BabyLove spokesperson and Clinical Psychologist, Leanne Hall, spoke to us about the best way to deal with bed wetting. We know its a big issue for many kids and parents, especially if older kids are still wetting the bed, so we’re sharing her insight and wisdom in the hope that it helps.
What you need to know about bed wetting
Many children are toilet trained by the age of three years, however not all. Around 15-20 per cent of young children will continue to wet the bed until the age of five.
Bed wetting is caused by a delay in maturation of the mechanisms that control the bladder. It is no one’s fault – and it’s something that cannot be controlled.
It can be exhausting for parents – resulting in feelings of anxiety, irritability and even anger – especially among parents of older age children. A BabyLove Survey into bed wetting revealed that nearly half of mothers found it ‘worrying’ and ‘stressful’. This can have a negative impact on the child, who may be anxious when going to bed and worried about getting in trouble if they have a night time ‘accident’. It can also be a cause for concern when kids start getting invited for sleepovers and school camp is on the horizon.
How to deal with bed wetting
- Reassure your child that it’s normal. Anxiety can make the problem worse, so try and stay calm, and always praise your child when they have a dry night. Remember, nearly all children will grow out of it – once their bladders have reached maturity.
- Offer your child less drinks at night.
- Create a night time habit of ensuring your child goes to the toilet immediately before bed time, so that they empty their bladder before going to sleep.
- Leave a soft light on during the night so that it feels “safe” to go to the toilet.
- Use an overnight nappy pant with added absorbency, this will save a lot of stress for both parent and child – with leakage protection, and quick change if required.
Most children grow out of bed wetting, with less than five per cent of children continuing to wet the bed when they are eight years of age. If you are concerned about your child’s continued bed wetting, visit your family doctor for advice.