Ireland’s leading parenting expert, Alison Canavan advises parents on how to cope with bed wetting
Hooray you’ve done it, your child is potty trained! But just at that moment you pat yourself on the back, you realise there’s a whole other stage to get through – dry nights. I never even thought about staying dry at night until I realised that James can’t wear pull ups forever as that would be both embarrassing and expensive.
Learning to stay dry at night is very different to staying dry during the day and your child might take a while to grasp this.
The first thing you need to do is check that their pull up is still dry in the morning. Again there is no set age for this but usually by the age of 5 or 6 most children can go without pull-ups at night.
When James was pretty consistent with his dryness I explained we were going to wear big boy pants at night too. It’s important to reduce liquids in the evenings and If James woke at all during the night I would take him to the toilet. You will know what works best for your own child. My mum said she used to lift my sister a couple of times during the night which worked well with her or maybe just lift them once when you’re going to bed yourself. Emptying their bladder will help them go through the night easier.
When I took James out of his DryNites pull-ups I started using Huggies Dry Nites Bedmats, which are my latest and greatest discovery. They are meant for under the sheets but I use them over the sheets, as they feel soft and cosy. This means the piles of washing are greatly reduced, as all you have to do is change the bedmat and PJs if an accident does happen during the night.
Prepare for some sleepless nights
My advice is to stay calm and be patient. This can be difficult if you are awake through the night, changing sheets and jammies. James woke once when he was in pull ups and I was so exhausted from work I told him to go to the toilet in his pull ups and he was horrified so I got up, changed his pull up, brought him to the toilet and of course I couldn’t fall back to sleep then, violins please!
But really, on a serious note the one thing you don’t want to happen is for them to become anxious (or confused). James had a bit of an issue with number twos when he was being trained and can still get terribly embarrassed and he gets very upset if he wets the bed.
Be clear that it’s not their fault and that all boys and girls go through this.
According to the experts at Huggies encouragement and motivation will go a long way to helping a child get through bedwetting. Praise helps to build a child’s confidence, so celebrating small “steps along the way” – such as going to the toilet before bedtime without prompting – will help to keep them focused and will also counteract the disappointment of when things don’t go so well.
Top tips to prevent bedwetting:
- Be prepared – have DryNites bed mats, jammies and pull-ups handy.
- Limit liquids in the evening
- Talk about it and work through any anxieties they might have
- Encourage and motivate all the way
- Don’t worry about what other people do, do what’s right for your child
- DryNites also make Pajama Pants designed to be worn discreetly under nightwear and can be put on and taken off just like real underwear. They feature a thin super absorbent pad that draws wetness away from the skin, together with leak guards and a moisture proof outer cover.