Published On: Wed, Jan 8th, 2014

Bed Wetting – How To Keep Your Child Dry At Night

Bedwetting How To Keep Your Child Dry At NightBy three many toddlers are dry at night, but some children take their time and don’t become dry till four or so. In fact at least one five-year old in 10 still wets the bed on a regular basis. Boys often learn bladder control later than girls.

Starting off
There’s no point rushing things. Wait till your child has good control during the day say over three hours between visits to the toilet and he also has a dry nappy every so often when he wakes in the morning. Without pressurising find out if he actually wants to do without a nappy at night. The decision should be a joint one.

Before you go ahead cover the mattress with a protective plastic sheet and use bedding that’s easy to wash. There’s no need to have ugly bedclothes especially since nice-looking things are just as washable.

Before bedtime:
A visit to the toilet before his bedtime is a must. Many parents also put their toddler on the potty late at night before they themselves go to bed, this is a good idea and helps prevent some wet beds. However you need to wake your toddler for this. If he’s not awake enough to feel his bladder emptying then he’s still passing urine in his sleep. It’s not in his bed but he isn’t learning anything from this.

It’s no great achievement to stay dry overnight if the bladder is empty. There’s therefore no point restricting drinks but do reduce fruit juices fizzy drinks and tea. All these can stimulate the bladder too much. In the case of fruit juices and fizzy drinks this is because they’re acidic. Tea and coffee contain caffeine which is a diuretic but your toddler shouldn’t be having tea or coffee anyway.

 If your toddler still wets the bed:

Be patient and change the bed without making any fuss. Getting angry is counter-productive and unpleasant for your child. Chances are he is already upset so shouting is the last thing he needs.

You can expect some regression during holidays or after a new baby or house move. However see your doctor if your child wets the bed having been dry for many nights. It could be a urine infection. Many parents ask about enuresis alarms. They can work well but are usually for those aged seven or more.

By Dr. Carol Cooper


If you like this article, you will find many more child development insights from Dr Carol Cooper at  www.ichild.co.uk , where we cover ages 0-11years. Our leading education advisor Godfrey Hall, has also produced hundreds of free educational activities all based around the National UK Curriculum, visit www.ichild.co.uk for these and more. Dr Cooper has published many best-selling parenting books including the Baby Milestones and Your Clever Baby. She is a practising family doctor and has three children, including twins. Carol is a lively contributor to a variety of TV programmes in the UK and abroad, and is the Five News Doctor, where she provides comments on health news. Dr Carol Cooper is the child development expert at iChild.


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