Ever wake up to those five little words that let you know it's just going to be a great <insert sarcasm here> morning?
As mothers (and dads!) we have enough to do without waking up at the crack of dawn by being poked in the face by a wet toddler, but it's just a simple reality of having children. At some point it inevitably happens to every parent.
One of the things I've learned (having grown up in such a big family) is that children don't stop wetting the bed at a magical age. I've seen night-time accidents at all different stages of childhood, and I even wet the bed once when I was eight years old! (Then I clogged the toilet by flushing my pajamas in my sleep-confused state.)
Fortunately there are a lot of tips out there to help stop bedwetting, and even some handy products to help things go smoother. Check out our list below!
Tips for Coping with Bedwetting:Lay out a 'No Teasing or Telling' rule. Although this rule is mostly good for children who have siblings that might see bedwetting as a good opportunity to poke fun at a brother or sister, it's also good to remind only-children that if they hear of someone in a similar situation they shouldn't resort to picking on that person.
Be Patient. Your children take cues from you more often than you think. If you become overly-frustrated with the problem, they will too. Remind them that all things take time to learn, and this is no different than learning how to read or tie their shoes.
Don't blame your child. He or she may be trying their hardest to not wet the bed at night, but blaming your child isn't the solution. Making a big deal about bedwetting can make your child feel that they are the only one experiencing this problem! Instead, share a story from your own childhood if you can, or reinforce the fact that everyone does it at some point or another. (Seriously, I'm pretty sure everyone but Jesus has wet the bed.)
Keep sheets, pillowcases, extra pillows, stuffed animals, and pajamas for your child ready to go each night. Try not to let your child see that you have a back-up plan for when/if they wet the bed, as this may make them feel you don't have confidence in them. Instead, store it in a place that is convenient for you. The last thing you want to do at 3am is stumble around the house in your underwear pulling sheets out of the dryer.
Tips for Stopping Bedwetting:Have your child help with the clean-up. Making your child responsible for helping with bed-changes will help them realize how much work it is to continually change the bed. This reminder of imminent-chores may help rouse them to use the restroom if they partially awaken in the middle of the night.
No drinks after...? Count back two hours from your child's bedtime. Let your son or daughter know that they need to take their last drink of the night then. When your child has a good handle on holding their bladder at night, you can move the rule to an hour before bedtime.
Bathroom trips, bathroom trips, bathroom trips! Make sure your child empties his or her bladder before bed. If your child gets up for any reason after you've put them to bed, make sure that they visit the toilet again.
Get a nightlight. Despite all our promises to remember what life was like as a child, most of us eventually forget. Remember how scary it was to leave bed in the middle of the night? The darkness can be scarier than wetting the bed when you're just a little guy (or gal), so don't forget to leave a little lighting on for your child to see his or her way to the bathroom. Check out this cute & portable Munchkin one on Amazon for around 10 bucks.
Set an alarm for yourself. As much as a mom or dad needs their sleep, sometimes it's easier to make a little sacrifice in the name of prevention. The brain can be taught to work as an internal alarm clock, but not without a little nudge. Wake your child up at the exact same time every night (around 2 or 3am) and take him or her to the bathroom. Eventually their brain will start to see a pattern and will prompt them to awaken at that time each night without your help, which will allow them to get up and use the toilet.
Listen for sounds! Many kids start to partially awaken when they need to use the bed, and lots of parents have reported that night terrors and bedwetting can even go hand in hand. If you hear your child talking in their sleep or yelling, try to gently take them to the toilet and prompt them to use it. Your child will probably not wake up throughout the incident, but you'll be able to head back to bed knowing that there won't be any sheets to change in the morning!
Products That Can Help:Bedwetting Alarm. Believe it or not, you can purchase underwear or bedpads with a moisture-sensor that will trigger an alarm or buzzer if your child starts to wet the bed. These are a bit on the pricier side, but tend to work rather well.
Bedpad. These are usually pretty affordable but can go a long way in protecting your child's mattress. You can wash sheets as many times as you want, but there's not much you can do to remove the urine smell from a mattress! Grab a bedpad like this one from Wearever to avoid purchasing a new mattress.
Medication. In some instances bedwetting is more of a problem than usual. Although I don't personally like resorting to medicines to solve problems like this one, there is help out there if it is needed. One of my siblings (who shall remain nameless!) had an especially hard time with bedwetting for over a decade and my mom did eventually start to use the medications available with some success.
Last of all, if you're feeling like this is a problem that will never end, take it from my mom who has been through 9 kids, all of whom have wet the bed at one point or another: "You'll get through it, they'll get over it. After all, how many 21-year-old's do you know that wet the bed?"
Are you going through a hard time with a child who is bedwetting?
What has worked for you?
What has worked for you?
Chat with me in the comments below, I love hearing from my readers!