Support from Parents
Mum's bedwetting advice
Sometimes the best advice comes from parents going through the same challenges with their children, so we’ve asked Mums to share their experiences and their tried and tested methods to help you and your child through the bedwetting phase.
Preparing for bed is often the key to a good night ahead. If both you and your child are worried about what the night might bring it can create tension and leave everyone feeling stressed at bedtime.
As mum-of-two Vita shares:
‘When my girls are calm and relaxed they get a good night’s sleep. The day’s events affect sleep patterns and behaviour, and can cause nightmares that often result in bedwetting. I spend time with both of them individually and give them cuddles and kisses and have a chat to make sure everything is OK – if your children are relaxed, then mum is also relaxed!’
Of course, being a positive role model is also very important, as Abby understands:
‘Before bedtime I always make a point of going to the loo and encouraging my son to do the same, so he copies me and it helps to avoid accidents.’
For her little girl, Julie loves DryNites:
‘At bedtime DryNites are fabulous as she is too old for a nappy and loves the designs on her special bedtime knickers, so if staying away from home we always make sure we have some pyjama pants with us.’
If your child does have an accident at night, it’s essential to deal with it in a calm and reassuring manner. Lydia recommends:
‘No fuss, just a prompt change of clothes and bed sheets and big praise for every dry night along the way.’
Daytime dryness may no longer be a problem, but what about long car journeys that lull children to sleep? Hannah has a golden rule:
'We always make sure our 4 year old goes to the toilet prior to leaving the house.'
For loo stops on route, Danny's tip is to plan ahead:
'I check the route before we go to see where there are public toilets along the way.' Also Kayleigh advises, 'A folding potty and wet wipes in the boot just in case are a plus too.'
To guard against accidents, Nicky suggests:
'A bed mat to sit on in the car seat is helpful if you are going on a long trip in the car. Sometimes if they fall asleep they may wake up wet.'
'If it's a very long journey and there is a definte chance he will fall asleep, a pair of DryNites will go on under his pants' says Kira.
Lastly Kim advises:
'It's probably just comon sense but just make sure you always have plenty of spares with you and give gentle reminders to your little one to let you know when they need to go to the toilet.'
As they get older nights away from home become more and more common, whether to stay with a friend or grandparent or as part of a school or club activity. If your child wets the bed these events can cause great concern, but with the right preparation there's no need for kids to miss out on the fun of sleeping over.
'I've known many children in secondary school who bed wet that have managed to go on sleepovers, sometimes for several days and in shared dorms with lots of other boys and girls, and they've had a brilliant time away and none of their friends were any the wiser.'
'Always make sure that a child sleeping over, no matter what age, has whatever is important to them. This could be cuddly toy, a comforter, a special book or favourite pyjamas, as this will help them settle in the different environment and help to reduce bedtime stress.'
Explaining exactly where they are going and what's going to happen is also a great comfort, says Jenny:
'Let your child know that you can be contacted at any time.'
Whild Becky suggests that mums will need a little distraction too:
'In reality you will probably end up worrying more than they do, so my top tip is to plan something to be doing yourself on the day so that you don't spend every second worrying about how they are getting on!'
For some children, motivation and rewards can have a positive effect. We love this top tip from Katie:
‘Recently, my 5-year old daughter and I have set up a jar and a bag of marbles. Every morning, if she is dry, she can put one of the marbles in the jar. If she's not dry, nothing happens. The jar is gradually filling up and when it is full, we are going to have a special treat of her choice, like a trip to the zoo or local aquarium. Since setting this up, she has had more dry nights than ever - so it seems to be working wonders! She loves the praise for the dry night, but also loves the ritual of selecting the marble and seeing the progress in the jar - we had tried it before with a star chart, but this seems to have caught her imagination completely!’
Mostly, it’s the way you handle the situation that makes the real difference.
Mary talks about her own experience:
‘I wet the bed as a child. It is so important that parents handle the situation and do not make their kids feel bad; to this day I still shy away from staying at other people’s houses or hotels, I think the stigma has stayed with me.’
Make sure you have the right support around you to help you and your child through this stage, explains Amelia:
‘We couldn't of done it without the support of the whole family or the school nurse, she was a fantastic support.’
This is Cath's top tip:
'I think my main tip would be try not to get too stressed about bedwetting. Many children (particularly boys) take a while to have control when they're asleep. I used to worry about my son, but now just accept it for the moment. I'm grateful that we have good night time nappies available for all ages and these prevent it being too much of a problem.'
Our final piece of advice comes from Lucy:
'Accidents WILL happen, it's how you deal with them that matters.'