Nighttime Potty Training For Heavy Sleepers: 21 Simple Tricks

nighttime potty training for heavy sleepers

Nighttime Potty Training For Heavy Sleepers: Let’s be honest: nighttime potty training puts the fear in all of us. There are so many different opinions, strategies and methods out there, it can be hard to decide where to start – and when. As parents of toddlers ourselves, we’ve been through this journey and are here to share with you the best 21 tips for easy nighttime potty training for your heavy sleeper.

Table of Contents

When Should We Start Nighttime Potty Training?

Achieve Daytime Dryness Before Trying

nighttime potty training

When it comes to nighttime potty training, daytime potty training is an apparent first step

Despite the fact that our firstborn began using the potty before she turned two, she didn’t start wearing underpants full-time until a few months before her fourth birthday, when she opted to quit using diapers.

It may seem impossible at times, but with a little perseverance, your child will be daytime potty trained in no time!

(However, even after a child has been properly potty trained, accidents can occur if they are too preoccupied with their activity and are unable to make it to the bathroom in time.) It’s quite typical!)

Don’t Start Too Early

Starting the process might be stressful for both you and your child. You may have created expectations that you weren’t even aware of. So, when is the best time to begin nighttime potty training?

To begin, abandon the notion that children must be potty trained at night by a specific age. We both know that each child develops at his or her own rate, and toilet training is no exception!

Signs Of Readiness

toddler on toilet at night
  1. Does your child wake up dry at least once a week?
  2. Do they have a lot of trouble sleeping? You may want to consider an alarm if they are wet every morning and a heavy sleeper.
  3. Check the wee to see if it is warm if they wake up wet. (Sorry, but it’s a decent way to figure it out.) Are they peeing right before or right after they wake up?
  4. Does your child want to give it a shot?

Let Them Lead The Way

You may still encourage your child in a variety of ways even if you’re utilising a child-led method. For example, read books about potty training together, such as “P” is for Potty.

Maintain a pleasant attitude so that your child does not identify bathroom time with a bad experience.

We talked about how our daughter would start wearing underpants full-time when we moved a lot before we moved.

What do you know, she wanted to start going to the restroom the day we moved into our new residence.

She also discontinued the overnight diapers (at her request!) after a few weeks.

Choose A Time Of Low-Stress To Start Nighttime Potty Training

happy toddler running

Are you planning to start overnight potty training as soon as your baby arrives? Don’t.

What about right before or right after a move? Nope.

Is it the first week of school? Scratch that as well.

You must find a convenient time for both you and your youngster. You’ll be able to handle the extra wake-ups and laundry if you choose a less hectic period.

If you’re attempting to save money by toilet training at night, I’m going to tell you right now: it doesn’t save you that much money. The extra detergent and water for the linens rapidly add up.

By What Age Should My Child Be Dry Overnight?

There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. Some children will naturally begin to sleep dry at night sooner than others.

When it comes to overnight toilet training, three-and-a-half to four years old seems to be about average – my daughter was in this range.

If your child has been potty trained for some time but is still peeing the bed at the age of five or six, what should you do? There could be a variety of causes for bedwetting, and you’ll want to discover out what’s causing it before trying to repair it.

Should I Wake My Toddler Up For The Toilet?

toddler asleep at nightime

Your Heavy Sleeper Probably Can’t Wake Themselves Up

This is a huge tip.

When you’re irritated that your child can’t seem to stop having accidents at night, remember that they just can’t help themselves. They can’t, no matter how hard they try.

They have no recollection of the incident.

Don’t blame your child for your midnight potty training troubles. It will simply make them feel bad about something they can’t change.

Be Brave & Wake Up Your Child To Go Just Before YOU Go To Bed

Your success will be determined by the youngster. My daughter was able to get able to get up and use the toilet when needed.

What about my son? I’ve tried multiple times and have only had one success, which was a near-miss. I anticipated him to pee all over the bathroom floor because he was so irritated at being awakened. Thankfully, he decided to flush it down the toilet instead.

You might have better success with this strategy if you have a super-obedient youngster and start younger than I did.

Tips For Nighttime Potty Training

happy toddler potty training

Number 1 Tip: Make The Potty Easy To Get To!!!

Make it simple for your youngster to use the restroom in the middle of the night. You might want to keep his potty close by if the restroom is a little far away. Provide him with a night light that will not disrupt his sleep but will allow him to see in the dark. To avoid bumping into things when going to the restroom, keep toys, chairs, and other items out of the way.

Make Sure You Are Mentally Prepared

It’s critical that both you and your child psychologically prepare for the next step in potty training. Mom will need a lot of patience, and youngster will need a lot of motivation! Tell him it’s entirely natural to have the urge to pee in the middle of the night, and that it happens to everyone.

If he’s pleased with himself for completing daytime training quickly, he may become disheartened when he discovers that nighttime training is taking longer than intended. Prepare him ahead of time so he isn’t disappointed in himself.

Preparation Is Key

Is this the appropriate moment for you and your child? Don’t begin just before the baby’s due date or a week before school begins. You’ll get up in the middle of the night to change a wet bed, you’ll feel exhausted, and there will be more laundry as a parent. Additionally, your child may have a restless night’s sleep, so choose a time that is convenient for both of you.

Some children believe that when the nappy is removed, they will wake up dry. It’s a good idea to mention that there may be mishaps and that the process may take some time. Discuss how frequent it is and how it is something that everyone goes through. To minimise your laundry load, get some Brolly Sheet bed pads.

Brolly Sheets are a simple bed pad that protects your mattress and is easy to change. They’re waterproof, with a one-of-a-kind 100 percent soft cotton top, and can be changed in seconds at 2 a.m. The various colours and designs make it simple for your child to “buy in.”

Explain to your youngster that while Brolly Sheets are attractive, they are designed to be weeded on. It’s not a big thing, and it’ll help everyone fall back to sleep more quickly. Check if their pyjamas are easy to put on and take off.

Use A Nightlight…Or Two


There are two reasons why a night light is beneficial. If your child does wake up and need to use the restroom, they will be able to see where they are going. We take things for granted sometimes, such as going around in a dark house at night, therefore a night light makes the house less frightening in the dark.

A night light also eliminates the need to use the brighter ceiling light if you need to get up and change your bed. Hopefully, you’ll be able to swiftly change the bed and your child’s pyjamas without having to fully awaken.

Invest In A Quality Mattress Protector

You’ll want to be ready for bedwetting once your child starts wearing underwear to bed. It might or might not happen, but it’s very likely!

If your child sleeps on a toddler bed with a plastic mattress, cleaning up is quite simple. Unfortunately, coming from my experience, if they urinate on a cloth mattress, it’s not so simple.

If your child sleeps on a conventional fabric mattress, a good, water-resistant mattress protector is a must.

And A Bedwetting Alarm!

Have a child who is well past the time of potty training but still wets the bed at night?

A bedwetting alarm is a sensor that detects urine and wakes the child (and parent) up so that they can finish urinating in the bathroom.

Of course, you’ll want to be sure there aren’t any other concerns causing the bedwetting before investing in one (such as a UTI or constipation).

We haven’t had to use one of these alarms yet, but I’ve heard nothing but positive things about them.

Cut Back The Liquids Just Before Bed

You get to choose how strict you want to be on this one.

We cut back to only one or two sips of water in the two hours before bed with my kid, who is a heavy sleeper, after six months of accidents practically every.single.night. Although this helped, she continued to have accidents every other night for the next two months.

If you do allow a small drink before night, I recommend enforcing a one-hour double potty rule. That has finally made a difference in my son’s ability to reduce and/or eliminate mishaps.

A Bedtime Routine Will Help

A decent nighttime regimen will assist. Set a consistent bedtime for your child every night because if she has late nights and becomes overtired, her brain will have a harder time receiving the signal to get up and go to the bathroom. Make sure your child goes to the bathroom and has a “good wee” before bedtime.

This is a section that some children rush over. While your child is on the toilet, sit down and explain to him that his bladder is like a plastic bag that he needs to empty before going to bed. Persuade them to take it slowly. It’s also a good idea to remind them if they wake up in the middle of the night and aren’t feeling well.

Use Pull-Ups or Training Pants Overnight

toddler playing with toilet paper

While some individuals are opposed to using pull-ups, I found them to be an excellent tool for potty training, especially when combined with slip-on diapers.

Normal diapers are a nuisance to take off and put back on when they need to go to the bathroom. Pull-ups and slip-on diapers make going to the bathroom a breeze.

So, even if they’re wearing underwear during the day, there’s no harm in using diapers or pull-ups at night until your child is completely dry.

If your child is anything like mine, they’ll insist on wearing their favourite underpants to bed…when they’re ready.

Don’t Expect The World

If your child has never slept through the night before, it will take some time and there will almost certainly be accidents. Because their bladders are so little, you’ll want to keep your expectations in check!

In fact, many individuals with small bladders need to get up and pee in the middle of the night. Our bladders get better at notifying our brains when they need to be emptied during the night as we get older.

Of course, some older children who still wet the bed at night are heavy sleepers who may require some assistance from a third party.

You might try something like a bedwetting alarm if there isn’t an underlying cause.

Troubleshooting: When They Wet The Bed

toddler in bed

Is Wetting The Bed Normal?

Some mothers wonder when their children will stop wetting the bed. Honestly? Only time will tell if this is true. These accidents will become more common as your child progresses through the potty training process, but they can also occur in older children.

My oldest, for example, had nightmares and soiled the bed frequently until he was six years old.

To address your original question, the answer is yes. It is extremely common for children to pee the bed. As a parent, it’s your job to figure out why and what the best course of action is.

Why Is My Child Wetting The Bed?

Do you have a child who has been potty trained during the day but wets the bed on a regular basis at night?

Bedwetting can be caused by a variety of factors, including a urinary tract infection, constipation, or, more typically, an inability to identify a full bladder.

Among the more serious reasons are:

  • Hormone imbalance
  • Diabetes
  • Defect in the urinary tract

It’s a good idea to see your paediatrician if you’re not sure why your child is wetting the bed.

Clean Up Quickly & Without Making A Big Deal

toddler running on bed

While it’s understandably difficult to clean up another accident without becoming upset, making your child feel ashamed will only make potty training at night more difficult.

Some youngsters may even fight and wish to go back to using diapers.

Maintain a neutral stance and tidy up as quickly as possible. You could even tell your child that mistakes happen and that they can always try again later.

Nighttime Potty Training Resources

Nighttime Potty Training FAQs

  1. At what age should a child be fully potty trained at night? While there is no one-size-fits-all age for nighttime toilet training, the average age is around 3 years old, or whenever your child remains dry during the day and has accidents seldom.
  2. Should I wake my child to go to the toilet at night? Don’t wake your child up to pee when you go to bed. It doesn’t help with bedwetting and will just disrupt your child’s sleep. When your child wets the bed, help them wash well in the morning so that there is no smell.
  3. When should my child stop wearing nappies at night? Most children are regularly dry during the day by the age of four. It’s common for nighttime potty training to take longer than daytime potty training. Between the ages of three and five, most youngsters learn how to stay dry at night.
  4. How do I potty train my 3 year old at night? Use diapers or Pull-Ups at night for your own and your child’s safety. Put them on after she’s asleep or use disposable training pants if she’s used to wearing underwear during the day and doesn’t want to go back to diapers at night. To protect the mattress, you might also use a rubber sheet.

Why trust My Toddler Life?

My Toddler Life is run by mom’s, for mom’s. All information provided on our site is thoroughly researched and takes in to consideration our lived experiences and the opinions of industry professionals. How are we different from other sites doing the same thing? We have fun while doing it (often with a glass of wine in hand) and don’t take ourselves too seriously!

Nighttime Potty Training for Heavy Sleepers: To wrap it all up…

Hopefully the above information gives you a great starting place, if not to help guide you the whole way through the joy that is nighttime potty training.

Remember – there is no hard or fast rule that says when to start and what you will or won’t need – and you know your child best!! So take your time, take a deep breath, have a glass of wine and be patient ! GOOD LUCK!!


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