Night-time accidents and bed wetting are a normal part of growing up and something that all children will experience at some point during their childhood. It can be a frustrating time for both parents and kids, and depending on their age there often is not a lot you can do to stop it. However here are 5 top tips that could help make this season in your child's life smoother and easier.
- Treat it separately from day-time toilet training. Is your child actually ready? So many people assume that because their child is ready for day-time toilet training, that they are also ready for no nappies at night. However, that is not the case. There can be 2-5 plus years between when a child is toilet trained to when they stop wetting the bed. Did you know that 15-20% of 5-year olds still wet the bed at night and 1 in 10 early primary aged children?! This usually indicates an immature nervous system where their bladders cannot hold a full amount of urine for a prolonged period of time. Rest assured, this usually corrects itself with time.
- Put a potty in their room. This might sound strange, but hear me out! It is quite unnerving for a child to get out of bed on their own, especially in the middle of the night when it is dark and often cold. Taking a trip to the bathroom can seem like a mammoth task for a little person. So if there is a potty right next to the child’s bed then getting out of bed to go to the potty seems much less of an effort. Don't forget to put a little towel or mat underneath it to catch any half-asleep midnight spills!
- Make sure the lights are on. If your child is not digging the potty idea, then try this one! Having a dark hallway or house can be very intimidating for a little person in the middle of the night. By leaving the toilet light on, and even some dim night lights to lead them there, can be a huge comfort for children and sometimes the difference between getting up to go to the toilet…and not!
- Use waterproof sheet protectors. Whether your child is ready to take the leap of no nappies or they are a fully-fledged night-time-toilet-user, accidents are almost inevitable. And from someone who has been there, stripping the bed in the middle of the night is a nightmare to say the least. I mean who even knows where their spare sheets are in the middle of the night?! However, you can avoid this by using waterproof sheet protectors. They are different to mattress protectors as they go on top of the fitted sheet whereas a mattress protector goes underneath the fitted sheet. Which I still recommend you have on by the way! Sheet protectors are 100% waterproof and fully absorbent and when there is an accident, you simply whip them off and the entire bed stays perfectly dry and you don't need to strip the bed. They will save you so much time and effort in those wee hours of the morning but will also save you on piles of washing.
- Be positive and encouraging! This is probably the most important tip. Night-time bladder control is a process of maturation so no matter how hard your child tries, they have no control over this when they are asleep. So any accidents are not their fault. Consistently remaining calm and positive will only help your child’s mental wellbeing and confidence. Feeling pressured for something they cannot control will only cause worry and even anxiety, which is not conducive to achieving success. Cool, calm and collected is the key!
If your child is showing interest in not wearing nappies at night, or if they are waking up with dry nappies 5+ days in a row, then it might be time to ditch the nappies and give night-time training a go. Follow the 5 tips above for the best chance at night-time success!
If you have a child over 6 or 7 years, or for more advice or recommendations, contact Angelique at firstname.lastname@example.org