Bedwetting first response: "do's" that work

Your child is chilled, soggy, and - after waking up to discover, "Oh no, I've wet the bed!" - absolutely devastated. How you handle this vulnerable moment is a choice. Removing blame and showing patience are good first steps. But there are other important measures you can take that involve and empower your child.

Do: Choose your words wisely. Saying less is better in the moment. Any comment should be focused on making your child more comfortable. Reassurance can be as simple as saying, "You're just like your dad. Sometimes, you sleep so soundly that your body doesn't alert you when you have to pee. That's why you wet the bed. When your body matures, you won't do it anymore. Your dad doesn't." After the fact, discuss the issue when your child feels ready, and do so in private.

Do: Ask for your child's help. In a fun and friendly way, ask your child to do a task that assists with cleanup after an accident. The task shouldn't be too onerous: simply putting the wet sheets into a bin for laundry can create an atmosphere of teamwork. Or, while you clean up the bed, ask him to put on new pajamas. This also gives your child a sense of control over the situation, helping to maintain his budding sense of independence.

Do: Prepare for easy cleanup. Try covering the mattress with an absorbent pad or having your child wear nighttime underwear. Not only will everyone experience a comfortable night's sleep, these easy-to-remove, stay-dry tools give your child a sense of privacy, ultimately helping to protect her sense of self-esteem.

Do: Remember you are not to blame either. Getting to dry nights is an exercise in patience. Successful, confidence-boosting situations hinge on how you make them positive events rather than negative ones.

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