bet wetting - how to avoid it
Last Updated on June 6, 2022 by Peter

Bed Wetting: Top Tips To Avoid Your Child Wetting Its Bed

Bed wetting can be an embarrassing problem for anyone to have, regardless of age. Thankfully, there are many steps you can take at home to limit the frequency of bed wetting incidents.

First of all you need to realize that although it may be inconvenient for you and embarrassing for your child, bed wetting is normal behavior in children. You can rest easy knowing that in many cases bed wetting will come to an end as your child grows older. Bed wetting is common in children of up to around five years of age, nearly 10 percent of children in this age group will wet the bed.

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    Tips for working with your child's bed wetting

    Before you start, make it clear to your child you’re not cross, you’re just trying to help, and make sure you listen and get them on board with any new measures.

    • If you suspect that the bed wetting is stress-related – if there’s a change in family structure, you’ve moved home or your child is experiencing bullying, for example – try to work on this anxiety before you start on a new regime.
    • Staying dry and exercising control over the bladder (using their pelvic floor muscles) during the day might help – give them a timer or a watch with an alarm and see if you can prolong time between their toilet trips by 10 minutes each day.
    • Offer sips of drinks from about 4pm and nothing at all to drink one and a half hour before bedtime.
    • Try to avoid putting your child in pull-ups or a nappy – it might help that they can feel when they’re wet at night time.
    • Make sure you have the right protective sheeting and lots of sheets and nightwear. Leave a low light on so your child can see their way to the toilet.
    • Once your child wets the bed, ask them to help you change themselves and the bed sheets, remembering to stay sympathetic and gentle.
    • Some people use buzzers or alarms attached to night wear, which are triggered by moisture, so they can get up and go to the loo. The aim is to ‘re-program’ the brain to alert her to wake before they have to wee.
    • Others say that once a child is old enough for sleepovers, there is an initial period of embarrassment as they inevitably wet the bed, but that overnight stays can act as a catalyst for retraining.
    an image of a father talking to his son

    Waterproof mattress protectors

    A waterproof mattress pad is placed over a mattress and under the bottom sheet. You can buy fitted versions, which are secured with an elasticized skirt, or flat ones, which anchor with elastic loops on each corner.

    Mattress pads usually have an absorbent fabric layer on top, so they look and feel like a normal mattress cover. Underneath, there is a waterproof layer, usually made from polyurethane. Despite being waterproof, polyurethane is breathable, so it won’t make your child hot at night.

    If a waterproof mattress pad gets wet it can go into the washing machine, along with sheets. Thicker, more absorbent pads will take longer to dry.

    A vinyl mattress cover is a cheaper, lightweight option. It encloses the entire mattress and usually has a zipper. If it gets wet, you can simply wipe it clean. Although a vinyl cover is effective at keeping a mattress dry, it can be hot and noisy to sleep on. However, it’s good to have one on hand for traveling with child who wets the bed.

    an image of a waterproof mattress protector

    Waterproof underpads

    Disposable or washable underpads are waterproof pads that have a soft, absorbent top layer with a waterproof backing. You can put an underpad on top or underneath the bottom sheet. Some tuck in on either side of the mattress. If your child moves around a lot in his sleep, he may miss the part of the bed covered by the underpad. It’s still a good idea to use a waterproof mattress pad, too.

    Using an underpad makes nighttime bed changes easier because you don’t have to remake the whole bed. It’s quick and easy to swap out a wet underpad, or even an underpad and a bottom sheet.

    Underpads are also portable, so you may want to keep some handy, for example, if your child comes to sleep in your bed or for travel.

    Protecting comforters

    Instead of using a bulky comforter that’s difficult to wash, consider tucking your child in under less-bulky blankets that are easier to wash and faster to dry. You can still have a comforter for decoration and just fold it back when you tuck them in.

    A waterproof duvet cover, which is also less bulky to wash, can be used either on its own or under a decorative duvet cover.

    You can buy a waterproof top sheet that can go between your child and her comforter. Today’s waterproof sheets look very similar to ordinary sheets. The waterproof membrane is hidden between a layer of soft cotton or polyester. Although waterproof sheets are thicker and slightly heavier than normal sheets, they sound and feel almost the same.

    an image of bed sheets

    How should I wash wet bedding?

    No matter how hard you try to protect it, it’s likely that your child’s mattress will get wet occasionally. Do your best to tackle wet patches on the mattress when they happen, rather than leaving them until later. Once urine has soaked through to the middle of the mattress, it’s very difficult to neutralize the smell. That’s why you need to sponge it up with a cloth as soon as you can.

    Urine’s lingering smell is the result of acid crystals that form as it dries, so regular household cleaners might not work. For this specific issue, you may need to buy an enzyme-based cleaner specially formulated for cleaning up urine. It will help with the yellow patches, too.

    Before cleaning a mattress, think about how much time you have before your child will need to use it again. Unless it’s a warm day, and you’re able to take the mattress outside to dry, try to avoid getting it too wet. A steam cleaner can be useful for cleaning the surface of the mattress without soaking it. Vacuum the mattress first.

    How can I clean my child's mattress?

    No matter how hard you try to protect it, it’s likely that your child’s mattress will get wet occasionally. Do your best to tackle wet patches on the mattress when they happen, rather than leaving them until later. Once urine has soaked through to the middle of the mattress, it’s very difficult to neutralize the smell. That’s why you need to sponge it up with a cloth as soon as you can.

    Urine’s lingering smell is the result of acid crystals that form as it dries, so regular household cleaners might not work. For this specific issue, you may need to buy an enzyme-based cleaner specially formulated for cleaning up urine. It will help with the yellow patches, too.

    Before cleaning a mattress, think about how much time you have before your child will need to use it again. Unless it’s a warm day, and you’re able to take the mattress outside to dry, try to avoid getting it too wet. A steam cleaner can be useful for cleaning the surface of the mattress without soaking it. Vacuum the mattress first.

    a couple with kids

    Conclusion

    Bed wetting is an inconvenience and it might seem embarrassing, but it is perfectly normal part of growing up. The first step in solving the problem is avoiding exaggerating it. Be calm and relaxed about it with your children, or else you’ll put an additional pressure on them. Bed wetting is often a psychological problem. You should find out is there anything that make your child anxious or stressed. There are also a lot of products that may help you protect the beddings. Also, cleaning of urine is specific and it takes some specially formulated cleaners to get done thoroughly.

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