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Nighttime Routines That Can Lead to Dry Nights

Try these tips to control your child's bedwetting problem.

Bedwetting Busting Routine No. 3: Use the Bathroom Before Bed

Just like brushing her teeth, your child should be sure to urinate right before she goes to bed so that she starts the night with a completely empty bladder. But what if your child is anxious about using the potty or rushes to get out of the bathroom?

“Sometimes kids run into the bathroom and partially void, so it's a good idea to remind them to relax and let all of their urine out,” says Howard Bennett, MD, author of Waking Up Dry: A Guide to Help Children Overcome Bedwetting. “If a child has difficulty following this rule, I ask them to do a double-void before bed -- pee 30 minutes before they go to sleep and then again right before they get in bed.”

Bedwetting Busting Routine No. 4: Keep or Review a Bedwetting Journal

Experts found that allowing children to “own” their problem, and take some responsibility for fixing it, can be very helpful, especially for bedwetting in older children. The goal is not to shame them into staying dry overnight, but to give them a sense of control and optimism that they can stop wetting the bed.

One way to do this is to help your child keep a bedwetting calendar or journal. It can be something as simple as putting stars on a calendar every day a child stays dry overnight, or something much more scientific.

Fritz has found that some children, depending on age and level of interest, become quite involved in testing things that might be contributing to their bedwetting problem. You can help your child come up with theories to test. For example, does he stay dry every time he pictures himself waking up to pee right before he goes to sleep? Or does he notice that he wets the bed every time he drinks a big mug of root beer after dinner?

“Some kids get really into it, coming up with hypotheses about what it was that made the difference,” Fritz says. “It doesn’t much matter what they test. The most important thing is the kid getting into the process and feeling some control. They’re realizing they’re not a bad kid -- they’re owning their problem and working on it.”

You and your child can work on the journal in the evenings together, or use it to review your child’s recent successes before you tuck him into bed. You can also use the calendar in the evening to record whether your child has done all of his bedwetting “homework.”

“Some kids like to keep a calendar so they can make a check mark showing they did their bedtime bladder work before going to sleep,” Bennett tells WebMD.

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