Kids Sleeping: Tips for Dealing With Bedwetting
We're not perfect parents, and our kids aren't perfect either. So even the most powerful, potty-trained superhero can go through a bedwetting phase or have the occasional accident. But hey, that's OK. Now that you've called the doctor 37 times, ruled out any medical conditions and kept your inner hypochondriac in check, here are a few ways to support your kid through a bedwetting phase:
- Yes, it's hard to focus when the bed is wet for the fourth night in a row and you're bleary-eyed, but parents should remain calm during this wet phase. Bedwetting is the problem, not your kid. Sure, easier said than done, but try to avoid going down Bad Temper Road. Whether you have to count to 10, 20 or 200 ... just take a few deep breaths in the name of anger management and keeping your negativity under wraps. If your kid sees you reacting calmly while facing a problem, this will not only help him at that moment but also in problem-solving situations down the line.
- You can't always protect your kid from the outside world of teasing and taunting, but you can keep your home a safe, tease-free zone. So don't allow any other family member to tease or taunt—including the "just joking" or "I didn't mean it's." If an accident happens, your kid should feel supported and protected from embarrassment. Home has to be that place, and a positive taunt-free environment means less stress for everyone.
- If you want to take the stress out of this particular type of midnight madness, keep clean sheets, pajamas and undergarments stacked close to the bed, preferably near a night-light, so your kid can get cleaned up and back into bed quickly when accidents do happen. Because the quicker your kid can get back to sleeping, the quicker you can, too.
- OK, maybe not exactly "fun" (no one actually enjoys doing laundry, do they?), but involving your kid in cleanups encourages responsibility, provides motivation for dry nights and reduces your already crazed workload. Let your kid pick out a cool clothes hamper and favorite fabric softener scent. Teach her age-appropriate laundry basics, read up on stain removal tips, and make cleanup a team effort. Look for products designed to remove urine from mattresses to keep the bedroom fresh, too.
- To encourage your kid to recognize his progress, help him create and decorate a success chart to hang in the bedroom. Commemorate dry nights with a big check mark and a small reward the following morning—let your kid help you choose something that will motivate him. Consider bigger rewards for positive weekly progress. (Ice cream sundaes, anyone?)
- For a child with bedwetting issues, a sleepover can be especially upsetting. To reduce the potential for embarrassment, try a protective undergarment. This will allow your budding social butterfly to keep a full social calendar and spend the night worrying about making it to the next level of the video game instead of wetting the bed or sleeping bag.
Despite what it may feel like when you're changing sheets at 2 AM, bedwetting won't last forever. And by supporting your kid through this period, you'll be making things a lot easier for everyone involved. Remember, bedwetting is just a phase: This too shall pass. Really. It will.