21 Tips To Potty Train At Nap Time

You know how much of a big deal nap time is if you have a child at home. This is especially true when it comes to your toddler and the whole potty training process. While some children can naturally hold their urine for lengthy periods of time, such as during naps, others require assistance.

You might need some assistance, too, if you want to keep toilet training without upsetting your toddler’s nap pattern. These 21 tips and strategies for potty training at sleep time can make it a little simpler for you and your toddler to nap while toilet training.

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When to drop the nap diaper
21 Tips for Potty Training at Nap Time
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Using rewards for potty training

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Potty Training at Nap Time: When to drop the nap diaper?

One of the main signs of readiness is when your child can hold their urine for the duration of a nap and wake up when they need to go to the toilet, they are ready for nap time potty training.

Many potty-training youngsters hold their urine until their diaper is on, so it’s not as simple as waiting for dry diapers during naps. Instead, use their age and bladder capacity to determine their readiness, which is easier to assess.

Your child’s bladder must be able to send a strong enough signal to their brain to wake them up and notify them they need to go potty in order for them to stay dry while sleeping. Potty training skills improve with age. 


“The older your child gets, the more probable he or she will be able to sleep dry”

21 Tips for Potty Training at Nap Time

girl and teddy on potty

1. Bladder Capacity

So your child is of potty-training age, but is their bladder big enough to endure a complete nap? Although little bladders grow at varying rates, the approximate capacity can be calculated easily.

Age +1 x 30 = Bladder Capacity in Milliliters

In an hour, the kidneys produce roughly 60 millilitres of urine. As a result, a 2-year-old can hold 90 millilitres of pee and remain dry for 12 hours. A 3-year-old could retain 120 millilitres of pee for 2 hours and still be dry.

If your child’s nap is shorter than these times, try potty training during nap time. Stick with diapers for a little longer if they like a long nap.

2. Water

Only provide water or milk for 2 hours before a nap, just like with nighttime toilet training. Juice’s sugars irritate the bladder, making accidents more likely.

boy on potty, mum helping
potty training rewards

3. Confusing Messages

If you tell your child that they’re a big kid now and don’t need diapers, they could be surprised when you put them back in for a nap. Before the first day that you start daytime potty training, figure out what they’ll wear during naps. 

Make it plain right away to avoid any confusion or tantrums later on, especially if you’re toilet training a stubborn boy or girl.

If your child is napping for more than two hours, it may be difficult for them to keep dry. Consider cutting their nap short and waking them up before they have to pee.

For two reasons, accidents are difficult to deal with. For starters, they imply additional laundry and the possibility of having to replace an expensive mattress. 

Second, if your youngster has too many mishaps, it may become the norm. This builds a difficult to break habit. Consider delaying potty training during naps or switching to pull-ups if you’re changing the sheets every day.

Praise and potty training rewards are great motivators for kids. Try a potty training chart and a big cuddle for every dry nap.

BabyBjorn Toilet Training Seat

7. Losing Precious Sleep

Sleep is quite valuable. Every nap is a time to catch up on duties and relax for a few minutes. Rest is equally important for the development and mood of your toddler. They’re unlikely to go down again after a trip to the bathroom if they wake up having to pee.

 Ideally, begin the toilet training nap time process when there are no other major milestones on the horizon.

8. Underwear All Day

There’s no reason to tamper with your toddler’s routine if they’re comfortable in their big kid undies for the rest of the day! Because they’re potty training during naptime, let them go to bed in their underwear.

Using rewards for potty training
potty training day 1

9. Potty Routine

Make it a part of your potty training timetable to incorporate the potty or potty seat into your child’s nap pattern. It should be the final thing they do before going to sleep and the first thing they do when they wake up for your child.

During nap time, you want your child to feel at ease getting out of bed and using the restroom. If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to change the crib to a big kid bed.

Install a potty in your child’s room so that they don’t have to walk all the way to the bathroom when they wake up. This may keep them asleep long enough for them to resume their slumber. 

If they wake up desperate to go, it will at the very least shorten their trip to the bathroom.

My daughter drank water from a sippy cup when she was younger. She stopped drinking water and just sipped to assuage her thirst after I ditched the sippy cup during mealtimes. 

Because she was drinking a normal quantity without the straw, this tremendously helped with bladder control.

13. Try Role-Play

Teach your child what to do if they need to go to the bathroom during a nap. They should be able to get out of bed on their own, use the potty in their room, wipe, and return to bed. Act it out with a dolly or roleplay it together.

14. Holding On

If your child is retaining their urine for hours and hours after the diapers are removed, this may be a more serious problem than whether or not to nap diaper. 

Reach out for help if you’re seeing increasing reluctance or anxiety around using the potty, since you don’t want your toddler to develop a habit of holding their urine for too long, or past the point of comfort.

boy on potty, mum helping
potty training rewards

15. Bare Bottoms

If your child is older than two, put them down for a nap with a bare bottom. Naked potty training will override their muscle memory and teach them not to pee in bed because it feels so different from using diapers.

It’s also critical that you make sure your child has completely empty their bladder before putting them down for a sleep. It’s a vital part of the process, according to Karen Deerwester of The Potty Training Answer Book

Every day, practise with them so they understand that peeing or pooping before a nap is expected – and so that there are no power struggles next time you try!

Using training pants instead of underwear is an excellent choice if your child is under the age of two and has a lot of accidents. They’re absorbent big kid trousers that don’t feel like diapers, so muscle memory won’t be triggered. 

They will not, however, absorb as much pee as a diaper, so expect leaks.

We recommend that you start placing them back on the potty chair right after they wake up. Add a few potty routines to their daily schedule – have them sit on the potty chair after a sleep if they have a dry diaper.

potty training day 1

19. Double Wrapped Bed

Double-wrapping the bed can help you avoid any mishaps. A waterproof layer, sheet, second waterproof layer, and second sheet should all be used. Remove the top two layers after an accident and voila! You’ll have a bed that’s already made for you.

20. Don't Punish For Wetness

If a reward is presented thereafter, some children, especially those approaching the age of three, may be enticed to use the potty. 

If your child is ready to toilet train anyway, stickers, little incentives, a trip to the library or park, or playing a favourite game together may work nicely. The incentive encourages a child to continue pursuing abilities that might otherwise be uninteresting to him.

potty training rewards
potty training 1 year old

21. Switch Up Brands

It’s fine to use diapers if your child wets his or her pants every nap time, even if he or she is wearing training pants. Changing the brand or style is an excellent idea. Instead of using their diaper, the different sensation may prompt them to get up and go potty.

Frequently Asked Questions

boy on potty, mum helping
  • How long should a child sit on the potty when potty training?
    A: If you sit on the toilet for too long, your child may not have enough time to go. Your child may believe they are spending all day in the restroom if they sit for too long. We propose 3-5 minute sits because they provide enough time for children to feel a sense of urgency while also not making sitting something they want to avoid.
  • How do I potty train my child to nap?
    A: Teach your child what to do if they need to go to the bathroom during a nap. They should be able to get out of bed on their own, use the potty in their room, wipe, and return to bed. Act it out with a dolly or roleplay it together. If your child is older than two, put them down for a nap with a bare bottom.
  • Should you wake toddler to pee?
    A: When you retire to bed, don’t wake up your youngster to go to the bathroom. It won’t help with bedwetting and will only make your child’s sleep more difficult. When your child wets the bed, make sure they wash it thoroughly the next morning so there is no odour.
  • Can potty training cause sleep regression?
    A: Potty training can cause sleep regressions in two ways. First, potty training makes your toddler more aware of the sensation of needing to use the bathroom. This awareness alone can cause more night wakings. Second, parents make getting to the bathroom before an accident happens a priority

Recommended Resources

Toddler Having Accidents At Nap Time? What To Do About It:

  • It’s a good idea to ask your child to use the restroom before naptime to make sure they won’t need to use it while they are sleeping. The remainder of their naptime activities can then be completed in their room. Having a pattern teaches children to empty their bladder before bed and reduces accidents during naps.
potty seat

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My Toddler Life is run by mum’s, for mum’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!

Next step, nighttime potty training! 

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