Potty-training can be difficult for parents, particularly at night. Even if your little one is fully toilet-trained during the day, he might not be ready to go all night without a diaper or training pants. If you're almost there, but still have the occasional accident to deal with, a mattress protector keeps your child's bed clean and sanitary, while also cutting down on the cleanup in the middle of the night.
Choosing a Mattress Protector
Not all mattress protectors are the same, so check out a few before deciding on the one that will work best for you. Choose one that fits your child's bed snugly, which will prevent it from bunching up and making your little one uncomfortable. Look for protectors that tuck under the mattress so they stay put. The material that mattress protectors are made from is often crinkly sounding, so feel your choices to find the one that is the quietest. Find mattress protectors that are easy to wash and take off and on the bed -- they'll be handy during middle of the night changes.
How to Use
Mattress protectors are pretty clear-cut when it comes to use. Simply place it over your child's sheets and tuck it under the mattress. Some parents stack two or three covers on the bed. If an accident occurs during the night, remove the soiled mattress cover and go back to bed. This is handy because you won't have to disassemble the bed and put on a new mattress cover before you can all go back to sleep. If you prefer to have the mattress cover under the sheet, stack a couple of layers so you can whip off both the sheets and the cover with a clean set underneath.
Follow the directions for caring for your mattress covers. The directions should be on the tag or label. However, general care requires a simple run through the washing machine and dryer for cloth mattress covers. If the cover is made from plastic, rinse it with soap and water in the bathtub and hang it up to dry. Urine might pool on the plastic version rather than soaking in like cloth ones. Take care to roll the cover as you remove it from the bed or you might wind up cleaning the floors or having to change clothes before going back to bed. Once a mattress cover looks worn or gets holes, throw it away and buy a new one.
Mattress covers come in handy for nighttime potty-training, but not all children toilet-train at the same pace. If you go through several mattress covers nightly, your child might not be ready to go all night without emptying his bladder. If this is the case, don't push it. Go back to training pants to reduce feelings of failure and frustration on the part of your little one.