I never had a bed wetter myself, but I have had several in my classroom. Concerned parents have shared their struggles and solutions as they’ve done their part to help their child. The good news is that more often than not, with a good plan of action, bed wetting can be stopped. Here are tips to help your kids stop wetting the bed.
1. Taper Fluids
Taper fluid intake throughout the day. Have your child drink more in the mornings and afternoon while tapering his/her fluid intake in the evenings.
2. Consistent Bed Time
As much as we don’t think about going to the bathroom, we actually CAN train our bodies to go around the same time each day (Trust me. I’m a teacher- I know!). By setting and keeping a regular bed time for your child, you will help their body to get into a nighttime rhythm that doesn’t include going potty in the middle of the night.
3. Schedule Night Time Potty Breaks
Not only should you have your child use the potty immediately before going to bed, but have scheduled potty times in the 2-3 hours before bed time as well. You can try using a Potty Watch to help keep a potty schedule and to keep your child motivated.
4. Dietary Changes
Liquids alone aren’t the only culprit causing your child to wet the bed. Particular foods are also known to have diuretic effects that may be contributing to the problem. Caffeine and chocolate (a natural diuretic) are amongst the most common foods to avoid before bedtime. Citrus juices, artificial sweeteners, gum, and food dyes should also be eliminated from the pre-bedtime routine.
5. Keep It Positive
If I’ve learned one truth in my years of teaching, it’s that positive praise and incentives work while punishment and negativity only perpetuate the problem (and rebelliousness!). No child, or person for that matter, feels motivated to make changes when they are made to feel guilty or bad about something. Help your child succeed by staying positive, optimistic, and by offering incentives for them to keep trying. Consider a reward chart such as the one shared over on Keeping It Simple. One word of caution, however. Not all cases of bedwetting can be controlled and are the result of diagnosable conditions instead. Work with your child’s pediatrician to know if using a reward chart is right for your situation.
6. Let Them Sleep
One common mistake parents make when trying to prevent bedwetting is to wake their child up for a bathroom break. This does nothing to help your child learn bladder control and will only lead to sleepiness and added frustration.
7. Pull Ups = Thumbs Down
Understandably, many parents get frustrated with bedwetting situations and resort to using pull-ups as a solution. While this may keep the bed dry, it does nothing to actually stop the problem. In fact, all this does is encourage the problem to continue as your child ages. Give Pull-ups the thumbs down when it comes to bedwetting.
8. Talk To A Doctor
Don’t assume that bedwetting is “just a phase”. Genetics and diagnosable medical conditions are very real causes of night time potty accidents. Seek help and advice from your child’s pediatrician to know how best to keep everyone happy and beds dry. Read here to know when it’s time to call in a doctor.