’m soooo excited and happy I found your post on Pinterest because I know she’s going to get it really fast. Thank you. 😀

  3. Becky! You and I have the same philosophy on potty training! I’m amazed since almost NO ONE I know trains early. Everywhere I go with Reeve in undies (and me carrying his potty) I get looks like I have 3 heads. I think some people are thinking it’s a bad thing from the looks on their faces… ugh, do you get that? The nursery lady at church nearly rolled her eyes at me when I showed up with Reeve in undies…. Anyway, great blog! Night time potty training I don’t even touch. Whenever they wake up for a whole week with dry diapers- at whatever age, that’s when they transition to undies at night. Silas was 18 months when he daytime trained and 30 months for night time. Cannon was 18 months daytime and nearly 4 (this week!) before he trained at night. We’ll see with Reeve. He is doing really great during the day, but still needs to be watched. I need to teach him that sign for ‘potty’. His speech development is not nearly as advanced as the other kids at his age. I just wanted to say I concur with all your tips and advice!! I did the same exact thing. My boys still love being naked around the house! 🙂

    1. I know- people are shocked that our kids are trained early (but look at other countries, you know?).
      Nighttime- Jack was trained SO early at night (before 2) and Beau still soaks through a diaper at night. He just cannot wake up for it.
      Ethan is dry every morning but I haven’t lost the diaper, just in case. 🙂

  4. Use the towel potty training method my friend joy potty trains her son that way.

  5. I have a 23 month old daughter she has been pooping on the potty since she was 12 months old. Through the day potty training is going great she goes on the potty when she needs to and completely dry at naps. We have been training a week now. So far 2 nights she wakes in the morning dry. Should she be ready for toddler bed so she can go if she needs to?

    1. I’m not sure, but if it helps, we moved our kids to their toddler beds around this time, as well. Two mornings dry is great!

      1. Ok thanks glad I finally got a real answer from someone. I keep getting nasty remarks from people that you can’t night rain this early. I believe you can. Thank you again

        1. I think that you can, too. I think that it depends on the child, but if your child is dry, that’s great. Our oldest son was dry from very early on at night, so we trained him at night very early (before he was two) and he has been dry every since. Another one of our sons has never had a dry night and we did the same thing with him, but his body just isn’t ready. I think that if your child is dry, that’s great!

  6. Hi my daughter is 6yr old and wets the bed daily. We had her in night diapers but we decided it would be best to wake her up at night to pee. Me and my husband take turns I do it around 1am and he does it before he leaves for work about 5am. If we don’t wake her up she will wet the bed. It’s frustrating because sometimes I can’t rest thinking that she will wet the bed if I don’t get up on time. Is there any advice you can give me I am desperate. We have stopped liquids at 5-6pm her bedtime is 8pm and we usually have her sit in the toilet 2 times before. The doctor has told us this is normal and not to stress but it has been so hard. She is 6 and wakes up with a pull up full of Urine daily!! Which has caused her nasty rashes so We now do the bed pads so if we don’t get her up she will wake up soaked and the smell and having to wash everything and sanitize daily is really wearing me out!!!! Any advice will help.

      1. I am having trouble with both my kids girl-will be 7 in July and boy 5. I’m overwhelmed with the fact that both are not trained through the night and my 5 year old keeps peeing a little in his underwear EVERYTIME he has to go pee during the day. I feel like I’m at my breaking point. I take them pee before bed around 8. Take them pee at 11pm and 2 am. I’m just so exhausted that I cannot keep doing this. Please email me with advice! Thank you in advance.

        1. That’s completely normal. Our pediatrician suggests that when they are 10, you seek help, but until then, it is normal. 🙂

    1. That’s tough! There can be underlying thoughts or emotions that can be affecting her. I suggest finding a kinesiologist, emotional freedom technique practitioner or Body Code practitioner. You could also sit quietly beside her while she sleeps and allow any images or thoughts regarding this to reveal themselves. Then accept, love, release what comes. Praying peace into your little one is also helpful. .

  7. Omg! Like Kathy above, I too have a 6yr old (son) who has NEVER had a dry night. Literally have tried everything! Tried waking him, like Kathy is, but he’d already be wet sometimes after 2hrs of being in bed. It was wrecking his sleep & our & didn’t help. Had our dr test him for any abnormality but to no avail. Said we’d have to go to a pediatric urologist?! He’s simply still in pull us 🙁 now we have a just turned 2yr old son & I don’t even want to try. It seems like what’s the point. Your tips are helpful tho so I’m feeling more optimistic! Thanks!

  8. Milk doesn’t make children want to pee, because up to a certain age, it is still food, not a drink for them. Well, I assume that’s the reason.

  9. My son is 6 and does that same thing. Every single morning he is soaked through his pull up! Doesnt seem to matter how early we stop liquids or if we wake him up! Frustrated. …

  10. Hi I have a two and a bit year old which we are currently working on toilet training ( started November 2015) he is currenting learning day time training but struggling to go to the toilet on time or doesn’t tell me and has accident. Loves his big boy undies. I need some help trying to get him dry quicker my nephew is the same age and fully day trained I know I shouldnt compare ). I am bit scared about nighttime training . I would love him to be outta pull ups (so expensive ) but only use them if really need