Bed wetting is a situation that many families experience. Twenty percent of children over five continue to wet their bed. This percentage gradually goes down as the child matures. Bed wetting appears to run in families. Bed wetting can be connected to deep sleep and the releasing of the bladder without cognitive awareness. Bed wetting can be connected to allergies. It can be connected to stress. It can be connected to lack of desire or care to stay dry.
The best parental approach is to relax. Consider the path ahead of you and decide what works best for you. You can wait it out patiently to see if your child matures past this stage or you can aggressively seek to help your child achieve dry nights. Whichever choice you make please consider your child’s self esteem and approach the subject with care. Eliminate yelling, blaming, accusing. Pull ups are an easy, fairly inexpensive way to eliminate the odor and the wet sheets. They also give you the choice of maintaining a clean environment as you train your child or as “you wait it out.”
Here are some options:
1. Stop all drinking of liquids two hours before bed time. Take child to the bathroom half way through the night. Pick the same time each night and eventually the child will begin to awaken at this time on their own to use the bathroom.
2. Set up an awards chart and track dry nights and reward the child on success. This will also serve as a journal of dry nights so that you can track what is going on. When are they wetting the bed? Is it before you take them to the bathroom or is it after you take them. This will also help if you need to see a physician as you will have a track record to share.
3. Medications are available as are natural remedies in local health food stores. You should check with your pediatrician even if you go the natural route.
4. Consider taking your child to an allergists. There may be food allergens that could be causing the bed wetting. An allergist would be able to help you rule this out.
5. Purchase an alarm. There are alarms available through your doctors office or on line for under $100.00 that attach the child’s underwear and begin to beep and alert the child when they begin to wet their under garments.
The most important thing is to help your child believe in their ability to achieve dry nights. Curb all inner family teasing or harassment. Keep this issue in family and do not embarrass your child by sharing this private information with others. Please train your other children to keep it private as well.
Love your child through this short time in their life. They will not always wet the bed but they will probably remember the discomfort of bed wetting so do not add further discomfort through unkind words or attitudes projected toward them. Love them through this one night at a time.