Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

potty accidents- potty training at night

Posted by on Apr. 23, 2011 at 7:40 PM
  • 3 Replies
What does Night time potty training mean exactly? Basically, it means the same as day time potty training, i.e. when your child has the urge to urinate; they would go to the potty to urinate.

However, achieving night time control is not simply a learned skill, but rather a physiological development and the control is largely involuntary. In some cases, circumstances require learning how to achieve night time control (see bed wetting section).

Babies urinate around the clock and then at about the average age of 18 months, as the sphincter muscles mature, toddlers will make the transition from urinating around the clock to only urinating during the waking hours as is the case with most adults.

Having to urinate at night is not an issue with most adults, since when an adult's bladder is full at night, a signal goes from the bladder to the brain and we are awakened with the need to go. For children, this signaling mechanism comes with age. Most pediatricians do not consider bed wetting an issue until after the age of five or six.

Below is a table that shows the age at which children achieve night time control.

Age of Child

% of children have achieve night time control

Under 3 years


Under 4 years


Under 5 years


Under 6 years


The key to dealing with night time accidents is slightly different from dealing with day time accidents, because night time accidents are NOT voluntary. Your child does not have ability to control the accident, so, there are no consequences given. As you face another clean up, realize that this is hard on your child as well. S/he does not want to have accidents any more than you do. The situation has to be very neutral. Just clean up and move on.

Therefore if you child is having more than 2-3 accidents per month, I would recommend using disposable pullups and making it less stressful on everyone involved.

Monitor the situation and try to switch to cloth training pants or underwear again, when your child is older and may have achieved night time control. If you child is wetting at night and is trained during the day, consult with the child's pediatrician, especially if the child is 5 years old or older.

Your overall plan for potty training should include a plan for night time potty training. How you address night time potty training is very much dependent on you and your child. My recommendations on how to approach night time potty training are listed below.

If you child is dry most mornings, then definitely try moving to underwear and see if your child will actually stay dry and / or wake up to use the potty. Make sure that you have some mattress protection in place, so the clean up can be done easily with minimal frustration.

I really like the mattress pads that you can put on top of the bed sheets and wrap around both sides of the mattress. Have at least 2 of these on hand, so if and when you have to deal with an accident at night, you do not have to strip the whole bed, but rather just change out the mattress pad.

If you child is waking up wet, then I would recommend considering other options. Again how you approach this depends on how often you child is wetting and your own tolerance level to accidents and accident clean up.
by on Apr. 23, 2011 at 7:40 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-3):
by on Apr. 24, 2011 at 10:49 AM

more great advice!

by on Apr. 24, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Great advice!!!!

by on Apr. 26, 2011 at 11:04 AM


Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)