Parenting 101: How to Deal with Bedwetting
May 22, 2014
Unless you want your child to don a diaper until he or she goes off to college, a wet mattress will most likely become an issue at some point during potty-training season. Bedwetting, medically known as nocturnal enuresis, is completely normal and nothing to be ashamed of.
Without a single thought, toddlers are used to being able to “go” wherever they want when they were still too young for grown-up toilets. Bladder control was certainly not at the top of their priorities.
But when it’s time for them to learn how to use the potty, by no means must you sacrifice your mattress nor shame your child for something so natural. Here’s how to deal with the tiny one’s dreaded wee-wee on your bed.
Prevent Bedwetting before it Starts
Anticipate the problem and take the proactive route. A few days before you actually start weaning them off diapers at night, try to get them used to a few new routines. Reduce the chances of your child having to urinate in the middle of the night by imposing a rule of no drinking 2-3 hours before bedtime.
Additionally, always remind them to go to the bathroom (even if they insist that they ‘don’t have to go’) right before they go to bed to see if they have to tinkle.
Disposable Bed Mats
Disposable bed mats are absorbent mats that are placed between your child and the sheets. They normally have adhesives at the bottom to stick on your sheets so they don’t move around and become misplaced. Instead of having to clean the sheets every time an accident occurs, all you have to do is throw the mat away and replace it with a clean one!
Reusable Waterproof Overlays
This mattress protector has an absorbent layer to soak up the urine while the waterproof barrier underneath keeps it from seeping into the sheets. You will still have to wash the mat when it gets soiled; however, it’s still considerably smaller than regular sheets and the material is much easier to clean, so it’s still the better alternative.
Bedwetting Alarm with Mat
This is a rather extreme method, but it is most effective in training your child to wake up and go to the bathroom when they have to go. The mat is actually a foam sensor pad connected to an alarm that will sound off as soon as it senses moisture, waking your child. Pretty soon, he or she won’t need the alarm to realize that they have to get up and do their business.
While a clean mattress is ideal, it is very crucial to remember that your child is more important than the extra laundry or the nightly disturbances. Never scold your child for urinating in their sleep, as we’re pretty sure you’re aware that they’re not doing it on purpose. Additional stress may actually worsen the problem! Praise them in the morning if they manage to stay dry for the night.
If they do wet the bed, have them be involved in the process of cleaning up. This allows them to feel empowered, like they have control of and can handle the situation, as opposed to feeling helpless and embarrassed.
See a doctor if nocturnal enuresis persists. Otherwise, stay dry and sweet dreams!