Coping with bedwetting

Sheets after bedwetting

Remember, no child purposely wets the bed. And while it can be frustrating or upsetting for both of you, there are ways to make it easier on everyone. Here are several of them.

Try to decrease the amount of fluids your child has before bedtime and especially drinks that have caffeine. Make a routine of having your child go to the bathroom immediately before bed.

Put a plastic sheet on your child’s bed and keep extra sets of clean sheets and blankets close by. You can even place a towel on top of the bottom sheet to help absorb any urine when your child doesn’t wake in time to go to the bathroom. This makes clean up in the middle of the night a lot easier on both of you, and you don’t have to worry about ruining the mattress.

Use training pants instead of diapers. Diapers can interfere with your child’s motivation to get up and use the bathroom.

Make access to the bathroom easy. Place a nightlight in the bathroom or leave the hall light lit. If the bathroom is a distance from your child’s room, consider using a portable toilet in your child’s room.

Be supportive. Tell your child you know it’s not her fault and let her know that many children take longer to develop this kind of control. Other family member such as siblings need to be supportive and not tease about bedwetting.

Don’t expect too much too soon, or punish or shame your child for bedwetting. If you do so, things will only get worse.

If your child is becoming embarrassed about wetting the bed, or you think bedwetting is going on too long, consult your child’s physician for more specific strategies. Most children stop by age 5-6 years.