Coping With Your Child’s Bedwetting

There are a number of ways to tackle your child’s bedwetting challenge. Today Mighty Mommy has 7 tips on how you and your child can cope with and ultimately recolve this unpleasant and sometimes humilating problem.

Cheryl Butler,
November 4, 2013
Episode #254

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Tip #4: The Bedwetting Alarm

The bedwetting alarm is the product that yields the best results for many families. This device teaches the child’s brain to pay attention to his bladder while sleeping. Bedwetting alarms have two basic parts: (1) a wetness sensor that detects urine and (2) an alarm unit that produces a loud sound when a child wets the bed.

When the alarm goes off, it awakens the child so he can go to the bathroom and finish urinating in the toilet. After weeks of hearing the alarm, the child’s brain learns to pay attention to the full bladder signals and he wakes up before wetting the bed.  We used an alarm for my son and we had great success with it within just a month.

Tip #5: Drugs Used to Treat Bedwetting

In his book,Waking Up Dry, Dr. Bennett also discusses a medication that is most frequently prescribed for bedwetting. It is called desmopressin (brand name: DDAVP) and it's a manufactured form of the hormone the brain produces to decrease urine production at night. The effects of desmopressin only last for a short period of time, and children usually relapse when medication is stopped. For this reason, doctors generally recommend this for sleepovers, vacations, or special occasions.

Tip #6: Enlist Child’s Help for Clean Up

Enlisting your child to help clean up if he wakes up wet is important. This will teach the child a sense of responsibility. Explain that this is not punishment but rather taking responsibility.  This may seem cruel but it actually gives your child a sense of power over the situation because it gives him something to focus instead of being embarrassed.

If bedwetting is persistent, you may want to have your mattress covered with waterproof material.

Tip #7:  Encourage Your Child 

Dr. Bennett recommends the following strategies to help ease your child’s anxiety:

  • Do not punish or shame child for being wet at night.
  • Remind child that bedwetting is no one’s fault.
  • Let child know that lots of other kids have the same problem.
  • Tell child about anyone in the family who wet the bed growing up.
  • Maintain a low-key attitude after wetting episodes.
  • Talk to your child about sleepovers with friends during this period.  It may be best to take a break from sleepovers until the bedwetting problem has been overcome to reduce the chance your child will be humilated if it were to happen in public.

Praise child for waking up at night to urinate, for having smaller wet spots, or for having a dry night.  One of the best gifts we can give our children is a comfortable, confident night’s sleep. By cuddling with them or gently stroking their forehead before they go to sleep, telling them that we love them, and reassuring them that bedwetting is a normal part of growing up and that it's not going to last forever may actually help them relax and have a higher self-esteem during this frustrating time. 

Do you have any strategies to share about bed wetting?  Share your thoughts in the comment section on the Mighty Mommy website page or post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. You can also connect with me on Twitter @MightyMommy or e-mail me at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com.  Visit my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT

If you have a child who wets the bed, love them even more and remember, this too shall pass!  Enjoy your family and until next time—Happy parenting!

Alarm clock, bedwetting boy, and boy sleeping images courtesy of Shutterstock.





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