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Night, Night, Night Potty


Nighttime pottying can be a great addition to your EC practice, but only if it helps everyone get more sleep. In today’s episode, Nicole troubleshoots 3 questions from mamas who want to catch more pees while still catching their z’s.


You Will Hear:

  • Important considerations for nighttime EC
  • Which back-ups work best for nighttime
  • Strategies for getting baby pottied quickly and quietly and back to sleep
  • How to use different potties to improve your nighttime routine
  • When to move from nighttime EC into nighttime potty training


Links and other resources mentioned today:


Download the Transcript

If you can't listen to this episode right now (um, sleeping baby!?) and read the transcript here:

Transcript Download: Night, Night, Night Potty.pdf

Watch the Video Version

If you want to watch Nicole record today’s podcast episode, you can do that on my youtube version right here:

Resource Recommendation

Go Diaper Free: my popular EC book that simplifies EC, beginning to end

Thanks for Listening!

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Did you practice nighttime EC? What worked for you to get the most sleep?


I look forward to discussing with you in the comments, below!

xx Andrea

Disclosure Note: As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from purchases made through the links on this page.

Andrea Olson

About Andrea Olson

I'm Andrea and I spend most of my time with my 6 children (all under 12 yo) and the rest of my time teaching other new parents how to do Elimination Communication with their 0-18 month babies. I love what I do and try to make a difference in one baby or parent's life every single day. (And I love, love, love, mango gelato.)


  1. Avatar Tabitha Pandolf on January 10, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    We found that our baby sleeps longest when he pees 2 or 3 times after eating, before going down to sleep. We’ve had 6 hour stretches of sleep with a dry diaper starting around 3weeks old. EC full time since birth.

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on January 10, 2023 at 3:42 pm

      That is awesome, you go momma!!! So happy to hear that EC is helping you all get more restful sleep!

  2. Avatar Cosima on January 10, 2023 at 6:16 pm

    Hi Andrea and Nicole,

    I practised EC combined with cloth diapers during day and night time with both my daughters, the older one being diaperfree at 17 months daytime and 22 months nighttime, the younger one a bit later (22 months daytime, 28 at night). Now at 34 month, she suddenly wets the bed nearly every night, sometimes even twice or even after her afternoon nap. That is quite confusing because she was able to hold it for 12 hours or longer without difficulties or went to the potty with me when she woke up. Even during the day she can hold it for 3-5 hours and never wets her pants, so her bladder must be quite big and strong. But now suddenly she seems to have a deeper sleep and doesn’t notice that she has to go – at least that’s what I assume. I had her urine checked for infections, but she is healthy and does neither suffer from stress or mental problems (I believe), so I really wonder why this happens and hope that it is just a phase of development that will pass quickly. Maybe you have any hints for me what to do (apart from limiting fluids in the evening and doing a dream pee, which I already do)?

    Thanks in advance and greetings from Germany,

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on January 12, 2023 at 9:13 pm

      Hi! First off you are doing great! Sometimes our littles just go through these phases. You are already doing what I would recommend with limiting fluids and incorporating dream pees. I would also try to mention to her as we go to bed to try to stay dry during the night and to remember to wake up to go potty if we need to, that way it’s in her mind to stay dry during sleep.

  3. Avatar Catherine on January 16, 2023 at 11:26 am

    Question about dream pees with older children: Do you set an alarm to wake up at a certain time in the middle of the night? My 33 month old and I bed-share and he is reliant on me waking up in order for him to stay dry at night. He moves around in the bed when he needs to go pee and usually that is enough for me to wake up and take him to the toilet in time. Some nights though, I feel he is not moving until he has already gone pee in his trainer, or I’m so tired that I do not notice him moving until it’s too late. The past few nights he has had more wet nights than dry ones. I don’t know how to get him wake up to make the pee in the toilet. We already read Night Potty every night. He wears a cotton trainer to sleep, but I have been putting a disposable diaper over that because he is fairly consistently wetting at night. He seems to need to pee between 1 and 2 in the morning, and then he can stay dry the rest of the night. If he doesn’t manage to wake me up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet then he will be wet. What is the best course of action to take to prevent this?

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on January 19, 2023 at 3:35 pm

      Hi! First off you are doing great!!! This happens sometimes and is totally normal, and typically will pass with time. If you haven’t already, try limiting fluids an hour or two before bed time, to help encourage night time dryness.

  4. Avatar marta on January 19, 2023 at 8:26 pm

    I have a 5 month old and we have been doing EC since 1 week old. We practiced minimal nighttime EC, peeing him whenever he was signaling strongly for >5 minutes or if he woke up to nurse, so as to help him establish his sleep first. This usually was a couple times during the night. Then we hit the 4 month sleep regression and it has turned into almost 6. He will strongly signal his need to pee (usually scooting around the bed—“the potty dance”—and grunting) in his sleep until I get him up and pee him on the tophat potty, and does this every hour or two all night. I try letting him sleep through it but he has a very strong urge to hold it. He also cries very loudly if I don’t nurse him while he is on the tophat potty. But once he starts nursing, he often falls back asleep and I dream feed him for 30 minutes or more—and maybe he pees at the end of it all. Or he doesnmt and I try to lay him back down and he wakes up and I can’t nurse him back to sleep or he overeats and spits up. Both our sleep at night are suffering. My husband is having to take him early in the morning so I can get some sleep and not lose my mind. I am willing to try other methods, and have already tried quitting EC at night to help us both. Any tips would be helpful.

    • Avatar T on January 20, 2023 at 12:30 am

      I understand exactly what you are saying! I’m curious about how they’ll answer your question. I’ve had some similar things happen. I’m committed to doing EC full time too.

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on January 24, 2023 at 3:43 pm

      Hi Marta! First of all you are doing great! At 5 months babies are going through a lot of developmental changes and it is more than okay for take a break from night time training. Many parents find that focusing first on getting out of day time diapers during the first year, then focusing on getting out of night time diapers from ages 1 – 2 works best for them. That way there isn’t this immense pressure to get baby out of daytime and night time diapers all at once. Its a big undertaking and simply not practical for many parents today. Many will also find that as your little one becomes diaper free during the day, they will naturally begin to stay dry for longer periods at night, helping the night time diaper free process. Remember, you do not have to tackle it all at once, and it is more than okay to take a small break and revisit EC. EC is a non-linear journey and will have many ups and downs. You are doing an amazing job momma!

      • Avatar Marta on January 25, 2023 at 11:34 am

        I was trying my best not to do nighttime EC but he would scoot around the bed until he would wake up eventually when he needed to pee anyways, so I had to get ip either way:(

        • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on January 30, 2023 at 10:40 pm

          That’s such a rough spot to be in, and it can be very overwhelming. He is going through many milestones and as he gets older he will naturally stay dry for longer periods of time. Again you are doing great!

  5. Avatar Tash on May 28, 2024 at 3:37 pm

    I’d love to ask for help… My baby is only 4 months, we only do part-time EC, but unfortunately I think the urge to pee might be contributing to him waking. He slept through the night 5 days in a row from the day before 3 months and not again since.. How much he wakes at night now varies, once has been the least, but other times more. Till now, when he wakes I’ve just tried feeding him back to sleep and was ignoring night EC. But this baby, unlike my first, only really feeds for food usually (aside from the night time).

    In general with EC, whilst he can and will pee in his nappy, he’s often holding till offered. There’s commonly times I’ll sit him on his potty (after a couple of hours ie. Through nap) and he immediately does a massive wee.

    Tonight, I’d fed him back to sleep at 10 and 2 when he woke, but when he woke at 4 I decided I wasn’t going to cause it wasn’t hunger. At first I’d thought it might’ve been a missed burp, so I’d tried sitting him up. Nope. I’ve taken the aware parenting approach with him, so was planning on just holding him and if there was no burp letting him cry himself back to sleep, however the principle of that approach is, have you met all their needs first. That’s when I realised he might need to pee, so I pottied him. Yup, big pee. I’d noticed he was trying to suck his hand on the potty, which is his tell-tale, “I want to sleep” sign, and he’s incredible like that, can go to sleep so long as he’s comfortable and his needs have been met. So I decided to not feed to sleep, but just see what happened. So put him into his bassinet peaceful, and then went to the bathroom myself. He was asleep by the time I got back.

    For the first 2-3 months of life I was offering the potty overnight with every wake. I’d always feed first cause that was his clear preference, and he’d easily go back to sleep after pottying anyway. I stopped the last month and a bit after the sleeping through the night period. Whilst in truth, I’d love to ignore night time EC and have him go back to sleeping through the night, I suspect he won’t do that easily. Even at the time I suspect the reason he started waking was the desire to pee not hunger. I am all for respectful parenting, so if that’s his need, and it’s making him uncomfortable, I want to meet that need. But I’m unsure of how to do so. How do I know he needs to pee versus hungry versus something else? What are the hints that might suggest pee? (I couldn’t find the podcast with this, and whilst I know you mention it in there, I can’t listen to the audiobook right now). How many times a night can I expect to need to offer potty? I’m not aiming for 100% of catches, just what is needed for him to be comfortable etc and sleep better, but it would be helpful to know how many times a night a 4.5 month old would pee if doing full time EC overnight etc.

    I suppose, I want to help my baby meet his needs and not just try retrain him to sleep in his pee if it’s not what he wants to do (though gee I still want to sleep). He’s in the cosleeper right next to me, so I wake when he wakes, he doesn’t have to scream

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on June 2, 2024 at 11:37 pm

      There isn’t really a one size fits all when it comes to our little ones signs for needing to go to the bathroom. Follow your momma intuition, often we know when it’s a bathroom need and when it’s not. You’re doing great momma! As he gets older it will be easier to night train as he will need to go less often. Right now he is still so young that he may need to pee two or more times during the night, especially if he is waking to nurse. Again you are doing great!

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