Are you thinking now is the time to start – but what do I do next?   Read on and get on the road to nappy freedom.

  • Make sure your child avoid drinks 2 hours before bedtime.  Ensure they drink plenty during the day.
  • Remind them to visit the toilet before bedtime.   Don’t ask “do you want to go to the toilet” but say instead “now it is time to go to the toilet”.  If you ask – quite often the answer is “no – I don’t need to go”. 
  • Set a routine bedtime for your child.  Overtired children fall deeply asleep and have a harder time waking up to go to the bathroom.   Try and keep to this routine on the weekends and holidays etc.
  • Once they are in bed, give clear instructions about going to the toilet if they wake up and feel the need to wee.
  • Leave a night light on (so they can feel safe and can see where they are going) and give plenty of goodnight hugs and kisses and encouragement.
  • Don’t forget to leave the bathroom/toilet light on!  The dark can be scary.
  • Let them know that it is all right for them to come and wake you to take them to the toilet if they feel safer doing that and if they can hang on that long.
  • Consider getting your toddler up to use the toilet just before you go to bed – this is called a dream wee.
  • If the bathroom is too far away from the bedroom leave a potty in their room
  • Reassure your child and don’t chastise them if they have an accident at night – demonstrate plenty of patience and understanding
  • Remember that it might take years for your child to reliably master night-time dryness.
  • If your child is becoming anxious or frustrated, forget about night-time toilet training for a while.
  • Try not to show your personal frustration during periods of bed wetting.
  • Make aids such as Brolly Sheets part of normal routine.  Tell your child it is a special sheet just for them to learn to be dry with.  Some children can be quite worried about making a mess so something like a Brolly Sheet can help make them more relaxed.   Brolly Sheets are made to be weed on.

Products that can help

Use waterproof mattress pads and other protection to keep your child’s bed dry and make bedding changes easier.  A Brolly Sheet sits on top of your fitted sheet and your child sleeps directly on the top. The wings hold it in place.   This makes it very easy to change in the night as you do not need to strip the whole bed. 

A fully fitted mattress protector which goes under your bottom sheet.  This takes longer to change than a bed pad as you have to strip the whole bed and remake.  However, once you have one you just keep it on the bed even after your child is dry.  This is great for unexpected accidents and vomiting bugs. 

Plus you can look at duvet protectors and waterproof top sheets if you have a child (especially boys) who “wee up”.

Remember – the speed at which children achieve nighttime dryness does vary, often starting with one or two dry nights a week and building up slowly over a number of months.

Approaches to avoid

Some approaches will only delay your attempts to help your child stay dry at night. Approaches to avoid include:

• Don’t criticise, humiliate or belittle your child for being a ‘baby’. Night time bladder control is a process of maturation. All efforts, no matter how small, should be praised.

• Don’t punish your child by making them stay in their wet sheets and pajamas or getting them to wash the soiled bed linen. If your child is anxious, they are less likely to stay dry at night.

• Don’t talk about your child’s ‘problem’ to other people when the child is present, as this can make them feel ashamed and embarrassed.

You might also like to read:

What is nappy rash and how can you prevent it?

When to start night time toilet training

Top 10 Toddler Myths


Brolly Sheets:

Fitted Mattress Protectors:

Duvet Protectors:

Waterproof Flat Sheets: