Once your child has mastered going pee and poop on the potty during the day, a parent’s next question is usually, “When can I stop buying night-time diapers?” That answer depends on your child.
Five Things to Know About Bedwetting
- Bedwetting is very common. Most children are completely dry at night by the age of 5, but bedwetting can still be normal up to age 7.
- The most common cause of prolonged nighttime bed-wetting is simply that the child is a deep sleeper.
- Constipation and drinking liquids prior to bed also can be a culprit.
- Children with developmental delays and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may take longer to be dry at night.
- There also can be a familial component. If a parent wet the bed until age 9, sometimes the child may have the same issue.
The Most Important Thing to Remember
Perhaps the most important thing to know is that bedwetting is not a child’s fault, and you should never blame or punish a child for wetting the bed. Avoid causing a child to feel shame or embarrassment (whether public or private) for wetting the bed. You may think the shame or embarrassment might encourage him to keep his bed dry, but that isn’t the case. Keep in mind that the reasons for bedwetting are usually physical or developmental, not dependent on whether a child “wants to” or not.
Use Your Pediatrician as a Resource
The other question that often arises is, “When should I talk to my doctor about it?” If you have questions or concerns regarding what is normal or if the nighttime wetting becomes a problem, your doctor can provide reassurance and answer those questions. Feel free to ask your pediatrician these questions at any doctor’s visit.
Usually, limiting fluids before bed, peeing prior to going to bed, and setting a bed-wetting alarm can be useful in helping a child become dry at night. There is medication available that can be used as well, but this is generally reserved for cases where other efforts have failed.
Helping a child stay dry through the night takes patience, and sometimes it’s not easy. Be consistent, patient and calm, and sooner or later your little one will get the hang of it.
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