It may be a common problem but that doesn’t mean that bedwetting is any less embarrassing. As a parent or carer, you will need to support and help your child to stay dry at night. This step-by-step guide to getting past the bedwetting stage from HARTMANN Direct will help you.
STEP 1: Positive potty training
Learning to control bladder and bowels is a ‘growing up’ skill but as adults, we have forgotten how we did it! A lot of controlling the bowel and bladder happens naturally as the child grows but it is important to get the potty-training stage right.
Understanding what you can expect at certain development stages is important;
- By twelve months, most babies have stopped pooping at night
- By the age of two, some children will be dry during the day, although this is considered early.
- Most children gain control of their daytime bladder by the time they are three but even then, accidents will still happen
- It is not until four or older in some cases, that children are reliably dry during the day
But night time dryness is a different matter. However, do your research and get the potty-training stage right. Don’t rush it and remember the key to successful potty or toilet training is encouragement.
STEP 2: Reassurance
Wetting the bed at night is perfectly normal and children learn to be dry at night at different ages. There are also some suggestions that boys take longer to control their bladder during sleep than girls, but this can vary too.
Reassurance is key to banishing blame, something that can make nocturnal enuresis (the medical term for bedwetting) worse.
Bedwetting is normal, and it is not a sign of emotional or physical difficulties. It is part of growing up!
STEP 3: Get organised
As a parent or carer, there is nothing more disheartening that changing beds at 2 a.m., rushing around looking for clean sheets and drying the mattress.
There is a range of discreet incontinence products that make it all less painful – as well as plenty of sheets and duvet covers, protect the mattress with a waterproof but breathable cover. You can also protect the duvet with a similar cover.
STEP 4: Bedtime bathroom trips
Some parents stick a list to the bathroom mirror to remind their children what their nighttime regime should be, such as brush teeth, wash face, brush hair and use the toilet.
As well as ensuring that the bedtime toilet visit happens every night, lifting your child and placing them on the toilet as you go to bed can be the extra toilet visit they need to stay dry through the night.
Keep the lights off using a dim light in the hallway or a potty in their room and lift your child from their bed onto the toilet. The position of sitting on the toilet will trigger their half-asleep brain and bladder to urinate.
STEP 5: Create a praise chart
A chart that allows them to track how well they are doing will help your child to understand that the problem may not be as big as what they think. This can be incentive enough to try and not wet the bed.
STEP 6: Consult your doctor
Sometimes, if the problem continues or seems to be getting worse, there could be other reasons why your child is finding it difficult to get through the night dry.
There is no harm in consulting with your GP or practice nurse who may be able to make further suggestions. For example, constipation can be a driver behind bedwetting and so check that your child is pooping at least once a day or whether their faeces are hard is important.
It may be that a change in diet could be what is needed to help your child through the bedwetting phase.
STEP 7: Use a bedwetting alarm
A bedwetting alarm can either be a worn device or one that is used under the top sheet of the mattress. It can either be used to set off an alarm when it detects moisture or can set off an alarm at a certain time so that your child gets up and uses the bathroom.
Used in the right way – they must always be a positive tool – a child can be dry at night within weeks. But these are designed for use after all the other steps have been taken and for older children (usually over the age of 7) who have no medical reasons why they wet the bed.
Learning to control your bladder and bowel is a skill that once acquired is as second nature as breathing. But sometimes, it can be a tough lesson to learn!
HARTMANN Direct are an online stockist of fantastic incontinence products, including pants suitable for children.