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DIY Mattress Pad Cover for Nighttime Potty Training

Nighttime potty training is hard on everyone – this DIY waterproof mattress pad cover keeps sheets dry at night and costs pennies to make!

DIY Mattress Pad Cover

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Today I’m tackling one of the toughest parts of parenting a toddler – Potty Training.  Well, specifically nighttime potty training. I would almost guarantee that every parent would list potty training on a list of Tough Parts of Parenting {well, that is until they reach the teenage years} and although there are a ton of methods of potty training out there – one doesn’t work for everybody.

Luckily, Sophia started potty training very early.  She was wearing panties at 18 months, but still had occasional accidents and actually still does.  It’s really hard for a 2.5 year old to pause in play to take a potty break. But now we’re dealing with nighttime potty training and I’ve been reading and learning all the nighttime potty training tips I can.

Nighttime Potty Training

Nighttime potty training isn’t quite as predictable as day potty training {is any of it predictable, though?}.  Training at nighttime is all about waiting for your child to be physically ready to be able to hold their bladder for the entire night, rather than cognitively knowing how to use the potty. Even when they do start being able to successfully potty train at night, accidents are bound to happen. That’s why I love having a few mattress pad covers to double layer beds.

Saddle Style Pad - Absorbs 6 Cups of LiquidSaddle Style Pad – Absorbs 6 Cups of LiquidUnder the bottom fitted sheet would go a mattress protector {the pad type that they use in hospitals}, then a fitted sheet, then a full waterproof mattress cover {bought at Walmart} then another fitted sheet. This works great because if the top sheet is wet in the middle of the night, you just take it off and there’s a dry sheet underneath. Believe me, it’s much easier than fumbling through the closet to find more sheets.

The only problem? The mattress protector I bought from Walmart didn’t last 2 months.  We washed it – a lot and the material was flimsy and began ripping.  So – I decided to DIY! Now, there are plenty of other mattress pad covers that you can buy, but if you’re like me and half a twinge of craftiness and a lot of cheapness, you can make your own!

You could easily do this DIY project with upcycled materials or all new.  Mine was a mixture of both.  I had a set of cheap flannel sheets that had seen better days and a brand new vinyl tablecloth that had been in our garage for forever {a camping purchase}.  I had the idea of topping the cover with fleece.  Because of my experience with cloth diapers, I know that fleece repels liquids, so instead of Sophia laying on a sheet that will be saturated with urine, she’ll be laying on pretty, dry Princesses.

The idea of the Princess fleece works for a few different reasons – including the “You don’t want to pee pee on the Princesses.” That line probably works better than using a mat, actually! You can use the pad on top of your child’s sheets or underneath – either works fine.

DIY Waterproof Mattress Pad Cover

Vinyl Tablecloth with Non-Woven BackingVinyl Tablecloth with Non-Woven BackingSolid Flannel Red Fabric By The YardSolid Flannel Red Fabric By The YardWinter Fleece Owls Multi Fabric By The YardWinter Fleece Owls Multi Fabric By The YardPolar Fleece Print Ombre Hearts Lagoon Fabric By The YardPolar Fleece Print Ombre Hearts Lagoon Fabric By The Yard

Materials Needed:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Vinyl Tablecloth with Felt/Flannel backing [the vinyl backing is what keeps the pad waterproof]. You can find these anywhere but I found this CHEAP one on Amazon – hurry, before it sells out!
  • Flannel/Terry Cloth material for extra absorbency [optional]
  • Flannel/Fleece material for top layer – how adorable is this fleece and fabulous price too!

This is in no way a tutorial as in do it this way.  This is a tutorial as in If I did it, you can do it.  I’m just a beginner at sewing, so I threw this together after I bought a yard of fleece.  I simply cut it in half and cut my other materials to match the size of the fleece that I had.

DIY Mattress Pad Cover

Cut all of your layers to the same size.

Pin layers in this order – your Top and Bottom Layer {fleece and tablecloth} right sides together and the flannel middle layer on top. Then, I sewed all the layers together, leaving about 3 inches so that I could turn the cover inside out.  Once I did that, I went around and closed the opening, as well as the entire project, with a more decorative stitch.

Pin Layers of DIY Mattress Pad Cover

I ended up making 2 Mattress Covers and one I decided to put extra stitches in to see if it makes a difference in bunching.  So far, it seems like my materials are heavy enough so neither will have bunching issues.

Since it has the layer of vinyl, I’d recommend washing on a low temperature setting and line drying. Although the cover won’t exactly solve nighttime potty training issues – they DO make the life of a mother a lot easier – less sheet changing in the middle of the night, protected mattresses, and drier pajamas for the little ones.

I love that the cover is small enough that I can fold it up and take it on trips with us too!  This will alleviate my fears of accidents on hotel beds for sure!
DIY Mattress Pad Cover

If you’re in the middle of potty training, you’ll want to check out my top 5 Nighttime Potty Training Tips too and you’ll love my tutorial on how to make your child DIY Cloth Training Pants for under $3!

Nighttime Potty Training DIY Cloth Training Pants

  1. This is such a great idea! I’ll have to make sure I do this for my son once he is old enough for potty training! I put these under his sheets already but once he gets bigger he will need more coverage 🙂 Thanks again!

  2. How would this compete with a waterproof mattress? I like the idea of making my own but i want a really good waterproofing.

  3. Oh my! this is genius, I have a 7-year-old with serious night time accidents! I use mattress protectors on my bed but for his ugh I wanted something a bit more tailored to his bed! this is what I needed. thank you so much. I’m not much of a seamstress fingers crossed that i don’t screw up!

  4. THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS! i AM LOOKING FOR A TRAINING PAD FOR MY DAUGHTER AS SHE IS TRANSITIONING FROM A CRIB TO AN ADULT SIZED TWIN BED AND SOMETIMES LEAKS THROUGH HER OVERNIGHT DIAPER. aLL THE TRAINING PADS ON THE MARKET ARE SIZED TOO SMALL (AND OVER PRICED) FOR OUR NEEDS. i’M EXCITED TO GET STARTED ON THIS PROJECT! PLUS I HAVE YARDS AND YARDS OF FLANNEL LAYING AROUND. 😉

    I HAVEN’T DECIDED YET IF I WILL MAKE THIS PAD THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF HER BED – ATTACHING ELASTIC TO THE ENDS SO THAT IT CAN TUCK UNDER THE CORNERS OF HER MATTRESS OR JUST MAKE IT EXTRA WIDE TO TUCK UNDER THE SIDES. i THINK THE FORMER MIGHT BE OVERKILL.

  5. Oh my goodness!!!! thank you soooo much for this idea. I didn’t even know how to look for it online and I found your tutorial and it is the smartest thing I could I’ve ever found!!!. I have been washing tons of quilts and towels every day!!!
    I am absolutely trying this. Thanks again.

  6. I just had the brilliant idea if making one of these for the couch my daughter keeps peeing on. Or maybe adding a waterproof layer on the inside of the cushions to protect the foam cushion. Thanks for the epiphany!

  7. Hi again! So I’m ready to sew my first attempt at this, and realized that maybe adding a long length of fabric to the short sides, I can just tuck those under the mattress to hold it in place…. If it gets wet I can carefully pull it out from under the blankets and put in another one without having to re-make the entire bed. It will be a few more days before it’s done (short naps = short sewing times) but I will let you know how that works out. 🙂

  8. Any thoughts on how this could be easily attached to the bed a bit? Our Little One is super active in her sleep and up know this pad would end up scrunched under her or shoved way down under the sheets. A fantastic tutorial and I due plan to use and old crib mattress pad and back it with some on-hand PUL. Any ideas on how to make it stay in place would be much appreciated!

  9. I know this is SO late but PALCO is the only thing that worked for me (As a child) and the only thing that worked for my son. It has a new name now but worked like a charm on me (As a child) and my son. Please look it up. It may seem pricey and it is, but man as a child it helped me with my self confidence BIG time!

  10. I love this! I would love it if you joined and contribute your awesome posts at my link party at City of Creative Dreams , starts on Fridays 😀 Hope to see you there at City of Creative Dreams Link Party.

  11. These would make excellent birthday gifts or a celebration gift for moving from a crib to a “big” bed. Thank you for your tutorial.

  12. I love this idea although I am not a big fan of vinyl because it contains plasticizers. Maybe I could use some PUL?

    I will definitely have to try this when our second starts potty training because he has an organic cotton mattress. It was expensive and I don't want him to ruin it. Thanks so much for this tutorial! 🙂

    1. Absolutely, Angela!  I have a feeling that PUL would perform even better – I simply wanted a cheap, fast sewing project with things I could get quickly.  After quote a few months of use, the vinyl is breaking down as well, so PUL would last longer too!
       

  13. Awesome tutorial! Found you on Pinterest (of course) because I was trying to come up with a DIY Puppy Pad. I was brainstorming but wasn’t sure how well the vinyl table cloths do in a washer?
    Anyway, idk why I didn’t think of this for a nighttime pad for my daughter! We are currently trying to cut out night time pull ups. She is 3 & 1/2 and has been potty trained since her 2nd birthday, but we just can’t knock the nighttime accidents. This pad is perfect! I was fighting myself on whether or not to buy the Brolly Sheets but couldn’t pay this price. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Thank you! It’s not a pad that could take a LOT of abuse. I think if you plan on washing it a lot – say every day or so – then you’ll want to use a sturdier PUL fabric. The vinyl is holding up nicely, but I do line dry {which I would do with any type of waterproof fabric to make it last longer}, but the design has faded so I realize it’s taking some abuse.
      Even using a PUL fabric would still keep this project at a great price!

  14. I don’t have any night-time training tips because we’re not quite there yet, but I do appreciate the tutorial for the DIY mattress pad cover! I’ll have to bookmark this for when we get to that point.

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  16. This is such a great idea! We are on hold with potty training right now. Our son is 29 months old but he’s just not ready yet. When he is ready, I’d like to make some of these, for sure!

  17. I am so making a few of these up. I have mattress covers and we dread putting them on. We always double and sometimes triple sheet our beds and it can get tight getting them all on. With the pads that will take an extra layer off the sides and make it easier to get them on. Thank you for the tutorial.

  18. I am potty training my 28 month old now. He is finally getting it and going regularly on the potty but for naps and nights he still soaks through pull ups so I am waiting until he can start making it through the night without peeing to start nighttime training.

  19. Love this idea! We are struggling with night time accidents as well and we have been spending money on goodnights pull up diapers and we’ve been cleaning our share of sheets. I just received my first sewing machine (I used to sew a lot back in the day but it’s been a very long time) so this seems easy enough that I can pull it off and sounds like its going to save me time and money!

    Thanks for sharing!

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