You may have approached potty training with some anxiety about how long it would take and now that you’ve mastered it, you’re wondering when your little one will be out of nappies at night…

Lulu Becker, a physiotherapist who helps children who are battling with constipation and incontinence has this to say about night-time dryness: “We generally expect children to have mastered day time toilet training by the age of 4. Nighttime dryness usually follows around 10 months after daytime dryness has been achieved. So usually around 5, although most health care professionals don’t consider a child to be ‘bed wetting’ until after the age of 6.  It’s important to remember that being wet at night is not laziness nor intentional.”

So how should we manage the process? The advice would be to move your child to pull up nappies as soon as he/she has a few dry nights. Lulu then recommends to “only discontinue pull ups once a child is dry 6 out of 7 nights in a week.” To speed this up, stop offering any liquid at all after 5pm. Even if the pull up is wet in the morning, get your child to walk to the toilet immediately after waking to train their bladder/brain connection that we go to the toilet upon waking.”

Lulu goes on to say that if your child is wet at night, make sure they are not constipated as this is the biggest cause of bed wetting. Also, ensure that they are drinking enough water during the day, as concentrated/dehydrated urine can also irritate the bladder walls and make a child wet. You should also avoid bladder irritants during the day such as juices and fizzy drinks, interestingly; milk can also be a bladder irritant for children. Seeing a pelvic floor Physio trained in treating children can be helpful in guiding you the process of becoming dry at night if your child is struggling beyond the age of 5.

Top tips for dry nights:

  • As soon as your little one has a few dry nights, change them to pull ups at night
  • Give load of water to drink in the day and prevent or deal with constipation
  • Once your little one has 6 dry nights in a week, move them out of pull ups