My Kids Were Scared to Go to the Bathroom at Night — Until I Found This Genius Solution

published Oct 5, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Close-Up Of Hand On Table At Home
Credit: Getty Images/Kiyoshi Hijiki / EyeEm

During potty training, I knew my kids were physically capable of making it to the potty in the middle of the night, but I needed a solution to flush away their fears about what they considered to be a harrowing quest to the bathroom. Asking them to agree to the Herculean feat of getting out of bed in the dark while everyone else in the house is fast asleep, walking across their bedroom and down the hallway to use the toilet in the dead of night was met with shaking heads and wide-eyes that screamed, “No way!”

In my efforts to convince them that walking to the potty in the night doesn’t have to be scary, I started the search for fun night-lights that would incentivize a trip to the toilet.

And boy, did I find them.

Color-Changing Toilet Night Lights Are a Real Thing

When my kids were little, I dreaded waking up to their shadowy silhouette silently hovering by my bedside in the middle of the night. As if the heart-clutching shock of this jarring visit wasn’t enough, couple it with them tapping my shoulder and uttering the words no mom or dad wants to hear at 3 a.m. (or ever): “I peed my bed.” 

Upon hearing this proclamation I knew I had two choices: either invite my child into my bed and hope we all fall asleep again despite the adrenaline coursing through our veins, or fling off my sheets and make a mad dash to do damage control, hoping to find that the waterproof mattress pad on their bed lived up to its promises. 

But these brilliant motion sensor activated LED toilet night-lights literally shed new light on the situation. Once I added this $14 item to my kids’ nighttime repertoire, potty training in the wee hours went from a nightmare to a dream. My kids no longer feared the ominous journey to the bathroom, because they knew they’d have a light waiting for them at the end of that hallway tunnel. 

Going above and beyond the standard issue night-light you plug into the wall, the toilet night-light illuminates your actual toilet bowl in eight colors that rotate. You can also choose one fixed color (maybe not red, though, because it’s admittedly a little spooky). Just add three AAA batteries and attach it to the side of the bowl via the universal mount. 

Once night falls and movement is detected, the bulb goes to work to banish fear in the darkness. When the toilet bowl lights up, it stays on for two minutes. This was sometime a bit problematic when my kids needed longer, but a wave of their hand in front of the motion sensor reactivated the light. Just be sure to remind them to aim to the center of the bowl, away from the lightbulb. But, if the bulb gets in the line of fire, simply clean it off with a bleach wipe.

Let’s say your kids don’t have any nighttime fears, the toilet light is still genius in its functionality for other reasons! Potty training typically requires cajoling to some extent, so when kids are in that phase of learning, this toilet night-light offers encouraging motivation to use the bathroom at night. In the morning, I’d always ask my kids what color they saw when they triumphantly made it to the potty, and they couldn’t wait to tell me with great pride.

The toilet night-light comes in a two-pack for just under $14, so go ahead and attach one to your own bowl, too. It really came in handy for all those middle-of-the-night bathroom visits when I was pregnant with my second child. Now, as a bleary-eyed parent who doesn’t want to search for my glasses when nature calls in the middle of the night, I gladly accept all the help I can get to light the way. 

Want more great ideas for families with kids? Sign up below for Cubby’s Thursday newsletter or get one weekly text featuring our best meal ideas, editor-approved product recommendations, and all the kid’s room decor ideas you needWe’re also on Instagram and TikTok!

Cubby: A Weekly Newsletter for Families at Home

Whether you need smart solutions or fresh ideas, our editors at Kitchn and Apartment Therapy are here with our best meal plans, organizing and design tips, toy recommendations, and more.