Potty Training: How to Teach Your Child Not to Wet the Bed at Night

Just when you thought you had potty-training under control...



I’m still figuring out how to tackle the whole nighttime bathroom thing with Coraline. To be honest, I kind of thought she would’ve just spontaneously stopped needing to sleep in diapers a long time ago — she’s been potty trained for well over a year-and-a-half. But alas, she still needs them. Since I’m waking up once or twice a night to change a wet diaper anyway, I figure I might as well just take her to the bathroom and save some money by not having to buy diapers anymore (the final vestige of my baby’s babyhood)!

The nighttime potty learning seems trickier than daytime; how do you teach a toddler to wake up when they have to go? So my plan of attack is one of elimination: Part of our weaning trade-off was a sippy of rice milk at bedtime. This cup rarely, if ever, made it past stories, and it occurred to me that she was more just in the habit of filling her belly with milk than thirsty. And this giant intake of fluid (often followed by water, depending on the night) pretty much guarantees she’ll pee many times before daylight. So over the past two weeks I’ve slowly reduced the amount of milk she gets at bedtime, from a full cup to finally, tonight, none. I let her keep about four ounces of water beside the bed in case she does get thirsty, but it’s often still there in the morning. Once she makes it through several consecutive nights without a wet diaper, we’re going to just go for it and try without one. I’m hoping it’s as simple as that. OK, really I’m convincing myself it’s as simple as that.

To those moms out there who’ve transitioned their toddlers out of diapers at night: am I missing any crucial steps or considerations? Is there a magic something I must be sure to do?

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About This Blog

Shannon Gallagher

Shannon Gallagher
Rhinebeck, NY


Dutchess County native Shannon Gallagher is a contributing editor for Hudson Valley Magazine. An erstwhile thrill-seeker, these days she courts disaster of a different variety wrangling a spirited toddler, honing her vegan baking skills, and chasing the ever-elusive work-family balance. She teaches Pilates and does fascial bodywork, and lives in Rhinebeck with Coraline, a cat named Otie, and Sushi the Fish (named, of course, by the toddler).

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