We often discuss accidents during daytime potty training, but I haven’t touched on nighttime accidents and bedwetting in a little while! I’ve been receiving some questions recently about bedwetting and not only how to handle it with kiddos, but also how to protect mattresses and bedding from all the mess that accidents cause!
Bedwetting, or nocturnal enuresis, is considered a normal part of childhood development up until the age of five years old.
A few facts about bedwetting:
- It is about twice as likely for boys to wet the bed as girls.
- It is familial. If either parent wet the bed, there is a 25% chance their child will too. If both parents wet the bed, the percentage increases to about 70%! It can be assumed that the child will stop wetting the bed around the same age their parent did unless formal training is instituted.
- It is not your child’s fault! But it can still cause confidence and self-esteem problems for kids, especially as they get older.
- Bedwetting is mostly caused by there not being a neurological connection between the bladder and the brain. But it can also be caused by constipation, UTI, excessive deep sleep, stress, dehydration (oxymoron right?!), and diabetes.
One effective way to treat consistent bedwetting is by using a bedwetting alarm. There are a variety of styles available, but they typically involve a two-part device with one unit attaching to the child’s underwear, and another to the child’s shirt or arm. The alarm sounds or vibrates at the first signs of wetness, helping the child create that bladder-to-brain connection. It can take up to 12 weeks for these to be fully effective, but they really do work! (Recommended for children ages 4 and up.) And don't forget to protect your little one's mattress!
Here are some helpful ways that you can protect your child’s mattress and bedding:
- Layer up! Alternate multiple layers of waterproof mattress pads and fitted sheets so that in case of an accident, you can peel the top layer off and have a clean one ready to go underneath!
- Dreading laundry? Check out “Peelaways” sheets instead – the same concept as above but DISPOSABLE layers! Total game changer!
- Have changes of clothes and bedding at the ready so you aren’t fumbling with drawers and closets in the night.
- Get some washable pillows just in case!
- Didn’t catch the accident? Spray the mattress with a urine stain/odor remover and set it in direct sunlight for a few hours. This takes away that stubborn smell!
The most important part of nighttime training is - Don’t give in! I know sleep is preciously valuable to us all, and it would be easier to give in and put a Pull-up on your child so that you won’t have to worry about having your sleep interrupted. BUT, I promise you that if you remain consistent and firm in your decision to fully potty train this time around, there will soon be a success and your child will both be potty trained for nighttime AND go back to sleeping through the night (as they hopefully already have been doing!).
Consistency is key when teaching children new skills because they rely so heavily on their parents/guardians’ lead. When we show them confidence and determination no matter what, they will feed off of this motivation and join us in the march to successful potty training!
This process isn’t always easy, but it is 100% worth it! Something that would normally seem stressful or dreaded can be turned into a bonding experience and a memorable, fun adventure with you and your little one. All that is needed is a little perspective change and some outside support!
I believe in your kiddo AND I believe in you! You’ve got this!
Does your child struggle with bedwetting? Comment below!