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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.

Putting Nutritional Bed-Wetting Strategies to Work

If you make the decision to have your child avoid certain foods in the evenings in an attempt to control your child’s bed-wetting problem, make sure the dietary changes don’t come across as punishment for bad behavior.

Many children who wet the bed, especially older kids, are embarrassed and ashamed by their nocturnal enuresis. And often, parents become increasingly frustrated and angry over the seemingly never-ending cleanup. This can cause anxiety in the children, which can be psychologically distressing and may make them even more likely to wet the bed.

So, it’s important to make sure your child understands that the strategies you’re trying are an attempt to solve the problem, not a consequence for misbehaving.