Helping Your Child Stay Dry

There are several approaches we take to helping keep kids dry at night.

Treatments vary and depend on any specific factors that may be causing your child to wet the bed at night. Often, the best cure for bedwetting is time. As your child's body matures and develops, he or she will grow out of bedwetting. 

There are several treatments your doctor will discuss with you to help keep your child from wetting the bed at night. These include: 

Behavorial Modifications

Your doctor may suggest changes to your child's daily routine including their diet:

  • Limit or avoid caffeinated drinks such as sodas and chocolate beverages, especially in the evening and before bedtime. Caffeine is a natural stimulate that can increase urination.

  • Limit the amount of liquid your child drinks in the evening and before bedtime to help keep the bladder from filling up over night. Make sure your child urinates right before bedtime.

  • Keep a voiding diary - keeping a voiding diary will help you track patterns of your child's urination and bowel habits. For example, it might help you realize that your child wets the bed two or three hours after falling asleep each night. This will help you when using some of the bedwetting treatment approaches such as alarms or the self-awakening routine. 

The Self-Awakening Routine

Helping your child learn to wake up when his or her body signals that they need to urinate at night can help your child with control. Work with your child on the self-awakening technique which includes:

  • Having your child lay quietly in his or her bed right bedfore bedtime. When your child is relaxed, ask him or her to envision that he or she is sleeping and needs to urinate. Then, have your child get up and go to the bathroom to urinate. This behavior will help your child get in the habit of waking and going to the bathroom.

  • If you child wakes up at night for any reason (bad dream, couldn't sleep, etc.), have him or her go to the bathroom before returning to bed. Sometimes a child will wake up at night for one reason when they really just need to urinate. This will also help your child recognize his or her body's signals. 

Bedwetting Alarms

For some children, a bedwetting alarm will help teach them to wake up when he or she needs to urinate. while some parents find these alarms helpful, other families find that the alarms wake everyone else up except the child who wets the bed. Keep in mind that every tactic to help your child overcome the bedwetting problem is based on individual preference and personality. 

There are two types of bedwetting alarms that you can try:

  • Special bedwetting alarms that have a sensor that is usually attached to a pad on your child's bed. When the pad gets wet from urination, a loud alarm or buzzer will sound and wake the child up. Some alarms vibrate instead of make a loud sound. The goal of this alarm is to wake the child up right when they begin to wet the bed so that can realize what they are doing, stop themselves from urinating and get up to go to the bathroom. 

  • The alarm clock method - an alarm clock is set to go off about three or four hours after your child falls asleep. When the alarm goes off and your child is awakended, he or she will then have to go to the bathroom. Parents may need to wake with the alarm clock to ensure that your child gets up to use the bathroom rather than turning the alarm off and going back to sleep. 

Along with bedwetting alarms, keeping a voiding diary will help you track patterns of your child's urination. For example, after keeping the diary for one week, you may notice that your child wets the bed two hours after he or she falls asleep. This information will help you know when to set the alarm or when to check your child's bed for wetness.