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"MOM! I wet the bed again. I just couldn't hold it."
"I didn't know I peed. I was sleeping! Can't you do anything?"
"But what if I wet the bed at the sleepover? I can't go!"
Though bed-wetting is normal, it's anything but pleasant. After all, waking up in a soaked bed is far from a cherished childhood memory. Most kids stop wetting the bed once they develop bladder control, but for those who don't, this phase can be exhausting, it can lead to many restless nights and it can be embarrassing. The more your child understands that bed-wetting is normal, the less ashamed he will feel. In addition, the more control he has over the situation, the more comfortable he will feel.
Here are three typical talks about bed-wetting that you can have with your child -- along with parenting solutions for each scenario.
"What do you need to make yourself feel better if you wet the bed at night?"
A mom just called to ask me how to help her daughter. She was ready to go from diapers to pull ups, and she was mature enough to wake up on her own to use the bathroom at night -- but she was still wetting the bed. Luckily the daughter was able to tell her mom the reason: "I feel nervous waking up in the dark to go to the bathroom." She was also worried that the potty seat would slip and she would "fall in the toilet" -- and Mom wouldn't be there to help. It's wonderful that the daughter could verbalize her concerns. It allowed her mom to set up a nightlight and strap on that duck seat. The bedwetting stopped by the end of the week.
The key point here is that you shouldn't overlook the little details that might concern your child. Talk to her about what she needs to feel more comfortable at night so she can wake up. And if she is unable to describe those worries, then just climb into her shoes for a minute. If you were your child what might hinder you from getting out of bed to use the toilet at night? Here are some possibilities:
If she's afraid of the dark, you might set up a nightlight or two so she can find the bathroom by herself. Another idea is to install a fish aquarium (it doesn't even have to be real -- there are darling fake ones available now) that gives off light.
If she's concerned she'll wet the bed and then be unable to sleep on those damp sheets, set aside a clean pair of PJs she can easily locate and change into. Include a towel to place over the wet spot.
If she's worried that she'll "fall into the toilet" (believe me, it's a common concern), ask her if a walkie-talkie system in your room and hers will help reduce those fears.