When your child is dry in the day but having accidents at night, these overnight potty training tips will help. Your potty trained child may wet the bed for years, but remember that this is normal. While you can do things to help, you can’t force their body to be ready before it is developmentally ready.
You may have put so much effort into potty training your child during the day, only to find that the nighttime bed wetting never went away. This is very normal. But here are some potty training tips that will help.
15 Overnight Potty Training Tips
- Some children have weak bladders and sleep deeply…a bad combination for bedwetting. ~ Heather Miller
- Have them tested for allergies. Our ENT told us that this was a huge problem with bed wetters.
- Nocturnal enuresis (nighttime bed wetting) can be normal in preteens and teens. It can depend on different/multiple things: genetics (chromosomes 13, 12, & 8 have been identified to indicate delayed nighttime bladder control), bladder maturation (the brain and bladder have to communicate that the bladder is full and for the brain to wake the child up), and decreased hormone (ADH) that begins production at different ages for everyone — this hormone is secreted at night to decrease urine production which decreases nighttime urination. If a child does not have enough of this hormone then they make the same amount of urine at night as they do during the day which can increase risk of bed wetting. ~ Denise Tate
- Around 7 years old, if the parents or doctors are concerned, they could prescribe a medication that increases ADH production at night, to stop bedwetting (you could give it only for sleepovers or on nights where you need them to be dry).
- Check for sleep apnea. Our doctors told us that this could cause nighttime wetting.
- 5% of children are still not night-time trained by age 10, so know that you aren’t the only one.
- Don’t offer any drinks for two hours before bed.
- Use Goodnights or night-training pants (they look more like regular underwear and your child can slip them on by themselves.) Our child tried this and complained that they were uncomfortable, but they would work for a sleepover.
- “I used to wake mine up an hour or so once they had gone to bed and literally carry her to the toilet. Then again before I went to bed. After a couple nights of carrying her, she understood that it was toilet time and would walk with me to the toilet.” ~ Claire Lerwill
- While you could wake them before you go to bed, remember to check with your doctor first. Our doctor didn’t want us to do this because our son was small for his age and this was disrupting the sleep that he needed for growth.
- Do not shame your child. They can’t control it and may already feel self-conscious about it.
- Get a full waterproof pad to protect their bed, and then let them try to go a week without diapers (if they are asking or insisting). The wet pajamas are sometimes all that they need to learn to recognize the need to go.
- “I got up 2-3 times a night and woke my kids up so they could go potty. Within a week or two they got themselves up when needed.” ~ Rachel Bynes
- “The best solution is DON’T STRESS — children feed from your anxieties. Bedwetting is a perfectly normal stage that I would suggest almost all parents have had to deal in varying degrees and stages. When I was trying to get my son dry at night, despite getting him up to go to the toilet whilst he was asleep he would still wet more often than not. Our solution was a star chart — every night he managed to not wet the bed, he would proudly place his sticker on knowing that if he managed a full week of being dry, he could choose a prize. We never looked back and he never has wet since.” ~Charlotte Rocco’s Mumma G
- Read about how to specifically potty train them in a weekend (there is a full chapter on night-training).
There are three main things that we stress about, that will all (usually) get better with time: potty training, sleeping and eating. There are things that you can do to encourage your child with all of these things, but don’t become too worried… time will be your best friend. You can find more potty training tips here or you can stop by our Facebook page to see what other parents are saying about this topic and more.