You walk into your child’s bedroom in the middle of the night to find her pulling the wet sheets off her bed. She looks up at you, tears in her eyes, and asks, “Why do I keep wetting the bed? What’s wrong with me?”
It’s heartbreaking for parents to see their children suffering in any way, and watching their embarrassment and confusion grow because of their nighttime wetting is no exception. So, how do you talk to your child about nighttime wetting? Here are some tips to help aid the conversation:
Let her know she isn't alone. Between 5 and 7 million kids age 6 and older in the United States wet the bed, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Chances are other kids in her class at school also wet the bed. Many parents view bedwetting (or nighttime wetting) as a taboo subject that is not discussed outside the home. Talk openly about the issue so your daughter knows she isn't alone.
Share your experiences. Three out of four children who wet the bed have at least one parent who wet the bed as a child, notes pediatrician Dr. William Sears. If you or your spouse (or any close relative) wet the bed, share that with your child. Let him know it runs in the family and that you understand how he's feeling because you’ve been through the same thing.
Make sure they know it isn’t their fault. Children who wet the bed often think it’s their fault and wonder what they’re doing wrong. Make sure your child knows that it isn’t her fault she wets the bed. Don’t express disappointment or frustration when she wakes up wet but instead go about your morning like it’s no big deal.
If you don’t make a big deal, that’s how she’ll view it — as no big deal.
Add a “no teasing” rule. Don’t let siblings of those that wet the bed tease them. Be open about nighttime wetting and explain to siblings that everyone is different and their sibling cannot control his bladder when he wets the bed. Encourage them to be supportive and accepting.
Help your child understand why she wets. It’s not laziness or any mental problem that causes her to wake up wet. Explain that enuresis is usually caused by a bladder that isn’t fully mature and the only answer is time. Often, a child who wets the bed is a very deep sleeper and doesn’t get the signal that her bladder is full.
Help your child stay comfortable. Encourage your child to use the bathroom before going to bed and use absorbent underpants like GoodNites® Bedtime Pants and GoodNites* TRU-FIT* Underwear to ensure your child gets a good night’s sleep and wakes up dry and happy.