Why We’re Postponing Nighttime Potty Training Indefinitely

Image source: Thinkstock
Image source: Thinkstock

Potty training Bella was a dream. It took a few days and that was it. She has been daytime diaper-free since she was 2 1/2. No drama, no fuss. When she realized she could reach the big potty, she started going in there too. By herself.

I know several friends that have really struggled with potty training, so I don’t take that easy milestone for granted.

I appreciate it even more now that we’ve tried to do nighttime training.

It’s been a disaster.

I didn’t bring it up until a few months ago when she was getting ready for bed and I casually said, “One night you won’t need a diaper anymore.” We talked about what that meant and how her daddy and I didn’t wear diapers to bed (but give us 50 years and we might).

About 2 weeks ago, I decided that she might be ready. I don’t know what made me think that, as we’d had maybe a dry overnight diaper twice in her life by accident. I think it was mostly her age and the call of, “she should be nighttime trained,” that was ringing in the back of my head. So we laid down the pad under the sheet and had her use the bathroom, and again around 11 PM when we went to sleep. At 2 AM we heard a little voice:

“Mommy, I peed the bed.”

Bella is incredibly sensitive to embarrassing things, so for her to have peed the bed and be all wet from it was the equivalent of devastation. I assured her it was okay, we changed her and put on a Pull-Up®, and she crawled into bed with us. Then she spent an hour tossing and turning while whispering to the dark.

I figured this would happen until we got the hang of it, but surely it would only be a few nights … right?

Seven sleepless nights later, she was waking up sooner and more often. And I realized that now she was unable to sleep because of the anticipation of wetting the bed. I was doing laundry and giving her a bath every morning, Sam wasn’t sleeping well because he was being woken up 3-4 times a night, and we were all grouchy and tired. I finally thought: “You know what? We have enough going on in our lives. Nighttime potty training can wait. She’s not going to go to college in a Pull-Up®.”

So I told her that we’d be using Pull-Ups® again for a while. Sam and I told her that her body has been telling all of us that it wasn’t ready to wake up and pee yet, which was totally okay. That night we all slept straight through. She’s never mentioned it.

I think that I’ll wait until we see a consistently dry diaper and then try again.

When did you all know your child was ready for nighttime potty training?


Article Posted 3 years Ago

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