Chat with Ruthie helping kids over come bedwetting!
First things first– I’m totally labeling myself as a bed-wetter reformed (mostly) adult! I’m not ashamed that I wet the bed into the double digits of my childhood or that I often jump up running in the middle of the night to avoid accidents, even today!
As you can tell my kids didn’t have a shot at NOT being bed-wetters, if genetics has anything to do with it! Each of my 3 kids had trouble with bed-wetting as children, some longer than others.
When they were young, I had them wear pull-ups to bed every night. Which solves the problem for a little while until you can see whether or not they’ll out grow it by age 4 or 5. Sometimes cutting back on drinks about an hour before bed can help! I didn’t always see improvement doing that… but, it’s worth a shot! Of course making a trip to the potty right before bedtime is essential! The most important thing is to not make your child feel bad about it! They’re not wetting the bed because they’re lazy! That’s a common misconception and punishing a child for wetting the bed is really uncalled for in my book.
I believe and it’s my experience that some people just sleep deeper and miss the bodies cues about emptying their bladder. I remember my mom saying to me, “Ruthie, if you think you’re going potty in the night but you don’t hear the tinkle- your not on the toilet so RUN!” That advice, right there, is still useful to me today! In all honesty- I occasionally still have dreams that I’m going to the bathroom and when I don’t hear the tinkle, I jump up running for the toilet!
My mom also let me experience the natural consequences of wetting the bed. She taught me how to lay down a couple of towels over and under the wet spot in the night, go back to bed, and not to wake her up every time it happened. In the morning she had me bring my sheets to the washer, she’d help me wash/dry them, and then I’d remake my bed again.
I taught the same thing to my kids with one additional step- we always kept the mattress covered in a plastic liner, that went all the way around it and zips up! I would have them get a spray cleaner and spray/wipe down the lining too. It sure helped keep everything smelling fresh!
Another good idea is to keep a night light on in the hallway and the bathroom so they can easily find their way to the potty in the middle of the night. Talk with your kids and have a plan about what to do when an accident happens and then help them through the process of cleaning it up!
It’s also good to be aware that bed-wetting can be embarrassing for kids once they reach the age of sleep overs; even with family, or when hotel stays are needed, etc. They can get teased about it by siblings and friends. The best thing to do in this situation is to listen and reassure them they’ll out grow it then reaffirm the plan of action depending on the circumstance.
It can be tough being a bed-wetting child or the parent of a bed wetting child. Just keep in mind that it won’t last forever! Help your child through this phase with loving reassurance that they’ll grow out it! I found this article on Web MD titled “Tips for Bedwetting Prevention” it’s has several good ideas in addition to this list of suggestions:
Tips to Prevent Bedwetting
Along with supporting your child emotionally, there are a number of steps you can take that may help reduce the number of bedwetting accidents. Here are more tips.
- Reduce evening fluid intake. Do not give your child anything to drink in the two hours before bedtime, especially drinks such as tea or sodas that contain caffeine.
- Have your child go to the bathroom before getting into bed.
- Set a goal for your child of getting up at night to use the toilet. Instead of focusing on making it through the night dry, help your child understand that it is more important to wake up every night to use the toilet.
- Make sure the child has easy access to the toilet. Clear the path from his or her bed to the toilet and install night-lights. Provide a portable toilet if necessary.
- Reward your child for remaining dry. A system of sticker charts and rewards works for some children. The child gets a sticker on the chart for every night of remaining dry. A certain number of stickers earn a reward.
- Consider using diapers or pull-ups at night. Some believe that you should avoid using diapers or pull-ups at home because they can interfere with the motivation to wake up and use the toilet. Others argue that pull-ups help the child feel more independent and confident. Talk to your child’s doctor to determine what is best for your child.
I hope these tips for helping kids over come bed-wetting are helpful in surviving this not too fun phase of childhood!