Congratulations! Your toddler is now potty trained. The little cherub happily wears big-kid underwear throughout the day, and proudly and LOUDLY announces each and every bodily function before, during and after they take place.
But wait – the little tot is not dry at night! No matter how many sticker charts you provide, incentives or even down-right bribes, you STILL need to put her/ him in diapers at night.
I know you are tired of buying diapers and you had just moved the diaper funds to your Starbucks allocation. Before you feel disappointed… check out:
13 clever solutions to stop bedwetting!
(- And more than anything, please know that bedwetting is PERFECTLY NORMAL!)
As a mother of four boys, I have had a bed-wetter (or two, or three) and one that night-time trained without delay. I treated them all the same, used the same potty training incentives, same bed time routine… everything was the same! So what happened here? NOTHING HAPPENED. Nothing is “WRONG” – our boys are just individuals and as I tell them: “we all learn different things at different times – when we are ready!”
Fun Facts About Bedwetting:
- Most children are potty trained by 4 years old.
- By age 5 only about 15% are still waking up wet.
- Between the ages of 8 – 11 the number drops to 5%
- Boys are more likely to be extended night-time-wetters than girls.
- Children are 30% more likely to be bed-wetters if one or both of their parents wet their beds as children.
When should you mention bedwetting to your pediatrician:
- As with all things related to your kids, if it worries you – call the pediatrician. Personally I address it every year at our well-visit, just for good measure.
- If his/ her self esteem is adversely affected.
- If your child is older than 6-7 years old. You and the pediatrician may decide to wait with treatments, but it is best to at least discuss it.
- If the sheets have been dry for a while, and then the night-time wetting starts again.
- If your child is experiencing increased thirst, painful urination, discolored urine or snoring along with the bedwetting.
- Possible causes for bed-wetting: small bladder, bladder control nerves are slow to mature, hormone imbalance, stress, sexual abuse, infection of bladder or kidneys, sleep apnea, diabetes, constipation or a structural defect.
- This is what the American Academy of Pediatrics has to say about bedwetting.
13 Solutions to Stop Bedwetting in Kids:
- Talk to your child about bedwetting. This is your chance to sit down and have one of many future heartfelt conversations with your son/ daughter.
- Share your own personal experience with bedwetting.
- Explain that you are not upset.
- Reiterate that you know it is not done intentionally. (It is always best to reassure them one too many times. Even if you never act mad, your child may very well worry.)
- Establish a predictable bedtime routine.
- Have your child use the bathroom as the first and the last part of their routine, this is called“double voiding.”
- Gently wake up your child before you go to bed, walk him/ her to the bathroom.
- Limit fluid intake after dinner, do NOT eliminate, but limit.
- However, this does not apply if your child has been hot, sweaty or very active.
- Stock up on Huggies Goodnights, they are covered under many medical flexible spending accounts.
- Have two or three sets of sheets that you rotate on your child’s bed.
- I put on clean sheets as soon as I pull the wet ones off – this way I am not trying to make his bed with clean sheets right at bed time.
- Buy a good water-proof mattress pad – or two, accidents WILL happen – even if he/ she wears nighttime “pull ups.”
- I have recently switched to disposable medical bed pads and they do NOT leak onto the mattress. They are VERY effective and there’s no chance of lingering odor since you just toss them after they get wet.
- IF you end up with a urine stained mattress, this is a SUPER easy and inexpensive way to remove the stain and smell of urine!
- Remember what it was like for you! If you had understanding parents – replicate that experience. If your family struggled to support you – improve your child’s experience.
- Start the dialog with your child’s pediatrician, it is always prudent to keep them informed of your child’s development.
- The two of you can formulate a plan, even if it is “wait and see” – that is still a plan of action!
- Make sure your child isn’t constipated, as that is a common culprit with an easy fix.
- Push fluids early in the day, offer a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Stool should have a “tooth paste” consistency on a regular basis.
- Confirm that it’s easy for your child to get to the bathroom in the middle of night. Put yourself in your child’s shoes and make sure there isn’t a logistical reason he/ she doesn’t make it to the bathroom.
- Back off… as with most things, parenting related, “you get more of what you focus on.”
- We revisit our bedwetting strategies with regular intervals, talk to the child about what is working and what isn’t, but then I have also learned to take a step back and just stock up on pull-ups for a little while longer.
- So much of bedwetting is related to physical development and maturity and no amount of alarms, sticker charts or withholding fluids will make a difference. Remember, your child is an individual, different from his siblings and time takes time.
BE PATIENT! – Eventually it will happen, you may need medical intervention for your child, a new mattress and washing machine, but it WILL happen.
We have yet to fully close this chapter of our parenting experience, but I can tell, by sticking to the strategies mentioned, we are making great strides towards dry nights once and for all!
Do you have any bedwetting experiences from your childhood that has colored how you react towards your child’s night time training?
Interested in potty training? Read our related articles:
Potty Training Readiness : “Ten Signs Your Toddler is Potty Ready”
Preparing to Potty Train: “Ten Things to Load Up on Before Potty Training”
Potty Training Steps: “Seven Steps to Successful Potty Training”
Potty Training Encouragement: 20 Potty Training Reminders for Hopeful Parents!