Prolonged night time wetting can be hugely stressful, exhausting and worrying for you – and frustrating and upsetting for your child.
Below are Amanda’s top tips for taking the stress out of regular bed wetting into early school years:
- Try not to panic and try not to compare. It’s not uncommon for young primary school children to still occasionally wet the bed. A tenth of 6-year-old boys still regularly wet the bed.
- Reassure your child as much as possible. Let them know that it’s not uncommon and that other children in their nursery or class will be having similar experiences.
- Keep a chart for clocking up successes. Seeing the number of consecutive dry nights gradually increasing should really help your child’s confidence (leave off the wet nights completely!).
- Never discuss your child wetting the bed in front of them as this can make them feel anxious and embarrassed.
- Set backs are very common. If your child had mastered night dryness but suddenly experiences a spate of bed wetting ask yourself if there’s been a change in their routine. Maybe a house move, starting school, a new sibling or family split? Stress and anxiety can bring on a short period of bed wetting. Reassure them that everything is fine, that you’re not angry at all and that it’s just a blip.
6. If your child has older siblings, talk to them and make sure that they don’t ever tease your little one about their bed wetting. It’s very important that your child doesn’t build up a sense of shame about it.
7. Find a time when you can talk about bed wetting with your child peacefully, and without stress (not just before bed time). This can help you rule out other factors that might be playing a part – for example, are they scared of the dark? Does walking around the house when everyone’s asleep make them nervous?
8. Once you’ve had a chance to rule out other factors and if your child is still regularly wetting the bed by age 5 or 6, it is worth making an appointment to see your health visitor or GP as in a small percentage of children the cause can be physical, for example, diabetes or kidney abnormalities.
9. If there are no physical reasons for your child’s condition but bed wetting continues work together with your child to come up with practical, discreet solutions. There are a huge number of products, for example, ultra absorbent but thin pyjama pants specifically designed for older children that help minimise stress and sleep disruption without the embarrassment of others knowing about it (this is really important when it comes to older children enjoying sleep-overs etc).
10. If you’re worried about night dryness, check out ERIC the website for the UK’s leading childhood continence charity. It provides a wealth of information, advice and resources.
Read more about Amanda Jenner, our Potty Lady expert and inventor of My Carry Potty.