Nighttime potty training 18 months - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 02-03-2012, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't even know where to start.  DD, 18 months, goes diaper-free around the house (except for naps when she does not pee) and she consistently uses the potty.  We've just started panties (can't find any affordable reusable trainers in her size) and she thinks she can go in those still...  Anyway, our nighttime diapering is failing marvelously.  We're talking major leakage.  Amazingly I am able to strip off her clothes and diapers and put a fresh one on her without waking her but then I have to wash the sheets in the AM.  Where do I even start helping her use the potty at night?  She wakes up a bit during the night and I assume it's to pee or because she's already wet.  What kind of diapering system should we use?  We have bumgenius and have been putting bummis whisper wraps over those in an attempt to keep leaks contained...


Thanks a bunch!

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#2 of 9 Old 02-03-2012, 10:54 PM
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We are still working on night time training with our son (I don't know the computer shorthand) who is 23 months.  We started underpants at 18months from cloth diapers (just prefolds) and using disposable pull up trainers at night (because someone gave us a bunch).  It was a dream!  He was using the potty consistently throughout the day, once before bed, and then first thing in the morning.  Then I thought that we should try putting him back in cloth at night so that when he did have an accident (about once a week or so) he would notice it right away and be uncomfortable and wake up.  Well, that was my idea at least!  As soon as I put the diaper on him he said, "Diaper?  Pee-pee in diapers!"  And proceeded to do just that.  We went to the potty, we talked about how he uses the pot all of the time now and the diaper is just for sleep, he seemed to understand.  But for the next week he peed in the diaper shortly after he went to sleep every night, and I would wake up twice in the night to change him.  It seems that if he is in a diaper, he is going to use it!  So, we are currently back on disposable trainers(he calls them underpants) at night with only a couple of mishaps.  But now I have a new routine... As usual we potty before bed, but then I pick him up and set him on the pot before I go to sleep usually several hours later (sometimes he doesn't even open his eyes, but he pees), and then sometimes lately he still wakes me and we go again at 4am or so, then again in the morning.  I haven't been getting the best sleep (partly my own insomnia) but he has started to say "Mama pee-pee" at 4am rather than just fussing a little and then me feeling a wet spot.  So, the lack of sleep has its upside.


As far as trainers go... have you looked on line?  We have a couple of pair from Lapsaky (they were the smallest my Mama could find and they were a gift from her) and they are pricey but really well made!  Also, I have heard of, but never tried babyMISHA trainers for infants and up.  As for nighttime leakage, have you tried putting in doublers?  Or folding a prefold and using it as a doubler?  I read a blog earlier that suggested layering bedding as follows:  plastic fitted sheet/waterproof sheet, fitted sheet, plastic fitted sheet/waterproof sheet, fitted sheet, etc. as many times as you typically need in one night for quick clean up.  I have friends who use a felted wool pad under a sheet for their bed wetting child.  It wicks away moisture and keeps the child warm and wool is antimicrobial, antibacterial and all sorts of good stuff when lanonized, and supposedly easy to clean.  I think we may try this next, with plain old cotton trainers.  Oh, and get another potty for the bedroom so it is super easy access!


Good luck!

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#3 of 9 Old 02-03-2012, 11:21 PM
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I have heard that night training is hormonal--at some point (and it varies widely) children are ready to hold it through the night because of a urine-production-suppressing hormone. 

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#4 of 9 Old 02-04-2012, 07:18 AM
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Night time dryness is hormonal related, they are either dry or they aren't. You can do the wake them up method but I personally prefer to let them and me sleep since that could very well go on for years. Night time wetting is considered normal until after age 6. Half of all 3 years can't make it through the night. So yeah, very common!

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#5 of 9 Old 02-04-2012, 08:54 AM
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Nighttime training is so very difficult! My middle son was very hard to train for nighttime waking and we eventually had to use a little alarm system (called a Night Train'r) so when he bagan to wet an alarm would sound, but your baby girl is way too young to be that concerned at this point!

I would say to make sure you limit her choice in drinks after dinner time to just water, and try a good quality mattress protector over the sheets.

We like this one in my house:

Best of luck...time and patience are required, but she will be waking up dry every morning soon, and this will just be a distant memory!

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#6 of 9 Old 02-04-2012, 11:07 PM
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I think that having an 18 month old that is using a potty during the day is a great achievement but I wouldn't push it at night. She's way on the early end of the developmental spectrum for PL, and that's a learned behavior she's awake to remember, you know what I mean? Learning to control nightwetting is totally different. I would look into ways to keep her dry in her night diapers, rather than look for ways for her to make it to the potty at night. I'd keep on with the pottying right before bed and right when she wakes up because it's a good habit, but I would still expect she's going to wet for a good long time still. I also second the disposable night diapers.

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#7 of 9 Old 02-09-2012, 09:13 PM
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We went cold turkey for potty learning and night time potty learning and the first night she peed in her bed.  The second night I had her potty in her room and the monitor turned way up and as soon as I heard her stir, I ran in and asked her if she wanted to go 'pee pee in the potty"...she said yes and I quickly sat her on the potty and she went immediately! this was actually her first success in our potty training journey so I tried to praise her quietly. I was so excited to say the least.  She didn't pee again until she woke up that morning. 

i did the same thing the following night and she has been dry for 4 nights in a row(she sleeps 12 hours and nurses throughout the night).  


I think your right in thinking that she wakes during the night to pee, but you probably miss it and when you get to her it's too late.  Maybe try going to her immediately when you hear her begin to stir.  Tonight is the first night we put underwear on our little one so we'll see how that goes! good luck mama!


Cloth diapering, Babywearing, Breastfeeding first time mama! Our bundle of joy was born June 15, 2010
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#8 of 9 Old 02-22-2012, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your replies.  I didn't see in my e-mail that this thread was getting replies!


I just took her diaper off at night and she sleeps on top of two waterproof blankets.  I try to take her to the potty when she squirms or fusses at night but she doesn't want to sit on the potty or she just sleeps there : P  Usually towards the early morning she will finally tinkle.  It's so shocking!  She used to pee through a diaper with two extra overnight layers and now she can hold it all night?


We still have trouble with the poops during the day and we need to panty train but at least she is 100% potty-trained, when she is diaper-free.

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#9 of 9 Old 02-24-2012, 12:22 PM
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We are also diaper free at home during the day, though having a little regression with potty using.... But at night we are using the workhorse diaper from with various covers. Works GREAT! Our BG's always leak at night. These are awesome! They are like having 2 prefolds on. I highly highly recommend them at night. They run a little small. My 25lb almost 18 month old wears brown edges. 

- Mom to Baby Mark (9/18/10) and 4 wonderful dogs!
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