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Talking to Your Child About a Night Time Routine

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Last Updated: 2/8/21
Read Time: 2 minutes

When you have a child who experiences bedwetting, establishing a bedtime routine can bring comfort — and possibly reduce the risk of them having an accident. If you started a baby bedtime routine, there are steps you can continue. And even for older children, a night routine can be an important way to create consistency while having a few moments of bonding time. We asked a child psychologist to explain how it worked for her family.

Predictability of a routine can help a child with nighttime wetting feel comfortable and relaxed, especially when they can participate in planning their nightly routine. That’s important considering stress and anxiety can contribute to bedwetting.

As a mom of four, I know how chaotic bedtime can be. One of my kids is finishing up homework, another wants me to read them a story, I must give another a bath — all while I’m trying to wrangle them to go to bed.

What has helped immensely has been establishing a nighttime routine and sticking to it. In my experience as a child development expert, the consistency and predictability can be good for children, especially when you add bedwetting to the equation. Adding Goodnites® NightTime Underwear to nightly routines can also help reduce stress since parents don’t need to have a conversation about bedwetting every single night — it just becomes part of the routine.

There aren’t hard and fixed rules, but the predictability of a routine really helps. Get the kids involved by asking them to remind you what’s next. Give them more flexibility and responsibility as they get older.

Nighttime has become one of my favorite parts of the day because I get to unwind with my children, hang out with them and read to them. A bedtime routine makes that possible.

It’s important to do what works best for your family, but these talking points can help initiate a conversation about good night routines with your child:

  • I think it would be helpful for us to talk about our family routine at night.
  • I need to make sure we can do things we need to do like brush our teeth but also do fun things like reading a book before bed.
  • What I really want is for you to have a good night of sleep so we can have fun during the day together.
  • Do you like reading a story first or taking a bath first? Do you like going to the potty right before bed or do you like to brush your teeth last? When do you want to put on your Goodnites® underwear? What are your favorite PJs to wear?
  • Let’s draw a fun list of things we’re going to do together every night. What do you think?

As you’re establishing your routine, make sure you include a stop at the bathroom before bed. If you read a book before bed, you might want to ask your child to try to pee again when you’re done — even if they just used the toilet 10 minutes ago while brushing their teeth. Going to bed with as empty a bladder as possible may help reduce the chances of bedwetting.

Keep in mind that bedwetting is common. In fact, 7 million kids age 3 and older in the U.S. wet the bed. It’s okay that your child experiences nighttime wetting. They will grow out of it. And while you surely want to solve the issue for them, there’s no magic answer. Instead, just be sure to keep up your routines, be supportive and continue to communicate with your child.