The technical term for bedwetting is “enuresis,” but regardless of what it’s called, most parents and some kids just want it to stop!
Once you’ve talked to your pediatrician about the possible causes of your child’s bedwetting and are getting appropriate treatment and help, you can employ a number of helpful habits to prevent more bedwetting. Also, parents who are concerned that their child might begin bedwetting can make use of these tips to help keep bedwetting from ever happening.
Let’s face it – the more you drink, the more you pee, and the same goes for kids. Depriving a child of water is not recommended; after all, adequate fluid intake is vital to anyone’s health. Some guidelines regarding fluid intake can be observed safely, however, such as:
* No fluids for two hours before bed (you might have to start this one gradually, beginning with no fluids an hour before bedtime and working your way up)
* Cut back on salt at dinnertime. Salt makes you thirsty, and depriving your body of fluids when it needs them is not only terribly uncomfortable, but might jeopardize health. So avoid salty dinners and snacks.
* Cut back on sugar after dinner, as sugar also tends to make you thirsty.
* Increase fluid intake during the day so that your child’s body gets the water it needs and is not craving liquids in the evening.
* Limit or cut out caffeine, as sources say it stimulates the kidneys to produce more urine (it acts as a diuretic). Caffeine is found in soft drinks, chocolate, tea, coffee, and cocoa.
* Beware of watery foods like watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, and other foods that have a high water content. These are best avoided after dinner. Also, some foods are natural diuretics and are best avoided at dinnertime and after: celery, asparagus, and artichokes are some such foods.
Make sure your child goes to the bathroom before bed – right before bed. If your child uses the toilet and then takes his bath, brushes his teeth, puts on his pajamas, and gets into bed ready for his story, his bladder won’t be completely empty when he goes to sleep. Thus, make sure your child uses the toilet after the “bedtime ritual” is nearly complete. Using the toilet can become part of that routine if it helps your child.
Some children do well with a chart or other reminder about their bedtime routine. If your child is very young, use a chart with pictures to depict the steps in the routine. Make sure the toilet is the last picture before sleep!