I can remember, vividly, back to when I was a little girl who wet the bed. I did it for years. I would wet my bed and then end up hopping in with my parents and wetting theirs! It wasn’t fun for anyone and I remember it being truly embarrassing when, in fact, it was so normal.
For many kids, they will continue to wet the bed years after they are toilet trained for the daytime. Often it’s not something that can be taught or trained. Like everything, children will stop bed wetting when they are ready.
Now that I am a mum, I am putting in place the best practices to support my Harvey until he is ready to wake and go to the toilet by himself in the night and I want to ensure that it is not an awkward or upsetting experience for him.
When it comes to bed wetting, there is a lot of misinformation circulating online and I have found that what helps toilet training during the day, is totally different to the good practices to help with the night time. So, I have put together my tips and advice for toilet training and managing bedwetting.
We tried to toilet train Harvey when he was about two years old but it was a disaster so we gave it a break and it wasn’t until he was almost three that HE decided he was ready. He just got it. And he was eager to wear underpants like his Dad and use the toilet. So, he got to choose some new special underpants at the shops and then we introduced him to Huggies Dry Nights which would be his special night time pants.
We put a big A3 piece of paper on the toilet wall, got a sticker book and every time he emptied his bladder he got to choose a sticker to put on the wall. For a number two, I had a lucky dip box of little, cheap presents. The rewards helped but I think the praise we gave him is what helped most. Kids just love to please. We did high fives and really made a big deal of it.
I found that waiting until he was ready, resulted in a really enjoyable and quick toilet training experience.
There are things you can do during the day to help your little one with bed wetting. When Harvey needs to go to the bathroom during the day, we have been encouraging him to hold for a short while for a little bit of bladder training. And we talk about going to the toilet in the night and encourage him that he is a big boy that can do that now too.
At the end of the day, a consistent bedtime routine has helped with our management of bedwetting. I practice dinner, bathroom break, bath, book, bathroom break and then bed as our routine. We have the same bedtime every night and the very last thing we do before bed is visit the bathroom and pop on his Huggies DryNites. I remind him that he can go to the toilet in the night if he needs and we show him that we have left a light on for him so he can see. To our surprise, he has started to wake some nights, at about 4am, visit the toilet with our help and then go back to sleep!
Because dehydration is one of the causes of bedwetting, I make sure that he is constant hydration throughout the day and I don’t limit his water intake in the evenings. Regardless of what you read, limiting water can actually make bedwetting worse as it can lead to constipation which is another cause!
Another common myth is that waking your child to go to the toilet in the night will help them learn. Although it may result in less wet beds, it doesn’t help them or teach them to wake in response to a full bladder. So, with Huggies DryNites, I know that he has the protection if he doesn’t wake and he is getting a solid night sleep. And they will take the awkward out of sleep overs!
Lastly, time and patience are key. I have taken a very gentle and supportive approach to it and consider his emotional needs. I don’t want bedwetting to be a big deal and or something embarrassing. I know that it will be something he will achieve in his own time and there is no pressure from us.
If you have a child that is experiencing bedwetting, know that it is normal and ever so common. I have never met an adult who still wets the bed. Everyone gets there in the end.
Huggies DryNites Pyjama Pants are available now in Woolworths, Big W, Coles and Amazon.