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We just recently potty trained our 2.5 years old son. This didn't take a very long time luckily (about 5-6 days of "incidents" and suddenly no more).

The issue now is with night training, because he wants a baby bottle with some water to fall asleep and we're not sure how to stop this behaviour.

The sleeping routine goes like this:

  • Brushing teeth
  • He complains that he doesn't want to sleep
  • After 5 minutes or something he gives up and comes willingly
  • We change him into his pyjamas, at which point he starts asking for his "blue water" (the bottle is blue and he only gets that for sleeping)
  • We put him to bed
  • Since we only put a very small amount of water (about 30ml), he asks a couple of times for more water. In total that's probably around 90 or 100 ml
  • He falls asleep
  • After some time when we check on him, we see that he's not keeping the bottle in his mouth, it's usually somewhere around the bed: that's why we're not really concerned about the teeth.

This happens consistently and it's been very useful as a routine until now.

The issue is that of course this makes it more difficult to do the training to remove the night diapers. They're quite full in the morning, and sometimes so full that we need to completely change his clothes because those are also wet.

He also has a couple of stuffed animals he brings to bed. If we try to take away one of those he's a bit disappointed but nothing major happens. If we try not to give him the water bottle, then a tantrum is coming for sure.

Background info: until he was about 1.5 years old, he used to carry that same blue bottle everywhere and kept drinking from it, including to fall asleep. It took a bit of effort to take it away and to do that we told him that he would get that only to sleep. So, yes, in retrospect that might not have been a wise choice, but it looked like an improvement at the time.

So, the advice that I'm looking for is how to make him not need his little bottle of water.

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I also would not worry too much about the 100ml water, either because he probably needs more liquids, as WendyG suggests, or because you'll find he's soaked even if he doesn't get it, since it's not that much.

What I did with my kid was scoop her, still sleeping, out of bed and put her on the potty right before I went to bed myself, which was generally 2-4 hours after she did. I'd wake her enough to pee, then wipe her and put her back in bed. She never over-flowed her diaper, and stayed dry through the night even after leaving diapers. I don't remember when I stopped this -- sometime before she turned six, I think.

She always fell right back to sleep, however -- never even remembered it the next morning -- which might not be true for your kid. Plus, we later found she has a large bladder, which also might not be true for your kid! So your mileage may vary.

If this works, then you can perhaps start de-emphasizing the bottle. Give it to him with at least 100ml to start with, so that he doesn't have to ask for more. Never mention it, never argue about it, and find other lovey things to emphasize at bed-time. He may start forgetting about it himself. Though he still may wet through during the night.

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  • Thank you, we'll try de-emphasize it as you suggest. I suspect it's more of psychological attachment rather than real need for water, but we'll see how that goes – ChatterOne Apr 3 at 16:02
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if he is drinking that much before bed, he doesn't seem to be drinking enough before bedtime, try giving him a drink he likes about 1 hour before bed, a glass of milk etc.

Then try to refuse these drinks.

And don't worry about night training at 2.5 especially if he is overflowing a night nappy.

Night time dryness is based on a hormone being released which doesn't work for the first years of a child's life. My son was daytime dry about 2 but he was at school before being night time dry.

but never the less he doesn't want to be overflowing so that needs sorting.

read this link baby center

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  • Is it really considered that much water? 100ml is less than half a glass of water, right? – ChatterOne Apr 2 at 15:01
  • @ChatterOne not for you and me, but for a wee one just before bedtime maybe (you seemed concerned, so i didn't pay much attention to be honest) – WendyG Apr 2 at 16:21

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