Every parent looks forward to a life without night-time nappies and pull-ups but with increasingly busy work and home lives it can be difficult to accomplish. Bedwetting expert Alicia Eaton says these simple steps will help:
1: Words work
Talk to your child, explain that soon they’ll be able to keep themselves dry all through the night and won’t need pull-ups. Putting the idea into your child’s mind triggers important thinking processes towards getting dry at night.
Regularly use phrases like: ‘Pretty soon, you’ll stop needing these at night-time….’
2: Step by step
Explain they will need to visit the bathroom instead. Walk through the steps they’ll take and practise this several times, telling them you will leave lights on so they can see their way easily.
3: Deeper sleep
Avoid leaving night-lights on in the bedroom. A dark bedroom promotes deeper sleep patterns and this might be enough to ensure your child sleeps through and not need the toilet.
4: Plan ahead
Put a date in the diary and let you child know when you will stop using pull-ups. Their absorbency means your child’s skin won’t feel wet. This stops them learning how to take control.
Prepare for wet beds and try to view them as valuable learning experiences. Use an absorbent bed mat in between 2 layers of sheets. If your child is wet, remove the top layer and use the dry bed underneath.
Ensure the bedroom floor is clutter-free to make it easier for your child to move around at night. If they sleep in a bunk bed, consider placing a mattress on the floor to make it easier for them.
Avoid drinks one hour before bedtime, but don’t restrict fluids during the day as this could make them constipated - a common cause of bedwetting.
8: Think food
Avoid fizzy drinks, sugary foods and milk at night-time as these affect the bladder. Avoid fruits such as strawberries, melons and grapes in the evenings as they are a diuretic.
9: Avoid rewards and bribes
They are a distraction and it will be doubly disappointing for your child if they’re not successful one night. Your child’s focus should be on learning how to stay dry at night.
10: Keep track
Keep a diary during your training period to track dry nights and wet ones. It will make it easier for you to figure out what the cause of a wet nights might be.
Alicia Eaton is a Children’s emotional wellbeing Specialist, and author of several books including First Aid of your Child's Mind and Stop Bedwetting in Seven Days.
Alicia is a trained psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist. She has a successful practice in London’s Harley Street where she has been helping adults and children change unwanted habits and behaviours since 2004.
She is also trained in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and assisted Paul McKenna with his seminars for over seven years. Over the years, she has continued to add to her skills by training in mindfulness at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and also as a practitioner of the latest psycho-sensory therapies such as Thought Field Therapy (TFT) and Havening.
Originally a Montessori Teacher, Alicia ran her own school for five years.
Alicia regularly speaks and runs workshops on a variety of topics, including parenting and emotional well-being.