Potty Training?

Potty Training and Nap Time

May 24, 20242 min read

As a certified gentle sleep coach, I get asked a lot about potty training and nap time. They can feel like the Wild West of toddlerhood – exciting frontiers with plenty of potential for mess (and meltdowns!). But fear not, fellow parents! Here are some tips to navigate these milestones with a touch of gentle guidance:

Understanding Your Toddler's Needs:

  • Development Matters: Potty training readiness depends on your child's individual development.There's no magic age. Look for signs like increased interest in the toilet, staying dry for longer stretches, or wanting to wear "big kid" underwear.

  • Respecting Sleep Cues: Similarly, pay attention to your toddler's nap cues. Are they rubbing their eyes, getting cranky, or losing interest in play? Make sure to follow your little one's regular schedule to prevent over-tiredness.

Potty Training at Nap Time:

  • Diaper or Underwear?: This is a personal choice. Some parents prefer diapers for guaranteed leak protection. Others opt for underwear to promote awareness of bodily sensations. I typically suggest starting with diapers/pull-ups and then gradually transitioning to underwear as accidents become less frequent.

  • Pre-Nap Potty Break: Make a potty trip a consistent part of the pre-nap routine. Even if they don't go, it reinforces the habit and can prevent accidents. Keep it short and sweet – no pressure, just a friendly reminder.

  • Accidents Happen: Leaks are inevitable, especially in the beginning. Stay calm, clean up with a smile, and offer another potty opportunity. Avoid making a big deal about it, as that can create anxiety.

Gentle Sleep Techniques:

  • Consistent Nap Routine: Create a predictable nap routine that includes calming activities like reading a book or singing a lullaby. This helps your toddler wind down and prepare for sleep.

  • Positive Reinforcement: Celebrate successes, big and small! A sticker chart or a simple "good job!" can go a long way in motivating your little one.


  • Every Child is Different: Some toddlers take to potty training quickly, while others need more time. Be patient, trust your child's cues, and adjust your approach as needed.

  • Communication is Key: Talk to your child about using the potty and what to expect during nap time. Use simple language and positive words.

  • Don't Stress: Stress can impact both potty training and sleep. Relax, have fun, and remember that this is a temporary phase.

By understanding your toddler's development and using gentle techniques, you can navigate the exciting (and sometimes messy!) world of potty training and nap time with confidence. And remember, as a certified gentle sleep coach I am always here to help on your parenting journey!

Yours in sleep,

Tracie / Rest Well Baby

Tracie Kesatie

Certified Gentle Sleep Coach

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