We’ve been so busy since the arrival of son number #2 that I have only just realised that son #1 is still in a night nappy.
Getting through this transition hasn’t felt like a priority while our family has grown, and to be completely honest, the idea of having any less sleep has been extremely unattractive!
But now we’re ready.
How to know when it's time
According to Chris Minogue, Kinderling’s Mothercraft nurse, children are usually ready for night-time nappy training around six months after day time toilet training.
Chris says there are four signs your child is ready for night-time nappy weaning:
- Night nappies are getting drier and drier.
- Your child has stopped drinking a bottle before bed; and/or
- Your child has a late evening drink but is going to the toilet before bed.
- Your child is communicating well; apparently there’s a link between speech and toilet training success.
Like most changes, your child might resist getting rid of the night-time nappy.
“Some kids can rely on night nappies,” says Chris. “And boys can be slower to complete the process.”
Chris recommends asking your mother-in-law what age your partner was ready, to indicate how long it might take.
But don’t let her answer (or anything else for that matter) stop you from giving it a go!
How to get the process right:
- Get your child to have a wee before bed.
- Protect the bed (and your time) by covering the mattress with a waterproof bed pad.
- Have a chat: “Tell your child to wake up Mummy and Daddy if they need to do a wee at night and remind them that you’ve left a light on,” advises Chris.
- Make sure the path to the toilet is well lit and clear.
- Avoid winter if you can! Brrrrr.
Still not dry overnight?
If you’ve followed all the steps above but your child is still waking up wet, persist. It can take some children a few nappy-free weeks to truly learn how to control their bladder overnight, or wake themselves from sleep to go to the loo.
A GP’s guide to nighttime toilet training
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