Back to Blog

Daytime training first versus day and nights together?

Jan 24, 2023

Potty training is one of the most daunting and anxiety inducing developmental milestones for parents with toddlers. 

The question of "Do I potty train day and night together or start with days first?" is a question that plagues many parents minds before they start.

Starting with days and nights together has its benefits. Let's take a look at why you should consider ditching those diapers both days and nights.


The Difference Between Daytime and Night Time Training

Being developmentally and biologically ready for daytime potty training versus nighttime potty training is very different. A child can show all the signs of readiness  for daytime potty training, but can still be waking up with a soaking wet diaper. 

To be able to stay dry during the night, a child needs to obtain a certain level of hormone production that produces less urine during the night versus day. The sleep cycle and bladder also need to get to a point where a child can wake up when the bladder is full, otherwise known as the brain to bladder connection. 

And whilst its true that typically children will naturally gain bladder control during nights over time, the reality is children are sleeping dry during the night a lot earlier than parents realize.


How To Know If Your Child Is Ready To Ditch Diapers At Nights

Typically a child’s bladder and hormone levels are reliable for dry nights from the age of 3 onwards. However, as each child develops differently and at different stages, for many kids this can happen a lot earlier than parents realize. And the reason is simple: Children tend to stay dry throughout the night and only pee upon wake up when they begin to stir.

The way to determine if your child is ready is to do what I like to call the Diaper Check Trick. 

The Diaper Check Trick is when you check your child’s diaper before their usual wake up time to determine whether it's dry or wet. This can be around 20-30 minutes before your child’s usual wake up time.

The idea is to record whether your child’s diaper is dry, light or warm or heavy before they begin to wake up and stir over a 7 day period. If the diaper is dry more than 50% of the time, it's likely they are ready to ditch diapers both days and nights. If your child is still more wet than dry, then check again in a few weeks time to determine if they are more dry.


The Benefit Of Starting Days And Nights Together

Removing diapers days and nights together sends a very clear message to your child and in a way that they can process: It communicates that they can no longer rely on diapers to pee or poop and they must listen to their urges and use a potty. 

Removing diapers from day 1 of potty training sends a very clear cut message: that pee and poop belong in the potty and nowhere else… and by doing this, the messaging to your child is consistent which avoids confusion, which means attaining diaper-free days and nights 


When to consider daytime training first, nights later

There is no sugar coating it. Potty training can be physically and emotionally draining! It takes a lot of energy, time, patience and focus.

Night time training may require some potty breaks during the night... and in the beginning, will see your washing load increase and you will most certainly have disrupted sleep to start. 

Perhaps you’re juggling an infant and potty training and you’re already needing to preserve all the sleep you can get. Or maybe you simply want to preserve your sleep and find it more convenient to tackle days first. 

I personally potty trained my first child during the day first and started night training around 6 months later. For my second child, I potty trained her day and night at the same time and I found it easier and faster. 

So, even if you find your child is capable to sleep dry some nights and you’re not up for the commitment of a midnight potty break - thats okay too. 

And if your child is still wet during those Diaper Checks, they may not be there developmentally just yet.

Make a call on what is manageable for you at this point in time... and go into it being confident and happy in your decision. 


If Daytime Training First, Consider Pull-Up Alternatives At Night

If you choose daytime training first, consider these alternatives to pull-ups for sleeps to keep messaging consistent for your kid. 

You'll also be able to read up about why I think pull-ups are a complete waste of your money here.


Needing help with night time training? You can find more info on my night time mini course here.



Ready to ditch diapers for good this summer?

Fast, easy, stress-free potty training IS possible with our best-selling course Cut The Crap. Love it, or your money back.