Simple Solutions For The Occasional Nighttime Accident
Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg, Pediatrician and Mother
As children grow up, it’s no secret to any parent that there will be bumps in the road. And nighttime wetness, as frustrating as it may seem for both you and your child, is just one of those bumps. Almost every child will have his or her share of nighttime accidents. The trick is being prepared to deal with them. Eventually, your child’s bladder will catch up to his or her growing body, and the accidents will subside. In the meantime, here are some suggestions to help you feel prepared for your child’s occasional nighttime wetness:
- Stay calm. Your initial reaction may be to scold your child, but remember, it’s not his or her fault. Staying calm will help ease embarrassment and will show your child that an occasional accident is not a big deal - it’s just part of growing up. Let your child know that most kids have nighttime accidents until at least age 7,i so many of his or her friends are most likely having similar issues.
- Start the clean-up. Let your child help you strip the bed and ask him or her to change pajamas. A rational, solution-oriented attitude will demonstrate to your child that this is just a minor hiccup. You might consider using a waterproof mattress cover, which will keep the mess to a minimum. Then, make sure your child goes to the bathroom before getting into bed again.
- Don’t mention it. The next morning, don’t mention the accident unless your child brings it up. If he or she does want to talk about it, just reassure him or her that bedwetting is not something that can be controlled, and it’s not something to worry too much about.
Even if your child only experiences nighttime accidents once in a while, it’s still a good idea to follow any of these tips, as they can help prevent future accidents:
- Include a trip to the bathroom in your child’s bedtime routine, even if he or she doesn’t need to go.
- Instead of limiting fluids completely, offer ice chips so your child stays hydrated but doesn’t fall asleep with a full bladder.
- Consider waking up your child before you go to bed to use the bathroom one more time.
- GoodNites® Underwear can help your child feel more confident falling asleep because they look and feel like real underwear, but have the protection kids need, especially while lying down.
No matter what works best for you and your child as you deal with these accidents, the most important thing is to stick to a plan and to include your child in the process to give him or her a sense of control over the situation. Being prepared for these small challenges will make the process much more manageable and less upsetting for your child.
If you’re still worried about your child’s bedwetting or it becomes more frequent, I recommend speaking to your pediatrician, who will be able to offer you both a better understanding of your child’s symptoms and a variety of other possible solutions.
iJournal of the American Academy of Pediatrics