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Fact or Fiction? 5 Truths about Nighttime Bedwetting Every Mom Should Know

Posted by Claire | Monday July 30, 2012 1 comment

When I was a little girl, playing make-believe mommy consisted of toting around a life-sized doll who made wee-wee in her overpriced diapers and cried in a garbled mechanical squeal for her pacifier (until my Dad removed the batteries and claimed that every store in the city was sold out of double AAs. Forever.)  Later, it was taking Crystal Barbie to sleepovers and trying on my friends’ barbies’ dresses and shoes.

So obviously, I was completely prepared for motherhood when it happened for real. Not.
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about parenting, so when my daughter had occasional nightwetting issues (brought on by night terrors), I immediately jumped to rash conclusions.  Did this mean she had psychological or behavioural problems? Did I mess up with potty training? Was she going to always wet the bed and never have any friends and ohmygosh-she’s-never-going-to-get-married-and-will-still-be-living-with-me-when-she’s-85!

I asked our pediatrician about these concerns, but as it turned out her night terrors stopped on their own after a few months and so did the accidents.  If your child has problems with nighttime bedwetting, do you know what’s fact and what’s fiction?

Fiction: None of my friends’ kids over 4 years old are still wetting the bed, so there must be something wrong…

Fact: It’s more common than you realize - 15% of 5-year-old children have problems staying dry.  Bedwetting (or Nocturnal Enuresis) is more common for boys than for girls and 72% of kids will outgrow it naturally by the time they are 11 years old.   Your friends are either very lucky or they’re fibbing.

Fiction: My child wets the bed sometimes after a nightmare.  I guess that means he has a serious problem?

Fact: Occasional night time accidents can be coincidental.  A formal diagnosis of Enuresis is more common if your child wets the bed at least twice a week for three months.  While websites and parenting books offer handy information, your pediatrician is the best person to ask about specific concerns.

Fiction: I started potty training too early and that’s why my child has problems with night wets.

: While forced potty training has not been ruled out as a possible contributing factor to night wets, there are many other possible causes including poor bladder control, genetics, stress, trauma, or illness.  However, the most common cause may be merely a child’s bladder not growing as fast as the rest of his body.

Fiction: I make my child change his own sheets when he wets the bed.  It’s the only way he’ll learn.

Fact: Take a deep breath and put yourself in his shoes.  Wetting the bed is intensely embarrassing and not something he has any control over.  Negative reinforcement will only raise his stress and possibly make his situation worse.  Protect his fragile confidence with gentle reassurance instead

Fiction: Since my child has nighttime accidents, we avoid sleepovers and overnight travel.

Fact: While you should be considerate about putting your child in potentially embarrassing situations, there’s no reason you can’t look for solutions that will allow him to participate in fun activities.  Skipping such events might make him feel like even more of an outsider to his friends.  Instead, learn about bedwetting triggers and try a product like GoodNites® disposable Bed Mats to protect against occasional accidents as part of your overall bedwetting strategy.

Tip: interested in trying those Bed Mats? Don't forget your $1 off printable coupon here!
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on August 02, 2012  KatelynRose1984  20,704 said:

Great article!

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