More Potty Questions

Updated on October 29, 2008
A.D. asks from West River, MD
7 answers

Hi there! I've noticed there are a lot of questions lately about potty training, and so I'll ask my own! It's just something I've been thinking about, as my daughter is not nearly ready to start, but we'll probably embark on this journey too sometime in the next year. I get the idea of how to potty train and I've read all the posts...but what about night-time??? There are no mentions about what to do at night. And I read posts about how the "pull-ups" might confuse the process. My daughter loves her crib, doesn't try to crawl out yet, and so we don't know when we'd move her to a big girl bed (maybe when she's 2?). At that point, we had planned to put a small gate in her doorway so she can't wander the halls or get in trouble in the bathroom at night(she tries to turn the bath water on every chance she gets!) So, my question is...if you get the potty training underway during the days, how do you approach night-time? Do they just sleep thru the night and you run them to the bathroom as soon as they wake up? Do they call for you at night when they need to go? Or do some of them go into the bathroom themselves? What about the difficulty of getting PJs off (she loves her "footie" PJs? I know these questions might sound SO ignorant, but I guess that's what this board is for, right? LOL Thanks for humoring me!

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answers from Columbia on

Hi, A..

With my older daughter I mostly used cloth diapers (she was highly allergic to most disposable diapers) and she was waking up dry at 9 months, but she was not ready to potty train. I will say that using cloth diapers made potty training easier for her. We also used training pants with diaper covers (just in case she had an accident). I think that by the time it was all said and done she was 2 1/2. She, too, loved footie jammies, but we switched to night gowns when she woke up to go to the bathroom because they were easier for her to do herself. My last daughter didn't wake up to go potty in the middle of the night...thus she wet the bed long after she was potty trained. Again we switched to nightgowns when we started potting training.

I have potty trained lots of kids (mine and others) and my best piece of advice is to not get too stressed out about it. It will happen when she is ready, if you are stressed out, she will be also. Push too soon and it will end up taking longer. Introduce the potty chair (if that is the route you are taking) when she seems curious or if she is staying dry for long periods of time...let her sit on it with her clothes on, etc. If you aren't going to use a potty chair, they make seats that fit on the toilet so that the opening is toddler size (about $7/$8 at Walmart/Target). I have used both successfully.

Praise, praise, praise...three words that cannot be said enough. Praise her for her efforts even if she doesn't go. Praise her if she tells you that she wants to go. Praise her if she does go. And don't punish her (or use criticisms) if she has accidents.

One other thing that seemed to help the potty training over the years is "positive peer pressure" or, in other words, having a buddy to potty train with. For me it was a neighbor girl that was 6 months older than me and at 18 months I told my mom that I didn't want to wear a diaper anymore. For one of my girls, she wanted to be like her older sisters and wear big girl panties. Many of my childcare children have had someone else to potty train with (sometimes it was friendly compitition).

I hope that something I have said helps. If you have any questions let me know.


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answers from Kansas City on

Hello A.,

I can tell you that we use pull ups at naptime/bedtime and when I know we are going out. Instead of calling them pull ups though we call them "bye bye panties" and "night night panties". My daughter looks at them like they are still panties and she keeps them dry 95% of the time. I don't think there will be confusion as long as you stay consistent by calling the panties/ underwear. We have now successfully been dry a week! She is very proud and happy of herself! Both of my daughters started showing signs that they were ready at 16 months. So we slowly worked with them. My oldest was trained by 23 months and my middle child is now 26 months! You will know. Each child is different. Some pretty easy going some a little more stubborn. Good luck!

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answers from Kansas City on

I'm in the middle of potty training my 23 month old. She is like yours and still in her crib and doesn't try to climb out. We put her in a pull up at night and when she wakes up the first place we take her is the bathroom. Sometimes she is dry and sometimes not. I figure when she is constint in staying dry, then we don't have to put the pull up on. She does use one for nap and has had a few accidents but not many. It all depends on the child. My daughter in the beginning of potty training, would hold it even while she was on the potty. I don't use pull ups during the day, I bought the gerber padded underwear that are washable. I think that helps more because they feel the wetness better. Sorry this is so long and not all of is on your question. :)

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answers from St. Louis on

I havent read your responses so sorry if Im repeating someone. But my first sign that my daughter was ready to potty train when she started waking up with a dry diaper. I would go to change her in the morning and got nothin! I figured if she could go all night without going potty shes ready. It was kinda like she didnt want to pee her pants anymore. My daughter was 2.5 when she was potty trained. She was very smart and you could actually carry on a conversation with her. While we were at home I would put underwear on her and let her know shes not wearing a diaper so she has to tell me when she needs to go potty. Yes she peed her pants a few times but picked up on cause and effect pretty quickly. I also bribed her with a dora sleeping bag that she wanted and she used the potty and never looked back. You will know when shes ready.

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answers from Kansas City on

They aren't silly questions! How are you supposed to know? First, we moved Emme to her big girl bed a month before she turned two. We talked it up for a few weeks and then just put her in it one night. She's been great ever since. We tried the gate to her room, but since we woke earlier than her, she'd wake too early because of us making noise. So I bought doorknob covers so she can't get out, and we have a monitor if she needs anything. As for the nighttime training, we still put a diaper on her during nap and nighttime. It hasn't caused us any confusion, though I'm sure it does/can for some. She sleeps so long and sound that I know she wouldn't wake to go to the bathroom. When it comes to knowing when she's ready, for us, it was best when she could communicate well. We had tried right when she turned two but she just didn't seem to get it. Then we decided that we weren't going to try until she was 2.5 (I had a baby in June and wouldn't have the time until then) but one day in July she just took off her diaper and said, "Here, Mommy. I pee in potty.". And from then on she's been peeing and pooping in the potty.

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answers from Kansas City on

Night time training really isn't something you can train your child, it's something they will mature into. You can help by cutting off liquids, having them go to the bathroom before bedtime and going when they wake up.

I don't think pull-ups at night will confuse your child.

I have a 6 year old who still has accidents at night, I don't make a big deal out of it. I use a plastic sheet under his regular sheet. He hates wearing a pull up, so he has to help change his sheets, it's not for punishment, but just to help train his body.

A few times he's gotten up by himself and went to the restroom.

It's also genetics. I was a late bloomer in staying dry at night.



answers from Kansas City on

I wrote about pull-ups confusing my son, but he wore actual diapers (they stay drier) for about 3 months after we were otherwise completely done with potty training. He really didn't have many accidents at night, so after several days of no wet diaper, we got near the end of that bag. I told him we had just 5 diapers left, so he needed to be ready to wear his big-boy underwear to bed soon. He wasn't ready on nights 1-2, but on night 3, he said okay. We never did use those last 3 diapers! He had only one accident one night, and he did NOT like being wet! Good luck when your daughter is ready.

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