by Becky Mansfield
I wanted to share these bedwetting tips for older kids because when your potty-trained child is wetting the bed at night it can add up to a lot of frustration and embarrassment… for you and your child. Day-time potty training is one thing, but night time training is a completely different ballgame.
So, what do you do?
Here are a few tips to help when your child is wetting the bed:
- Make sure you are not letting them drink too much before bed. Lessening that can help. We have a rule that no one has anything to drink after dinnertime.
- Do a last minute potty break before they fall asleep. My kids usually use the bathroom and then we read and pray. Often, I will encourage them to use the bathroom after that as well. It is always that last bathroom break that seems to make all of the difference.
- Some kids, especially boys, take longer to stay dry at night. Be patient and keep encouraging them but know that in some cases, it is a developmental thing. Most doctors will not raise any concerns until the child is ten years old, at which they will refer you to a urologist.
- Always double check with the pediatrician. In rare situations, there can be other underlying situations and it is always best to rule those out. They could prescribe medication or even suggest surgery to help the issue.
- Consider starting a sticker chart for incentives if they stay dry- but if this is causing stress on the child, step away from the idea. If you think that your child may be just being ‘lazy’, this solution will work wonders.
- Invest in a waterproof mattress! Since this can take time to overcome, this is a worthwhile investment! At the very least- get a mattress protector. They are easy to put on & much cheaper.
- Avoid things that may irritate the bladder- food dyes, caffeine, citrus juices can all contribute to bedwetting. We found that when our son had any caffeine, he would wet the bed. It was almost like a guarantee.
- While some parents have success waking their kids at night to use the bathroom, this usually do not work overall and can lead to frustration and sleeplessness.
- Want to give it a shot (just in case your child is one of the rare cases)? Go for it. If you can wake your child, have them walk to the bathroom alone. This can take up to SIX WEEKS before you see the results of your labor. My friend’s daughter wet the bed right up until that 6th week and then never had another accident again.
- Remember bedwetting is not the child’s fault. Kids rarely do it on purpose. If they have been previously dry at night, there may be emotional stressors going on. Find out what is happening in their life. Talk to them (I find that talking in the car is a great place to chat if I want my child to really open up about something.)
- You can always try a moisture alarm- they work very well for some children.