A wee problem

**Bed-wetting need not be a big deal

**The younger your child, the more likely they are to wet the bed. About 15% of children still wet the bed at age five, seven to 10% of children still wet the bed at age seven and 3% of boys and 2% of girls still wet the bed at age 10. It can also continue on into the teens and it’s important that parents have good information at hand and help their child deal with it. Here are some tips:

  • Reassure your child that it is very normal and if you or a family member had a similar problem, it may help to hear about it so they don’t feel that they are the only one.

  • Do make it easier on your child by reminding them to go to the toilet just before they go to bed. Try not to let them drink fluids after 6pm and never let them drink anything with caffeine in it such as cola, tea or coffee as it can irritate the bladder. If they do need a drink, keep it small.

  • Some parents find that getting the child up to go to the toilet when they go to bed works well and many children hardly notice the disruption.

  • Try a reward system that gives them a special present for a certain number of nights of having a dry bed.

  • When you have to change the bed, don’t make a drama out of it – even though it’s annoying having to do the extra laundry. And certainly don’t shout or discipline the child physically.

  • Keep a clean set of sheets and pyjamas handy so you can change them quickly. Using the disposable slim-fit absorbent pants called Pull-ups takes much of the stress and all of the laundry out of the equation. They’re discreet and work well with the other night-training techniques.

  • Consider a covering for the bed, such as a new product called Brolly Sheet which is a nice-looking waterproof sheetcovering made of 100% cotton gingham indifferent colours that can be whipped off and replaced within minutes. They’re expensive but nicer than plastic.

  • If your child is anxious about sleeping at someone else’s house, send them prepared with a Pull-up or Brolly Sheet and make sure you talk to the parents. Ask the caregivers simply to bundle it all into a plastic bag and stash it away for you to pick up or dispose of the next day.

  • Consult your GP about using a bed-wetting buzzer, particularly if your child is over seven years of age. These can be very helpful if used properly. You can also help your child train their bladder. Your GP will be able to advise you but it involves drinking liquids then holding on for a short while to stretch the bladder a little at a time.

  • If your child suddenly starts wetting their bed, it is a good idea to see your doctor to check it isn’t a symptom of something else.

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