Monday, October 22, 2012

Wetting the Bed: It's Okay!

We had an awesome guest blog on potty training awhile ago and a lot of the comments from parents expressed concerns about wetting the bed at night. So here's a little more information on what's going on and what to do when your child is struggling with bed wetting.
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The technical term for wetting the bed is nocturnal enuresis and it's present in about 40 percent of 3 year olds, it's most common in boys. So it's pretty common and a part of natural child development. Children are developing their nighttime bladder control and it will just take time to develop, and all children acquire this skill at different times. Your child just doesn't have a sense yet for when his bladder is full or the ability to wake up when they have to go to the bathroom. It's important to know that it really isn't your child's fault, they're still developing and it's just part of maturing to make mistakes along the way!

Another great thing to know about bed wetting is that it's often hereditary. So chances are if you wet the bed when you were younger, your child will too. This also means that they'll probably stop wetting the bed when you did!

So what do you do?

  • If they wet the bed, don't get mad! It's not their fault and they probably feel uncomfortable about it, so just help them understand that it'll get better.
  • Try to avoid drinking liquids before bedtime
  • Double sheet the bed so you can have a quicker clean up in the middle of the night
  • Go to the bathroom more often during the day so the bladder won't be as full at night
  • Go to the bathroom before bedtime
  • Setting an alarm to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night may be helpful

When do you see a doctor?
Even though wetting the bed is a completely normal part of development and will most often stop on it's own,  there are times when seeing a doctor may be appropriate. If the child is still wetting the bed by about age 7, started wetting the bed again after being dry for a long period of time, or if children complain of pain, snoring or unusual thirst- it may be a good idea to consult with your doctor.

Overall, know that the dry days will come! Be patient and understanding towards your child until that day! Wetting the bed doesn't mean they aren't potty trained or are acting out, it's just a normal part of developing!

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