Nighttime Bedwetting Accidents? No Problem

Through education and a few simple tips, you can help ease the stress of nighttime wetting for both you and your child.

nighttime-bedwetting

Nocturnal enuresis, also known as nighttime wetting, can be embarrassing for a child and overwhelming for a parent. For some, nighttime wetting may be an inevitable part of growing up, but it doesn’t have to be distressing.

Support yourself with the facts:

Nighttime wetting is more common than you think! In fact:

  • Up to 15% of five-year-olds and 8% of 8-year-olds experience nighttime wetting
  • There’s a 77% chance that a child will wet the bed if both parents did as a child
  • Nighttime wetting is more common in boys than girls
  • While children generally achieve some level of nighttime dryness by about four years of age, accidents can happen even into puberty

 

Create a plan for success: provide your child with coping tools

1. Be supportive:

 

  • Allow your child to lean into you emotionally and reinforce your support with encouragement
  • Help your child understand that nighttime wetting is not their fault, that bodies develop at different rates and it’s something that will pass
  • Find ways to talk about the condition to eliminate the ‘secrecy’ that goes hand-in-hand with nighttime wetting (e.g. start talking about it with your child during the daytime when there are no accidents to help open up a dialogue and decrease the embarrassment)

2. Fluid Monitoring:

  • Rather than limiting fluids before bedtime, parents can give children one or two extra glasses of water in the morning or afternoon, allowing evening drinks to quench thirst only

3. Routine Development:

  • While it may not be easy or effective for parents to wake children during the night, routine bathroom visits may prevent them from unintentionally holding their urine

4. Maximize comfort overnight:

  • If your child is dry all day but sometimes has nighttime accidents, GoodNites Bedtime Pants are a great choice as they are specially designed to be worn lying down. They’re plush and super absorbent to help keep kids dry and comfortable all night, no matter what sleep position they prefer. Plus, the discreet design looks and feels like regular underwear with graphics that children won’t mind wearing

Take the stress out of nighttime wetting:

For children who are genetically predisposed to nighttime wetting, social stress such as having a new sibling, starting a new school or experiencing a family crisis may trigger the condition. However, the mechanism and causes behind nighttime wetting are largely the same for all children.

According to clinical therapist and mental health expert, Michele Kambolis, incorporating some play-based activities that you can do proactively with your child can help ease the stress and anxiety associated with overnight accidents, including:

1) Mindfulness Glitter Jar:

The glitter jar represents the mind settling. It’s a great afternoon activity that your kids can keep coming back to as a mindfulness practice. It can also help kids connect with their body and emotions by teaching them how to tune into their internal signals

Materials Needed:

  • Empty mason jar
  • One tube of glitter glue
  • One tube of dry glitter

Instructions:

  • Step 1 – Fill the bottle 3/4 full with hot water
  • Step 2 – Add a few squeezes of glitter glue and a tube of dry glitter
  • Step 3 – Tighten the cap

How to Use:

  • Step 1 – Have your child sit in a quiet area and shake the jar repeatedly until the glitter is swirling around like busy thoughts in their brain
  • Step 2 – Take a few deep breaths in and out together, and encourage them to join you in noticing the glitter as it settles to the bottom
  • Step 3 – Encourage them to imagine the glitter as thoughts – without worrying what the thoughts are or what they mean
  • Step 4 – As the glitter starts to settle, ask them to image that the thoughts and ideas in their mind are settling too, gently clearing away the cloud in their mind

 

2) The Balloon Buster:

Brain “muscles” are just like any other muscle in our child’s body. The more they flex, the stronger they’ll become. Introduce a thought buster to your child and watch them grow stronger, more positive thought patterns!

Materials needed:

  • Balloons
  • Permanent marker

Instructions:

  • Step 1 – Help children identify a negative belief that’s contributing to their anxiety or discomfort. The negative belief usually starts with “I” (e.g. “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do it”). Encourage children to let go of negative thoughts by breathing it out of the body and into a balloon
  • Step 2 – Leave the balloon untied and tell them they can release negative thoughts by releasing it and letting it fly around the room. For an added effect, write the negative thought on the balloon with permanent marker
  • Step 3 – Help them replace the negative thought with a helpful one like “I am good enough” and “I can take one step at a time”
  • Step 4 – Finally, have them close their eyes and inhale deeply, imagining that they are breathing that positive thought into their body, to take up the free space where the negative thought once lived
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