Five nighttime routines that reduce bedwetting

Everyone feels more in control with routine. Kids especially thrive on knowing what's coming next. However, nighttime issues, like bedwetting, can pose a lot of unknowns for kids and parents. An important step in helping your family gain control over the night is to establish a bedtime routine. Feel free to add your own special activities to the following list of suggestions, such as giving your child a warm bath or bonding with them over a book.

Go to bed at a regular time.

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is a simple way to establish a regular routine. Make bedtime something kids can look forward to by including activities they enjoy, like a bath. And give them notice of bedtime 30 minutes, 15 minutes, and 5 minutes in advance so they aren't surprised. You want them to look forward to bedtime, so remind them of the rituals they enjoy by saying, "Go pick out a favourite bedtime story," rather than "It's bedtime now!"

Give your kids less fluids before bedtime.

Check with your doctor about how much liquid your child needs to drink in the evening. Generally, about 8 ounces or 250 mL (1 cup) is enough. Do not limit how much your child drinks, but keep in mind a good rule of thumb: 40% of liquids between 7 a.m. and noon, 40% between noon and 5 p.m., and 20% after 5 p.m. Also, avoid caffeine–containing foods and drinks before bedtime.

Ease the transition with bonding.

Put aside some time during the bedtime ritual to talk with your child one-on-one. They value this "private time." The willingness to spend time with them without the phone or television on is reassuring, and the quiet moments will help them transition from being awake to going to sleep. You can also remind them not to be upset if they have an accident in the night.

Use the bathroom before bed.

Experts recommend "double voiding" before bedtime. This involves encouraging your child to use the washroom before you begin your bedtime routine, and again just before tucking in. A night light in the washroom is a good way to remind your child that getting up in the middle of the night to use the washroom is a good thing.

Rely on a bed mat to reduce child's stress.

You can help your child feel less anxious about wetting the bed by giving them protection. Ask them whether they prefer an absorbent undergarment or a mattress pad. Using an absorbent mattress pad is a simple way to give your child restful nights, and will help you cut down on sheet changes. It can be placed over a mattress and under (or on top of) the bottom sheet. Most mattress pads will cover from the chest, and down to the foot of the bed.
Two more things you can do that will help your family cope are to give praise for dry nights and to give support on wet nights (do not punish your child). With these positive bedtime routine suggestions, you can look forward to better nights.

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