Nighttime Potty-Training: The War Has Begun

My son has been fully daytime potty trained for a little over a year. As for nighttime potty-trained, not so much.  With the little guy's fourth birthday only a few weeks away, I've decided it's time to try to ditch the nighttime pull-ups, again.

The first try sucked, I found myself washing the sheets and mattress protector every bloody night. The same goes for the second round training a few months later. Desperate to find a way to make bedtime potty training work, I talked with friends, checked in with leading parent resources and flipped through a few of my parenting books, all pretty much agreed on five things:

1. The child HAS TO BE READY- Night time potty training is more a Physiological Developmental Milestone than a learned skill. Wait until at least a week of waking with dry diapers happens before even thinking about beginning night time training.

2. Get a waterproof mattress pad, and a few disposable puppy pee pads for under the top sheet to make changing the sheets in the middle of the night less painful.

3. Limit liquids before bed.

4. Have child use the potty right before going to bed. 

5. Never shame the child for accidents. Scolding will only cause regression. And no one wants that!  

One "mom tip" I kept seeing was, "Before going to bed, wake your child up and take him/her to the potty.  Do this for 2-weeks straight, and your child will learn to do it on their own."

I'd try it, but I'm afraid I'll never get him back to sleep. The kid is as chatty as me!

The ugly truth is that if physiological barriers are the reason he's going to keep wetting the bed then why not use a diaper? I hate washing the sheets every day! So, I resigned to use diapers, until my son woke up one to two weeks in a row dry.

It's yet to happen. 

Now that he's almost four, and a very bright little guy, I'm starting to wonder if he still wakes up wet because in the middle of the night, he wakes up, realizes he's wearing a diaper, and thinks, screw getting out of this warm bed, here's good.

If that is the case, then I will hate myself for playing into his lazy nighttime routine. 

Just in case that's the case, the nighttime potty-training war has begin. Tonight, is the night.

On his mattress protector, I laid one nighttime pee-pad then put a fitted sheet on top. On top of the fitted sheet, I placed another pee pad with a fitted sheet. This way, if he wets the bed in the night, all I have to do is strip the first layer, or one fitted sheet, off the bed, then change him into dry clothes and plop him back in bed.

I plan to keep this up for a solid week, even if he pisses a pond in his bed every night, I won't stop for 7 days! Then, if necessary, reevaluate at the end. Hopefully, he will be well on his way to dry nights, and me well on my way to NEVER walking down the diaper aisle again. #bliss

Don't worry, I'll let you know how it goes... 

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit