How can I keep my child from wetting the bed?

Keep the following tips in mind when dealing with bed-wetting:
• Be honest with your child about what is going on. Let your child know it’s not his fault and that he will eventually be able to stay dry all night. Let your child know lots of kids go through this, but no one goes to school and talks about it.
• Be sensitive to your child’s feelings. If you don’t make a big issue out of bed-wetting, chances are your child won’t, either.
• Protect the bed. Until your child stays dry at night, put a plastic cover under the sheets. This protects the mattress from getting wet and smelling like urine.
• Let your child help. Encourage your child to help change the wet sheets and covers. This teaches responsibility. It can also keep your child from feeling embarrassed if the rest of the family knows he wet the bed. However, if your child sees this as punishment, it is not recommended.
• Set a no-teasing rule in your family. Do not let family members, especially siblings, tease your child. Let them know that it’s not his fault.
• Take steps before bedtime. Have your child use the toilet and avoid drinking large amounts of fluid just before bedtime.
• Try to wake him up to use the toilet (1–2 hours after going to sleep) to help him stay dry through the night.
Reward him for dry nights, but do not punish him for wet ones.
Bed-wetting alarms
If your child is still not able to stay dry during the night after using these steps for 1 to 3 months, your pediatrician may recommend using a bed-wetting alarm. When a bed-wetting alarm senses urine, it sets off an alarm so the child can wake up to use the toilet. When used correctly, it will detect wetness right away and sound the alarm. Be sure your child resets the alarm before going back to sleep.
Bed-wetting alarms are successful 50% to 75% of the time. They tend to be most helpful for children who have some dry nights and some bladder control on their own. Ask your pediatrician which type of alarm would be best for your child.
Different medicines are available to treat bed-wetting. They rarely cure bed-wetting, but may help your child, especially in social situations such as sleepovers. However, they are usually a last resort and are not recommended for children younger than 5 years. Also, some of these medicines have side effects. Your pediatrician can tell you more about these medicines and if they are right for your child.
Beware of “cures”
There are many treatment programs and devices that claim they can “cure” bed-wetting. Be careful; many of these products make false claims and promises and may be very expensive. Your pediatrician is the best source for advice about bed-wetting. Talk with your pediatrician before your child starts any treatment program.

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