A few months ago I wrote on Babble about our nighttime potty training, and how we tried to have Bella go without Pull Ups at night. At the time she was almost 4, and we talked with her about how one day she wouldn’t need diapers. She seemed ready to give it a try, and there had been a few nights she was able to wake herself up to use the restroom.
It didn’t go so well, and none of us were able to sleep while in the middle of it. We eventually decided to postpone, because it was obvious that she simply wasn’t physically ready to hold it all night or wake herself up to pee and go back to sleep.
I received so much feedback about that post. Emails, messages, comments – it really struck a chord with parents both in the middle of trying and looking back on those days. Since it’s been a while, I thought perhaps I’d update on what happened since then.
Maybe 3 weeks after writing that, Bella went to bed without a Pull Up. I honestly think we ran out, and it was 8pm, and I put the plastic thing under her sheets and crossed my fingers. Either that or I simply forgot. Then we didn’t even wake her up when we went to bed to try and use the bathroom one more time.
(I’ll take that Potty-Training Mother of the Year award now thank you very much. Kidding.)
She not only slept through the night, but woke up in the morning completely dry.
Then again, and again. It’s been 2 and 1/2 months and various situations (like traveling for Christmas) without one single accident. Ever.
I wish I could explain how we/she did it, because I know how hard it is for some kids to get this stage down. Bella has always had an easier time doing things that are physical — the kid can already run a mile non-stop at the age of 4 —but it wasn’t any kind of special parenting or method, she was simply ready to hold it at night. I have no idea how that happened in 3 short weeks, but it did.
The only advice I have for anyone going through this is to wait it out. That’s it. It was the one recommendation given to me time and again from my first post, and it was right. Successful nighttime potty training could be months later, it could be 3 weeks. I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to have an older child in diapers while little ones are too – and yes, it is a relief to finally have that part of the routine over.
In the big picture (here’s where I get all preachy and wistful), it’s a short sacrifice to make when you wait a little longer. I know parents that have pushed their kids to potty train way before they were ready, and it takes significantly longer than just giving that part of growing up a little extra time.
They won’t go to college in Huggies. And if you’re lucky – they might not even go to middle school in them.
Joking. It just seems like that sometimes.
Diana blogs at Diana Wrote about her life with a daughter here and three sons in heaven, life as an army wife, and her faith. You can also find her work on Liberating Working Moms, She Reads Truth, Still Standing Magazine, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post, with smaller glimpses into her day on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.