If you’re a parent of a toddler with bedwetting issues, you know how stressful this can be. To help your little one get on the path to dry nights and less stress, it’s important to work together as a team – keep reading that article for more insights. One thing that makes it difficult to handle bedwetting is the amount of conflicting information you may come across online or from your friends. There are many options available to treat bedwetting, like lifestyle modifications (keep reading), bathroom habits & scheduling, skin & hygiene concerns, coping strategies, and even products. Especially the last point causes perplexity – in other words, which type of products should you purchase?
A healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and fiber will help prevent constipation. Having a soft, formed bowel movement every day will reduce pressure on the bladder and increase bladder control. Caffeine, alcohol, carbonated drinks and citrus juices should be avoided as they irritate the bladder and increase urine output. Fluid intake should be increased during the day and minimized in the afternoon and evening, especially during the two hours before bedtime. Maintaining a consistent nap and sleep schedule is helpful. Sleep deprivation impairs bladder function and makes people less able to awaken in response to a full bladder. Developing routines before bed and having a comfortable, quiet environment promotes healthy sleep. A clear path between the bed and bathroom is important to avoid tripping or falling. Night lights help children find the bathroom easily without being afraid of the dark. Children may be more comfortable using a potty chair by the bed. A bedside commode or raised toilet seat may be helpful for adults with impaired mobility.
|Bathroom Habits & Scheduling:|
Regular bathroom visits every few hours during the day can help reduce nighttime incontinence. Children may benefit from regularly scheduled bathroom trips timed at increasing intervals to help the bladder become used to holding urine for longer periods of time. Urinating twice shortly before going to bed will help ensure that the bladder is completely empty at bedtime. Getting up once or twice during the night to urinate will prevent the bladder from becoming overfilled. A calendar or diary to track wet and dry nights may help identify bedwetting triggers and identify which interventions are helpful for maintaining continence.
|Skin & Hygiene Concerns:|
The skin should be gently cleaned as soon as possible after bedwetting episodes to provide comfort and avoid irritation or rashes. Disposable skin cleansing wipes help eliminate odor and require no rinsing. Soap-free, alcohol-free cleansing products with protective moisturizers are best for delicate skin. A barrier cream or ointment may be applied to prevent urine from coming into direct contact with the skin. Conditioning ingredients help soothe and moisturize the skin. A doctor or wound care nurse should be consulted if there is high risk of skin breakdown and bed sores due to immobility.
Parents can use incentive programs to help children achieve increasing periods of continence. Children can be motivated by tracking their progress and earning rewards when goals are met. Compassion and support from parents, spouses and significant others can help prevent depression and low self esteem. Shame and punishment for bedwetting is not helpful and can make the problem worse. Counseling is helpful when bedwetting is complicated by stress or anxiety. A strict no-teasing rule may be needed for siblings and other members of the household. Bedwetting should not be discussed in front of other family members. Parents will need to wash the bed linens for small children but older children and teens can help in the clean-up process. This can help foster a sense of empowerment and responsibility for staying dry through the night.
|Incontinence Products: |
Linens and underwear should be changed as soon as they become wet to avoid skin breakdown. The best disposable incontinence products have soft top layers and an absorbent core which wicks moisture away from the skin. Inexpensive linens can be layered on the bed so that the bed is ready once the wet items are removed. Fresh pajamas or nightgowns should be kept by the bed for quick clothing changes. Quilted incontinence pads help protect the fitted sheet and prevent complete bed linen changes. A waterproof mattress allows quick and easy cleaning with no worries about odors, stains, or mildew.
American Urological Association. (2021). What is nocturnal enuresis (Bedwetting)?
Retrieved from https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/n/nocturnal-enuresis-(bedwetting)
National Association for Continence. (2018). 10 Tips to control bedwetting in children and adults. Retrieved from https://www.nafc.org/bhealth-blog/10-tips-to-control-bedwetting-in-children-and-adults
National Association for Continence. (2018). Caring for your skin when you have incontinence. Retrieved from https://www.nafc.org/skin-care
National Kidney Foundation. (2021). Skin rashes due to bed-wetting. Retrieved from https://www.kidney.org/patients/bw/BWrash
WebMD. (2012). Helping bedwetters: Tips from the trenches. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/children/features/parent-tips#1
WebMD. (2020). Helping your bedwetting child maintain self-esteem. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/parenting/bedwetting-self-esteem#1
WebMD. (2021). Tips for bedwetting prevention. Retrieved from