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My two kiddos are opposites in almost everything. From their patience levels to their eating habits. Even their personalities are opposite! One is much more laid back, and the other is a strong-willed leader. Of course I love them both with everything I am, but some days it can be a struggle to feel like we are surviving the early years.
With all these opposite qualities in them, it would only make sense that potty training would be also. I could expect nothing less! Everyone told me that girls were “easier” but in our case our son took little effort. About one or two months ago K started asking to sleep with “big girl undies” on, “just like big brother”. My response was if she keeps her training pants dry after all night, then we can wear her “big girl undies” to bed. I can tell already that we have a bumpy road ahead of us.
The biggest worry I have is I don’t want her “bumpier road” to effect her confidence! K soooo badly wants to be a big girl, just like her brother and friends. When it comes to keeping up and reaching high she wants to be able to do what they do! The downside to this is she is very hard on herself when she doesn’t do something 100%, whether it is coloring in the lines or wetting the bed. It was heartbreaking because I could see in her face every time she felt she didn’t do it “the right way”. But here is the thing….
I want to stop that confidence downer before it scars! The last thing I want is for her to lose confidence in herself. We live in a world that is constantly attempting that already. I decided to do some research and realized that we aren’t alone in this! Bed-wetting is a common challenge that many children face. In fact, one of out six 4-12 yr olds struggle with wetting the bed! So if this means we change our tactics and take our time, then that is what we will do!
Here are some tips and tricks that I found while doing my research!
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR NIGHT-TIME POTTY TRAINING
- Celebrate the good behavior vs bringing attention to the bad- This is something that one of my son’s Pre K teachers taught me when we were dealing with some behavior issues. This tip is seriously like a golden key that can be used on every challenge we face! By celebrating and praising good behavior rather than the bad, they start to realize that good behavior gets them the attention they crave rather than the bad behavior. You can praise good behavior in many ways: a marble jar, sticker chart, etc. You can even use a printable just like this one!
- Reliable Supplies- GoodNites® Bedtime Pants are a great product! They are #1 in leading brands of nighttime protection, odor absorbing, and possibly a saving grace. They help make your kiddo feel like they are wearing “big kid undies”, but also give them the 5 layer protection they need while they are teaching their body. Girls and boys can tend to leak in different places, but GoodNites® brands protect in the places needed most by fitting all sizes and shapes. Your child can feel confident that they aren’t going to leak and you’ll be doing less laundry! A huge perk is that my daughter loves is the design! She loves everything pink and girlish!
- Limit Fluids- The standard rule in our house is at meals they are only allowed to have one drink per meal. (even when we aren’t potty training) When we are night-time training, I limit them even after dinner. They are only allowed to have one drink at supper time, and then a small dixie cup size of water after brushing teeth before bed. That’s it! This helps allow the bladder to empty before bedtime.
- Night-Time Potty Breaks- I know that they say to never wake a sleeping baby. But when we are night-time training, my husband or I usually wake them to have a potty break before we go to bed at night. (around 11pm) This helps to prevent heavy sleepers from having an accident while sleeping. By waking them and making them literally walk to the bathroom themselves, wash their hands, etc… it will eventually train their little bodies to start to waking on their own during that time to go!
- Light the Way- Literally! We found that with our son he would often times wake at night and go to leave his room to use the bathroom. He saw how dark the hallway and bathroom were and then would choose not to go out of this room because he was too afraid! Therefore, he would have an accident. It took us a little while to figure out that this was a cause in some of his accidents. This time around, we made sure that our daughter’s room had 2 night lights in addition to one in the hall, and one in their bathroom. It gives them a sense of safety!
- Reassure Them That Help is Available- Another struggle we found was that they were too afraid to yell for help. For whatever reason, whether it’s because they were embarrassed or nervous, they wouldn’t ask for help. By reassuring them they can ask for help, or even ask for us to simply be there with them, made a world of difference! If we show our full support then their confidence in what they are doing will flourish.
- Positive Words and Actions- The biggest advice I have found for helping this learning process is this… Don’t pressure them! If they feel pressured or shamed, then they will be least likely to succeed. By using positive words and actions while training they will feel more encouraged, proud, and positive! Confidence is a huge factor in training, so the more positive you stay the better results you will have. My first reaction to waking in the middle of the night to a soaked toddler bed is usually a huge “SIGH” and mumbled words. Then I realized that even when there is an accident, my kiddos need to hear encouragement. With the sigh and mumbles comes along shame! So instead replace them with positive words like, “It’s OK buddy, next time we will make it.” or “Don’t worry, Mommy’s not upset! These things happen! It will be cleaned up soon and we can try again!”.
Encouraging Words for Parents
Remember… you are literally helping to train someone’s body! This means that you have to be flexible enough to realize that you are not in control. If their bodies aren’t ready, pressuring them or shaming them will only make it worse. One of the best ways to encourage confidence in a kiddo, is to be an example and give them the tools they need to figure it out on their own. When you are able to see that there is no point in putting an age limit on this process, that they aren’t broken or alone in this journey, you will be surprised to see that the only thing stressing you out is your own expectations. Let go. Focus that energy on something positive! This will all work out in time.
Above I mentioned about motivating your kiddo by celebrating their accomplishments, however small they may be. Something that worked for our family is a potty chart! It can be something as simple as a picture they colored and place a sticker every time there is a successful potty trip or dry night. Or you can use these FREE PRINTABLES that I created! You can print these adorable cards out on stock paper and use stamps, stickers, or even a hole punch to keep track of every dry night. It’s that simple! Once the card is filled they can gain a reward. If you and your child decide on what the reward can be together then it makes for a great family event. It doesn’t have to be candy, toys, or even objects. A reward can even be a trip to a special place as family!
If you’re looking for a “Rest easy tonight” option you can depend on GoodNites® Bedtime pants. They can be found at your local CVS here:
We definitely aren’t done with our second round of night-time potty training, but we will get there eventually! In the meantime we are trying our best to stay patient and confident. It may seem like each day brings us new challenges, but in truth each day also brings us closer to our goal! I can’t wait to see the look on my daughter’s face when we finally fill her Potty Card. Self-satisfaction in our children’s faces can truly erase all the bumps in the road to get there!
Do you have any tricks or tips hidden up your parenting sleeve? I would love for you to share!