It’s 2 am and my 6-year-old is up again with a wet bed. Didn’t I already potty train? Why is this happening? Shouldn’t she be able to get through the night dry by now?
These kind of questions, plus having to get up in the middle of the night, comfort your child, change the sheets, put in a load of laundry, and get everyone back to sleep can take a real physical and emotional toll on you and your child’s self esteem. So what to do? Draw from your vast reserves of parental patience and keep the following facts in mind:
- Know that bedwetting—even in older children—is normal and will pass.
- It most often happens because the bladder is not fully developed and the nerves that control the bladder and brain connection are still maturing and forming connections. Because kids develop at different speeds, there is no way to know how long bedwetting will last, and for many kids, it takes their bodies longer to mature.
- Trying to “train” kids not to wet the bed does not work, and they are not doing it on purpose.
Also, there are some simple steps you can take to help alleviate the inevitable stresses of bedwetting and get back to a better night:
Talk the Talk
Talk to your child in terms he or she can understand. Explain that tons of kids are going through this exact experience right now. Point out that it’s totally normal, that eventually every child stops wetting the bed, and that it is not their fault. If you can, relate any personal experiences you may have like: “Uncle Harry wet the bed until he was 11!” or “Did you know that almost seven million kids in America around your age still wet the bed?”
Let your child know that bedwetting is nothing to be ashamed of, and try not to scold your child for a nighttime accident. Don’t let your child see or feel your frustration. The more upset you are, the more embarrassed and ashamed your child will be, which could lead to self-esteem issues.
Walk the Walk
Once you’ve talked to your child, there are a couple of practical behavioral steps you can take to help with bedwetting. First, limit the intake of fluids a few hours before bedtime. If sassy siblings tend to tease, encourage them to curb their comments and be more supportive.
A visit to the pediatrician can also help set your minds at ease. A sensitive doctor will know how to talk to your child in simple terms, and you can ease your fears by talking to the doctor in private about any possible medical issues.
The Gift of Control
Kids who wet the bed often feel out of control. You can help them take control of the situation by having them help you clean up after accidents. Doing this sends the message that you are not ashamed of them—that this is just another part of life. Further increase their sense of control by discussing any decisions you make around their bedwetting. For example, if you choose to wake your child at night to use the bathroom, explain why, and hear what they have to say.
Give your child the choice between bedwetting solutions available like absorbent underwear or GoodNites® Bed Mats—solutions that help give your child, bedding, and mattress a better (and dryer) night. Bed Mats, awarded the 2013 Product of the Year winner in the Children’s Products category by Product of the Year USA,are innovative pads that adhere to the top of a fitted sheet, and are disposable so you don’t have to spend your days and nights doing endless loads of laundry. Show your child how to “Peel, Place, and Protect” with GoodNites® Bed Mats, and watch as she builds the kind of confidence she’ll need to stay dry for good. For a limited time coupon offer, visit SaveOnGoodNites.com.
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