Dry by Night - Toiletting Stage 2

Tonight we 'nervously optimistically' kissed Natty goodnight and praised her for being such a big girl for not needing 'sleepy pants' for the second night on the trot (pardon the pun!). 
(Nappies, diapers, pull-ups, dry nites, whatever you call them, be banished.)

It is precisely a year ago that we were in the thick of very concerted toiletting efforts, helping Natty become dry by day. She was due to begin school in September and she was ready. 
And here's is the most important thing to bear in mind with any child; it is not the chronological age that counts, but the developmental stage they are at when attempting this kind of life change. Starting too soon and becoming stressed could backfire. 
So relax, see the funny side, and enjoy your toiletting journey. It will involve accidents, it will involve poo. Buy cheap pants/knickers you can throw away when beyond redemtion, take a plastic bag and several changes of clothing. Pack your sense of humour.

Here is my post about Natty becoming dry during the day, with tips and techniques to help you all. Ode to Potty Training part 1. I also know many parents who have found making a picture timetable useful for providing a visual reminder of the small steps involved in using the toilet.

That stage went pretty well.  Natty started school wearing pants but continued to have the odd accident throughout the year, but then I figure most children do that don't they. We decided to trust her and not look back. Even on long journeys we prepared for accidents, but never once returned to using nappies during waking hours for fear of confusing her.

At bedtime, nappies became named 'sleepy pants', to distinguish them from what she had given up during the day. We bought the pull-up variety that seemed a little more grown up. I made a conscious decision to wait until I saw a sign from Natty that she was ready to relinquish these. I decided not to push or stress about when that moment came, not to compare her to other children, with or without Downs, but to wait for her lead.

2 weeks ago, the moment came. Natty woke with dry sleepy pants and showed me, proud of herself. We knew the bladder control existed. We knew she could do it. We said no more and waited. Several days passed with wet nappies in the morning then another one or two with dry ones. Natty and I had a chat about how grown up she was, and I asked her straight if she wanted to try no sleepy pants like Mia, Mummy and Daddy. She beamed and said yes....  there is nothing like intrinsic motivation.

Other, happy coincidental factors to my decision to start now are that it is summer, we can hang washed bedding out to dry easily, there is no school so the timetable is more relaxed and I am mentally in a place to deal with it. There is no point in trying to do this if you have a lot of other stresses on your plate.

So, we bit the bullet as it were. I've stocked up on bed-protectors to help save the matress's life. You can buy disposible ones or plastic-backed towelling varieties, but you will need them. The White Company sell them. We have a couple of cheap spare undersheets and lots of PJ trousers. Knowing that makes any accident just a quick change of a sheet and PJs and not a major disaster. Prepare for the worst and you will take it all in your stride.

We carried out our usual bedtime routine, but brought the little drink of warm soya milk forward to before story time and not during. We then introduced a 'big girl's second wee' just before lights out. We did this with Mia, and ensures and emptyish bladder as they fall asleep. Natty seemed proud to be invited to do the 'second wee', as if it were part of a big grown up ritual.

The final part of the plan, and one I am less certain about as we never once did this with Natty's elder sister, is lifting her from her slumber to sit her on the loo as we go to bed at around 11pm. I guess this satisfies parent insecurities about the rest of the night to come being dry. I guess one is supposed to phase the lifting out in time. But for now I am going to do it, encouraging Natty to walk back to her bed and snuggle back down. 

Oh, and I nearly forgot the reward of a chocolate drop in the dry mornings!

Anyway, the main thing left to say is; 
Natty, Mummy and Daddy are immensely proud of you.  We'll crack this next step together, however long it takes x


  1. If lifting at 11pm means joy in the morning then I'd carry on lifting. We did just that for about 6 months.

    1. Thank you. Nice to know someone has done it before. Last night I lifted her and nothing happened. Then a wet bed in the morning. Proof we need to do that for a while.

  2. Nowhere near this stage with Ella yet but I will definitely be revisiting this post when we are. Some great tips xx

  3. We're still a way off from potty training but this is really useful advice. Thanks love! x


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