10 Tips to Handle Your Child’s Bedwetting
Many children wet the bed at some point in their life - it can be a difficult situation for both parents and child, but it is important to know how to handle this issue properly.
In this article, we will discuss ten steps that you can take when your child wets the bed.
The tips cover everything from talking with your doctor about the problem to providing extra comfort measures for night time:
Why do kids wet the bed?
There are several reasons why a child might wet their bed.
The first reason could be as simple as they drank too much before going to sleep and their bladder wasn't able to handle it all, leading them to have an accident in the night.
This can be easily solved by limiting fluid intake right before bedtime.
Another common cause of children wetting the bed is having a full bladder while they're asleep because they did not make use of the bathroom when waking up or just before falling asleep.
It's important for parents to encourage kids throughout the day about drinking plenty of water so their bodies don't get dehydrated at night.
Encourage children to drink more fluids throughout the day
One of the things you can do, as a parent, is to encourage your child to drink more throughout the day, thus limiting the amount of bedwetting.
Make sure they have access to healthy drinks (such as water, juice, etc.) throughout the day so that their bodies stay hydrated and ready for a good night's sleep.
Another thing you can do is to offer your child fruits or vegetables at each mealtime because of the amount of moisture in those foods - this will further help increase their fluid intake, thus decreasing bedwetting issues.
Use absorbent sheets or pads underneath their pajamas
Bedwetting can be an uncomfortable situation for both child and parent, especially when it becomes a regular occurrence.
One way of dealing with this is by providing them with comfortable, waterproof sheets, so that when the accident does happen, you/they are prepared.
Depending on the age of the child, you could also provide other types of clothing such as onesies or diapers if necessary.
Create a reward chart for dry nights
Another thing parents often do to make sure everyone gets a good night's rest is put together some sort of incentive program where kids earn prizes after staying dry throughout the night several times in a row.
This is not to insinuate that your child is somehow doing it on purpose - This will encourage children not only because they like getting rewards but also because they want/need to feel a sense of accomplishment when what they are being advised (and they remember) to do.
Don't panic or get angry
It's important that parents realise bedwetting is not your child's fault and it can happen to anyone!
If you're already thinking about punishments, let us tell you: This would be completely counterproductive because kids usually have no idea why these accidents are happening in the first place.
The best thing to do here is show them patience and understanding while letting them know it'll eventually stop on its own after a few months.
As parents, we realise there is no such thing as a perfect parent and children can be very unpredictable.
Be patient and reassure your child that it's normal to have accidents from time to time and, after all, you wouldn't want to be in their shoes, would you?
Don't give children caffeinated drinks
Another thing to avoid is giving your child any type of caffeine such as soda or coffee/tea. Caffeine is a known diuretic; it can affect the bladder muscles and the rate of urine-production.
Most of us would recognise the effect that caffeine has on an adult body - imagine what that does to a child's!? Studies have shown that caffeine raises blood pressure, can have a negative effect on moods and will make them much less aware of being tired (imagine an already-tired, cranky and argumentative toddler - now imagine them with a bit of added caffeine and... BOOM! No one wants to be around to deal with that scenario, I can promise you).
Check for medical problems such as diabetes or urinary tract infections
One thing that is often overlooked by parents when trying to find reasons behind their child's bedwetting is checking for any medical issues.
There could be other things going on besides just dehydration which means you should consult someone who knows what these symptoms might indicate about your child.
If necessary, make sure they get checked out by a professional so they know exactly what steps need.
Try a Bedwetting Alarm
This is an effective method for children who are old enough to take initiative and put on clothing by themselves in case of an accident.
Bedwetting alarms are often recommended once the child reaches a certain age because it can help them wake up in order to go use the washroom, thus decreasing their chances of having accidents during sleep.
Sleepover planned? Try the Sleeping Bag Trick
If your child has friends sleeping over at your home for a slumber party or any other reason, then you might want to consider laying down waterproofs, just in case.
If, however, your child is sleeping away from home, you might want to consider getting them a sleeping bag that has the waterproof coating or make sure that you have made provisions for dealing with any accidents (preferably so that one of the other kids are aware).
Older Child Who Wets the Bed?
When kids get older and start experiencing nighttime problems such as this one more regularly, parents know how difficult it can be to find a solution. The best thing here is to try and make the child as comfortable as possible because accidents can happen at any time of day or night, not just during those hours when they're sleeping.
Now that you've read these 10 tips for handling bedwetting, it's time to take action. The most important thing is not frustration or anger but understanding how your child feels and what they need from you in order to feel safe enough to let go of their bladder at night.
Take the first few steps outlined here with intentionality - commit yourself fully to taking care of your child's needs so they can take care of theirs. We're rooting for both of you!
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