Children are generally only ready to start potty training at around age two-and-a-half. “Your child’s nervous system needs to be developed well enough for him to recognise the need to use the toilet, and he must be able to articulate and even control that urge,” explains Sandy Lewis, national general manager of therapy programmes at Akeso Psychiatric Clinics.
When to quit night nappies
When you find that your toddler goes for three to five nights with a dry nappy, it may be time to dispense with nappies altogether.
Follow these useful tips for making overnight potty training easier for both you and your child:
1. Invest in a mattress protector
While your toddler may know when to go to the potty during the day, accidents can happen at night. It’s a good idea to invest in a mattress protector just in case. To reduce the chances of bedwetting, you can also limit your child’s liquid intake before bedtime, and take him to the toilet beforehand.
Mr Price Home has waterproof mattress protectors in various sizes, ranging from R199.99 to R359.99. Available in their online store.
2. Make a post-bedtime potty trip
Wake your child up and take them to the bathroom before you go to bed, or set an alarm if you go to bed at the same time. “I wake my three-year-old daughter between 11pm and midnight to take her to the bathroom,” says Living and Loving journalist Licia Selepe. “I don’t give her any liquids after 6pm, only a little sip of water.”
“I wake my three-year-old son at 11pm to go the toilet, and again at 2am. He drinks a lot of liquids during the day, that’s why I have to wake him up twice during the night, otherwise I end up with a wet bed,” says Living and Loving designer Tintswalo Nsibande.
3. Limit liquids before bed
“No liquids after 6pm. If we give him something to drink after 6.30pm the chances of him wetting his bed are very high,” says Tintswalo.
4. Layer the sheets
If your child frequently wets his bed at night, it will help to make up his bed in layers, with a fitted sheet, a waterproof pad, another fitted sheet, another waterproof pad followed by a third layer of each. If he wets his bed, you can just peel away the first layer rather than change the whole bed.
We like the Snuggletime Waterproof Sheet, R115 from takealot.com.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.