Most children gain
bladder control over time without any treatment. A
child should first be allowed to overcome
bed-wetting on his or her own. But home treatment may
help a child to wet the bed less frequently.
Things that go bump in the night. The bane of Miss Muffet's existence. A
teacher's harsh rebuke. What do they all have in common? Plenty: They're all
typical childhood anxieties and fears.
Nothing to worry (too much) about. But try telling that to your child! As a
parent, you can make a big difference in how well your child handles common
worries like these. Here are a few ideas that may help.
The Many Sides of a Child's Fears
Not all fear is bad. In fact, a little fear serves as an...
Monitor your child's consumption of liquids. As
a rule of thumb, children should be encouraged to consume 40% of their total
daily liquids in the morning, 40% in the afternoon, and 20% in the evening.
Talk with the doctor about how much fluid your child needs.
Restrict your child's intake of caffeine. Caffeine is a
diuretic, which means that it promotes the excretion
of urine. Foods such as chocolate and beverages such as colas and tea that
contain caffeine should only be consumed during the morning and afternoon
Have your child use the toilet before going to
Remind your child to get up during the night to go to the
bathroom. It may help to keep a night-light near or potty chair beside the
Let your child help solve the problem, if he or she is older
Praise and reward your child for dry nights. Involve your
child in planning the reward system. You may want to use a calendar and put
stars or stickers on the days that your child does not wet the
Encourage your child to take responsibility for changing
clothes and linens after a bed-wetting accident. For example, use washable
sleeping bags as bedding so your child can easily replace one that is wet with
one that is dry.
0.5 cup (125 mL) of vinegar to
the wash water to get rid of the urine odor in clothing and bed linens.
If your child wets the bed, don't blame yourself or the other parent. Don't punish, blame, or embarrass your child. Your child is neither
consciously nor unconsciously choosing to wet the bed. Give your child
understanding, encouragement, love, and positive support.
Be patient about changing the bed linens. Don't
act offended by the smell of urine.
Do not wake the child up at
different times during the night to go to the bathroom unless it is part of a
systematic treatment that the child has agreed to.
Do not make the
child feel bad. Shaming or punishing the child may make the problem
If you think your child may be feeling emotional
stress, talk with a health professional about whether
counseling may be helpful.