For many children, incontinence doesn’t end after they have been toilet trained and transitioned away from wearing diapers or pull-ups. Bedwetting can be an exhausting and frustrating situation, and it can present social problems if your son or daughter is at the age when children begin spending nights away from home on sleepovers and class trips. Fortunately, there are many ways to address and eventually resolve the issue.
Schedule Regular Bathroom Visits
Many elementary school-age children have not yet developed the ability to recognize all of the signals that their bladder gives them. If they consistently fail to visit the restroom until it becomes an “emergency,” they may not learn to recognize the feeling of needing to urinate at nighttime until it is too late (and bedwetting occurs). Try to get your son or daughter accustomed to using the toilet every two to three hours and immediately before it is time to go to sleep.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Punishing children for bedwetting has not been shown to be effective. Punitive measures do not help children learn, and they tend to make the problem worse. Instead, be positive and try instituting a reward system to encourage success. For example, your son or daughter may earn a sticker every morning that they wake up with a dry bed.
Consult a Professional
If your child continues to wet the bed despite your best efforts, visit your pediatrician. He or she can examine your child to determine whether there is another medical issue causing the bedwetting, prescribe bedwetting medication for children or refer you to a specialist who will have deeper insight into the issue. Specialists can connect your family to various helpful resources.
Wetting the bed can be embarrassing for children, especially as they get older. Fortunately, bedwetting is a common problem that is easily treatable in the vast majority of cases. With luck, your child’s days of wetting the bed will eventually come to an end.