Dispelling a Myth – There Is No Such Thing as Night Training Your Child
Dawn Meehan, Mother and Blogger
Your toddler is taking an interest in using the potty so you buy underwear adorned with his or her favorite characters and the potty training begins. In no time at all, they’re using the toilet and staying dry throughout the day. “Hooray” – you think! Potty training wasn’t that hard. Staying drying throughout the night shouldn’t be a problem. But, after several weeks, they continue to wake up wet. Months pass and they still wet the bed at night. When I went through this with my kids, I thought they were just nighttime training accidents. But, it was really bedwetting and once I knew that was the case I was able to adjust the approach on how we handled it.
You and your child aren’t doing anything wrong. Bedwetting is a very normal thing and nothing that can be “fixed”; it must be outgrown. In fact, approximately 5-7 million children wet the bed in the United States alone according to the National Kidney Foundation. Bedwetting affects more boys than girls and it’s strongly linked to genetics. Dr. Vincent Iannelli, pediatrician and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, says that if one or both parents wet the bed, the child has up to a 77 percent higher chance of wetting the bed themselves. Most of the time, bedwetting happens simply because the child’s bladder control isn’t mature. Just as children develop fine motor skills and language skills at different rates, they develop bladder control on their own schedule as well.
So, how do you handle your child’s bedwetting? The fact that he or she wets the bed isn’t important because they’ll grow out of it as their body matures. Bedwetting can leave a child feeling embarrassed and upset because they can’t stay dry through the night. Reinforce that it is not their fault by telling them they cannot stay dry through the night because their bodies haven’t matured yet and it is not a choice they make. Responding negatively to your child’s wetting can damage self esteem and can even prolong wetting.
Treating bedwetting as a non-issue will benefit everyone. Instead of dwelling on it, take time to create calming bedtime routines that help your child get a good night’s sleep. Try to limit fluid intake 2-3 hours before bedtime and provide your child with GoodNites® Underwear so they can stay dry while sleeping. This will keep you from having to change sheets everyday and it will help your child sleep comfortably through the night.
Always keep in mind that this stage will pass eventually. Yes, it is stressful and hard to accept when you can’t fix it. But in the meantime, don’t let bedwetting stress you or your child. It’s normal and so much more common than you think. Let your child know it isn’t their fault and you love them no matter what.