Late night wake ups, midnight sheet changes, grumpy and overtired mornings… any of this sound familiar? If the answer is yes, it sounds like your child might be struggling with bedwetting. If so, the most important thing you can do first is stop worrying; bedwetting is an extremely common issue faced by over 15% of all children under five and in most cases will end up resolving itself. That’s not to say however that it can’t be a stressful or upsetting situation for both children and parents so, if bedwetting is getting you down, here are some things you can try.
Reduce drinking in the evenings
Gradually reducing the amount your child drinks toward the end of the day can really take the pressure off their bladder overnight. Be careful not to dehydrate them either, though! Simply cut down on their liquid intake after dinner and especially before bed.
Schedule bathroom breaks
If your little one is finding themselves needing the toilet in the night it might be that implementing a schedule could help them get more control over their bathroom habits. Try getting them to go to the toilet every two to three hours throughout the day and then once right before bedtime to see if this helps them get a full night’s sleep.
Don’t wake your child
That being said, try not to wake them up in the night to go to the toilet either. Advice on how to tackle bedwetting often includes waking up children once or twice in the night to use the bathroom but this is actually not doctor-recommended and, in our experience, just leads to more disturbed nights, tiredness, and stress for everyone involved – which can end up making bedwetting worse.
Did you know that some ingredients can irritate children’s bladders? From citrus juices to artificial flavourings and sweeteners, some ingredients can cause irritation that leads to bedwetting. If you’ve already tried everything else, it might be an idea to cut out these ingredients in the evenings to see if it helps.
Know when to see the doctor
As we said before, most cases of bedwetting resolve themselves as children grow up and you often don’t need to worry about doing much besides investing in a good mattress protector! However there are some cases in which it can be a good idea to visit the doctor to make sure your child’s bedwetting isn’t symptomatic of another condition. These can include daytime as well as nighttime incontinence, symptoms of sleep apnea such as snoring or trouble breathing while asleep, fever, constipation, or if the bedwetting continues after the age of five. Bedwetting can also be a symptom of stress or anxiety so, if nothing else is working, it can be a good idea to keep an eye out to see if there have been any changes that might have been distressing for your little one.