When you are ready to start:
- Make sure your child avoids drinks 2 hours before bedtime, but drinks plenty in the day
- Remind them to visit the toilet before bedtime.
- Set a routine bedtime for your child. Over tired children fall deeply asleep and have a harder time waking up to go to the bathroom.
- Once they are in bed give clear instructions about going to the toilet, if they wake up and feel the need to wee.
- Leave a night light on (so they can feel safe and can see where they are going) and give plenty of goodnight hugs and kisses and encouragement.
- Don’t forget to leave the bathroom / toilet light on!
- Let them know that it is all right for them to come and wake you to take them to the toilet if they feel safer doing that and if they can hang on that long.
- Consider getting your toddler up to use the toilet just before you go to bed
- If the bathroom is too far away from the bedroom leave a potty in their room
- Reassure your child and don’t chastise them if they have an accident at night - demonstrate plenty of patience and understanding
- Make aids such as Brolly Sheets part of normal routine. Tell your child it is a special sheet just for them to learn to be dry with. Some children can be quite worried about making a mess so something like a Brolly Sheet can help make them more relaxed.
- Remember that it might take years for your child to reliably master night-time dryness.
- If your child is becoming anxious or frustrated, forget about night-time toilet training for a while.
- Try not to show your personal frustration during periods of bed wetting.
Products to help
Use waterproof mattress pads and other protection to keep your child's bed dry and make bedding changes easier. A Brolly Sheet sits on top of your fitted sheet and your child sleeps directly on the top. The wings hold it in place. This makes it very easy to change in the night as you do not need to strip the whole bed. Most people buy two as it will give you a clean one to change in the night. You can use a fully fitted mattress protector which goes under your bottom sheet. This will cover your whole mattress.
Remember - the speed at which children achieve night time dryness does vary, often starting with one or two dry nights a week and building up slowly over a number of months.
Approaches to avoid
Some approaches will only delay your attempts to help your child stay dry at night. Approaches to avoid include:
- Don't criticise, humiliate or belittle your child for being a baby. Night time bladder control is a process of maturation. All efforts, no matter how small, should be praised.
- Don't punish your child by making them stay in their wet sheets and pyjamas or getting them to wash the soiled bed linen. If your child is anxious, they are less likely to stay dry at night.
- Don't talk about your child's problem to other people when the child is present, as this can make them feel ashamed and embarrassed.