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How to Potty Train a Toddler at Night

By Heather Topham Wood ; Updated June 13, 2017

Most children learn to become potty trained during the day several months or years before nighttime training is mastered. When you potty train a toddler at night, you are encouraging them to sleep through the night in underwear without having an accident. Keep in mind that he may not be ready right away to be trained at night. His body may not be at the level to wake up and relieve himself at night. Speak to your pediatrician if you have any problems while potty training your toddler at night.

  1. Check his diaper in the mornings. If your toddler is staying dry through the night on most mornings, then he is probably ready to be potty trained at night.

  2. Place a waterproof mattress pad on his bed. Your toddler is likely to have some accidents during the process and you should protect the mattress of his bed.

  3. Limit liquids at bedtime. Serve his last drink of the day about an hour before he goes to bed. If he needs a drink to soothe him to sleep, you may have difficulty training him to hold it throughout the night.

  4. Encourage him to use the bathroom before he drifts off to sleep. Take him to the bathroom before bed to see if he’ll empty his bladder. Place him in underwear and let him know that he is wearing them.

  5. Leave a nightlight on for him. If the bathroom is nearby, you can allow him to access it in case he wakes up and needs to use the bathroom. You can also encourage him to wake you up if he needs to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

  6. Handle accidents in a calm manner. The child may be upset when he wakes up and finds himself soiled. Soothe the child while you wash him and put him in clean and dry clothing. You should have clean bedding nearby so that you can change it quickly before putting him back to sleep.

  7. Use disposable diapers or pull-ups. If your child is having more than two or three accidents weekly, you may want to hold off on training. You can resume potty training at night in a few weeks or months.

  8. Tip

    After accidents, you may decide to bring the child into your bed. You may want to consider placing a towel under him while he sleeps or a pull-up diaper over the top of his underwear in case he has another accident.

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