No child likes the feeling that overcomes them when they wake up in the middle of the night and realize they have just wet the bed yet again. But fear not–bedwetting, also known as enuresis, is not the end of the world and is in fact very common in kids over the age of 4.
The causes of bedwetting are many and can range from physical development or illness to genetics or simply being a very sound sleeper—all issues outside of your child’s control. The anxiety he or she feels after having an accident can be an indirect trigger, so it is important for parents to deal with the situation appropriately.
As frustrating as it can be for moms like me to have to drag ourselves out of bed to change PJs and bed sheets, the most important goal is to help your child achieve a restful night’s sleep. Here are some tips to help your child get over bedwetting:
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Disposable underpants are effective for many children, but others may not prefer them. For another alternative, try the new highly absorbent and conveniently disposable GoodNites® Bed Mats to keep your sheets and mattress protected—one less worry for parent and child.
Don’t Restrict Water
Don’t restrict your child from drinking water before bed; in fact, ensure that they do. Dehydration can contribute to constipation which may hinder bladder function and therefore worsen bedwetting. Make sure your child uses the bathroom properly right before going to bed.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice waking up and going to the bathroom a few times every night before going to sleep. Role playing will help them understand what they have to do in the middle of the night. What also helped my son was waking him up a few hours after he fell asleep and getting him to walk to the bathroom so he got used to waking up to empty his bladder. Make sure you have nightlights illuminating the route to minimize fears of walking through a dark house.
Talk To Your Child
For younger children, talk about getting ‘that feeling’ and to head straight to the bathroom without needing to ask for permission to leave their bed first. Older children should be reassured that bedwetting is not their fault and that they will not be punished for having an accident. Praise them for trying their best to follow your established routine, not just for having a dry night.
Ask your pediatrician about food intolerances or allergies that could be adding to your child’s bedwetting problem. Some foods like dairy milk or the “Five Cs” (caffeine, carbonation, chocolate, citrus, and extra Vitamin C) are common triggers, as well as certain artificial preservatives and additives.