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Potty Training and Sleep: What Parents Need to Know

Updated: Jan 20

Potty Training and Sleep

Embarking on the journey of potty training is both exciting and messy, marking a significant milestone in your child's life. However, this adventure can pose challenges, especially when it comes to maintaining a peaceful sleep routine. While the prospect of going diaper-free brings a sense of freedom for parents, it's essential to approach it with careful consideration.


In our household, we understand the value of protecting sleep, so we opted to continue using diapers at night and deferred night potty training for a later time. Toddlers often find creative excuses to delay bedtime, and potty training introduces yet another potential reason. To help you navigate this phase without compromising sleep, here are some tips:



  1. Attempt Potty Training When Your Child is Well-Rested: Prioritize addressing any existing sleep challenges before diving into potty training. A well-rested child is more receptive to acquiring new skills.

  2. Utilize Toddler Sleep Tools: Implement sleep tools such as clear sleep rules and a toddler clock to reinforce the idea that once they are in bed, they should stay in bed.

  3. Encourage Potty Use Before and After Bed: Incorporate potty time into your bedtime routine. A bedtime routine chart can motivate your child to try going before bed, and establishing a morning routine reinforces the habit.

  4. Explain the Diaper Use for Sleep: If you've transitioned away from diapers during the day, clarify to your child why a diaper is necessary for sleep.

  5. Allow Limited Potty Use After Bedtime: Recognize that once a child experiences the freedom of no diapers, they may be hesitant to use one again. Provide options based on your child's sleep habits:

  • Potty Pass: For excellent sleepers, offer a pass allowing one bathroom break.

  • Potty in the Room: For those who may not sleep as soundly, consider placing a potty in their room with clear usage rules.

  1. Positive Reinforcement: Celebrate and reinforce positive behavior. Whether your child chooses the potty outside of bedtime or not, consistency and encouragement will guide them through this transition. Offer praise for successful potty moments during the bedtime routine or upon waking.

You've got this! Welcome to the world of (almost) no diapers.


Wishing you rest,

Jennie Clarke

Sleep Consultant




Certified Child Sleep Consultant

Smart Night Sleep


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