Toddler Night Wakings

When my daughter was a baby she didn’t sleep through the night consistently until 9 months old. Then she reverted again around a year and it took another two months before she was sleeping consistently again. It was an amazing time. Both my husband and I were well rested for the first time in over a year. One of the biggest worries I have had about our new baby is whether I’ll be able to manage the lack of sleep again while still caring for a toddler. Well, now I have a new worry. My toddler has begun waking up in the night again.

It has been so exciting watching my daughter become potty trained. She is pretty much completely day trained and is also going without diapers at nap time. However we have faced a new challenge I did not anticipate. On her way to night time dryness she has begun waking up multiple times a night and asks to use the potty. While on some level I should be pleased because this means she will soon be completely diaper free, part of me would gladly let her continue to wear diapers at night for a few more months if it meant I could get more sleep. On Sunday night she woke up 3 times: 12:30 AM, 2:30 AM and 4:45 AM. I don’t quite know what to do about it. This is almost worse than having a newborn again. I’m in my last two months of pregnancy and rest is the one thing I really can’t do without. But my husband also needs to be functioning on all cylinders at work and hopefully have some energy left to help me out at home in the evenings.

Possible solutions I’ve come up with so far include: limiting her water intake during the evening and no longer letting her sleep with a sippy cup. (This may have a serious temporary consequences as my daughter is such a creature of habit that she may cry for quite a while at bed time if denied her routine sippy cup of water). I’ve also considered ignoring her nighttime cries and hoping she will eventually go back to sleep. (This may produce even less sleep for us all as she is very loud and hard to drown out, even down the hall with doors closed.) My other option is to just keep putting up with it and hoping the behavior will fade with time (not my favorite solution). Any suggestions anyone?


4 thoughts on “Toddler Night Wakings

  1. I feel your pain! Although my daughter is nowhere near potty trained, she also wakes up several times a night. I believe her problem is separation anxiety. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to fix either one.

    I am curious though. Is she actually going potty at those times, or are they mostly false alarms?

    1. She almost always goes potty every time she wakes up to do so. Which is what makes it frustrating. We could ignore her otherwise. But at bedtime so does develop this strange obsession that she is going to go if she just sits on the potty for a very long time. (I think this is mostly a stalling tactic). While she is capable of holding it for long periods of time during the day, it seems like at night she thinks its more urgent. (In spite of the fact that we actually still have her in diapers at night).

      1. Wow, what a nightmare! I’m so sorry.

        I wonder if you could replace the sippy cup with something else, like a security blanket or a stuffed animal she likes, and limit her water intake, like you said. That’s about the only thing I can think of. I know that’s going to be tough, but if you can eliminate the need to pee, then maybe she won’t wake up. I guess that depends on what’s waking her to begin with, if it’s the need to pee, or if she just wakes up and decides that she should pee before going back to sleep.

        I sure wish you the best of luck. Keep me posted on how things work out.

      2. She has several stuffed animals that she is very attached to and she seems to be adjusting to not having a cup at night. So far I think she just wakes up in the night and decides that she should pee before going back to sleep. Now I just to focus on making her drink more and pee more often during the day. I’m convinced that she can hold it longer during the day than she can at night.

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