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Bedwetting Tips for Tweens

Updated on October 23, 2012

Bedwetting in children has many sources. Some medications are available to help. Sometimes, the medications do not work. In some cases, children with diagnoses of Acute Stress Disorder or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder have chronic bedwetting problems. These often only improve when the overall issues of their stress disorder are treated, and even then, this is one of the last stress symptoms to disappear.

Bedwetting is especially difficult the older the child gets. Tweens are often mortified of anyone ever finding out about the issue. All children, but especially tweens need to have reassurance that they will eventually grow out of the problem, and there are lots of kids who have the problem. Shaming kids as a means to motivate them is not a good idea, and frequently makes the situation worse.Compassionate support while being realistic about how the problem limits their fun behaviors (sleeping away form home, for example) is the way to approach the issue.

Practical measures must be combined with any approach. Limit liquids in the evening and have a cut off time for any drinks. Adjust this backwards by fifteen minutes for each week that the current cut off time is not working.

The last adult to bed (assuming this is later than the child) should wake the child to use the toilet.

Make sure a fresh set of bed linens are in the child’s room so that the child can change their bed (right away, before anything else) if it is wet in the morning.

Have the child wake thirty minutes earlier than usual, and see if the bed is wet: sometimes, a child voids just prior to their usual wake up time. If they are wet, the extra time should be used to have the child shower, change their bed, and place wet sheets in the laundry. This also avoids the “yuck” factor of discovering the wet sheets at the next bed time.

Consider investing in a bed wetting alarm: they range in price from about fifty to over a hundred dollars. For some children, the alarm allows them enough time to get to the toilet, and by awakening them, teaches their sleepy heads to wake when they feel the pressure to void.

If the child is using sleep medication, consult with the doctor to see if a lower dose may be still effective. Sometimes, the child may be so deeply asleep, they can not wake enough to use the toilet.

Treat the bed wetting as a matter of fact issue; never give consequences for bedwetting. Bedwetting is a problem, but not the child. Remind the child that you want to help them to be comfortable, clean, and healthy. Remind them that you are there to support them in making progress on ending the problem, and the problem may take time to solve.


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