Children feel victorious when they have big accomplishments like staying dry throughout the day. With summer just around the corner, your child might not feel comfortable attending overnight social events like camps and sleepovers because bedtime becomes a battle rendering them powerless from defeat. But, according to Renee Mercer, a pediatric nurse practitioner and specialist of enuresis for over 25 years, it doesn’t have to be. In Mercer’s new book, Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness: A Practical Guide for Parents of Children with Bedwetting, Second Edition(Brookeville Media LLC), she arms parents with nine strategies to help their children turn their bedwetting troubles into triumphs.
Through a series of easy-to-tackle steps and with the help of a bedwetting alarm, you can work with your child to achieve dry nights in as little as 10 weeks. So if you start now, you’ll both be able to rest easy much earlier than you ever expected, says Mercer.
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Strategy #1: Make your job easier now. As you ease into the steps that will help your child stop bedwetting, do what you can to make nights, mornings, and cleanups as easy as possible on yourself and on your child. If you aren’t already doing so, decrease your workload by using disposable pants, waterproof pads, vinyl mattress covers, etc.
Strategy #2: Get the whole family on board. This isn’t just your child’s challenge to overcome—he’ll need your continued help, support and encouragement. Keep in mind that you’ll be waking up during the night as your child learns to establish a nighttime routine, as well as helping him get used to any alarms he might use and monitoring his food and liquid intakes before bed.
Strategy #3: Establish a bedtime routine. Some children are more likely to experience a pattern of dryness when they have a regular nightly routine. To the extent that it’s possible, try to start working toward dryness at a time when no disruptive events such as holidays, vacations, moves, the birth of a sibling, etc. are on the horizon.
Strategy #4:Refrain from punishment. It is crucial to realize that kids do not wet their beds voluntarily. Bedwetting can be caused by a multitude of factors, including genetics, small functional bladder capacity, food sensitivities, high nighttime urine production, and even constipation—but a wet spot in the morning is not a result of your child being too “lazy” to get out of bed. For this reason, punishing a child for bedwetting is ineffectual and potentially harmful.