This is a guest post by working mom Ruth Mendez.
Whether kids like it or not, there are times they will wet their beds. It’s normal.
Bedwetting During Potty Training
Bedwetting during sleep is normal for kids. Bedwetting, or nocturnal enuresis, arises from causes that kids have no control of. As much as children want to prevent wetting the bed while asleep, one of the primary causes for bedwetting is deep sleep. Children also tend to have a small bladder, and a nervous system still under development. This means communication between the bladder and the brain maybe delayed. Urine is released even before the brain knows the bladder is filled.
Bedwetting in Older Kids
Other possible reasons for bedwetting are insufficient ADH hormones (or the brain chemical responsible in slowing-down our kidneys at night) and a stressful environment. Interestingly, some kids with siblings start bedwetting after their brother or sister is born. This may be attributed to anxiety and excitement that elder kids experience with their newborn sibling.
If bedwetting is normal, then why do some parents get angry with kids?
How to Get Through This Season
Editor’s note: No one wants to be wakened from their sleep with a wet child and a wet bed. It’s a pain to have to get up and change the sheets, but remember it’s just a season.
Scolding kids who wet their beds may even worsen the situation. Since anxiety is one factor in bedwetting, getting mad at them will only aggravate this feeling. Focusing on a flaw they can’t fix might even result in lower self-esteem.
The best way to deal with bedwetting is not letting them know you’re bothered. Yes, having to dry the mattress can be frustrating, but I don’t want bedwetting to be a big deal in our home.
Three Tips to Prevent Bedwetting Accidents
There are several things you can do to lessen “slippery” incidents:
- Limit liquids. Prevent your kids from drinking liquids an hour or two before bed. This will give ample time for their body to secrete all the urine it can before your children fall asleep.
- Potty before bed. Teach your children the habit of going to the bathroom before bed. Even adults do this, so why not start young? You might also want to make this part of their night time routine along with brushing their teeth.
- Set an alarm. If neither of these helps, you might want to set an alarm in the middle of the night to wake your child to go potty. This may be a little extreme, but it’s nothing compared to changing sheets and drying the mattress every single time.
It’s best to talk to your kids and explain that while this is unpleasant, it is normal. Since we don’t want children growing up thinking it’s fine to wet the bed, we should encourage them to practice good habits until their muscles and maturity ensure it won’t happen again.
Looking for Resources to Help Make Potty Training Easier?
What tips do you have for getting through nights during potty training?
About the Author: Ruth Mendez is a working mom with lovely twins. She and her family enjoy yoga during weekends, aside from going to the movies and eating ice cream at home. Ruth loves Dubai and works as a Community Manager for Afterschool.ae, the leading after school activity planning platform for kids and moms in UAE.