It’s always difficult to know when the best time to start night time toilet training for your child should be. There is no specific date or time to start – it’s really up to your parental intuition and child’s physiological (bladder and bowel control), cognitive and verbal developmental stages, emotional and social awareness and their individual needs.
It’s also helpful to be aware of you and your partner’s childhood bed wetting history as if you and / or your partner wet the bed till older, it is more likely your child will.
Generally, most children have control over their bladders in the daytime by the age of three and girls seem quicker to adapt than boys. At night it takes a little longer to get to grips with staying dry, as the child has no bladder awareness whilst asleep. The hormone that sends signals to the kidneys to delay urine production whilst resting develops in children at different ages, some younger and some older.
They are either physically capable of holding their urine or waking up to wee or they aren't. If your child is still waking up wet every morning he is not ready to be in underwear and there is no shame in that. Some kids can day train at 2 and still be in pull-ups at 5 or 6. It's just the way they are made and every kid is different. Don’t be concerned if your toddler wets the bed because most children under the age of 5 still urinate in their sleep and one in ten younger primary school children do to.
Doctors consider bed wetting normal until about 7-8 years old. After that point they'll sometimes check to see if there are other reasons for bed wetting (infections, diabetes, etc).
How to tell when your child is ready
- Is your child waking up dry several mornings a week?
- If they are waking up wet, check to see if they are weeing just before they wake. (The nappy will be soaked and the urine warm)
- Your child may attempt to go to the toilet or call out for your help.
- Does your child say they want to try without nappies.
- If your child wakes up every morning with a wet nappy – they are not ready