Nighttime potty training is hard on everyone – this homemade waterproof pee pad for kids keeps sheets dry at night and costs pennies to make!
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Today I’m tackling one of the toughest parts of parenting a toddler – potty training and specifically nighttime potty training.
I would almost guarantee that every parent would list potty training on a list of tough parts of parenting and although there are a ton of methods of potty training out there – there’s not one method that works for everybody.
Luckily, Sophia started potty training very early. She was wearing panties at 18 months, but still had occasional accidents, which is totally normal.
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 isn’t quite as predictable as day potty training. But then again, is any of it predictable!? 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 protectors to double layer beds.
These pee pads for kids are just like a large square of waterproof backed fabric that go between your mattress and a fitted sheet. I bought a couple from Walmart when we started our nighttime potty training journey.
The only problem? The mattress protector I bought didn’t last 2 months. We washed it – a lot and the material was flimsy and began ripping.
So, what do you do when this happens? You make your own pee pads for kids, of course! Now, there are plenty of other better quality, 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 mattress protector 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. I had the idea of topping the cover with fleece.
Because of my experience with cloth diapers, I know that fleece actually repels liquid. So the idea behind these homemade pee pads is that they’ll trap the urine to protect your mattress, but won’t leave your child laying on extremely wet sheets.
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.
This is not your typical tutorial, just like all of my tutorials. 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.
First you’ll pin all your layers in this order – your top and bottom layer with right sides together. If you’re using another absorbent material in the middle, put it there – in the middle.
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.
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 this waterproof mattress protector has a 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 also 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! It’s also great because it will fit any size mattress or crib.
Have you heard of the DOUBLE MADE BED method?
You can use your homemade pee pad with this method. I’ve found some success with it, so I wanted to share so maybe you can get a little more sleep while nighttime potty trainging!
In this method, you will layer your child’s bed like this:
- Mattress Protector [like the DIY one in this post!]
- Fitted Sheet
- Full Waterproof Mattress Cover [one that actually fits a mattress]
- 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.
If you’re in the middle of potty training, I want to wish you luck and just know – it will happen when your child is ready. For now, this homemade pee pads for kids tutorial will help your child sleep drier and better during the process!
And for extra help, check out this tutorial for DIY Cloth Training Pants!
- Vinyl Tablecloth with Felt/Flannel backing [the vinyl backing is what keeps the pad waterproof].
- Flannel/Terry Cloth material for extra absorbency [optional]
- Fleece material for top layer
- Sewing Machine
- Fabric Scissors
- 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.
- Sew all the layers together, leaving about 3 inches so that you are able to turn your work inside out.
- Once reversed, close the opening. You can add a decorative stitch around the entire pee pad.
- Optional: Add in extra stitches [think quilt like squares] to help with bunching, especially if you add an extra absorbency layer.
Since it has the layer of vinyl, I’d recommend washing on a low temperature setting and line drying.