The Story of Nighttime Potty Training

Hey_mom._Take_a_picture_of_me_and_send_it_to_me._I_assume_this_just_means_Instagram.That title is a lie. “Training” implies that we did something when actually we did the opposite. Landon was easy to potty train. You can read all about that here. we waited until he was ready, slapped him in underoos and he did it. There were accidents here and there but it went so well, we were kind of baffled. No 3 days of house quarantine and tears over a potty and a basket of skittles. No refusing to poop. No REAL battle overall.

At that time, he wasn’t ready for night time. He slept so hard. We put him in nighttime pull ups and went about our way. My friends would comment on their kids giving up the pull up at night but it was clear we were not in the same boat. He wasn’t to the same level. He showed no interest on his own and his body wasn’t giving us much confidence. But there was more to it.

  1. Landon doesn’t get out of his bed. This is 99% awesome. Saturday mornings? He plays in his bed until we get him. I have never been wakened to a child staring in my face. The 1% of suckage has been from being called from my bed at 3am to retrieve the car that fell out of bed and no hopes of him going to the bathroom. We would explain he was welcome to go to the potty at night but he insisted he wasn’t big enough to go alone. Um ok?
  2. He sleeps like a rock. I think this was the real main reason we didn’t push it (also our pediatrician’s thoughts). We started waking him when we go to bed to pee and 75% of the time he was already wet. He was out cold. He had no idea. His body wasn’t ready. You can’t push that. So we didn’t.
    NOTE: This is NOT uncommon for boys. They can take longer to get down night time potty training thing. We were told this over and over at our pediatrician. So if you are worrying your son isn’t keeping up with the joneses, it’s most likely just a normal delay.
  3. We were lazy and set in our ways. Well maybe not lazy but we didn’t want to rock the boat. Landon potty trained only months before Ollie was born. In our old house, the boys shared a Jack and Jill bathroom. I was PETRIFIED of him deciding to go potty and waking the baby. NEVER WAKE THE BABY. Even when we got him before we went to bed, we took him to our bathroom. i was that scared of waking the beast that we worked so hard to sleep. At Landon’s 4 year wellness visit, our Dr. was totally cool with this. She said “you have to do what is working for the family. More stress is more stress and you don’t need it.”

So until about a month ago, he would still wake with a pee soaked pull up. We started dropping “if you have a dry pull up in the morning, you can have yogurt raisins at breakfast” or something like that. It started working. Every few nights, there would be a little in there. He started asking to wear underwear to bed. We kept putting him off to see if we could get a solid week of dry pull ups. Then about 2 weeks ago, at 5am, he called out to be taken to the bathroom. Then last week we heard footsteps at about 9pm. JACKPOT.

But we were still lazy and didn’t want the chance of changing sheets in the night until…MOMMY FORGOT TO BUY MORE PULL UPS last night. Yup. Dumb me. So I said “just send him in underwear. WE have been telling him “soon”. I guess soon is now”. So he excitedly went to bed with his big boy underpants and I was on sheet duty.

I can officially say he made it all night with no accidents and is super proud of himself.

So basically what I am saying is…be lazy and procrastinate and it will pay off…errr something.


  1. C is the exact same way! He is a rock star all day but we still do the pull up at night. He’s just not ready. We will have multiple mornings with dry pull ups then one morning it is soaked big time. He’s getting closer and we’re not worried about it. He is not even three yet so I give him major credit for things going as well as they have so far.

    Way to go Lando!!!

  2. We did more or less the same thing with Rose. There is only so much “training” you can do overnight because its fairly instinctual. The biggest help we did find once we went “cold turkey” with no pull-ups was to drag her to the bathroom at around 10:30 before we go to bed. For her, that is her hardest sleeping time and she just couldn’t wake up to go herself and there was always some pee buildup that wasn’t ready at bedtime. Their little bladders can have a difficult time lasting all night. No biggy for us to do and she has had only one accident since.

    It’s actually fairly amusing to take her to the bathroom at that time. She has shown us that she can walk there with her eyes closed while we gently bump her shoulders to keep her walking straight. 🙂

  3. B was super easy. One weekend after his 3rd birthday and he was potty trained. That week he wore pull-ups and was dry. So, undies at night from the get go. He has had one accident in 1.5 years at night and it didn’t wake him. He doesn’t wake to go either… I swear my kid is a camel. Even when he wakes, its not the first thing he does. We have to prompt him. Wondering if C will be the same?

  4. LOL At 15 months, D could stay dry all night. That all suddenly changed when he started potty training. Not sure why. Now it’s hit or miss so we still do overnight training pants. I’ve tried the “wake before I go to bed” option, but he sleeps so soundly, I swear I think he slept through it! I had to carry him and then hold him on the toilet, head bobbing the entire time. Between that and the occasional deep nap at preschool that leads to an accident, I take it as proof he just isn’t ready. And, like you said, it’s ok to procrastinate. But HUGE KUDOS to Landon for doing so well. 🙂

  5. Sounds odd, I know…but I teared up when reading how you heard his footsteps at 9PM….going to the bathroom. With this being the week of kindergarten sign-up…just another reminder of how fast he is growing up. God! How I love my grands!

  6. Same way with C. He will be 4 next month. He’s been in underwear during the day for almost a year now, but at night we always put a pull-up on. Some mornings he’d be dry, others wet. For the past couple of months he was waking up dry, so one night we decided to go for it and we ditched pull ups altogether. Success! We are now a 100% diaper-free house and LOVING it!

  7. We were down to about 10 pull ups and I asked mine if he wanted to sleep in unders and he said yes. I figured might as well go for it! (he would wake up dry and THEN pee in his pull ups. annoyballs.) He has had ONE night time accident in the last year. Success. Hells yes.

  8. Thanks for this post! We were really pushing the potty training with our girl and finally I just stopped the madness. She’s not ready. When she is, she’ll do it. We’re all happier now.

  9. We had it super easy with Big (my Landon) when potty training; he was easy and early (Little was another story but that’s not this story). He never had daytime accidents. However, he continued waking up with a soaked pullup no matter what we did (and many consults with our ped). No caffiene (duh), nothing to drink after an early dinner, pee before bedtime, wake him to pee, offering treats for a dry pullup, etc. He slept like a rock as well. So we thought ok, maybe he just sleeps hard and hasn’t developed that good ol’ big bladder. The doc said we could try an alarm but I didn’t have the heart. I would HATE to be woken with a loud alarm in the middle of the night (and also DON’T WAKE THE SLEEPING BABY IN THE NEXT ROOM). He was ashamed. He didn’t want to sleep over at a friend’s house. And then began having accidents during the day. At school. In front of everyone. Finally, our ped sent us to a ped urologist where we found out that he has OAB (overactive bladder). He’s on a Rx, which works like a charm (no accidents since and dry every night). With age and maturity, his baldder should calm down and we can take him off the meds. I am so thankful for this medicine as not having accidents has boosted his self-esteem, he’s not ashamed, and not scared to go on a sleepover!

  10. My first instinct is to say “I hate you, it’s not fair!!” Lol but girl enjoy every minute of that easiness!! Lord knows I would if I had a child like that! I have now given up 100% on potty training, I’m going the lazy route now 🙂 wish me luck!

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