How To Stop Bed Wetting: 5 Tips For Parents

By in Parenting on 02 November 2009

If you’re a parent wondering how to stop bed wetting, you’re not alone. It’s a challenge that all parents face at some time, even after their children are potty trained during the day. Here are a few of the most useful tips to try so that you and your child can sleep through the night.

1.  Limit liquids at least 2 hours before bed. Instead of sending your child off to sleep with a bladder full of water or juice, just cut off the fluids a couple of hours ahead of bedtime.  And make sure she potties right before she snuggles in for the night.  This way you’re increasing her chances for a dry night.

2.  Set your alarm for night time potty breaks. If your child is wetting the bed because he sleeps too soundly, it may help to try this for a week.  Set your alarm clock to wake up every 2 or three hours during the night, and take your child to the potty.  The theory is that this will help your child be successful a having dry nights, and he’ll learn to wake himself up when he gets the urge.  Some parents swear by this, but others find it too inconvenient and say that everyone suffers from the lack of sleep.  You be the judge of whether or not you want to give this a try.

3.  Be understanding about normal development. Some parents think that allowing the child to experience the negative feeling of wet sheets and pajamas will teach them to stay dry.  Those parents also believe that “punishing” the child by making him change his own linen will change the bed wetting behavior.

But the truth is that no child plans to wet the bed or enjoys the experience when it happens.  And punishing your child will only add to her stress and embarrassment and may even prolong the behavior.  So use plastic beneath the sheets to save the expense of having to buy a new mattresses.  And allow your child to wear pull-ups as long as necessary until her bladder and hormones develop enough to allow a dry night’s sleep.

4.  Rule out contributing health factors.  Of course, you should also check with your child’s doctor to make sure you can rule out more serious illnesses or physical causes.  Diabetes and kidney problems, as well as allergies can coincide with bed wetting behavior.  So although there’s not necessarily cause for concern if your child still wets the bed after age 5 or 6, it’s best to make sure.

5.  Pay attention to stressors. You should also know that stress can cause kids to wet the bed even after they have been able to sleep successfully through the night for several months or years.  When parents are fighting or going through a divorce, when the family is moving to a new neighborhood or the child is getting used to a new school stress from the extra uncertainty in her life can easily cause a child to revert to earlier bed wetting behavior.

If stress is a factor, it’s important not to increase it by scolding or punishing your child.  Let her wear pull-ups for the time being so she can get the extra rest she needs at night.  And help her learn to deal with the stress constructively, which may mean anything from spending extra time with her to finding a suitable professional counselor.  As a parent, the most important thing to remember with bed wetting is that it’s not intentional, and that your job is to help your child through it as best you can.

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Gloria says:

    It’s nice to see such a compassionate approach towards bed-wetting. One thing I would suggest: if you’re going to use a waterproof covering under the regular sheet, consider using something made from food grade polyethylene. Some other plastics can emit potentially harmful gasses.

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