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Caffeine and Bed-Wetting: Fact

Caffeine, whether in food or drink, acts as a diuretic, meaning that it stimulates the bladder to produce more urine. So, one bed-wetting solution many experts recommend is to avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening.

Just because your child doesn’t drink coffee doesn’t mean he isn’t ingesting caffeine. Teas, colas, and energy drinks often contain caffeine. And one food that many children love, chocolate, also contains a chemical closely related to caffeine. So you might want to be cautious about hot chocolate and desserts such as brownies or chocolate ice cream.

You don’t need to add insult to injury and ban these foods from your child’s diet -- just try to make sure they’re enjoyed earlier in the day, so the effects have worn off before bedtime.

Liquids Before Bed and Bed-Wetting: Fact

The reason your child wets the bed is not just because there is too much liquid in the bladder. Think of it this way -- even if you drank a gallon of water before bed, you’d wake up to empty your bladder rather than wetting the bed.

Nonetheless, limiting the amount of liquid your child drinks before going to sleep makes common sense because it will delay the filling of the bladder and give your child some extra time before bed-wetting occurs. This added time could give your child more of a chance to wake up before wetting the bed.

Keep in mind that drinks aren’t the only way your child gets liquids. Certain foods, such as soup, yogurt, and many fruits and vegetables, have very high water content.

Tips for Finding Bed-Wetting Food Triggers

Because everyone is different, you and your child might want to determine if you can figure out any food triggers that seem to affect whether your child wets the bed.

Experts recommend keeping a bed-wetting journal to record incidences of bed-wetting and identify any patterns to the accidents.

Some children become quite interested in designing their own hypotheses to see whether certain actions or foods have an effect on staying dry overnight. Working to identify their own personal bed-wetting triggers can be beneficial for kids on two fronts:

  • It gives them a sense of control over their bed-wetting problem and allows them to take some responsibility for trying to fix it.
  • If they do identify a food they think prevents or causes bed-wetting, having or avoiding that food may actually help, even if it is only due to the placebo effect.