The Surprising Secrets Behind Nighttime Dryness

By Dr. Heather Wittenberg 

This post is sponsored by GoodNites Nighttime Underwear.

As a child development expert and mom, I’ve spent numerous hours listening to other moms’ concerns about potty training and nighttime wetting. There are tons of misconceptions about achieving nighttime dryness in children by the time that they’re potty trained. What most parents don’t realize is that nighttime dryness cannot be taught – it only comes with time. Nighttime wetting is most often a physical phase of development that children grow out of in time, so there’s no reason to stress about it. Nighttime dryness evolves naturally as children grow, and no amount of rewards, training, or begging will speed along the process!


There are lots of nighttime dryness myths that persist out there. Here are the most common ones:

  • MYTH #1 -- Once your child is potty trained during the daytime, they will automatically be dry at night – This is by far one of the biggest misconceptions that I’ve found among parents. Daytime potty training and nighttime dryness are two completely separate things. If your child is dry during the day, congrats! But nighttime dryness is a complex and separate process. As long as they’re healthy, they’re going to be dry at night when their body is ready. Timing varies tremendously from child to child – and is largely genetic!
  • MYTH #2 -- I should reward my child in the morning when they wake up with dry sheets – Unfortunately, praise, incentives and rewards don’t work the same way for nighttime wetting as they do during the potty training process. Parents may unintentionally do more harm than good by creating the impression that nighttime dryness is something that can be controlled. There’s really nothing you can do to encourage a child to be dry at night, because it’s a brain-body development thing that we cannot control, involving common factors like bladder size, bladder growth and hormone release. Remember – your kiddo won’t be wet at night forever, and they’ll grow into nighttime dryness as their bodies mature.
  • MYTH #3 -- There’s nothing that can help me and my child – Actually, there is! While you’re waiting for Mother Nature to do her thing, GoodNites NightTime Underwear can help you to have easier, more restful nights for everyone. They’re disposable nighttime underwear that are discreet, easy-to-use, and now come in an extra small size, specifically designed to fit children who are recently potty trained, but still experiencing wetness at night. The extra small and small/medium sizes also offer 40% more protection vs. the leading training pant.

Take the pressure off everyone, and enjoy your kiddo at this incredible stage of development! As long as your pediatrician says your child is A-OK, know that there’s nothing to worry about. Nighttime dryness will develop naturally over the course of your child’s development, on their own internal clock. The good thing is, you can help and support them until then with GoodNites.

Dr. Heather Wittenberg is a child psychologist specializing in the development of babies and toddlers. She’s the author of Let’s Get This Potty Started! And has been a Kimberly-Clark Partner since 2012. She lives in Hawaii with her husband and four children, all of them, thank heavens, now potty trained. You can learn more about her at For additional nighttime wetting tips, visit

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