Most children will be out of diapers and training pants by the age of 3 or 4; however, not surprisingly, not all kids follow the same schedule. Some may need more time, whereas others less. Every child is unique, and, despite what experts may say, your child will let you know when it’s time.
When the time has come, children begin to adjust. But, remember, it is a transition. Accidents can happen, especially at night. I should know, as my little boy took some time before understanding that when you feel the urge, don’t delay! He used to love holding it in so he could finish his puzzle or game, and then…. Oops! Night-time was also a little challenging for a while, but with patience, it all worked out!
Interestingly, the root causes for bed-wetting may be more than just behavioural. Studies indicate that if either parent had a problem with bed-wetting as a child, it could be passed down to their own children. In other words, genetics could play a role.
Bed-wetting is not uncommon. Many children experience it, as their bladder control is not yet fully developed. However, other, non-physical causes may be responsible too. These will require patience and understanding to help your child get through them. If you feel you need help, trust your instincts and consult your pediatrician.
Below are a few tips that helped me and my little boy get through his bed-wetting phase.
1) Use a Waterproof Mattress Cover
I always used a waterproof mattress cover in my little boy’s crib, as well as on his toddler’s bed. Besides making accident clean-ups easier, it also kept the mattress free from mites and moisture, and on laundry day, I would just throw it in the washer along with the sheets. When it came time to try out sleep time without diapers, or training pants, I was ready with an extra protector for a quick and easy change in the middle of the night.
2) Limit Fluid Intake Just Before Bed
I made sure that he didn’t drink excessively before bedtime. This is really a no-brainer and is good advice for us adults as well. If you are certain that your little one is taking in enough fluids during the day, then it’s OK to restrict the amount of drinking before bedtime.
3) Don’t Make a Fuss
The best way to address an incident is not to make it into one. Children will take our lead. If we are calm and make it into a non-event, they will feel less mortified and embarrassed, even if it’s 3 a.m.! Showing patience and compassion, especially when we are tempted to do the opposite, will go far towards the healthy development of your child’s self-esteem. Remember, they are not doing this on purpose.
4) One Last Visit to the Loo Before Nighty-Nite
After a nice warm and soothing bath, I would let him pick his pyjamas and book to read, but just before tucking him in and a kiss goodnight, I made sure we made one last visit to the loo. He would often insist that he didn’t need to go, but sure enough, he always did! Creating a good bedtime routine will reassure and calm your child because there are no surprises. The benefits last long after. A healthy sleep hygiene for a child will lead to a healthy adult routine.
Angela, Your Sleep Expert