Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."

Potty Training and Sleep

Question: My son is 26 months. He is potty training and is doing great. He never has any accidents, but he still wets the bed. He wets at night and during his nap. I have stopped giving him milk after 8:30 he goes to bed at 9) if he's thirsty I give him small sips of water. Any suggestions on how to help him go to the restroom at night? - Elizabeth

Answer: Dear Elizabeth,
Congratulations! Hurdle #1 complete.-- Daytime dryness has been achieved. Nighttime dryness comes with time.

Many factors should be considered. Not all children are potty trained at the same age. A family history of small bladder capacity especially in a first degree relative would need consideration. Children who are "deep sleepers" have difficulty waking up with a full bladder. Most of these children will sleep right through loud noises. Urinary tract infections can also be considered.(This is usually suspected when a child who has been dry all night suddenly starts to wet the bed).

Restricting fluids might be of help in a cases where children drink a lot of high sugar content juices such as fruit punch or apple juice. You stated that your son goes to bed at 9 and has his last drink at 8:30. This may not be enough time for him to adequately empty his bladder before going to sleep.

Your son is only 26 months old. He (and you) have accomplished more than many of his peers. Have him empty his bladder before bedtime. You might want to hold off on the drinks at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours before bedtime. This may be difficult because of his age.

An alternative to a wet mattress or frustration with this part of potty training may be pull ups or even diapers at night. Nighttime dryness comes with bladder maturation and good positive reinforcement. Work with your son on his level, praising him for whatever accomplishments he has done till this point. Good job Mom!

Dr. Betti

Recommended Video
Let's Go Potty produced by BlueSuitMom's Pediatric expert Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler

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  • Ask Dr. Betti your questions

    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.