Well, let me tell you about bed wetting from personal experience, and I mean me. I grew up wetting the bed while my sister didn’t. As a kid, it was always embarrassing to go to a sleepover and having my mom tell my friends’ mom to make sure to cover the bed for me. I didn’t understand what I was doing differently than everyone else. I knew of one friend who wet the bed, but she grew out of it much earlier than me. I didn’t until I was about 10-11 years old. It was hard.
Today, with 4 kids, I genetically increase the risk of our kids wetting the bed too, and now with the 2 older kids, I have one wetting the bed. It was bound to happen and will most likely happen to the younger ones too. How do I deal with my current one not being able to make it through the night? Well here is what I have gathered as my advice.
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1. Don’t get mad or frustrated
I’m not saying that my parents ever got mad at me for wetting the bed, but I most definitely felt their frustration. I completely understand it. Even with night time pull ups, the bed will be wet as it can’t always absorb all the pee. It’s easy to get frustrated as you have to wash all the bedding and put it all back on the bed. The positive side? At least, now I can buy good mattress covers that protect the whole mattress. They aren’t super expensive and work great!
2. Your child has zero, ZERO control
I don’t care what you have read online or heard from another parent, there is zero control on this behaviour. Your child is not intentionally peeing the bed, and they honestly can not control their bladder. This is all biological. Your child is sleeping much harder/deeper, and their brain is unable to wake them up to go to the bathroom.
I remember countless times of dreaming that I was walking to my own bathroom and going to the toilet only to wake up in my bed. I was so confused as to why I had wet the bed because my dream felt so real. I really believed I had woken up and gone to the bathroom.
3. Don’t buy the gimmicks
Please don’t fall for those stop wetting the bed solutions. It’s all crap. When I was young, we tried the beeping blanket to help wake me up, and holy smokes did I hate that thing. It was completely bs! Seriously, this blanket would have a beeping alarm to wake me up when it felt wet….um hello, how is that helping me? I’ve already peed the bed, and now you are waking me up from a deep sleep? Without it, I would just keep sleeping and not be disturbed.
The blanket was beyond annoying. I hated it so much!!!!! I believe the concept was to help me train my body to wake up when I had peed, but it doesn’t work. We used it for awhile and it was a failure. Please don’t bother with it. Seriously. I get my parents had the best intentions, but from experience, it just wrecked my sleep, and let’s keep the kids sleeping.
4. Don’t wake your kids up in the middle of the night
This is the same as the beeping blanket. Stop waking your child up at different hours of the night such as midnight or different hours. Again, this is bs, it won’t work. I don’t care if you hear from another parent that it was successful for them. Guess what, it was pure coincidence, it was not because you “trained” their bodies to wake up. Nope!! Listen, I peed the bed till I was in the double digits, it doesn’t work!!
5. Reduce liquids before bed
We reduce the amount of liquid my son will have before bed only to reduce the amount of pee. However, I want to clarify that completely eliminating liquids will NOT stop bed wetting. Don’t dehydrate your child just for the purpose to stop bed wetting, that is not helping them at all. Just reduce it between supper and bedtime, but remember they will still occasionally pee the bed. This is not a solution, this is simply a small aid as you may call it.
6. Let your child and other siblings know its ok and normal
Make sure to talk to your child and let them know it’s ok and normal that they are wetting the bed. Don’t just talk to the child, if they have siblings, they need to know it’s ok as well. If siblings are not part of the conversation, they can bug or embarrass their sibling. That is not ok. If your child is left to feel embarrassed by something they do not have control over, it will cause them to feel anxious and they will have a harder time to grow out of this simple life situation they are in. If siblings understand, they can help others understand it’s ok as well. If ever a friend finds out, if the child and their siblings talk about how it’s normal, there is nothing for them to be bugged about.
7. Talk to your doctor
If your child is getting to be older than 5 or 6, than it might be time to have a quick discussion with your doctor. This is simply to eliminate any potential bladder issues your child might have. The results may all come back as normal/clear, but at least you checked and you know. Then it’s simply a waiting game for your child to grow out of this stage.
Don’t bother going to anyone else. We did try a chiropractor who would use this strange device, it looked like a handle with two balls at each end. He would press it at the bottom of my back, and it hurt. It didn’t help at all, just caused pain. So again, talk to your doctor if you are concerned, but don’t go talking to a bunch of people as this is just more annoying than anything for the child.
8. Just wait, it will pass
I finally grew out of it, and I remember when it stopped. My mom brought me to the doctor when I was 10 or 11 to discuss it again. The doctor did a urine test, and she told mom I had a bladder infection or UTI but that wasn’t the cause of the bed wetting, it was a coincidence at the time. I can’t remember exactly what she said I had. I was then put on antibiotics and from that point on, it had stopped. The point here is that, yes I may have had something, but it was just at the moment, I didn’t necessarily have something for years. It was a coincidence. Who knows, it could have been placebo pills for me, but it just stopped. At that point, I was happy. Maybe it was because my body was slowly maturing more at this stage, I am not sure. Regardless, it stopped eventually.
Just to say over again, it just passed, it was not because I necessarily had an infection or anything. I was already older at this point, and eventually my body and bladder matured and I was able to sleep through the night dry.
9. Trust that you are doing a good job
I’ve actually shared this issue with a few people, and I’ve heard a couple of parents tell me how their kids never wet the bed. I am soooo close to saying “Congratulations on doing absolutely nothing!!” No, but seriously, just because my child wets the bed has nothing to do with my parenting, and if your child doesn’t wet the bed, I’m sorry, but it has nothing to do with your parenting or on how you trained your child.
Also, I’ve heard how they have let their child go without diapers at night, so they feel themselves get wet….guess what, we’ve done that too, and it doesn’t matter. You can try different methods but trust your gut.
Just remember, this is only your child’s growth, it’s not something you can train them to do. It’s a natural change that will eventually happen. Don’t be hard on yourself and trust you are doing the right thing for your child.
I’m just so thankful that today kids do have nighttime pull-ups or underwear. I didn’t have those options back in my youth. Now, the diapers or underwear are much more discreet and comfortable. Doesn’t have to feel like they are wearing a baby diaper.