Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Potty Training...Not Perfection, But Progress

Two weeks ago I talked about how we had begun to potty train Alaine.  I mentioned that my first four kids took about a week to train from start to finish and that we night trained at the same time.  

It would only be fair to mention that it's been a bit different this time.  

I wasn't totally ready to begin this venture.  I always find it easier to train in the warmer months when less clothing is involved, but Alaine began showing signs that she was ready, including asking to use the toilet.  At not quite 2½, she was younger than any of my other trainers, though Maddie had been only slightly older.  (The three boys were each +/- 3-years-old when they potty trained.) 

Maybe because she was younger or maybe because I was busy with four other children, but it took longer than a week for her master the whole potty routine-- recognizing the need to go, stopping her play, and getting to the potty!  About a week-and-a-half into it, I shared that we'd had three accidents in the space of one hour!  Brian noted that she seemed to take two steps forward before taking a step back again.  I had to consistently remind her to use the potty about every thirty minutes to ensure no accidents.  Sometimes she would have an accident but keep playing anyway without telling anyone.

Then suddenly it seemed to click.  On Thursday, thirteen days after potty training began, we had an accident-free day.  And then another and another and another and another.  Five dry days in a row!  We've had dry outings and success with public restrooms, too. 

My only dilemma now is that she can't seem to go the whole night without a diaper.  I've never night trained separately from day training so I'm at a loss.  Sometimes she wakes up dry, but not consistently enough to take the risk.  She does not nap at all during the day, but she sleeps almost twelve hours at night-- from roughly 7pm to 7 am.  I'm not even sure I could go that long between potty visits.   I've tried waking her before I go to bed, but she is always too groggy to use the bathroom.  Any ideas? 


  1. I wish I had a great solution, but with her sleeping 12 hours, she may simply need a diaper until her bladder can hold a bit more. Eliya (just 3) has been day-time potty trained for over a 18 months, but just recently gave up her diaper at night. Emahry was the same way, potty training during the day at around 1 year, but wearing a diaper at night until 2 1/2. So from my experience, I think that might just be normal when children potty train earlier.

  2. Do you wake to use the bathroom in the night? Or go to bed much later than she does? We often take our children potty before we go to bed (2-4 hours after they do). And when we have one we're trying to night time potty train, I've been known to take them potty in the middle of the night when I wake to go myself. This works sometimes.

    That said, I was finally fed up with changing the sheets most nights with our latest potty trainer (now 2.5 years) and gave it up. Still, I didn't want to buy diapers for him anymore so we've been putting him in cloth pull ups. Someone gave us five of them years ago but we never used them. Now I used them for nap and night time every day!

    Since we generally day time potty train early, we do night time at a later date too.

  3. I'd say just keep putting a diaper on her at night. I only have 3 kids, and only 2 are potty trained so far, so I guess I'm no expert, but staying dry overnight took much much longer than daytime training. I guess you were just fortunate that your older ones all were able to stay dry overnight at such a young age! I've heard of people waking their kids at night, but I didn't want to do that with mine, since they usually take a while to get to sleep, I just thought it would lead to a lot of crankiness (for all of us!).

  4. Don' worry about the bedtime diaper. I potty-trained my two older kids at 2 1/2 and their bedtime diaper didn't come off until 4yrs for my oldest and my second one still has his on at 5yrs at night. Can't make it all night consistently. Bedtime diaper will come off at the right time...you will notice consistently dry diapers...then you can take it off.


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