Children learn to control their bladder function gradually, as they grow older. With age, their signal mechanisms develop and they understanding their body needs better. Until after the age of 5 or 6, bed-wetting is considered normal by most pediatricians. As you start potty training your child, you must understand that this exercise is different during the day and at night. During the night, children don’t have the ability to control the accident in their sleep, and it usually takes places involuntarily. Hence, children learn to master daytime control with ease, but take some time before they develop a sense of how to stay dry at night.
To begin with the training, your child must be comfortable sleeping in a toddler bed, instead of a crib. She should be able to crawl out of the bed, find the bathroom herself, and then crawl back into it. However, if you still have to keep your child in a crib in order to prevent her from falling, then this may not be the right time to begin the training.
Always remember to take your child to the toilet just before she goes to bed. It is also advisable to keep a night light on so that she knows what she is doing and where she is going. To put the bladder onto schedule, encourage your child to use the potty as soon as she wakes up. Keep the bedroom clear of any toys or objects, which may hurt her on her way to the toilet. Use a carpet in the bathroom for additional safety. Ensure the availability of toilet paper, and see to it that the toilet seat is always put down.
Let your child know that she can always call for your help. It is a good idea to use training pants as they can be pulled up and down like underwear. In case of an accident, there won’t be a need to change the bed linen. Training pants with your child’s favorite cartoon character work really well. Tell her not to pee on these characters, or they’ll get wet and fall ill. If this works, and you notice that the training pants are regularly dry at night, then you can consider your child to move on to a real underwear.
If your child wakes up in the night to visit the washroom, tell her you’re there and there is no need to worry; you will be waiting till she returns. However, do not accompany her to the bathroom. Encourage her to go alone instead. If she insists, accompany her.
Apart from following these tips, remember to praise your child every time she manages to stay dry all night, specially if she does so without any help.