Day Dry, Night Dry – The Stages of Toilet Training
I recently handed over a LumiPotti to a lovely lady with a delightful daughter who is nearly day dry and keen to go straight onto night training. She is with her daughter in the same place as I am with my son. Where we differ is that she also has an older child who is not night dry.
During our chat about the youngest she kept coming back to the eldest child. This got me thinking about the various stages of night training and how do you know where your children are at?
Night Time Potty Training Stages
Many of the parents we speak with have little ones in one of four stages of night toilet training;
Stage 1 – The Tiddler
Your child is between 18months and 2 years. They are showing interest in potty training even if they haven’t started yet. You can usually tell if you’re in this group because suddenly you’ve stopped talking about your child walking/talking and are instead quizzing other parents about toilet training how’s and why’s.
Typically most children would have started toilet training in years gone by but now it is mostly the reserve of those Tiddlers who simply decide themselves, no more nappies. More often this happens with girls over boys but there are no fast rules here. If you or your child has decided to say goodnight to night protection then whip out your LumiPotti, stick on a bed mat and away you go!
How to night train Stage 1;
- Make it fun.
- Keep your Tiddlers enthusiasm up.
- Let them play with LumiPotti – they love hiding then jumping out to activate the light,
- standing still till it pops off again… repeat as required.
- Keep it easy. If you expect wet nights at first you will not be disappointed.
- Even keeping LumiPotti in the room will give your Tiddler confidence to get up at night and remember, lots of positive praise goes a long way.
Stage 2 – The Toddler
Your child is between 2 and 3 years. They run everywhere, talk all the time and are starting to test their boundaries. Most parents begin night toilet training now. Children are usually physically able to control their bladder but are not old enough to be moving around at night without help. It is most common for parents to begin day training first at this stage but whatever you do, commit and keep going. Generally we found children who remain in nappies through the Toddler stage will be harder to train at a later stage.
How to Night Train Stage 2:
- Stop watching and act. Our research found that most children have a period of hyper awareness as they really conquer bladder control. They learn to rely on their own body rather than the nappies. Some will exhibit signs of readiness like asking for the potty or removing nappies. But waiting for a signal from your child can mean you miss the point at which they are ready to move onto night training.
- Ignore the accidents. Your Toddler is ready for this, but are you? Most issues with night toilet training are formed at this age and many of the parents we speak with can trace issues back to this stage of training. Parents often start then stop then start then stop training which is confusing for the child. And yes some children breeze through toilet training, day and night makes no difference, but most children need time and patience. Give them the chance to learn how… expect week 1 to be bad!
Stage 3 – The Wanderer
Your 3 year old is growing independent. Often this age will tackle day and night training together and succeed with their first dry night very quickly. They could rise at night and move around the house to night toilet in the bathroom however at this age, fear of the dark is their biggest barrier.
How to Night Train Stage 3:
- Confident, independent nights. At 3 most children are physically able to control their bladder at night, most nights. There may still be accidents but these are less frequent and more as a result of needing to go as soon as they wake. Wanderers are so called because they are quick to progress from using LumiPotti in the bedroom to using the removable LumiPotti Light to brighten the way to the nearest bathroom toilet.
Stage 4 – The Big
Beyond 4 years old your child actively relys on night nappies. Typically at this stage parents have tried night toilet training and stopped for some reason. At 4 years most children are capable of dry nights, but achieving night dryness at this age can be dependent more on parents attitude than the Big’s bladder.
How to Night Train Stage 4:
- You are not alone. Give your Big all the confidence you can by using LumiPotti to show comfort their night waking. Your Big can rely on LumiPotti to always shine whenever they need it, stay on whilst they move and blink off when they settle again. The LumiPotti bowl is deliberately broader, deeper and higher and the back rest taller for a more comfortable sit. But your Big may be happier removing LumiPotti Light and walking to the bathroom.
- Cheer them on. At 4 years onwards your Big needs your active, positive encouragement to really want to be dry at night. Reward charts work excellently to motivate your Big. Keep a diary to help you identify any patterns with wetting at this age. With you believing in them, your Big can do it!