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Night Training

Resource Type

Parent Handouts and Info - Parent


Night Training


All Ages

Age Groups

Preschool/Kindergarten (3-5), School Age (6-12)

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Night training

Night training

When your child is completely clean and dry during the day and usually dry after a night of sleep you may want to encourage night time dryness. Staying dry at night is more due to physical maturity not learning, however.

One approach that children find rewarding is a night training calendar. For every dry night allow your child to choose and place a sticker on the calendar for that day. After a certain number of stickers, award a prize. For longer periods of dryness, prizes can get bigger. Set up prizes and rules in advance. Always be encouraging and positive. Don't scold or criticize your child for accidents.

Some children have a harder time achieving night dryness. If this sounds like your child, here are some other techniques you can try.

  • "Magic quarter" self-suggestion technique. Every night before going to bed have your child hold a quarter out at arms length. Tell them to think about waking up to pee and returning to a "nice dry cozy bed". Tell them that they feel the quarter getting "warmer and heavier" until finally it drops to the floor. Have them practice this every night before bed.
  • Alarm. This cool gizmo can help your child learn to recognize the sensation of needing to pee. This is how it works. A sensor is attached to your child's underwear with a metal strip near where the pee first touches the underpants. When their underwear becomes wet, a buzzer sounds waking them up. They should take themselves to the toilet to finish peeing. They should change themselves into clean underwear and pajamas and put a towel over any wet spots on the bed. They should reset the alarm. If they don't wake up enough to do these steps at first, you can take them to do it without turning off the alarm. After a week or so they will start being awake enough to do it on their own. Take them to the toilet to finish peeing. Change them into clean underwear and pajamas and put a towel over any wet spots on the bed. Reset the alarm. Keep a record of success using the night training calendar. When your child has been dry for two weeks have them drink a lot in the evening before going to bed. This will make it harder to stay dry and teach their body how to hold pee even better. The alarm costs about $80 and is covered by Medicaid.

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