Banish the Blame
Getting angry with your little one and punishing him for wetting the bed will only add pressure to stay dry and will make the problem worse. “It’s difficult to stop a child from wetting the bed, and you shouldn’t worry about it unless he is embarrassed and asks you for help,” says Scott J. Goldstein, M.D., an Instructor of Clinical Pediatrics at Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago. Don’t make a big deal out of it; offer some comfort instead. “Often, when parents don’t talk about bedwetting, children think they are the only ones going through it,” points out Howard J. Bennett, M.D., a pediatrician in Washington, D.C., and author of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Waking Up Dry. “Reassure your child that he is not alone, and that bedwetting is very normal among his age group.”
Talk to the Pediatrician
Tell your pediatrician about the bedwetting, so she can track your child’s progress and offer suggestions for handling the situation. If your child is older than 5, or if the bedwetting starts abruptly, discuss if there is a reason whyit’s occurring, suggests Mark Wolraich, M.D., Director of the Child Study Center at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Talk to your doctor about possible causes — for instance, urinary tract infections, diabetes, or even stress — and other possible reasons and medical solutions. Keep in mind, though, that in many cases there isn’t a physical reason for bedwetting. It’s just a delay in the development of nighttime bladder control.
Encourage Bathroom Trips Before Their Bedtime — and Yours
Make sure your child goes to the bathroom before her bedtime, but also try carrying her to the bathroom again right before you go to bed. “When your child empties her bladder, there’s less of a chance she’ll have to urinate during the night,” explains Dr. Goldstein. This technique won’t “cure” bedwetting, so to speak, but it can be an effective way to keep the bed dry through the night. Some pediatricians also suggest limiting your child’s intake of fluids a few hours before bedtime.