five bedwetting prevention plans

Help your child stop bedwetting with a few solutions from the experts.

advertisement
advertisement
Most kids eventually outgrow bedwetting, according to Dr. Balter, but in the meantime it can be stressful, frustrating, embarrassing, and make kids reluctant to host or attend sleep-overs or go to sleep-away camp.

Staying calm and working together in a light-hearted, low-key way to handle this problem can help defuse the situation. Here are five ways you both can tackle this problem together.
advertisement

Demystify the Issue

advertisement
To help your child realize how common bedwetting is, try these tips:
  • Share a children's book about bedwetting.

  • If anyone else in the family was a bedwetter, tell your child about it.

    "There's nothing more comforting for a kid than to know he's a chip off the old block," says Dr. Edward Christophersen, a child psychologist and pediatrics professor at the Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.

  • Explain to your child how common bedwetting is, what causes it, and that there's nothing wrong with him.

advertisement
What You Can Say
Here are a few suggested ways you can try to reassure him, if he is having bedwetting episodes:
    "You know, you're a very sound sleeper, just like Mom. Sometimes, you sleep so deeply your body doesn't wake you up to tell you to go to the bathroom. That's why you wet the bed."

    or

    "I'll bet you never knew that when Dad was your age, he wet the bed, too. When he got older his body learned how to wake him up in time, and he stopped wetting the bed. You will, too.

advertisement

Get An Alarm

advertisement
A tiny alarm connected to a pad in your child's underwear at night can help your child learn to stop bedwetting about 85 percent of the time. If your child should have an accident, the pad senses moisture and triggers a buzz or vibration, causing her to wake up.
advertisement
It may take a bit of patience and training before achieving success with the alarm. Most failures with this method occur because the parents gave up too soon, Dr. Christophersen says. "It's not unusual to take a month for a child to learn to stay dry, but it might take as long as three months."
advertisement
What You Can Say
On the first night you set up the alarm, take the time to explain how the alarm will work by saying:
    "You're a good sleeper, just like I am! So this alarm will help wake you up to let you know when you need to go to the bathroom."

    or

    "If this alarm buzzes in Mommy and Daddy's room, we'll come wake you up and take you to the bathroom."

advertisement

Try Nighttime Reminders

advertisement
Of course you should be encouraging your child to go to the bathroom before bed, even if he thinks he doesn't have to go. As an added measure, the last parent to bed at night, should try waking your child and remind him to use the toilet.

What You Can Say
If you want to use this method, before bedtime tell him:
    Some kids wet the bed because they don't wake up in time to go to the bathroom. So every night before we go to bed, Mommy or Daddy will wake you to see if you need to go so you won't have to worry about having an accident.

advertisement

Go On Sheet Patrol

advertisement

In the Mornings

If you wake in the morning to find your child has wet the bed overnight, consider the following:
  • Don't scold him for the accident

  • After you have put dry clothes on him, ask him to help you change the bed together in a fun, friendly way. It may comfort him to know that he's helping out.

  • Never force him to change the wet sheets by himself, it may make him feel like he is being punished for making a mistake.
What You Can Say:
Keep it light by saying:

    "Hey, do you want to give me a hand with these dry sheets? It'll go much faster if we change your bed together!"
advertisement

In the Middle of the Night

If your child wakes up at night with wet sheets, don't bother with the team approach--just get the job done as fast as you can. Dr. Balter recommends:
  • Keeping extra bedding and dry pajamas near the bed

  • Use disposable pads on top of the bottom sheet. When the pad is wet, just replace it with another pad--voila! No sheets need to changed.

What You Can Say:
Your child may be upset if he awakes in the middle of the night after an accident. Try keeping things light by saying:

    "Oh my, you must have been so sleepy that you didn't realize you had to go. Can you put on new PJs while I change your sheets?"
advertisement

Learn About Medication

advertisement
As a last resort, two types of medicine can temporarily help kids who wet the bed--but it's not a cure. One helps the bladder retain urine, while the other helps the kidneys produce less urine.
advertisement
Medicines work best when combined with the alarm, but generally are recommended for children over age 7, especially if the alarm alone hasn't worked.
advertisement
Medicines can be a good temporary solution if your child wants to attend camp, will be sleeping away from home, or will have sleep over guests staying for the night.

Talk with your pediatrician to determine whether medicines will be right for your child.

advertisement
You can also consider looking into bedtime protection garments, which look more like training pants than diapers and are designed specifically to absorb bedwetting moisture.

It's not recommended that a potty trained child be placed in diapers at night if they are having bedwetting episodes. First, it can be embarrassing and can lead to feelings of shame.

Finally, take preventative steps like avoiding fluids in the hour before bed, especially teas and caffeinated drinks, which have a diuretic effect, causing your child to urinate more.

advertisement
Carol Turkington
Important Disclaimer: This information is not meant as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a doctor with questions about your or your child's condition. NickJr.com does not recommend or endorse specific tests, products, procedures, opinions, or other information provided by any sponsors or other third parties. Please also see NickJr.com's Terms of Use.
dora & friends
Dora and Friends

Dora and Friends

Watch videos & play games with Dora & her new friends

paw patrol
PAW Patrol

PAW Patrol

Play games & watch videos with your favorite pups

blaze
Blaze & the Monster Machines

Blaze & the Monster Machines

Get ready for Nick's newest show with the Blaze creativity center & videos!

bubble guppies
Bubble Guppies

Bubble Guppies

Have a swim-sational time with Guppies games and fin-tastic videos

team umizoomi
Team Umizoomi

Team Umizoomi

Play games & watch videos with Milli, Bot & Geo

halloween
Halloween

Halloween

Watch not-so-spooky videos & play ghoulish games featuring your Nick Jr. pals