Tips for coping with bedwetting
Although bedwetting usually ultimately resolves itself on its own, in the meantime, it can be an uncomfortable, embarrassing and somewhat confusing for your child. He’ll need your reassurance and support.
Here are a few things you can do to help, based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
Be clear and honest about what’s going on: Your child may feel confused by his body’s refusal to cooperate with his wishes. Let him know that bedwetting is involuntary and that it generally resolves itself. Tell him that a lot of kids he knows are probably dealing with the same issue, even though they aren’t discussing it. If other family members dealt with bedwetting when they were kids, tell your child about them and remind him that, in their cases, everything worked out all right, just as it will for him.
Listen to your child’s concerns: Let your child express his feelings and ask questions as well, so that you can reassure him about any specific concerns he may have. If you don’t know the answers to his questions, seek an answer from a reliable source, such as your child’s health care provider.
Help minimize mess and stress: No one wants to sleep in a soggy bed. Help curtail the unpleasant sensation of a wet bed by covering your child’s mattress with a plastic cover. This waterproof layer, placed under the sheets, can keep urine from soaking through to the mattress and smelling. It also makes cleanup easier and quicker in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning, when everyone’s in a rush. Having your cleanup tools, a spare set of bedding, and an extra pair of pajamas and underwear nearby can also help.
Allow your child to help with cleanup: It’s OK – and even encouraged – to enlist your child’s help as you change wet sheets. This is not to be done as a punishment, but rather a way to empower your child with a sense that he’s able to take responsibility and is not creating a burden for other family members. If your child is unwilling to help, don’t press the issue. Your goal is to make cleanup as painless as possible. You should emphasize that a wet bed is not a big deal.
Don’t tease, and don’t let other family members tease: Wetting the bed is involuntary and can be embarrassing and upsetting. It’s not funny for the person involved, and other family members, especially siblings, should understand this. Talk to them. Let them know that they are not to make fun of – or to gossip about – their sibling. A good approach is to explain that family members take care of each other. They are a team. If something unpleasant is going on with one family member, it’s the rest of the family’s job to offer support and encouragement – not ridicule.
Take some preventive steps: Discourage your child from drinking huge amounts of liquid right before bedtime (though don’t stop him from drinking if he’s especially thirsty – your goal is not dehydration!). Encourage your child to use the bathroom right before going to bed. Some parents find that waking their kids up to use the bathroom – about one to two hours after the child falls asleep – can help them make it through the night without wetting the bed.
Offer praise, but never punish: Give your child positive feedback for making it through the night dry. Wet nights should not be punished. Try not to give your child a guilt trip or pressure him, either. Instead offer comfort and encouragement, and let your child know that, unpleasant though a wet bed is, the phase will eventually pass.
And one more thing :
Respect your child’s right to privacy: If your child doesn’t want you to discuss his bedwetting issue outside the family – except, of course, with your doctor – respect those wishes and let other members of the immediate family, especially siblings, know that discretion is in order as well. Though bedwetting is nothing to be ashamed of, which you should reiterate to your child, many kids do feel embarrassed. And more than anything, your child’s business is his or hers to share – or to opt not to.