Potty training through the night

At what age should kids sleep through the night without needing to wear a diaper/pull-up?

I wish I could give you a concrete answer, but there’s not really one! It’s different for every kiddo. My nearly 3 year old potty trained right before she turned 2, but we still put her in pull ups for naps and bedtime. She’s not napping anymore but wears a pull up at bedtime, and it’s definitely wet in the morning. We aren’t doing anything to try to night train her, as I think her body will do so when it’s ready. And she’s a great little sleeper, so I’m not a fan of “dream pees” or anything to break up sleep. I have a friend whose son often wakes up dry, even as a 3 year old, but he’s not consistent enough for her to be comfortable risking an accident and a big night disturbance if it’s not necessary.

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I think the age range is so broad-one of my kids potty trained night and day at the same time (my other one is still in diapers) but my nephew is still wearing pull-ups at age 5 and inconsistently wakes up wet. I think my sister’s pediatrician said its still considered normal till around age 6, but I could be wrong on that.

Can you explain why you’re not a fan of “dream pees”? I know so many people who try that to help their kids make it through the night

I will preface all of this with, because I’m a sleep consultant, I want to do everything possible to keep sleep in tact! The idea of a dream pee is to slightly wake your child at some point in the night (or a few), and take him to the bathroom in hopes he will pee at that time, get back in bed and fall asleep, then waking up dry in the morning. The reasons I am not a huge fan are:

  • Uninterrupted sleep is our goal! With a dream pee, you have to wake up, breaking up your night time sleep, and your child could wake up quite a bit and have a hard time falling back asleep. This could also create an unnecessary pattern of night wakings.
  • Your child may not actually pee at that time, so now we’ve had a wake up for no reason.
  • If my daughter does need to pee during the night, I either want her to do it in her pull up without even noticing (that’s where we are now), OR be aware she needs to pee, therefore wake up with that intent. A dream pee might get your child to pee, but is it teaching her “responsibility” over that night time pee or just helping her stay dry?

I am in the camp that kids will kind of night train themselves when their bodies are ready. The greatest hope is of course that kids will either sleep right through and stay totally dry, or recognize when they need to pee, get up and go, and come back to bed without other disruptions (I have heard of kiddos who night train themselves from the crib - this of course requires parents to come help, but I’m not opposed if it’s child led).

I am by no means a professional potty trainer and I know some people have different opinions. But I hope this was helpful :slight_smile:

(It’s similar to dream feeds. I have a blog post about why I don’t recommend them: https://viagraces.com/2019/12/13/what-about-dream-feeds/)

This is so helpful! Thank you!