Nighttime Potty Training


Potty training, and night sleep, can you have both?

This is a question that has come up often lately, should I attempt night training, and how do I decide what is more important, sleep or potty training? Of course, that depends on your little ones’ readiness and mama’s readiness to potentially give up on precious sleep. Night time potty training is something that seems to come naturally for some little ones, and can take longer for others. Several factors play into that, genetics, developmental readiness, having a “deep sleeper”, how much water is consumed prior to bedtime, and how much or if any water is consumed during the night, so many things to consider!

I have been in the potty training trenches for a few years, and I’m hoping to start potty training my youngest in the spring. My daughter potty trained at 3.5 years old, with the birth of my middle son I wasn’t in a hurry, and thought it would be best to wait until he was born. Truthfully that was the right decision for her, she wasn’t ready until then and potty training came easily at that point. When she potty trained, she also took to nights no problem, I actually don’t think she’s ever had an accident in bed since being potty trained! My middle son (who has always been so ambitious) wanted to potty train at 21 months. At the time, I was worried about how young he was, he wasn’t talking much, and I had no idea how it would go, but it did go very well! I followed the three-day method with him (I will attach a link for that book at the end) and I was amazed at how fast he caught on, during the day. At the time, I was 8 months pregnant with my third and I did continue to use pull ups at night (I really didn’t want to give up on sleep at that point, and rolling out of bed was hard enough given all the times I had to pee in the night!)

Night training for him hasn’t been as successful. He has been successfully day trained for a year and a half, but recently has been asking to ditch the pull-ups and work on night potty training. He is such a deep sleeper at night, and about 90% of the time his pullup would be wet in the morning, so I was really scared about how his sleep would be affected. An interesting fact is that biologically children produce urine almost at the same rate at night as they do during the day, because they do not produce as much of the anti-diuretic hormone (which slows urine production) as adults do, and there isn’t really a timeline that states when this happens, it’s individual. Not surprisingly night potty training has affected his night sleep, it triggers night terrors sometimes when his bladder is full, or he will forget to wake up to pee and is upset that he had an accident. This pattern is so typical for a little one who isn’t 100% ready, and that’s ok! We tried, he is very proud of his efforts, but sometimes he has accidents, and that’s ok. I am going to continue to encourage him to go pullup free, because he is a very determined little man. Some nights though, mama is too tired, or daddy is on night shift, or I am too far behind on laundry, that the best option for all of us is a pullup, and that’s ok too!

Moral of the story, will nighttime potty training affect sleep? Yes absolutely! It is very similar to other sleep progressions as it is a leap in their development! Is it worth losing sleep to nighttime potty train before your little one is ready, no!! I always rank sleep higher than potty training! I know hard hard it can be, but I promise it’s not worth rushing it!

Have any more questions about sleep and potty training, let’s connect below!


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