Bedwetting is far more common that you might think so if your child is having problems staying dry don’t worry it’s a normal part of growing up. It’s just that for some strange reason Mums don’t want to talk about their little ones night time problems around the school gate which creates the impression that you are the only one having to deal with them. Staying dry at night needs to be treated the same way as any learning experience so you need to be explaining things, reinforcing correct behaviour and gently correcting things when they go wrong. What follows are some general tips that can help your child learn how to stay dry.
Avoid drinks after 1600 – make sure your child does not quaff huge draughts of squash or water after 4pm. If they are thirsty give them little drinks often. They should be enough to quench their thirst without filling their bladder. Keeping them hydrated correctly during the day may not be easy when they are at school but it will certainly help them avoid drinking excessively when they get home.
Use a moisture alarm – much about staying dry is about teaching your child to do something when they are asleep. Not an easy thing for anyone to learn so any aids are really going to help. Moisture alarms can fit discretely in the bedding or even on sleepwear and when they detect the slightest sign of moisture they go off waking your child up so that they learn to recognise how it feels to need the loo in the middle of the night.
Get them to help you change their bedding – you need to do this without it seeming like a punishment, make it into a fun activity. The value lies in the opportunity to discuss accidents and explain how normal they are and to encourage your child to begin to recognise the signs when they are asleep.
Invite friends for a sleep over – sometimes the thought of a social engagement such as a sleep over is enough to encourage the necessary kick-start in a child’s learning to help them overcome night time dryness issues. This step needs to be thought through carefully and used sympathetically if it is not to become a pressure that makes achieving the goal more difficult.
Leave the Toilet Lights on
Children can often be frightened of getting out of a warm and secure bed at night if all about them is dark. Leaving bedroom doors open and the toilet light on is a way of getting over this security issue. Not only does it help with any fears of the dark it also helps them find their way to the toilet easily which can be more difficult for a child who is sleepy than you might imagine.
Make routine Trips to the Toilet
Staying dry is all about learning new skills for your child and you can help them by encouraging routine visits to the toilet in the hour before they go to bed and once again immediately before getting into bed. In the early days of learning how to stay dry it might also be worth considering waking them up as you go to bed yourself for an extra toilet trip. Don’t worry about disturbing their sleep, any downside will soon be cancelled out by the praise you can give when they do stay dry through the night. Once this is achieved on a routine basis you can then stop waking them for their final trip to the toilet.