PM potty training

PT usually has meant “part-time” to me, in reference to one’s work commitment. But in mommy-speak, it refers to potty-training. Ah, potty-training …

Last summer, an unfortunate bout of chicken pox was just the impetus we needed to fully potty-train Maya (she was 2 1/2).

Though she’d been regularly going on the potty since before she was 2, she needed that jolt and once she did, there was no going back. I sent her to school with diapers for nap … but within a few weeks of her being daytime potty-trained, her teachers told me she was doing great without them at nap-time. Wha?!!

I was shocked; I had assumed since she was coming home in the same clothes each day, it just meant they had her in a diaper at nap. Turns out she was in underwear and just stayed dry. Since then, she’s done great — with the exception of a few accidents along the way, of course.

For the past year, I’ve just let her be with daytime/nap PT and figured we’d cross the evening PT bridge sometime before her fourth birthday in December. Reason being: you can “teach” daytime PT, but night-time PT is a physiological issue, and not all kids her age can stay dry for 12 hours. In fact, only about half can.

Maya is a very deep sleeper (like her daddy!). Since she had never once woken dry in an overnight diaper or Pull-Up in her 3.5 years on earth, I knew I’d be taking a risk when, a couple weeks ago, we had a talk about not using Pull-Ups anymore and wearing underwear to bed like a big kid. Full disclosure: I also might have named some of her night-time potty-trained girlfriends for good measure. 😉

She was gung-ho for the idea but the first few nights she woke up soaked, and we did a lot of laundry (so glad we have two mattress covers so we can wash and rotate!). I tried not to make her feel ashamed and just told her we’d try again, but ultimately I realized she wasn’t ready and that I was probably pushing her too soon. As a heavy sleeper, she just couldn’t do it yet.

But then last Thursday night I remembered a “magic bullet” trick a couple friends had mentioned: putting their still-sound-asleep “big kid” on the potty before they went to sleep around 11 PM. And — miraculously — ever since, she’s been consistently been dry between 8-11 PM; successfully peed on the potty while sound asleep; then been dry from 11 PM-7AM.

Of course, I expect she will have accidents here and there (she is only 3) and I don’t know how long I’ll be bringing her to the potty in the middle of the night … but it’s fine for now. The timing is good: Ben has been sleeping through the night for like 6 months now and she’s not waking up when she pees … so it’s just a two-minute process that isn’t disruptive for us.

So, in a nutshell, that’s what is working: the pre-bed pee! Oh and the promise of a carousel ride/ fro-yo each Friday if she’s dry all week 😉 Those are promises I am more than happy to fulfill!!

How about you? What tricks worked for your big kid?


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