Wetting the bed while in the process of toilet training is very common. The actual medical term for bedwetting is nocturnal enuresis which is involuntary urination. According to Mayo clinic, 15 percent of kids tend to soak their beds till the age of 5. It is also interesting to note that bedwetting is something that runs in families and is more frequent in boys than girls. Like all milestones, most children eventually outgrow the phase of wetting their beds. However as a parent, if you would like to aid them in that journey, we have put together some pointers to help you go about it.
Don’t get angry
One of the main things to never ever do when toilet training a child is to get angry with them when they are unable to control their bladder, be in during daytime or the night. Fear can cause unnecessary scars in the long run and is never an option while attempting to discipline a child. It will add to the pressure your child faces while trying to not wet the bed and end up making the problem much worse. Anger also causes a sense of shame in the child that is hard to shake off. So take a deep breath and be firm but never angry with your little one. Let your child know that it happens to everyone and that there is nothing embarrassing about it; however, paediatrician they should work towards controlling wetting the bed. Communicate to them that with practice, they will also be able to stop wetting the bed soon.
A good person to talk to about bedwetting and get to know if your child is at the right physical age is your paediatrician. If the bed-wetting has suddenly started happening, it makes sense for you to check if there are any underlying medical issues that need to be addressed. Have a chat with your doctor about what could be the cause, for e.g. diabetes or a urinary infection. Even something like stress could cause your baby to suddenly start the habit of wetting the bed. However, the reason for wetting the bed needn’t be physical and could just be a phase. Like all phases, this one too shall pass.
Make trips to bathroom before sleeping
Once you have toilet trained your little one, the next logical step is the night-time control of the bladder. The first step to that is to make sure that your little one takes a trip to the bathroom before bedtime. After this, you can also make sure they go again when you go to bed. This will bring down the bed wetting to some extent as their bladder might be empty.
Limit fluid intake before bedtime
Limiting the fluid intake before bedtime helps in reducing the urge to empty the bladder while sleeping. So keep a routine and make sure that the intake of fluids is minimum at a particular time during each day. Like all habits, a routine will always help in reinforcing any discipline in your child. So communicate to your child that after a particular time, they should make sure they use the restroom and then go to bed. After sometime, it will become a natural habit and one day before you know it, they will have mastered the art of controlling their bladder.
Check your baby’s bowel movement
Most physical issues like bladder control, lethargy, colic, flatulence are related to the bowel movement of your child. When the bowels are full, pressure is usually exerted on the bladder causing your baby to feel like urinating even when their bladder isn’t full. This leads to more frequent urination and less control. If you feel that the bowel movement of your baby is sluggish, try to introduce more fiber in their diet and limit the intake of processed foods. Loads of fruits and vegetables are a well-known solution to ease constipation and get your baby’s stomach routine back on track.
Invest in a waterproof mattress
Sometimes when you are trying really hard to be patient about the toilet training scene, the physical inconveniences tend to push you over the edge and you end up losing your cool. So invest in rubber sheets or a waterproof mattress so that when accidents happen, all you will have to deal with is a soiled sheet.And accidents, when a child is learning to control their bladder, are bound to happen.
Record and reward their progress
Have a chart of positive reinforcements for your little one and offer plenty of positive reinforcement for not wetting the bed. It is an excellent way of producing good habits in children. It will also at a subconscious level help your child learn to stop bedwetting. If you track their progress in ways that they can see, there is a sense of pride when they overcome a hurdle in a very tangible way. Maintain a calendar and show them how many days they have managed to stop wetting the bed. This information will help them become confident in their own ability to control themselves from wetting the bed.
Involve your child in cleaning up
Like already discussed, accidents will happen. How you deal with these accidents have a bearing on the success of the initiative of helping your baby stop wetting the bed. So when accidents happen, think through how you will talk to your little one. When you change the sheets, involve your little one and tell them why you do not want the sheets to get dirty often. This will help them remember to try to control themselves and feel like a part of the solution than a part of the issue.
When you feel frustrated about the pace at which things are progressing, tell yourself that everyone you see has overcome these milestones before becoming adults. Though accidents will happen, there will be a day when you wonder where your little baby is, especially when you see a disciplined child in their place who has long moved on from the days of toilet training and poop control.