Bedwetting is very common, and most kids tend to grow out of it by the time they are 5 or 6 years old. For a child who often wakes up to a wet bed, waking up to a dry morning could feel like a complete triumph. There are many things you can do to help ensure their feelings remain positive and to help manage their bedwetting.
One helpful approach is to use absorbent pants. Like diapers, these are meant to hold urine. However, absorbent pants are akin to disposable underwear and are meant for kids older than babies - to help them wake up to a dry morning. They are designed to look and feel like underwear, so children can use them discreetly, such as during sleepovers and going to camp. By using absorbent pants, you can help your child wake up to a dry morning.
Here are some ways to cope with bedwetting and help ensure a dry morning:
- Use waterproof sheets or a plastic mattress cover to protect the mattress. Although this doesn't prevent your child from wetting the bed, it can protect your child's bed from the urine odour.
- Make sure your child goes to the bathroom immediately before bedtime.
- Make it easier for your child to reach the bathroom during the night. For example, add a night-light in the hallway and bathroom, and clear the path from bed to bathroom so that there are no toys, clothes, or anything else that can get in the way.
- Encourage your child to drink more fluids during the morning and early afternoon. This can lead to more urine production, which can lead to larger bladders, making it easier to hold more urine at night.
- Get your child to reduce fluid intake in the evening and before bed, and especially to avoid drinking a lot of liquids during the 2 hours before bedtime.
- Limit caffeine – no chocolate or cola! Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it can cause the body to produce more urine.
- Enlist your child's help in the clean-up effort. Keep an extra set of pyjamas and a towel beside the bed so your child can change if they do wake up at night. Teach older children (e.g., 6 years or older) that if they do wake up, they should try to stop the flow of urine, then head to the toilet to see if there is any urine left in their bladder. Finally, your child should change clothes and place the dry towel over the wet part of the bed.
- Praise your child and provide positive response when your child wakes up to a dry morning.
If your child experiences a wet night, respond gently. Do not blame or punish your child; most children who wet the bed already feel guilty and embarrassed. Instead, provide support and encouragement. Make sure that siblings also provide support and do not tease your bedwetting child.