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Daytime Potty Training is Different Than Nighttime Dryness

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Last Updated: 03/03/21
Read Time: 2 minutes

Does your child regularly use the potty during the day but still soak the bed at night? Don’t despair. Even for children who are potty trained at about age 3, it’s common that they may not become dry at night until about age 7 or 8. So what — if anything — can you do to speed up the process? Is there a secret for how to nighttime potty train?

Nighttime Dryness: It's Not the Same as Daytime Potty Training

Nighttime dryness is a totally different process than daytime potty training and typically lags by at least 4-6 months, if not a few years. It’s not as simple as getting serious about night time potty training. That’s because it’s almost completely biological. A little switch in the brain slows down the production of urine at night, but that switch only comes online when it’s good and ready. Experts think it’s hereditary, which is why the age of nighttime dryness often runs in families. Also, most children who experience nighttime wetting are super-deep sleepers, so they may not naturally wake when their bladder is full.

Many parents are afraid that something must be wrong if their little one still needs nighttime protection. But for the vast majority of the time, wetting at night is totally normal and very common – even more common than wearing glasses, braces or snoring! For all children who aren’t yet dry by age 4, it’s recommended that you meet with their pediatrician. For the vast majority of children, the pediatrician will confirm that there are no health issues to worry about.

Nighttime Potty Training Tips

Because nighttime dryness is almost always related to physical development, there aren’t simple tips you can use to train your child to stay dry at night. So whether you’ve been searching for nighttime potty training for heavy sleepers or ways to “fix” nighttime wetting, you aren’t going to find clear, evidence-based solutions with a simple online search. Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic cure. Your doctor may recommend some steps such as dealing with constipation or avoiding sugary drinks before bed. But in general, your focus should be on making sure your child knows bedwetting is common, it’s not their fault and they will grow out of it when their body’s ready. Keep communication open about the topic, and be sure to listen. Ask your child how they’re feeling, and, if you wet the bed when you were a child, share your experience.

Also, find ways to keep your child comfortable during the night. Goodnites® NightTime Underwear are designed to keep your child’s pajamas and sheets dry throughout the night — something that will make them feel better and help you avoid big loads of laundry in the morning.

While you and your child may certainly feel ready to move on — especially after the success of finishing potty training — know that it will happen in time. Just like children learn to read or walk at different ages, their bladders develop at different ages. And until that happens for your child, just be sure to show lots of patience. Remember that bedwetting it’s their fault and there’s nothing they can do to stop it. There are, however, ways you can strengthen your relationship by showing lots of love and support right now.