When Do You Limit Fluids at Night?

Updated on May 25, 2010
D.H. asks from Dresher, PA
11 answers

I am in the beginning stages of potty training. Gabby is 22 months and i've reduced her milk to roughly 16 ounces a day with the last 8 ounces after dinner. She was drinking too much milk and not eating enough so the doctor told me to subsitute water in place of all the extra milk. i'm just wondering if i should cut all liquids after 7 or 7:30 pm? She generally eats dinner and snacks between 4 and 6:30, followed by her 8 oz milk. I am not doing overnights, or pull ups yet. i just want her to get the hang of the potty first but i also don't want her to wake up in the middle of the night with a full bladder and try to get out of her diaper. Do you think 7:30 is a good time to stop liquids? or maybe 7:00 ?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all of the advice! i was premature in my thinking that potty training and holding your bladder in thru the night were part of the same process. I have only curbed Gabby's milk after dinner since she was not eating enough. She get's her 8 oz, then as much water and food as she wants after dinner. Thanks for all of the advice!

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answers from Chicago on

I waited until my daughter started waking up dry. The key for us, though, was getting her to go right before bed. She'd usually go at 7 (bathtime) and the I'd make her go again at 7:30. She typically would have milk and water around 6, and then a tiny glass of water right before bed at 7:30.

FYI, I read that night training tends to follow day training by 5 months. This held true for us. My girl just night trained. She wanted to wear her undies to bed, I told her she had to be dry 5 nights in a row. We had a few tiny regressions. I also cloth diapered, and she had no desire to sleep in a wet diaper. It was about 3 months in all, and then, at month 5, she was totally done.

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answers from Indianapolis on

Do not limit fluids at all, this will only dehydrate her and only make things worse. I've written on this numerous times. First you have to understand day time dryness is totally different than night time dryness. Not to say your child will be like this, but it's not unusual for kids to not be dry at night until 6-7yrs old. Most kids do not do it as soon as they are "potty trained" and that's ok.

Punishing does absolutely no good, limiting fluids does no good. It's a brain/bladder thing going on at night and if their bladder isn't letting the brain know it's full then they won't wake up too go. However, they will when they're little bodies are ready.

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answers from Honolulu on

Ditto Carrie W.

"Night time dryness" is a SEPARATE thing from daytime potty training. Night time dryness, does not happen until even 7 years old. BIOLOGICALLY based. And per Pediatricians.

My daughter, was still wearing night time diapers (not pull-ups, Pull-ups are useless, more expensive, and leaks), until she was already 5 years old.
My girl is 7 now... and once in a blue moon will still have a night time accident. It is not big deal.
I simply use waterproof bed pads, directly under her. It makes clean up much easier, and i have 4 of them, and I just change them out and wash it if soiled.
Even Preschool and Kindergarten and 1st graders, will have accidents at night. If that puts it in perspective for you. My daughter's Teachers, have ALL said, this is normal as well.

My son is 3.5 years old, and he is still wet at naps and during the night. No biggie.

I do not punish or withhold things or lecture my kids about accidents. It is their body.

Do not limit fluids... just to limit her peeing. That does not do anything nor teach them anything. Because night-time dryness, is biological based. It depends on their brain/nerve development/bladder connections.

Her Doctor saying she is drinking too much milk rather than food, is an entirely DIFFERENT issue. Don't tie it into, pottying.

Potty 'training' does not occur, successfully, unless the child is 'ready.' Also, don't wake her at night just to go pee... that is not helpful either. It just makes them have lack of sleep... and that is worse.

all the best,

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I would not limit fluids at all. Being dry at night is a matter of maturity, she either has it, or not. If not, don't worry about it and keep using what ever method you like (diapers, pull ups, good nights, absorbent pads) and wait for her to gain night time control. Many kids take a very long time to get there, so don't worry about it. Time will solve the problem without witholding anything!


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answers from Gainesville on

Carrie W and S H are right on the money!

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answers from Los Angeles on

with my daughter i cut liquids off after dinner (6p). what she drinks for dinner is all she gets so she doesnt leak on her blankets. i also think that if your not going to night train yet then you shouldnt worry about it just yet. give it time shes still young



answers from Kansas City on

Just another voice chiming in to say do not limit fluids. She will mature as the potty training progresses.

We always thought that SLEEP was more important than waking up dry, so we did the pull-ups. After our daughter woke up dry for a few days in a row, we asked her if she still wanted them and she said no. This took a month or so of pull-ups, but sometimes, you just have to follow their lead and it all works out.

Good luck with potty training, you'll be done before you know it!



answers from Philadelphia on

I would make sure she empties her bladder before she goes to sleep.Make suer to likit her liquid intake about an hour before she goes to sleep. I agree when they are just beginning to put them still in a diaper when they go to sleep. I do not like pullups because I feel they are like diapers and it is confusing. If she is doing well then put her in big girl underware. This will be another thing to encourage her to go on the potty.I bought my son and elmo potty that talks and he likes it and is doing well with it. The poop part is a little harder then the pee but stick in there. Good luck



answers from Tulsa on

Limiting fluids makes the urine stronger and more likely to cause a UTI.You are doing less milk than I did at this point but it is still a correct amount. We did the full 24 oz of milk until the kids were older but some was on cereal at breakfast, some in the form of yogurt with fruit for dessert. Water is always good.

If you think about it this way: the connection in your brain that tells you when you get a cut on your hand...that it hurts, lets say it's not there...how are you going to know that feeling. Everyone is telling you that it should hurt but you don't understand, nothing hurts...it's the same with kids. If the brain isn't sending the signal to their bladder then it is NOT being sent out.

BTW, we love our night time pull ups. We bought several kinds and the Huggies Ovenights are the only ones we have used that don't leak. My mom died in September and we drove down 125 miles for the funeral and then back 125 to home. We were gone all day and when we got home we realized we forgot about changing J all day. He still had on dry clothes, now another drop might have made the pull up explode but his clothes were dry. They are at Wal-Mart and are dark blue with Buzz Lightyear and Woody on them, the girls are the Disney Princesses and are a dark, plummy red package.



answers from Harrisburg on

I'm another who agrees with NOT limiting liquids. For my oldest son I would have him go right before his bedtime and then wake him before I went to bed (usually a few hours later) and he would be the first one I would wake up in the morning to go again.
This was also well after he was daytime trained and only because he was having a bit more accidents at night. At 22 months I would just keep up with nighttime diapering.



answers from Harrisburg on

I would wait until she wakes up dry sometimes and is doing well during the day (with potty training that is) to start limiting fluids. When she starts waking up dry sometimes then you know she can make it through the night. With all 3 of my boys I don't let them drink anything for 2 hours before bedtime. I do make sure they get lots and lots to drink during the day of course!

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