Soggy sheets and pyjamas — and an embarrassed child. Sound familiar? This is actually a common scene in many homes. So if you have a child who wets the bed, don’t despair. Bedwetting isn’t a sign of toilet training gone bad. It’s often just a normal part of a child’s development. Generally, bedwetting before age 7 isn’t a concern. At this age, your child may still be developing nighttime bladder control. If bedwetting continues, treat the problem with patience and understanding.
Children wet the bed for numerous reasons – here are a few of the most common:
- Time. Some children need extra time to develop control of their bladder.
- Genetics. Children who wet the bed tend to have a parent, aunt, uncle, or grandparent who wet the bed until a late age, suggesting a genetic component.
- Sleep. Children whose sleep is disturbed by snoring, television or pets and children who are deep sleepers are more likely to wet the bed.
- Stress or life changes. Going through big changes like moving or a new sibling, or other stressors can lead to children wetting the bed after being dry for a long period.
A Child Who Wets the Bed Needs Your Support
Reassure your child by being supportive. He isn’t wetting the bed on purpose. And bedwetting isn’t typically a sign of any physical problem. Explain that it is normal, very common and that he/she won’t always wet the bed.
Talk and Share Your Experience
Bedwetting often runs in families. If you or your partner wet the bed as a child, talk with your child about it. It’ll help him/her see that people do outgrow it. And it may help the child feel less alone and embarrassed.
Let Your Child Help Find Solutions
If the child is 4 or older, ask for their ideas. What might help the child stop wetting the bed? Brainstorm together. Drinking less in the evening and cutting back on caffeinated drinks may be worth trying. You can also offer options such as absorbent pants or waterproof sheets. Reassure the child that most kids outgrow this. By keeping it positive and involving him/her, you’ll help build the child’s confidence and encourage good bedtime habits.
Praise and Reward for Staying Dry
Some parents praise and reward kids when they stay dry making the child feel confident and happy. If the child wets the bed, be supportive and remind her that results will come if she keeps up her efforts.
Involve Your Child in Cleaning Up
When he wets the bed, he can put his PJs in the hamper or help you change the sheets. Make sure he understands it’s not a punishment, just part of what has to be done. The idea is to make him more aware of his bedwetting without scolding him or making him feel ashamed.