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Advice for Parents

How Absorbent Underwear May Help Your Bedwetting Child

When you lie down to sleep at night, you probably don't even think about the possibility of waking up cold and wet in the morning. Unfortunately, between 5 and 7 million children in the U.S. age 6 and older do.

Bedwetting, also known as nighttime wetting, occurs when a sleeping child cannot control his bladder during the night. There is no single cause for this involuntary urination, but researchers believe one of the most common reasons may be underdeveloped bladders. The one thing everyone agrees on is that it is not a willful misbehavior by the child. "Every child would rather wake up dry than wet," says Renee Mercer, MSN, certified pediatric nurse practitioner at Enuresis Associates in Maryland. "They really try to stop wetting the bed, but it's not in their control."

Disposable Absorbent Underpants

One way to ease the discomfort for children who wet the bed is through the use of disposable absorbent underpants. There are many products available today, such as Goodnites® Bedtime Pants, designed specifically for children who are dealing with nighttime wetting. Dr. Steven Docimo, head of the Urology Department at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, says these products are wonderful for children. "Waking up in a cold, wet bed has no conditioning effect," he says, noting that disposable underpants make for "one less chore for parents in the morning."

Experts from the National Kidney Foundation agree. "Using absorbent products at night to protect the bed will often reduce the frustration level of a parent and/or child waking to wet sheets," they say. And although many parents believe using these products may prolong nighttime wetting, Dr. Docimo reassures that "there is no evidence that it takes longer to grow out of bedwetting if a child wears absorbent pants."

Disposable undergarments may also help reduce the frustrations and stigma of nighttime wetting in older children. Many children who were previously nervous about attending sleepovers or overnight camps have found confidence using absorbent underwear. "When I wear [the disposable underwear], I don't have to worry about wetting my pajamas, the sheets or my friend's floor," says one child who experiences nighttime wetting. "I'm not afraid to spend the night anymore."

Nighttime wetting is a common problem that takes time to be resolved. But the good news is that 15% of nighttime wetting children outgrow the condition every year. Using absorbent products such as Goodnites® Bedtime Pants can help ease your child's discomfort and give her hope for a dry morning.

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