Bedwetting can damage the child's self-image and confidence. The best way to prevent this is to be supportive. Parents should reassure the child that bedwetting is a common problem that has a strong genetic component and that they are confident that the child will overcome the problem.
Here are some tips to help your child cope with bedwetting:
- Focus on the problem: bedwetting. Avoid blaming or punishing your child. Remember, your child cannot control the bedwetting, and blaming and punishing just make the problem worse.
- Be patient and supportive. Reassure and encourage your child often. Do not make an issue out of bedwetting each time it happens. If you or your spouse wet the bed as a kid, remind your child that mommy or daddy had the same issue and eventually outgrew it.
- Enforce a "no teasing" rule in the family. No one is allowed to tease the child about the bedwetting, including those outside the immediate family. Do not discuss the bedwetting in front of other family members.
- Encourage responsibility. Help your child understand that the responsibility for being dry is his or hers and not that of the parents. Reassure your child that you want to help him or her overcome the problem. In addition, have your child help in the clean-up process.
Make clean-up easy. To increase comfort and reduce damage, use washable absorbent sheets, layer sheets among waterproof bed covers, and use room deodorizers.
Tips to Prevent Bedwetting
Along with supporting your child emotionally, there are a number of steps you can take that may help reduce the number of bedwetting accidents. Here are more tips.
- Reduce evening fluid intake. Do not give your child anything to drink in the two hours before bedtime, especially drinks such as tea or sodas that contain caffeine.
- Have your child go to the bathroom before getting into bed.
- Set a goal for your child of getting up at night to use the toilet. Instead of focusing on making it through the night dry, help your child understand that it is more important to wake up every night to use the toilet.
- Make sure the child has easy access to the toilet. Clear the path from his or her bed to the toilet and install night-lights. Provide a portable toilet if necessary.
- Reward your child for remaining dry. A system of sticker charts and rewards works for some children. The child gets a sticker on the chart for every night of remaining dry. A certain number of stickers earn a reward.
- Consider using diapers or pull-ups at night. Some believe that you should avoid using diapers or pull-ups at home because they can interfere with the motivation to wake up and use the toilet. Others argue that pull-ups help the child feel more independent and confident. Talk to your child's doctor to determine what is best for your child.