Child sleeping(126403)
Credit: small_frog

5 Do's:

  1. Take steps to protect your child's bed. There are many great products out there. I read the reviews of many of them and eventually purchased a mattress pad. These products go on top of the sheets and are made for various bed sizes. They are convenient since they are easy to place on/remove from the bed and throw in the washer/dryer as needed.
  2. Consider seeing your family physician. The reality is that very few challenges with childhood bedwetting are caused by medical issues and using devices such as a bedwetting alarm have proven enormously successful in helping children with this habit. Still, there are some benefits, such as getting peace of mind, in having your doctor rule out any concerns of your child having a urological problem.
  3. Have a discussion with your child about bedwetting. Before I took a closer look at bedwetting I mistakenly treated the behavior as something that my son could consciously learn to overcome such as improving table manners (we are still battling this one). The truth is bedwetting has nothing to do with laziness on the part of your child. The important thing to share with your child is that many other children have this challenge and that you will work together in overcoming it. Your child will take their cue from you. Show confidence, encouragement and express love during these discussions.
  4. Create a bedtime ritual. This can help your child gain into a structured set of habits that could help reduce bedwetting incidents. The ritual could include having the same bed time and cutting out fluids an hour or so before, ensuring they go to the bathroom prior to bed and reading a bedtime story.
  5. Have your child take part. This can include asking them to help you in washing the sheets and making the bed. If you decide to buy a bedwetting alarm then something fun to try is to show them how it works.

5 Don'ts:

  1. Don't blame your child. Trust me when I say that your child is not wetting the bed to express rebellion or because they are lazy. Any parent appreciates that there are tons of easier ways that a child can intentionally annoy a parent other than waking up to a soaked bed.
  2. Don't blame yourself. The fact is that many children are chronic bedwetters. Your role is to show your child how to overcome this often embarrassing habit with confidence and determination.
  3. Don't punish your child. It can not be stressed enough that your child is not intentionally wetting the bed. Does this fact make it less frustrating for a parent? For me, it didn't make changing the sheets any more pleasant though it did allow me to focus my energy on praising my son when he was making progress and encouraging him when he had a setback.
  4. Don't neglect it. Do some children naturally grow out of bedwetting? You bet! Are there some children that experience a negative impact to their self-esteem while waiting to grow out of it? Unfortunately, yes. My advice is to not waste any time in formulating some plan to discuss the issue if your child is often wetting the bed. It will be very beneficial for them and will make your life easier.
  5. Don't lose sight of to recognize milestones. Has your child gone a week (or maybe just a day) without wetting the bed for the first time? Praise them!